Friday, October 14, 2011


"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise"


Saturday, September 10 , 2011

Islands of Adventure is by far my favorite place to visit down in Florida. The people that work there are always so wonderful and caring. I love all of the colors and artwork that goes into the decor of each 'Island'. The artist in me was in awe all day long! The 'Islands' are 'Seuss Landing', 'Jurassic Park', 'The Lost Continent', 'Toon Lagoon', 'Superhero Island' and 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter' (we didn't get to see that last year because it wasn't open yet).

Ollie lookin' cool this morning...

View of Superhero Island

Our first view of Hogwarts!



Jaren, Eden and Ollie in front of Hogwarts

*Welcome to Hogsmeade*

The ride inside Hogwarts 'Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey' was my favorite ride of the day. I think I'll copy this picture for the kids' bedroom.

Eden in front of the Gryffindor banner.

Loved all of the snow on the crooked housetops of the village!

Quidditch gear

Dogweed & Deathcap

I wished we could have eaten here at the Three Broomsticks, but the food was all seafood. BLAH... and I think reservations were required.

Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe
Earthworm, ear wax, sausage, vomit, soap, and rotten egg flavored jelly beans = not happiness.

Of course we had to get Ollie a chocolate frog!

ZONKO'S Tricks & Jokes

Puking Pastilles

Wizard's Chess, Ollie wants to get a mini version of this for Christmas.

Ollivander's Wand Shoppe
If you look closely you can see all of the wand boxes piled high in the windows!

The golden snitch

There are about 30 people let into this room, Ollivander's wand shop, and one person is 'chosen' from the crowd to have the show based around. Mr. Ollivander came up to Oliver before it started and said to stay afterward and he'd have something for him. After everyone left it was just us in there and he had the wand choose Oliver, with the spotlight shining on Oliver as the music rushed in. Oliver was ALL SMILES and of course I was ALL TEARS when he said that Oliver would make his mark on the world. How fitting for Oliver at this time in his life.

Mr. Ollivander -- This guy was great!
"The wand chooses the wizard..."

Jaren, Eden, Oliver

A worker there at the wand shop saw me being teary eyed and I told her about Oliver's condition and about how it touched me to hear that 'he would make his mark on the world'. I think it was something that I truly needed to hear. She was so sweet and surprised us a few moments later with some butter beer so we didn't have to wait in line outside!! Seriously... the people that work here are the best I've ever seen. They just go above and beyond for the families. Amazing.

Butter Beer = Frothy Goodness

Cute snowman at Hogwarts


Ed and Ollie waiting in line for some rides.
The Jurassic Park River Adventure was like Splash Mountain on some serious steroids!! We were SOAKED after we got off of that one, however I have to say that Ripsaw Falls was the wettest ride I've ever been on in my life. I felt like I was drowning from being doused so much! The kids did NOT like this ride because grandma said that they went on it and only got a few sprinkles on them. The kids were not happy afterwards.

Grandma (Where's Waldo) and Ollie

Bear being weird as usual. Gee... I wonder where he gets it...

Oliver making a wish to have a good day with the family.

**Toon Lagoon**

Knowing Ollie, he's probably letting off his own little Hush-A-Bomb in his pants!!

Playing the water gun racing game


We are usually here for the longest time. I grew up with two older brothers and know all about comic book characters and whatnot, so this was a pretty cool place to see.
Oliver grimacing like the Incredible Hulk while cradling Homer like a baby in his arms! HA!

Behold the awesome art in the restaurant we ate at.........

Oliver -- It looks like the wasp is landing on his head! (His t-shirt is very fitting for the day.)

Jaren and Uncle Bryan

The Green Goblin lurking next to a woman that didn't realize he was there!!!

Spectacular Spider-man

Dr. Doom and Jaren



Captain America (Check out Jaren's t-shirt)

Eden and Storm, who Jaren refers to as "Thunder Storm"

Eden and Rogue

Grandma and Eden

Ollie enjoying some Dippin' Dots and mom FINALLY getting him to smile a REAL Oliver smile!

Awesome Hulk car. LOVE the eyebrows on the windshield!!


Had to get a pic of Eden and the Truffula trees from Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax' for Grandma Palmer as she always reads it to the kids!

Love all the candies!

Yummy gummies!

Caramel apple time!

Me and Eden

Hogwarts at sunset.

Oliver and the 'firebolt', Harry's sweet ride.

Eden getting ready to head to Hogwarts!

Oliver, my Triwizard Champion!

Harry Potter or... Simon from Alvin and the Chipmonks?

Eden and the award she presented me with!

Eden and Ollie

Quidditch gear

Everyone was laughing when they saw Jaren conked out in the stroller after a long day!

Eating a late dinner at NBA City at Universal's City Walk because I knew that Ed LOVED basketball when he was a kid. He still likes basketball so I thought I'd let him pick the restaurant for the night.

Dennis Rodman -- Ed says he remembers watching this game happen on T.V.

Oliver's jersey design with a bird on the front.

Goofy kids!

Bear and Papa

The menus felt like basketballs!

The floors looked like a court and evidently Jaren thought it looked like a dancefloor!

Must have eaten something that he was allergic to. Redness around his eye and cheek with blotches around his mouth. Still the cutest kid ever.

City Walk is amazing at night all lit up with music playing. Jaren couldn't contain himself!