Yep, our first homeschool academic year is coming to an end and what a crazy year it has been! It has proved to be the best decision that we could have made for the kids, it just works for us. Their sparkle has returned and they are happy and enjoying school! We are definitely committed to this path which was a giant leap of faith for us and we are looking forward to the next academic year. This also means that I have gone into extreme planning mode and now I know what works and what doesn’t I am also changing the curriculum for next year. I will do a separate post on our changes to our curriculum, book list, activity day list, movie list and our supplies list for the coming year…yes, whether you are homeschooling mom or not lists, lists and more lists are great for organization!
We have been visiting Disney World every year now for a decade. Just saying it makes me feel both old and young at the same time…it is Disney World after all!
During that period Disney has introduced some amazing tech to the parks and to add to the fun of staying on Disney property. Over the years simple things like WiFi in the parks has made a huge difference and the new My Disney Experience is amazing for booking fast passes and dining among other things.
The first year we came Disney photopass was still a new idea that not many people were making the most of. If you haven’t heard of it, basically the idea is that you leave your camera at home (even your beloved SLR) and head to the parks where a team of better photographers (just talking about my skills here, not yours!) will take pictures of the family at key parts of the park and some attractions too (getting soaked while screaming on Splash Mountain for example). Now that was good, but at the end of the vacation you could either pay to download all of the photos to a DVD or you could order individual prints. Both options cost a relatively large sum, and so it only made sense if you had a huge number of photos taken or else just wanted one or two special family pictures while the good old SLR took the rest for the album. We used to justify the price tag by having our family photoshoot taken at the resort and included in the package until they stopped doing that a few years ago.
Now though, after a couple of years of not being sure where to really take this potentially fantastic service which was not overly popular Disney has stepped up the offering with the Memory Maker.
Now there are visibly more photographers at various locations and with your magic band they can instantly upload the photos you have taken. Which is nice. But it gets better than that. Whereas before only a few rides had pictures now when you fast pass on many rides you will get automatic photos uploaded to the memory maker and at some sites and rides you even get video productions like the one below!
It is incredible! And what is really unbelievable is that the clever people at Disney make this absolutely seamless, you do not even know it is happening – we just stopped for a photo outside Big Thunder Mountain and then two minutes later Woody and Jessie are dancing on the My Experience App on the iPhone!
We had a memory maker package included with our room purchase but otherwise there is a cost attached. It is a significant amount of money and so you do really need to take full advantage over the vacation to really justify it but now you can simply download the photos, add fun graphics to whichever device you like and print them off at your convenience – much better and more in-keeping with how we all do things now (do we even remember DVDs…?)
What a great week…the countdown is over we are back to the magic where the laughter, smiles and excitement is endless… Yep, we have a packed itinerary of parks, princess tea parties and pirate cruises… We have also discovered Cam’s obsessions not only pin trading but also with the Who Is and Who Was books..! Although a disaster hit our little one…her baby soft toys that she has had since birth and which she has never slept without were accidentally taken when the bedding was changed on the first night. Yep, we should have removed them from the bed before it was changed in the morning but thankfully the kind people of Disney found and returned them all safe and sound …phew…we can all sleep again..!
What a view from a room…
our bookworm…such great books…love these Who Was and Who Is books…anyone else tried these out for the kids..or can you recommend any to move onto next?
So excited…we have the Animal Kingdom tomorrow..I just love the Kilimanjaro Safari.. x
Okay so there is one meal that just means home…roast chicken, it is so versatile whether it is with roasted vegetables in the winter or with a summer salad…In just a few minutes a plain chicken can be transformed into a fragrant, flavorful, succulent and oh so good piece of roasted heaven.
No bake, five minutes to prepare and popular with little and big kids…these are great for kids snacks, they travel well and are truly versatile. With no slicing, dicing or baking involved these are also a great recipe to make with the kids…
Irresistible, delicious, mouth watering, perfect…these are just so good that one is never enough! The cookie dough is quick to prepare, easy to work with and the cookies themselves store really well. The powdered sugar produces a sublime texture, these really are divine…a true crowd pleaser.
This is delicious, warming, flavorful and always satisfying, a true winner. The fact that this is superfast and simple to prepare only makes this even more of a winner in our house! There is something great about a recipe that celebrates the imperfect and this is exactly what a perfect crisp does, larger pieces of crisp mixed in with smaller pieces. The kids are always looking for the larger nuggets of the crisp topping with the divine apple base. This will fill your kitchen with a beautiful scent of warm spices and it brings everyone to the table.
At the end of our homeschool day we have different fun activities. These are the really special times, the kids love this end to our day and we try to rotate the activities whether it is sports related, watching a movie of a book we have just read, additional science experiments, coding, robotics, lego, messy play, baking, board games… Today for messy play activities with my little one we have been marbling paper using shaving foam and using it to make pictures, making salt dough and homemade play dough!
Kids are getting more and more reliant on tech, whether that’s a good thing or not. It’s hard to limit the time that they use electronic devices and while I will always try to encourage more imaginative play and keep them “offline” for most of the day by encouraging use of electronics only at weekends as a treat rather than as a right, it is great when you can use the desire for tech to encourage learning – they have fun, they are having a treat but they are learning from it too.
Okay so this is a major winner in our house. There is something very satisfying and homely about meatballs. Now these meatballs are beautiful…well as much a meatball can be…with gentle warming spices and the fragrant addition of mint. These stay moist and the kids can’t get enough of them!