Monday, December 25, 2006
Santa is good!! I got a great big surprise this morning when I found all sorts of travel size items in my stocking....down at the bottom...there was a "Shades of Green" reservation confirmation along with 2 day park tickets!! What could be better? We'll be leaving on Thursday, January 11th!! (Andy already took the day off and I am going to as well) We'll be there through the weekend & return home on either Sunday or Monday. (We're both off on Monday, but right now we are scheduled to come home on Sunday.... we'll see how that goes) We're going to MGM, I've been having an itch to go there for the past year and we haven't. We're also headed to Animal Kingdom, Everest...here we come!!! Woooo HOOOOO------
Here's a picture of some of Andy's goodies...he already put his clothes away. He got some long & short sleeve golf shirts & a "Golden Bear" vest too!!
The "big girls" got BIG bones and they are currently hiding from the rain in their houses enjoying them... no pictures, due to the rain. Then Kitty Witty got a pack of "Cosmic Catnip" treats and we think we have him drugged a little too much. Can you give a cat too much of that stuff? I think we have! Andy gave him 2 or 3...then 2 or 3 more. Since then he's been running up and down the stairs like Gizmo does. (Not typical!) He's running side ways up and down the hall. He slapped Gizmo and then chased him twice around the couch. I think he's drugged a little too much..... Gizmo got a doggie lollipop and a new toy!
In addition to my trip surprise.. I also got a new Bible, "the message" version. I got a new Max Lucado book, "Facing Your Giants". Oh and the new "Walt Disney" book, it's huge and I can't wait to dive in. I got a rolling cart to help get my load of stuff back and forth to my preschool room, golf balls and all sorts of fun goodies in my stocking....Santa also seems to have thought I needed.. BREATHE RIGHT snore strips, Ugh!!! The truth comes out...what are we gonna do with that Santa?? Another highlight is my HILARIOUS letter from Santa, you have no idea....it's a riot and I look forward to those the most each year!!!
We hope your Christmas is filled with all sorts of fabulous things, including the love and fellowship with family & friends! We all pause to remember that we're celebrating the birthday of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ!! Love to you and yours!!!
Posted by monica at 10:35 AM
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Posted by monica at 8:25 PM
Friday, December 22, 2006
If you know me, you know I can't just answer these things without
a darn explanation either....what can I say??
8. last cigarette: um, never
7. last beverage: bottle of water (before that sweetest strawberry lemonade ever @ Ruby Tuesday)
6. last phone call from: Dad
5. last text message from: Andy (days ago)
4. last cd played: christmas songs with lyrics changed to nutty golf ones (in Andy's car)
3. last BUBBLE bath: over a month ago
2. last time you cried: tonight during "We are Marshall" (see it)
1. last meal: late lunch/early supper @ Ruby Tuesdays today
7. have you ever dated someone twice:( like broke up and got back together??) yes
6. have you ever been cheated on?: yep, it was heart breaking (and NO...not my hubby~)
5. have you ever kissed someone & regreted it? tricky question...um, I'm going with no....maybe wondered what was going to happen next and if it was the smartest decision....but actually regret it..no
4. have you ever fallen in love? yep
3. have you ever lost someone: yep
2. have you ever been depressed: yep
1. have you ever been drunk and threw up? can I plead the 5th on this one? we were all young and stupid once.... right?....
SIX things you did in the past three days.
1. Went to school? yep, I teach preschool and Thursday was our last day (thank goodness)
2. Went to work? see above .. yep
3. Colored? yep (again, I teach... colored a santa and then drew a christmas tree while sitting with a little friend just Thursday)
4. What was 4?? (did this question disappear?)
5. Got drunk in the last 3 days? nope...nor the last 3 years....nor many many before that-
6. Slept: yep (but sure can't now)
list FIVE people you can pretty much tell anything to
5. Holly (if I can catch her around! he he)
FOUR of your favorite artists
(I'm having trouble with this one...I know I can pick writers, musicians, etc...but I am still having trouble right now...guess b/c it's late?)
list THREE favorite colors.
list TWO things you want to do before you die
1. be a mommy
2. go to hawaii
THIS YEAR HAVE YOU?
1. Made a new friend - yep
2. Laughed until you cried - oh yeah!
3. Went behind your parents back - (guess this one is developed by youngun's)
4. Met someone who changed your life - I don't think so, but if I have...I just don't know it yet
5. Gotten close to someone: yep
6. Found out who your true friends were - not any different than I'd found out in the past couple of years
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF
1. Bush? I support him 100%, he's MY President afterall
2. Gay Marriage? disagree with it on a personal level, my Bible tells me it's wrong...but then it tells me other things are wrong that people do every day (myself included) have a hard time telling others what they should do wether it's wrong or right though.....i struggle with these issues
3. Lowering the drinking age? not a good idea (but also realize it isn't stopping teens from drinking even now)
4. Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bi? personally...well duh, I'm married to a man! straight!!
5. Who is the best hugger that you know? hubby (followed by hugs I get daily from the kiddos @ school)
6. Do you believe in love at first sight? i'm gonna go with no.... i think that you can know pretty quickly that someone is going to be special for you... but I think LOVE is something that has to develop to last
7. Is there something you want to tell someone: not that comes to mind...
Posted by monica at 10:16 PM
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Monday at school was gingerbread day! I had decided to do this about a month ago and had been planning ever since. I had talked 4 brave parents into helping me for the day. (my assistant was on vacation) It was the MOST fun we've had in a long time!!! The kids were able to do SO much b/c we had so many helpers and they had a blast!
We arrived and we colored & cut out paper gingerbread men first thing to assemble with brads. Then Ms. Kristie read Gingerbread Baby to the class, great story! I split the kids into groups of 4, so there were only 3 kids in each group. On Mondays there are 3 rooms that are empty, so we were able to use different rooms for different activities. In one room they painted wooden ornaments that looked like gingerbread men and we put their photo inside. When they finished those, they also played a Gingerbread Baby game in that room. Then they decorated foam gingerbread men with buttons, wiggle eyes and glitter glue in another room.
When they finished those they worked on a gingerbread man shape matching game. There was yet another room for decorating the gingerbread house that you see at the top of the page. The last room was for alphabet bingo where we used gingerbread man erasers for "cover up" pieces on our bingo boards. They decorated gingerbread men stickers with more stickers in that room too! Then we all got back together for a few minutes of outside fun!
After that we decorated gingerbread men cookies (though made with sugar cookie dough b/c kids don't eat gingerbread very well) and drank chocolate milk. We took one bite of our cookies and then made a graph to show what each person bit off first.
Ms. Tanya read Gingerbread Man and we talked about things that were the same or different in both stories. To wrap it up we made one more foam ornament that said "Jesus warms my Heart" It was a great finish to a fun day. I had plastic gingerbread men to give everyone and we were out of time before I knew it!!
It was soooo much fun~ I couldn't have done so much without all the volunteers and they rocked! We are going to do it again in February for our big ole space unit...should be fun!
*And our Christmas program was today and such a hoot! We do a program based on a book "Someone is coming to our house" and it is about the animals in the stable getting ready for a stranger to visit, the are so excited when they realize it is baby Jesus. Each class dresses up like an animal. (We were mice: wore gray shirts, mouse felt ears and had painted noses & whiskers) Each class has a line to say as they walk on stage and take their place. Then they all sing 5 songs, ending with an extended version of "Happy Birthday Jesus".. if you've ever heard it.. it's heart warming!! What a great day. Our party was back in our room with a book exchange game, pin the nose on Rudolph, jingle bell bracelets and pizza!! Tons of fun was had by all!!!*
Posted by monica at 1:52 PM
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Day at Sea & Nassau
I also (after 3 years of talking about it and carrying around pictures from a magazine) decided to take the big plunge and get my haircut by a regular working professional. It's only the 3rd time in my life that I have paid for a haircut!! Most of you know that my Mom was a hairdresser and had her own shop while I was growing up. She has always (and still does) cut my hair! She refuses to do anything out of the regular cutting long layers in my hair. She knows that if I don't like anything new...she'll be to blame. My hair style hasn't changed in... well, my life! I had the sweetest hairdresser ever and totally enjoyed my (VERY expensive) haircut. It wasn't very different to be honest in the end, but she did make it straighter than it has ever been before. I can't manage to make my naturally curly hair that straight. I LOVED the way it looked, but 3 weeks at home now and it's yet to look like that again. Ugh! What can ya do?
One of the things offered that night for dinner was obviously turkey and all the fixin's. After dinner the show was "A Salute to Broadway" and it was a great show, one of my favorites. There was also the Grand Gala Buffet that night, so pretty just to look at! We ended up skipping eating off of it though. Andy & Dad both headed back for bedtime while Mom & I actually went for pizza. He he he.....
Dad took a cool picture of the Disney ship, we got to see up close (b/c we were right beside it and looking right over there) the new big ole movie screens by the swimming pool up there. Those are super cool and after looking at that ship so long, we're all ready to do the Disney Cruise. (again for Andy & I!!)
Mom & Dad were anxious to head back to Paradise Island and the Atlantis. After breakfast, they were off and running....got a taxi and were gone! They enjoyed their day of walking around, gambling some and enjoying the beautiful resort over there.
Andy & I decided to lay low and walk around in Nassau. We looked in tons of shops, but were only window shopping this trip. We were amazed at all the people from all the ships down there, made things very busy. It also made the locals much more reluctant for real bargaining. (I tried) After a couple of hours, we decided to head back to the ship for lunch and then the most relaxing and hot afternoon by the pool!! It was fantastic!!
Posted by monica at 11:27 AM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Costa Maya, Mexico
There is another pool that had a volleyball net and there were people in there playing the whole time too, looked fun. There are chairs & hammocks on the beach, but you aren't allowed to swim in that area. (It's right next to the ships) It's pretty to look at though!
We had heard (thank you to my cruise critic friends) that we needed to hop on a (air conditioned) bus right there in the shopping village for just $3 and head for a 10 minute drive to a little village called Mujahaul. That's what we did!! We got our tickets and were off!! It was even shorter than the 10 minute drive we were promised I do believe! They dropped us off at the end of a walkway right on the beach and we were on our way.
There is a little dirt road there that runs between the beach & shops. There are tons of little shops all down the road. The beach side has little grille/bar/restaraunts set up all along the way and tons and tons and TONS of tables/chairs/beach chairs. You pick one of the restaraunt/bar/grille areas that you like best (or they talk you into picking them) and you are set. You can use the chairs/tables for the day as long as you order something every now and then. Soft drinks were $1, other drinks were around $4-5 and food was super cheap too. We had a big honkin' plate of nachos, they offer all sorts of things. They bring it to you and you never have to leave your chair. Each little area also has a couple of restrooms, they are clean and they work. (Not overly nice and modern, but they work) They keep a tab and you don't have to pay until you get ready to leave, super easy and convenient!!
There are massage tables set up all down the beach and it's $20 for 40 minutes. (Oppose to the $100 for 30 minutes on the ship) Andy got one and it ended up lasting for an hour for $20, he did give her a nice tip though! There are also people walking around selling all sorts of things: handmade jewelry (my Mom & I couldn't resist buying bracelets from the cutest little girls ever), purses, shells and all sorts of other random things. They were nice and they would stop if you looked at them, but they were not overly aggressive and didn't "pester" you at all!!! And if Andy finds out I posted this picture of his white legs, he's gonna KILL me...so....shhhhhhh-
There were all sorts of extras offered all up and down the beach. You could parasail, rent jet skis (and take them way way wayyyy out), go fishing on a boat, fish off the beach or just take a boat ride on a pontoon down the little beach. Everything seemed SUPER cheat there too. I know people said they rented jet skis for like $25 for an hour, it's sooooo much more than that ANYWHERE else you'd ever go!!
I took a chair from the table out into the water and sat out there reading my book, this was the view from there....down the beach away from the ships.
The water was warmer here than anywhere else we'd been. It was also pretty shallow for a GOOD ways out too, that is a good part of the reason I am sure. It was also a beautiful hot day there too!!!
When we HAD to leave...(read that HAD to leave, b/c it was getting late and the ship was LEAVING, not "were ready to leave" because we were tired of our time there) all you did was start walking down the road and there were "organizers" out there from the taxi company and he asked if you needed a ride to the pier, he whistles, a taxi appears out of a side road and for $2 a person...you're back at the Costa Maya area in no time!!
We spent a little while looking around the shops there and planned to hang out at the pool, but were out of time by then. (The shops are under the pink area there in the picture, kind of like a strip mall and it wraps around the entire area and there are shops in the middle too.)
It was a PERFECT day and we CAN NOT wait to get back there!!!!!!
Posted by monica at 3:43 PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Mom & Dad ended up staying on the ship. We had heard there wasn't much when you get off the ship and that it isn't safe to travel outside of the immediate port unless you are with a tour group. I would have at least gotten off the boat, to say I had set foot in Belize. We tendered there, so they can't say that.
Andy & I chose to go to a private beach again, imagine that. It was still pretty windy and the tender boat ride was WILD!! It was as much fun as the time at the beach. Those boats FLY with their FOUR outboard motors over the water. (and I do mean OVER at some points) We came out of the water more than I care to mention, but it was so much fun. They're very big boats, carrying 75 people at a time. I took some video while we were on the boat trip and it is so funny, bumping up and down and nothing ever really in focus!
We went to Bannister Island which is a tiny (really really tiny) little island about 15 miles from the mainland of Belize. (The ship anchors 8 miles off the coast b/c the water around Belize is so shallow) It is complete paradise! It holds it's own against any of the cruise lines private islands that we have been to! It isn't quite as beautiful as Castaway Cay, but it's sure close.
(and for some reason my Mom wondered if we were still in salt water because we were between little islands and the mainland....yep, still the great big salty ocean.....*shake your head here and laugh*)
There is a HUGE bar area there with a ton of tables in the shade, enough beach chairs for everyone in the sun or shade, volleyball, paddle boats & canoes to rent, lifeguards around the edge of the water, super crystal clear water, more shells than I have EVER seen in my entire life, a little pier to walk out on, a few gift shops, a playground, floats to use for free, very nice restrooms and a grille where you can buy lunch. (It's pretty reasonable and typical "grill" food)
We were totally surprised when we got there that it was hidden from the wind, totally! There were other islands bordering us and keeping the wind away. It ended up getting super hot and we couldn't have been happier. The water was still pretty cool, but we were able to get in about waist deep without freezing.
The most amazing thing there was the shells. You had to be careful getting in the water b/c where it was ankle deep, the bottom was total shells. It wasn't like I'm use to...broken bits and pieces and searching for whole ones. It was total whole shells, they were so pretty! They were deep too and EVERYWHERE!! If you put your hand down in the sand and picked it up, the picture here is what you came up with. That is what I picked up, didn't pick any stuff out or throw any down. Wild!!
The fish there were pretty too. There were oodles of them around the little pier/dock. They were yellow & black, blue and orange. Darn those little suckers are hard to catch with a camera though.
We spent about 4 & 1/2 hours there and would have stayed longer if we had the chance. It was fabulous!!!!!
Posted by monica at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
We had already picked up on the fact that this trip was a little more "rocky" than typical. The wind was CRAZY. (when you see news people & their umbrella's are flying out of their hands in storms- yeah, like that) The wind followed us to Cozumel and it was the same way!! The sun was out and super warm, but the wind made it feel much cooler than it really was. ALL of the water excursions for the day were cancelled and some of the smaller ships weren't allowed to even dock there for the day.
Docking was interesting. I'd already seen pictures (thank you Cruise Critic friends) and knew that it was still under construction from the hurricanes in 2005. It was a shock to see in person though, they have alot of work to go...bless their hearts. There is a good bit of destruction everywhere that we went, but they are quickly recovering!
Andy & I booked an excursion through the ship for a "beach break" day @ Playa Mia. It's a little private beach resort set up on the south end of the island. Anyone can go there, you just have to buy a ticket for the day. It was $29 a person and well worth it for us. There were beach chairs that you could use, a few gift stores, very nice clean bathrooms & showers, volleyball, a buffet (extra cost), a bar & grille (extra cost), a big pretty pool, massages (extra cost), water toys (included) igloo/basket ball floating game/water trampoline and something else but they were closed due to high wind..we were offered the "sand toys" for free in exchange. The sand toys typically have a fee and include a climbing wall, trampoline thingy and something else?! It was a $4 cab ride from the pier. We enjoyed ourselves big time.
Mom & Dad had planned on shopping. They were all wound up, shopping map in hand. It started with a wild taxi ride that they just couldn't enjoy. They swore that they were taken places that were scary, I don't know....I wasn't there. They also said that they weren't taken to the forum shops that they asked to go to on the front "main drag" of downtown. Again, I wasn't with them and don't know the whole scoop. I am not sure if they asked for the correct location or if they got a crummy cab driver. They didn't make it where they wanted to go though and after about 10 minutes of walking around, they got a taxi and returned to the ship. They were both disappointed. I was sad for them, but they assured me they knew what they were doing. What can ya do? Dad was in awe that "there were mexican's everywhere". Go figure~
We had awesome taxi drivers and enjoyed chatting with them. We found out that a cold front had brought the winds for the past 4 days and it was very unusual. He also said that it was suppose to be ending and that we should have beautiful weather in Belize, which is south. (He was right!) He was also a big Braves fan, funny!!
We returned to the ship for a fun filled evening and a huge magic show. "Justin Illusion" was ... ok. The drama & dancers of it all were pretty funny though. That night was late comedy night (adults only) and was hilarious. Happy Cole was there and we'd seen him before, great fun!! I think this was the night of my favorite meal, oddly enough it wasn't the lobster...but rather this yummy shrimp that I hope to get again sometime. Wowie! Good stuff and a fried soft shell crab was on the starter menu and although I didn't get it...I helped Dad with his. It was GREAT!!!!
Posted by monica at 6:32 PM
Monday, November 27, 2006
Our first full day was a day at sea. Andy got up super early and went to work out in the gym, what's he thinking?? After breakfast I went out to lay on the decks with my book. It was super duper windy and that made it feel cooler than it actually was. There wasn't alot of "sun bathing" that day, but it was a great relaxing day.
Here are a couple of the pools. The back pool (the darker photo) actually has a cover that comes over it when the weather is bad or it's night. This was right before they closed it. It's where a bar, hamburger/hot dog/fry grille & pizza joint all are!!
There is a pool up beside the slide area, the slide doesn't have a pool at the end. Then in the bottom corner of the picture you can see the "main" pool beside the bar, band and dance floor. Those little blue rocking chairs are perfect for hanging out with a good book!!
We went to a few shows, games, bingo, etc... Mom & Dad played in the casino and walked that ship over, many times! It was formal night and for us all that means is LOBSTER WILL BE ON THE MENU!! It was fantastic and Dad, Andy and I all ate TWO each!!! YUMMY~ I did salad & dessert that night though! Good stuff!! We saw a juggler/comedian that was hilarious and then had "Motown Night" It was alot of fun and then we got the shock of our lives when they announced there was a special guest on board who had agreed to come out for just a brief moment. And here is what we got.....
Posted by monica at 5:05 PM