Friday, April 23, 2010

Day Five and the Scoop on Give Kids the World

This is the Gingerbread House where we ate breakfast every morning. Oh how I miss the awesome biscuits and gravy that I can only get in the South...

I did not fully explain about Give Kids the World. Here are some things it is not:

*It's not a part of Disney World
*It's not a part of Make A Wish

Give Kids the World was started by a man who survived the Holocaust. He wrote a book that was given to us that I am currently reading but haven't finished. Therefore, I can't tell you details about how GKTW started. I do know ('cause I'm one of those annoying people who skim through books and read endings) that he knew people at Disney well enough to get them to help him when he started GKTW and they do offer free tickets to the families who stay there.

I just wanted to clarify that it is its own entity and is ONLY for kids who have a life-threatening health issue. You cannot pay to stay there. Your child can only go once. It exists only to give Wish children a spectacular week. They accept children from other Wish charities besides Make A Wish, so they have had families there from all over the world. They do their own fundraising--and their food budget alone must be astronomical.

This is the carousel with the mushroom roof. We spent a LOT of time there!

The Castle is attached and we spent a lot of time there, too!

Inside the room where we ate breakfast

The kids' favorite place...the Ice Cream Shop!

So...Day Five was our last full day and I was longing for a nice restful day by the pool. Thankfully, it was sunny until about 3PM and then we were hit with more rain.

The teenager, aka Killer Whale, sneaks up on his unsuspecting prey with a gleeful glint in his eye. However, he suddenly spotted the hideous glob of snot perched on the upper lip of said prey. Repulsed, he turned....

...and headed back out to sea. No easy dinner is worth a booger.

Jordan had a blast playing in the fountains

The teenager found a new way to entertain himself

And yet another form of entertainment was catching lightening fast lizards

Terrified by the sight of nine children wanting to touch it, it turned green, but even that wasn't enough to deter those who wanted to keep it captive. It finally escaped when the teenager kindly shared that 'they bite,' which cooled all eagerness to capture the young reptile.

The 3PM rain forced us to get some ice cream. Ya know...we had to cover our disappointment with the weather somehow.

Jake poked a hole in his cone which caused great consternation among his sisters. What would happen when the ice cream reached the hole? As they discussed the possibilities, the situation took care of itself because...

...this is where Jake's cone ended up. Mommy had to go get him a new one.

The playground there is modeled after a Candyland game. It's so cool! We had headed to the playground during a lull in the raindrops, but alas, five minutes after we arrived, it started raining again.

Rain made Jake remember that he had to go potty. Again.

Where do you go when it's raining? To the castle! The La-Ti-Da spa opened at 4:30, so off we went. SOME of us had not yet gotten tattoos.

Jordan gets a cowboy tattoo

Jeff gets one, too.

A little nail-polishing needed to happen.

Overview of the scene of busy little bees. Isn't the castle COOL?!?!

Once our nails dried, we went to find SaraGrace's star. The Star Fairy had been working during the night to put it up. And there it was...

It was then time for bed and since the rain had stopped, we were able to participate in the Animal Night. Volunteers from the surrounding area bring their pets for the kids to play with. Our kids skipped the dogs when they found out there was an armadillo. OK--I confess that I was actually the one who wanted to see it.

We had scheduled a visit from the Mascot, Mayor Clayton, at GKTW. He will come and tuck kids into bed! The kids had been begging for him to come and were SO excited when he arrived. He spent time with each child, fluffing pillows and being silly before finally tucking them in.

First up were Taylor and Jake

Then, Zoey, Kate and Chloe

Then the Princess of the week

and Molly and Jillian

Goodnight, Mayor Clayton!


Lori said...

Wow, what a magical vacation...down to the tiniest details! I love that! I'm so glad your family had this opportunity. Your kids will be talking about it for years to come!

Angie said...

Unbelievable what they do for the kids and their families! I had to laugh at the "mayor" tucking them into bed. Where's the photo with your teenager?? :)

Kim K. said...

What an awesome organization. I had never heard of it before your trip. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Your trip looks like a vacation of a life-time.

Jean said...

That looks like so much fun! There is always something wonderful to do rain or shine!!

Had to LOL when I saw Jakes cone! Your a good Momma getting him another one! Can't have anyone sad on such a great vacation!

Gretchen said...

What a great trip for the kids. They will remember this forever.

Kristin Ferguson said...

Hurray for the teenager who is my special hugging buddy!! I'm requesting more photos of said teenager on this blog! Looks like he and the younger ones had lots of fun! I would have paid BIG BUCKS to see a picture of the "mayor" hugging and tucking in Taylor!!! (Or are those being saved for blackmail purposes?)


Adeye said...

Sweet, sweet memories, my friend. Next time can we go too?????? Sooooo much fun. I can only imagine how BEAT your kiddos were when you got home.

Adeye said...

Sweet, sweet memories, my friend. Next time can we go too?????? Sooooo much fun. I can only imagine how BEAT your kiddos were when you got home.

Wife of the Pres. said...

I am in awe!!! Wow!!! I have just gotten caught up on the trip!!! I can't believe the GKTW place. AMAZING! I would love to volunteer too. Let me know if you do that someday: maybe I could come too and bring my oldest. What an opportunity!

OK, please email me if you want, but I was just wondering if Sara Grace is a "heart baby" too. I looked back but couldn't find her story! I just wanted to read about it if you had posted it. If not and you don't want to share, I understand! Just seeing her get her wish made me want to read about how far she's come! I had tears reading back on Kate's surgery. I remember that was about the time I found your blog, through Kim K's I think.

So blessed to have found you and your beautiful family!


P.S. You are CORRECT that you can NOT get biscuits and REAL gravy anywhere but in the South! ;)

Wife of the Pres. said...

P.S.S. My "Mo" has the backward clothes deal. What is up with that???

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

I'm just catching up on your wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing your pics and memories from "the happiest place on earth." I'm so glad your sweet family was chosen for such a special vacation.

God Bless,

Shonni said...

It looks like SO MUCH FUN!!!