This trip was so amazing. Everyone got along during the entire trip. Everyone! Twelve people! We rented a huge house about five miles away from Disney. It was super cheap because it's December ($135/night) with six bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. There was an enclosed pool in the house and a game room. TVs everywhere. The house itself was a beauty and we would have been content to laze around there, but we had important stuff to do, of course!
The kids came downstairs every morning to find a little treat in their bag. I punched Mickey confetti out at home and sprinkled it down the table. We put out new confetti on our third morning in festive Christmas paper. The first morning they each found a Disney gift card in their bag that had been donated to them by a generous heart for their spending money. The mornings following the littles found a small prize while the biggers found a $1.00 bill. Everyone was happy.
After treats it was time to fuel up the tummies for the morning. Nana cooked breakfast for everyone (it's her love language) the first two mornings.
On the third morning Krispy Kreme was the treat of the morning from our Mimi who came along with us. We ate in shifts so that we could take turns getting ready.
You can see the pool through the glass.
The first morning we split into two groups. My crew and my parents went to Hollywood Studios because I have teenagers who wanted to see some action. Our Mimi split her day between Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and the rest of the family went to Animal Kingdom.
We were all happy about being there, but some of us missed the cue to smile. :) Also, I wore this same attire for three days straight (I laundered in between) because I packed for everyone except myself. Amen.
Papaw and Nana hung in there with us all day. Nana made every step every day. Thanks to those of you who were specifically praying for that.
We waited in line a lot. It was hot.
About a month into planning this trip my brother's girlfriend asked if I thought it would be okay for them to get married while we were on the trip. They had been secretly planning for the Spring, but this seemed like a good time. It needed to be a secret because it would just be family and this trip was already in the works. We searched for hours to find a little chapel outside of Disney and they paid for the wedding themselves. The wedding was beautiful. I served as the matron of honor using an old bridesmaid's dress I had held onto for years. Jennifer has had her dress tucked away for a while. All of the decorations, flowers, etc were provided by the chapel. Little Miss Kendra Loo was the flower girl and their son, JC was the ring bearer.
Junius and Jennifer
Of course, Mama and I were beside ourselves excited. We planned to have lunch for them after the wedding at the house sort of like a mini-reception. Mama and Mimi went to town and made lunch fancy shmancy. Y'all. It was delicious!
This cake was divine. Go to Publix and pick up one for yourself. Invite me over. I'll come.
After the wedding we had a change of plans (no Sea World) and decided to spend time at Downtown Disney for the afternoon. It was fun and Keekster even got to meet Santa.
In case you are wondering, at Disney, you don't get to listen to what your child tells Santa. you walk away clueless. Little Sister won't spill the beans. We've talked her into a "list" that we are quite sure isn't what she told the old goat.
At the end of the day, my parents took everyone out to dinner to celebrate Junius and Jennifer's marriage.
Can you guess which one of my kids is the jester?
The following day we took off to the Magic Kingdom. Jordan and Barry skipped out on the festivities in order to watch a full day of football on television. I do not have time for football on television. Our Mimi headed back home that morning.
Little Sister earned her driver's license in Tomorrow Land. In related news, you may want to find a different car if Little Sister is in the driver's seat and you don't really care for whiplash.
The competition was fierce. Pictured behind us: Junius and JC, Nana, Papaw.
Because of our change in plans the day before we had a little extra to "splurge" on some fun treats. We were so thankful because it was 85 degrees out there!
Budget wise, we did great! Some of the things that were not covered beforehand were either dropped (like Sea World) or worked out differently than we had initially planned. God was literally still blessing us with financial gifts along the way of the trip. We came home with a tiny bit left. We have donated that to a couple's adoption fund. Yay!
I was also excited to pick up a few little stocking stuffers for my Riley boy while we were there. He seems to be my one this year that's hard to shop for. He has joined the Disney "pin traders" craze, so now there's something to work with. :)
A big heartfelt thank you to all who donated to, prayed for and helped plan this trip. It was such a blessing to us all. My new sister-in-law said this was the best vacation she has ever had, so you know it was great! Plus, Mama had a wonderful time!
God is good, all the time!