Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Trolley Tours...NOT Just for Senior Citizens!




Okay, I don't know why, but I LOVE tours. I love to take tours when we go on vacation. I have taken tours in Washington D.C (two years in a row I took the exact same two day tour), in New York City, and now in St. Augustine. I just signed us up to take tours during our vacation next week. Landon, on the other hand, does not love tours - but I really think I've been bringing him over to my side. These tours are so awesome, too, because you can get off and on at a bunch of trolley stops every 15 minutes - yeah! Although I want this vacation to be more chill-axin (I think that is the funniest word ever, but I don't think I'm probably cool enough to use it...so maybe I will - if I remember - just to be funny), I do not think I can go to a new city - especially a historical city - without a TOUR! I signed us up this morning... so...here's the vaca schedule so far:

Saturday: leave around 3pm (when Landon gets off work)
Sunday: NOTHING (could take trolley tour or do Alligator Farm)
Monday: NOTHING (could take trolley tour or do Alligator Farm)
Tuesday: watch Tiger Woods practice at Sawgrass
Wednesday: Disney World
Thursday: Ghost tour in evening
Friday: leave by 10am and go through Gainesville to be on our campus for a while

Here are the items I have ready for us to take:
Several lists of different restaurants people have recommended
A word document with directions from our condo to restaurants/shopping/tours (like 20 different places...)
E tickets for Trolley Tour, Ghost Tour, and Alligator Farm
Tickets for practice round with Tiger
Map of St. Augustine
Maps of where the tours will take us
Restaurant menus for some of the recommended restaurants

I am a major list maker...and although swine flu does have me a little scared, I am looking forward to being on VACATION!

Can you find me below...instead of where's Waldo...this is...

Can you find B on the trolley??

(you can see I am not good at photo editing!)
VACATION COUNTDOWN: 4 DAYS!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Getting HOT in here...Turn on the A/C!!!

Yikes...it's really getting hot here! I don't know how many of you wait as long as you can to turn on your air conditioner...but we try to wait until we can't stand it anymore! So, we've been waiting a couple of weeks, trying to open the windows, etc., and it's been bearable, but this weekend - that was it. It got pretty hot. I got home Friday night when Landon was gone, and the temperature was 83 in the house. So, I opened the sliding glass door in the back, tried to let that help, but I was getting home so late and without him that I was afraid to open the other downstairs windows. I ended up caving and turning the air on upstairs only and just for the night. Saturday morning I turned it back off and went shopping for the day. Well, when I arrived home on Saturday night about 8pm, hello, it was 86 degrees downstairs - um, just no, that is too hot. So, I tried opening all the windows - since it was still light outside I felt safe - and it went down to like 85 in a couple of hours. I ended up having to run an errand about 10:30 on Saturday night (and I still had the windows open) but then I just could not stand it anymore. Of course, I had to shut all the windows when I left to run my errand, and I turned all the A/C units ON. It's funny how cool 79 feels when you've been sitting in 86. It was a relief...but we do need to change those filters - we are bad about remembering to do that! All in all, I am VERY THANKFUL the A/C has been turned on. I really hate sweating - especially inside my own house. I was beginning to feel like I'd been in a hurricane and the power was out! 5 days and counting til vacation!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

FRIDAY, Stone Puppies, & TV

I am glad it's Friday. Why am I so tired? I decided that I would wait until Friday to get my Bojangles sausage biscuit, so I've been waiting all week for that biscuit-y goodness. It was worth the wait - and makes Friday even better. I don't know if Hardees or Bojangles is better. People do not really know much about Hardees (it seems like) up here in Atlanta. I think Hardees sausage biscuit is probably better, truthfully.

I'm going shopping tomorrow at the outlet mall in Dawsonville. I'm very excited about this little day trip, and when I checked the map of the outlets online, they have a store called "Loft" there. I am thinking this must be an Ann Taylor Loft factory store - which I've never seen before. Landon said he was going to make me sign something saying that since I went to these outlets I don't have to go to the St. Augustine outlets when we're there. Our trip to St. Augustine has become jam packed (well, jam packed to me) with stuff like - golf trips to try to see Tiger Woods, a trip to Disney (with tickets we bought on ebay)...uh...that's all, but it seems like kind of a lot - oh yeah, plus some tours that I want to take (because I am like a senior citizen).

I meant to say something about this last week, but I forgot - last Friday night, we took advantage of a coupon we had to Stoney River and ate there. I love that place! My favorite things are the Stone Puppies...which I took a picture of for your viewing pleasure...

These are like one of my very favorite things - kind of like a donut, but not, and with butter, and they are hot, and oh my word, they are so good. I've never had anything like them.

I haven't made any comments about TV shows lately. I was very glad on American Idol that it was time for Lil and Anoop to leave. I like both of their voices, but talent-wise, it was their turn to go. I thought it was WAY cool that Paula choreographed the dance they did on Thursday night - made me think of "Opposites Attract" - haha! I have not talked about Lost on here, but that's the other show we watch religiously. Last night was just kind of a recap (although a new show) of how they've all gotten back on the island. I really want them to all be in the same time/year/whatever though so that Sun and Jin can see each other!! I'm going to be really sad when that show ends - the man that plays Ben is such a great actor. He never fails to continue to creep me out with his weird voice and the way he says stuff. Landon and I taped (haha - DVR'd) one of those Chucky movies to watch together soon. The first one of those I saw was Bride of Chucky which we watched from Providence House in New Orleans - now that is funny - come to the seminary and watch some crazy horror movie. You know, another one of my favorite shows is House Hunters - I wonder if we have to move somewhere to go to a church and serve if House Hunters would put me on their show. Gotta go check that out on their website right now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pictures of us!

Landon and I met my friend, Joy Wilson, last Tuesday afternoon in Marietta Square to take some new pictures. Landon and I have not had any "real" pictures made since our wedding almost 6 years ago. I kept thinking it would be time for us to have a baby...and then we'd have some pictures made, but since it appears that time is not yet coming, Landon encouraged me to go ahead and schedule us to have them taken together. I met Joy about 3 years ago when we moved to Woodstock and I got her job (she was moving to Tennessee for her husband to go to school) at the International Baptist Network. I remember she did photography then, but had not really paid too much attention. Over the past three years, I've watched her blog/website, and it just seems like her stuff is getting better and better. Her approach is not traditional (although I'm sure it could be if that's what someone wanted), it's more photo journalistic, and that's what I really wanted. Her website is: joywilsonphotography.com. Below are a few of my favorites...





Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Back, Baby!

Doesn't that make you think of Seinfeld - when George says it in that crazy screaming voice? I feel I have been very neglectful of my blog - my new project - so don't worry...I'M BACK, BABY! It's been a very busy past week, and other stuff has had to take precedence over updating my exciting life. The weekend was good, mainly spent worrying about playing the piano in the Sunday evening service. I think that's what I want to focus on updating you about - because it's probably the most entertaining. I played in the morning service, just for the orchestra, so that was no big deal - it does make me somewhat nervous, but knowing the night service was coming helped me to not be so afraid about the morning.

I had to be at church at 3:30 Sunday afternoon to rehearse with the orchestra. First of all, let me say, it's a WAY privilege that they would let me do ANYTHING music wise at our church because of how crazy talented the people are. This is why I get so worried when I'm going to actually play for something real besides a rehearsal! The afternoon went well rehearsing, but then I had to learn about the ear piece thingie and the click thing on the computer. This is what I had been nervous about all along. But, there was plenty of time, and they were so patient with me - it was great! They showed me exactly about the ear piece, how to use it, how to choose what I wanted to hear out of it, and then exactly how to do the click - I really appreciated their patience with me! So...I'm all set, after I figure out how to attach the little click pack thingie to my pants and thread it up my shirt, etc.

The service begins. I play while men come to the altar to pray, and while the prayer is going on, Scott White comes over to talk to me about something. Well, I am so crazy. I have that ear thing in my left ear (the ear he is talking to me) and I have it turned up really high because I was so afraid that when we did the song with the click, I wouldn't be able to hear it - and goodness knows I must hear it! So, he's telling me something, but I honestly have no idea what - I can hear a few words here and there - like, "chord", and I'm not sure what else. I deduce from this one sided conversation that he is telling me that when they finish praying to just play a chord and we'll sing the song again so they can sit down. Geez, I hope that is what he was telling me - I just nod my head like I understand. When he walks away, I'm like, "B, you crazy idiot, why did you act like you just understood what he said when you didn't!??" I just was so nervous! So, I play the chord, and that seems to work okay. Next obstacle, baptism time. During this time in the service, I am supposed to play quietly while almost all the lights are out and they are doing baptisms. Well, for a normal person, that would probably be the easiest part of the evening for him or her, but oh no, not for me. I can play lots of stuff you put in front of me with music, but if you just tell me to "play something" uh, you can forget it. That's definitely not my forte - uh, that's not even in my realm. So, I brought a couple songs that were in the same key as the song we'd just sung so that I could play those pieces instead of just "playing something". Well, dang it, it was really dark. Like so dark I am hunched over the music just trying to read it. It started out okay at first, I was able to see, but as time went on and we baptized like a million people (praise the Lord, of course), my eyes just started to get crazy and give out - like all squinty and blurry. I felt like that baptism was never going to end. After that was over, there were several other times in the service that I was supposed to just "play something" during prayers, announcements, etc., but I just could not do it. The baptism had spent me in this area. Oh, the only other excitement for me was when the congregational song began - I started the click just like Scott asked me to and began playing the song - well, in my haste to turn the little ear thing up so that I could definitely hear the click, I didn't realize how loud all of that would be when it all came together - so my ear is like crazy falling off and the sound coming out of the ear piece is like that scratchy noise that happens in your car when you are about to bust your speakers. But, can I do anything about it...like reach down and turn the thing down a little bit? NO WAY. I am too afraid I'll lose my place or do something crazy - so, by the time that song ends, I am like, basically deaf. Which does not help the fact that I already think I can't hear very well.

All in all, believe it or not, I think the night was pretty successful. I was not perfect, for sure, but I tried my very best, and for the most part, especially for the orchestra songs, I really enjoyed the opportunity to play. I like playing for their rehearsals the most though and being able to help teach our Sunday School class. I so appreciate everyone's patience with me and for the opportunity to play during that service. We went to Cracker Barrel with Eric and and Kelli afterward to celebrate - I was SO GLAD that day was OVER!!!! Landon even brought me some balloons - you know how I love balloons! He was a great husband this past weekend...not only doing special stuff for me, but just supporting me, in general, because I was pretty nervous and pretty crazy acting! A few pictures:



Monday, April 20, 2009

I Knew She Would Be Great

video

Last night was the debut of the FBCW Orchestra CD "Foundations."  Bethany regularly plays the piano for the Orchestra on Wednesday and Sunday nights for their rehearsals.  She would be playing with them on Sunday mornings, but we teach a Sunday School class at 9:30 so she can't be in that service to play with her friends.  Though she was very nervous about playing for the entire evening service, she did a fantastic job.  She managed the click track and ear monitor system that they use here with only minor situations.  Bethany will have to post something about her adventure if she feels so inclined.  The video above is probably the best one to hear and see her play.  At approx. 3:58 in the video you will see her beautiful visage on the big screen in the upper left corner.  I am very proud of Bethany and I am thoroughly impressed with her ability to play anything on the piano that you put in front of her.  Though she was worried about being able to handle all that is involved with playing the piano at FBCW, I want to go on record to say - I knew she would be great!  If you would like to watch the entire service online and perhaps see more video of Bethany playing click on the following link: FBCW PM Service 4/19/09


Friday, April 17, 2009

Braves Game

Yesterday I left work at 9:30 (I know, I know, you are thinking why did I even go in? I went in because I was just off the Thursday and Friday of last week and in two weeks will be gone for a week on vacation...so just for the point of it, I felt like I needed to go in - even for just 2.5 hours) and went to a Braves game with Landon and the FBCW staff. It was so much fun - I do not like to watch baseball very much, but I love going to those games! My favorite thing to do there is EAT (yesterday I had chicken fingers and french fries). We love to eat there so much that we've talked about getting the "all you can eat" tickets next time we go :) Anyway, it was a beautiful day! It was pretty chilly when we first arrived, but by the time the game started, our seats were in the sun. After Landon made us move three times, we finally got settled. I have a few pictures because they were sent to me by someone else's camera, and I have more taken by my own camera, but I just don't feel like uploading them right now! I'll do it later and post them...here are a few I have so far...

You may be wondering what I am doing off to the side in this picture. I am working on my Sudoku puzzle. I love to do Sudoku, but I rarely ever do it unless we are on vacation or at one of these games. Usually I buy the AJC to read during the game, but this time, I printed out some Sudoku's to work on. I love going out there!

Outlook for the weekend: I am very worried about playing the piano for the service Sunday night. I won't say any more about it on here because I just don't want to. Tonight we're thinking about going to Stoney River - we have a coupon for $25 off that expires on 04/19, so we really need to use it. Tomorrow Landon has to work 3-11, so I'm glad we'll be home together in the morning, and then he's off Sunday! I'll be busy almost all day Sunday with orchestra stuff, so I probably won't see very much of him.

Running update: I ran with Landon last night after the Braves game - from our house to the church!!! It was 4.8 miles - I ran the whole way (maybe slow, but I still ran). That is good - I thought I might die, but I didn't! Yeah - progress made!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coupons

It's about time I posted something with no picture...so here it is. I sat in the floor last night and pulled out all my coupons and matched them with items already on sale at Publix and Kroger this week. I felt disappointed in the paper this week, but I've realized that (as I think I've said before) the really good coupons must come only once a month, at the beginning of the month. I am confused about what to do with the coupons where the items never go on sale the entire month. Here is my plan regarding those coupons. I think I will use them at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart seems to have the lowest prices without coupon/sale situations considered, so I'm thinking if the items aren't on sale anywhere else, I should just get them at Wal-Mart (where they're basically the cheapest) and use my coupons for them. Do you think this is a good idea?

I went to Publix last night (so I could get that 1 cent mystery item) and used my coupons for there for the week. I spent $14.08 and saved $13.07. Still not a pro, but I'm pleased with it. I have a few coupons to use for Kroger, but I will have to go later in the week.

I'm thinking about making some crock pot lasagna - let me just tell you - I used to love to try to make things in the crock pot when we first were married. Then, after the hurricane, something weird happened to me. I've ruined 2 crock pots. It's a bad feeling when you pull up in your garage and before you turn the car off and get out you can smell something burning/almost on fire. That is scary. Anyway, my mother-in-law gave me my current crock pot, and thank goodness, I haven't ruined it yet because it's a really nice one. It's one of those stainless steel longer ones though, and so I accidentally burn stuff in it because there's not enough food in there. Uh, the point is that I am trying crock pot lasagna again. When I first made it, it was pretty gross. I have a friend who's blog I read who made it the other day though and took a picture of it - it looked really good. She said the recipe was a success and posted it - I'll let you know...We have stuff like every night this week, so I may not be able to make it until the weekend...

We are taking pictures tonight with my friend/photographer, Joy, in Marietta Square. We haven't had any pictures taken of us since we were married almost 6 years ago now. I can't wait to take them and then get to see them!

Oh, and let me tell you something I hate. I LOVE cheesecake - chocolatey cheesecake is my favorite kind of dessert. One thing I hate about it though is that you cannot eat it the night you make it because it's not ready yet! So...last night, I really wanted some cheesecake. I made us a chocolate chip cheesecake, even though I knew we wouldn't be able to eat it last night....yet still, that frustrates me! It will be waiting for us tonight during American Idol!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Sweet Home - Part 2

A new week is beginning...we arrived home last night about 10pm. We thought we would get back earlier, but with spring break traffic coming back into town, we lost some time. It was tough to get up this morning, especially in really hard rain!

On Saturday morning, Mom, Krista, and I went together to Fort Walton so I could be measured for my bridesmaid dress. We stopped by Good Things Donuts, and I took some pictures! The lady in the third picture down is making Krista's donut fresh - a chocolate covered custard filled!

After filling myself with donuts (probably not a great idea before you go to be measured), we drove to Simply Elegant so I could try on my bridesmaid dress (the sample - which was way too big) and be measured. Krista was going to try on her dress for me (which I, of course, would NOT be posting on here) but they sold the sample so I couldn't see it live and in person!! I really liked my dress - especially after the lady put big safety pins in the back so I could actually walk around without holding it up. Krista did a good job picking them out. I'm excited about this wedding! Krista says I can wear my hair however I like - thoughts? Up? Down?

After being measured and Krista NOT getting to try on her dress for me, and having to deal with a very abrasive person who worked there (which I will not go into detail about), we headed to lunch. I really wanted to eat on the water. We tried Magnolia Grill (which is not on the water - but I really like!), but they were closed for lunch (uh, even though their door was open and a bunch of people were sitting out on the porch) and suggested we go to the Bay Cafe. I had an amber jack croissant, which was great - the view was beautiful, and I love how it smells out there! It was such a pretty day! We had a great time spending a few hours together - just us girls.

Saturday afternoon we spent with Landon's family at our nephew's birthday party - he turned 5! Sunday, Landon preached at New Harmony, his home church, and he did a fantastic job. Mom and Dad had the family at their house for Easter, so we had 20 people! It was a very busy weekend - we have to get home to get some rest!!

BTW, Landon stopped for me when we got home so I could get a newspaper and check out my COUPONS! I think they may only put those really good coupons in the paper at the beginning of each month. Publix had some new coupon situation I had never seen - kind of looked like an Aldi ad...anyway, I'll be checking out my coupon business when I get home tonight - I'm so excited about it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home! - Part I

We arrived home yesterday afternoon just in time for lunch with Dad (at Mia's) and to go watch baseball practice for our nephews.

This morning we drove to Destin and walked around on the beach for a few minutes - although the beach is not my favorite, our beach is really beautiful, and I think it's probably really exfoliating for my feet - and goodness knows they need it...

After eating breakfast at our favorite Good Things Donuts, we were going to eat lunch on the water at a hole in the wall place called Nick's. Well, we arrived and it looked crazy - more like a gas station - so we could not eat there. The picture below is a crazy place called the Freeport Cafe where Landon used to eat lunch a lot when he worked in Destin. This place would never have an acceptable health rating and made Landon sick on numerous occasions....Look at it below...I just can't understand why...


So...we ended up eating with Dad again back in Crestview at another one of my favorite places, Desi's. Do not ever try to use the free 411 to find the phone number to Desi's - just trust me and pay the money - unless you want to find some wine bars. For some reason although I was saying "Desi's" over and over, it kept only calling out wine bars to me. Did not need the info. Anyway, my favorite desserts were there today - chocolate cake AND bread pudding! It was great!



I decided last night to see if I could get my wedding dress on last night. Although I still couldn't breathe in all the way with it zipped up, (just like it was on my actual wedding day) it still fit! It was pretty fun to put it back on. I should think of another time I could wear it again. Anyway, here's my picture in it - ha!

Tomorrow I'm being fitted for my bridesmaid dress for Krista's wedding. I am wearing proper undergarments for this fitting. I'll update later for part two of the trip - right now I have to go make a sand mountain pound cake.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Amish Bread Making

I'm finished with the bread! Today was Day 10, and I made the bread early this morning. I made two loaves and did 4 starters just like the instructions told me to do. Personally, I have been liking cooking more, but the bread thing is not worth it to me. It's good - tastes like cinnamon - yum, but it's not worth it. I would much rather eat a piece of chocolate chip cheesecake than waste those calories on a piece of bread. Now, don't get me wrong - the bread is very good - it's crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside - and tastes like cinnamon. It's pretty delicious. And after "squeezing the bag" for like a million days, it should be! Here are my pictures!

COUPONS


Okay, so I just started trying to use coupons for the first time, and I am very excited about it. Last night I went to Publix and only bought items I had coupons for AND that were on sale this week at Publix - like a double discount! I paid $14.47 for what I bought, and I saved $15.50 - yippee! I'd say for my first try, this is good!! If you have coupon tips for me, leave them!! When I got to the checkout, I was trying to ask about this 1 cent mystery coupon thing, and I thought it was the first time they'd ever done that, and the bag boy said, "No, uh, we do this every week, and the sale item is always on a display by the door." HA - I had no idea. Then, I told the check out boy, "Look at all the coupons I have? Isn't it great?" I don't think he knew quite what to think of me. Anyway....success in small steps!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

Landon and I had kind of a weird weekend, but we had a great time with our discussion group from Sunday School on Saturday night. We played games and ate and had a great time laughing! We played Battle of the Sexes and Guesstures.

Landon told our class Sunday morning that this above picture was what happened to him when I innapropriately responded to him about something and punched him in the face....right...

I have three other posts I want to do that will be funny, I think - one about Landon's phone, one about some special bread I'm making, and shoot, I can't remember what the other one is right now. Oh well. We're going home later this week to visit family - this is great, but can be stressful! This will actually be the first Easter we haven't been in Woodstock since we moved here.

I am enjoying this whole blogging fun, but I do have one complaint. You cannot actually be totally real on here. I'm not saying you have to be fake, but I am saying you cannot just vomit your business about every single thing you want to on here (kind of like I thought I'd be able to do more of) because you just never know who is reading it. I'm trying to be as real as I can though - because I am not a faker, but just know, there are more things I'd like to say that I must keep to myself. Okay, I just had to get that out.

I'll try to do my other blog ideas soon...and remember what the third one was...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Easter Presentation & Krispy Kreme

Last night was fun! The Cobb Energy Centre was really neat, and the music was great. I knew almost all of the songs, and really enjoyed hearing Charles Billingsley. I have been very spoiled, though, at our own church because of how free I think the worship is there. While they were singing Revelation Song or God is Here or Unto the Lamb, I wanted to stand and raise my hands, just like I would have done and others would have been doing at my church. But, no one did this last night. They really did treat it like a concert more so than a church service. Landon reminded me that people genuinely worship a lot of different ways, and I know that. I just feel like since we've come here, the Father has really freed me up to worship Him in ways I would have been uncomfortable with before (I'm not saying I am charismatic and want to dance up and down the aisles). After being there last night, and hearing such great music and really wanting to do like I do at our church, I felt SO THANKFUL to be where we are!!! And, you know, really, it's my own stuff that I didn't lift my hands if that's what I wanted to do. I was afraid of what the people around me would think, or my own friends or husband sitting right beside me - and that can only be my own fault. The concert was great though, and we had a great time with Malissa and Winfield!!
After the presentation, Landon and I headed home. I thought we headed home, anyway. We were really headed to Krispy Kreme even though it was 10pm, and I had to work the next day :) Landon and I always have some issues over Krispy Kreme. The first time we went to Krispy Kreme together, we got the donuts, which were hot, and he stands by the table and opens the box and starts eating them, seems like, as fast as he can. I am standing there like WHAT???? I'm like, "Excuse me, I have to get a milk, and a straw, and a fork and a napkin, and do they have any paper plates here?" So, we've only been there together a few times, but last night Landon was a little more patient with me - let me say again, a little. The doughnuts were delicious! Here are Krispy Kreme pictures...even though Landon's not really smiling in his, I have to post it anyway so you can see his custard filled donut.