Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's been so long...

It's been so long since I last saw my sweet friend Amanda!
 Dear Readers,
 It's been so long since I last blogged, I know! So much has happened...
  We  just went to Rochester Minnesota, our home for so many years. It was a short visit, but filled with memories that are the sweetest, reunions with the best of friends, family we adore, and fall!

Seeing Mrs.Daimer, the best principal in the world and such a sweet lady!
    It was a bitter sweet trip. It was sad to arrive 'home' and have to go to a hotel, not our little blue house. It was sad to see all our amazing friends and family, and have to leave them. But it was a very, VERY good trip. The above pictures are of the 'reunion' our friends put on for us at the Churchhill accessible playground we all helped build. I saw Amanda and her mom, Mary, which was truly a  gift.  We also got to hug Mrs. Daimer, who we have such great memories with. The blessings keep on coming! The boys' best friend's mom, Nora, came, and later we got to see Greg. Our kindergarten teacher Mrs.Hanson was there, and other dear friends as well.
  We were thrilled to see everyone! Thank you so much Laughlin family for  this amazing gift, and thank you to everyone who made the time for us. You can't know how much this touched my heart.

Another amazing friend. Mrs.Shelly took the time to drive from her home hours away for us. Thank you!
 We spent the day with Mrs.Shelly, which was such a blessing. Mom has really missed her, and we so enjoyed our time with her. She made us laugh and cry all in one day! Friends are such a blessing. We love and miss all of you, dear ones!

Our Aunt Sarah, Uncle Talley and Grammie
          Family. Another sweet blessing. We have great memories with Uncle Talley and Aunt Sarah, and made many more this past trip. We spent the evening with them while mom and dad had a meeting, and had the best time. We were even lucky enough to spend the next day with them, too, only this time with mom and dad. It was so much fun visiting Uncle Talley at ABC, where he works with special needs adults.  I also enjoyed learning a song on the piano with Aunt Sarah. Thank you so much for the great time, both of you. 

                               I  love Rochester, so it was such an amazing thing for us to get to go make memories there with our sweet Cate. Even though she didn't know many of the people we saw (and was quite frank about it!) she now has good memories with all our loved ones from Minnesota as well. Which, my Readers, is  truly a blessing. (Could I have used that word  more in this post?)  Your sentimental blogger,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lessons to be learned from Disneyworld (with a few good pictures!)

                    Hello, sweet readers! We are home from Walt Disney World! We truly had a great time. But let me start at the beginning...
Our Alligator Bayou room - photo courtesy of Mom
     Upon arrival, there was a little confusion with our room, so we  spent an interesting night in Magnolia Bend. (We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, our all time favorite!)  The night was filled with wet floors, winding halls, messed up names, and a room on the edge of civilization (they were scrimping to call it accessible).  I won't go too much into detail, but you get the picture! We had always stayed at the lovely Alligator Bayou growing up, so thankfully we could move there the next day. There Dad claimed the beds were bigger and all our moods brighter!
My attempt at capturing her as we waited- isn't this the perfect pose?
  The vacation was one of the best. Cate didn't remember Disney World, so it was fun to watch her discover everything and to remember everything ourselves. At the Magic Kingdom, we went to Cinderella's Castle for breakfast with a red-headed Cindy of our own.  

   She was a bit emotional.. yes, that's really a look of crossness in the above photo. But don't those rosy cheeks and folded hands make her look like a little cherub?
   Next up ~ Animal Kingdom!
My favorite park, it's filled with exotic animals,a great area to watch veterinarians perform operations, and interesting facts you never knew. All in the jungle of Africa or mountains of Asia!

 This park has an amazing interactive parade, a thrill ride that goes backward, nature walks filled with gorillas, tigers and naked mole rats (Oh my!) and the best safari ever. My uncle went on a real safari in Africa and didn't see as many animals as we saw at Disneyworld.  We had 3 rhinos nudge and sniff our truck, (I had to fight the urge to pet them - they were that close!) A mama and baby giraffe fed   alongside us, and we (are you ready?)
 heard a lion roar! It was breath taking. It sent chills up my spine. It made reminded me that  we have one awesome God. He let out a thunderous roar once, and then sent out rough barks from the back of his throat. It sounded like he was coughing up something, and it just kept coming. My Dad believes he was telling us to stay away from his air-conditioned rock "This is MY rock. You can't have MY rock!" yes, the lions have a cooled rock to keep them up there most of the time, so we the people can see them in all their majesty.  
This is my Mom's amazing photo - for more see her blog (the blessing counter) on the link to the right.

So, even though our vacation started out a little less magical than Mom and Dad would have hoped, we still made great memories. In fact, all that craziness at the beginning was, in my opinion, all part of the fun of vacation. There's a song by Point of Grace called "Turn up the music (how you live)". I love this song, and it reminds me not to worry about the dumb things in life, like how messy the kitchen will be after making that batch of pink cookies with your sister, but to embrace the moment and enjoy it! If I always go through life not doing things that will make the house dirty, I'll miss out on all the joys God has to offer me. If we had spent all our vacation mad about those crazy incidents of the first night, we would have truly missed out. And though it did take some time to get over it, we did, and had a great time. That's something I would like to always do, wouldn't you? Thanks for reading all this post, I know I get on my soapbox and don't step down for a time.... Until next time, my readers!
                                                                                                          Yes, we are the silly Shraders-           
                                                                                                                  and  proud of it!