First of all, let me start off by saying that this very well could be my longest post EVER! So, enjoy!
Last month we got the great idea to join some friends in taking a trip to Disneyland. Our kids have one more off track break before going to a traditional school schedule, so we thought this would be a great way to spend the time off.
We managed to keep it a secret, and it was a bit hard for us. Kelly and I aren't very good at keeping something exciting to ourselves. I suppose it helped that the other two families weren't telling their kids, this kept us motivated to remain silent too!
So, on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, we let the cat out of the bag! We sent the kids around the house on a scavenger hunt. The last clue led them to the garage where they found their suitcases ready to go! The last clue read "Your bags are packed as you can see, let's go to the land of Disney!" It took a minute before they realized that we were going this very morning. They jumped for joy, they were so excited. They were even more excited when they found out their good friends were coming too!
Our first day at Disney was on Monday. The kids could hardly wait to get to the park. In fact, Connor hardly slept a wink and was up before the rest of us, dressed and ready to go!
Kate and Ryker, enjoying "Finding Nemo!"
Jace especially loved the Nemo ride. He really likes the movie right now, so the ride was great to him!
Tuesday we started the day off by going to California Adventure.
Mom and Katelyn on the Jellyfish ride.
Katelyn and Ryker working on some poses!
The Ferris Wheel! We have to do swinging one. It is a little scary, but fun too!
A picture with Dug, from Up. He was the only character we got a picture with.
Jace was waving to all the rafts that went by on the Grizzly Bear Rapids ride.
Waiting for dinner. The kids absolutely loved having their friends with them! This picture of Katelyn and Camberlyn makes me smile because of what happened just moments before I took it.
We did have one bump in the road along the way. While we were in California Adventure (right before ordering our dinner,) Kelly discovered his wallet was not in his pocket. : ( I will leave out the part when I tell you the amount of money that was in the wallet! So, as Kelly and I were running around frantic and frustrated and a little bit angry, these two little sweeties, on their own, decided they would say a prayer that he would find the wallet. Seeing their faith and obedience made me feel a little less upset and a lot proud that they would say a prayer for us! (more on this tragedy in a bit......)
Later this night, we watched the new World of Color show and may I say, it was awesome!
And what a great shot of the sleeping kids! Well, Gavin wasn't asleep yet, but I love looking at these little ones fast asleep!
Wednesday we took a break from Disneyland and headed to the beach. We knew the water would be cold and no one would probably end up swimming. So, we decided to find a beach that would have some tide pools. We found the perfect little cove and spent the day playing and exploring!
Our GPS first led us to this beautiful overlook. It was absolutely breathtaking. We could see below where we actually wanted to be so we got back in the car and found the neighborhood which led us to the beach.
It really was the perfect spot. It wasn't crowded, there was a bathroom, we parked for free, we could go tide pool exploring, and of course play in the sand!
I thought the tide pools were the highlight of the day. This was something I had never done before and I loved it. To just be walking along and look down and see a giant starfish?! So cool! Or to see crabs and fish swimming in a crevice. It was definitely something we all enjoyed!
So, our day at the beach was great. Nice and relaxing! But, we hadn't heard anything from lost and found about the wallet. Kelly and I decided to try and forget about it because it probably was gone forever!
On Thursday, we took advantage of the Magical Morning and got to Disneyland at 7:00 AM!
Spending the previous day at the beach wore the kids out and it was hard to wake them from their slumber. But we managed to scoop them up and head out!
We spent the first part of the morning in Fantasy Land. The older kids did a good job at indulging the little ones on the kid rides. We did some big kid stuff and went back to California Adventure for a little bit.
While we wandered around there, I had a couple of impressions to check the lost and found place again. The first time, I just pushed the thought away because what was the point? No phone call, no wallet!
We finished up in California Adventure and wanted to do a few more things in Disneyland. On our way out, I heard the familiar words "check the lost and found." So, reluctantly we made a stop. Kelly gave the lady his information and she left the counter for a few minutes. She returned with the black wallet in her hand, saying that it was turned in that morning. I was so ecstatic, I almost started crying right then and there! She did have a "however" and I knew what would follow. "The money is not there," she would say. His debit card (which we had cancelled,) his work and other IDs, and some gift cards were still there.
As we walked away, Kelly had something to tell me. He said, that the night before, in his prayers, he told Heavenly Father that he understood the money was gone, and that he could get over that part. And that we had learned to be more careful with our cash the next time. But he asked Heavenly Father for one thing. He asked that Heavenly Father would help him find the wallet, if only for one reason, so that he could show his children that prayers are heard and answered.
So what happened after he said that prayer? At some point in the morning, I received inspiration to check the lost and found. Yes, I ignored it the first time, but Heavenly Father nudged me again! Now, the Lost and Found said they would call us if they received the wallet. So why was I prompted to check instead of just getting the phone call later that day? Well, as it turned out, both of our cell phones had died. We would have missed their call and chances were, we wouldn't have got any message until the next morning, the morning that we would be leaving to head home.
This story might have been better if the ending included the money being in the wallet too. But to us, it was a miracle and a sweet answer to prayer. We did indeed tell the kids that our prayers are answered and that the Holy Ghost will lead us if we listen. It was a blessing to us to have had this experience. And Kelly and I were gleaming for the rest of the night!
That was our time in Disneyland! We had such a wonderful trip and memories were made and lessons were learned! I loved seeing the excitement in the childrens' eyes and the happiness that was brought to them by doing something they enjoyed! Disneyland will always be one of my most favorite places on earth!