Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I went to a thrift store yesterday and noticed how prices have increased.  WOW!  It kind of shocked me a little.  When I worked at this thrift stores, women's pants were $3.  Now they are about $5-$6.  That might not sound like much to someone, but that isn't the only thing that has increased.  A lot of items have taken a big jump.  I am not trying to complain, but I just want you to take a look around and see the difference in prices and stores.  Maybe I am just spoiled having received such great hand me downs.  :)

Anyone want some money? Here ya go

I stumbled upon a great giveaway on Living Out Loud.  They are giving away $50 directly to your paypal account.  Who couldn't use $50 toward Christmas with that season coming closely upon up.  I just followed them.  Happy to continue reading.  I would love to receive the $50 toward Christmas.  It surely would help.  :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

T.J. Maxx

You guys know that I love TJ Maxx.  I found a new blog that I have joined.  They are giving away a gift card to TJ Maxx or Marshalls.  Yayyyyy!  Check this blog out ladies.  I have always been a fan of TJ Maxx.  They have great clothes and household goods.  I always have great luck finding things there.  I have to admit that I find humor when I hear people complaining about going to the mall to spend money on clothes.  I think it is ridiculous, when you can simply go to TJ Maxx and find great buys there.  The quality is great too.  Check out the giveaway:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marmaduke Movie Giveaway

I have stumbled on a few giveaways this morning.  Outnumbered 3 to 1 is giving away a Marmaduke movie.  I have heard of this movie a few times.  It looks really fun and entertaining.  I think that George Lopez and Owen Wilson are hillarious!  My children love animals, so of course this sounds like a very great movie.  So excited to have entered.  I surely hope I win.  Everyone should check out this blog.  I decided to follow it.  It looks really great and fun to read.  I am finding myself reading more and more.

"A Fashion Fairy Tale" From Country Girl City Life

As most of you know, my little girl idolizes Barbie.  I stumbled on this blog  The movie looks so cute and cool.  My little girl will totally LOVE this if we win.  This blog looks really cool so I also decided to follow it.  I hope we win!  Check it out and let me know what you guys think.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Furnished Home Part 1

Just yesterday I was walking around my house and realized something that I hadn't realized before.  My entire home is furnished exclusively from hand-me-downs and gifts with the exception of my bed.  It might sound funny, but it is true. 

Walk in our door and you will immediately see the living room.  Our living room has 2 recliners, 1 couch, 2 bookcases, and a tv stand with a tv.  The couch is very worn down, but it still does its function.  I received it from an old family friend who I was renting an apartment from.  It had been used for years, and they decided to redo their furniture in the house.  I don't plan on purchasing a new one until the kids are older and grown out of that "draw on things with markers and crayons" stage.  It is still just fine for now.  The 2 recliners were given by a different friend whose aunt was getting rid of them since she had bought new furniture.  I happily borrowed my dad's truck and drove out there to pick them up.  They are in good condition and perfectly fine.  The bookcases were given to me when I moved into my first apartment.  My friend wanted to buy me something I would use and decided to buy me two bookshelves.  They are great and definitely full of books, magazines, dvds, etc.  I don't plan on getting rid of them any time soon.  The tv stand was also given to me by the friend who gave me the recliner.  I had been looking for a tv stand and she just so happened to have one in her garage that she was looking to get rid of.  Score for Sassy!  ;)  Our tv came from my parents' house.  My dad had put a magnet on top of it while working out and he said the color somehow managed to get all screwed up.  At first it proceeded to look a little funny.  The coloring is all fine now.  It is perfectly fine. 

Step into my scrapbook nook, and you will find my desk, armoire for scrapbook supplies, and my chair.  The desk was given to me by my childrens' grandpa.  He had ordered one for his office at home.  Somehow he was delivered two of them and only charged for the one.  I believe he said he called to return the other, but in the end it was given to me.  It was brand new.  I was so excited.  The armoire was my ex's (baby's daddy ) that he had had when he lived at home with his parents.  His parents were moving and in the process of getting rid of things.  I mentioned that if they were planning on getting rid of the armoires (there were 2 of them), let me know.  Lo and behold, they delivered one to my house.  I immediately filled it with all my wonderous scrapbook supplies.  The chair had been given to me by another ex bf.  He was moving out of his place and in the transitional stage.  He was getting rid of all kinds of things, and I told him I wanted the chair since he had it set aside to get rid of, stating that he just didn't need it anymore.  He brought it right over (we were living in the condo at that time). 

Step into the kitchen directly from the scrapbook nook, and you'll see my great, big kitchen table.  It is such a great size and able to fit many people around it.  I bought it, along with 6 chairs from my parents.  They had purchased a different table and were replacing this one.  I believe I paid $225.00.   It originally had been purchased for $600, just for the table.  The chairs were another $30 each, if I remember correctly.  When dirving around, I spotted a yard sale with another 4 chairs.  I decided to purchase them for when more people were over.  Each chair was only $5!  This was definitely worth the purchase and has already been enjoyed by many.

To be continued....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Being Content and Satisfied

I stumbled upon a great website about why you'll be happier with a smaller house and I have to say that I completely agree with this list.  Check out the website:

I live in a 1600 sq ft home.  To some that might sound large, and to others that might sound tiny.  For me though, I am completely content.  Some might say this is a starter home.  Being a single mother and supporting my kids and I on my own, I see this as our home.  I don't see us leaving this house unless I
a) I lose my job and am unable to afford paying the payments, which I have experienced a layoff and the results of unemployment so though that might not sound like a possibility to some, I know the reality all too well.
b) By some miracle I find employment for a great position in another state.
c)  By some extreme miracle, I find a husband and other arrangements for housing are made?

Our home has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It also has a yard for the kids to play in and enjoy.  Our dogs have a yard to roam around and enjoy.  I have a walk in closeted bedroom, which I do enjoy.  Our dining room is very large and has many a time provided plenty of space for friends and family to gather around the table to enjoy great food, good games and fun.  I even have my scrapbook nook.  A one car garage that has plenty of room.  I trully love my home. 

Of course there are always things that I would love to change up a little.  The front yard, for instance, is just rock and a dried up patch of grass.  We purchased a forclosure so the yard hadn't been touched since it being vacant.  I haven't even bothered with it as of yet, because I don't know what I want to do there, and I don't want to waste money on it. 

Given the space of my home, I do catch myself wishing I had a larger home for various other things, but upon reading this article, I have realized that deep down, I really am content.  Yes, I do have clutter in our house and garage, but I am slowly working on that.  I need to work on that and get a handle on this.

Being a single mom, it occurred to me that "stuff" amounted to wealth.  If I found a great deal on something at the thrift store, I just couldn't resist it.  I would get such a high on getting more stuff, because I felt richer by owning it.  When I moved into our house, I thought I needed to buy more stuff to fill it after moving from a two bedroom apartment.  I scavaged yard sales and purchased all kinds of toys and things.  Now when I look around, I know I need to go through it more thoroughly.

If I lived in a bigger house, I am sure it wouldn't even phase me in the least.  I am thankful for this sized house.  It trully is a great amount of space for us.  I really am satisfied, content and beyond thankful.  We trully have been blessed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Angela Salazar Photography

So I was online and came across this photography package giveaway. 

I am a single mother of 2 children, and I will be honest- I have hardly any pictures of me and my kids together.  I take pictures of my kids, but there usually isn't anyone around to take pictures with me in them when wanted.  I would LOVE to receive this free photo session and obtain priceless pictures of my kids and I.  I think she has a great style in photography.  I love that she specializes in natural lighting.  Here's to wishing and hoping that I win :)

Check it out and enter if you are interested.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's That Time Of Year....

Smith's is having their Case Lot Sale currently.  Be sure to hit up the store and stock up on food in an effort to reduce your grocery costs.  I stocked up on green beans, jelly, tomato soup, Spaghetti O's, and black beans.  Definitely worth checking out. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Happiest Place On Earth

We just got back from our Disneyland trip, and man did we have a lot of fun.  I posted before about those discount tickets on Ebay.  I was extremely skeptical of the tickets being valid and able to use.  I received a call Friday afternoon before we left town with the address and instructions for picking up the tickets.  It was about a mile and a half from Disneyland.  We drove there to the office and there was a line of people waiting to pick up tickets.  We were to meet the guy there at 7:30.  The guy wasn't there and I was getting anxious and ready to leave.  One of the other buyers called the cell phone a little while later and was informed that the guy had had a family emergency at 4 that morning and was on his way.  By the time he got there it was 8:30.  I was a little irritated by having to wait around but it was definitely worth it.  My dad complained endlessly about wasting the hour.  We got to the gate and I was afraid the tickets wouldn't work.  They did though.  I was instantly relaxed after that.  We had such a blast. 

A little about the tickets-  The tickets turned out to be 6 day park hopper tickets.  The business buys the tickets and rents them out for about $50-$55 a ticket.  To ensure that you will return the tickets (since they will have them rented out the next day)  they require to hold your ID until you drop them off.  The drop off is between 7 pm -1:00 in the morning.  They do this so you don't have you cut your enjoyment short.  The guy is just sitting in the office waiting for people to drop off.  You just drop the tickets off in exchange for your ID, and there is no hassel to it.

While we were at Disneyland the business owner called me via cell phone asking me a few questions regarding the ticket pick up.  I guess he had gotten a few calls that morning about his employee not being there.  I told the owner the truth about how late he was and how I wasn't the happiest about it.  As a way to keep future business, he offered to refund half of the cost!!  :)  (I received verifcation from ebay that it was refunded.) 

Would I ever do this again?  OH HECK YEAH!!!  It saved a significant amount of money to go this way.  And even if they hadn't refunded any of the money, it would have been worth an hour of my time.  We still enjoyed many hours of fun there.  The kids had a blast.  I had a blast.  We all had so much fun, and in the future if we decide to go again, I plan on purchasing my tickets this way.  So if you are looking for a way to cut costs on Disneyland tickets, look on ebay.  My seller has a 100% rating of over 4000 people.  If you email him, with an exact number of tickets you are needing with specific dates, he will make arrangements and give you a good deal.  I liked how professional he was about everything and was more than willing to correct things with his employee being late. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Secret Addiction...

I have a secret addiction.  I enter sweepstakes.  And I'm not talking about just one or two a day.  I enter a lot of sweepstakes.  One day during April, while of course being unemployed, I stumbled upon a site about entering sweepstakes online.  I instantly thought, " That is crazy.  People don't really win those do they?"  For some reason I figured- Oh what the heck why not.  So since then I have been entering.  I haven't won one dang thing yet.  But I still plug away and enter anyways.  I read people win all the time.  Why can't I have better luck?  Hmmmmmmm     I am secretly addicted to entering them.  hahahaha    Hopefully one of these days I win some fun things. 


Have you ever had a friend who lived far away, and you felt that if they lived near you would get so much accomplished together?  That's how I have been feeling lately.  I have an amazing friend that I have had since I was around 13.  I have always looked up to her, and she was like my big sister.   We keep in touch via text and email (and who could forget facebook   ;).  We talk about everything.  We vent to each other through hard times, and the other typically has great words of encouragement that keeps the other going.    I couldn't imagine not having her to talk to.  I trully admire her.

This summer we have been talking a lot about canning and food storage.   If we lived close to eachother, I am sure we would get together often and do all these productive things together.  I am sure she could keep me motivated in doing it all.  She always seems to be doing something  :)  This summer she did a lot of canning of peaches.   I have to admit that I don't know how in the world she did it on her own.  I have been helping my grandma all weekend with canning, and it has been great to have company doing it with me.  I don't know if I would stick with it if I didn't have anyone else there.  I am afraid I would just give up and quit  :(.  No, I am not typically a quitter.  I am just afraid I wouldn't continue the process due to boredom.  Not to say it is completely boring, but it is very time consuming.

Man do I wish this friend was closer to get my butt in gear.  I need to get my butt in gear about certain areas in my life. 


Canning!  The name sounds so old fashioned and weird, I think.  But I feel so accomplished.  I canned this weekend.  My grandma called me Sunday night and asked if I would mind coming and helping her.  I spent 5 1/2 hours canning.  I hadn't done it since I was about 12 years old.  I actually enjoyed it.  Yes, it is time consuming, but very worth it.  We canned peaches.  She received about 6 boxes of peaches from her cousin in Utah.  For all my hard work, I was rewarded a few bottles for myself.  I am definitely looking forward to enjoying them when that time comes around. 

Monday we gathered 'round Grandma's table to work on more, with my cousin and aunt present.  My grandma had to leave unexpectedly due to a family member being in the hospital and the chance of not making it...  :(  My aunt, cousin and I stayed and did one batch for my grandma.  It was fun.  I hadn't had a good conversation with them for such a long time. 

Tonight I plan on offering to help again to can up some more, since we only got 2 1/2 boxes finished.  I wish I had somewhere to buy great tasting, fresh peaches around me so I could start doing this for myself.  I honestly enjoyed it.  It was kind of relaxing, though full of hard work.  It was a great way to bond with my grandma and catch up on life. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today I was supposed to take the kids and going hiking with my sister.  We thought this was a brilliant idea.  Yesterday when discussing the details, we both just didn't feel like going.  This morning I just wasn't up for it due to the heat and figured it would be safer to stay inside.  Isn't fall supposed to be here?  Why is it still over a hundred degrees? 

I started cleaning house since we were  home.  Around lunch time I decided I really wanted Panda Express.  You have to know that I do not eat out too often.  I bring lunches to work, eat at home and typically save a substantial amount of money in the process.  For the past 2 or 3 weeks I have really been craving Panda Express' Kung Pao Chicken.  It sounded so delicious for all this time, and I have been putting it off.  As of yesterday I started feeling deprived. 

No, I am not deprived by any means in reality.  As long as we have clothes to wear, food to eat, health, a safe roof over our heads, then we are fine.  But I just wanted to go so badly to Panda.  I worked it out and figured the money I hadn't spent on gas driving out to my sister's house and back (since they live so far away) would have been about that amount or so I think.  So I loaded the kids in the car, as they were screaming and crying that it was too hot having to put on the seat belts.  It was insane.

While driving I thought about how to stretch the money we would be spending on the chinese food.  I figured if we went to the Chinese buffet and my kids filled up, as well as myself of course, it would be much smarter.  So we went to a place I had been to before years ago.  We looked at the food and it looked rather yummy.  The kids were so excited. 

I have to say it bluntly- it was disgusting.  Yuck.  My daughter liked it but only ate about half a plate of food, which she usually eats much more.  My son ate two bites and told me it was yucky.  He wouldn't eat it no matter how much bribing I tried.  I couldn't blame him.  I only ate a couple bites and two chicken sticks. 

What a waste of money!!!!  And to think that I was trying to be frugal and get the best bang for my buck.  I am a very frugal person as some of you might know.  But this was a very unfrugal decision on my part.  The one thing that I wanted the most (the Kung Pao Chicken) was not good quality whatsoever at the buffet.  In fact, it tasted and looked like the "chicken" wasn't chicken at all.  It looked and tasted like bacon or something of that effect.  Oh my goodness how gross it was. 

Next time I decide to spend the money and eat out, I will choose the quality item instead of opting for the quantity.  How I am kicking myself now.  I spent $13 for that.  :(   And yes, I am still hungry if you would like to know.  Just another lesson in life.

The Tightwad Gazette

Have you ever read the Tightwad Gazette?  I have read the Complete Tightwad Gazette (Volumes 1-3) from cover to cover quite a few times.  I have checked it out from the library.  I admit other this is the way I came to my extreme frugality at times.  Yes, I was raised frugal by my dad, but when you are in your teens you think you know everything.  At first frugality was the enemy.  Then I completely embraced it and have loved it ever since. 

Frugal Hacks is giving away one Tightwad Gazette book.  Check out their website:

I will admit that I got the Yard Sale Christmas we had last year from this book.  I was completely skeptical until I tried it.  Man am I glad that I did try it though.  It saved me so much money last year on Christmas.  It was so fun, and the kids enjoyed it so much. 

I hope I win this book :)  I love rereading it and remembering great ideas to save money.  Here's hoping. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Value of Instilling a Work Ethic In Children

In the previous post I mentioned how our family built our own houses growing up.  Sounds like fun right?  When you're a kid, that isn't so certain.  When other kids are sleeping in during the summer time and enjoying the lazy days of summer, you envy them.  You think of how nice it would be to be in bed right then, enjoying the nice air conditioning, while you're sweating in the Vegas heat, hammering away at the roof with no shade to cover you.  My friends would tell me that my parents slaved us to death.  I must admit that I agreed with them.  I started to dislike my dad for all the "cruel" theory of work he would insist that we do. 

On quite a few times I would rebel and tell him I wasn't going to do this or that when building.  Sure enough no matter what I said, it was done.  When I was RPCed (Required Parent Conference) in Middle School for doing something naughty, I thought, " Ooooo great.  I'll get a day out of school to relax and have fun while all my classmates are doing all that schoolwork."  Instead my dad handed me a broom and said, "Get to the 'LOT' (what we called the house we were building) and start sweeping up."  He told me I was to pick up all the wood, sweep up all the sawdust, do such and such and such...  I immediately thought my dad was the cruelest father ever.  How could he possibly make me do that?  The plywood had just been set on the roof and there was sawdust EVERYWHERE.  It was a complete mess.  And I must admit that the thought of this event YEARS later still makes me shutter.  I grudgingly finished it as fast as I could so I could get back inside to the AC.  It took HOURS to get it done.  He woke me up before he left for work, and I didn't finish til about an hour before my school would have been getting out.  Needless to say, I worked hard manual labor longer than I would have just been in school.  The next day when I was able to go back to school, I was happy to be back. 

All those years while performing all those countless hours of labor, I truly started to hate my dad.  I thought he had a barbaric parenting style.  I would have loved to be playing with my friends, enjoying the summer months like they were.  They would go to the school by our house and run through the water sprinklers during the evening.  I remember being invited quite a few times and was immediately told NO by my dad.  Sleepovers?  "No, you need to do this and that on the lot tomorrow like I already told you."  Crushed, I continued to resent this work he was making me do.  Isn't this man's work to do?  Why should I be doing it?  I had an older brother, but he had a job and proceeded to stay out with friends afterward.  In fact, my brother would call my little sister and I "the slaves" of the family.  He thought it was funny and would make fun of us to no end. 

No, my dad wasn't that bad, though at the time I surely thought so.  He would let us do some things on occassion, and we would surely cherish them more than if we were allowed to go to everything I am sure.  Looking back on this though, I am so incredibly greatful that he taught me the value of work.  I know many people my age who don't work hard and haven't ever been taught how to.  Man, do I love my dad for the lessons in life he taught. 

I remember having to hammer on the roof, and I figured I would do it really fast in my section and not do it all the way like I was told.  I figured my dad would have no way of knowing.  Man was I wrong!!  That same night he was inside the structure of the house and looked up at the roof to see so many "shiners" as we called them.  (Nails just hammed through plywood and not going through the trusses.)  He then noticed how far apart the nails were and that there were only 4 in the entire side of that sheet of plywood.  I was supposed to have put a nail 2 " apart on the entire side.  My dad continued to ask me about it, and I started to lie and say it wasn't my section.  He knew better since he specifically told us which sections were ours the night before, and not to mention the fact I couldn't even look at him when I was telling him it wasn't my section.  Sure enough I was informed I was to get back up there and do it again the correct way, and I was not allowed to come back into our house down the street until it was done.  Grumbing and bitter, I learned not to take short cuts.   

We weren't afraid of hard work after being used to it for so long.  Now days I see so many parents who don't expect their kids to do anything.  I will freely admit that I don't expect much out of my kids.  But who is benefitting from this?  It might be easier for me to just do it to save time, but later on will they know the value of work?  Will they know how to do things? 

My daughter is 6.  When I was 6, I had a list of chores I had to do every Saturday morning.  In fact, we were to go NOWHERE unless our chores were done.  I had to clean one bathroom, my room AND one other common area room in the house.  In fact, that is what all 3 of older kids had to do at the time.  There was no question about it.  You better believe we would race to whatever room we wanted to do so someone else didn't do it first, resulting in having to do a room that we hated in the houes (like the kitchen YUCK).  If we went out to play without doing our chores we would get in so much trouble. 

So what am I really teaching my kids?  What work ethic am I teaching them in life?  I think I need to address this, so I can raise hard working adults.  Without the guidance and "cruel parenting" (as I called it at the time) I have no idea where I would be.  I would probably just have given up and resorted to living off the government and not working whatsoever.  Thankfully for me, I was taught better than that.  Or as my dad would always say when I did anything wrong, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT!  Ouch, the words that could break you harder than anything else. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I DID IT!!!!! Turning Down "Stuff"

My parents are going to be putting their house on the market to sell.  No, this is not something they really want to be doing.  My dad has lost his job and does not receive unemployment.  :(  Long story.  My stepmom works, but things are tight I am sure.  So they have resorted to selling the house. 

You have to know that my dad builds custom built homes.  Since I was just a small child I remember building a new house, living in it, building a new one and selling it, and on and on.  Or at least that is what it seemed like to me.  More on another post.

Anyways, so my parents have been going through things.  They had a HUGE pile of stuff waiting for me to go through.  Man do they know and love me or what?  Yes, I went through it.  And yes I did take some stuff.  And they were the following:
-Scrapbook Stuff: I love to scrapbook.  It is an expesnive hobby, and these were really cute supplies.  Even if I don't use them for myself, which I am sure I will ;), I can use them toward my Scrapbook gifts that I make people.
- A laundry hamper: I was actually planning on buying one for my room before being offered this.  It saved on me not having to go out and purchase one.
- A chest: I had been eyeing this when my stepmom and I found it at the store.  She bought it on clearance at a store that was going out of business.  She decided that they just have too much stuff and she happily gave it to me.  Yes, I happily accepted. 

There were so many other things, but I just didn't want it.  Yes, some were great things.  Some I could have taken and tried selling on ebay or craigslist, but I just didn't want the hassle.  I happily declined the other things and my stepmom kept asking if I was sure.  Ummmm yeah I am positive  :)  I feel more accomplished. 

We're Going to Disneyland!...on the

Ok so I know what everyone is thinking.  How in the heck is Disneyland a frugal endeavor?  It can be much less expensive if you shop around for things.  Like say admission tickets.  If I went to Disneyland it would cost $101.00 for a one day park hopper pass I believe.  That is PER Person too.  Ouch. 

Preface: I was at a friend's house and another of her friends was mentioning that her mom bought cruise tickets on ebay.  I must admit that I was extremely skeptical.  The other day I was at my parents' house and we were all discussing Disneyland and how we wanted to go there. 

The next day I thought, well let's look on ebay and see if this is real.  I bought 4 tickets for $202.00  (Of course I put it on my credit card.)  We are to pick the tickets up down there right before they open.  Some might say that sounds shady, but they do have 4000+ great feedbacks.  100% great feedback, in fact.  I figured if worst comes to worse we can at least go down and see the beach if it isn't legit, and I will dispute the charges on my credit card, though I really want to go to Disneyland more than anything. 

My dad found a hotel room for $65 a night.  My little sis said she will go, too.  So it will be my kids and I, my dad and sister.  We will split the room between the three of us.  And the tickets to Disneyland are $50.50 each.  My son is free since he is not yet 3  :) 

Normally I would not spend that kind of money for one day of enjoyment, but I think this is worth it to me.  We've never had a real vacation since my son wasn't even crawling.  In fact, since he was so small, he was left behinf for Grandma to watch him.  So I figured this would be a fun family trip.  I have had a very bad year this year with job loss, uncertainty, and constant fear with things going on in my life.  I have worked the numbers out ahead of time and know what I am spending.  The looks of joy and happiness on my kids' faces, and *yes* even my own will be more than worth it.

My sister or dad will drive, and we will split gas between the three of us.  Easier and cheaper.  We are only going for the weekend, so there won't be a need to have my own set of wheels to go anywhere special since the motel is right by Disneyland.

Food- we will all buy our own food.  Sorry, but the kids and I will NOT be buying grub at Disneyland.  It is extremely too expensive to pay those prices for food.  Maybe one treat each (and even that isn't guaranteed), but not a meal or anything at the amusement park.  If we have to walk across the street to eat for a reasonable price, then so be it.  We'll be getting plenty of exercise during the day, so what is a little more? 

I am not telling the kids about this.  It is going to be a surprise.  In all honesty, I didn't want to tell them and then something happen with the tickets and it not happen.  The kids would be heartbroken if it didn't happen after being told and being so excited.  (Trust me, they would freak out and start jumping for joy if they found out we were going.)  I hope and pray that it all works out. 

I will let everyone know for sure the final result.  And if this all pans out, you will know a MUCH less expensive way to go to Disneyland :)