Monthly Archives: June 2015

Family Retreat Day 1

Today we arrived at Camp Allen for our 1st ever Joni & Friends family retreat!! I have been eagerly awaiting this time away and my first thought upon arrival….I don’t ever want to leave.

The short term missionary (STM) assigned to Gideon couldn’t be more perfect and of course Laynie has already made friends with several STMs assigned to her age group.

They served us a delicious dinner, helped us unpack our car and after some time of worship, they let our kids spend time getting to know everyone in their groups. The night concluded with an ice cream social which naturally led to lots of jumping on bed for Laynie.

On the schedule for tomorrow- fishing for Laynie and swimming for Gideon. As for Kevin and I, we will be doing some giant swing thing after chapel and then maybe something really crazy…like a nap!!!

This is going to be the best weekend ever!!


Our trip to Disney

Our trip to Disney was THE most amazing trip we have ever taken. I told a friend recently that finally, I get it. I get what all the hype and fuss is about. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is a magical place and dreams really do come true.

So here’s a quick summary of our trip to Disney…

We left on Memorial Day and had a pretty interesting time getting on the plane. It worked out that our 4 pm flight was delayed (due to weather) until 8 pm; otherwise we probably would have missed it. Long story short….it took two supervisors, an act of God and a “heavy” pat-down for my husband to get Gideon on the plane…but we made it! Thankfully no rubber gloves were necessary, if you know what I mean.


Because of the delay we arrived in Orlando well after midnight (they took the long route, around the storm). Gideon did GREAT on the plane ride. We got our rental car around 1:30 am and drove to the Marriott Vacation Club- Harbour Lakes. Needless to say, we didn’t make it into bed until 3 am. Gideon was out well before then and L was (surprisingly) all smiles.


The next day we thought it best to sleep in and chill at the resort. We were excited that Gideon slept an hour longer than usual…and then we remembered that Floridians are an hour ahead… so he really didn’t sleep in. Oh well. We spent all day at the pool, playing putt putt, napping and participating in resort activities.


On Wednesday we got up early, had breakfast and headed to Magic Kingdom. Shout out to Mrs. Hoppe for the cute shirts!


They were soooooo good to us at Disney. I didn’t realize that you could only do 3 fast passes at a time, so when we first got there L wanted to see Elsa and Anna…a 2 hour line. I couldn’t switch to get a fastpass for it, so I went up to the attendant working that FP line and, because of Gideon, he allowed us to go through. Pretty much Laynie got to see almost all the princesses she wanted to and we were even able to get a reservation for a Cinderella character dinner later that night!!!


Even Gideon got some photos with the princesses!


I loved that Gideon got to stay in his chair for rides like It’s a Small World. Laynie loved the 7 dwarfs rollercoaster. And Kevin and I really loved the cinnamon rolls.


Because Kevin held our napping Gideon inside Pinocchio’s restaurant, Laynie and I were able to do some other things. Later we watched the parade and flew on Aladdin’s magic carpets.


When Gideon took his afternoon nap, Laynie and I hit up splash mountain. It was the only ride we waited a long time for…. 50 minutes (but we learned that’s really not a long wait when you’re at Disney). Laynie and I met a very sweet couple and their daughter while we waited (they’re in the seat behind us).


Basically, Wednesday was awesome. We didn’t get home from our character dinner until after 11 pm. So the next day we rested at the hotel pool and did some shopping at Downtown Disney. I had a Sea Salt Caramel Banana smoothie from Ghirardelli. That alone made my day.


Friday we went to Hollywood Studios because L wanted to see Beauty and the Beast Live as well as the Frozen Sing Along (which by the way, turned out to be Kevin’s favorite part of the day…and I’m not joking. It was a comedy show for adults with the Frozen songs for the kids).  There we met a sweet boy named Jack. Jack has cerebral palsy and if they lived in Texas, I think Gideon and Jack would be good friends. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of them together.  🙁


The remaining days we pretty much played at the resort.


And we did tour a chocolate factory and make our own chocolate bars. Gideon slept through the whole thing.


Saturday we did some last minute putt putt, got our family photo taken and went to a hibachi bar for dinner.


Sunday, at 3 am, our alarm went off and we said goodbye to our home away from home. Our 6 am flight took off with no delays and thanks to the notes made by the DFW Southwest Airlines, we got through Florida security without even having to take off our shoes.  It was a breeze of a process and although we were sad to leave, it’s always nice to be home.

I just want to take a second and say thanks again to both families who made this trip possible. Words could never adequately express how grateful we are…..not only did you guys give us a break from reality, but we got experience a trip that accommodates for children with special needs. That was huge. Thanks also to Susan and C&R medical for getting Gideon’s stroller expedited for our trip. I’m so glad we got to take him in a seating system that is designed to meet his needs.

I love how everything came together for our trip to Disney.. and it really was a dream come true.

My favorite Laynie-ism of the trip- “Mom, I’ve waited my whole life for this.”