Saturday, December 20, 2014

What Is Christmas?

Making a gingerbread house that won't stay up with your best friend then eating all the candy until you are so high from sugar overload that you giggle and giggle and giggle driving your calm loving mom up the wall...

I keep hearing candy hit the floor, hmmm...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Christmas tree is up and decorated.  Santa has been visited.  The elf brought G a gift this morning.  School is wrapping down for the holidays.  I have a few things left to do still.  I am looking forward to a quiet day.  I requested off on Friday, we don't get Christmas eve off.  My request hasn't been approved so I will bring G with me Friday.  It won't be a real work day more than likely, most people will have been given off, but who knows.  Anyway, we have one more tree to decorate, my mom's.  Maybe on Thursday night we can get that completed.  I have no teacher gifts and honestly, I am too strapped.  Maybe we will make them all an ornament.  Time is running out though.  We will see.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I wanted to post today because this numerical sequence date will not happen again until the year 2103.

Thursday night was the big town Christmas parade.  G rode the GA float and told me she intentionally hit some of her friends from school with candy.  I said, "They didn't let you throw candy so that you would use it as weapons."  She said, "Well, why did they let us throw it then?"

I don't think she hurt anyone and I know she wasn't the only one.  It was kind of cold and my toes took awhile to get warm even after we got home.  The parade was very short and I think G was disappointed with it being so short.

I need one more weekend before Christmas counting this and the next.  How do I not have enough time to do everything.  We were supposed to get our tree tonight but G had other plans and wanted to go to see the Nutcracker (local production) with her friend.  So tomorrow we will get it and decorate it.

I also agreed to shop for the family our Sunday School adopted.  11 year old boys are difficult.  Oh heck, who am I kidding, boys of any age are difficult for me to buy for particularly when I don't know them.  But there are twin girls younger than G, 2 of the same is my answer.

I made a pantry order from Amazon which is interesting.  I wish they carried more of the brands I actually purchase.  Some things were more expensive than I can buy at Kroger.  Some things were less but not my normal brand.  I purchased some of it anyway.  I haven't ordered from the pantry section before because I just got a box full enough for it.  I think it has a flat 5.99 shipping fee for as much as you can fill in the box but again it is select items of certain brands.

I also haven't shopped for G from Santa and yes she still believes.  She asks questions but hasn't come outright and demanded an answer.  I have been truthful with her reminding her that St. Nicholas was a real Bishop in the 4th century who slapped a heretic (my kind of guy) and who was wealthy using his wealth to rescue children from slavery.  She knows he is dead and asked if someone picked up being Santa and I said yes. And she asked if it is passed down in the family and I said yes.  So technically I answered correctly.

Anyway, so I have really no idea when I will shop for her.  Maybe at lunch since there is a target and sports authority near me.  She wants underarmour shirts.  I don't know what else she wants and this is just one more reason to wish she would stop believing.  I hope to find a couple of movies and specific candy she likes for the stocking oh and new house shoes and maybe new jams.

She hasn't really told me anything other than the underarmour.  I guess Christmas snuck up on her too.  She should be home any time now.  and yes I am typing this on Friday night for a Saturday morning post.  Surely you wouldn't think I would be up this early on a Saturday, bwahahaha and don't call me shirley.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Holidays Are Here

My dinning room table was so nice and clean before we came back from our Thanksgiving vacation and now it is so totally covered and I am stress paralyzed when I see it.  I don't even know where to begin with it.

My mom's birthday was Monday.  I invited two of her water aerobics friends over and gave mom the movie Mom's Night Out.  For what it is, it is a cute movie with a good message and that message is that Jesus loves you no matter what you've done or who you are and that He will be with you always.  She enjoyed herself.  I cheated and got a Christmas can of popcorn.

G is off tonight at a church play with a friend.  I am so glad we live in town rather than the country otherwise, she wouldn't be able to go on such short notice.  I hope she enjoys it, well, really I hope she just pays attention.  The Mom's Night Out movie went over her head.

I have started preparing the Santa gifts for G forgetting that we are tied via amazon by our phones.  So now she is getting the notices that I get when packages are delivered.  Yea! me.  So I have worked out that dad and mom will give them to her.  Her big gift was the trip to Universal Studios from me.  Santa will bring some under armor long sleeve shirts.  She honestly doesn't need anything.  And yes, she still believes.  Our elf is back too but I am not taking pictures of the things he does and I haven't started the e-mails to her.

I discovered with the new smart phones I don't have easy access to block strange numbers anymore directly from the phone.  Seemed easier with the old flip type phones.  Anyway, ATT has a service at $5 per month to block numbers.  G had a strange person calling her phone.  I answered it one day to find out who it was.  It was a black male calling the wrong number but then he asked me my name and I hung up on him.  He kept calling.  G doesn't answer unless she knows the number so I didn't worry too much, then he texted.

I discovered the phone is from Augusta, AR area and for a fee I could have flat located him name and all which freaks me out because someone can do that to us too.  I purchased the service for her phone.  I can handle my wrong numbers etc but I don't want G getting strange texts from strange men.  In his defense he didn't know the phone belonged to a 10 year old because I answered the call.  However, I do not wish to allow my child to be contacted by strange numbers even accidentally when they keep calling.

So, next weekend we are getting our Christmas tree and shopping for the family our Sunday School class has chosen to help.  At some point I have to go shop for G without G knowing or seeing.  This year, Santa is bringing me some hand lotion and face soap, makeup and powder.  Good stocking stuffers to keep the belief going.

Mom is very confused and seemingly helpless.  Even down to her medicine dad gives it to her or I put it in her hand for her.  She doesn't look or sound like she can be so helpless but somehow she is.  She is begging dad for a computer for old people because she thinks she will be able to use it.  She wanted a new phone but can't work it.  She wants a computer to call her friends.  G kept telling her she has one in the phone and can use the phone but she can't process that information.

Anyway, should be an interesting season.  I have requested the day after Christmas for vacation but I am not sure I will be allowed to take it.  I may need the days instead for ice and snow days.  If I am not allowed to take it I will just bring G to work with the laptop, wi-fi and movies for her to watch.

I am so glad gas has gone down so much despite this administrations attacks on oil and fossil fuels.  It is helping so much not to have to put $70+ in the car right now.

The blog stays quiet as I don't really have anything to say.  I put together a shutterfly book and calendar of our trip and will give them wrapped up to G for Christmas.  I need to get stamps to get our cards mailed out this year.  I suppose I will get them Saturday morning and then mail them out next week.  I, of course, have yet to actually address any of them.  I was able to get them all free except for shipping from Shutterfly and that is all I am sending.

I am looking forward to Sunday School and church tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to my Sunday Afternoon Nap and yes it deserves capital letters, ;-}  I suppose I have been looking forward to it since last Sunday when I was busy unpacking and making a memory book of our trip.  This time last week we were somewhere in Alabama looking for a place to eat supper.  So glad to be home but love traveling too!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

We Are Home!!

This is long and pictures are near the bottom if you wish to skip.

We had a fantastic time and despite the naysayers who said we were not going to have enough time to do everything in just the 2 days we were there, we did. We saw and rode everything we wanted to in 2 days.  The things we didn't see were basically things G had no reference point for like Toon Lagoon which were comic strips (Hagar the Horrible, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker and the like).  G doesn't read the comics because we don't receive a printed paper.  I Love Lucy memorial thing I might would have enjoyed looking through but G didn't know who it was.

She has never seen Beetlejuice so the activities there were not interesting to her.  Transformers ride was a no go because she hasn't ever seen the movies and was not interested.  We didn't do the water rides because I didn't bring clothing to change into again because of not bringing a backpack.  We did ride a Dr. Suess ride which was just in G's words, a baby ride over the Dr. Suess section.  So maybe we could have stayed a lot longer and seen everything but there was no point.

We headed out for our vacation on Tuesday, stopped by Elvis Presley's birthplace in Tupelo, picnicked in the car in the parking lot there. I packed supper for us from home so when we stopped in Albany, GA, we ate supper in the hotel room. I had a cooler that managed to keep everything cool until I could get more ice. We only had to eat lunch on the way into Florida and we stopped at a Subway then.

We arrived at the CoCo Key Resort in Orlando just after 3pm. Our room was ready so we checked in. We initially had a $22/night fee for the water park but due to the cooler temps that was reduced to $9/night and the water park was limited time from 11am-5pm and then Friday it was not open at all as far as I know because when we came back to the hotel before 5pm it was totally closed. I don't think it opened all day.  So the cooler temps was a financial blessing because I was on limited funds due to the car problems I had earlier this fall.

 Well, when we got to the room G had time to play in the water park but the room key didn't work. A very kind employee came to our rescue, showed us where G could change while I figured out the room key and ended up getting us a manager who realized our initial room was locked from the inside because her key wouldn't work either. She upgraded our room from a standard king with no microwave to a studio with a microwave, kitchen area with table/chairs, mud room, bathroom, king bed and living room area. I am telling you this was a God thing. He moved us to that room.

G and I, after getting her a hot shower from playing in the heated water park (the temp was still cool), headed to a Walgreens for supplies. We got breakfast foods for Friday and Saturday and supper for Thursday and Friday plus snacks to take to the park Thursday and Friday. We brought some of the food home and most of the snacks. That cooler even kept our milk we bought for breakfast cold to get home.

Back in June or July I booked this trip that gave us 1 hour before the park opened and I also booked us a breakfast for Thursday morning at the Three Broomsticks on the Adventure Island side that didn't allow for the early entry. So on Thursday we arrived at the park and lined up for the breakfast. I realized that we could have gone to the main park at 7am and had plenty of time to look around before the breakfast at 8:30am.  That information was conveniently not explained until you arrive.    But I figured out what needed to happen on Friday morning to maximize the time we had left.

We had a fairly good breakfast Thursday morning and then hit the Dragon Challenge ride. Because I had a backpack, we had to use the lockers which were free for 30 mins. Thankfully there was not a wait time on the ride. G gave me her jacket to put in the locker but after the ride which was terrifying to me and exhilarating to G, we inadvertently left the jacket in the locker. We didn't realize for 4 hours that the jacket was gone.

 We had already left the Hogsmeade/Hogswart section of Universal and gone to Diagon Alley by the time I realized the jacket was gone. We were having lunch at the Leaky Cauldron at the time. Lunch was really good as was the butterbeer which tasted like butterscotch. I drank mine hot and G had a cold one she actually couldn't finish.  But I was upset about the jacket so I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't lost the jacket.

So after lunch we headed back to Hogsmeade to the lockers after asking many people about lost and found and maybe left on the train etc. to look for her jacket. I was praying the whole time that we would find it. We get to the lockers and low and behold, God put that jacket on the top of the lockers through some kind person who found it left in the locker we used. I could not believe it and am very VERY thankful for it being found.

As far as the snacks and backpack I carried on Thursday, we drank the water near the end of the day and ate none of the snacks, so Friday I determined not to bring it nor any jackets. So much better without. We didn't need it. We didn't snack and we didn't buy snacks. Other than lunch on Friday, I bought one Starbucks drink.  We were basically too busy exploring to snack. We avoided the lockers without a backpack, thereby avoiding potential loss.

Also as far as purchases, Universal offers this great service to have all packages picked up at the front of the park (from whichever park you are sending) at the end of the day so you don't have to carry anything around except food stuffs, like chocolate frogs.  Of course as the day would go, it was fairly cool Friday so I did end up purchasing hoodies for the both of us and we agreed to wear them all day no matter what.  We didn't really need to take them off as the high reached 64 I think.

I had a small purse I wore under the top layer of my layered shirts to keep our phones for the cameras with us. We were able to ride with them and there by take pictures on the way to the rides. I didn't have them with me on Thursday so no pictures of the inside of Gringotts or the Dragon Challenge.  And there was some very cool stuff to see.

Right now, I feel like I am going in a million different directions.  I am trying to finish unpacking, fixing lunch and loading pictures to Shutterfly.  The fire phones photos and video are pretty good.  If you need a new phone but can't afford the I-phone, the fire phones unlocked are $199 and with contract I think still .99.  I am not getting paid for saying anything but G and I do like our phones.

So back to Universal, Thursday we rode the Escape from Gringotts and had an hour wait which was the longest we waited for any ride.  We did not purchase the express passes because the main rides we were heading for didn't allow them.  Granted in the middle of summer the wait times I am sure are much much longer but if you purchase an early entry I just don't think the express passes are worth it.
The Gringotts ride was very cool.  G and I were in the front of the second car which during the ride became the front seats to the ride.  And I screamed and G screamed.  I think that was my favorite ride.  They really made you feel like part of the wizard battles with the 3d glasses and roller coaster combined.  Funny thing, every ride we got on, G would bring her lap bar or whatever down too tight.  Every time I had to ask the workers to release hers so she could re-do it.  I mean every ride she took.

Friday we got there by 7am and were lucky enough to ride the Despicable Me minion ride which though it is not a roller coaster, it was still pretty fun.  And no line.

After that, we made it to Kings Cross station to head to Hogsmeade before that actual park opened its gates.  We rode the Hogwarts roller coaster and that is the one on which I did feel nauseated.  That pretty much ended my rides for a while.

While we were walking around, we walked into the Simpson's section of Universal studios and G rode the alien ride in Krustyland.  She of course didn't get the Simpson reference as she has never watched the show.
Hogwarts Castle

The Sorting Hat

The Knight Bus 

Hogsmeade Station

No. 12 Grimmauld Place with Kreacher peaking out

9 3/4 platform for Wizards and Witches

The Gringotts Dragon that really blew fire.  We could feel the heat.

Going through the wall at 9 3/4 platform

Anyway, the trip was really good.  We had a great time.  Universal really made the whole experience feel real.  Now we are back into our real world, I am exhausted. We left Orlando at 8:30am Saturday and arrived home at 11:15pm Saturday night.

We found a really good Japanese restaurant in Oxford, AL, because G again decided she was hungry for Italian, Mexican or Chinese (Asian) on the way home.  She did the same on the return from Kentucky last year.  G also fell asleep and had a 2 hour nap on the ride home. I had to wake her up and then put her back to bed.

Now for the real life, off to the store for groceries.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

on the gypsy trip

Made a story at the birthplace of a famous singer today.  Born into poverty rose to worldwide fame.  Any guesses?  Tomorrow off to the final destination.  My house is being watched so thieves be aware.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Busy Weekend

Getting ready for our mini vacay.  I have someone checking on the house so thieves beware.  My low beam light on the driver side of my car is out.  Let's see now, the cam sensor had to be changed to the tune of almost $300, the wheel had to be changed due to a log to the tune of $150 and now the light to be changed and it is not an easy thing to do.  We have to swap cars with my parents so my dad can take it to the shop for me.  Tomorrow I will swap cars with Dad.  f

G has had a busy weekend with a skating birthday party to attend and tomorrow afternoon a matinee with her friend who had the skating birthday party.

Got the flu shot this week so hopefully I can bypass the flu season.  Discovered via the weather channel that where we are going will be mid 60s and rain on the way but not the two days that matter.  I have a place to stay going down there to break up the drive but I am either going to try to drive straight through or find a place on the way coming back.  I am doing laundry like crazy and packing is a nightmare because we don't know what clothes to bring.

I did find a large pepperoni log on clearance (but still good) and I have a box of crackers that I can make snacks for us to take or eat in the hotel.  I have a case of water to bring and am undecided on bringing a back pack or a large purse.  We will only have our phones for photos because honestly I don't want to carry the big camera.  I am stressing about rides and losing things on rides like glasses or bags or money.

Sadly the hotel/resort we are staying in doesn't have a microwave oven in the room so the soup idea doesn't work.  The hotel doesn't have a free breakfast, boo, but does have a water park which we can't use but one maybe two days if at all with the cool weather.  I plan to be at the destination for the 2 whole days well into the evenings that we have passes.  Now the day we check out we may decide to use the water park before leaving or we may decide to get up early and head home.  I am just hoping to get the majority of the driving out the day we leave.

Oh and funny little story, I took my mom with me to the town where the skating rink is and after dropping G off she and I went to lunch.  There was an Italian restaurant where mom had baked ziti and I had a spinach roll.  I brought half the roll home uneaten because I planned on having it for supper.

Then after lunch and a failed attempt to get the light fixed we went to pick G up from the party.  G was starving after all the skating so I offered her the spinach roll thinking she would hate it.  I don't know if it was because she was so hungry or what but she ate the whole thing exclaiming that she likes spinach.  Then we stopped by our house to get some noodles for her and while dropping mom off, I fixed her a bowl of noodles which she also ate.  Skating takes a lot out of a kid.  She didn't have near the bruises she had last year from her friends party.

I think my mom stayed confused about why we were there or where we were going and why G wasn't with us.  But it kept her out of the house for the day.  She has a big day to look forward to as family is coming in but it is also confusing her too.  I am praying it won't be as bad as last year.

Okay, off to do laundry.