Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Full Day: Fabulous Family Fun Day 2

Our first full day at Disneyworld was spent in Hollywood Studios.  We'd planned our trips to coincide with the early hours available at the parks we wanted to visit.  We were those crazy folks arriving onto the park grounds at about 6:30 each morning.  This was our first full day of play, and we probably stayed too long and did a bit too much because we were still learning the ropes.  However, it was a wonderful day.  It started WAY TOO EARLY with breakfast on the bed.  Alec could hardly keep his eyes open to eat his Hostess donuts and drink his milk.
Breakfast of champs.
 At the park, our first order of business was Star Tours and Padawan Training.  These two activities were the primary reasons why both boys wanted to visit this park.  Thanks to Fast Passes and an early park arrival, we were able to ride Star Tours a couple of times without waiting more than a couple of minutes in line.  I admit I love Star Wars almost as much as my boys, and the ride and the "training" were both awesome.  The boys used their gift cards to make their own lightsabors, so that was also very cool.

Star Tours

Making his own lightsabor.

The number one request for the day.

Alec with his handmade lightsabor.
 Padawan Training was great.  The boys were with a group of about 20 kids and they were given training on how to be jedi knights.  Everything was going well until...
Uh-oh...evil arrives.

Seriously freaky looking character.  Darth Maul has always given me the heebie jeebies.
 Alec was awesome.  He was the next-to-last kid who got to fight Darth Vador and when he went onstage he said in this awesome tough guy voice, "I'm not afraid of the Dark Side!"  It was priceless.  Sooooo wish I would have thought to record video. 
Alec battling Darth Vador.
 Zach was equally awesome.  He had some fancy footwork and the Jedi Knight training him actually had to pull him off of Darth Maul.  :-)
Zach battling Darth Maul.
 After the Star Wars morning of events we enjoyed the rest of the park.  These guys were a hit.
The family with Phineas and Ferb. 
 The Buzz Lightyear ride was a wonderful blessing. We didn't have fast passes for the ride because we'd spent so much time with the Star Wars stuff, but as we walked through the park a nice man came up to us and handed me his fast passes for the ride.  He had three of them and wasn't going to stay long enough to use them.  So the boys and I got to do Buzz Lightyear!  It was fun. We were all so blessed by the fast pass gifting that we did it later on in our visit at another park.
Outside of the Buzz Lightyear ride.  Loved this guy!

Starting to get a bit tired.  It was about 5 p.m. and we were waiting on our dinner reservation time of 5:30.
 We had dinner in the park at Mama Ristorante, which was really yummy, and when we finished eating it was time for the Christmas lights.  Wow is all I can really say.  They were breathtaking.
Osborne Lights.  So incredible!

This was the response from all of us.
 About twelve hours after arriving at the park (yes, I said that), we headed back to the hotel.  Before we left, I bought my two tired boys the requisite "ears."
Zach wanted Donald Duck.

Alec, naturally, chose Goofy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fantastic Family Fun: Disneyworld Post 1

Alec and I right before we got in the car to leave for Disneyworld.
Two super excited boys!
Fantastic Family Fun: Post #1

We began our drive to Orlando on December 17.  After about a year of planning and talking about it, I think the boys were in that place where surreal and real merge.  Alec couldn't believe that the time had FINALLY arrived.  We drove a little more than half-way and spent the night in Georgia.  On Sunday, December 18, we checked into our Coronado Springs Resort hotel in the afternoon and a few hours later we entered Magic Kingdom for the first time.  We had tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, which began when regular park hours ended.

My sweeties with me in front of the castle.
I debated on whether we should spend the extra money on those tickets, and I am SO glad that we splurged.  It was such a great first look at Disneyworld.  Crowds were not bad, plus we got to see the parade and the park all lit up at night.  It was great!
Our first Disney Activity was the Christmas Party on Dec 18th.  We arrived in the park at about 5 p.m.
This was the response when we arrived at Magic Kingdom.
My wonderful boys.
Our first show was Mickey's PhilHarmagic.  LOVED it.  Zach was trying to look tough, but he loved it too.  :)

We did the Haunted Mansion AT NIGHT, and I was a bit concerned about how Alec would handle the scariness.  He did great, and actually told me to take this picture.

This was our first ride.  Can you tell that Zach is a wee bit excited?

The parade was AMAZING.  I loved it!

Who can resist the seven little people?

Love those kiddos.


End of day one.  This was taken by Alec.  It is one of my favorite pictures!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Okay, first of all, I am a failure with my blogging of late.  I'll not make too many apologies, but I should record -- for posterity -- that my last month has been spent editing my novel (due to be published in the spring), and re-editing my novel, teaching, grading, grading, mothering, and grading. Somewhere in the midst of that there were Christmas parties, piano lessons, basketball games, cub scout meetings, a Christmas musical, and I THINK (though don't quote me on this) that I may have cooked some suppers and washed a few loads of laundry and maybe even hung out with my husband once or twice. 


Today begins the FESTIVUS (that would be a Seinfeld reference for those of you who are younger than 15 years of age).  For 2011, The Bishop clan has forgone the normal trappings of Christmas (I did not even put up a tree!), and we are going on the most magical journey together.

Tonight I write from Albany, Georgia, where my family is holed up in a Courtyard by Marriott. 
Tomorrow we journey onward to ... yes, you guessed it...

ORLANDO...FLORIDA... (that would be Disneyworld, for those of you who are actually from Florida and might assume other people would visit for any other reason).

The boys have been counting down the days for months. When we actually got into the car this morning to begin our drive, I think we all had a sense of "Really?  Is this really happening?"  I was also doing the frantic mental checklist of "Did I turn off the..." and Mike was just kind of thinking, "I would rather be going just about anywhere but the most crowded place on earth." :-)

The boys were great travelers today, though my Alec-gater is feeling a bit under the weather tonight. I think he's officially caught the cold I had last week. Hoping he can get a good night's sleep and feel perkier tomorrow.

Tomorrow night we will attend Mickey's Christmas Party, so that will be our first official Disney activity.  We're excited!  Really, really, I am very excited to get this party started!

Until the next Festivus post...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

good Fellas

My good fellas.  I took the boys home a couple of weeks ago over their fall break.  My brother was able to join us in Wynnewood for a couple of those days.  Those little boys sure do love their Uncle Bo.  I think he competes pretty closely with Poppa Jim, which is saying quite a lot.

My boys think going to Wynnewood, Oklahoma, population small, is pretty amazing.  I never thought of Wynnewood as any sort of AMAZING place when I was a kid.  It was just home.  It still is home for me.  I guess that it doesn't matter so much that I've lived as much of my life outside of Wynnewood as I have in that town.  Home is home.  It was good to be home with my fellas.  We were only missing Mike.
Alec and Zach, October 2011
My guys with Uncle Bo at a Wynnewood football game.
My guys hanging out in the Sheriff's car at the football game when they got a bit too cold. 
It sure is nice to have connections!  The boys got extremely excited when they heard
the dispatcher's voice over the radio.

Fishing with Pop.  It was not a good day for catching, but we enjoyed dropping in our lines.

My good fellas.  Love 'em.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Ties

My sisters and me.
A few weeks ago, I joined my sisters for our annual "Sissy Weekend."  These girls aren't sisters by blood, but they certainly are sisters-in-heart.  Sara and I were suitemates during our freshman year at Harding.  I played softball with Cara during that same year.  For our sophomore year, Sara and I were roommates and Cara was our suitemate.  Sometime during our sophomore year, I looked up and discovered this girl named Maria hanging out in my room.  She was from Philly and had this crazy accent.  We adopted her and soon-thereafter she moved into our suite.  My life would not be the same without these three friends.

Cara married Kent Jobe (a boy I dated once or twice at Harding).  Kent is a preacher at a church in El Dorado, Arkansas.  Cara is an elementary school teacher.  They have three gorgeous children.  Derek is the same age as my Zach.  Austin is a couple years younger, and Brylee is their baby sister.  The Jobes are scholar-athletes, and all of the kids are very active in sports while also being super smart.

Sara married Jim Miller (a boy Cara dated once or twice at Harding).  Jim is a professor at Harding.  Sara is a part-time professor there as well.  They have two beautiful children.  Laura, a pretty little girl who loves to dance, is the same age as my Alec.  Grant is three and is all-boy.  Sara and Jim and the kids will be taking a Harding University group to Italy in the spring (Hellooooo. Jealous.).  Sara will teach and will also homeschool Laura while they are there.  I would LOVE to join them for that semester, but alas, I have the much more glamorous job at Southwest Tennesee Community College.

Maria was a year behind us at Harding, so she graduated a year later.  She moved to Dallas and had her beautiful heart broken, but was lucky enough to get a super-dooper cute kiddo out of the deal.  Her Aidan is finishing up preschool and will be a big kindergartener next year.  Maria is by-far the most glamorous of all of us, and we love to make fun of her for being such a Dallas girl.  Maria lost her mother to cancer about a year before I lost mine to Alzheimers.  We share that loss and our intense love and worry for our fathers.

For this year's trip, we met in Branson and stayed in a beautiful rental home for a nice, long weekend.  This was our first non-hotel weekend, and I think we all loved having our own bedrooms and bathrooms.  We ate, shopped, primped, ate, shopped, laughed.  We share about 18 years of memories, which makes me feel just a tad old.  It is fascinating to me how we can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long it has been between visits. 

Cara and Sara

Andrea and Maria

Our fancy house on the mountain.

Sara and Maria
We kept seeing these four ladies around town.  They made us laugh because this will be us in about thirty more years!

This is Maria dancing to the music in the candy store we visited.
The girls are waiting inside of the tatoo and piercing parlor that we visited.

Sara is getting her upper ear pierced.  Cara did the same thing, but I didn't get a picture of her.

My beautiful, sweet Maria.
My sissies.  The family ties between us are made of so much more than mere genetics!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fifth Grade Essay

Zach had to write a 100 word essay last night about citizenship.  The prompt was:  "I am a good citizen because..."

This is what my clever 10-year-old came up with.  The boy is such fun. (I left spelling as he wrote it.)

If you think of Batman, he is a hero of Gotham City.  He protects the innocent, scoops up villains, and always helps the police.  And if you think about it hard, he is a citizen too.  A good citizen is someone who helps the police, doesn’t litter, takes care of their neibors, and doesn’t commit crimes.  I am a good citizen because I don’t loiter or litter.  I don’t cuss either.   Insted, I give money to the homeless.  I respect the elderly.  I take care of my neibors’ cats when they are gone.  I am a good brother.  I make sure that my Boxer puppy, Rosie, doesn’t get into other people’s yards.  I’m not Batman or Superman or Green Lantern, but I am a good citizen.
This is my boy.  He's a pop culture junkie, and can quote every Star Wars, Harry Potter, Looney Tunes, Batman Brave and the Bold show ever created.  He is also extremely sweet natured and gentle.  He makes me laugh, and he frustrates the crud out of me.  He sleep walks and sleep sings and sleep yells.  He plays the piano beautifully and has an unbelievable capacity for memorizing tunes.  He is the best big brother that I have ever seen, and genuinely loves Alec and looks out for the little scamp.  My sweet Zachary Thomas  Bishop.  He's a keeper!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We've had a few flying adventures over the past few weeks.  Mike and his band played at the Memphis Airshow two weekends ago.  The boys and I went out to hear Daddy and to see the sights.  It was hot and bright out there, as you can see by the squinty face that Alec is wearing in this picture.
My awesome guys.

Look how huge that plane is.

Boys inside of that big ol' plane.


My amazing rock star of a husband.
 We also created a flyer of our own for Alec's first task as a new Cub Scout.  He has really been excited about joining a scouting group.  I don't know much about Scouts, so I've got a pretty steep learning curve.  Thankfully, Mike has some experience, and Alec is LOVING the whole thing.    On Saturday, Alec participated in the Space Derby.  He and Mike made a wooden plane that was propelled by a rubberband propeller.  Alec choose to make it look like a Green Lantern plane.
Painting the plane.

Alec with his pack.

Alec with his spaceship prize.

Alec with the Green Lantern plane.

The finished product.  Alec painted it himself.  Pretty good!

Good F words

Hey! Not all F words are bad. The best words in the world are family, fun, food, and fabulous! I'm challenging myself to expand my own appreciation of the fabulous F words out there. I'm starting a list of words that I'll eventually write about. Let me know if you think of another fun one.

Family ~ Father ~ Fast ~ Fanatic ~ Fanciest ~ Festive ~ Fanciful ~ Freedom ~ Friday ~ Flower ~ Flagrant ~ Fixable ~ Forceful ~ Forbidden ~ Foray ~ Foppish ~ Fledgling ~ Frappacino ... hmmm... maybe ?