Saturday, July 26, 2008


During our escape, we decided to stop for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Cheeseburger in Paradise. We just love this place. If we aren't able to spend the afternoon in Key West, we can at least pretend we are there!

And for Miss Renee, a fancy umbrella drink totally adds to the ambiance.

Non-alcoholic, of course. ;)

Feeling much better now!

Why do summer colds make us feel so terrible?

Yup...the germs were flying around the Badelves' house this past week. Renee had it the worst, I caught the tail end of it, and Mark and Mom got lucky and avoided the whole thing.

So, after too many days of being cooped up, it was time to break free.

What better way to start the afternoon than to get creative with our new face paint?

If you could only see the sparkles!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good times!


Definitely good times, and a must do again!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lots of popcorn!

I think she's adequately prepared, don't you? ;)

Did you guess the drive in?

'Cause if you didn't, the huge screen should have clued you in!

Best seat in the house!

Second clue.

Open air seating.

Guess where we are?

First hint.

Popcorn and utter silliness.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flashback Friday

Today's flashback takes us to Renee's first trip to WDW. Our little Princess was just two and a half at the time, and as you can see, Mark was more than happy to give her the royal treatment.

Didn't I just say something earlier this week about the years going by? ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Close up-scary!

Not the best photo, but see for yourself.

Posted by ShoZu

Zac is having a pretty bad hair day!

Weird looking Zack

While passing through the toy section at Target, Renee found this High School Musical doll set.

Posted by ShoZu

If this were a video, you would plainly see some eye rolling going on. Clearly, this Troy doll does not live up to her standards!

"We found the pineapple fountain of youth!"

A quote by Miss Renee while walking into Home Depot.

Posted by ShoZu

Could SpongeBob know something we don't?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baby, it's hot outside

It's summertime in the south. 'Nuff said.

Sometimes, in an effort to mentally cool myself down, I like to reflect back upon our days in the frozen tundra.

I reflect upon this.

And this.

And of course, this.

Ahhhhh, I feel cooler already.

And just think, there's no shoveling involved!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, how the years go by

How do you know they are speeding by at super speed?

It's simple. You look at your babies, who are now teenagers (how did that happen?), and they are jingling the car keys in front of your eyes. Yup, it's driving time!

Look at Mark. He can't even stand the thought of it. And jeez, Renee was only five then, too!

We all know that Mark and I have some time to deal with the realization of this huge milestone. Our friends, Debbie and Dan, don't have that luxury. Their daughter, Lexie, will be obtaining her permit sometime this year. I'm sure if they read this, they winced a little when they got to that last sentence. LOL!

Miss Renee and I were with Lexie when she got some road time in at WDW. Although the 'road' has a track that the car is connected to, drivers should still attempt to follow the rules of the road, right?


Gosh, what do I sound like? A parent or something? We were at a theme park, not on the Florida Turnpike!

But Lexie, whatever you do, please don't do this when your Mom and Dad are in the car with you, okay?

It's okay, Lexie. I know that Renee would have turned around if you were behind us. She probably would have taken both hands off the steering wheel and waved them high in the air, too!

All I can say is thank goodness Lexie was in front of us. See? Eyes on the road (and most likely on Lexie!), and both hands on the wheel. Good girl!

Whew...we made it! It was a bumpy ride, but we laughed a lot! Who knew that crazy driving could be so funny?

Now is a good time to turn around, Lexie. Check out that gorgeous smile!

You have a great daughter there, my friends. Good luck, and just remember to breathe.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beat up butterfly

When we moved into our home in Georgia, there wasn't much landscaping to speak of. There were some foundation plantings, but no color. If anyone was ever at our first home in Jersey, you know that we are all about color!

Money was pretty tight, but I found a discount nursery nearby to supply us with some much needed pizazz in our yard. One of the first plants we put in our cart was a Butterfly Bush. We love them for not only the color they provide, but also for the critters that they attract!

Speaking of critters, check out this butterfly.

I was outside doing some yard work, and his intense color against the purple of the flowers caught my eye. Then I noticed his wings. It looks like he's been through the ringer!

Have you ever seen anything like it?

Needless to say, it opened up the desire to learn a little more about butterflies. Can you say Google?

We learned that this was most likely an older butterfly. In their adult stage, depending on the species, they can live anywhere from a week to nearly a year. As they age, their wings become increasingly damaged, and will not repair themselves.

How about that? An old man butterfly. I wonder what stories he could tell?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Face painting fun!

When you are surprised with a stormy afternoon you must make good use of it.

See what you can achieve with a new set of face paints and a little experimentation?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Renee and the chocolate factory!

Some glasses, huh? ;)

On Saturday afternoon, we drove into Atlanta to a really cool theatrical shop. While searching for face paint, Mark came across the 'Charlie' glasses. Considering that Miss Renee is a total chocolate freak, we figured they were quite fitting.

No way, no way!

See Renee.

Renee is shocked.

Elves learn by living, too? Who'd have thunk it?

See? You really do learn something new every day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flashback Friday

Our town's 4th of July parade last week brought back some memories of another patriotic parade many years ago. I was probably about nine or ten at the time, and my personal parade float was aptly named Jolly Hot Rock.

Jolly Hot Rock (more commonly known as Joe!), and I are in the middle. He is the chestnut with the star on his forehead, and I am the little girl riding him.

It was a Making Memory moment that I will never forget.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A hometown 4th of July

In the evening on the birthday of our nation, we decided to head downtown to watch a patriotic, hometown parade.

Miss Renee was decked out in a most festive red, white, and blue theme.


And she just didn't have her face and nails painted. We did her piggies, too!

She was so in the spirit that she even brought along her own parade float!


Mark and I figured that this little float might come in handy during the celebration. It would not only gave Link the cheetah and Lady the golden retriever a nice place to rest, but it might be a great storage area for the candy that could possibly be thrown to Renee during the parade!

Our friends, Christa and Kevin, were also attending the festivities that evening. Their daughter, Meg, would be marching with the band in her last 4th of July parade. She'll be preparing for college this time next year, so this would be her last 4th of July hurrah!

As we waited for the parade to begin, Miss Renee, Christa, Mark, and Kevin all began waving their little flags! Woo-hoo!


The parade began with some bikers letting us all know that they were "Proud to be American"; the theme for this year's celebration.

Next up was our local police department.


This guy was a hoot! Big kudos to him, and I hope he made it all the way down to the end of the parade route without falling!


Here comes the band! Meg is smack dab in the middle playing the flute.


Did you notice her blue hair? Renee absolutely loved it, but it was a huge surprise to Meg's parents. LOL!


Yup. Newnan's own Special Response Unit.

I don't think I should let Mom see that. After the experience of riding right alongside the Bomb Squad truck in Atlanta during our move to Georgia, her big question to Mark was, "Just where did you move me?!!!!!"

Rut-roh. Now that there's a Special Response unit in our own town, Mark better watch out. He just might get 'The Look' from Grammy!

Ooooh! Cool nostalgic fire truck. That should make Mom happy!

To make it even better, Renee got to shake hands with a local hero.


Although his little car has a very loud horn that made us jump five feet in the air, we love this local Shriner. We've seen him puttering around in the Christmas parade, too!

Now onto the 'Isn't that a strange thing to see in a parade?' category.

Pups in Peg Peregos.

Gym members spinning in hopes that you will join them in their quest for the perfect body.

And smokers? Whattttttt? Renee and the big dude behind her look like they are waiting on free samples. Bwaaaa-ha-ha!

And although some might want to, I just can't place this next group of kids (and their carnivorous plant, Audrey II) into that last category. Community theatre is an awesome thing, and should be celebrated and supported more!

It was a fun, patriotic, and interesting evening!

Oh, and just to let you know, Renee cleaned up in the candy department. The wagon...ooops, I mean parade float...really did come in handy!

By the end of the parade, there were bubbles to be blown.


And Nerds to be noshed upon.


I think the smile says it all!


God bless America!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Clever little squirrel

The other day, we had some very heavy rain come through our area. As I often do during these crazy storms, I took a quick glance out the kitchen window to see how bad it really was. For some odd reason, my eye was drawn to this sight...

As you can see, it is a clever little squirrel with his own umbrella!

I don't know how or why my gaze landed upon him. His coat and the tree are almost the same color. If he was trying to camouflage himself, he did a pretty good job.

I just had to get a closer look at this!

Isn't that too funny?

I called everyone out on the back porch and we got a huge kick out of this ingenious little fellow. Usually, squirrels are the enemy as they clean out our bird feeders regularly. This time though, he was supplying the early evening entertainment and we were taking advantage of it!

Or maybe, as you may notice in the next photo, he was busy watching us.

Either way, a rainy evening and a resourceful rodent opened up another learning opportunity for our little family. Who knew squirrels could be so innovative?