Saturday, June 25, 2011

Atlantis! Part 1

So, hubby and I won a trip to Atlantis! It was amazing! Our adventure started at the airport. We realized we were NOT sitting together. As a matter of fact, they overbooked the flight and he was on standby!

I freaked. I have never flown before and there was NO way I was getting on a plane for the first time without him. NOPE!! NOT HAPPENING!! The MOST awesome check-in lady got us 1 seat apart in coach. SHEW!! Not thrilled, but better. I was still freaking a little, but trying to make the best of it. A few minutes later she came over to us and asked us for our tickets. She came back and gave us NEW tickets, 1st class tickets!! We were bumped to 1st class!! WOOHOO! For free! And I got to sit with my hubby!! =) She even got on the plane before we left to wish us well. Here she is, our hero!:

I was incredibly sick the WHOLE ENTIRE FLIGHT! I have realized, I am one of those people who just cannot fly. But, here are some awesome views from the window:

I was sooooo happy to be on land again!! And as we entered the airport, a local bohemian band was playing island music to welcome us. NICE!! We were all then taken to our shuttle and off to the hotel. Let me warn you now, NO ONE can drive down there. It's crazy!!!!

We stayed at The Royal Towers. Here is are some crappy pics of the fountain that greated you:

The architecture in this place alone is enough, but the attention to detail is just jaw dropping. Here are just a few pics of what awaits you in THE TOWERS

(this is one part of an 8 part mural telling the story of Atlantis....on the ceiling)

Atlantis is over 140 acres of pools, water fountains, water falls, water slides, and aquariums, and natural sea life preservation areas. AMAZING!! And then all the stuff they have for you to do.... (dolphin play, sea lion interaction, deep sea adventure, feeding rays, para sailing, ect.)

And the water!!! It's even more pristine and beautiful in person than in any picture. No picture ever taken has ever, or will ever do it justice! Here are some pictures:

(The Harbor at Atlantis. Yes, that is REALLY the color of the water)

These are views from the top of one of the water slides

There is, of course, the Casino. NICE!! There is a club both above the casino and a smaller one on the casino floor. They have a top notch spa as well. Then there are the special activities such as snorkeling, feeding rays, dolphin interaction, sea lion interaction, .... too many to name. And the have more things for kids to do there than you could EVER imagine. It is most definitely geared more toward families. But couples and singles have plenty to do too. There are even tunnels leading down underneath Atlantis to explore that allow you you look closer into some of the giant aquariums. Here are some pics of the glass sculptures in the Casino:



(at one of the entrances to the casino. Weighs 15 tons!)

(close up)

And I don't think I have ever tasted food sooo good!! But, it isn't cheap. It's expensive. One bottle of water is $4. Breakfast is at The Marketplace is $25... A PERSON! But it is amazing. You can have just about any breakfast food you want. Cereal, eggs, omelets,pancakes, waffles, french toast, fruit, breads and bagels and muffins, there is no end to the food or drinks.

And I had a steak at the Atlas Bar & Grill that was THE BEST STEAK I had EVER had!! I even cut it with a butter knife!! It was soo tender and juicy and flavorful!

If you ever go, bring enough $$$ to eat with! ;) There are several places inside the buildings to eat, as well as a few places out doors to grab some grub.

Here are some pics of the water/beaches/coves, they are breath taking! Again, no picture will ever do.

(random guys...ignore them)

Now you may be wondering how in the world we got pictures from on top of a water slide. Easy! We were given a free waterproof Kodak Play/sport camera by his company! Waterproof up to 10 ft! =) Here are some underwater pics hubby took with it:

(Some of the smaller fish we swam with. There were bigger ones, but they're camera shy. lol)

Atlantis isn't a place you visit. It's a place you experience. And you get so busy experiencing it, you forget to take pictures. lol

On our last night there we were treated to a great show/feast. But that is on my hubby's phone and I am waiting to get those pics from him, along with some others from our trip. When I can FINALLY get them, I'll make a post of those.

This last pic is at the Airport before we left. =(
(yes...that's me at the top...not that you can tell. lol)

We had a wonderful time, but I really missed our girls. I was so happy to be headed back home, and to my children. I said this to others, but I'll tell ya'll too: The Bahamas are GORGEOUS!! But THE MOST BEAUTIFUL thing I saw were my girls faces when we got home. ♥

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kids shows gone bad?

My husband made a comment about the silly cartoon on cable network this morning, that my kids were watching: "Isn't there something better on than this?"

It made me think. A lot of the cartoons that were on when we were kids taught lessons to the children. He-man? She-Ra? G.I. Joe? These shows laid out the lesson in the end in plain English. Then there were other shows where you learned from the character's experience. Even the Smurfs seemed to teach us that it never paid to be grumpy or vain or mean.

What ever happened to shows like these? Shows that kept our children's attention, and yet actually taught them something? Cartoons were nice and bright, funny, and most importantly, TAUGHT US SOMETHING!! And it wasn't just cartoons either. Remember Saved By the Bell? Full House? Always a good life lesson learned in those.

In today's crappy shows, our children see the characters disobey their parents, lie, do crazy things, and have little to no consequences. No wonder our society is such crap. In an age where parents us the T.V. as a babysitter, all the kids see is that they can get away with just about anything as long as they say they're sorry. There are no REAL consequences.

I know someone out there in cyberspace is going to wonder about Looney Tunes. What did those teach us? Weren't they a bunch of silly humor that the whole family could get a chuckle out of? The answer of course is, YUP! But, it really was one of just a very few shows that did this. It was the exception and not rule. I dare anyone out there to name me ONE show that teaches kids a lesson that isn't meant for preschoolers. Hard to think of one isn't it?

I think of the shows my kids have watched, there are clear problems and solutions. But they problems aren't real problems, they don't show REAL consequences, but some silly form instead. And as for the solution? Everyone is happy and moves on. That's not life. How many times did we see D.J. Tanner or Zack Morris get grounded (or say they were grounded)?

What has happened to children's shows? Where has the value in them gone? When did it all become nonsense or silliness or useless? When are we as parents, going to stand up and say something?

Now before some reader (as if I have all that many) get's all upset, I am NOT saying that we need to let TV teach our children these valuable life lessons. We as parents need to take up that responsibility. But I can remember learning somethings from these shows we watched. They helped drive home the points and lessons my parents taught us. They were a tool that helped, and not just a way to waste time. When it comes to the shows our kids watch, the T.V. has definitely evolved into "The Boob Tube". A useless waste of time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Got this in an email today: Crossing the Street

Crossing the Street

When I was a young boy, my father would regularly take me with him to do his Saturday errands, usually involving a number of stops in the downtown area of the small steel town in western Pennsylvania where I grew up. Traffic in our small town was hardly a problem. Nevertheless, as a young boy, I never crossed a street without holding my father’s hand. Every time we stood together on the curb, he would extend his arm toward me, waiting for me to take his hand before we crossed to the other side.

I didn’t need to know where Dad was headed or what we were going to do when we got there. He knew. My job was simply to take his hand before we crossed and hold onto it until we safely reached the other side. That’s all I had to do.

Such a simple action. But such a vivid, enduring picture in my mind.

Our First Step

Doesn’t it make sense that in every decision we make and every direction we take, our first step ought to be to take hold of God’s outstretched hand.

Over the last few years, a Scripture that has become especially meaningful to me is Jeremiah 33:3 (nkjv), where God says: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” As I compared this passage to similar verses, I discovered one striking truth. Almost without fail, whenever the Lord tells us to call to Him, His next words are, “. . . and I will answer you.”

When we are facing a question of guidance or direction, what should be our first step? To reach out actively to God’s extended hand and take hold of it. That action takes the form of calling upon the Lord as a first priority, assuring Him we will hold on to Him through the process.

The second point I have appreciated in this passage concerns what the Lord promises to show us. One note in this translation concerning the word “mighty” gives its meaning as “inaccessible.” There are matters we simply will not know unless our hand is in His. Those matters are “inaccessible” to us under normal circumstances. With our hand in His, they become clear to us. We may not always know where we are headed or what we are to do. He knows. Our job is simply to hold on to His hand as He leads us “across the street.”

Such a basic action. But such an essential step for each of us in fulfilling His plan.

What is it, then, that’s so important about waiting for God? What are the results that it will produce in us? I’d like to suggest that in waiting for God we acknowledge God in a very special way. We give Him His rightful place in our lives. It builds a relationship with Him that cannot be built in any other way.

In particular, there are three ways we acknowledge God by waiting for Him. First, we acknowledge God as our source. That’s why the psalmist said, “Wait for God only.” He was saying to his own soul, “What you need can only come from God. There’s no other source for what you need.” So, it’s in vain to turn in any other direction. You have to keep your heart and your mind focused on God by waiting for Him.

Secondly, we acknowledge God’s sovereignty, and that is so important. The initiative is with God. The timing is with God. We can’t tell God when to do it. We have to wait until He in His infinite wisdom reveals the time that it needs to be done. That way, we are acknowledging God’s sovereignty in our lives.

Thirdly, we’re acknowledging our dependence upon God. That is something that’s painful for all of us, because as a result of man’s fall, there is ingrained in every human being a deep desire to be independ­ent—even to be independent of God. Waiting for God deals with this desire for independence. It continually reminds us we are dependent upon God. The initiative comes from God. The only source is God. And so it humbles and subdues that carnal impulse in us which is continually striving to be independent of God.


Well this is the 2nd time Jerm.33:3 has been mentioned to me in the last 24 hours. Think "someone" is trying to tell me something?

But also, this describes the whole walk we have taken in our Journey to build our new home. We didn't understand a bit of our struggles. But, we put our hand in His and followed. We never understood why things happened as they did, but to get this now, and look back on all we have been through. . . . I understand now. Wow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


What do you do? Man I can't wait to move!!

You got to love stepping outside with your kids to spray them down with sunscreen and the first thing you smell when you step out is POT. Even my kids asked what that smell was. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

And you got to love it when the person who is smoking it, has their kids right their with them. You have GOT to be kidding me. Really?

Nothing surprises me now.

We had a situation the other day with this person. I was left to be responsible for their kid and I WAS! And for that, I got yelled at. And then I was told that our kids couldn't play together anymore. Really?

I hate it when grown adults act like children.

The thing is, I know this person is going through a really hard time right now. I know they're pissed off at the world. I know they need an outlet for that anger, and I guess right now it's me. But I don't know what else to do anymore. I'm tired of being a punching bag for this person. And I'm tired of my kids getting caught in the middle.

All I know to do know is to pray for this person. They are so lost. I feel so bad for them right now, more anything. I feel bad for every member of that family that is caught up in all this drama and chaos right now...most of all the children. The only think I know to do is to pray for this person.

I'm so hurt and frustrated. And it KILLS ME that my kids have seemingly lost a friend. I have NO idea how to handle this one. I don't lie to my kids. Not even about santa, the easter bunny or the tooth fairy. If they ask why they can't play with this child anymore, I'm not going to lie. But I have no idea how to handle it either. I can't say: and so's parent has lost it and said you can't be friends anymore. But honestly, that is exactly what I'm thinking of saying. It's the truth. Ugh. I hate when other people's drama effects my family.

I guess I just needed a place to vent. I do pray for them...all of them. What else can I do?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Second Opinions

It's always a good idea to get a second opinion.

My Grandfather saw a new dr. today for his "brain check-up" (neurologist). The family REALLY likes this guy. He is thorough. He re-ran all the other tests, ran some new tests, and is ordering new tests.

The doctor is not convinced that my grandfather's lung cancer hasn't spread to his brain. ='( He is running tests to see.

I cried the whole way home after hearing this news. I'm so glad he has a doctor now who is good and knows what he is doing. But I am not ready for this.