Monday, May 4, 2015

The Ultimate Disneyland Packing List

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Packing for a Disneyland Trip starts out like any other trip.  Lots of clothes for the little ones, extra socks after the water rides, and don't forget the camera.  Check the weather and plan for an extra sweatshirt.  If you want to see how I packed for our three kids, you can see it here.

But as every mom knows, there are always unexpected turns when you're traveling with kids.  And while you can't plan for every event, here are just a few items that helped our trip run smoother:

Pants/shorts (depending on time of year/ pants for evenings other than summer)
Capris (great for transitional seasons)
Shirts/long sleeve shirts
Lightweight jacket
Dressy clothes (for that occasional night out)
Socks and comfortable shoes
Flip-flops for water rides
Headbands/ Hair accessories
Swimsuit w/ cover-up

Laundry supplies (if needed):
Laundry soap
Dryer sheets
Stain remover
Quarters for machines

Body wash
Face wash
Face lotion
Makeup remover
Facial pads
Fingernail polish
Fingernail clippers
Finger file
Shaving cream
Kids' items
Wet Wipes

Medicine Items:
Pepto bismol
Pain reliever
Children's pain reliever
Allergy/sinus medicine
Presciption medicines
Antibacterial ointment
Anti-itch spray

All confirmations (airline, hotel, travel agent)
Tip and toll money
Insurance cards
Disneyland tickets
Stamps and pens
AAA membership card

For the Backpack:
Stain remover stick
Water Bottle
Something to mark your stroller
Rain ponchos
Glow sticks
Lanyards and Pins
Autograph book and Pen

Power strip
Extra batteries
Ziplock bags

To avoid the panic, I usually start looking for small Disney related items in the Target Dollar spot or the Dollar Tree 4-6 weeks early.  Little things like stickers or notepads.  Sometimes a pen for taking notes or getting autographs.  Then I tuck them away in my suitcase to surprise the kids.  My favorite find is picking up glow sticks at the Dollar Tree.  They're great for the evenings and a fun treat (at a much better price).  And then a couple of weeks ahead of time, I start packing things like batteries and rain ponchos.  While you can get these items in the park, they will certainly got you more.  So a little preparation goes a long way.

We love our trips to Disneyland.  They're a real treat and create a world of family memories.  But the most important thing to pack is a positive attitude.  Vacations can be overwhelming sometimes, but a positive attitude goes a long way in spinning any situation into a great memory.  I hope this list helps and I can't wait to hear how awesome your vacations are.

What's your favorite Disneyland memory?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Love Letters {Review}

Marlena needed this summer with with her Mammi following Dawdi Tim's death.  They planned to spend their time together, gardening, canning, and healing.  Marlena had no idea her world was about to be turned even further upside down.

Rocked by her sister's unexpected death, Marlena hesitantly takes on the care of her niece, Anglea Rose.  As time goes on, Marlena discovers she enjoys a connection with her sister and Angela Rose breathes new life into their home.  But what will become of the child when her MIA soldier father returns?

Meanwhile, neighbor Small Jay struggles to connect with his own father because of a unknown disability.  As his father continues to push him away, Small Jay befriends a mysterious stranger, Boston, who can't remember his past.   As Boston becomes more a part of the family, the boy finds not only a friend, but a mentor.  Will Boston ever find his way home?  And will Small Jay find a way to connect with his father before it's too late?

I have long since been a fan of Beverly Lewis' work.  Her Amish/Mennonite books have led the way in this genre.  However, while this book was ok, it certainly wasn't my favorite of Lewis' work.  It was hard to relate to the characters.  Marelena especially felt dry stiff and unrealistic.  Of the two story lines, the most enjoyable part of the book was between Small Jay and Boston.  The boy and the stranger build a beautiful relationship that is quite tender.

My other complaint is that the storylines had very little to do with each other.  Other than an occasional visit between neighbors, the characters rarely interact.  And even then it's detached.

All in all, this was not my favorite of Lewis' work.  Both stories could have been easily separated and further developed.  If you're looking for something from Lewis, I would recommend some of the Home to Hickory Hollow series or Heritage of Lancaster County series.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review.  All opinions are my own.

Walmart Haul 4/12/15

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