Monday, June 28, 2010

BMC Running Camp

When we got back from Disney World, we had one week before BMC Running camp, and a WHOLE lot to do! Our trail was still a single file foot path through poison ivy, and I had not even finished our camp notebooks yet!

Thankfully, my husband had promised me that he would work on the trails that week. Very good, actually, because a man with a chainsaw is generally more productive than a woman with a rake and pruning shears!

Even so, I began to feel overwhelmed around Tuesday or Wednesday... This was an insurmountable job, and we would never finish on time! I sent out an email plea to ask any available Spartans to come help. 4 Cobbs, a Gunnells, 2 McAfees, and 2 Newells came to the rescue! It is amazing how much these young people accomplished in a few days! It was also amazing and wonderful to see their willingness to serve and work in the Mississipi summer heat... Thank you, y'all!

We finished cutting the trail! The bridges didn't get built, but I always over estimate how productive I will be. Scott thinks I'm crazy... I call it optimistic! :)

36 middle/high school students turned out for Blue Mountain's first Cross Country camp! We had a great week... each day we ran (duh!), had nutrition class, learned from some very informative speakers, did strength training, and enjoyed some fun recreation!
Luke and Anthony enjoying some fine BMC cuisine!

The runners were broken up into groups with Blue Mountain runners as leaders... here are some of their pictures:
Hunter's group

Derek and Richard with their group

Austin and the "Fast Boys"

Beth and Stephanie with campers

The pool was not quite ready on Monday, so our recreation consisted of a large tarp, a fire hydrant, and baby shampoo! Talk about large-scale slip 'n sliding! I was too much of a chicken to try it, but it sure looked fun! (You know, I'm getting old and might have broken a hip or something!)
The week culminated in a cross country race. Our course was muddy (there had been a monsoon the night before), HOT, and HUMID!!! Aside from those not-so-small factors, the runners did very well! I even got a new signee for this upcoming fall out of the deal... details in a minute!

We had 2 races: JV and Varsity. The girls and boys were combined because of numbers, and it worked out fine.

Sarah won the 2 mile JV race... by a long shot! Way to go, girl! Martha Chunn came in third for the varsity girls, but there were two very competitive girls from south Mississippi in front of her. I was very proud of her race!

Nathan Baggett also won an award in the JV race- Way to go, Nathan!

The awards were Large BMC Topper cups with a bag of grapes inside. After all of our nutrition talks, I couldn't bear to fill them with M&Ms or something! However, we did let the award winners partake in a special rite of passage... I had brought the coveted coffee punch for my BMC runners that morning, and the winners were allowed to have a little in their Topper cups!It was nice to have my girls there with me at camp all week!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Disney Days 6-7

Breakfast with Mickey!

On Friday, we woke up and took the monorail to the Polynesian Resort for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. Upon entering, we were greeted and given leis to wear, and we got to see Mickey, Lilo, Stitch, and Pluto! (Breakfast was delicious here!)
Josh with Stitch

Will and Sarah with Lilo
Scott and I at breakfast

After breakfast we went back to the Magic Kingdom to catch the things we had missed. We did It's A Small World (girls had done it early in the week, but boys had not), Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Swiss Family's Tree House, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Aladdin's flying carpets.
Will and Josh at the Flying Carpet Ride
It's a Small World

Wow! Compared to the first day, we were now Disney World experts at working the fast pass system and getting around the park! All of that efficiency was tiring, though, so we went back to the hotel for an afternoon rest.
All of us in front of the castle

About 5:00, we headed back to Epcot. There were several things we had missed, and we also wanted to spend more time in the World Showcase.
Hannah having fun in "Mexico!"

The boys rode Mission Space (we girls were too chicken!) while the girls hung out in Mexico! Of course, guess where I spent my souvenir money?? I got a great house dress in Mexico and a little sombrero for my kitchen!

We had dinner in Morocco, and I think this was my favorite meal of the week... Oh, yum... It was a flatbread with fresh lamb, vegetables, and a cucumber dressing. I'm hungry just thinking about it!

After dinner, Hannah saw Jasmine while I waited for Scott and the boys to finish dinner. After dinner, the Duleys went to Soarin', and mom and dad spent more time walking around the world. Someone had given us 4 fast passes that they were not going to use. As we approached the line, we were asking the ladies about where the kids would exit and giving them "the talk" about strangers and manners in line. The ladies offered us fast passes so that we could go too, and we all got to ride! It was an amazing experience... we were on hang gliders flying over California. It was so real at some points that I picked up my feet so they didn't get wet in the stream below! We all met back at the hotel to crash for the evening!

On our last day, we went to Blizzard Beach, the other Disney water park. We had another great day... the kids enjoyed the "tween" area where they did the zip line into the pool and walked across icebergs holding onto a net! We had to get out of the water for a while because of weather, but the storm passed and we were able to keep swimming.

We spent our last night packing and had dinner at Shutters, the restaurant at our hotel. What a fabulous trip!

Disney Day 5

We woke up and took the ferry over to the Grand Floridian Resort, which is BEAUTIFUL! We explored the hotel for a while as we waited for our breakfast reservation time.
Sarah and Hannah at the Grand Floridian

The 1900's Park Fare Character Breakfast was great! There were many characters there, and we got a lot of autographs and pictures. The Mad Hatter was our favorite... he truly was a character!Hannah, Josh, Will, and Sarah with the Mad Hatter
Mary Poppins was at breakfast also!

After breakfast, we caught the bus to Typhoon Lagoon! I don't have any pictures from the water park, but it was fabulous. The kids had never been to a large water park before, and they had a blast. There is a wave pool that sends out giant waves... we spent a good portion of the day letting Scott throw us toward shore just as a giant wave was coming at us... redneck body surfing! :) We also enjoyed a "water coaster" and several other water slides.

After returning to the hotel and changing clothes, my parents, the kids, and I headed to the Magic Kingdom for our LATE, LATE night.... Little did we know just how late it would end up being!

We took the boys to Stitch's Great Escape (the boys both love the Lilo and Stitch cartoon). Then we headed to get a quick supper and watch the sunset by the castle... beautiful!
We did the go-carts at the Speedway, and we rode the Astro-Orbiter. It was a Dumbo-type ride several stories up in the air!
Will on the Astro Orbiter

At 10:00, we watched the spectacular fireworks show and then got our spots for the late night parade. While waiting for the parade, Josh fell asleep on the curb! Will was feeling quite poorly, but he really wanted to see the parade.
After the parade we waited in a CRAZY line for the bus back to the resort.... we didn't get home until after 1:00 AM!!! What a day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Disney Day 4

Josh (Red Ranger), Hannah (Music Mania), Sarah (Tinkerbell), and Will (? Star Wars)

It took a few days, but finally we had it. We decided that just like with homeschooling, "An ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon!" We were in line to enter Hollywood Studios about 15 minutes before the park opened. As we went through the gate, I collected all of our keys to the world and went on a scout mission to the Rockin' Roller Coaster to get our fast passes. Everyone else booked it to the Toy Story ride. After getting our fast passes, I hauled across the park and hopped in line with everyone else. We had a very short wait until the Toy story ride, and then we were able to go straight over to the Rockin' Roller Coaster with no waiting!
Sarah, Will, Hannah, and Josh in front of Mr. Potato Head!

The Toy Story ride was so cute! It was a 3-D interactive ride that made you feel like you were on the midway of a carnival. We all loved it! After Toy Story, we headed over to the Rockin' Roller Coaster. Josh took his place on the front row and was ready for action! We all loved this one! Next, we went to one of my personal favorites of the week... The Muppet 3D show! I love the muppets, and this was hilarious!
Will, Hannah, Josh, Sarah in front of the Muppet Theater
Couldn't resist a picture of Scott in Lavender 3D glasses!

Wow, we had accomplished a lot by the time we were usually just entering the park! It was lunch time, and we had reservations at the Prime Time Cafe. This is a restaurant where each table is designed to be like a kitchen from the 50's. The waiter was like mom or dad serving your meal. We decided our waiter was like a yankee dad, because he kept calling us brats and not being very kind! It was funny, though. I changed my mind about my drink, and so he brought me one of everything. Then, when it was time for dessert, he brought the piece of chicken that I didn't finish covered with whipped cream and sprinkles! We hid it in Sarah's leftover chicken pot pie, and so I got to get my ice cream... However, before the waiter took her plate, she had to eat one more bite! She assured us that she picked a bite without my chicken in it!My not-so-yummy "dessert!"
Sarah choosing her dessert

Right after lunch we went on a Star Tours ride... a simulator of the Star Wars ship. We went to a car stunt show (Of course, Josh informed us that he wants to be a stunt driver when he grows up), the boys went on the Tower of Terror, and the girls got in line for more autographs.
My incredible family!

3 Super Heroes!

Finally, Hannah and Will went with my parents to the Indiana Jones stunt show, and Josh, Sarah, and I went to go wait for the Power Rangers! Josh is a HUGE Power Rangers fan... He is at that age where he LOVES them. After taking a back seat to many parades, we made sure that we would have front row spots! We got our snack and parked ourselves right where we knew they would be coming.
It paid off! We found out which Rangers were coming and where they would be standing. Josh wanted Red Ranger's autograph first (since his face was painted to match), so we got to be first in his line. He gave Josh a thumbs up over the face painting, signed his and Sarah's autograph books, and got pictures made. We had time to run over to the Green Ranger's line and do the same. Duley Rangers in front of the Ranger Car

As the Rangers were loaded up to leave, the most exciting thing of the afternoon happened. We were standing right in front, and Josh was waving good-bye to the Power Rangers. The Red Ranger hopped up to his spot, pointed right at Josh and gave him a thumbs up. Boy, did I have one THRILLED little boy! He talked about that moment for the rest of the afternoon!

Disney Day 3


On Tuesday, we got another late start. After breakfast at our hotel, we hopped on our shuttle bus and headed to Epcot about 11. By the time we arrived, the fast pass times to "Soarin'" were later than we planned to stay, so we headed to the Nemo building. We went on Nemo's adventure, which was really cute! Afterwards, we stayed for "Turtle Talk with Crush." This interactive event was really neat! Next, we went to the Imaginarium with Figment. I remembered this as one of my favorite things from when I was a young girl. Of course, things have been changed and updated since then, but it was still fun. Hannah saw Chip 'n Dale, so she got in line for their autographs while everyone else looked around.

The kids decided to brave an hour and a half wait to get autographs at the "Character Spot." Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald were there! The wait wasn't too bad, because there were televisions with old Mickey Mouse cartoons to entertain us. Will went with Scott to some type of exhibit place and made their own computer games, because he didn't want to get autographs. Unfortunately for him, when we reached the front of the line, I dragged him up there for the pictures! Josh and Hannah got really into autographs and pictures with characters. It was so much fun for me to see how special the trip was to them!

We all went to Spaceship Earth (we got to go up in the big ball), and then we rode Test Track... a fast, fun ride. You got to pretend like you were a test dummy going through all sorts of car tests. Hannah and mom wished they hadn't sat out!

For dinner, we had a unique German experience at the Biergarten! As you walked into the the restaurant, it was like walking into a small German village! There were people playing cowbells and those horns, and we even got to go down and do the chicken dance!

Mom and dad at dinner- it was too dim to see the elaborate backdrops inside the restaurant

Will with his stein of root beer!

After dinner, Scott and Will headed back to the hotel to get some rest. (I should mention... Will got diagnosed with mono two days before we left for our trip. His instructions from the doctor were to stay hydrated and rest when he got tired.... and not allow anyone to share drinks!) The rest of us decided to stay for a little longer, because we hadn't gotten to do our Kimpossible mission yet.

The Kimpossible missions are a very, very cool way to explore the World Showcase. You get a "secret mission" that takes you to a certain country in the World Showcase. With your interactive cell phone, you look for clues and go on a scavenger hunt. Our mission was to China, and it culminated with the cell phone remotely signaling a jade monkey to rise up out of a fountain! The next time we went to Epcot, they were all out of missions for the day. Rats!

Hannah, Josh, & Sarah checking out their first clue

As we headed out of the park, we stopped for a picture... I wish Scott and Will had been with us!
Sarah, Me, Josh, Hannah, Mimi, and Papa

We also made a stop in the gift shop. The kids had been given a certain amount of souvenir money, and they were very careful all week to make sure that they got just the right memento! Josh had fun trying on the Stitch hat and gloves!