Friday’s Five Things I Learned At Disney Land

1. The Disney Character I’m most like is Jessie from Toy Story.

There’s a place in the California Adventure park where a computer asks you a bunch of questions to see what character you are most like.  Turns out I’m most like Jessie.

Book about me at disney familybringsjoy.com

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I found this info out AFTER we met Jessie.  If I would have known of my special kinship, I would have gotten a photo with her too!  Below Jessie signs my daughter’s autograph book.

Jessie signing book familybringsjoy.com

2. There are special cutting artists on Main Street of Disney Land who can cut your silhouette by hand.

You might not think this is cool, but I do!  The lady who cut my kid’s silhouettes has been working this craft at Disney Land for 40 years!  I could not believe my eyes as I watched her.

3. If you feel something in your hair at Toon Town in Disney Land, don’t pull it out of your hair…it might be a bee!

DSC08933Yep, this happened to me.  I felt something in my hair.  I pulled it out of my hair to find a bee.  As soon as I figured out what it was I let go of it…too late…it stung me.  I haven’t had a bee sting since I was 4 or 5 years old.  It’s pretty painful.  We found the first aid station and they had some good numbing gel for it with an ice pack.  Thank goodness!  For future reference, if anything like this or any other unfortunate accident occurs while you are visiting Disney Land, tell the nearest cast member (worker) and the nurse will come to you.  We had to walk a little ways to get to the first aid station.  The nurse told us she could have came to us.

4. Spending money on an experience is completely worth it! (I already knew this)  In this case it was the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Land.

This was my daughter’s chance to be prettied up like a Disney princess.   The sweet beautician treated her like royalty doing her hair, nails and makeup.

Disney Boutique collage familybringsjoy.com

Daughter was able to choose what dress/princess she wanted to be.  At the end of the beautifying process they open the curtains you see behind her.  A special mirror is revealed with animation and music. (I wish now I would have taken video)  Here she is…Snow White.

Snow White at Boutique familybringsjoy.com

Next included a photo shoot in Cinderella’s carriage!

Photo time at boutique familybringsjoy.com

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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The photographer let me take a few photos with my camera.

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That’s not all…time to meet other princesses!  First is Cinderella.

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Another favorite…Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

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I am so glad we did this.  I will forever have this time etched in my memory…and more importantly I think it will be something she will never forget.

my princess at Disney Land familybringsjoy.com

5. I don’t like roller coasters, crowds and kids who complain about wait times.

I used to like roller coasters when I was young.  As a matter of fact, I would purposefully ride in the very front and put my hands in the air.  Not anymore…it’s another sign of me getting old.  Boo!  I got motion sick riding Space Mountain.  I hate motion sickness.

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son & I at Disney Land familyI thought going in February was a good time to go to Disney Land…meaning less crowded.  Turns out Valentine’s Day/President’s Day is a popular time to go.  I mean honestly, we could hardly walk through the parks.  Thursday was the least crowded of all the days of the weekend.  I’m so glad we took the kids out of school that day.  Disney Land was more crowded than California Adventure, yet I was very disappointed with the amount of people there.

If I didn’t already know how impatient my kids are already, I do now.  Sigh…it was incessant whining and complaining about waiting in the lines.  Sometimes they wouldn’t want to go on the ride if they saw how long the wait time was.  And let me tell you, most of the wait times were around an hour.  We learned to use fast passes as much as possible.  The last day we were there my daughter and I only rode one ride all day.  Instead, we went to lots of shows, which I love.

This was our first family vacation without our oldest daughter.  If you are a new reader, she’s a college freshman at an out of state university.  It was weird not having her with us.  This is a different stage of life for all of us right now.  K, if you are reading this, know how very much you were missed.  We thought about ya while searching every shop for a plush Flynn Rider.  I’m sure there will be other Disney opportunities for us to vacation together in the future.

As Tigger says, “Ta ta for now!”

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by Disney to write this post.

Disney Brings Joy,

Flurry Friend Friday

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This is what our neighborhood has looked like for the past week.  As a matter of fact, we’ve had the most snow here in Oklahoma since we moved here 7 years ago.  We have snow at least once a year here, which is different from living in Texas.  This also means lots of snow days with the kids at home.  I’m pretty sure our kids will be in school until June this year instead of May.

kids and snowman familybringsjoy.com

On Monday for Family Home Evening we built a snowman.  This was the biggest snowman we have ever built because the snow rolled very well.  You aren’t seeing things if you see some blue on the snowman.  We had our lawn fertilized right before it snowed.  The dye from the fertilizer made an impression on the snow.  The box you see my daughter holding is our snowman kit from Land of Nod (not an ad.)

snowman making familybringsjoy.com

It’s cool seeing the “same” snowman reemerge every time we build one.

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snowman making familybringsjoy.com

putting the button on the snowman familybringsjoy.com

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our snowman familybringsjoy.com

We made him right next to the mailbox so everyone can enjoy him as they drive by.  He always makes me smile when I drive up to the house.  We had more snow yesterday so he looks just like this still…alive and well.

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Our ski attire and boots have come in real handy for these snowy days.

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Here’s our backyard.

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The pool could probably serve as an ice skating rink without the cover.  Not that we would ever do that. 😉

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Here’s our sweet outdoor cat, Daisy.  She’s a little cold.  I love how her fur puffs up in the winter time.

sunset with snow familybringsjoy.com

One of these days I’m going to learn how to do justice to a sunset in a photo…maybe.  Don’t look at the boob on the house.  That’s what we call those covers you put over our outdoor faucets so your pipes don’t freeze. lol…not sure what their actual name is.

Have you had any snow this winter?  Has your family built a snowman?  I’d love to see yours too!

Hope this finds everyone staying safe and warm this winter.  I’m excited to share my Valentine’s Day fireplace mantel with you very soon.  I’ve been creating away!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: @familybringsjoy and all the other social networking sites.  Buttons are on the side.  Oh and I finally figured out the plugin to use when I reply to a comment on my blog, it will automatically send you an email with that reply.  Before, I would answer questions via email and it wouldn’t show up on the blog.  This is great because before I would have to copy my email reply and paste it on the blog.  It was a tedious process and sometimes I would forget to do it.  I don’t want anyone to think they are ignored.  I also don’t want visitors to NOT leave a comment because they don’t think I will respond.  Comments are little gifts to us bloggers.  I APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE!  Thank you!

Snowmen bring joy,

Tricks To SAVE MONEY Online

Today feels like Monday to me.

Why you ask.

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Daughter happy we were able to zip up her suitcase. Sitting on it helps!

Today my kids went back to school! Well, at least my 2 youngest.  I took my college freshman to the airport on Saturday and she went to classes yesterday.

Didn’t matter that we picked out the kids clothes yesterday…it was still a horrible morning with crying and screaming. Sigh…just keeping it real.

Anyway, it’s quiet now.  I started a load of laundry and ate my oatmeal.  Sat down at the computer to change my Christmas desktop background and screen saver.  Guess what came up on my screen? The dreaded yearly “It’s time to renew your McAfee Subscription.”  So I clicked renew and a screen popped up and told me it would be $89.99 for a year of virus protection for 3 computers.  Before I signed in I thought to myself, “I wonder if Ebates or Retail Me Not might have a discount I could use?”  Both of these sites are my go tos for saving online.  Boy was I glad I did!

I logged onto Ebates first to find out they are paying a 12.5% rebate!  Woo hoo!  Let me tell you it all adds up!  I’ve received almost $400 in money back from Ebates!  Even better, when I clicked on McAfee from Ebates it offered me $45 OFF the $89.99 price!  I only paid $44.99 for my McAfee renewal!  AND 12.5% of that $44.99 I will get back!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Here’s another secret…combine Ebates and Retail Me Not.  Now this time I wasn’t able to combine them.  I tried, but McAfee said “$45 savings has already been applied.”  But many times I can go to a store through Ebates and also use a discount code from Retail Me Not.  This brings double savings!  I’m almost afraid to share this information because I don’t want the 2 sites to find out and make it where we can’t do this.  Hopefully that won’t happen.

Anyway, I wanted to share this awesome deal with you.  If you need to update your virus protection program…might as well pay HALF PRICE!

OH!  I almost forgot!  Yesterday, I downloaded Retail Me Not’s App on my phone and saved $10 at Bath & Body Works!  Retail Me Not now has IN STORE coupons!  I knew they had an app now, but didn’t think I needed it because I don’t do online shopping on my phone.  The screen is too small for me (it’s what happens when you get old.)  So I didn’t want the app to take up space on my phone if I didn’t plan on using it.  Well, turns out it is definitely phone worthy!

P.S.: Ebates also has a phone app.

Disclaimer: I was not paid by Retail Me Not, Ebates or McAfee to write this post. I like the two sites and want to share them with my readers.

Last but not least, since this is my first post of 2014 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saving Brings JOY,

Christmas Card Time

Christmas Tree Card Holder familybringsjoy.comI absolutely LOVE giving and receiving Christmas cards.  It was a relief to watch my youngest push the envelopes into the mail box this afternoon.  There are always so many things on our Christmas To Do lists.  It’s nice to have that crossed off my list.  I have been busy preparing our home for a Christmas party which will be held this weekend in our home.  It’s a little difficult to do when you have crews coming in and out of your house.  We decided to have the carpet taken off our stairs and master bedroom.  Wood flooring is being installed and now I’m losing brain cells as I type this.  The odor from this floor stain is toxic.  I’m hoping this smell will be a distant memory before the party.

Speaking of Christmas cards…are you one of the over 2 million people who have viewed the following video Christmas Card?  This family has taken it to the max!  Sorry, it’s the fumes making me talk as if I’m living in the 80’s again.  If you haven’t seen this family’s video Christmas card, well you must!  I’ve already watched it twice and my youngest is singing the song after she only saw half of it!

I was impressed. No wonder he’s leaving his anchor job! They are a match made in heaven…cute family!

Move over What Does The Fox Say,

Time For A Change

I added a few new things to the site today.

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New Menu!

I added a new page titled House Tour.  If you click on any of the above pages under my header it will take you to a separate page.  If you click on the House Tour, you will be able to see photos of many rooms in our home…8 to be exact.

house tour

Here’s a snap shot of how it begins on the House Tour page

I added some Christmas posts to the sidebar including a new profile picture.

Christmas Photo Shoot familybringsjoy.com

This was taken by my oldest daughter during our Christmas card photo shoot we took during Thanksgiving break.

We’ve been snowed in for the past 3 days.  It’s been great for the kids as they have lounged around while I still work away.  A mom doesn’t really get much of a holiday or snow day from her job.  We finally put up our tree 2 days ago and decorated it yesterday.

Hope this finds you and your family safe during what can be considered hazardous conditions due to the weather.

Cabin fever is starting to settle in.  Hey, but I am grateful for electricity.  Think I’ll give my hands and wrist a rest for a while.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Change brings joy,

Nut Cups & Servicemen

Turkey edited familybringsjoy.comI want you to think of your most memorable Thanksgiving.

I want you to take a stroll down (good) memory lane.

Close your eyes if you need to.

Who was there?  What made it special?

This morning I was remembering past Thanksgivings.  There is not one Thanksgiving which does not include me spending time with my family.  Isn’t Thanksgiving synonymous with family?  I believe so.

When I held Once Upon A Family “Celebrations” as a consultant I asked each person what their most favorite family memory was.  The majority of people said their most favorite family memories were spent around the table during the holidays.  It wasn’t the food they remember.  It was the TIME spent together talking, laughing and just being together.

One Thanksgiving that sticks out in my mind was when I was elementary school age.  I have fond memories of traveling to my grandparents for Thanksgiving.  My grandma always seemed to be the perfect hostess with a cheery disposition.  {I have a difficult time doing that as I’m always stressed out in the kitchen}  I remember sitting at the bar while grandma & grandpa were busy preparing all the food for our Thanksgiving feast.  My siblings, cousins & I would color in Thanksgiving coloring books while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in our jammies.

Grandma making candy familybringsjoy.comMy grandparent’s kitchen was open to the dining room.  The bar I’m referring to shared the kitchen counter.  Even though many kitchens are designed similar to this way now, they were ahead of their time with this open concept.  Side note: this newly designed kitchen happened because a massive tornado tore through their home.  Looking back, this was a blessing for our family.  I don’t mean the tornado was a blessing.  I mean that because of the tornado, my grandparents were able to create a family conducive space.  Back to my Thanksgiving memory.

After a leisurely morning spent watching my grandparents cook, coloring in coloring books and watching the parade, it was time to get dressed for the day.  Then came one of my favorite traditions my grandma had at Thanksgiving…the nut cups.  Each person at the table had a small paper nut cup by their place setting.  Us kids loved helping grandma fill the cups with different nuts, m&m’s and dinner mints.  I don’t remember if her mom did this as well.  I will have to ask my Dad if he remembers.  It would be interesting to find out if this is a long standing tradition passed down through the generations.  It became increasingly difficult for grandma to find these nut cups as the years went by.  However, it didn’t seem like Thanksgiving without them.  It’s funny because it is such a small thing, yet it obviously meant a great deal to me.  That’s kind of the way it goes with traditions.

Airmen_Basic_in_column_formation_(Lackland_AFB)Anyway, I remember on this particular Thanksgiving the door bell rang.  In walked two young men dressed in military uniforms.  My grandparents greeted the young men and introduced them to the rest of the family.  My grandparents volunteered to have two Air Force men eat our Thanksgiving meal with us.  Here’s the deal…it was weird for me.  I kept thinking, “why are these 2 strangers interrupting our family Thanksgiving.”  I didn’t know them.  My grandparents didn’t even know them.  They weren’t family.  They were strangers.  I can only imagine what came out of my mouth.  I say that because I’ve witnessed my own kids ask questions that weren’t quite appropriate or might come across as offensive.  It was just different to have these 2 men there.  Grandma explained to us kids that these young men were stationed at the local air force base and weren’t from here.  They weren’t able to go home and spend time with their own families for Thanksgiving.  To be honest, I still didn’t like having them there.  They stole some of my grandparent’s attention and it bugged me.

Grandma cooking familybringsjoy.comAs an adult, I now look back and see how my grandparents were fully participating in Thanksgiving.  I don’t mean the holiday.  I mean they were giving thanks…really in so many ways.  They were giving thanks by inviting the service men into their home.  They were giving thanks by serving them a meal.  They were giving thanks to God by sharing what He had blessed them with to others.  As I have mentioned before, my grandpa served in the military.  I believe he was showing thanks to these men for serving our country as he did.  My grandparents taught me a lesson that day.  We are to give thanks by sharing with others.  Almost every Thanksgiving after this one, my grandparents welcomed the air force men into their home.  It was easier to accept this new tradition each year.  I enjoyed learning about where the servicemen came from and what they did in the Air Force.  I am so grateful for my grandparents’ example.  I think of all of our men and women who are serving in the military on our behalf all over the world.  I pray someone will give thanks to them on Thanksgiving this year.

Writing this post reminds me…the people who shared the “First Thanksgiving” were not all members of the same family.  The Pilgrims and Indians were strangers, yet they celebrated a bountiful harvest together too.

Now it’s your turn.  I would love to hear about your most memorable Thanksgiving.

Who was there?  What made it special?

Thanks for SHARING,