So I've been gone a while (wow, how often do I say that lately?)  but this time I am not even remotely sorry.  Because I have been with my family at our first trip to ...............................Disney World!!!!!!!   Ba ba ba booya!!  Finally!  I have pined for Disney World for a large portion of my life, and because Aaron loves me and eventually gives in to my incessant requests (mostly just to shut me up but a little tiny bit because he thinks I'm nice and likes to give me stuff I ask for when he can), we spent all of last week at the house that Walt and Mickey built.  It was amazing.  It was magical.  It changed my life forever.  I can die happy now.

    You see, as a child Aaron grew up the second of five preacher's kids that lived far away from their grandparents.  So when they did get vacations, it was usually to go see family.  I on the other hand, lived right next to all of my family pretty much, but because I have a mentally retarded sister and at the time my paraplegic grandmother lived with us and my dad is a farmer who worked all summer and was only off in the winter when we were in school, my family never really took family vacations.  Don't get me wrong - my parents sent us kids lots of amazing places.  I have been snow skiing, to Chicago, to Washington D.C., to England, to France, and to Italy just to name some of the places.  But never did we have the opportunity for "family vacations" all together.  I don't believe I suffered one iota from that, but part of me just feels really determined that Aaron and I are going to make family vacation memories with our kids while we have the opportunity.  Luckily for me, my husband usually eventually goes along with all my schemes, so Christmas morning my kids opened a box from us filled with disney clothes, movies, pins and an itinerary. 

    Now I know that many of you have been before so feel free to pass on the following 736 photos I am about to post, but I just couldn't control myself when trying to decide what pics to put on here.  Some are cute, some are terrible, and one is just plain embarrassing.  (it won't be hard to figure out which one)  And even though ya'll don't care about these so much - my mama reads this thing and she does. 
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It's big, it's round, it's got a ride in it...................It the giant golf ball looking thing at Epcot! Yayyyyyy! Cheer! Squealllll!
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It's iconic, it's adorable, it's made of bronze.............It's a statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse's hand in front of the huge-and-amazing-when-lit-up-with-lasers-and-fireworks castle! Scream! Sigh! Happy Tear!
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It's tall, it's spotted, it's alive.................It's the giraffe that was right beside our bus on the safari at Animal Kingdom! Awwww!
Ok, so there was lots of amazing stuff to see, but honestly I forgot to take pictures of most of it because I was so busy looking at it with amazement and wonder.  And I was also too busy looking at my children because what was even better was seeing their amazement and wonder.  Like a friend of ours says, the reason Disney is magical is because our kids make it magical.  Seeing my girl squeal with delight when Tinkerbell flew out of the castle and across the sky was worth every minute and penny of that trip.  Just like it was when Turnanator sat holding his breath while Lightening McQueen performed stunts at the Lights, Motors, Action stunt show.  And to watch Super-G go back and hug every character just as we were walking away from getting an autograph - melted my heart.  He knows that there is really just a person inside of that costume.  But for just a few minutes, he forgets, and becomes just a little boy who loves a cowboy, and a space man, and a honey-loving bear, and a mouse.......
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We were all really excited to see Mickey on the first day. Until we got close to him. Then one of us really wasn't that excited any more.
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We were lucky enough to get to take Aaron's grandmother, aka Granny, with us on our trip, and it was wonderful to have her along. She helped take care of Destruct-o-girl while she napped and we rode all the big, scary rides. Here Turnanator and Granny just finished helping rid the galaxy of Zerg and his evil empire. Don't they look seriously focused?
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Sadly, my children misbehaved and were thrown into galactic prison right along with Zerg. Luckily their daddy brought some cash along so he could bail them out. I realize that no one is actually looking at the camera in the picture, but to be fair, they weren't looking in almost any of the pictures. There is too much to do and see at Disney to be still for a whole five seconds.
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So here's the thing about Turnanator - he doesn't like doing anything where people might look at him. And he doesn't like things that feel weird - like face paint and crooked socks. So it turns out that he didn't like being a part of the pirate league so much. However, I got this awesomely disgusting picture of him looking pirately rough, and he later got to sword fight with pirate goofy, so we're calling it a win in the end.
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Unlike his brother, Super-G has so much of his mother in him that he can't help but love attention and facepaint and fake blood and dancing in public. It's a problem we have.
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And like her mother and brother before her, Destruct-o-girl also loves the spotlight. As seen here, she is modeling her new Snow White outfit, red glitter shoes included. I loved this outfit so much! A sweet lady at our church made the top for me and I made the pants, all because I had seen this idea on the internet. We got several compliments on it, so the next time we go I am going to hopefully do more than one. (but don't hold your breath. we all know how awful I am at following through on stuff)
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Case in point, two of my children are on stage at a luau learning how to hula dance. (the kid in the ball cap and the little one in purple) One of my children is sitting in his chair beside me. I'll let you guess which one.
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Example number two. Here two of my children are dancing the hand jive in front of the whole audience at the incredibly amazing Lion King show. My other child is sitting beside me in the bleachers. Bless him. (btw, I also made that little number with the "D" on it. Not bad for a girl who can't sew, ay?)
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As much as my boys both like Star Wars, you can also see who battled Darth Vader fiercely. Son #2 was standing politely beside me, not on stage, whilst the battle raged.
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And last and certainly most embarrassing photo yet, here is evidence that these two little jokers are like their mama - doing the hustle in the street with the chimp from Tarzan in the middle of a parade. Turnanator, his father through and through, stood there on the curb - with his father and his father's grandmother - watching us and thinking about how embarrassing it would be to get out there and dance. Tragic isn't it? I'll tell you what else it tragic - the muffin top on whoever that is in the black shirt. She should have worn her as-seen-on-tv Kymora body slimmer that day to help with some of that spare tire she has going on. I'm just saying.
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Turnanator wasn't without his share of the fun too, though. Both boys got in on the "aglet" music video while in line to meet Phineas and Ferb.
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and my brave guys literally rode every single roller coaster at the park - big or small. We had to take a picture in front of this one so we could show our Kindergarten teacher (who we have a slight crush on) that we rode the ride she recommended. Mrs. Eubank just has to see that we did what she told us to do!!
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Our trip was not without it's meltdowns....... But overall it was wonderful.
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We ate so much food it was sinful!
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And saw some really cool stuff like this guy twirling sticks of fire at the luau!
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Super-G even lost not one, not two, but three teeth in the week of our trip!
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We got to eat with characters a couple of different times, and eventually my girl quit screaming when they came near her. She just kept a watchful eye.
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And by the very last character on the very last day, she even let Rapunzel give her a hug! It was so sweet! (p.s. is it just me or does Rapunzel look an awful lot like Taylor Swift?)
    I know this is going to sound cheesy, but as I laid in bed the night we got home, completely exhausted from our trip, I actually teared up just reflecting on it.  When I think about how blessed we are - to be able to go, to have made memories with our family, and to have healthy children that we can take to Disney............  It's humbling.  Yep.  It's true.  That place really is magic.
 
........there was a little boy who asked Santa for a dog.  And that little boy had a little brother that cried when he found out that "dog" was on the Santa wish list because he hated dogs.  Terrified of them actually.  After lots of deliberation and thought, Santa decided that a dog was exactly what that family needed.  And it turns out........................
there are few things cuter than a sleepy boy and his dog.  Now that dog has done a lot of good for that little boy and his little brother and the rest of his little family.  In fact, now the little brother loves the dog too.
So even though that dog chews on everything
(and I do mean everything!),
and even though the dog is full of energy and chases after everyone all the time,
who could stay mad a a little cutie patootieshnukums like that?!
Not this guy....................
or this one either.
Love ya' almost as much as my baby loves his dog,
Cassie
 
    For Real.  There really is going to be a touch of adult content on this one.  No nudity or foul language or anything - just some subject matter that is more mature.  So if you are under the age of 18 or my grandmother, please do not click on the link below.  The rest of you, I believe we are all adults and you are safe.

1. Santa brought a puppy for Christmas.  Sunnie.  Or Sunny.  Or Sunni.  I'm still not sure.  She is adorable and fluffy and we love her.  However, I do not do animals in the house except in the kennel because Turnanator has some fairly serious allergy issues and I have some fairly serious mental health issues that should be addressed by a mental health professional, including but not limited to my selective germaphobia.  I am fine with not bathing for 3 days but let one dog hair be on my couch and I'm putting on the curb for sale.  I'm a weirdo.  That's why you read my blog.  Anyway, Sunnie has to live outside during the day but it has been raining for what feels like seven weeks straight, so the poor thing has chewed up everything at my back door and she reeks of wet dog.  Mostly because she is one.  But it is almost more than I can handle.  Currently my whole house, my garage,  and my oldest son also reek.  I promise you, I can smell it when I pull into my driveway and it makes me gag a little.  (more of my mental health issues I'm afraid)

2.  We have been dieting.  I have been hungry.  I have been mean.  I have yelled at my children for things that are not important.  I have punched Aaron in the arm because he judged me for eating one small slice of cheese on what was otherwise an entirely boring and awful wheat bread sandwich.  I hate dieting.  I love things made with crisco.  I have in one week lost 6 and 1/2 pounds.  Don't get excited.  I was bloatie last week.  Plus, when you have no less than 75 pounds to lose so your body fat percentage will be under 97%, 6 and 1/2 pounds is merely a drop in the proverbial bucket. 

3.  I miss poptarts.  You know you're hungry when you're older than ten and you miss pop tarts.

4.  This year for New Years, Aaron made a resolution that proves just how wonderful he is, just how awful I am, and just how he's a big jerk for rubbing his "better than me-ness" in my face.  Well, he's not really a jerk - just a guy who wishes he always had clean work clothes, but Aaron has decided that he will be the person that does the laundry.  At first this made me angry and annoyed (please see the two times previous post for reasons) but then I decided it was awesome.  So I'm just going to ride this train as long as it lasts and see how it plays out.  He still requires me to help put away clothes (which is still entirely dreadful), but at least I'm not doing the folding any more.  He only works 12 to 14 hours per day at an incredibly stressful job and then is the college minister at our church on the side.  I figure he has plenty of free time and energy to do the laundry for a family of five.  (I feel a healthy mix of happiness and shame people)

5.  In case we are not friends on facebook and you missed this important announcement - the silica gel packets that come in things such as shoe boxes and new purses are NOT, in fact, poisonous.  Even if you are a 28 pound, two-year-old girl who ate two of them out of your  mother's new messenger bag.  Even if they say on the outside of the packet in bold words "DO NOT EAT".  Still.  They aren't poisonous.  Yay.  Yay for things that aren't toxic.

6.  The following is the thing I was talking about earlier.  The mature, adult type thing.  Like most everything else in my life - I am probably way behind and most of you have already seen this, but for the few that haven't......  My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to Flight of the Conchords (well I had heard of them but never actually heard them) over the holidays.  They are a comedy, singing duo from New Zealand and they had a show on HBO for a while.  Not sure I would recommend you watch all of their stuff, but this one song is hilarious (at least to us) and is so fitting for married couples.  If this is not funny to you, then you have not been married long enough and don't have enough kids yet.  Give it time.  (p.s. - it's about sex if you haven't figured it out.  I don't want to offend anyone so please don't watch it if that's the kind of thing that stresses you out or if your seven-year-old is standing over your shoulder. Thanks)
 
    First and foremost, Happy New Year!!!  Hope it's going well so far.  It is here at our house.  Everyone loves the new puppy, Sunny, Sonni, Sunni, Sonny.  We are still a little indecisive on how to spell it.  Well, mostly just I'm indecisive on how to spell it because I'm the only one that's had to spell it when I put her cutie furball self on facebook.  The rest of my family doesn't really care because that's not the type of thing that keeps 5 and 7-year-olds up at night.  It's a female Australian Shepard so any knowledge of the correct spelling for a girl - would you please let me know?  Please?  Because I am for sure tired of spelling it a new way every time I write it.  Plus we have to fill out her papers and need to really decide like normal people, to which this wouldn't be a big deal.  Oh, the normal people. 

    Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I sorta did but knowing myself, I keep very low expectations as not to get disappointed.

    However, the one thing we are really doing is our yearly weight loss challenge.  Usually from January 2nd to Easter, there is a group of us that put money in a pot and diet.  You don't have to tell anyone what you weigh, but you have to pick a goal to loose that everyone thinks is fair.  Then if you loose it by Easter you get your money back.  Whoever doesn't get it, their money is split between the ones that do.  Well this year there are several of us dieting, but we aren't really organized at all this time.  And instead of putting up money, some friends want to do before and after swimsuit pictures, and if you don't reach your goal then your before is going on facebook.  For motivation.  Ummmm......no.  Not no, but not a chance in the world if the devil threw a community snowball fight just to be friendly.  No.  There will never.  Not ever.  Be a picture of me in a swimsuit on facebook for my dearest 700 friends to see.  You're welcome world.  You're welcome.  Never.

    But Aaron and I are trying to diet.  It's terrible.  We're starving.  And grouchy.  And a touch mean.  Well mostly I'm the only one mean - but whatever.  Shut up with your judgements.  Uhhhh, sorry.  See how that just happened?  I honestly can't control it when I haven't had chocolate in four days.  And I miss donuts already.  Plus I keep thinking about all the stuff I wish I would have eaten before we started that I didn't get a chance to, like good pizza, and the broccoli salad with the really delish fattening awful dressing and feta cheese, and cheese, and peanuts, and snickers, and little debbie cakes, and.................wait.  What was I talking about?  I don't know, but I feel light headed and emotional from hunger so I have to stop talking about the whole thing.

    Even though I have made no other hard core resolutions this year, I did compile a small list of things that I would like to do or do better this year:

1. Purge.  I cleaned out the kids closets and got out two huge boxes of clothes.  To put in the attic with the other 40 boxes of children's clothes.  It's ridiculous.  Plus I've compiled a large bag of give away stuff for our church and two bags of goodwill stuff, including Christmas decorations that I haven't used in years.  It's a small start, but it felt good and swimmy inside to watch junk leave the home.  I like swimmy so I plan to get rid of more on a slowly but surely basis.  On a side note, that's not entirely little at all - Aaron and I watched all our siblings with their babies over the holidays while our kids were off playing with the other big kids.  And it felt good, really, really good all of a sudden, to have the big easy kids.  Because if you know me at all then you know that part of me has seriously considered spawning one more because being a mama is what I do and babies make me feel swimmy inside.  But apparently this year Santa brought me contentment.  With a side of "ready to get rid of some baby clothes".  And I'm actually getting happy about it.  So I told you all that to tell you this - I think I'm ready to start selling my kids' clothes off because even if I do have another one by some pure accidental occurrence then I will just buy it all new stuff because I like to buy stuff.  But in the meantime I'm feeling ready to purge.  Sorry for all that.  I tend to ramble. 

2.  Be more together.  So far I am failing.  I am late paying the electric bill and I still have a tree in the den and I totally forgot about Turnanator's basketball practice Monday night because Aaron worked a half day and we met at Outback to use some gift cards.  Because that's what fat people do.  Put off their diet for an extra day for one more shot at a free battered and deep fried onion.  

3.  Be nicer.  I was reading the other night and the following verse was brought to my attention.  Wow.  Tell me that this doesn't make you feel bad about yourself sometimes.

         It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

    I don't think he's talking about a spa in Phoenix people.  Not that kind of desert land.  So I'm gonna work one it.

Hungry and working on the quarrelsome,
Cassie