Monday, December 29, 2014

Pin Trading at Disneyland

I had wanted to write this post weeks ago, but time just got away from me.

It is doing that a lot lately.

Anyways, I did lots of research before our trip to Disneyland. And one of the fun things I read about was Pin Trading.

Basically, a few cast members at Disney are pin traders and will trade pins with people who have the Disney pins. These pins range from ANYTHING Disney so the options are endless.

There are some rules....

You can only have 12 pins on your lanyard at a time
Never touch anyone else's pins until they hand it to you
Only one pin trade per person
Only trade with Cast Members (my rule)


Cast members with green lanyards will trade with only kids, and in my opinion, had the best pins.

The first thing we did before we left was order a group of 50 pins from Amazon. We ended up paying about 50 cents per pin. I didn't price individual pins before we left but this turned out to be a really good thing....we saw some of our pins in stores for $4-8 each.

We also got the kids fun lanyards to pin them to. The girls' lanyards came with a little purse at the end, which actually came in very handy. (More on that later.)

In the car on the way down I let the kids divvy them up.

The kids were a bit shy in the beginning, but the cast members were super friendly about it. When we were making our first trade the man we were trading with realized that we were new at this, so he explained that most people collect either sets (you can tell by looking at the back of the pin if it is in a set) or themes. (Themes are could do all princesses, or Star Wars, or frontier land ones, or Donald Duck pins.....)

We were on the lookout for pins for most of the time we were was a good balance because probably only one in fifteen Cast Members were pin traders.

And for some reason we saw lots more pin trading Cast Members in Disneyland. In California Adventure there were a few, but they did not have them on a lanyard but on their vests.

One problem we ran into....the back of our pins kept coming off. We did lose a couple and finally started using the little bags at the bottom of the lanyards to keep our pins in.

When someone got a really special one (Dasher was going for all birds) they put it in My Sweetie's fanny pack.

We also never had a cast member turn us down....when the kids would walk up to one with a lanyard, they would interrupt what they were doing to trade.

Here you can Bookworm and her pins....

 This Cast Member below had a a twist to his pin trading.

See the dark space on the right side of his lanyard? He had some pins that were pinned backwards. You could blindly trade for that one......he hinted to Nutsy that those were usually a great deal so she took the bait.....

....and got a very cool Storm Trooper pin! She later traded it with her brother (who was collecting Star Wars, of course) but we did see that same pin at a pin store kiosk for $12!

In most of the stores in Disneyland there was at least one trader too.

This was a SUPER fun activity....the kids loved interacting with the Cast Members and got some very cool pins. Dasher actually traded enough to get a complete set, and all the kids got some very nice pins from their trading.

We all agreed that if we ever get to go back, the kids would definitely do the pin trading again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Week In Images

My Week....

This pretty song....

because I am hearing over and over, as Bookworm practices for the Certificate of Merit.

This meat.....

because it will be nice to have a freezer full of home-grown pork.

This little Nut and what I let her do.......

 because you are only young once.

These food bank helpers.......

because it makes us so thankful for what we have.

These treat boxes.....

because I love baking and giving it away.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014


2014 has been a year of growth, joys, learning, and adventures. We can see God's hand, through the good and the bad, as He leads us in Providence and grace.

We are still involved in 4H; this year all four kids are officers. Mr. Lego is our Club President, Bookworm is the Secretary, Dasher is the Attendance Secretary, and Nutsy is a Sergeant at Arms. This year we are doing the market goat project, sheep project, and record book project and the younger three are doing judged presentations.

We are in our 6th year of our homeschooling co-op. There are three families involved with 15 kids total, from ages 8 to 18. We study biology (older kids) anatomy (younger kids), Medieval history, and writing. We also do monthly geography and art projects. Plus, one of the older girls is directing a play that they will all perform this coming summer.

Mr. Lego (J) is now a senior in high school. And we are seriously pinching ourselves when we think that he will be old enough to vote in our next election. He has had a year of changes which started out when he got a job this last summer being a meal server in a retirement community. He likes interacting with the residents and has realized he enjoys food service. He was able to buy a used car in the fall and has enjoyed having his own set of wheels. He was also able to take a class at our community college this last semester and plans to take another next semester. And this is his last year in 4H and he is going out with a bang; he'll be showing a lamb at our county fair in May.

Bookworm (K) is growing up too. She is now 15 and has a small job cleaning an office space. She also babysits and cleans houses and saves just about all her money for her 4H projects. She is saving up to buy her market goat for this next season and go to the fair. She is also planning on purchasing a breeding doe next year, which will lead her to start breeding her own market goats. In school she has found that she really loves writing, and is doing extra credit writing assignments.

Dasher (A) is doing great. She just had her birthday and is now a big 14. She loves doing extra jobs around the house for mom. Her favorite subject in school is grammar and anatomy. She has really shown some progress in her reading and math this year, and is enjoying picking out books to read at the library. She did great in 4H last year, winning the Junior 4H Goat Showmanship competition. She is looking forward to improving in showmanship this year and getting her market goat next month.

Nutsy (E) is 9. She is now in her first year of 4H and is going to show goats this year for the first time. This year she is also doing her first 4H judged presentation and is a little nervous, but is working hard on it. In school she enjoys math and history. I like it that the math really 'clicks' in her brain. She likes collecting little cars, doing art projects, and participating in our homeschooling co op.

This was mostly about the kids; My Sweetie and I are doing good and had an enjoyable year. As a family we enjoy game nights, fun talks, camping trips, and our annual family reunion.

Each and every day, may we be reminded of Christ. Of His saving work on the cross, and how much we need Him.


The Joyful Hearts Family

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That our 4H goat season is coming.....early next month we will head out to the goat farm to check out the stock, and then plan on getting some of the goats by February. I love what this whole season teaches my kids, but it can be a busy one.

What I'm listening to: Lee Brice is playing right now on Pandora.....

What we're learning: This week the younger two are learning about the respiratory system in anatomy, and then in history we are learning about medieval history in Germany. Also, the last couple of weeks of schooling, Dasher has really improved in her math learning. She really struggles and I am so thankful for some of the breakthroughs she is having.

What I'm watching: Some unsettled weather coming the week. Actually a whopper of a storm is headed our way, according to the news. But our area has the tendency to overdo the weather forecast (last week it made the news that the wind knocked down some Christmas trees at a tree lot) so we'll see what happens.....

What's cooking: This week I am making Chinese Hot Pot, A pot roast, and my slow cooker meal is Mozzarella Chicken with sweet potatoes. My fermented apple chutney is done fermenting so I am excited to sample that later this week.

What I'm thankful for: I am very thankful for my kids. They are growing up, and I am so thankful that the Lord blessed me with all four of them.

What I'm creating: I want to start thinking about my Christmas Cookies. Every year, the kids and I make lots of yummy things and take them to our neighbors. Salted caramels are definitely happening, but I need to figure out some other ideas. Pinterest, here I come.....

What I'm praying: I am praying for myself and my family. In church this last Sunday we were challenged to think how we should act in our relationships, knowing that we are saved by grace and have the Holy Spirit. What does that look like? How do I live? The amazing news that we are saved should impact how I treat others and what my actions are.

What we did this last weekend: Saturday we went out with the tri-pod to a pretty area near our house for our annual family photo shoot. It was successful and now I need to order our Christmas cards. Sunday we were at church, then to the service at the assisted living center. Home again with friends for a lively card game.

What I'm looking forward to: Counting this week and next, only 2 more weeks of school before we take our winter break!

Pictures to share:

Out takes from our photo shoot......

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Week In Images

This Christmas tree....

 because it is a hodge-podge of ornaments but I love it because the kids decorate it all.

These persimmons and pears......

 because the pears will be good eating and the persimmons will make a lovely bread.

These students.......

who had fun making their own coat-of-arms in co-op this week.

This delicious lunch....

kale, roasted vegetables and chicken.

And this heart.....

left on my nicely made bed to let me know that my Secret Servant was at work.