Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Years Eve is always a sort of anniversary for me and Ed. We had our first date on New Years Eve TWENTY years ago tonight! So, Happy Anniversary, Ed! I LOVE YOU! And I wish all who read this a Happy 2010!

Caribbean Vacation Part II

On Saturday, we docked in Cozumel. This place, though poor, was gorgeous. I have never seen beaches so pretty and water so blue! Check out some of the highlights below.

This was us getting in a taxi in Cozumel. (Though seemingly petty, it was only our second cab ride EVER, with the first being in Tampa just before the cruise.)
Isn't this the most beautiful little cove you've ever seen? Loving that water! We could see clear through it and watch the tropical fish swim up to the reef.
It's hard to believe by looking at these photos that it was actually December.
We enjoyed eating at this little snack shop. The manager was so nice...and he even tried to teach us a little Spanish.
Click on this photo above to see the iguana we caught sunbathing near the beach. It was so cool to see these in the wild. Just as we got out of the taxi, a man approached the boys with a tame one, and he placed it on Jonathan's shoulder, asking if we wanted to pay to have a photo taken with it. We said no thanks. He even wanted to charge $5 for us to take it with OUR camera!
We were in a state park most of the day. One of the things we did was tour the "replicas" of the Mayan ruins. It was pretty cool.
This is our EXTREME child! Matthew got on this, which was basically bungee cords holding up a safety harness over a trampoline. He did flip after flip after flip...and just loved it!
This was where we swam with the a fenced off portion of the ocean. There was a pier running all the way around it. You can't tell from the photos, but the waves were pretty rough that day, and poor little Matthew was getting slapped all about by the water. But once he got used to it, he did everything we did. The life guard helped him get out to where he needed to swim, and then of course back to the fence. He did great!
Then of course, Jonathan did it like a pro. This is him "hugging" the 18 year old dolphin, Pegassos (think I spelled it right). We just put our arms out under the water, and the dolphin would swim up and lay right in our arms like a baby! SO cool!
We also let the dolphin kiss us on the cheek. The coolest thing was getting to ride on his belly. We swam out and gave a signal with our arms, and the dolphin swam under us on his back. When we grabbed his bottom fins, he took us for a ride! It was amazing that he knew exactly what we wanted him to do. We also swam out to the middle on a boogie board, and then at the trainer's signal, the dolphin would come up behind us and push us on the bottom of our feet with his snout, giving us a fast ride back to the fence! Needless to say, it was a day I will never forget. (I won't go in to details about how I cried from being so scared at the beginning! But I DID IT! :)
Then we headed back to our ship (the one on the left).
We got our picture taken with the ship's captain on the final night of the cruise.
This was Ed and me on formal night at dinner. Truly enjoyed that!
When we docked back in Tampa, we had several hours to spend before our train left to go back home, so we went ahead and checked in our luggage early and headed for Channelside to see the sites. We went to the Florida aquarium, some cool shops, and even saw Jim Carrey's "A Christmas Carol" in 3D while there.
All in all, despite the clouds, I can't say enough about how much fun we had. Now I want to do another cruise in the future!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Caribbean Vacation Part I

We just got back from vacation. It's the first one I've ever done in December that I remember. We took a train ride to Tampa, FL. We spent the night down town and enjoyed the sites in the city. I highly recommend the Hyatt Regency downtown. Super nice hotel with great service, and in December, by using Priceline, we got an unbelievable rate. Below are pictures of how we toured the city. We walked a lot, but the electric streetcars were fun too!

The next day, we got up, ate breakfast, and headed for Tampa's port to board our cruise ship. We sailed out on Thursday aboard the Grandeur of the Seas (Royal Caribbean).

I don't know what I expected, but I was in awe of its size!

The pool LOOKED great, but the weather wasn't so great, so we didn't use it at all. Too cloudy and windy most days.

Our room was tiny, but we only used it to sleep, shower, and change. But next time, we're gonna go a little bigger.

One of the cutest things they did on the ship was fold our towels into different animals. Matthew was fascinated and even wanted to learn how (yes...they did a little class on towel folding.)

My favorite part of the ship experience was getting dressed up to go to dinner. Our waiters, Amel and Roger were fantastic...super nice. The food was indescribably good! And we enjoyed dining with our new friends, Alex and Maria, from Kissimmee, FL.

I also loved how the ship was all decked out for Christmas. So beautiful!

This was an actual EDIBLE gingerbread village made by the chefs. So pretty!

Below is an elf carved out of a watermelon! Now someone is talented! Isn't he cute?

On Saturday, we sailed into Cozumel, Mexico. That is where we had the most fun!

Next time, I'll share more pictures and adventures from our cruise.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving This and That

Had a wonderful time at home for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed visiting with my brother, his wife, and kids. We also enjoyed turkey, dressing, gravy, ham, mac and cheese (my Granny makes THE BEST), corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and deviled eggs. YUM! And don't forget the banana pudding and pound cake for dessert!
Here are some of the GAWJUS people I spent the holiday with. (Everyone not pictured.)
This is my brother, below is my niece, Kate.
This is my nephew, Sam.
My mom, Barbara.
My neice, Anna, and my grandmother, Margaret.
My papa Johnny.
My dad, Clyde.
And finally, my son, Jonathan, and hubby, Ed.
For some reason, I didn't get photos of Janet, Matthew or myself. I'll have to remember to remedy that next time. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To the few who follow my blog and to the few who just stumble upon it, I wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. I am blessed with 2 beautiful sons, a loving husband who supports us, and friends I wouldn't trade for anything. Count your blessings and thank our heavenly Father for them!

I hope you enjoy your day with family and friends. Till next time!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Check out who was at our church last Sunday. Ruby is a beautiful lady (inside and out) who has her own reality show on the Style Network. Her show chronicles her weight loss journey, and since the start of the show, she has lost 150 pounds and 80 inches. Her message to our church was basically that she could not have done any of this without God giving her His strength. I am definitely a fan and am cheering her on. Although I didn't get the chance to meet her face to face, I did take the opportunity to get a couple of photos. I also plan to buy her book. If you would like to hear her speak, check out the sermon archives from my church, Stevens Creek. Click on "Sermons (top left on green strip)," and then go to the "Amazed" series link, and then click on the November 1st video link. Good stuff throughout!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Matthew Milestone

Late October and early November have definitely seen Matthew hit some milestones in his young life. First, he learned how to tie his shoes (see here.) Secondly, he lost his first tooth. Actually, he didn't "lose" it, I pulled it. His permanent tooth was already coming in, and I told him it HAD to come out (it was already very loose). As you can see, he was rather upset. His mood changed after the bleeding stopped....and of course after the visit from the tooth fairy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Wet Halloween

Well, Halloween is over, and the decorations are once again stashed in storage closets. Thankfully, I have a few good photos to preserve the memories. This is the first Halloween I remember in a long time that was rainy. Boy did it pour! Ed started walking around the neighborhood with us, then as it rained harder, we realized we needed another umbrella, so he just ran home to be with Jonathan, who was doing an awesome job of handing out candy. Matthew was an adorable Incredible Hulk! Check him out!

One of our favorite parts about the day was making fun food. Check out our "monster burger."

And our festive fall cupcakes!

And our "Boo berry milkshakes!"

More fun stuff tomorrow.