What I’m Looking Forward To The Most About Our Trip To Disney World (In Honor Of 100 Days Until We Go)

There’s always plenty of things to look forward to on a trip to Walt Disney World, but for some reason I’m more excited about this trip than the last few. In honor of 100 days until we go, here are some of the things I’m looking forward to the most…

The World in all its Christmas finery –Disney World at Christmas is even more special than at any other time of the year. We’re going the week before Thanksgiving, and the parks and resorts will already be decorated. We have our tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (a must-do during the holidays), and we’ll get to enjoy the perks at that event in the Magic Kingdom. The decorations, the music, and the special holiday fun make WDW at Christmas that much more magical.

The new Star Tours — I’m not so jazzed about the 3D, but I can’t wait to see the new adventures, new story, and new technology that goes with this attraction. It should be really cool!

A meal at Le Cellier — The last time we went around Christmas (in 2008), we had a meal at Le Cellier, the Canadian steakhouse in Epcot’s World Showcase. It was without exaggeration the best WDW meal I’ve had, and it was one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. So needless to say, I’m ready to go back. I particularly can’t wait for my brother, the grilling expert, to see Le Cellier for himself.

Seeing Disney World through my nieces’ eyes — Of course, this has been one of the best things about going to WDW the last few years, but this year will be even sweeter, because they’re growing up and the experiences are a little different for each of them. At six, Kenzie’s getting bigger and able to ride more and more of the thrill rides, so we’ll have extra fun. Now that she’s three, Kayla is getting tall enough to start riding the fun stuff. AT two, Hadley’s at the age where she’ll start remembering the experiences. Kenzie is the only one who has been during the Christmas season, so it’ll be cool to see how the other two react to what they see. Needless to say, it’s gonna be a great trip, if for no other reason than watching the girls.

The Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach Resort — For part of the trip, we’re staying at our usual resort, Pop Century, but we’re also spending a couple of nights in the Pirate Rooms at Caribbean Beach. The pirate decor will add a little bit of extra fun to the trip, and Kenzie is particularly excited about it.

Any trip we take to Walt Disney World is fun, but this one is going to be extra special, for the reasons listed above…and for so much more.

Serving In Small Ways

Last Friday, our Growth Group did a service project where we set up baskets of snacks and bottles of water in the various waiting rooms at Newton General Hospital. We divided into shifts throughout the day, and my mom, Ashley, and the girls took the first shift. Waiting family members and hospital staffers alike shared their surprised gratitude at the treats and the heart of service behind them.

It was particularly special to give the girls an opportunity to serve. I think you’re never too young to learn how to serve others. Here are some pictures (keep in mind that they’re phone pics, so they’re not the best quality):

Ashley sets up a snack basket...
One of the baskets we set up...
The girls help Ashley set up a basket of snacks.
...more snacks...
Kenzie and my mom walk down the corridor to the elevator.

I’d like to challenge you to think of small ways in which you can serve…

Another Disney Home Run

Having three young nieces, I find myself watching a lot of Disney Channel. Not that I mind it…as a Disney fan, I’m glad to see the girls combining our family’s love for Disney with the kids’ TV shows they watch.

About a month and a half ago, Disney Channel launched its new programming block for younger kids: Disney Junior. The network kept many of their former Playhouse Disney shows, while adding a few new programs. One of the new programs, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, is a real winner.

The premise of the show is pretty simple: Jake and his friends Izzy and Cubby, along with their parrot buddy Scully fend of Captain Hook and his plans to ruin their fun. Along the way, the kids learn skills and life lessons. Jake and the Never Land Pirates is thoroughly entertaining, and adults can enjoy it (in other words, it’s not too “kiddie” and annoying).

The show’s music is one of its best features. Pirates Sharky and Bones play songs in many cartoon episodes, and they perform live action music videos at the end of every show. They’re kind of like Flight of the Conchords for kids.

I enjoy Jake and the Never Land Pirates. It’s one show I don’t mind watching with the girls. Way to go, Disney!

Here’s the cool theme song…

Is This How God Feels About Us?

KenzieFor those of you who don’t know, Kenzie is my four-year-old niece. She’s in the preschool here at Eastridge, so occasionally our paths will cross during the day. This morning, as I was walking up from the office to the Worship Center, she saw me as she was playing by the Activity Center doors. She waved and blew a kiss, grinning at me. I couldn’t help but smile as a walked up the sidewalk, full of joy and love for her. I started thinking about how much more Ashley and Michael love her, that their love for her is exponentially greater than mine, as deep as my love is for that sweet girl.

In our Bible Study this morning, we were discussing the phrases in Ephesians 1 that talk about how God’s revealing His will to us is His pleasure. We discussed how, too often, our view of God is a little off. We tend to forget that He is our loving Father as much as He is anything else. Sure, we grieve and disappoint Him, but our Father smiles over us; in fact, Zephaniah 3:17 says He sings over us! That’s  love that’s greater than that of any earthly parent…

Kenzie’s 1st Memory Verse

Kenzie recited her first memory verse to me today: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.” (Colossians 3:24) It was so sweet to me to see a 3-year-old learn a verse from the Bible, and it got me thinking: if we can get toddlers in on the growth of the church, get all generations involved, we can surely bring about the change that God wants in this community!