We’re Here!

We’ve now been at Disney for 3 days and so far it has ranged from extremely stressful to absolutely amazing.  Thankfully, the stressful parts were mostly at the beginning, when we first arrived and the further we get into our vacation the more fun and relaxing it gets.  I guess we just needed an adjustment period from the long drive and the nightmare campground we stayed at in Georgia.  We will never stay there again!

Our second day of travel went really smoothly, it was uneventful and we made great timing.  When we arrived at the St. Mary’s/Jacksonville KOA the first thing I noticed was the sites were not level which makes leveling the trailer tough but doable.  When we pulled into the site we realized we wouldn’t be able to just pull out because of the huge tree right in front of us, even though it was a pull through site.  Again, not a huge deal but still a pain.  We unhitched the trailer and started to set up and plug things in.  It was at that point I realized we didn’t have a sewer hookup.  After two days of travel I wanted us to be able to take showers but since we were there for one night we could forgo the sewer and just dump before we leave.  When we checked out the dump site it was super narrow and very awkward and would be difficult in the best conditions but nearly impossible at 5am before the sun was fully out.

We ended up having to move sites which involved hooking everything back up.  When we arrived at the new site we double checked the sewer and it was there, so we unhooked the trailer and started setting up.  We realized the electric was 50Amp and not the 30Amp we need.  We again talked to the front desk and they said they’d bring us an adaptor.  They showed up with the wrong kind and went to get a different one which ended up being the exact same as the first, except black so they tried a third time and finally had the right one.  The other issue we had on the second site was with the water, our hose wasn’t long enough.  We decided to just go and buy a new hose.  Thankfully the Walmart in St. Mary’s had a whole RV isle.  Super cool!!!  We ended up buying all sorts of things we “needed”.   By the time we were done getting everything together it was late and we just went to sleep.

When we showed up at Disney we were just so happy to be here but that changed quickly as we tried to back our trailer up into our site.  Since we’re still so new at it, we’re just not very good at it so it causes a lot of stress.  It was at that point I had a melt down.  The stress of the past 24 hours along with parking the trailer became overwhelming.  Then there was the moment when Daddy accidently came very close to running me over with the truck.  We did manage to get set up and we went to the pool and had a good swim and it washed all the stress off of us.  That’s when our amazing vacation began.

Today we went to Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom in the evening.  There weren’t many lines and we were able to walk on to just about all the rides.  It was really nice!  It may be super hot but at least we don’t have to stand in the hot sun in long line ups.  Tomorrow we’re back at Magic Kingdom and we also have dinner at the Hoop Dee Doo Review!  We’re very excited for that!

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Daddy Says… 8 States

We’ve completed leg 1 of our three day journey to Disney-World! We got up at 2am, locked up the house and drove off into the night.  The kids were pretty excited, but soon enough they went back to sleep.  Mummy & I were pretty excited too!

Partway through our drive, we decided to change our planned route.  It turns out that I-95 in New Jersey is a toll road, and as much as I don’t mind paying a toll to pay for the upkeep on a road, the $62 or so they were looking to charge was outrageous.  So, Mummy did a quick search on her iPhone for an alternate route, and she found one that was only 1/2 hour longer than our original route, so we took it!

I have to say, Mummy was pretty impressive today.  After working and organizing a lot of the last minute details and packing, she only managed to get about 2 hours of sleep before we left.  She then had to play navigator for our changed route, and also kept everyone happy with a steady stream of sandwiches, snacks & drinks!

Overall, the change of route was a great decision.  We went through a portion of Pennsylvania that was really nice.  A lot of farm country and small towns as we drove.  Over all, we hit 7 different states in just about 12 hours.  Massachusetts, Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland & Virginia.  It was a long drive, and by the end, we were all ready to make camp.

We pulled into the Americamps KOA, were escorted to our site and set up.  Once we we had the trailer all set, we all put on our swimsuits and went for a swim!  It was so nice to relax, cool off and have some fun in the pool after the long drive.  It was just what we needed!

Tomorrow we start leg 2 of the journey and will stop overnight in Georgia.  I can easily see us jumping in the pool once we set up there as well!

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From the Road…We’re On Our Way!

We are on our way! We left at 2:30am and it’s now almost 4am. So far the drive is going well. The kids are so excited that sleep has been evasive, except for the Milk Monkey. He managed to fall back to sleep almost immediately even with all his excitement. He wasn’t quite sure what we were doing but it’s definitely fun getting up in the middle of the night to go for a drive!

As usual I’ve had minimal sleep and my excitement is keeping me awake at the moment. Because of this I’m able to keep Daddy company with words of encouragement like “Are you ok?” and “Is that a car on the side of the road, watch out, oh no it’s ok…it’s just a sign” or “oh no, it’s ok…that cars moving too”. As you can imagine Daddy is appreciative of my observations and his suggestions for me to get some sleep are purely out of concern for my well being.

I’m testing my remote posting through email from my iPhone. I hope this goes through and is clear to read. I’ll update more later.

Sent from my iPhone

 

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Life of Fred

As a mother homeschooling my children, I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting ways to teach the kids.  One of our many reasons in making the decision to home school was so that we could provide our children with some unique approaches to learning, along side of the more traditional methods.  The older I get the more I realize that “generally accepted” isn’t always the best way of doing things.

On one of my journey’s for a different approach to teaching math, I came across Life of Fred.  It’s a series of books written by Stanley F. Schmidt, who’s a retired high school and college math teacher.  He writes the story about Fred Gauss, a teacher at Kitten’s University.  In the first book, Fred is 5 years old and his companion is a doll named Kingie.  The story itself is amusing, but it also introduces math in a way that shows its use our daily lives by demonstrating it in Fred’s life.

The chapters are relatively short and in the first book the math is very basic but it makes sense.  Along with the math it also touches on other life lessons like “Why you shouldn’t be rude” and “Sugar rots teeth”.

So far the Little Professor is really enjoying our new approach to math.  I’d consider it more supplemental than a main curriculum, though I read the higher level texts are much more involved.  It has definitely given the Little Professor a more rounded view on math and has enforced it’s importance in our life.  He’s beginning to get a more tangible understanding, it’s not just about memorizing numbers and rules.

  

I wasn’t able to find the Elementary books in any of the stores around where we live but I did find them online.  The cheapest I found them was through Z-Twist Books.  I wasn’t sure about ordering through them even though they were recommended by the Publisher because the website looked amateurish but my cheapness overruled my doubt and I went ahead and bought the book it.  As it turns out they were very quick and professional.  I received an email instantly confirming my order and within the hour I had a shipping confirmation number.  Shipping was free through Media Mail…I like free!  It’s my favourite!

At the rate the Little Professor is going through the first book, we’ll be ordering the next one very soon at which point I will start the Princess on the first one.

If you want more information, the webiste for the books are:

Life of Fred

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Awesome Goody Bags…

  

Four days left until we tackle the long drive to Disney.

In order to make the trip more pleasant for the kids,

and for us,

we put together a bag of surprises for both the Princess and the Professor.

Each bag is filled to the brim with goodies, games, snacks, movies and lots of other fun and time consuming items.

  

More specifically, some of the items are:

Crayons

Scooby Snacks

Pad of paper

Index cards

Colourful dot stickers

Bubble Wrap – at least for as long as Daddy can stand it…Yikes!

Movies

Ninjago DS game – Professor

Pixar Leappad – Princess

Spiderman/Brave Napkins – for those messy little hands

Wet Wipes – for those messier little hands

Stickers, stickers and more stickers

Activity books of all kinds

Flat Stanley Books for the Little Professor

Pop Rocks – to try for the first time

Lots and lots of yummy snacks!

Some of my favourite items are:

and

and these,

which look fun and yummy…

We are looking at about 50 hours of vehicle time on this trip, so we want to be prepared.  We’re going to break the trip up into 11 hours of driving the first day.  At that point we’re going to stop at a KOA and go for a swim, have nice dinner, and get a good nights sleep.  The next day we’ll wake up super early and do another 10 hours and repeat the process.  Stop at an KOA, swim, eat, and sleep.

That will leave us with a 3 hour drive to Disney!

As I’m writing this, Daddy is putting together a playlist of Disney songs that we’ll play for the kids along the way.

We’re so exited to start our vacation!

We will be leaving around 2am so that the kids can sleep for the first part of the trip.  I can’t wait to see their little faces when they wake up to their goody bags and find out what’s in them!

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Happy Birthday Little Professor…

Today my Little Professor turned 7 years old!

It doesn’t feel like 7 years have gone by since he was born…

but it has and every year we celebrate having our sweet boy as part of our family.

Daddy dressed The Little Professor for his first birthday.  He also styled his hair!

On the Little Professor’s 2nd Birthday, he helped mummy make the cake.

On his 3rd Birthday Mummy and Daddy had to take a big splinter out of his foot.  It hurt and he was out of sorts for the first part of his party.  The gifts helped lighten his mood.

On his 4th Birthday he was just starting to become aware of Star Wars.  It didn’t take him long to be a fan.  Nana bought him a cool Clone Trooper cap and that was awesome!

Star Wars remained a hit for the rest of the year and on the Little Professor’s 5th Birthday, Mummy attempted to make him an R2D2 cake.  My little boy was thrilled!

For his 6th Birthday it was all about Spider-man!

Which brings us to my Little Professor’s 7th Birthday.  As Daddy mentioned a couple posts back, his “party” was having two of his friends camp with us but today was his actual birthday.  Nana J and Papa came over to celebrate with us.

There were many gifts…

  

money, lego, clothes, books and toys!

  

Nana J even gave the Princess some Pj’s and the Milk Monkey his own Tv remote!

Star Wars is still a favourite…some things never change.

The Little Professor had a great day celebrating his birthday!

My Birthday wish for my precious, 7 year old boy is…

that this year slows down for us so we can enjoy and cherish our time together

because the last 7 years went by in a flash!

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Daddy Says… Baby Dancer

The Milk Monkey really has his moments…

Some times, he’s a sweet little guy, with an easy attitude – others, he’s a screaming, chubby little ball of terror.

But one thing we’ve found, no matter what attitude you’re getting from him, just put on some music and you’ve got a cute little baby dancer on your hands.

He’ll dance to just about anything too.  The Wiggles, Thomas, a commercial with a catchy jingle.  He’s just so cute and he always makes us laugh when he starts dancing. It’s easy to forget that just seconds before he may have been screeching at the top of his lungs – but once the music starts – he’s a dance machine!

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Nekkid!!!!

Lately the Milk Monkey has taken up a new lifestyle…

He’s become a nudist.

This is not something new for my children.

The Little Professor spent the first couple years of his life naked.  He’d keep his clothes on when we went out but as soon as we stepped back through the door he’d strip down to his birthday suit.

The Princess was even worse…there was no guarantee she’d keep her clothes on whether we were home or not.  At her third birthday party she took off all her clothes in the jumpy house and really partied!

Then there was the time she mooned everyone at a BBQ we were guests at….

It would seem the the Milk Monkey is following in the steps of his older siblings.

   

Unfortunately, the downside to all the cute nakedness is that un-diapered privates leads to some very unwanted accidents.

That very thing happened today and I had to spend some of my very, precious time on my hands and knees scrubbing pee out of my rug.

The upside is…

It looks like it’s time to bring out the potty!

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Daddy Says… The Party

As I mentioned previously,the Little Professor decided to have a sleepover birthday party in our camper with some of his friends.  Despite a rainy start to the day, his friends showed up in the afternoon and a good time was had by all.

They used the skewers (Not Weapons!) to roast some hotdogs & marshmallows over the fire, and there were several games of Tag of all sorts – Flashlight tag (in the day no less…), Freeze tag, and even Zombie tag.  The Zombie tag was an on the spot invented version where the person “it” was a zombie, shambling along to catch the other players.  Of course, each additional player caught was “infected” and became a zombie as well and joined in the hunt for the remaining players – until finally there was just a group of zombie kids stumbling around groaning.  Though unlike movie zombies, I think these ones just wanted to eat cake!

      

After an afternoon of running around playing, eating cake and having fun, we got the kids set up in the trailer with some popcorn and a movie before bed.  They really enjoyed the movie, and were laughing and goofing around the whole time.  It was great to see them all having so much fun.

Finally, it was bedtime – and after an hour or so of playing with their flashlights and talking quietly with each other – they all drifted off to sleep.

In the morning we had a pancake breakfast and before long, Parents started showing up to pick up the Professor’s friends.  Later, when we asked him if he had a good time, the Professor enthusiastically responded “Yeah – it was one of the best birthdays ever!”.

Something tells me we may be doing this again next year.

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