Wednesday morning came quickly as the kids were excited to hit the first park. We were at the bus stop by 8am. We must have just missed the MK bus because we had to wait a while. Our goal was to get there early and go to customer relations and apply for a GAC card for Nathan (GUEST ASSISTANCE CARD) then watch the show right before rope drop. Finally our bus came around 8:20 then we made our way around the resort and the bus was busting at the seams. Traci called right after we got on the bus and said they were there. I asked her if she could scope out where I needed to go to get Nathan's card because it wasn't looking good for us getting there before rope drop. A few minutes later she called me while she was talking to the cast member (disney employee)about Nathan's GAC card. Unbelievably he gave her the card without us even being there and to top it off when he asked how many were in our party she said 11 and he gave all of us use of the card. I was told beforehand that the card was only good for 6 people. That would have totally messed up our entire trip. The card makes accomadations for people with disabilities. Nathan has autistic tendincies and adhd and sensory integration dysfunction. Waiting in crowded lines is a nightmare with him. I know all parents think their kids have this same problem but just multiply it by 1000% for our sweet boy. The accomadition the card gave Nathan was alternative entrances so that he wouldn't be pushed in with a ton of people and get overstimulated. We really appreciated this touch of "Disney Magic". It was such a blessing that our whole group could stay together and not wait in a single line. It also helped with character meet and greets and shows. Thank you TRACI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what you said or did for that guy but it worked!
Traci and Kennedy before rope drop.
So we get to MK right before rope drop and are ready to go!
We had a plan and at that point we didn't really realize what a gem the GAC card was. Quickly walking back to fantasy land we headed straight toward the Pooh ride, Peter Pan, Snow white, It's a small world, the carasol, and the mad tea party. We got all those rides done before 10am and the park opened at 9am. By following the touring plan we cruised through all of those rides. Now, I know it is un-American but we did not ride Dumbo. If you choose to ride it you need to do it first because it is the slowest loading ride in the entire park. If we had known what the GAC card would actually do we probablly would have riden it. Next we rode a little roller coaster in Toon Town then caught the train to Frontier Land. When we got to the roller coaster Big Thunder Mt. there was a huge long line. So we asked the CM if we could use the fast pass entrance for Nathan. We showed our card and then walked straight to the front of the line. It probably saved us an hour wait. We could not believe it!!! The rest of the day we used his pass. Our group was able to do the entire park and see everything we wanted in one day. We had allowed two days for MK. Traci and I were laughing because Nathan always seemed to have an "autistic moment" just at the right time. For example, we were walking up to the front of Splash Mt. and he was repeating over and over, " I don't think I want to do this, I don't think I want to do this, I don't think I want to do this!" Luckily we didn't get too many dirty looks.
Here is the group that braved the mad tea party! Jorge and I decided that we would be sick the rest of the day if we went spinning.
Jarrett and Jorge on Winnie the Pooh!
We ate dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern with the characters. The dining plan was awesome and allowed us to eat at a lot of places we would have never eaten at. We made it to the spectromagic parade and castle lighting. Max fell asleep, it was too cute! The rest of the kids made it but crashed as soon as we got back to the resort. We didn't stay for the fireworks but the kids and Jarrett were exhausted. There is always next time! It was a long day but we got more accomplished in one day than most people do in 2 or 3. Next time we go I will not be so comando and take more time to smell the roses. Now I know what to expect. It was an awesome first day!!! Up Next: Epcot or bust!
Sorry it has taken me so long to update. I know you all are just dying to hear the rest of the story! LOL!
When I left off, the kids weren't happy that they weren't going to spend the night at Aunt Kris's and the parents weren't happy that the kids were ungrateful and unexcited. (Is that even a word?)
After a time out in their rooms and after the tears had stopped we showed the kids a map of where they were going. We pointed out all of the fun things they would get to do. They started getting more and more excited. I made a quick call to Aunt Kris and she was thrilled beyond belief that the kids wanted to spend time with her more than going to DISNEY WORLD. We made plans to spend the rest of the day with their family. The kids were happy that they would get to play with their cousins.
On the way to OKC we let the kids watch a video of Disney World. They could hardly contain themselves. They were squealing and talking ninety to nothing of all the things they dreamed of doing. This just thrilled our hearts and certainly turned our moods around.
The next morning we left the hotel at 4:30 am for our flights. It was soooooo cold. Madelyn and I were on one flight and Jarrett and Nathan were on a different flight that left 30 minutes later. We had to do this because of our free frequent flier tickets. My flight left just fine but Jarrett and Nathan sat on the runway for over an hour because the de-icer broke. They ended up missing their next flight because of the delay and didn't make it to Orlando until 6pm. It was a long day for them. Thank you mom and dad for the Nintendo DS. It saved Jarrett, Nathan hardly looked up from it all day.
Madelyn and I made it to Orlando around the same time as Grammy, Grampy and Ally. So we all rode the Magical Express to our Disney Resort, Saratoga Springs. The kids were so excited to get there. Ok, I was too! I got a little giddy when I saw the sign!
We still hadn't told Madelyn that our friends, The Foreros were going to be there. I couldn't wait to surprise her. I was hoping that this surprise would go over better. After we checked in and got a bite to eat we went to Downtown Disney which was just a short boat ride away. Oh, by the way it was in the 70's and 80's in Florida. Not to rub it in or anything. We went shopping and looked around then when I took Madelyn outside she saw Kennedy and Max walking toward us. It was priceless! They were so happy to see each other.
Jarrett and Nathan finally made it and met us for dinner at Wolfgang Puck. After a yummy dinner and exploring the LEGO store we went back to our resort for an early bedtime.
We will be hitting Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning for rope drop. Our resort was beautiful and peaceful. I hardly saw other people. Jarrett and I think it would be fun to go back there and just hang out at the resort. We had a two bedroom home with a kitchen and family room. It was perfect for us! There was even a washer and dryer that came in very handy several times. Traci and Jorge stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and they said they loved it! We wished we could have all stayed at the same place but it just didn't work out.
Ok, I have a confession, I Kathleen Short, am an obsessive compulsive planner. I love researching and planning itineraries. In my defense I am also flexible. (within the plan of course) For this trip I made a 4X6 card for each day of our trip. I made a chart for park times, our dining ressies, parade times etc on one side and on the other side was a list of rides and the most efficient order to ride them in. I laminated them and put them on a ring. I gave each family that was with us a set. I got so much flack from my traveling buddies over these cards. But I know, that deep down, they loved them. Some guy at Disney Hollywood Studios saw my cards and said if I was that "Type A" about Disney World he would hire me in a minute to work at his company. I took it as a compliment, my family and friends just took it as one more thing to make fun of me about. I will admit that some trips lend themselves to being planned and others don't. If Jarrett and I go away some where alone, I do not plan. But if I am taking the kids I generally plan. Our summer beach trips are a lot less planned. Lisa and I just make menus and grocery list for those trips. It really helped Nathan to see a schedule. He read it all the time.
Will we follow the "plan" ??
PS If you have any ideas of how I can use this obsession for planning and turn it into a paying job let me know. Now that the kids are in school I need to do something.
Monday morning we decided to surprise the kids with an early Christmas present. We sat them down in front of the tree and gave them each a present. (I have been looking forward to the reveal for a year! I had it totally built up in my mind. They saw me packing and I told them we were going to Aunt Kris’s house in OKC to spend the night. Which was the truth but then we had a change of plans. We weren’t going to surprise them until the morning of our flight but with the extreme cold and ice storm we decided to get a hotel at the airport instead of spending the night 30 minutes away at my sister’s house.) As they were opening them we explained that this present was a clue to their big present. With much anticipation they opened the gifts and they seemed pretty excited to see the Minnie and Mickey T-shirts. But they didn’t seem to get the clue. We told them that we were going to visit Minnie and Mickey where they live and then they got “it”. They were happy and Nathan sat there bug eyed when I told them we were leaving in the morning and flying on an airplane. Then Madelyn asks, “Are we going after we spend the night at Aunt Kris’s house?” I said, “No silly, that was just a joke so mommy could pack without spoiling your surprise gift. We are sleeping at a hotel. But we will see Aunt Kris for dinner tonight.” Then the unthinkable happened. M started shrieking and crying and saying she didn’t want to go to Disney World, she wanted to go see her cousin Megan and Aunt Kris. Then Nathan chimes in, “I don’t want to go until January, I want to see Megan and play at her house.” Jarrett and I stared at each other in total disbelief. I started listing all the fun things we would do but they would hear none of it. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? WHAT KID WOULD NOT DIE TO GET A SURPISE TRIP TO THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH?? Our surprise did not go at all how we dreamed it would. I am still glad that we didn’t tell them a year or even a month in advance but I should have planned the reveal better.
Up next, Will N and M have a change of heart? Will mom and dad still want to take them?
PS Sorry there are no pics but we were videotaping the moment. I will try to post the video later.
What a week! We have been busy preparing for our trip, getting ready for Christmas, Nathan's Christmas program, and Nathan's birthday! The whole second grade did a really cute Christmas show at school. Nathan was a cousin and had to say, "Oh, my goodness, what was that!" He did awesome. We were so excited that he participated in the entire show singing and doing the motions. He can be a little unpredictable when it comes to these kinds of things. My parents and Jarrett's parents came over after the play and celebrated Nathan's birthday a night early. Nathan has some really great reactions when he opens gifts. When he opened his gifts from his Aunt Kim and Uncle Micah he starting shrieking, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness how did she know! I love it, I love it!" It was too cute! My parents got him a Nintendo DS and he just about fell over! He was super excited. I swear he hasn't put that thing down since Thursday night. It will definitely keep him occupied on the airplane. Steven and Liz~~ He loved the Lego set! Can you tell what he is into??
I seriously can't believe he is 8 years old. I am just reminded at how Incredible God is during this time that we celebrate the day He gave the world Nathan. Our little Nater Bug is such a testimony to the Lord's unfailing love and healing power. Here are 8 things that I love about you Nathan:
1. You are so loving and sweet! 2. You loves Jesus and love telling others about HIM! 3. You are a mamma's boy! I love it that you want me to sing you to sleep every night. I love how you still cuddle with your daddy! 4. You are a fighter! You have never let your challenges get in the way of accomplishing your goals. 5. You love to read books! 6. You are an awesome big brother. 7. You have a kind heart and a sensitive and giving spirit! I will never forget how you were worried about all the hungry and hopeless people of Tulsa and wanted to give your money to them. 8. You are a black and white thinker. Therefore you are honest with your thoughts and just say what you mean.
Happy Birthday sweet boy!
We celebrated Nathan's birthday at Fire station 22 in Tulsa. Grammy and Grampy bid on a party package at a silent auction and won. It was the best birthday party ever! The firemen made dinner for all of us and we got to eat with them. They took the kids on a tour and let them ring bells, push buttons, and participate in a drill. They even let them spray the hoses! To top it off they took the kids on a ride in the firetruck with the lights and sirens blaring! It was a total blast! We think Grampy had more fun than the kids and we are going to plan his next birthday there! LOL! Thank you Grammy and Grampy!
It has been a fun week at the Short home. Several of you asked me why in the world would Gracie need to wear the lamp shade on her head. Well, she has a sore on her paw that she was licking. It got really bad so for the next 6 weeks she has to wear this or have a $500 laser surgery.
Madelyn was honored as student of the month at her school. She was very excited and we were very proud!
Nathan played Christmas songs at Barnes and Noble with his piano teacher. He just started taking lessons in July and this was his first public concert. He was so excited and I loved the fact that he was confident. He thought they might pay him and he would become famous. Maybe someday! Both sets of grandparents and my sister Kim came to hear him play. We were all so proud of him. There were times, years ago, that I could have never imagined him doing something like this. God reminds me daily of what a miracle he is.
We went to Utica Square for our annual visit to Santa Claus. There was no line this year, usually we wait for 30 minutes or more. Santa asked Madelyn what she wanted and she thought for a moment then said, "Ask my brother first." Nathan's response cracked us up, or maybe it was more the way he said it, "Santa, the things I want this year are quite popular items. I would like a zero gravity car, a punching bag and gloves, a Nintendo DS, and a Star Wars Clone War Wii game." After walking around Utica we went on a light tour around mid town. I love those older homes!
Madelyn had some dental work done before school one morning. She wore a sticker to school saying "watch me my lips and checks are numb" When I picked her up from school that afternoon her lip was swollen and had a nasty looking sore on it because she chewed it up. She also stuck a marker cap on her chin and pushed so hard it tore her chin up. It looked like someone beat her up. She didn't realize she was hurting herself.
Our garage door broke this week and for the whopping price of $170 we got two new springs. When Jarrett came home one night he put the door down and came in and thought it shut. The next morning when he went out he saw that the door was up. Both of our cars were unlocked, the back door to the house was unlocked, my purse was in the car, Jarrett's laptop was in his car. Miraculously nothing was stolen. Our house is the third house from the main street so anyone could have seen it open. We were just praising Jesus that nothing was taken and more importantly that no one came into the house. Ok, so that was our week. I will be busy getting ready for our SURPRISE trip to Disney this week. We leave a week from tomorrow. I really can't believe I have kept it a secret for a year.
Oh, Thanks a lot Kim for this lovely and might I say prestigious award! So you think my blog is fabulous, I ain't buying that for one second! I will however, participate just because I love you. So, in order to give this honor the respect that it deserves, I have to follow some rules!
I must list 5 of my favorite addictions and then pass this along to 5 friends
1. COKE/Pepsi, I am bi-cola!! HA, HA!! 2. TV: The Bachelor, Greys, Desperate Housewives, John and Kate, etc, etc 3. The Twilight Books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4. Cheese Pizza 5. Traveling and planning trips!! I just need a job to fund all the places I want to take my family. I really should turn that passion into something that makes me some$$$$. Maybe I could be the next Samantha Brown.
Ok, So here are my 5 friends that I am bestowing this award upon:
(I have no clue how to link these) **See I didn't deserve this award!
Dawn:Because, girl you are the blogging queen! Traci: Just because I think it would funny to see your answers. Karen: Because you need one more thing on your plate right now! Sherri: Because you haven't blogged in a while and maybe this will motivate you Shelly: I stalk your blog, rarely comment, but I promise I mean too.
I am a thirty something stay at home mom who is married to her high school sweet heart and has two great kids. I am a born again Christ Follower who is loving the journey we are on! It's a wild crazy one sometimes!