Friday, October 31, 2008

Magical Memories

Our first full day in Orlando was last Thursday. We had a 2 day pass to the Disney Theme parks, so we chose to go to the Magic Kingdom first. It was by far our favorite theme park of the 3 we ended up visiting! I used Picasa 3 to make some collages of our pictures.

The Magic Kingdom was all decked out with fall decor and pumpkins! I couldn't help but think of all of you bloggers that have been posting fall decor and pumpkins when we saw this-you would have loved it!
When we first got there, we saw Alvin and the Chipmunks. Chad bought Connor an autograph book so he could get their autograph!
Connor picked out this face painting from a display! I thought it was perfect for him!
We just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see the parade. Connor had a front row seat on the curb with some other children. I think all of us adults thought the parade was one of the most fun things about the Magic Kingdom!
Another one of the highlights was meeting Mickey and Minnie. Connor got their autograph too! Cooper was very interested in checking out their noses!
Cooper's first ride was on the flying Dumbo!
One of the highlights of the Magic Kingdom for me was taking Cooper through the It's a Small World ride. I was amazed at the details and beauty of the surroundings! He cooed and cooed throughout the whole ride while waving bye to the characters! I love the expression on his face in the bottom right photo.
The second theme park we visited was the Disney Hollywood Studios. It rained that day, so as soon as we got there we bought ponchos! (For a very hefty price I might add!) LOL
Connor meets the Green Army man, stars of Toy Story and the movie Cars! We asked why he didn't get the autograph of the cars and he rolled his eyes and said, "They don't have any hands!"
This one is a little blurry, but I had to include it! It is one of the few times I've seen Connor more than a little scared! This was made on a ride which took us through movie sets. The ride was slow, but gangsters tried to ambush the tour guide! I was worried that he was really going to get upset...we kept reassuring him that it wasn't real! Cooper slept through the whole thing. LOL
And finally, we saw a wonderful show at the end of the day called Fantasmic. It was worth waiting for-all of us agreed that it was our favorite part of the Hollywood Theme park. The picture in the right hand corner is Connor enjoying a comedy show while Kelli and Chad rode a roller coaster he wasn't quite old enough for.
I'm so thankful for digital photography and for the pictures that will help us keep these memories alive. Now if I can just get around to having them printed out-and then making a scrapbook!

For other family photos visit Deborah at Pictures Pots and Pens. Thanks Deborah for hosting Family Foto Friday!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Fun Place to Eat!

One of the things we really wanted to do in Orlando was eat at the Rain Forest Cafe. We ate at the one in Downtown Disney on a day we didn't go to a theme park. I had been to one before in San Antonio, and wanted everyone else to see how cute they are! Have any of you ever been to one?

This gorilla overlooked our table, and followed us with his eyes. Every few minutes he came to life and started making noise and moving.
This is a picture of Cooper when it first happened. I thought he might be a little scared-but he didn't cry. He never smiled though! LOL
You can see from this picture that Connor wasn't scared. He started to climb the tree. I think he would have gone all the way up if we had let him!
After we ate, Cooper got on his first merry go round ride. He was a little startled when it first started moving, but it didn't take him long to start really enjoying the ride.
This is just a snapshot of the fun that we had! I will be posting a few more a little at a time. Hope you all don't get bored with looking at them!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Chad!

Today is Chad's birthday. Chad is my son in law, the husband of Kelli and the father of my two grandsons. I can't think of a better way to wish him a happy birthday than to post some of my favorite pictures of Chad and his family from our trip on my blog. I'm sure I'll do another post or so on our trip, but this is a great place to start. After all there are around 800 pictures. LOL

Here's Chad and my daughter Kelli at my Uncle and Aunt's 50th wedding party. They have been married for 10 years. Chad is a wonderful husband to Kelli. I don't think she would ever find anyone who would treat her as great as Chad does.
Chad is in quite a few pictures that I took of Cooper. He was always holding him wherever we went. Cooper is crazy about his daddy and often won't go to anyone else if Chad is around.
He is not quite in as many of the pictures we have of Connor since Connor thinks he can wander around like an adult! Here's a rare one of Chad holding him up to see some of the sights at the Magic Kingdom.
And here's Chad and Connor on the Dumbo ride. Connor had just had his face painted. Cooper and Kelli were in the elephant just ahead!
This one was made while we were waiting for our table at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.
Chad and Cooper at Sea World on Sunday with Cooper modeling a straw hat.
And last but not least...probably my very favorite picture of the three of them was taken at the Believe show at Sea World on Sunday. Don't you love the smiles on all 3 faces??
Chad was so much help and fun on our trip! He drove everywhere we went, and was so patient with all of us including me when I tried to be a backseat driver. I don't think there is a daddy anywhere who loves his family anymore than Chad does.

Happy birthday Chad, and we love you!

Won't you join me in wishing him a happy birthday? I believe he would enjoy hearing from you!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home At Last!!

We are finally home from our trip to Orlando! We had a magical time at the Magic Kingdom and everywhere else in Orlando. The trip was really wonderful, but of course it is always great to be home!

Between Kelli and I we have about 800 pictures! We'll be sharing a few of the special ones in the days to come.

I also have 656 posts to read in Google Reader! I know that is a bit ridiculous...some of them are blogs that have several posts per day like Blissfully Domestic! It may take me a while to catch up on my very favorites!

Thanks to all who visited and commented on my scheduled posts while away! It is wonderful to come home to all these comments!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Remembering the Summer

Visions of summer dance in my head!

I really do love the fall of the year! But browsing through my posts that I keep in draft, I found these pictures that I had uploaded and didn't write about. So, while I'm away, I will share them with you today!

We will be coming back tomorrow, and I'll have lots of 'new' blogging material I think!

Here's one of the critters I photographed when I first began blogging.
This is Gara...and new perennial I planted this year. It looks great in flower arrangements. I want to add more of it next year.
Purple cone flowers are one of my favorites!
And day lilies too! I bought some new ones recently on the half price rack at Lowes!
Hope you enjoyed my tour through my summer sure doesn't look like this now!
Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Pink Wish

Do any of you have an Ipod? Or any other kind of MP3 player?

I would love to have one! I think this one would be PINK! It would be easy to spot since the bright pink color would stand out in my purse. Also, I wouldn't have to worry about a male trying to steal it! LOL

Besides, it's just plain cute!
If you have any shopping tips on buying one of these, please post them!

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for other Pink Saturday posts.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A day with Connor

I made these pictures of Connor one day when he spent the day with me. We went to the pet store and he got to see a ferret for the first time. I don't have much experience with these critters. They were friendly, frisky little things!

I think he was afraid it would bite him! While we were in there, a young couple came in with one on a leash! That was perfect timing I think! I was more amazed than he was.
Finally, here is Connor and his dad at Chick fil a. He met us there after a morning of golf. Cooper was with the baby sitter, and Kelli was at work. I love those days with Connor! He is big enough to go just about anywhere with me now and he is fun to talk to!
Thanks for the visit!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Potato Casserole: A Family Favorite

11th Heaven's Homaking Haven is hosting Homemaker Monday. Check out her blog for some other wonderful posts!

Here's a recipe for one of our family favorites.

Potato Casserole


Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes or Frozen O’Brien potatoes

(thaw just long enough to break apart)

1 carton sour cream

1 can chicken of celery soup

2 cups sharp cheese-shredded or grated


Mix all above ingredients together.


Crushed Ritz Crackers (about one stack) or

Corn Flakes

1 stick of butter cut up

Bake for 2 hours at 350

Can be made up ahead and refrigerated. This also freezes well.

I usually make this at Thanksgiving when we go to my Aunt Gloria's and also at Christmas....and often for special birthday dinners through the year. It goes well with steak in place of baked potatoes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Google Reader and Saving Time Blogging!

Do you have any tips that help save time blogging? Although I really love blogging, it is hard to control the amount of time I spend doing it! My time is much more limited than it was when I first began, and I've had to try to find ways to make it less time consuming while still benefiting from it.

Here are some things that I've tried that have helped:

  • I use Google Reader to keep up with the blogs I read. I tried Bloglines, and liked it, but have decided Google Reader works better for me-it seems to update more often. It took me a while to get the settings right-I like the list view, and if you click on 'All' at the top, you can use the next button at the bottom to scroll through the list. Also, if I want to comment on a post, I 'Star' it- then I know that's one that I want to revisit.
  • When I find a picture or topic I want to blog about, I go ahead and create a post in draft and upload the picture if I have one. I have 21 posts in draft now, so on days when I have a hard time coming up with something, I visit 'edit posts' and browse through these posts that I've saved in draft.
  • I've finally quit trying to change my layout up all the time-I've tried to find one that worked for me, and just change the header. I have spent hours on the layout before-only to lose lots of stuff! LOL
  • I try to keep my posts short and sweet! That way it doesn't take too long to create a post and those that drop by won't have to spend too much time reading it!
  • I try to 'chunk' my blogging time. Goggle Reader really helps with this. A few minutes here, and a few minutes there works better for me than being overwhelmed with too many blogs to read at one time or too many posts to write! I probably need to cut down on the blogs that I read, but so far I haven't done that!
If you have some tips that have worked for you, please share them with a comment.

If you didn't read Kelli's photo story from yesterday, you might want to check her blog at Sassy Southern Mom. I get teary eyed every time I think about that day!

And here is a new blog for you to check:
This is Connor and Cooper's other grandmother Vikki....she has started her own blog after seeing how much fun Kelli and I are having with ours. Please stop in and welcome her to blogging!

Love you all, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Photo Tag, New Awards and New Posts

Pat from Mille Fiori Favoriti has tagged me to play a photo tag. The rules are to go your picture folder and open the fourth folder and post the fourth photograph! I had no idea which folder this would lead me to, but it was to the one labeled 2005-Paris. I recently reorganized all my pictures by combining all the years into one folder....this has made it so much easier for me to find ones I'm looking for! Then I have another folder where all the family pictures are kept.

This picture was made from a street in Paris when we visited in Novemeber of 2005. I can't believe we will be going back this summer. We added a two day trip to Paris to the end of our Greece trip!

I would like to tag the following four blogs to play this game:
Kelli at Sassy Southern Mom
Dawn at Dawn's Daybreak
Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Janie at Southern Lagniappe

I have two new awards that I'm long overdue in posting and giving a proper thank you!

The first one is from Katherinellen of Wecome to Kat's Corner.
This second award is from Darlene of Darlene's Days.
I would like to pass this awards on to all the blogs that I check daily and to all of you who visit me and comment on my blog!

Thanks Darlene and Katherinellen!

We will be leaving for Orlando early tomorrow.
More than likely I won't be able to visit you til I get back. I have posts scheduled for every day while I'm gone, so please stop in and peek at my blog! I don't want to lose touch with any of you while I'm away! LOL


Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Porches On Parade

One of the first blogging posts that I did was a porch party post for Rhondi of Rose Colored Glasses. Now Melissa at the Inspired Room is having a fall porch parade. What fun! You can click on the icon at the top to visit other fall porches on parade

We'll start the tour at my front door. Here is a fall arrangement that my daughter Kelli of Sassy Southern Mom created using my Southern Living at Home container.
You might recognize these mums and this sign I bought at the thrift store-I've used them in my header. I've added a coffee can spray painted orange with a pumpkin face.
Here's the Parisian Luminaries I posted about a few days ago on the porch. They really look pretty in the dark.
Now we will move on to the neighbor's houses. When Connor stayed with me last week during his fall break, we got on the golf cart and did another neighborhood tour looking for fall and Halloween decor.

This little house had the most Halloween decoration and she has added to it since we made this picture. It is really cute at night.There are little orange lights all over the shrubs that light up the area.

I really liked this one. The scarecrow is a quilted hanging. Notice the unique pumpkin on the left. The man of the house came out when we snapped this pic....I was kinda embarrassed and had to tell him what we were looking for! He said it was okay!
This is another one that is really special at night. The door is outlined with orange blinking lights. I thought the scarecrow couple were adorable!
Then we got in the car and drove across town. The next three pictures are of a house that really went all out on the Halloween decor! The entire yard is full of Halloween inflatables! We are going to have to make it back by there at night before she takes all this down!
Hope you enjoyed a few of the fall porches in area! I'm looking forward to visiting the others. Please go to The Inspired Room for others on the tour. Thanks Melissa for being our hostess!