Jarom! You are definitely on the right track, here are some notes and an animation to help you out.
If you don't have Joseph Gilland's book yet, buy it. I highly recommend it.
The animation is best viewed in Firefox or Chrome.
The number in the top left is the drawing number, not the frame number. Everything is on ones except for drawings 1,8,9, and 11.
I know that you said that you referenced a water into water splash to animate, that's fine, just make sure that your drop doesn't gain volume when it hits the ground, other wise it will feel like it hit water. Keep the principles of design in mind while animating : asymmetry, big med small, appealing shape, arcs, exaggeration, etc.
That's it! If you have any questions, let me know.