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Monday, November 5, 2012

Purex Plus Oxi

I was chosen to be a Purex Insider and was recently sent a bottle of their newest detergent, Purex Plus Oxi.  My boys play football and one of them has WHITE practice pants. I am thinking that a man that never, ever, once in his life did laundry must've thought that WHITE practice pants for any outdoor sport would be a good idea. 



These pants were issued by the team and they were far from clean when we first got them.   I just turned them in the other night and I am pleased to say that they are cleaner now than they were in August when we got them.

We are now into basketball season and those uniforms don't get dirty like football uniforms do but soccer will be on the horizon soon and this detergent will be my go to from now on - even the grass stains came out of them!! 

**other than the free bottle of detergent, I was not compensated in any way and this opinion is entirely my own

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 4 - our Disney youth educations series day!!

I woke up very early this morning - I had been having dreams that we overslept today and missed our class, therefore voiding our ticket deal!!  We had to be at the Ticket and Transportation Center by 7:15 to meet with our group for the American Adventure Y.ES. Class.  We were there in plenty of time after a very quick breakfast in the room (cereal that I brought with us).  We were divided up by the age of the kids - there were 3 groups total, one group of the older kids and two groups of the 8-11 year olds.  They were good about keeping siblings together and we were assigned to our instructor, Ralph.  Ralph was great, he had a wonderful sense of humor and was really good at making sure even the quietest of the group had a chance to participate.

We headed up to the Monorail after going through the introductions and getting name tags.  Ralph made sure we all got into one monorail car and he quizzed the kids a little bit on their knowledge of American History, to say he was impressed with their answers would be an understatement.  He did keep forgetting that they are homeschooled and kept asking them things like, if the principal came in your classroom and did this....the parents all chuckled every time and the kids just looked at him like he was speaking a language they didn't understand..

The park didn't open until 9 so we were not allowed to take photos prior to park opening.  We got to walk Right down the Middle of a virtually empty, Main Street USA.  I don't care how many times I walk that walk, it gives me goose bumps each and every time!!  We headed to Liberty Square and found a quiet spot to do some more talking about the birth of America, the founding fathers, the colonies, etc.

Finally, they came to get us for the moment we were so excited about!!  We were brought behind the scenes in the Hall of Presidents and got to walk on the stage, right in front of all the Presidents.  It was a very quick walk and again, no photos were allowed but it was so cool and so freaky, at the same time.  Some of the presidents had their eyes open, some of them were closed, Abe Lincoln had his arms stretched out and his head down.  It felt like he was going to reach out and grab us - we were within reach and they are all so real looking.  The walk through wasn't what I was expecting but at the same time, I had no idea what to expect - it was just a lot faster than I thought it would be (not complaining).  Not everyone can say they were allowed behind the curtain at the Hall of Presidents, so we feel pretty lucky in that respect!

After we were all done with that, we headed to Frontierland and learned what it was like for the early western settlers.  Everyone was given a new identity, a list of needed supplies and several supplies (printed on laminated cards).  The point was to get as many supplies as you could on your own list by trading with others.  Ralph was willing to trade but he took 2 items for 1 and some of the kids fell for that one.  It was a good lesson for them to see, even with just these cards, how hard it could be to get the simplest items, such as a hammer or a bucket.

The park was open at this point and we were off to ride my most favorite of all time, Splash Mountain.  We were taken to the front of the line through the fast pass line (there really wasn't much of a line anyway since it was so early).  Everyone had the choice if they wanted to ride or not and I think all but Ralph and one mom rode.  After everyone was gathered back together, we talked about the story a little bit and the history.  Then Ralph said he was taking us to his favorite attraction.....

Back through Frontierland to Liberty Square and we were heading into the queue of the Haunted Mansion - Ralph talked to us about Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven - he asked everyone to count how many ravens they saw in the ride (he left out to only count the ones with red eyes, so there were lots of different answers to this question).  We quickly boarded the ride and this is another one that never gets old - I love the hitchhiking ghosts at the end and with the new interaction with them, it cracks us up every time!!

The time had come for our seating in the Hall of Presidents!  They had reserved seating for us but again, it was the first showing of the day and it was not crowded in the least.  This attraction is a must do!!  The kids soaked in the history and seeing the Presidents, alive this time, never ceases to amaze.  It is amazing how they turn and look at the one who is speaking and they nod in agreement, words can't do it justice.  The boys were inspired to learn more about Andrew Jackson after seeing the film.  Between this and the American Adventure, they had some great history lessons on our week at Disney!  After the show, we headed outside to the Liberty Bell where the kids in the group took turns giving it 13 rings using a huge leather strap - the bell was still humming for several minutes after the 13th toll.. We got back into our groups one last time to sign our own copies of the Declaration of Independence and to say goodbye to Ralph and each other.  It was a quick 3 hours but full of information in a very fun way - the boys will never forget it!!
Now we were on our own for the rest of the day - Donald was out with no line so we grabbed a quick photopass opportunity here -
 The boys were begging to do Space Mountain - I was not feelin' it but I gave in so we all could ride.  I really prefer the Disneyland version to this one - I used to love it but it throws you around so much that it just isn't fun for me anymore - I'll take Everest or Rockin Roller Coaster any day over Space Mt....

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After our trip to space, we headed back to Fantasyland, Andy really wanted to do Mickey's Philharmagic.  Took some photo opps along the way and walked right in to the theater.  We also hit Small World right after - neither of them wanted to but I insisted!! We didn't do it last year so I made them do it this year.
Swahili for Go Well


After the rides, they were BEGGING to get more Sorcerer Cards, so we gave in and let them get some cards and play.  They were sent to Main Street and we were getting hungry so we stopped in to Casey's for lunch.  My husband loves sauerkraut and since it's on the toppings bar, he was lovin' it!!  We watched people feed the ducks, even though the signs clearly say not to. One little girl was holding a french fry up like the duck was a dog and made it beg - the duck got so mad, he went after her - she is lucky that he was quickly distracted by other falling food!!  I almost stepped on about 3 of the ducks, they are not the least bit afraid of humans - they were under my feet every time I looked down!!
Swiping his key
After they played for a little while, they got brave enough to ask others if they wanted to trade for cards they had doubles of.  Most didn't want to because they didn't understand the game yet or didn't have doubles but we found a few people that were thrilled to trade.  I was proud of my kids for going up and asking because I never would have done that at their age.  This is how bad they wanted all those spell cards!!

We took a few more photos around some different spots on the Main St. hub area and then headed in to see Mickey and Minnie - the line was listed at 10 minutes and it wasn't even that long.  The Princess line was listed at 20 but they wanted no part of that and those new shoes were really bothering me by this point in the week so I was ready for a break.  We headed out of the MK and back to the resort for a break.


I really could see myself going to Disney and just visiting the resorts.  They are so full of theme and beauty is so unique and captivating in each and every one.  I think there is just one that we have never set foot in... You are always immersed in the feeling that you really are in that era or that place.  We walked around the Beach Club and the Yacht Club (had to go find the vinlymation trading box over there).  Actually, we had our first really bad experience with a CM at the Yacht Club - he was so mean to the boys that I wanted to punch him!  If you don't want to deal with kids, you probably shouldn't be working at Disney World, just sayin'... Anyway, we moved on and decided that was enough of that resort and headed back to our own.. We were planning to head back to EPCOT for dinner and since we were up at 5, we went back to just relax in the room. The boys picked up some of the coloring sheets in the marketplace and did that so they could enter them in for Artist of the day.
We got ready to head to EPCOT for dinner at the America Pavilion.  I will take any excuse to go walk around EPCOT and staying so close made it possible for us to go there many more times that we otherwise would have! I was lovin every minute of it!!  I wanted to do the American Adventure again but I was met with resistance so I didn't persist.  We made our way slowly around World Showcase, back in the direction we came from.  We wanted to see who was playing in the UK and listen for a bit and spend a little time in Canada - I have a picture for some of my friends that live there - our joke is of course, about eh?? And the fact that Americans say huh?? I insisted we didn't until after they called me out on it and I caught myself saying it - eh sounds much nicer then huh.... Anyway, that photo is below and it's especially for De-Anna, Sandi, Diane, LiChing, Angel, Elaine, and our Dear Dawn who recently lost a battle with cancer..  Andrew fell in love with the leather bracelets that they were making and insisted that he was getting one.  I told him he could but not then because I wanted him to really think about it.  We did some pin trading with the kids working in the pavilion to get his mind off the bracelet, as if that would work....

We headed back over to The Imagination Pavilion - can't get enough I guess.  The fact that there is never a line, helps a lot!!  We played for a bit on the computers and the boys emailed themselves their creations.  They also made music in the different queues and of course, more photos.  They have a vinylmation trading box here remember and Austin had to check it out.  Andrew hung back, the little sneak, and watched the box when they opened it - he saw one of the Muppets that he wanted so bad and went up and got it.  I could not believe he did that!!  It made up for the way he was treated earlier at the Yacht Club..
Plug your nose!!!

Imagination is a BLAST!!
From here we headed over to test track and then Mission Space - not to ride MS but again, to check vinylmations.  There were 2 ladies in the store, one was buying and I swear she had over a dozen of them!! (I never pay full price for them, we aren't into it for the money, the boys just want characters they like - so they got a taste of serious traders here)!! The other woman had a bunch of tackle type boxes that she carried hers around in - she had a stroller for them even!!  The boys were amazed!!  They waited their turn to trade but didn't get anything they wanted.  We met a college student working there that is from an area not too far from us and had a very nice chat with him.  At this point, 5 am was a very long time ago and we headed back home for the night...not before some more photos though :)  Oh and on our way in, Nessa was there to greet Andrew and show him her newest pins :)

Happy Traders
I would never tire of this view at night - the boys are in there too, tough to see though



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 3 - Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, resort time, and Studios

We make good use of our park hoppers  lol

We started out this morning with breakfast in our room - we brought PB & Jelly with us and tons of bread - so we decided to try that for breakfast today.  Didn't cost us anything and it stuck with us for a lot longer and we all felt great!! 




Headed out Animal Kingdom a little after 8, the bus was pulling up as we walked out, so we took it :)  By the time we got to the park, they were allowing people in the front gates to wait for rope drop - there was no show this morning though???  So we headed over to Expedition Everest - we were on the first ride of the morning - that is an excellent way to start your day!! Talk about adrenalin!!!  It was still walk on (and we always take back seats) so we went again.  After the second time though, much like Test Track - I must chill lol - we grabbed fast passes and headed over to go "on safari". 

Ready to ride - first of the day

Andy gets so nervous


We saw so many animals - many more than we ever have before! I don't know if it's because it was warmer than it usually is when we're there but it was awesome!! You couldn't even count the giraffes, there were so many of them!!  If it weren't against the rules, you literally could have reached out and touched them!  Even the lioness was out!! We even got to see a little baby Rafiki playing - it was absolutely adorable!! 




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After our safari, we strolled through lots of shops as we made our way to Dinoland USA.  Last year, one of our favorites, Primeval Whirl, was closed.  The boys were very excited to ride it until they spotted a DVC salesman with pins they wanted.  He was booking an appt with someone though, so we had to wait, and wait, and wait... They were not about to miss out on these pins lol  The family finally walked away and they made their trades.  Bob had a coffee at this point and he is a touch too tall for comfort on this ride - so it was just the 3 of us.  No line again and we were boarding in minutes.  I do love this ride but again - can't take it more than once and can they make the exit any longer???  I thought Big Thunder was bad ;)  The boys wanted to go again in the worst way though, so we sent them off - gave me a chance to get a picture of them in the time machine.


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They finally came back to us and we played around with the fun mirrors - got some laughs there since Andrew is such the ham.  Our fastpass was ready for Everest, so back we went for ride # 3. 

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We took some more pictures and headed back out to the bus stop, which took forever and we decided we were driving here from now on.  We went back to the resort and had lunch (in the room again) and headed back over to Magic Kingdom - it was nice and warm and we wanted to ride Splash Mountain (my favorite!!) plus Eli Manning was going to be there since he won the Superbowl and we wanted to see him.


We got to the park and the Celebrate a Dream Come True was about to start - so we grabbed a spot on the curb in front of the Castle to watch that and wait for Eli.  It was going to be a little while so I sent Bob & Andy over to pick up fast passes for Splash Mt.  Why on earth I did that is beyond me - I should know better, but I'll get into that later lol.  While we were sitting there, a man came up behind me in an electric scooter and he didn't know how to use it and ran into me - it hurt - A LOT!  He felt bad and said, "I'm still going forward" - I told him I could tell since it was pushing me off the curb (if he wanted my seat, he could have asked lol j/k).  He felt really bad and I certainly didn't hold it against him but I was in some pain... It seemed like forever before the guys came back - Austin kept saying, "you should have sent me" - ummm, I tried and you didn't want to go.... They finally returned and gave me the tickets and fastpasses and I put them away.  The parade didn't start exactly on time but people kept it interesting.  There were tons of Giants fans (which we are NOT but it was still fun) chanting and cheering.  We want Eli was one cheer and just Eli, Eli over and over.  Finally the procession started and we got to see him.  Andy loves quarterbacks and he was very excited to see a Manning!!    We were close enough to touch him!!  It was very cool - wish it was Colt McCoy, but it was still cool :)


Our fastpasses weren't good for about 30 more minutes so we hit Pirates and picked up some more Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom spell cards - who knew this would become such an obsession???  Then on to Splash Mt!!  I could ride this ride all day - I love the music (it's my ringtone) and the characters, and overall, just the way I feel while I'm on this ride. I could do without the sprayers that get you extra wet, but we actually didn't get it too bad - not like the couple in the very front of our log - felt kind of bad for them actually - we were virtually dry and they were drenched!!


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Since we were here last night and have to be back here at 7 tomorrow morning, we decided to go back to the resort for more swimming.  We don't do that usually but we felt like we had to take advantage of the awesome pool that we were gifted the use of!! Instead of going to the bus stop though, we hopped on the monorail to the TTC and then got on the one to EPCOT and walked through to our resort.  Had a little chat with Nessa on our way through the International Gateway.  Got our bracelets for the pool and went back to change.  I decided not to swim so I could bring my camera down and get pictures.


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Hollywood Studios has extra magic hours tonight so we decided to head over there for dinner. On our way out, they were starting the nightly campfire on the beach.  They give out marshmallows and sticks and you can roast your own or the CM's will help you out.  They also had the big movie screen up - they show a nightly movie on the beach.  We never got back in time to watch one but it's cool that all the resorts are now doing this - even the All Stars are - each resort shows a different movie each night. 










We hopped on the boat and headed over to HS.  Did some vinylmation trading and grabbed pizza on Sunset Blvd.  Austin wanted to ride Tower of Terror and it was listed as a 20 minute wait. Andy wasn't ready for it just yet and I wasn't going to argue with him.  So we split up and Andy had some mommy and me time.  We did photopass pictures on Sunset Blvd and headed over to draw at animation.  We got there and he did the trader box and the dance party was starting for resort guests only.  He loves to dance so we decided to go in there instead of drawing again.  We danced with Pluto & Goofy until the others showed up.  We had been going strong for 3 days, not to mention some long travel days, at this point so we talked the boys into going back to the resort for ice cream.  Andy wanted a Mickey Bar and Austin likes the Mickey ice cream sandwiches.  Bob was going to go to Beaches and Cream but decided to buy a beer instead - yeah, $5.99 for one bottle of Budweiser.. He even brought the bottle home lol 



We turned in early since we have to be checked in at the Ticket and Transportation Center at 7:15 tomorrow for our say yes to education tour!!

The ship in the background is the waterslide into the pool - so cool!!!

Sale on Wii Mote charging station

If your house is anything like mine - batteries, even the rechargeable ones, seem to go quick!  I just saw this posted on one of my money saving lists and wanted to share!  Get the Inductive Charging Kit for Wii - Memorex Quad Inductive Charging Kit for Wii for just $13.99 with FREE shipping through Buy.com. (list price $29.99)  I have purchased from buy.com in the past and been pleased.  I have not yet made this purchase but plan to!!

http://www.buy.com/prod/memorex-quad-inductive-charging-kit-for-wii-black/217184223.html