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Master’s Degree

By Mandy | March 23, 2010

I know that it has been a long time since I last posted (1 year ago). I have been a bit busy. Last May I decided to go back to school and earn a Master’s degree in Education. I turned in my paper work two days before the deadline and by a miracle made it into the program. I am doing the work through Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. I do most of it on-line and then I attend class every other week.

I have loved the learning. Jordan has been my guinea pig as I have tried out all my new reading acquisition skills on him. He is learning to read and it is exciting! I have six weeks left and I am done with the course work. I only have to finish writing my thesis and defend it in December. I can’t wait to be done. It has been a lot of work. Thanks to all who have supported me and helped me get through this tough year.

Topics: education, General | No Comments »

Food Glorious Food at DW

By Mandy | March 19, 2009

One of the things that we love best about Disney World is the food.  We love to eat and experience the atmosphere of the different restaurants.  One of our discoveries this trip was the Nine Dragons at the China Pavilion in Epcot.  I have to admit that I have a hard time trying new places.  I really don’t like Chinese food, but being out voted by the group we tried this new place.  It was wonderful.  I ordered the Honey Sesame Chicken.  It was divine.  It was so good that we went back three days later to have it again.  We also had the pot stickers, cucumber salad and the Sweet and Sour Pork.  Every dish we tasted was great.  We tried the Ginger cake for dessert.  My family loved it but I’m not a big fan of ginger.

We also loved the Fish and Chips and the England pavilion, the pastries and crepes at the French pavilion, and the minestrone soup at  Living with the Land pavilion.  These are all in Epcot.

The best ambiance is the Sci-FI Dine In in the Hollywood Studios park. You actually sit in cars that have been made into tables.  They are all facing a drive in movie screen with old science fiction movie clips playing.  The food is fun and J loved the cars.

For more  information  check munchkintravel.com.  Hopefully it will be up and running soon.

Topics: General | No Comments »

Food Allergies at Disney World

By Mandy | March 19, 2009

We had the best experience with Disney World.  We have food allergies in our family and we were concerned about eating in the many different restaurants in Disney World.  We made reservations at each restaurant and told them that we had food allergies.  After sitting down the head chef in each restaurant except China came out and talked with us about our special allergy needs.  We were so impressed that the head chef would take time out to talk with us and make us feel comfortable with the food choices.  They told us what to stay away from and what was safe to eat. In some cases they even prepared our meal in a separate kitchen so that there would be no peanut or tree nut contamination.  They totally put our fears to rest and we actually enjoyed every meal with out worrying. 

Disney know how to go above and beyond in helping out families with special dietary needs.  They not only consult with nut allergies, but any allergy including wheat, latex and soy.  What a relief for families that need a little extra help and peace of mind.

One of the best places for more information is allears.net

Topics: Disney World, Food, General, illness, Travel, Vacation | No Comments »

Gingerbread House

By Mandy | December 21, 2008

pThis year J has been very involved with the holidays and all the crazy things to go with them.nbsp; He loved Halloween and craving pumpkins and decorating a Halloween tree.nbsp; So with Christmas around the corner we thought we had better start some traditions so that he will have something to look forward to each year.nbsp; /p pWe decided to make gingerbread men and let J decorate them.nbsp; I made Tyler go to the store in a major snowstorm because we were out of Mamp;M and Skittles.nbsp; We then cut out the cookies and decorated them.nbsp; I had some dough left over so we thought we would make a gingerbread train and let J decorate it. Well I am not an engineer so I couldn’t figure out how to make a train in 3-D.nbsp; We looked on the Internet and the patterns looked too complicated.nbsp; We just made our own pattern ofnbsp; a simple gingerbread house.nbsp; /p pJ was so excited to decorate it. But a little problem, in order for the house to stand we had to build it with Royal frosting.nbsp; I don’t know how to make Royal frosting, so back to the Internet to find a recipe.nbsp;nbsp; Then the little problem of letting the walls set so we could put on the roof.nbsp; Long story short it took us until the next day to be able to decorate the house with the lopsided roof.nbsp; A pattern would be nice next year./p pGrandpa and Grandma came down and helped us decorate with more candy than any family of three should have.nbsp; Grandpa and J thought it was funny to put mini chocolate chips on the front yard of the gingerbread house and call it Reindeer poop.nbsp; They got a good half hour laugh out of that one.nbsp; I hope I make it through all these boys and their humor./p pThe house looks great and J likes to sneak in and sample the “Reindeer poop”.nbsp; He thinks he is so funny.nbsp; /p

Topics: Christmas, Food, Traditions | No Comments »

I Love Scrapbooking!

By Mandy | October 30, 2008

pThis past weekend I went with some of my friends to a scrapbooking retreat.nbsp; We left early and hit the quilt store on the way to Park City.nbsp; We then hit the outlets and ate dinner before checking into the hotel.nbsp; Promptly at 5:50 we arrived to claim our table.nbsp; Let the scrapping begin./p pWe worked from 6-12:30 and quit when we started to see double.nbsp; We went to bed and someone forgot to turn off the heat.nbsp; I woke up at 3am with the room temperature at 85 degrees.nbsp; No wonder I was dreaming I was sitting on the beach.nbsp; We got up and scrapped from 9-6.nbsp; By the time six o’clock rolled around we were ready to clean up.nbsp; We all had cricks in our necks.nbsp; I have to say that I got many pages done and I had a blast hanging out with the girls.nbsp; /p pThanks for a great stress relieving weekend!nbsp; I can’t wait until next year. /p

Topics: General, Travel | 2 Comments »

Trying to be Cool

By Mandy | September 23, 2008

This past weekend we went down to SUU for homecoming. We hiked around Zion on Friday afternoon and had a great relaxing time.  We in-laws got us tickets to the Smashmouth concert at Southern Utah University Friday night.

We arrived fashionable late and the concert still hadn’t started.  When it finally started we were hoping that it was about to end.  I realize that concerts are supposed to be loud, but this was super out of control loud.  I listened to the concert with my fingers in my ears.  It didn’t help that we couldn’t understand the lead singer because it was so loud.  It also didn’t help that we only knew one song.  The one from Shrek, I’m a believer.  I think we knew that because of the group The Monkeys.  So basically I feel old and oh so un-cool.  The best part was after 45 minutes of loudness, we left and hung out in the student center in the peace and quiet.  Am I really that old?  (rhetorical question)

Topics: General, Travel, Vacation | 1 Comment »


By Mandy | September 14, 2008


I love to read as most people know.  I am always running out of books and wondering what I am going to read next.  Thanks to my friends I now belong to a fun web site called goodreads.com.   I like to see what everyone is reading and get good ideas for what I want to read next. 

Today is really the first time I have ever played on the site.  I figured out how to post books and reviews.  Tyler helped me figure out a couple of other technical things.  I have had fun writing reviews and actually thinking about what I learned from those books.  I can’t wait to add more books. I am always looking for the next great book to read.

I just finished the book Uglies.  It was a great book about a future society who makes everyone equal by making them pretty at age 16.  It’s interesting the struggle the characters have about being pretty or staying ugly.  A great read!

Check out goodreads and have fun reading!

Topics: General | No Comments »

Soccer Adventures

By Mandy | August 22, 2008

Last night at the girls night out it was brought to my attention that I hadn’t blogged for at least three months.  So here is my attempt at keeping everyone up to date.

J started soccer.  I was nervous that he wouldn’t stay with the coach and listen. Well, he surprised me and did pretty much what the coach asked.  It was cute seeing him work on his soccer skills.  We will be working on keeping his hands off the ball.

During soccer practice J decided that he needed to use the bathroom.  Well, sorry to the neighbors the the rest of the people at the park as my son dropped his drawers and watered the lawn.  He didn’t know that they had bathrooms at the park.  So needless to say another little known rule of soccer is to not pee on the grass.  It seems we come up with lots of little rules that no one would think up.

Tomorrow is his first game and I can’t wait to see him in his uniform complete with shin guards. (J is very proud of his shin guards and has taken to wearing them around the house.  Really I wonder if they make shin guards or body armor for moms with boys.)  So here is to new experiences and hopefully we will have a great experience in the realm of soccer.

Topics: General, Sports | 2 Comments »

Chicken Pox

By Mandy | May 19, 2008

Seriously, I was shocked to find out that J has chicken pox!  He started out with a couple on his belly and then the next day he had a whole lot more.  The sad thing is that he had played with three of his friends and went to preschool when he was contagious.  I guess they are contagious two days before the blisters appear.  Who knew?  Hopefully no one else will get it.

I feel bad for him because it was fieldtrip day to the Zoo today.  We also had playgroup at our house this week, and a father and sons camp-out this week end.  Depending on if he is better or not we may miss our annual trip to the cemetery and Maddox.  I guess time will tell.

Luckily he isn’t too sick.  They blisters don’t seem to bother him much.  He just knows that he can’t play with other kids until the spots are gone.  He does like to show his belly to anyone who will look.  Wish me luck!

Topics: General, illness | No Comments »

Conquering Machu Picchu

By Mandy | May 16, 2008

We just returned from a whirlwind adventure to Peru and Ecuador.  It has has been a life dream to see Machu Picchu.  When we heard talk of restricting access or even closing it we knew that we had to get there quick.  The opportunity came to go with a group my dad was taking and so we decided to go and take our  4-year-old son with us.  We made plans and read lots of books including The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie.  We were prepared and couldn’t wait to see this legendary place.

We rode the Perurail train up to Aguas Calientes and checked into our hotel.  We then got on the bus and 20 minutes later we were at the base of Machu Picchu.  It was an incredible sight!  We had a guide for three hours that explained the different uses of the different buildings and the surrounding area.  We then took a 1 1/2 hour hike up to the sun gate.  It was a wonderful view and I definitely recommend it if you have time.

The next morning we decided to hike up Huayna Picchu (the big tall mountain that you see towering over Machu Piccu).  The hike up wasn’t too bad. The stairs weren’t bad and the cables actually helped to pull ourselves up with.  The view was incredible!  Tyler decided that he wanted to see the great cave or the Moon palace.  My sister-in-law and I decided that we would be tough and accompany Tyler down the back side of the mountain.  Hind sight we should have gone back the way we came.  We had to shimmy down super tall ladders and the hike turned ugly from there.  We were so tired that I have to admit I had a bit of a break down.  My fun meter had run our and I still had to hike back up the mountain to find the path that would lead us down to the bus.  Eight miles and a long time later we finally made it down off the mountain.  I treated myself to a Snickers bar and enjoyed every bite!

Topics: General, Travel, Vacation | No Comments »

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