11 years old, birthday, Birthday Girl, Dixie Stampede, Olivia, Preteen, Sevierville, Tennessee, Wilderness at the Smokies

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Sunday was Olivia’s 11th Birthday! It’s hard to believe that my baby girl is a preteen! She is growing up too quickly and it’s hard to believe that in just two years she will be a teenager! Where has the time gone? I want her back to being little again! But she is growing up and she is right where she needs to be. Academically she is not where she needs to be as far as math goes. But that is a work in progress that we will continue to work on no matter what challenge is thrown in our way.

Here are a few things that we did this past weekend to celebrate her birthday. We took her to Sevierville, TN and to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park! She enjoyed becoming a Junior Ranger and enjoyed exploring the park on Sunday!!! She got to enjoy a waterpark and is looking forward to this summer where she wants to go to an outdoor waterpark with her friends and family. She got to see the Dixie Stampede (she’s seen it before but actually remembered it this go round) and we took our own ketchup bottle with us. We have now officially seen it all! Olivia got to experience her first wave pool ever and can’t wait to go back and enjoy it again! We stayed at Wilderness at the Smokies and we highly recommend that resort! We want to go back and spend a little more time there and even would be willing to put a year of Disney on hold and go there instead. Gasp! I know!!!

Monday we got Olivia a Cookie Cake and celebrated her birthday with the family. She loved her cake and it’s all gone now except for the pandas which were on her cake. I have to say that even though the cake was very expensive it was well worth it.

For Olivia’s birthday, we didn’t want to get her a bunch of things that she didn’t need. She had a tablet but it had stopped working and it was going to cost more to fix than to replace it. So we looked at getting her an iPad but for the price we just couldn’t justify paying that amount for her. And then we couldn’t put the limits on it like we wanted to. Then we looked at another Galaxy Tablet for her. But we finally decided to get her a Kindle Fire HD 7. We love the fact that we can control how much time she is allowed on the tablet and how what time it will shut off for her. Now during the week she will have access to the table from 6am to 9pm, but will only have access to videos for about 1.5 hours and then have access to apps for 2 hours. Books she has unlimited access. But once 9pm rolls around the tablet becomes ours and she has to wait for the next morning. The weekends are a little different and that is OK with us. But we are so happy we made the decision to go with the Kindle Fire HD! We know we made the right choice for Olivia and she now has to make the decision does she want to play on her fire or play outside while it’s pretty out? The past two days she has gone outside and played, came back in, did her homework and then went back out to play. I believe she only got to play on her fire last night for 15 minutes before it was time to hand it back over to mommy. It was nice not having to fight for her to give it back to me at bedtime and there was no fuss about her going to bed at all. It’s a miracle!

For children who have special needs or who are on the spectrum or you would like to just watch how much time they are playing on electronics, then the fire is the way to go. This is something that my iPad Mini can’t do and we are so blessed we did our research before buying her an iPad mini as well. Good choice for us! Plus we bought her an otterbox like case meaning it’s protected from her drops she does sometimes. Yay!

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