Wednesday, January 30, 2008

florida review

1. My creation, 2. hotel pool, 3. shamu express, 4. orlando science center, 5. olivia glasses, 6. aidan glasses, 7. olivia pool, 8. R&E seaworld, 9. lion fish, 10. pirate ship ride, 11. i like beer too!, 12. shamu & kasyn, 13. liv & kasyn, 14. I lost my shoe, 15. b&j painting, 16. liv artwork, 17. ARTigator, 18. flamingo, 19. yellow hibiscus, 20. busch gardens ride, 21. clydesdale family pic, 22. liv & me, 23. aidan & otter, 24. photo by aidan, 25. nice hat aidan

So I think I finally figured out how to work this photo-mosaic thing. If you want to see a picture up-close, click on the corresponding number/description below. Hope it works!!!

Pictures are just a sampling of all the fun stuff that we did on our Florida trip from Jan 20th-28th.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Smyrna Beach & Sea World--Day 2

New Smyrna Beach-- Friday

After visiting the shops in the New Smyrna beach area, we took a walk along the beach. Although it was a rather cold and windy day, we made the most of it and collected a bag full of shells to take back home and we even saw some "real live surfers" who posed for a quick picture with Aidan.

Day 2-- Sea World--Saturday

Although we were a little disappointed that we weren't splashed by Shamu this time around, we still had a great time viewing the killer whales. There's just something so awesome about being within a few feet of something sooo.... HUGE!

And did we mention that we liked the beer?

Friday, January 25, 2008

lazy day in Winter Park

After a couple very busy days at the parks, we spent a very low-key morning around the hotel, then went for lunch and a little sight-seeing in Winter Park, a northern suburb of Orlando.

We had a tasty lunch at "Authentic Cuban Cafe" where the kids tried Maturos--fried sweet plantains. Olivia liked them quite a bit, but Aidan didn't care for them.

After our lunch we took some pictures with the local "ARTigators" that were located throughout the downtown shopping district.

Came back to the hotel for a little swimming--our first time since we've been in Florida. Although the pool was heated, it was still a little chilly, so we didn't go for too long...and then it started to rain a bit, as well.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Seaworld & Busch Gardens in review

Tuesday, Jan 22--Sea World part 1

We hit up Sea World on Tuesday for the first time. We will be going back again this weekend with Ryan & JoAnne, but knew that we'd like a little extra time to explore.
After spending the morning looking at some of the animal exhibits we went to the "Believe" show starring Shamu. We got there early enough to sit in the "Splash Zone". Half-way through the show, Aidan was very disappointed when we hadn't gotten wet yet. This changed quickly afer Shamu arrived! We ended up VERY wet. Aidan got a bunch of salt water in his mouth, and kept on spitting to get the salty taste out!
Can't wait to see Shamu again!!

Aidan's favorite part was the kids amusement park with a huge climbing area. (Think McDonald's play land times 1000!)
My favorite part was the "Believe" show ( I even had tears in my eyes!)
followed closely by the complimentary Anheuser-Busch products (beer!!!!)

Wednesday, Jan 23--Busch Gardens

Took a coach bus shuttle to Tampa to spend the day at Busch Gardens.
Met JoAnne & the boys there, and were able to spend about half the day with them.
The park was remarkably not busy--so we were able to enjoy a very casual day in the sunshine! Almost 80 degrees during the warmest part of the day.

Highlights of the day included the african-themed "Katonga" musical that was put on in a theater with cool effects like bubbles, and butterfly confetti and even a real rain shower inside! I think the little kids liked it as much as us big kids!
Had fun watching the flamingos chase each other around. Went on a safari train ride, where our train almost ran into a Rhino...luckily we were able to stop before crashing into it. Before heading home Aidan & I went on a congo river ride, where we both got completely soaked. Since we were already wet, we decided to go through another time, since there wasn't a line. Lucky for Aidan, I had packed an extra set of clothes for him. Not so lucky for me, I had only packed an extra shirt for me, and spent the 1 hour 15 minute ride back to Orlando in wet shorts!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wet & Wild & Fishy in Daytona

Part 1: Wet

Drove up to Daytona this morning and spent the day with Jo & the kids. We all had a lot of fun playing in the ocean...until the little ones ended up completely soaked & shivering.

Part 2: Wild

After a little lunch, we headed to the Daytona International Speedway to watch some racers practice for this upcoming weekends race.

Part 3: Fishy

Finished our day with a little cajun style fish & shrimp with Ryan, JoAnne and the boys. Ryan managed to finish off an entire pound of shrimp!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Can I have some more salvation?

It all started during dinner the other night when I was making some grape juice to have with dinner. As we were sitting having our meal, Aidan asked if the grape juice was like what we had at church, and how come it wasn't in a tiny little cup?
We told him it is like the juice we have at church.
So after finishing his first glass he asked, "can I have more salvation, please?"
Ryan and I tried to hold in our laughs.
When we have communion, we say "this is the cup of salvation" as the cups are being passed. Olivia has even caught on and has asked for "salvation" as well!

...I guess at least they are paying attention!

Happy Birthday, my friend!

Hope you're having a terrific day!
Wishing you many more happy days to come!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Studio Calico love

So here's a fun layout with pictures from last winter. This is my first layout made with the January Studio Calico kit.

love this kit!!!

So go check them out and if you like what you see go use this coupon code and get some of your own!!! New kit debuts on Jan 28th at 12:00am EST.... so midnight on the night of the 27th

My new favorite recipe

Just a quick one to tell you how much I love this soup!
I would have taken a picture--but it's already gone.
These are my modifications:
I skipped the mushrooms and fresh basil,
used quick-cooking barley (about 2/3 cup)
used fire-roasted tomatoes
used dry thyme & added just a bit extra crushed red pepper--just be careful or it will be too spicy!!!

Spicy Beef and Barley Soup from Cooking Light magazine

"If you like spicy food, increase the crushed red pepper. If you don't like things hot, just cut back. This is a great dish to come home to on a work night." --Amy Burroughs, Milwaukie, OR

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (1 1/2-pound) eye-of-round steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 thyme sprig

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Add beef and onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown beef on all sides. Remove beef mixture from pan; place in an electric slow cooker.
Add carrot and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add carrot mixture, broth, barley, basil, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and thyme sprig to slow cooker; stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW; cook 6 hours. Discard thyme.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups)

CALORIES 319 (32% from fat); FAT 11.5g (sat 3.9g,mono 5g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 30.4g; CHOLESTEROL 46mg; CALCIUM 63mg; SODIUM 725mg; FIBER 5.9g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.3g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007

Monday, January 7, 2008

Melting snow and funny sayings...

Thanks for the push Uncle Bo-bo!!!
This picture was taken only 8 days ago, but already our snow has almost completely melted away. It's been raining this morning and almost 50 degrees for the past couple definately in the middle of the January thaw.

Saturday "funny-of-the-day" goes to Olivia:
O: I like my butt. Mom, you like my butt?
Me: Yes, I like your butt.
(I wonder how she'll feel about it in another 15-20 years??!!)

Sunday "funny-of-the-day" goes to Aidan:
As I'm getting ready to leave for work, Aidan first says to me:
Mom, have fun at work today!
Followed by: I hope you don't get fired.
Me: I hope so too.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy {blogging} New Year!

So it had been a very long time since I actually sat down at the scrapbooking table. (Or could even see my scrapbooking table!!) After spending a little while yesterday clearing a space, I actually sat down and CREATED.

So this is what I came up with:

Used my December Poppy Ink kit on this one.
Photo of my Grandma with my kids & nephews. The kids are sporting their new pj's from Grandma. Getting ready to blow out the candles on baby Jesus' birthday cake. It's becoming a tradition with our family. This year we celebrated with "HO-HO" cake.