Friday, August 15, 2008

Wish Trip - Day Five

Our fifth day started with a breakfast of ICE CREAM!!! ;) Where else do you find a free ice cream parlor that opens at 7:30??? We just HAD to do it ONE day!

After breakfast we met Barney and friends who came over to gktw from Universal. They were one group of characters that Liam loved. Braeden was hiding though. :) During this, however my mom walked behind them to go to the other side, hit the step of the "stage" wrong with her foot and fell hard. She was embarrassed, but we were just worried how she was. She ended up with a horrible bruise on her upper thigh and some extremely sore ribs, which are still bothering her now. I felt so bad for her.

After Barney we headed toward Universal for the day.

I have never been a huge Universal fan; I LOVE Disney. I went to Universal once before becoming a teacher and had a great time, but it seems so much like it is more for teens/adults so I hadn't thought about taking the kids there. Since we had the free pass I definately wanted to go. Let me tell you, Universal was AMAZING!!!

The rides/attractions were still primarily for older kids/teens/adults, but what knocked me over was the attitude and caring of EVERYONE there who saw our Make a Wish buttons and/or Olivia's gktw button.

First, my parents had reserved two electric carts for the day. Typically they get one and share it as they both have some issues with walking at times. Since this was later in the week, they had called and reserved two. Universal gave them to them for FREE when they saw their Make a Wish buttons!!! In addition, many workers stopped Olivia often and asked how her day was going, if she was having fun, etc. One went through all the things Olivia "got" from being the special person today. She said many picture stations would give her a free 5x7, we were not to wait in ANY lines including rides AND characters, etc. She went on to talk to us about how so many of the employees there volunteer at gktw and she has two children herself with special needs. At Disney, most of the rides we went on we went through the fast pass line, which meant very little wait. Here, they took you personally through the handicapped line with NO wait, literally. It was surreal.

Shortly after we spoke with her, I walked to the bathroom with Olivia and Braeden. On the way back to where the others were, we saw the Mystery Machine with all of the Scooby Doo characters in front. There was a HUGE line of people to see them. We stopped so Braeden could look at them, when "Fred" saw us and our "magic" buttons. He stopped the line of people and called Olivia and us over!!! They gushed over Olivia, Braeden was hiding behind me, and Fred came over, knelt down and talked to Braeden to try to get him to open up. It was too too sweet! Braeden was still plastered to me though so I got a great pic of them with Olivia and we moved on to give others their turn.

Each of the two Universal parks do have GREAT kid areas with lots of fun kid rides! There are also some great shows for kids and water play areas and character meet and greets. There were a couple of other rides that Olivia and sometimes Braeden were just tall enough for. They both said they wanted to go on Spiderman at Islands of Adventure, so I took them. It was great, especially the no line, but the two who insisted they wouldn't be scared and REALLY wanted to go had their hands over their eyes most of the ride!!! :)

Here we met Curious George who Liam LOVES, he even got a stuffed one while we were here! :) He kept saying "Monkey, monkey" and making monkey sounds.

There was this GREAT water play area, it was awesome!!! And the boys got SOAKED!

Liam likes to pretend he's washing his hair!!!

And here Braeden had to give "dry" Grandma a big ole' hug! :)

We went to the Barney show after the water play. While we were waiting, they must have seen those buttons, because when we entered, a worker was standing in the front row saving it for US! The show was great, especially for Liam. After, they told us and another MAW (Make a Wish) family to stay after. Barney came out to see us by ourselves, before going into the outer area to meet with the line of waiting families! Amazing!

The kids had SO much fun playing in the area beyond the Barney show. It was the coolest play area I've seen. It had all different areas including water play, sand play, pretend play, etc and each had a sign for parents on what type of play it was and why it was beneficial to kids. So cool!

Shortly after this, we went to another great kids' show about Animal Actors. The kids LOVE animals so this was right up their alley! AND, they gave us front row seats again, AND they told us AGAIN to stay after where we were able to meet up close the dog from Men in Black II! Wow!

Needless to say, it was such a wonderful, wonderful day. Made even more special by the caring and extremely hospitable manor of ALL of those employees we saw and were touched by. They will DEFINATELY be getting a letter from me. :) And when their newest area, Harry Potter, opens, we WILL be there again!!! :)
We then headed back to gktw for dinner at the Gingerbread House and looked forward to a Pirates and Princesses Party with the character Shamu. Unfortunately after dinner, the rain began so they had to call off the party. The kids didn't know, we tried to keep things a surprise, so it wasn't too disappointing. We went back to the villa, watched some of a new movie, and hit the hay. An AMAZING day.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!


Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition


Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you