Daddy Says… Seven Years

On October 1st 2005, in the presence of our friends and family, I married the most amazing woman in the world.  Now, seven years later we have 3 incredible children & some big dreams to be out on the road.

She’s just as beautiful and brilliant as she was the day I met her.  She’s a great Mom, an awesome friend, a patient teacher and a diligent worker. But to me, she’s the most important woman in the world – my wife. We’ve had a lot of fun and all sorts of adventures in our time together, and I look forward to many more years with the most wonderful woman in the world.

Unplanned Trip to Canada

This is where we are right now. We are halfway to Canada. I had planned to paint the kitchen and do some yard work this weekend but obviously those plans have changed.

As it turns out, a loved one needed our help so we quickly packed some stuff, made some arrangements and loaded the kids in the car.

The kids were super excited to drop everything and go see their grandparents. It’s something they ask to do often but of course it never happens. Both the Princess and the Professor were very helpful in getting ready to go.

I’ve never packed so quickly before. I’m not great at packing under the best of circumstances but I managed to do a fairly good job for everyone but myself. For some reason I only packed my summer clothes – no jacket or sweater and only my flip flops. Not very smart. I have no idea how that happened when I was able to pack warm clothes for everyone else. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

As you’ve probably noticed I’m being extremely vague about who we are going to see and what’s going on. I’m respecting their privacy for now because this all came on so sudden and I have no idea how they would feel about me blogging about the situation. I’m guessing this person would rather I didn’t. I ask anyone who knows anything not to leave a comment with any specific details.

Everything is ok, however we always welcome any prayers. If I get the ok, I’ll add more details another time.

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Flashcards are one of the tools I use often when it comes to teaching the kids.

After spending a lot of time searching for the sight cards I wanted and not finding them, I decided to just make my own.

It took off from there.  I’ve now made hundreds over the past couple of years…

With a little cutting and glue sticking onto index cards,

we can make flashcards for sight words, spelling lists and even cards to practice reading words.

They’re not fancy but they work and they’re cheap and they have definitely served their purpose!

If you want to make your own, I’ve uploaded my template for you.

Flashcard template

Daddy Says… Paragon of Efficiency

One of the most amazing things about Disney World is the incredibly efficient way it has all been set up.  The entire place runs like a well oiled machine.  There are multiple methods of transportation connecting the various parks to each of the differently themed resorts.

At the Wilderness campground where we stayed, there was a central area where you could catch a bus to any of the theme parks, the water parks and Downtown Disney – the extensive area filled with shopping, restaurants and entertainment – including their own Cirque Du Soleil show. In addition to the bus system, there were boats that you could take to Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary resort, both of which are of course connected to the Monorail System!


And once you get where you’re going, everything you need is right there waiting for you, and typically a friendly helpful cast member nearby to point you in the right direction or offer any other assistance you might need.

Disney is great at making money, of course they do provide great services, quality products and an incredible experience – but it is a business. We even noticed that they were pumping blasts of Air Conditioning from out of the open doors of the shops and into the hot streets along Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. It was so refreshing to just stop for a moment in the cool air, and take a look for where it was coming from – and why not stop into the nice cool shop and have a look around?

The Government could learn a few things from the way Disney runs, from the vast, well maintained infrastructure, interconnected transportation systems and knowledgeable, dedicated staff to their ability to maximize their economic potential – Disney really is a well run organization!

Obama? Romney?  Forget them both – I say Mickey for President!!

What Would Chuck Think?

When it rains it pours!

It’s not my favourite sayings…

it’s a little too cliche for me, however I can’t think of a better one to describe our recent events.

It all started with my sewing machine.  Right before we left for Disney, actually a couple hours before, I was trying to sew something.  The stitches kept dropping and it was very frustrating.  I had a vague memory of the kids knocking over my machine and having it fall to the ground.  I tried turning it on and it worked so I had thought “No problem, disaster averted” but apparently that was incorrect.  I figured I would  put it away and we’d deal with it when we got back from vacation.

Little did I know, Daddy had the same idea with the lawn mower.  Apparently the pull cord had frayed and he decided to set it aside until we got back.  At the moment we are living in a jungle, or at least it feels that way.

I’m sure our neighbors love us at the moment!

Then there’s the computer…

A couple days ago, when Daddy was working from home one of the kids knocked his laptop over and it went crashing to the ground.  The fall shattered his LED screen making it useless until it gets fixed.  Thankfully, he was able to borrow the Professor’s laptop.  Today we brought the broken laptop over to the Geek Squad to get an estimate.  We had already looked up the price for a new LED screen and it was around $90 so we figured it couldn’t be too much more with labor added on.  The Geek Squad quoted us $350 – $400!  I realize they need to be paid for their time but seriously?  $200 – $300 to replace a screen?  I just had major work done on my laptop and the Dell service guy had it done within an hour.

Shame, shame Geek Squad!!  Daddy and I drove away wondering what Chuck Bartowski would think of their ridiculously high prices!  You wouldn’t see the Nerd Herd trying to get away with that.

To top it all off today was the day my hair dryer decided to quit.  I guess it just seemed fitting.

We’re certainly not going to let a few breakdowns get in our way!

We replaced the hair dryer and Daddy’s going to fix his own laptop and the mower.  It’s great having someone so handy around.

As for the sewing machine….I guess I’m just going to have to save up for a new one.

It’ll be rough having to sew on a brand new, fancy sewing machine…

But I’m willing to take one for the team!

Daddy Says… Jedi Princess

On one of our last days in Disney, the Mighty Princess informed me she would like to be a Jedi.  A couple of years ago, her older brother went through Jedi Padawan training, and now she was old enough to do the same.  So, we got up bright and early, rushed right on over to the sign up as soon as the park opened and managed to get her into the first session.

They asked her a few questions as we were signing up:

Will you listen to all of the instructions of your Jedi Master?  Yes!

Are you willing to learn the ways of the force, and use a lightsaber?   Yes, I can already beat my brother in lightsaber battles!

Are you afraid of the dark side of the force?  No!!

Such a brave little youngling!

Soon enough she and the other potential Jedi were on stage, meeting their Jedi Master.  They were each given a training lightsaber and the training began.


No sooner had she begun her training, than she was confronted by Darth Vader!!

She successfully defended herself from the dark lord of the Sith and completed her Jedi Training.  She was very proud when the voice of Yoda came over the speaker system and proclaimed that she and her fellow younglings were now all official Jedi Padawans.  We celebrated by going on the Star Tours attraction…

I know the Force will be with her… always.

Disney Youth Individual Enrollement

A year ago I was searching online for fun and exciting activities to do with our children as part of our homeschooling.  One of the things I came across was the Disney Homeschool Days – a program that Disney provides for kids who homeschool.  We were really excited about this…what could be more cool than going to school at Disney?! Not only did it sound super fun but the discount on the park tickets was pretty awesome too.

When it came time to book our vacation Disney still hadn’t posted their dates for Homeschool days in the fall.  After a little research we came across the Disney Youth Individual Enrollement.  With this program there are even more class options and the park tickets are priced the same as the Homeschool days.  Plus…it’s open to all kids, not just those who homeschool.

Unfortunately, the one class that was provided for the Princess’ age was already booked up, so she was not able to attend.  However, the Professor had a couple options available to him and in the end he went with Wild by Nature at Animal Kingdom and Synergy in Science at Epcot.

Since Daddy and I each attended a class with him, our tickets were discounted also.  Instead of paying $400, our tickets were $220.  I just don’t see a downside to it!

The classes were awesome!

The Professor and I went to the Wild by Nature together and we had so much fun.  Josh was our tour guide/teacher and he was animated and informative…he captivated us with his knowledge and humor and kept us laughing for the 3 hours.  He engaged all the children into discussions about the various animals and explained how preditors and prey naturally balance each other out.  He went into great detail about how animals survive in nature through games and hands on examples.  He explained how humans and animals can live on the earth together and survive as long as we are willing to respect the earth.

Babysitting the Cottontop Tamarin

If you are heading to Disney, I truly recommend signing up your child for one of the Individual Enrollment classes!

Disney Youth Individual Enrollment

Disney Homeschool Days

Daddy Says… “Home” again

It was a long journey, but we are “home” again.  I have a hard time calling our house home now though, as the trailer has been our home for the past three weeks.  The trip to Disney – and the long journey there and back again – has really given us a taste of what it would like to be on the road full time.  And we like it!!  We were all disappointed to be pulling into our driveway instead of some campgrounds for our next adventure.

We broke the trip into three days again, this time doing 8 hours on day one, 6 hours on day two & what should have been 10 hours day three.  Unfortunately day 3 turned into about 15 hours.  We hit some serious traffic on I-95 in Virginia, and again in Connecticut.  We also decided to stop off for lunch at a diner along the way, so that added to the time as well.

If you ever find yourself in Kutztown Pennsylvania, stop into the Airport Diner for a bite.  It was a nice little place for some pretty good diner food.  We all had breakfast, except the Milk Monkey who had one of his favorites – Mac & Cheese.

The Airport Diner's Lunch Counter

The Professor approves of pancakes










On Our Way Home…

This morning as I was packing up the trailer I found this little guy in our bathtub! I was reaching for the shampoo to pack it away for the drive when the frog jumped right in front of me.

I was surprisingly calm about it. Probably because he was so tiny – or she…I’m not really up on my frog anatomy. Also, I knew if I didn’t act fast we’d be chasing a tiny frog throughout the trailer rather than checking out on time. The bathroom door is about 6 inches off the floor, plenty of room for a frog to slip under.

I quickly grabbed a towel and gently placed it in top of our unwanted guest and then called for Daddy. My calm bravery only went so far.

Of course Daddy was our hero and saved us from the frog or rather saved the nickel sized frog from us. More specifically from the Princess who wanted to see it, hold it and I’m pretty sure squeeze it. If she was younger she probably would have eaten it too.

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