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Monday, April 27, 2015

Celebrating at WDW!

So, we just got home yesterday afternoon from a trip to Walt Disney World.  It was a very different kind of trip for us.  We've never been gone away from our children that long!  It was nice, but kind of weird, too.  
We weren't away from all of our children, though.  We met up with the oldest! She's working at WDW this semester on the College Program, so not only did we get to see her, but she also got us into the parks for FREE! Can't beat that!!
We also got a discount on our room.  This is outside on our balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's beautiful there! Who wouldn't want to see giraffes outside their door every day?!  I wanted to bring one home!
Lauren considered this our birthday celebration and Disney is HUGE on helping you celebrate! We received birthday buttons when we arrived and restaurants treated us royally when they knew we were celebrating!  On of our sons said it was a 2nd honeymoon, which topped our first one to Amarillo, Texas, by quite a bit! :)  Vier means celebrate in Swahili!
We went to Animal Kingdom on arrival day, then went to Magic Kingdom the next day.  Breakfast at the Beast's Castle in the "Be Our Guest" restaurant was great! The food was fancy-ish and we didn't like all of it, but it was good.  It wasn't our taste, but we know that many, many would like it.  We would order something a little different if we were to go again.  But the castle was beautiful!
One of our daughter's roommates was working at the Christmas store that day, so we went by to visit her.  What a fun job to say "Merry Christmas" every day! :)
That night we ate at "Whispering Canyon" at the Fort Wilderness Lodge.  It was great and lots of fun!!  This huge mason jar was the biggest water glass my husband has ever had. He was sooooooo happy!!
The "skillet" was great, too!  Served family style and in a never-ending fashion, this meal really fills you up!
They had a few fun photo props to take pictures.  I really liked this jail!
If you need ketchup at this restaurant, you don't just ask for it, you YELL it!  'WE NEED KETCHUP!"  And then the table with the ketchup takes it to that table!  There were 15 bottles on a table at some times! It was definitely a play on words for this place to be called "whispering".  There's NO whispering! Ha ha!!  Such fun!
You can't beat seeing "Wishes" at Magic Kingdom.  Our daughter told us the story behind the song the little girl sings at the beginning and end of the fireworks show. She had cancer and her wish was to be a part of MK in some way. It's her song that plays and may be her even singing it.  She passed away, but she did get her wish.  What a beautiful song and story!
The most beautiful part of the trip was seeing the annual International Flower and Garden Festival going on at EPCOT.  It was truly amazing!
God made beautiful flowers and man finds a great way to share them all with us!  Especially at EPCOT!
We ate at "Canada" on EPCOT day.  It was a delicious steak!  And great desserts!
Our daughter works in the American Adventure as part of the staff at the Liberty Inn.  What great memories she will have!
In Germany I found the best dessert ever - a caramel bar! It's in the Werther's store, but it's not Werther's caramel (or if it is, it doesn't say it).  It was so good, I got it two days in a row!

They couldn't leave Elsa and Anna out of the flower festival!  Elsa can't freeze the flowers now!
I had always wanted to go to this festival. It was beautiful, but also educational.  We learned so many things about plants and how to plant them that we didn't know!  But mostly, we got to enjoy the unique way Disney does things!
Another treat was this violet lemonade made with real violets! I talked our daughter into eating the flower.  She wasn't impressed, but it was just strange, too!  But, the lemonade was delicious!

We ended the day with Illuminations.

The last night we ate at Cape May in the Beach Club Resort. It was a lot more seafood than we like, but the food was delicious! They gave us a special birthday cupcake, as well.
The sandcastle they have displayed is so neat! We sat right by it!

That day we were at Hollywood Studios. We took the time to go to drawing class. Can you tell what we drew?  I thought we all did pretty well!
My husband and I sat in the old car replica for a quick photo. It was fun getting lots of pictures of just us together! We never do that!
We ended the evening with "Fantastic"...a wonderful ending to a great trip!
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to visit!  It is expensive, so it was especially good to get a great discount on the stay.  In fact, that's the ONLY way we will be staying there!
But the perks of staying on Disney property is really worth a little extra money.
Our trip home started early.  We had to leave the resort at 3:30 a.m. (Florida time) and arrived in Dallas at 8:05 (Texas time).  After stopping for Bible class, worship, and lunch at Babe's Chicken, we arrived home at 4:00 p.m.  The boys were glad to see us, and we were glad to see them!
It was a very special trip and we had a great time celebrating many things: Our birthdays (a month apart, but celebrating in-between the two), our anniversary (early for 27th, but a late 25th), and our daughter being a Disney CastMember (CP).  Another of our daughter's roommates gave us a special welcome packet for celebrating our birthdays and anniversary when we visited her at the Boardwalk Resort.  

And now we're celebrating being home! :)
(I'm adding this photo after posting this, so it's just tagged on to the end. This carriage is from the movie "Cinderella". It's the real carriage that was in the movie! So cool!!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How Are You?

(Note: For some reason, emails never went out about the ""If Teacups Could Talk" Ladies Day Theme" I posted on Monday.  If you missed it, you can visit this link to read about it at this link:

It's a simple question we ask or is asked to us probably several times a week:  How are you?  And how do you answer?  "Fine."  "Good."  "Great!"  And how do the people answer that you ask?  The same.  Most probably all of them answer the same.

But this past Saturday when I spoke at Enid, the sweet lady with the closing remarks told us about how she had been feeling bad.  She was having tests run for her various aliments and pain, and it was worrying her.  She wasn't good.  She was tired of saying she was good because she wasn't, so as she prayed to God about it, she made a vow to Him that the next person who asked, "How are you?", she would tell them the truth.  And she did!

The lady laughed and said she didn't specify to God that she would prefer it to be a woman, because the next person that asked her was a greeter at the door on her way to Bible class one Sunday morning.  He opened the door and asked, "How are you?"  And he got an ear full!  But, she said he listened to her and it helped her!  She said it actually changed their relationship, which was already really good.  And he even called to check on her the next week and find out how she was doing.  She knew he was praying for her and that he cared about her.  That caring heart - that listening ear - that remembering her...made all the difference in the world.  It meant that someone cared about her and really cared how she was doing.

Think about that question as you go throughout your day.  When you ask, "How are you?"  Do you REALLY want to know or are you just chit chatting?  If someone told you how they really were, would you take the time to listen or feel like they had intruded on your time.  Are you in too big of a hurry to listen and care? Do you take the time to call or text and ask someone how they are doing?


The lady said that she had been praying and trying to focus on having intentional relationships.  I love that!!  We use the phrase "intentional parenting" on our Facebook parenting page, so that word is important to us.  BE INTENTIONAL.  Don't be superficial.  Be real.  Get to know people.  Get to caring about people.  Really, really care how they are doing.  And act on it.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9

Monday, April 13, 2015

"If Teacups Could Talk" Ladies Day Theme

Back in the fall, I was invited to speak for a ladies day in Enid (Garriott Rd. congregation) for this April.  They asked for some topics, and I gave them my favorite ones, but am always open to whatever anyone wants me to speak about.
One I gave the ladies was this one: "If Teacups Could Talk".  They decided to go with it, and I'm so glad that they did!
I love seeing how women use a theme to come up with decorations, food, programs, etc., to enhance the intended theme.
The Garriott Road ladies did a great job, as you can see!
The teacups and teapots were beautiful!
I couldn't help taking pictures of all of them!
But even more beautiful than the teapots and teacups was the voices of around 90 women singing, the fellowship together between sisters in Christ, and the time spent dwelling on God's Word and specifically our friendship between Christian sisters.
That is what this ladies' day, as well as any other ladies day, is all about: Growing closer in our relationships with one another because of the bond we have as sisters in Christ.
It was truly a joy to get to see "old" friends and meet new ones.  I only wish that I had taken pictures of the people, not just the decor....
...but since I was speaking, I didn't think about that until right now :).
My mind was on what it should have been on....the lesson and glorifying God in the words that I spoke.
Besides spiritual food, there was plenty of physical food!  We began with bagels, cream cheese, and fruit...
...then ended with quiche, salads, and desserts.  It was delicious!
The stage area was cute.
I especially liked the way this old window was done, with backing and dried flowers.
The keynote presentation that took me three days to get done (computer problems) worked out wonderfully on the wall.  It was my second time at doing a presentation...the first success. The last time was a struggle!  I was thankful this one worked out well, without any trouble.  That's only because the youth minister, Matthew, set it all up for me! :)
The food line....
....everything was marked so we knew what we were eating!
The little desserts were so cute - and delicious!  I got the chocolate and peanut butter one, totally forgetting my "no flour" diet for the day.
It was worth it.  I ate it all, BUT look at all that green on my plate! :)
Thank you to the Garriott Road ladies for asking me to be a part of your special day! It was a blessing to me, and I pray that it was to each of you!  
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