Category Archives: Vacation

Disney World 2014: On Our Way

I never blogged about our trip to Disney World in February 2014. Now that my blog is all spruced up, I am going to blog … about whatever I want. Since the Prez and I have been talking about going back to Disney World next February, I have been perusing our photos. So, on February 5 and 6, we finished up the packing and loading of the camper for an afternoon departure on February 7. All Disney trips require some staging of the camper: past photos on the walls; Disney-themed toothpaste; band-aids, and spaghettios; and of course Disney movies!Disney2014.1We knew we would stay overnight halfway down, and we found that Georgia rest areas have designated camping spots WITH dump stations and electricity! Continue reading


Gulf Shores Family Beach Trip: October 7, 2014

Tuesday was the warmest day yet with highs in the mid-80s by the afternoon. We had found our groove with toting items to the beach and everyone by now knew their favorite beachside activities. It took us all of about 1 minute to set up our spot and for everyone to get busy or get chillaxin, whichever the case may be!




This most unusual cloud formed right over us and we wondered if it might storm, but as quickly as it popped up it was gone onto shore and we never saw any clouds but white fluffy ones occasionally the rest of the day.



Is there anything better than sand between your toes at the water’s edge? Well there is, standing here enjoying the moment while watching my children playing joyfully and carefree! Continue reading


Gulf Shores Family Beach Trip: October 6, 2014

I am back posting and back dating these posts, but I’m D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D. to document this spectacular family vacation. I snapped this photo while lying on the bed early this morning AWAKE again at my regular alarm time of 5:30 a.m. Oh well, at least everyone else was able to sleep in LOL! This shows you though just how close our site was to the beach! We could hear the ocean waves at night when the rest of the world was quiet. So relaxing!


On Day 2 at the beach and, the Prez and I had the lunch making down to a science. Reduce, reuse, recycle lunchmeat containers complete with names written in sharpie!


I saved the sandwich list from the first day and made modifications as requested on my iPhone List app, so it was easy-peasy. The Prez and I decided to make the sandwiches all week and delegated other jobs out. It worked efficiently and we {mostly} enjoyed doing this task each day. We have found in our large family that dividing and conquering is most effective and continuing with the same tasks each day usually lends itself to efficiency as well! Speaking of efficiency, I can’t say we pack light but we are PACK MULES. If you can carry it, you can bring it. Bigger items go on the Little*Tikes wagon, which as I said before has been on family beach trips since 2001! We received quite a few compliments from fellow beach-goers on our efficiency and ingenuity in packing and hauling effectively.


The theme of this day was PLAY ALL DAY and that we did. Li’l Bit LOVED digging and immediately coaxed one of her big brothers into helping her get her hole started. She is telling him just how deep she wants him to dig it. Um … yeah, she gets her way a lot. She’s the baby, what can I say?! Continue reading


Gulf Shores Family Beach Trip: October 5, 2014

Day 1 on the beach was everything I imagined. Well, waking up at 5:30 a.m. wasn’t in my plans, but it did give me a little quiet time before the littles began to wake up about 7 a.m. I grabbed this screenshot of the low temp for the week! YIKES!


That was a bit cold, but we never saw temps below 70 again for the week and those were at night. Perfect! The temperature was a bit chilly, but as the day progressed the weather app read 73° by 2 p.m. and we were well on our way to warmer weather! I am often asked how I’m so organized and how in the world do I manage with 6 kids.


First off, The Prez and I work well together as a team when on vacation, but during the day-to-day I’m winging it solo as he works a lot of hours and isn’t here when we’re headed out the door most mornings. I very much appreciated him taking the role more often than not of sandwich maker each morning. It is a given law of family dynamics that 5 minutes (or less) after arriving at the beach no matter how much breakfast was consumed that people will be hungry. Continue reading


Gulf Shores Family Beach Trip: October 4, 2014

I am determined to chronicle our family beach trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, so I’m back-posting starting with Day 1, which consisted mostly of driving a van pulling our little fishing boat and a truck pulling our camper. Somehow, I managed to come out on the better end of that deal as I had our oldest, aka Curly, who is 16 now and a licensed driver, with me along with Li’l Bit and Li’l Bro. They barely made any sounds the entire trip, and Curly and I had some good convos on the way down PLUS he drove the entire trip down, which took us about 8 hours with lots of traffic late Saturday afternoon as we neared the beach.


When we got there, a cold front was crossing over the biggest part of the Southeastern United States including Gulf Shores, so it was going to be a cold night down in the upper 40s. The boys might have gotten a bit chilly that first night in the tent, but after that it was never below 60 degrees at night.

The best surprise other than the FABULOUS campground we discovered at Gulf State Park was the alligator friends in the canal behind our campsite. Yes, they were in there just steps from our site, and it was actually fun to see them come out each evening at dusk to presumably find their dinner. Thankfully, they weren’t interested in eating any of us. If you look closely at the photos below, you can see just the top of the the head of what we figured was about a 4-foot-long gator based on the time we saw him/her surface more to check us out.


Continue reading


Hoover Dam: Modern Marvel of the World

While the Prez and I were in Las Vegas for the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference, we decided to take the 40-minute drive out of the city to see the Hoover Dam. It is named one of the modern wonders of the world and an engineering marvel. It was built during the Great Depression at a time when people didn’t expect modern men to build such a monstrosity.


IMG_0901 Continue reading


Looking Back: Disney Trip 2011 {Magic Kingdom}

I thought while planning for our DW 2014 trip, I would take a stroll down memory lane. I cannot believe how little all of our children are!!!

Here is a repost from September 2011 from my old blog:

**Editor’s Note: I am going back and documenting our Fall 2011 Trip to Walt Disney World. On Saturday, September 17, we visited the Magic Kingdom.

After the Prez and Mo left for the Swamp, I was alone in the Magic Kingdom with four children ranging in age from just turned 13 down to 5. 🙂 They did great though and it really wasn’t hard. Still, I survived the MK ALONE with four children. I wish I had more photos later in the day, but I was more worried about returning to the camper with four children in tow! 🙂

Continue reading


Disney Trip Tips: Cost-Saving Before You Go

Several of you guessed that yes, we are headed South to the Happiest Place on Earth. We will be staying at the Fort again because a). we have a camper already, b). we don’t fit in any hotel rooms as a family of 8, c). we think the fort is one of the best-kept secrets at WDW, and d). it is SUPER cheap for a family of 8 at $64 a night for most nights we are going to be there (and also makes it so easy to eat IN which is always cheaper than eating OUT no matter your family size).

These stickers were all saved from the round file, and all were free. The round ones came from Doctor visits and the others came from an unsolicited invitation packet to join the Disney Movie Club. I *hope* to make some homemade autograph books for Li’l Miss, Li’l Bro and Li’l Bit with these. Time will tell!

Those Magic Bands in the Wordless Wednesday posts are the new way at Disney, and I’m not sure I am going to like them. But alas, times change and so we must.

IMG_0508 Continue reading