Thursday, July 31, 2008

More pictures for you

Okay, here it is. Disney has this brilliant photo system for suckers just like me. All of their photographers (who are at all the different character meet & greets etc.) have these scanner things that they wear on their belts. The first time you meet a character where they take your pictures, they give you a card with a bar code and number code. For the rest of the day, any place they take pictures, you give them your card and they scan it in. In a couple of days (or the next morning in our case) the pictures are all uploaded to their photopass website. You simply put in the number on your card and it brings up your album. So... instead of being too tired and grouchy to care about going to see your pictures at a booth before you leave or just plain forgetting about it at the end of the day, you can wait till you're all refreshed and re-living your happy memories to look through all your pictures (those people know how to make money I tell ya'!) You can upload your own photos to the site too and they all stay there for 30 days. It costs a ridiculous amount for one print (like literally 50 times more than normal developing and I am not exaggerating). They DO let you take your own pictures and videos and will even take a pic. on your camera of everyone if you ask but somehow, they always manage to get the best angles, expressions, etc. Because the last time Kay only saw Mickey & Minnie and Pluto, there weren't that many photos and so it wasn't as hard to choose. This time there were 70! Well, much to my delight, Kevin discovered that you could buy a CD with all the pictures (no matter how many you have) for the cost of just a few prints. It comes with a release (of the copyright) so that you can print them off at stores without any problems. What's more - on the website they have all kinds of cool borders that you can add. Most of them aren't actually whole borders but more little add ons - for instance the date or the character's "autograph". The system is smart enough that each time you pull up a picture that's a different character, the autograph changes to their signature. So, they let you go in and edit or add any border to any picture and all the originals along with copies that you added borders to are on the CD. So I went "border happy" because I have all the originals and I don't have to print them with the stuff added on if I don't want. I put them onto several slideshows. There are several things about the slideshows:

I put them into five in case you don't have time, get bored with them etc.

Some of the captions are weird because at the beginning I labeled all the originals; that got old soon but each time there is one with a border, the original is the one right before it.

As I already mentioned, I went "border happy". I was too lazy to go through and choose which ones were "bad" shots or were duplicates so you will see a LOT of them twice - the original picture and then the one I added to.

I mixed the princess ones with Winnie the Pooh and then with Tigger. I didn't want to do it that way but I had 2 more Disney princess songs. I really wanted to use both songs and it didn't make sense to put one with Pooh and Tigger so they are all mixed together.

I figured out that I needed to choose a slideshow that adapted to horizontal & vertical pictures so that will take care of half of a picture getting cut off. Most of all: I hope they don't seem to repetitive but if they are, maybe you will at least enjoy the music! If you're going to watch any of them, make sure you watch the princess ones (the last two)!
"Teaser Pictures" :)

Disney photos 1

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Disney photos 2

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Disney photos 3

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Disney photos 4

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Kevin!


Kevin turned 33 today. Rod Brown had talked to me and suggested going to Chuck E. Cheese's. The reason for that is because several times when we have been at the Brown's and something has come up about Chuck E. Cheese's, Kevin has mentioned that he has never been there. A couple of different times they were like, "You have NEVER been to Chuck E. Cheese?" and then Rod told him that one day they would take him there. Well, I hadn't thought about that till Rod brought it up so kind of as a joke but also because we knew everyone would enjoy it, the Browns, Rach & John, and us all met at Chuck E. Cheese's (Kevin didn't know we were all meeting there ahead of time.) Rach and John had made a [awesome] cake. They took the Indiana Jones toy that Kevin had saved for John out of a Burger King kid's meal (see a previous blog by Rach) and used it to make an Indiana Jones cake. It was VERY AMAZING complete with a "river" with a crocodile, railroad tracks, and two hills - and it was very tasty and moist as well. (Thanks a ton Rach and John!) We all had a great time. Kay-Kay was very excited to meet Chuck E. Cheese even though she had never been there or never seen him before. (I think it felt like Disney World to her because she hugged him and even followed him across the restaurant once to talk to him about her ball.) She also loved the "green screen" they had where you stood there and sang or whatever and it put you on the tv screen with whatever was playing at the time. I am including two different slideshows with pictures (that way, hopefully it won't take them as long to load.) Once again, some of the pictures will look cut off because up & down pictures (guess that would make them vertical pictures huh?) get cut off quite a bit. That's why I included the picture of Kevin with his cake on this post because a lot of it is cut off in the slideshow. Overall, we had SUCH a great time! Kevin reminds me each year of the year (2003) that he told me that was the last birthday he wanted to spend by himself and by his next birthday we were very, newly married. I hope all his birthdays as a "married man" have been happy and I wish him many more. Happy birthday Sweetie! We love you!
P. S. Yes, I know that I spelled Chuck E. Cheese wrong on the slide shows. Even though I know the correct way to spell it, my brain wasn't working very well at 3:30 in the morning. My apologies if it bugs you as much as it bugs me.

Kevin's birthday 1

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Kevin's birthday 2

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Banana troubles

I don't mean to overwhelm you all with more and more blogs just because I enjoy blogging so much but I just had to post these pictures. Last night we were in Wal-mart grocery shopping. Kevin grabbed up a few bananas and put them in the cart. Thankfully we were almost done shopping because when Kaelyn discovered them in the cart, she begged and begged for one. She kept saying, "May I please have banas?" I kept telling her that she could have one in a minute after we paid for them. She didn't understand and thought she needed to "ask nicely". So she would say, "Ask nicely - [and very slowly and clearly she would say] May I please have banas." Once we got up to the self-checkout, I weighed the bananas first so that she could have one. Kevin got it started for her and then just let her have it. I'm not sure at what point she got confused about how to hold it but we looked back a couple of minutes later and we got so tickled with the way she was trying to eat the banana. The lady behind us was quite amused too.



Thankfully we had my camera with us

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cute boys at Golden Corral

We were at a Golden Corral in Kissimee for lunch yesterday before we headed home when we met the first boy to have a crush on our daughter. :) We were sitting there minding our own business when next thing I knew, I looked over and there was a little boy probably about Kaelyn's age standing there beside Kaelyn in her high chair. I think she must have attracted his attention because she was singing "John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt" quite loudly. (Sorry if that is spelled incorrectly but I don't have to spell that word too often.) I really do try to get Kaelyn to be prim and proper, quiet and ladylike when we are in public but sometimes when ya' gotta' song in your heart, ya' just gotta' sing. Anyway, the little boy was as cute as can be. I started talking to him and asking him questions but his vocabulary seemed to be limited to "Yep" as he stood there and grinned at us. Then Kaelyn, thrilled at having someone else her size to talk to, started chattering (mostly things that didn't make sense mixed in with a few recognizable words). So, Kaelyn would rattle off a line of jibberish and the little boy would grin and say "Yep". :) I told Kay to tell him that she saw Mickey Mouse so she did. Then she started pointing to her shirt which had various Disney characters on it and talking about it. This got him very excited and even brought out his more talkative side - all two words of it. He pointed to his own shirt and said, "Look! Train!" Meanwhile, his mom was standing a few tables away just shaking her head but grinning. I'm glad that I'm not the only mom with a kid who doesn't sit quietly with their hands folded or nicely coloring the whole time we're in a restaurant. Actually, the little boy wasn't unruly in any way and my child just doesn't know how to sing quietly. In a little bit, he walked back to his table and got an older girl (probably 12 or 13) who seemed to be an older sibling or relative or something and led her by the hand back over and started pointing at Kaelyn. She was just kind of grinning like she wasn't sure what to do so she said hi to Kay and then picked him up and carried him back to their table much to his protests. We saw him getting a little speech from his mom when he got back. Kevin said, "See Kaelyn, you just start singing and attract a guy and the rest is history." To understand that statement you have to know a little bit about our dating history. He was at a choir service and had "chosen" me as the one that he found most attractive after watching me sing. He couldn't believe his "luck" when he realized that I was riding back with the church group he had come with because of who I was staying with that night. However, I think that if Kaelyn is ever going to get a guy by her singing (not until she's at least 25 of course) she is going to have to work on her choice of songs! :)



I couldn't really get a picture of the little boy without
it looking obvious or odd so I just took pictures of Kay-Kay.


With a look like this, what boy wouldn't have
a crush on her? :)


She said, "Are you sleepy?" (which meant SHE was
sleepy) and then pulled my arm over by her so she
could lay her head down. (It lasted for a few seconds
before she was up and singing again.)

Unusual saying of the day

I found myself uttering these words today (and then realized how many things I say now that I would've never dreamed I would say before I was a mom): NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! YOU DON'T PUT DONALD IN THE PEPSI!! Kaelyn has lots of different figurines (toys) from Veggie Tales characters to Disney characters to Little People from various playsets and things. Lately, she has been entertaining herself for hours playing with them. She's really good about drinking water (she asks for water to drink more than anything else). As long as she's drinking water, we let her have it in a non-sippy cup. What do these two things have to do with each other? Well, I have caught her a few times lately dipping, dunking, and splashing her toys in her water either after she has drank what she wants or after the ice has melted a bit later. For the most part, I don't really get that worked up about it - I just make sure any water is wiped up and don't make a big deal out of it. But today, I looked over just in time to see her dipping a Donald Duck toy in a cup of pepsi sitting on a coaster beside me and then shaking him while watching the pepsi splash all over. Fortunately for Donald, he came in a Mickey Mouse clubhouse bath playset so he is not bothered in the least bit by being wet but that was more stickiness and mess than I wanted - not to mention, it was MY pepsi that I was still drinking that he was swimming in. Thus, without thinking how ridiculous it sounded, I sternly said the phrase mentioned above. Well... I'm glad we got that all taken care of and Kaelyn has now learned another important lesson for life - no dipping Donald Duck in pepsi! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Disney video clips

Here are the video clips I mentioned though you may be reading this blog before you actually read the first Disney one. These video clips are not really impressive. We videoed Kaelyn running up to meet some of the characters. Each video clip is just a few seconds long. I put all four of them onto one slide show format so you have click play, after the first one plays, go to the second box (in the strip down the side) and click on that. It will bring you to the next "page" where you will see the next clip; you will push play on that and do the others that way. Just as a forewarning, it is quite loud but it is just a lot of background noise.

Click to play Disney video clips

DISNEY !!!

(I know I'm late Rach but wait till you see what I got put together of our pictures ;) )

We just spent another GREAT day at Disney World yesterday! I feel like I have to explain why we went again after just going two months ago. Kevin had signed up for a timeshare presentation when a guy came into their office back in March or April (even though we actually own at a different timeshare in Kissimee). For going up to the presentation, we got a 3 nights stay in a motel and 2 disney tickets for almost nothing. Kevin had e-mailed a friend of his sister who works at Disney [honestly] just to find out a couple of things (we already were getting 2 free tickets). Well, she met us at the gate and got us in for free. We still had the vouchers to get 2 free tickets but they had to be used by July 22. Kevin still has a bunch of points from various chains of motels from when he traveled every week for his old job. He used some points from one of the motels and had just enough for 2 nights (they expire at the end of the year anyway). Then I cashed in change that I've been saving (minus all the quarters that have been spent on the ride at Wal-mart, etc.) and it was enough to cover the cost of Kaelyn's ticket into Disney so we were just out the cost of gas and food. Well, now that I've made sure that none of you will disapprove of how we manage our finances - yes, criticism (even unspoken) is one of my greatest fears in life- I will tell you about our day. :)

We left around 3:30 Monday afternoon - we have a new travel rule that says that every trip must include 2 extra hours of time built in for flat tires, etc. :) So instead of getting in at 11:30 p.m. like last time (due to a flat tire), we got into Kissimee around 6:00 p. m. We ate subs that I had made for us once we got checked in and then we just relaxed and got to bed at a decent time. The park hours for Tuesday were from 9:00 A. M. to midnight - yes midnight! It was TERRIBLY hot but we drank LOTS of water and sat down where it was cool when we needed a break and we had an AWESOME time! Fifteen hours of walking in the heat was a bit hard on us but it was also 15 hours of fun. When we went last time, Kay saw (got to interact with) Mickey and Minnie twice and Pluto once. This time, she saw Pluto, Daisy Duck, Mickey & Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto again (those 3 were in the same room), three of the princesses, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. We rode "Small World" and the carousel (still Barbara Manatee to her though we're working on that) twice for Kaelyn along with everything else we did. Kay-Kay loved Small World and sang all the way through it the second time. I was so surprised to hear her right on pitch with the music except when it went too high. She actually only napped for about an hour and a half this time and she stayed awake until we were walking out of the park a few minutes before midnight. We were thankful our motel was only 2 miles from the park and that we had decided not to drive the 2 hours back home that night. The expressions on her face and her excitement and energy all day were just priceless and worth all the money spent, time spent waiting, and exhaustion. (Check with us in about a week to see if our bodies have stopped aching and if the blister on my heel is gone.) :)

The next two blogs (below this) are all of our pictures. I put them into 2 separate slideshows and splurged to give you Disney music and no adds. :) Also, you can view them full screen this time (which you may want to do as some of the type is very small.) Some of our pics. don't do the moments justice. I have a few short video clips to post later as well. The pics. the Disney photographers took are already uploaded to their photo site and we have seen them. There are some awesome ones that I think are extremely cute - but for now, you'll have to see our's. Enjoy!

Disney pictures 1

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Disney pictures 2

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Makin' a splash!

This is what I heard today coming from the "master" bathroom: giggle, giggle, splash, splash, lots of yelling and the water running in the jacuzzi. Now that's nothing new. Usually what that means is that Kaelyn is standing OUTSIDE of the tub with the water on while she sticks her hand (or a toy) in the water. The most harm done in that scenario is that the water splashes on the mirrors and I have to clean them off. When I heard that sound I thought nothing of it. Actually I had already gone in and turned the water off a couple of times earlier. So... when I heard the water running again, I did what any bad mom would do and just stayed out in the living room doing what I was doing. After I had heard the water running for a good 10 minutes or so I decided that she had had enough fun - I had no idea HOW MUCH fun she was having! Yep, you guessed it - she was in a very full tub in her nightgown having a ball. Please don't think that I'm not aware that that could be a drowning hazard; it's just that she's never been bright enough before to realize she could turn this gigantic bathtub into a fun wading pool so it's never been an issue. I WILL keep a closer watch now! Thankfully though, she was safe and just having the time of her life. I watched for a bit before I thought to go get my camera and video. Sorry about all the background noise but the water was still running at first.




Click to play Kaelyn goes for a swim



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Blowin' bubbles (of sorts)

Okay, okay so I taught her this (sort of accidentally). I used to put my head down in the tub when I was giving her a bath and then I would blow bubbles because it would make her giggle and giggle - that part WAS intentional. I wasn't really trying to get her to learn how to do it but you know how it goes.



video





Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Assorted things of very little or no interest to ya'll

These are assorted pictures as already mentioned in the title. I will comment on them under each picture.


T-shirt that I bought at the wonderfully, huge
scrapbooking store in Pigeon Forge, TN.


So here's how it goes: Kaelyn thinks it is hilarious
to see the dog run around like crazy chasing a ball
or whatever but she is VERY afraid of the dog's
loud barking and her jumping up. So she would hold
onto John saying, "It's otay, it's otay" every time
the dog would come running back to John with the
ball and then she would break into fits of giggling
again as soon as John threw the ball and the dog
went tearing after it. Quite funny to watch. By the
way, this is a nice action pic. by Rach from her
camera - I must give credit where credit is due.
Actually, the next 4 pics. are also from Rachel.


You can see her cringing here. The dog gets
so excited waiting for John to hit the ball that
she barks and barks much to Kay's dismay.


Kay discovered how monkey bars work for the
first time out at Rachel & John's a couple of
weeks ago.


And is she ever a little monkey!


Going across the monkey bars (with a little bit
of help from mommy).



Jess sent this dress to Kaelyn with some other
things for her birthday. When Kevin first saw
it he thought it looked like a Minnie Mouse dress.
Apparently Kaelyn thinks that too. I was so
surprised the first day we got it because she was
carrying it all over exclaiming and exclaiming. She
was saying, "Oh yook, that is sooo bootiful! Oh wow,
that is so adorable!" She doesn't typically notice or
care about clothes too much (and she does NOT like
it at all when I put fancy dresses on her!) Well, after
much exclaiming, she said, "Yook, is that Minnie
Mouse?" You CAN see why she would think that.


Kay-Kay in her "Minnie Mouse" dress with her
Minnie Mouse doll. (You can buy actual Minnie
Mouse dresses for little girls at Disney World but
they cost a small fortune and it seems silly to me
that people spend that kind of money for something
that will be outgrown soon.)

Our "big outing" of the day

At the beginning of this summer, I determined to not be running out and about constantly. That's a pretty big thing for me though since I get "cabin fever" if I am home much more than a day without going somewhere. However, with gas prices the way they are, I know I can't afford to go too much and even if I can afford the gas, I can't really afford to be tempted to spend money that I shouldn't spend. It's too hot at this time of year to go to the park or even be outside very much and if it hasn't been terribly hot then it is raining - I believe it has rained every day for the past 3 months. I shouldn't complain though because this time last year we were having a very serious drought. Anyway, I decided to just try to stay home a lot and scrapbook, organize things around the house, blog etc. I have been pretty proud of myself for not running as much as I normally would and not spending money. I decided today though, that we needed to get out so, due to the fact that it has rained off and on all day and I wanted to stay in Hobe Sound that narrowed our choices right down to... a late lunch at Wendy's in H.S. and then a trip to CVS to print some pictures (that means we get to leave the house a SECOND time today when I go pick them up in an hour - WOW!) :) Seriously though, I do enjoy sitting down and having lunch with Kay-Kay like that rather than just grabbing something in between doing stuff at home. We got out of the car and Kay-Kay was running toward the door with her little pony tail bouncing up and down as she yelled excitedly, "Come on, let's go everybody! Let's go to Wendy's!" (Probably only you moms will understand this but that made the whole outing worth it - just having her so happy to be doing something that simple. Wish it would stay that way forever but I know it doesn't.) And better yet, when we actually eat in the restaurant rather than going through the drive-thru, she gets to say her own order - "Um, you want five piece chicken nuggets, small fries, and a small sprite" - and she gets to use ketchup for her fries. Of course 95% of the enjoyment of ketchup is dipping the fry - and dipping it and dipping it. It has only been the last few months that she has discovered the joys of ketchup because I was never willing to have the mess before. Anyway, it was relaxing. After I finished eating I just sat and waited on her as she sang "He's got the whole world in His hands" between eating. Here are a couple of pictures I took at Wendy's today. (Wow, I can't believe I just did a WHOLE blog about going to Wendy's - that is VERY, VERY sad!)





Monday, July 14, 2008

Does anyone recognize this? :)



WANTED: a good home with little boys who like
cars and drinking juice.

Yeah Lynette, you left your missing cup in my car the
day we went to Lion Country Safari. I kept meaning to
take it in "the next time I go into the house" but I always
forgot the next time that my arms weren't loaded down.
Then somehow it got put in the trunk. Well, Kevin
brought it in and sat it in the sink when he carried
groceries in for me Friday night. I was in the kitchen
taking care of the groceries and Kevin was getting ready
to load the dishwasher and we heard a strange whining
noise which turned out being the cup. Apparently, we
had let it sit in the car so long that whatever kind of juice
was in it had fermented. Kevin, being the thoughtful guy
that he is and all, offered to let me "see what fermented
juice smells like" - I politely declined. I will try to send it
to you at some point - or... better yet, I will hold it for
ransom until you guys come visit us again. :) Yeah, that's
a good idea. So, when are you guys coming to get your
cup? (wish you all could visit more often as you can tell)

Saturday's project

Since the time I posted earlier today I have: unloaded the dishwasher, washed a few dishes that did not fit in the dishwasher, cleaned the rest of the kitchen, cleaned up the dining room and living room, tended to my anniversary roses, helped Kaelyn pick up stuff in her bedroom, finished four loads of laundry so far, changed the sheets on the beds, and straightened up the other rooms. So... I decided I could allow myself to get back on the computer.
Every since we moved into the place we're living now, our "outside area" (can't really call the few square feet a yard) had been unfinished. It has bothered me quite a bit so I was VERY, VERY excited with everything that was accomplished Saturday. We hired a few Spanish guys to help out with it. (They all hang out by one of the local churches on weekends waiting for work. People will hire them for the day to do various work. There didn't use to be a shortage of work during the housing boom but now that the real estate "bubble" has burst the economy has really suffered here. A lot of the guys used to work for roofers, landscapers, contractors, etc. and they have been laid off because there just has not been enough work - almost everyone has stopped building.) We have done this for several projects and the guys have always seemed very grateful for the work. They are hard workers and worth what we pay them. Anyway, as I mentioned before, they started reinforcing and building up the bank behind our house. It is constantly eroding and creeping closer and closer to the house so hopefully this will fix it. Rod wired electricity to our shed so that will be nice. Jeff Teed had already been working throughout the week to get a sprinkler system put into our lawn. We had a couple of loads of dirt delivered to level the area out front and some sand was delivered for the walkway. They got all of the stones and the wood laid for the walkway. There is still more to be done but it already looks so much better and I am SO happy with it. Below are some pics. from Saturday.



These posts were put in the water along with boards to hold
the cement and "filler" stones in place. We are going to
"drape" rope and rope lighting along the posts for looks.


This is the dirt being spread to help level out the front. Now
we just have to lay sod pallets.


The sand was used to level the ground for the walkway.


This was all just grass before. We had a row of lights going
up to the house but that was all. This was after they bolted
the wood down and got the sand spread.


spreading the sand


Rod Brown and Jeff Teed hard at work


These were the four Spanish guys laying
the stones.


Now they just have to drill holes in the wood to
put our solar lights in and we will have a lit
walkway.


We were going to put the stones right against
each other but in order to make the path as wide
as our steps, they had to leave a little bit of space.
I think that it turned out looking great!