Happy New Year?

This has been a tough year for the Scott family.  It can only go up next year, right?  Well… as of right now the beginning of the year doesn’t show much hope.  Here is our Christmas letter/poem for you to enjoy if you did not get one in the mail.

Santa is coming, have you been naughty or good?
Time to write the year end poem as I should.
Not one of the better years have I had
That it is coming to an end, I am glad.

The usual busy-ness has been a chore
I am frustrated with the clutter more and more
Maybe I’m old, and sadly that’s true,
But there always seems so much to do.

Working part-time and all the kids’ stuff
Girl Scouts and Band, isn’t that enough?
But other busy-ness I miss till I cry
Musicals and VBS… why, Bishop, why??

Wayne is employed for that we give thanks.
But the driving quickly empties the gas tank.
He works for a Hospice and helps people grieve
We just wish the Bishop hadn’t forced him on leave.

Wayne enjoys his new job, this is true.
Confidential details can’t be shared with you.
He is still a Pastor at heart, it is his call.
Injustices were done, pray the “mighty” will fall.

Abi is fine, a junior in college this year.
Pseudotumor is still a term that we hear.
She worked at Camp Wanake last summer too.
Between college and boyfriend she has lots to do.

She is thankful for an Aunt who was sweet.
Gave her a means to drive down the street.
Soccer-mom minivan? It goes, it is wheels.
Vegetarian still for all of her meals.

A senior in the house and driver to boot.
Liz has finally sorted through the college loot.
She has a plan but we’ll tell you next year.
It is hard to believe another graduation is near.

Liz is busy with all of the things at her school:
Swimming and band and student council are cool.
Service League and choir to add to the day.
Her final year of Girl Scouts, I just had to say.

Lydia is a freshman (she grew up too fast)
Still quiet at school, how long will that last?
Band and choir and swimming too.
Girl Scouts and reading so much to do.

When not doing homework, her nose is in a book.
Her first band trip to Disney we just took.
Taking creative photos, she just has a flare.
She won ”best of show” this summer at the fair.

Esther, dear Esther why must she grow up?
The baby should be little, still using a sippy cup.
A sixth grader now, she started a horn.
Our first brass player, a trumpeter was born.

She does all the same things as her older sibs,
But for Girl Scout cookie sales, she calls dibs!
Choir and swimming and time with her friends.
Her sweet helpfulness and joy to us never ends.

Bah Humbug, is what I really want to say.
It is hard to be encouraged day after day.
I know you don’t fully understand our new life,
The grief I have not being a pastor’s wife.

But, I still know the reason we celebrate today.
Is not about toys or Santa on his way.
It IS about Jesus and God’s love come to man
Just focus on that, you’ll make it, if we can.

Family and friends and a small baby boy,
The things this season that will bring you joy.
So, I’ll put up the tree, I’ll light all the lights,
I’ll do my best to celebrate this Christmas night!

It also included this photo:

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Disney Day 3 recap

Just when you thought everything would run smoothly…..

 

Day 3 we are headed to Magic Kingdom…. today is the day we march!!  The sun is shining, the lines are huge, the crowd is massive… but we will have fun and enjoy ourselves.

 

The group of chaperones I was with today had a “newbie” that hadn’t ever been to Disney before.  So we made sure she experienced all the important things!  Space Mountain, Thunder Mt. Railroad, Tiki Room…. sadly Small World was closed or we would have taken her on that.  I’m not sure it is really a visit to Magic Kingdom without the mandatory ride on Small World.  The Tiki room had to suffice.   LOL!

 

The kids were free until 7pm at which time they were told to meet by Splash Mountain to go back stage to prepare for the parade.  In the early afternoon  (around 4:30) the chaperones get a text telling us the meeting time has been changed (by Disney) to 6:15.  WHAT???  So we frantically text everyone and tell them to spread the word.  Then we hear it is 6pm…. oh my goodness.  Every group we see while walking through the park, we remind them and check that they know it is now 6pm.

 

The group started gathering about 5:45pm.  I think the last kid to arrive got there just a little after 6.  The tour guide and Disney was impressed that the phone tree worked so quickly and well in the park.  In the olden days we would have had to try and find them all and use the public service announcement system to try and get them.  Good job kids!!!

 

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The kids went back stage to get ready.  I left with another chaperone to finish shopping and stake out a place on the parade route.  We found all our items and headed toward the castle.  We ended up standing right in front of the castle, right behind SANTA!!!!!  Yes, the real Santa!  He was there on a little vacation with his wife and son and grandchildren.  They were the sweetest couple and we had a nice visit with them.  There is photo evidence but it is on the other chaperone’s camera.  I didn’t want to overload his son with taking lots of photos.   He said that a few years ago he came to Disney and brought his uniform with him to take some Christmas card photos.  Later in the day when he changed and headed out to take the photos, a line kept forming whenever he stopped for 10 seconds.  The kids/families thought he was part of the Disney experience and not just Santa on holiday.   🙂

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There was some confusion on what was happening after the parade…. were the kids coming back into the park to watch the fireworks or were they just getting on the buses and then the buses coming around to the front to pick up the chaperones?  It ended up the kids were released back into the mass of people to watch the fireworks.  Seriously, the crowd was obnoxiously large and they were all just standing still.  We were trying to move towards the gate in the “path” that was supposed to be moving forward.  It wasn’t.  People kept pushing.  Employees kept telling them to move on, but if the person at the front had stopped to watch fireworks, the line wasn’t going to go anywhere.   We finally all got back to the other side of the lake on an our buses and back to the hotel.  

This night, the kids were told:  NO FOOD!  Doors shut and taped at 11:30 no exceptions!  Of course, there was one chaperone who chose to ignore that rule and kept taking kids out of their rooms, after we had taped them to get food.  Oh my goodness!!  The smart kids, ordered their pizza from the bus so it was waiting in the lobby when they got there.    Again, bedtime was after midnight but it was a good day and the kids did fabulous in the parade.

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Disney Recap Day 2

Day 2 was much more uneventful.   🙂

We spent the day at Epcot.  Of course this day started with breakfast at 7 am and on the buses by 8am (or some such early hour).  The hotel breakfast was decent.  They had eggs, sausage, bacon, bagels, muffins, toast, potatoes, and made-to-order omelettes.  Very nice breakfast for a hotel.

At Epcot, again I hung with fellow chaperones.  We did ride several rides there:  Soarin’, Test Track, Maelstrom, The Land, and Spaceship Earth.  The lines weren’t too long.  We walked around to all the countries – at least twice.  My pedometer says that we walked well over 10 miles just at Epcot.

In the middle of the afternoon there were threats of rain/storm.  Which is when I got this great photo.

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We did stay for the evening fireworks display.  It was fine.  Though I don’t think it has been updated in years.

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The Christmas decorations were nice but honestly, when I went with Abi’s band to Universal in 2008, their decorations were significantly better!  Though their graciousness and customer service and treatment of the band was not Disney Quality.

When we got back to the hotel at almost 11pm.  The kids only had about 1/2 an hour till “tape in” time.  Some again pushed the time with waiting for pizza delivery.  Though, thankfully, 2 other moms took over floor 6 duty and we only had to deal with the 8 or so rooms on floor 4.   However, again it was after midnight till we were in bed.  Departure time was scheduled for just about the same time for Day 3 but we decided we definitely didn’t need as much time to get ready in the morning and would sleep in until 7:15am.     😉

Disney Recap Day 1

Well… we’ve been back for several days and I think I have fully recovered enough to tell you about the trip.

Of course, they had to practice a bit before loading the buses.  Gotta love a marching band in the snow in Ohio.   🙂

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The bus ride down was uneventful – that is after we got all the horns/drums loaded, all the uniforms stacked under the bus (that was fun because they kept slipping and had hats and shoes in the bags so they didn’t lay flat) and then all the luggage stowed as well.  Now really, tell me what do you really need to take that fills a LARGE suitcase when you are only going to be gone for 6 days and 2 of those will mostly be on a bus?  Oh My Goodness!  I have no idea what some of those kids (girls?) took but their suitcases where huge and heavy.

We did watch our share of movies on the way down: Pitch Perfect (I don’t ever need to see that one again), Batman Returns (eh… napped through most of that one), Elf (always a holiday goody),  The Croods, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Then there was much sleeping.  The bus drivers were going so fast that we ended up in Florida 3 hours ahead of schedule.  Yes, you read that right, 3 HOURS!!  So… we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Cracker Barrel was not prepared.  Thankfully we weren’t in a hurry.  They quickly called in other workers and made the best of it.  One of my children didn’t get what she ordered in all the confusion, but she lived.

Our first stop was Blizzard Beach.  On a 90º day it would be wonderful.  On a 70-something day not so much.  The kids played and swam and slid.  The directors napped.  The kids were told that this was their shower for the day.  LOL!

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Then we headed to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon/evening.   I saw a few shows and wandered around with some other chaperones.  We did not ride either the roller coaster or the Tower of Terror.    That was fine.  The new Pirates Show/Adventure thing is lame, so not worth the time.   We did stay for the evening show.    Fantasmic is my favorite of the evening shows that Disney puts on.  Here some of the kids (including Lydia) standing in line for Fantasmic with Tower of Terror behind them.

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Now we head back to the hotel and this is the fun part!

At the hotel the kids are to get with their roommates and then they are assigned their rooms. They have to get their luggage from under the bus and all their carryons and get to their room.  It is now almost 10pm.  Lights out/curfew/tape-on-the-door will happen at 11pm.  There are only a few lists of assigned rooms and I am handed one by the director.  That is fine.  Even though I wasn’t the chaperone that was “assigned” to do tape-in I don’t mind.  I am then handed the roll of tape from the mom who was assigned that duty.  Hmmmm… she could have just asked for the list if she had planned to do the job.  But, oh yeah, she didn’t really do too much chaperone-y on the trip, but that is a whole other story.

So about 11pm my roommate and I head out to tape all the girls doors.  I think there were 20 of them (or something like that) on 2 floors.  The girls were on 4 and 6 and the boys on 5.  Some rooms were waiting on pizza delivery or chinese.  So we told them we’d be back.  We made our rounds, taped the doors, came back to the other rooms and by now it is 11:45pm.  The security guards are there and are worried about how they might get to the doors of a couple rooms because they have 2 rooms that are on the corners but inside a little lobby like area.  So, an extra door to go through to get to the room door.  Only the rooms hold the key to that door.  So… as good chaperones, we tromp down to the front desk to get keys to those corner rooms so we can get inside that “lobby” and thus get to their door.    Once we get the keys we go back to our room to get a pen so we can write on the keys which one goes to which room.  As we leave our room to figure that out.  WE LOCK OURSELVES OUT!  By now it is quickly approaching midnight.  We giggle our way down to the lobby to get a key to let ourselves back into our room.  Label the other keys and head to bed.  It was close to 12:15am.  Wake up time was 6:30am.  OH yeah…. had to ask for a wake up call because the clock in the room was set an hour ahead (didn’t conform to daylight savings?) and there wasn’t a way to change the time without unscrewing the back and the front desk never did that even after I asked them to.

We both (and all the chaperones, I’m told) slept like logs because after 20 hours “sleeping” on a bus sitting upright, laying down felt really good!!!  There was no issues with the kids staying in or escaping from their rooms.  The security guards (Roscoe and Bob – may not have been Bob, but I know one was Roscoe) were nice guys.  They had reading material and sat on the balcony/hall all night and probably wandered around too.

Day 2 came early and I will blog about that later.   🙂