Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Well, the deed is done...we are booked for our fabulous Disney vacation! I have been couponing and eating out of the freezer and our money goal is almost met, but in the meantime, we are booked! We (my family, my sister's and our parents) have all been saving money to go to Disney in the fall, and although we aren't quite at our goal, we knew we needed to book our week before the deal was sold out. It was a complete blessing that we only had to put down a $200 deposit and pay the rest in August. I can save the rest before then!

In the meantime, we have been having a blast deciding which restaurants to eat at, what day to go to what park, and how we are going to possibly do it all in 6 days! Last time we only had 3, but with 6 we are having a hard time fitting it all in :) Since we have 11 in our group, we are considered a Grand Gathering and the name given to our group is Amy's Army. I thought the reservationist had a good idea with this name. I have been on the phone with Disney several times already booking dinners and my family has referred to me as their travel agent. But I have enjoyed it and can't wait to go. We are going to have the best time!!! Lots of character dinners, eating at a cool looking Mexican restaurant and getting many autographs from Mickey and friends!

In the meantime, I have to keep my eye on the goal. More couponing; more dinners at home; and lots more saving our pennies!

Monday, May 17, 2010

17 Years!

I just got back from celebrating with Dave our 17th anniversary and we had a great time! Although May is always a busy month, I was determined that we were going away this year to celebrate on our actual anniversary. I was especially determined not just because we don't get away often, but we got married on a Sunday, and our anniversary was on a Sunday this year. So despite all the busyness of May, we got away to celebrate on May 16.

We went to Ocean Isle, NC and stayed at a small resort with a room on the beach. We kept the window open at night and could hear the surf crashing on the sand. During the day we laid around by the pool and read without having to watch the boys. I also worked on my tan (insert laugh track here) and didn't get too burnt. We drove to Calabash to eat great seafood and went to a movie. On the way home Monday we stopped at the Mystic Day Spa (this name has significance since we honeymooned in Mystic, CT) and we both had awesome massages. Of course when we stopped for lunch I looked like I had not washed my hair for a week since the massage oil was in it! But no one knew me and it was worth it!

And Dave found a perfect description of me on a candle. He made me buy it!

To top the whole weekend off, though, I received wonderful news when we got home. May 16 now is even more special--it is the day that my oldest nephew asked Jesus to be his Savior and now he is a Christian! Marriage is great and children are awesome, but having them come to know Christ when they are young is true joy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beautiful Boys

I have recently re-watched Mr. Holland's Opus. It is without question one of my all time favorite movies. I know the characters in no way give God much thought, but the whole focus of the movie is on priorities and Mr. Holland makes the right choices; even if he doesn't always want to. And even when he has to be taught the right choices when it comes to his deaf son, he gets it right eventually. I think I cry every time the end of the movie happens and he sees that even though he was "only" a teacher and did not do "great" things, he touched the lives of so many people. I have the soundtrack to the movie and will sometimes tear up just listening to his Opus!

I got the soundtrack to the movie for one reason, though, and it is a Beetles song. I am not a Beetles fan. The main thing I know of them is that they all lived in a yellow submarine holding hands; but I really like the song Beautiful Boy that John Lennon wrote for his son. I originally bought it for my beautiful boy Nathan, but have since been blessed with two beautiful boys! The song states that "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." I interpret that to mean that we can get so busy planning things and making plans for the future that we miss out on life as it happens. That is something for me to remember.

Being all boy!

My beautiful boys having fun

Mr. Holland's life did happen for him while he planned for his songwriting career. During that life he touched the lives of many people, including, eventually, his son. I hope and pray that when I retire, not that you can ever retire from being a mom :), I will be able to look back and see that my life touched others; especially that I am a positive influence on my beautiful boys.