Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January Fun Things:

Here are some random super fun things that I'm loving in the new year! In no particular order! I'm back to no bread & no sugar, so these Sugar Free Popsicles are fabulous. I LOVE popsicle and icee stuff, so this works. One a day (or two) 15 calories, no sugar. What's not to love. (And for the record, I've lost 5 pounds and that was just the first week!)

I have a font obsession! Here are my current favorites. I've added a zillion! With the new program (2 actually. one was a scrapbook program and it pretty much stinks) it automatically gave me new ones and then I've found other random favorites free online. Here are some top pics currently!

I'm scrapbooking again, finally. Of course it's because I'm working on the school kids books, not my own. I'm enjoying it though and hope to keep the inspiration and start working on my own again. I'm also looking at online ideas for "Life Story" books for children and I'm excited about doing one of those as well. This magazine is currently my favorite because it has several pull out pages of layouts I can use for ideas and build on. Gotta love that! I typically love Simple Scrapbooks too!!

This is the best $20 I've spent in ages. I'm using it for our birth mom letter, but it's great for anything and everything. I was devastated to start pricing programs that were suggested for working on our letter. From $150-$700, are you kidding? Then I looked at hiring a professional to help me and it was $400 at a minimum. Ugh! So I found this and decided it rocks!! Interested in designing pages for anything, even scrapbooks? This rocks!

Yep, this was the camera I bought in September. It was a combo birthday gift with $$ raised from a huge yard sale. I waited for years and years on this sucker and I'm madly in love with it. Santa brought me the next biggie lens and it's fabulous as well. (55-200mm) I want the 18-200, but I'm thinking that's on the back burner for quite awhile.

Here's the surprise small digi that Andy bought me. It's very small and fits in the zipper ID case from Vera Bradley, perfect camera case. It has a fairly good zoom and it takes movies. It's going to be perfect to keep in a diaper bag someday, I look forward to it!
Grey's Anatomy on DVD, season 3. Technically right now.. any TV on DVD is the greatest thing ever. We are season 8 of "Everybody Loves Raymond" with only one more to. I've been watching "Dawson's Creek" and "Gilmore Girls" on and off again. We have several other sets and both have a handful on our "wish list". "90210" is on my next to buy for sure. I have been watching it again for months now, 2 episodes every late afternoon. Good times, fun memories. I forgot how much I loved that cheesy show!

I am a Crystal Light addict. I don't like water unless I'm REALLY hot and the water is REALLY cold. I figure if I can add some flavor and get more bottles down, life is good. My favorites have always been lemonade and ice tea. Today though, I found a brand new flavor and it's fabulous. It's fruit punch and tastes just like kool aid to me. (I love kool aid) Life is good and I see alot of water in my future!) 5 calories, sugar free. I'm set!

Do you eat the chips with lime? I love these things. Ok, not 100% great for me, but it's not terrible either. Everyone has to have a snack, right? Eat them with salsa and you're doing something pretty good for yourself. Salsa and those tomatoes are great for you, so feel good about a small snack!

guess i've put off being productive enough today, hope you enjoyed--

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bird's Eye:

I have wanted to take the helicopter tour over Disney now for years. We decided that this was the trip, we were going to make it happen. Early in the week we went to check it out, it was just down from where we stayed off property. It wasn't as bad as we thought, but we wanted a pretty clear day. Thankfully, the day we left it was perfect!

They let you purchase a CD of pictures that they take of you. Obviously, I paid $20 for a CD of pictures that has limitations. I can't upload them here, no matter what I try. I will see if I can post them for some of you elsewhere later. ;) Anyhow, they are of me up front with the pilot and Andy in the back. Us in front of the helicopter together and taking off. They took about 25 pictures and it was really neat. I just didn't realize I couldn't do things with them. Hopefully they will print?!

Moving along....

We have flown in two helicopters before, once over Niagra Falls & once in Gatlinburg, TN. Both times were fantastic. We are continually amazed at how smooth and easy flying in a helicopter is compared to a plane. No comparing the two. This was by far the smallest that we've flown in, it felt like there was NOTHING between you and the world. It was unreal!! Amazingly, I don't get motion sick when flying. I later told Andy I would have been afraid to cough, I thought I'd shake the thing right out of the sky. We wore headphones though and our pilot told us all about what we were seeing, where we were, etc.. He was great!

It was a 20 minute flight and way, way too short! It's always over so fast, every time. Andy flew to North Georgia from work in a Black Hawk, he had a long flight and was just as amazed from that big ole thing!

Anyhow... I took a TON of photos and Andy took videos. It's pretty neat to watch. Here are some of the highlights though. They aren't the best or the worse, just some of everything. I took a ton over each land mark, park, resort, we saw most everywhere on property. (most of the resorts) We could only get about 3 miles from the Magic Kingdom though, seems they changed some things with their flight space after 911.

It was a dream come true for sure! It was worth every penny of saving money during the week so that we'd be able to pay for this. I recommend that if you don't try it there, sometime in your life.. take a helicopter ride. You'll be glad you did!!


Typhoon Lagoon

Sea World's new water park, opening in the spring.
Sea World

Pop Century. If it's zoomed and enlarged, you can tell. Funny b/c we'd just left there.

MGM...look close, you recognize it.

Wanta guess? Yep, EPCOT

Directly over Downtown Disney, that's the world of Disney there in the middle.

Discovery Cove

About 3 miles from the Magic Kingdom. It's as close as we were allowed. You can see the castle in the middle, space mountain to the right & then Contemporary.

Making a big turn near All Star Sports.... here we goooooo-----

Sunday, January 20, 2008


So the thing that has been going through my head this week as we've had snow twice, is the song from "White Christmas"...

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

It's not a common thing for us here in Georgia to see pretty snow. Matter of fact, I think it's been two years this time since we've seen it last. We had "the big blizzard of '93" and haven't seen deep pretty snow since. We typically get sleet, ice, mush and a few flakes to turn it white. Wednesday night of this week it started snowing in the late afternoon and we had the biggest snowflakes I'd ever seen in my entire life. They were constant, heavy and huge. Most of them were quarter and half dollar size, but there were tons that were as big as my hand. Craziness. It was gorgeous as it came down and covered. The picture at the right is just off the front porch and towards the neighbors house.

Gizmo can't stand snow, he hates to get his feet wet even in the rain! The big girls really didn't care one way or another since it was late afternoon, early evening. The only one it truly bothered was Kitty Witty who goes outside every night. He wanted desperately to be out there, but didn't want to get in the snow. It was hilarious! He tip toed around the porch looking for a way to get down, without getting his feet in it. He ended up coming back, but refused to come inside. After several minutes, this is how I left him out there. I'm not sure how long he sat under the bench, but when I went back about 15 minutes later he was off and gone. Silly cat!!

Naturally, although we had about an inch on our porch and ground .. it didn't stick and stay on the roads and we didn't get a snow day from it on Thursday. What we did get at preschool were classrooms full of "snow hyper" kids! I've never seen such, they were beside themselves. It was the first time that most of them had ever seen snow, if was amazing to see how excited they were though and I was thrilled for them.

Saturday, it was back. Weather Channel was showing 100% chance of snow for the Atlanta area, we sure don't hear that alot! We had plans for having our picture made with a photographer on the Marietta Square that afternoon, we had to reschedule. It started that morning early with tons of sleet, then eventually it all turned to snow. It snowed for hours, steadily. It wasn't as hard, nor the snowflakes as huge as they were previously this week. It still covered everything and made for a snuggly day inside.

Andy played outside with the girls, I was wimpy and stayed in! Typically I like to get out there and play, aka: find opportunities to take good pictures. Not this year, I was content to stay inside nice and warm and dry! They came up on the deck for me to TRY to take a picture of them. All they wanted was to smooch Andy in the face and I have about 25 pictures of it all, hilarious. No good pictures, but this one will have to do. He's saying "quit, quit, quit, quit, quit".....

We spent the day inside being warm and lazy, it was a great day!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Disney Highlights

Tuesday: We slept in and then headed to EPCOT. We rode a few things and then Amber & Jonathan met us for lunch and a few rides. I am always confused by people who take pictures with terrible backgrounds when there are beautiful ones if you just turn and look around you. Well, here's an example of not taking your own advice. Ugh, why didn't I turn us the other way so spaceship earth was behind us or the fountains. Andy & I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a pretty crowded EPCOT. We returned to International Drive for supper and our last night @ Homewood Suites. (Which we came to seriously LOVE) Then it was time for the big bowl game, Go Dawgs!!!

Wednesday: We moved ourselves "on property" finally to Pop Century! We settled in, unpacked and were off to the Magic Kingdom. It was a super cold day where we wore long johns, 2 or 3 shirts, sweatshirt jackets and then big coats! (hat, scarf, gloves included...this is Orlando, FL) It was still SO VERY crowded! We did an entire walk through, fought our way around the place and left. Andy said "we'd have to get a fast pass for a turkey leg" at this point! Lines were all over an hour & a half long, there were about 25 people in each food line. It was nuts status still!! We headed over to the Wilderness Lodge where we had reservations at Whispering Canyon! Such a fun place with great food, you can't go wrong. Andy ordered "a little" lemonade, funny huh?

Thursday: We spent the first part of our day at the Animal Kingdom, where crowds were still pretty heavy. We still got just about everything in, other than Everest. It was packed with no fast passes left when we arrived. We saw a TON of animals on safari, watched "Lion King" which we hadn't done in years, saw "Nemo", rode Dinosaur and looked at animals galore. We headed back that evening to eat supper @ the Pop Century food court, added another layer of clothes and then it was off to the Magic Kingdom. We watched "SpectroMagic" which is pretty much my #1 favorite activity to do in all of Disney World. Then we rode a few things (where I kicked Andy's rear on Buzz with points) and left just before closing.

Friday: Andy went to play golf and I spent the first part of the day playing online and then reading half of a new book by the pool in the sun. It was much warmer and great to finally put on jeans and a regular shirt without freezing to death! The sun was warm and welcoming! When Andy returned we headed over to MGM. (with the last few days of that name, it has since become Disney's Hollywood Studio) We had dinner reservations at Sci Fi, one of my favorites! We rode a few things, saw Fantasmic (don't you LOVE that?!) and then saw the Osbourne Lights. It was the first time I'd seen them in years and years, we had never seen them "dance" before either. It was amazing! Andy (who is over Christmas the day after usually) really enjoyed them too and said it was nice to have the Christmas season extended down there for a few days!

Saturday: Andy returned for a round of golf while I headed to EPCOT to hang out with some friends and their family. It is always so much fun for me to see my favorite place through the eyes of little ones. Their entire family was there (including kids, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents) and so much fun! Andy arrived late that afternoon and we had dinner reservations at the Garden Grill, which was totally empty the entire time we were there for the most part. The furry critters were in need of something to do and we visited with them several times. At one point Chip & Dale sat down with us to play, it was a hoot! We spent the evening hanging out at EPCOT where Andy got to ride Test Track twice in a row. It's his favorite, so he was thrilled! Good day, good times! It did rain a few sprinkles here & there, which made for two beautiful rainbows. They were double at one point and we weren't in a good place for a photo. This photo will have to do.

We decided to spend our last official day at the Magic Kingdom. We hadn't spend an entire day at a park in a long time and it was fun. The crowds were a little lighter than earlier in the week, thankfully! It was still crowded (very), but we were able to get around and ride lots of stuff! I kicked Andys rear (again) on Buzz, we got fast passes to several things and were handed some by a very sweet family. We saw the very last Castle Holiday Show of the season, where the fairy godmother actually "lights" the castle. It was very good and we were glad we went. I recommend it highly, hope it returns next year. The castle is absolutely beautiful lit up like that, they did good work. We had a fantastic day for sure!!

*Coming up in the next post: Our dream helicopter flight over the Happiest Place on Earth, lots of fun!!*