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Showing posts from 2014

Missouri Camper Award

As winter starts to settle into our Midwest home we received great news this week that reminds us of all of our summer fun.  Hopefully you read about our goal of earning a Missouri Camper Award as I shared our Tour of Missouri travels this past summer.   In order to obtain the award, campers have to visit five different state parks in a year. 

I learned about the award doing one of the things that I do best. Reading. My friend Angie and I were sitting together at a picnic table on one of our early camping trips to a state park. I was reading the brochure the camp host handed us at check-in and found a tiny paragraph about earning the camper award. It looked simple, camp in five different state parks in one year and earn a patch. Our geek-ness took over and Angie and I decided we wanted the award! 
The Missouri Camper Award was actually started in 1971 with only 13 recipients. Each year the program has grown to reach nearly 600 recipients in 2011. 




This was our first year to try and o…

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Among Disney fanatics there is a well known fact. 
All the magic of Disney started with a mouse. 

Mickey Mouse.

And today is his birthday.


Happy 82nd Birthday, Mickey!


Disney World: Staying On Property Or Not?

Anyone planning a trip a Disney vacation has to decide the age old question: to stay on property or not.

I have made seven trips to Disney property; four of those were day trips while visiting relatives in Southern California and three have been multiple day visits that included lodging. I have only stayed on property once.

If you are planning a trip to a Disney Park please read the lessons I learned about staying on property.

1. Effortless Transportation




From the moment your plane lands in Orlando, Disney provides transportation to Disney World via the Magical Express. We checked our bags in when we left Kansas City and they magically appeared in our hotel room. The effortless transportation continues through your entire stay at Disney World. Multiple sources of transportation are available each day to take you and your family from your hotel to one of Disney's theme parks, or to Downtown Disney, or any other Disney property. Bus, boat,  or monorail either way you chose it is qui…

Disney World's Thrill Rides

Thrill Rides. They are the excitement of any amusement park. Disney World has some of the most exciting thrill rides. From the Tower of Terror to Expedition to Everest to the old classic of Space Mountain. These are the rides that my family can't wait to ride over and over again on our visit. 
Now, you can preserve memories of these thrill rides. One of the major differences between Disney's Photo Pass and the new Memory Maker is the addition of ride photos.  I am sure your family is like mine, we always love to go look at our silly photo after the ride but we never purchased those photos. 
Well, now they are included in your Memory Maker.  Through the magic of Disney and the Magic Band you are automatically matched to your photo and it is included on your Memory Maker. Here are some of our ride photos from our Disney 2014 trip!
Epcot Center's Test Track:

The line to Test Track was so long during our Disney World 2013 trip that we skipped it. The R Family showed us that wi…

Disney World Character Greetings

I remember my first visit to Disney in 1986. I was a teenager and I wanted nothing more than to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I searched the entire day hoping for a chance to see them. The closest I got was seeing them in a parade. 


Times have changed since then.  Meeting characters during your visit to Disney is super easy. Disney prints a weekly schedule that gives the times and places of where you can meet your favorite characters.  As you enter the park, pick a schedule up and make a plan for your day. 
Characters can be found all over in each of the four parks. Some characters (Mulan, Belle, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice, and even  Mary Poppins) like to hang out at Epcot's World Showcase in their respective countries. 
Some characters like Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, and Rapunzel often have more formal settings inside the Princess Fairytale Hall in The Magic Kingdom. 

Character dining experiences are also an extremely popular ways to meet characters. We enjoyed three character …

Camp N' Treat

This past weekend we said farewell to a summer tradition: camping.

We went on our ninth camping trip this year. Our usual camping buddies joined us (they have made seven camping trips this summer).  We stayed close to home, returning for the third time this year to Watkins Woolen Mill State Park.

Watkins Mill had their First Annual Camp N' Treat Weekend. It was the first time we have ever participated in a camp n' treat. The concept is simple, each camp site that elects to participate in decorates their camp and the kids trick or treat from one camp site to the next. I should also note that Watkin's Mill is not the only state park that has a Camp N' Treat, I know Wallace also had one too.


All of us just returned from Walt Disney World where we attended Mickey's Not So Spooky Halloween Party where we dressed up as Crayons. We wanted to make use of our costumes so we stuck with our theme and decorated with crayons.

The State Park granted awards for best costumes and …

Hidden Mickey's at Walt Disney Word

We have recently gotten into an aspect of Disney culture. No, it is not trading pins, although The Short Chic did start begging for those this trip.  We have recently become addicted to finding Hidden Mickey's!

In case you have no idea, a Hidden Mickey's is a representation of Mickey that has been placed subtly in a place that you are not expecting it. It is not the primary point of reference but if you are looking closely it grabs you! If you are lucky you can be looking at one thing and suddenly find a Mickey.

Let me show you!

The first example of a Hidden Mickey actually came from the Disney show: Once Upon a Time. Are you watching this show? We just binged watched it on Netflix and I can say that we are totally hooked! During Season 3 as the opening credits were rolling, I spied this Hidden Mickey.



The second example was found on our first day we were at Disney World. If you look around long enough while visiting Epcot's The Seas with Nemo and Friends aquarium, you are…

FrankenMickey Cheese Ball

I have Disney on the brain!

I could blame it on the fact that we just returned from our latest Disney vacation with six of our friends. But the truth is, I almost always have Disney on the brain!

One of my Disney Dreams is to spend a night in Cinderella's castle. It is my understanding you can't rent the  room but Disney will grant an overnight stay to contest winners. Upon the heels of our Disney vacation and first time we have ever attended Mickey's Not So Spooky Halloween party, Disney announced a contest and guess what the grand prize is? YES, a stay in Cinderella's castle!!


I had two inspirations for this cheese ball. First, I was inspired by all the Mickey shaped food we ate on our vacation. Second, I was inspired by the t-shirts my friend Angie and I made for our vacation crew to wear on the day we attended the Mickey's Not So Spooky Halloween Party.

Cheese Ball
16 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 Tablespoon A1 Steak Sauce 1 teaspoon hot sa…

My Ice Princess

The cold may not have bothered the most famous Ice Queen but it will certainly bother my Ice Princess. 
The weather in our state is unpredictable at the end of October. Occasionally we get a perfect fall evening but typically we get cold and wet.  Which does not work well with a sheer costume.  
In an attempt to keep my Ice Princess warm on Halloween night, I asked my Mother-in-law's help to make a cape out of heavier material. 


I purchased a yard and a half of fleece. We kept the length long so it would drag behind her just the way Queen Elsa's does. My mother-in-law folded the material over at the top and ran thick elastic to cause a gather.  She tacked down the top of the gather to keep it out of her face.

She then added metalic silver trim to the front edges and a sparkly silver and rhinestone snowflake button. A hook and eye closure keeps the cape in place and keeps my Ice Princess hands free!


Hopefully this cape will help her not be bothered by cold!

Our City is So Blue

Fall is a beautiful time of the year to visit my hometown. The trees turn amazing and brilliant colors. Some are red, others are yellow, we even get gold and orange and most shades in-between. But this year another color is dominating our fall.   Every where you look you can't help but see it. It certainty stands out  among the "normal" shades of fall. The color I speak about is Blue.   Our entire city is blue!
In case you have been living in a cave, have been on vacation outside the USA, or your lost your smart phone and are totally disconnected to the world I should say that our hometown team, The Kansas City Royals are playing in The World Series!
We had a long standing history of being the worst team in baseball. We had a shining moment 29 years ago. We won the World Series back then. Most in the past decade, The Royals were more likely to end the season in the bottom of the standings not the top.

We have learned to love our Royals despite their performance. But sin…