Valentine's Day

Disney Valentine’s Day Suggestions!

Valentine's Day

Mickey & Minnie enjoying a ride on Dumbo — one thing we can do with our loved ones on Valentine’s Day!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Riding the Rails post!  This series is hosted at the Magical Blogorail website, and I thank them for having this great series of posts.  This week we are talking about some things we can do around Valentine’s Day, so perhaps these posts will help you get some ideas on what you want to do with your special someone at Disney!  For starters, perhaps you will take a ride on Dumbo with your special someone, like Mickey & Minnie did back in 2010 in this photo!

Valentine's Day

Perhaps you want to take your loved one to World Showcase instead?

Another option you might want to consider is taking your loved one over to Epcot and stroll around the World Showcase.  Perhaps grab a drink, or a bite to eat, maybe take in a showing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, and stroll leisurely around the world as you explore some of the things you don’t often see at Epcot!

Valentine's Day

Of course, if this is a special someone, you might do this…

Back at the Magic Kingdom, perhaps this is the time you consider doing this with your loved one, as happened to my niece in 2012!  She was not expecting it, and everyone started crying when Shane proposed.  It was a great moment in my life that I’ll remember forever.

Valentine's Day

You know, Valentine’s Day is sometimes a day for Dad’s and Daughters, or Mom’s and Sons.

Perhaps you are visiting the parks with your daughter, or perhaps your wife and you want to do something special for your daughter.  Well, why not treat her to a dance on the Biergarten dance floor.  This is a memory that I cherish, and I think Sophie does too — and I know that Cindy does!  Thank you Cindy for taking this picture.

Valentine's Day

Perhaps, though, you want a romantic getaway at the Grand Californian Hotel…

To this day, I think this is one of the funniest pictures I have ever seen in my resort room.  When we checked in, our room wasn’t ready, but they went through the check-in process with us, and even spoke with Sophie.  When we walked in and saw this decor on the bed, Cindy and I first thought we were in the room for a newlywed couple, but it really was our room!  We have no idea why they did that, but Sophie thought it was a hoot, and loved collecting all the rose pedals!

So there you have it, my friends.  Some suggestions on some things to do at Disney for Valentine’s Day.  Thank you for stopping by, now please take a moment and check out the rest of the entries!  Just click on the image below, and thanks!  Remember everyone to go out and make it a Disney Day!

Happy Thanksgiving – What I’m Thankful For

Sophie and her Poppy reading a book.

Sophie and her Poppy reading a book.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!  I hope that you are waking up to the smells of good food, the laughter of family, and the thankful nature that we all hopefully have at this time of year.  Here at My Dreams of Disney, we have so much to be thankful for — not the least of which, of course, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — so I thought I would take a moment to share with you some of the things that I’m thankful for on this blessed day.  I hope that you enjoy our photos, and that you and your family have a wonderful day together!

The picture at the beginning of this post was taken on Thanksgiving Day, 2008 — in what would be the last Thanksgiving that my Grandpa would come to our house for.  In this picture, Sophie and her Poppy were sitting at the dining room table, reading a book — or, to be more precise, Sophie was reading to her Poppy.  My Grandpa had Macular Degeneration, so his eyesight at this point was pretty bad — but he loved having Sophie there to share the story with him!  The time that Sophie was able to spend with her Poppy (and Nana, before she passed away) is definitely one thing that I am truly Thankful for.

In this picture, you have 4 generations represented -- Sophie, me, my Mom, and my Grandpa

In this picture, you have 4 generations represented — Sophie, me, my Mom, and my Grandpa

This next picture was taken on Christmas Day in 2008 — in it, you see Sophie, with her Daddy (me), Mom on the left, and Grandpa — four generations, all represented in one photo.  The blessings of Family are among my most treasured blessings! Continuing in my theme, you see another family moment — this one was taken in Montana, at Earthquake Lake, in 2005, when Cindy, Sophie and I went there to visit family and celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.

Cindy, Sophie and myself in front of Earthquake Lake in Montana, August, 2005.

Cindy, Sophie and myself in front of Earthquake Lake in Montana, August, 2005.

Another thing I’m thankful for is my sister Robin and her family.  This picture is a little dated, but in it are Jim, Robin, and their three kids, Brett, Leslie, and Stephanie.

Robin's Family

Robin, Jim, and their kids.

I’m also thankful to the newest member of our family — Regan, our lovable Golden Retriever who has made himself right at home.  He has a heart of gold, and not a mean bone in his body!

How can you not love this buddy!

How can you not love this buddy!

Of course, no post about what I’m thankful for wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Disney — it is, after all, one thing that I am absolutely blessed to be able to enjoy with my family and our friends!  This collage of pictures was just created for this week’s Wordless Wednesday post, but I am thankful for each and every memory that our trips to Disney have created in the hearts and minds of me and my family.

Left to Right, Top:

Included in collage: Kyle, Cindy, Steph, Shane, Sophie, Nancy, Otis, Riley, Minnie Mouse, Pooh, Mama, Sherry, and me!

To finish us off, I want to share one last photo — a picture of my Dad, his buddy in Florida, and myself, taken on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico.  I didn’t catch a single fish that day, but it is a memory that I have never forgotten, and one that I truly am thankful for!

Geno, Geezer & Mike

Geno, my Dad, and me

My friends, I hope that this day finds you with a thankful heart as you celebrate as best you can Thanksgiving.  I know that the world is not perfect — I know that many of you have to work on this day because of the greed of selfishness of business owners, and I know that many of you may not have family around to celebrate with.  Please know that those of you that take the time each and every day to stop by our little site to hear what we write about — whether it be about Disney, our Lord, or anything in between — please know that YOU are also part of my family, and I am blessed beyond belief that you come and visit.

Please be safe, everyone, and no matter what the circumstances may be, please have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friendship Friday — Mrs. Keech, Principal

Mrs. Keech Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Friendship Friday post!  Today, we are talking about Sophie’s BFF at school — the person we all know and love as Mrs. Keech!

Take a moment and picture this in your mind’s eye:

It is August, 2006, and the day has arrived for two wide eyed — and slightly nervous — parents to take their daughter to Kindergarten Orientation.  This orientation, truth be told, is for the parents, not the children, but while we are being taught the ins and outs of kindergarten, our children — or in our case, Sophie — would leave the multi-purpose center and go to one of the kindergarten classrooms to see what life in the classroom was like.

We knew that Sophie would be going to this classroom, but we also knew that she was nervous — and she did NOT want to go.  However, we explained that it would be okay, that she would have fun, and she grudgingly was the last one down the aisle to head to the front to head out to the classroom.  I could tell that she was stressed — her shoulders were scrunched up, the tension was just radiating off of her, and I didn’t think it was going to be a good time for her.

But then, as she approached Mrs. Keech, who was waiting for her to leave so she could continue, she saw her — and you could SEE the tension just slip away.  I literally saw her take a deep breath, her shoulders relaxed, and she walked right up to Mrs. Keech and said “Hi, my name is Sophie.”  Mrs. Keech, being the saint that she is, proceeded to say “Hi, Sophie, my name is Mrs. Keech.  Can I take you over here so you can go play in the classroom?”  From that moment on, Sophie and Mrs. Keech were best buds.

Halfway through Kindergarten, Sophie — who carpools to school — got out of the car, gave Mrs. Keech the big hug she always gets, and told Cindy “Mrs. Keech is my BFF!”  Of course, Cindy wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing — was Mrs. Keech the BFF because Sophie was in trouble a lot and always in the office?  Or was the fact that Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s BFF a good thing because she would keep an eye out for her?  Turns out the latter was the case here.

Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s Principal from K-4th grade (well about halfway through 4th grade) — but then the unthinkable happened — Mrs. Keech got a promotion to be the principal of a middle school, and Sophie would have a new principal for the first time in her school career.

5th Grade was a challenge a little bit, because things were done to prep the kids for 6th grade and middle school, but overall, it was a good year, and Sophie passed her end of grade tests with flying colors.  The school that we were looking at going to was an all-girls leadership academy, and while we did get on the waitlist for the school, it wasn’t meant to be, so we picked a different school.  This particular school has a STEM focus, which means that it focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which is four areas that Sophie excels at, so we applied for that school, and got accepted.  Perhaps the best news of all about that school — the principal was Mrs. Keech!

We went to 6th grade orientation in August of this past year, and Sophie was so excited!  We would get to see her new school, get her schedule, meet her teachers, see her classrooms, and so forth.  But the best thing of all — Sophie would get to see Mrs. Keech again!  When they saw one another, it was like nothing had ever changed — Sophie ran over to Mrs. Keech and gave her a huge hug, and I could see that Mrs. Keech — well, she had a tear in her eye at seeing her Sophie (Mrs. Keech only has boys at home, so there’s a bond between her and Sophie!)

The BFFs were reunited once again!

You know, we tried really hard to get Sophie into the girls leadership academy, but it wasn’t in God’s plan for Sophie.  God knows all, of course, and He KNEW that Sophie was meant to have Mrs. Keech there for her to lean on as needed.  Certainly, at a middle school, the principal has a different set of duties, and Sophie doesn’t interact with her as much — but as a parent, it is very reassuring to know that there is someone at school that has the best interests of your child at heart, and while we know that Mrs. Keech does that for all of her kids, as she calls them, we also know that the number of people that knew her when she was the principal of Sophie’s elementary school is a very short list — and Sophie is at the top of that list.

6th Grade hasn’t been as smooth a transition as we would have liked, but I can guarantee if we didn’t have Mrs. Keech there, it would have been a lot harder for us — and especially for Sophie.

So today, I give thanks to God for Mrs. Keech, who has to have the tough demeanor of a middle school principle, but inside, has the heart and soul of an angel.

As you all know, Friendship Friday is the brainchild of my dear friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  To see who she is highlighting today, go ahead and click on the image below, and thanks for stopping by!

friendship-friday

Disney in Pictures: My Thankful Things!

On this Thanksgiving edition of Disney In Pictures, I wanted to share with you some of the great pictures that I have that truly represent the people in my life that I am truly blessed to know and love.  This is a simple post, but the love that is in evident in these pictures is true, heartfelt, and lasting.

To everyone that I know and love, this post is dedicated to you.  I would not be the man I am if it weren’t for your efforts to guide me on my journey, and I won’t forget that.  Some of these people have left us, but they are not forgotten, and while the grief of losing them was great, the life lessons that I learned from them are lasting, as is the knowledge that I will be reunited with them again in Heaven one day.

The pictures depicted above are by no means a full representation of all the things that I am thankful for.  It is a cross representation, a highlight reel, if you will, and a way of showing that there are many things I am thankful for — and they aren’t all related to Disney, too!

I have never used a photo gallery like that before, I hope you enjoyed it, maybe I’ll do something like that again in the future!  Until next time, I hope you have enjoyed your Thanksgiving break, and that you are ready to dive headfirst into the upcoming holiday seasons, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or any other holiday during this time.

I hope, in the end, the one thing that I have impressed upon you is the need for all of us to stop, slow down, and remember all of the things that we have to be thankful for.  That, my friends, is really what the Thanksgiving time is all about to me — sitting down with family or friends, enjoying our time together, remembering those that aren’t with us anymore, and certainly, remembering those that are serving to keep us safe and those that aren’t as fortunate as we are.  That is what Thanksgiving is to me.