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Quote of the month...

"Standing tall is a very admirable thing. There are very few stories in history of heroes who slouched to the rescue. Likewise, most individuals don't look up to people who are drooped over."
from Leven Thumps and the Wrath of Ezra by Obert Skye

my family

Sunday, November 30, 2008

52 Weeks of Blessings- week 48 Christmas

The magic, love, hope and promise of Christmas seen in a child's eye.
The careful removal of their ornaments.
Choosing the right branch.
Each child making the choice for where to place it.
Carefully placing them high
and low.
Each child remembering Christmases past 
and dreaming of Christmases to come.  
But most importantly remembering the true meaning and magic of that first Christmas.

What a blessing Christ is in our lives!

Weekly photo challenge--Black n White

For the weekly photo challenge from the beginning of the month. Come on ya know ya want join! Visit Hope and Believe.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I entered a contest

I've posted this photo several times and a few people have said I should enter it in a contest.

So, I entered it in this photo contest.  Please go vote for it here.  Thanks!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Foto-story Friday #25 -- Belize

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

After Key West, we had a day at sea.  Our next stop was Belize City, Belize.  This port is not deep enough for big ships to come in and dock {plus they have a protected coral reef}.  So they drop anchor out in the ocean and tenders come to the ships to ferry the passengers in to shore.
Disembarking the ms Veendam and loading the tender.
The tenders hold around a hundred people.  They run every 1/2 hour to and from the ship for those passengers who just want to do some local sight seeing, snorkeling and shopping.
We sat in the front of the tender and as I looked towards the ship, I snapped this zoomed shot of her.
Belize City
We had an hour ride on the bus and then and hour ride by fast boat to our first ruins.
Taken from the bus window we have some houses in Belize City.
Many homes are on stilts.  They had recently experienced flooding and were still in the process of repairing roads.
We saw several of these huts, as well as the concrete homes.
This lizard and his mates were all sunning on this cinderblock wall.
This is a new house under construction and the water in the foreground is a result of the flooding.
When the buses turned into this area I was sure we would not make it.  The road is very skinny and it had recently been built up with gravel because of the flood.  I think most of my fellow passengers were holding their collective breath at this point!
The queue for the fast boats.  There were three fast boats that took us on our 1 hour river ride.
Looking up the New River.
And just how fast were we traveling?  Full throttle!  Check out the wake! 
As you can see, the jungle and water just merge into one another.  The river is home to many fish, Crocs and Manatees.  We unfortunately, saw none of them.  :(  I did drag my fingers in the water as we sped up the river.  The water was quite warm, almost like bath water. One could very easily get lost navigating this river.  There are twists and turns and side alleys everywhere.  Our captain flew along it expertly.  It was a fun fast hour ride.
Here I will leave you hanging, waiting for the ruins.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SkyWatch Friday- the skies over bleize

For more skywatchers visit here.
The pink hit of the rising sun as we approach Belize City, Belize.
It was a beautiful morning for an adventure.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My World -- industry III

To visit more My World hit the site!
Continuing on with my industry posts, the third thing that keeps this area going, is the oil field.  
Just outside of town is an area that has these oil wells.   Across the way was a smaller one that was pumping.  They turn them on and off as needed, this one was off.
Across the highway, we see some other oil field highlights.  Pictured above is where they heat the oil for moving.
These are crude oil storage tanks.  Behind these in the hills are more oil wells.
In town, is stored the pipes used in the field.  
More pipes.
I was lucky as we headed out to see if a rig might be parked in the yard.  Pictured here is a work-over rig and a dog house.  The dog house is the get out of the weather, eat and change area for the workers.
Another angle on the rig.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

52 Weeks of Blessings- weeks 45- internet price, 46-knowledge and 47-free babysitting

Since I was away and could not afford to pay for the net on the ship {the net prices were: $100 for 250 minutes, $50 for 100 minutes or $0.75 a minute -pay as you surf!}  I missed two weeks of blessing posts!  
Blessing # 45 will be the wonderful price I pay for internet since anything cheaper than the ship is a blessing!  I shall never complain about my phone/internet/cable bill again!
Here were are in our motel room in Tampa Florida .... notice the open Mac?  Yeah, free with the room!  {Unlike the ship ... grrrrrr probably my biggest complaint of the trip!}
Blessing#46  is knowledge gained by visiting these places:
{more to come in the following days}
Blessing #47 is That my parents and my children survived their 10 days together.  I have a sneaking suspicion that they even enjoyed it!  Thank you SO much Mom & Dad for willingly watching our brood.  Thank you to my in-laws for taking us on this wonderful vacation!

Friday, November 21, 2008

SkyWatch Friday- from the plane

For more skywatch visit the site
Through skywatch I have seen someof the neatest pictures from the plane window.  On our recent trip I wanted to give this a shot.  I got many bad ones, but here are a few of my favorites:
Somewhere between Billings MT and Minneapolis, MN.
Head in the clouds!
Pillowy soft clouds between Tampa FL and Indianapolis IN.
Also taken on the flight from Tampa to Indianapolis, do you see what I saw?  Is this not an awesome shot?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Foto-story Friday #24-- Key West cont.

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Everyone needs to take cut-out pictures at least once right?  And what better way than to switch it up a little?!  :)  Troy is smokin' in his bikini! :P
I on the other hand look like.... well, like I partied!  {Which, I most certainly did not, I don't drink!) This is why Troy is fired as a photographer!  {it's Ok I still Love him! :) }
The guys with the original Sponge Bob!  The collection and sale of sponges is what use to keep Key West in business.  Now it is tourism. 
I was just in love with the buildings here.  I love the old style and quaintness of the island.  Many of the building bear the Cuban origins. 
Ok, we HAD to go to DelSol for the color changing nail polish.  They have quite the selection and it is SO cool to watch the color change.  I finally decided on silver to ruby.  {I'll have to get a before and after shot of my nails in action!}  This awesome nail polish comes with a heart stopping price tag {for me at least!} of $10 a bottle {normal size}.
We walked by the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, would have been fun to pop in there, but we were running late on time, had to be back on board by 4:30 or 5 PM.
Everyone who visits Key West should get their picture taken with the famous mile zero sign that marks the beginning {or end} of highway 1.
I like this light fixture.... wonder if I could find some similar for my house.... probably wouldn't look as cool on mine :(
The same house had these cool window boxes flanking the front door.
I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it IS cool!  There were also trees that came together and covered the road.  It was very interesting to this northwesterner, used to pine trees and shrub pines!
This is the Kapok tree or the Ceiba or the Silkcotton tree. It is a sacred Mayan tree.  They believed that the souls of the dead climbed a Kapok to get to heaven.  This tree can grow 10 feet in one year.  It can reach heights of 130 feet.  The Kapok shed their leaves once a year and flower every 5 years.  Commercial Kapok comes mainly from Java Indonesia.  It is used for furniture, insulation, stuffing and is found in some life jackets.  In Africa they use it for canoes and caskets. The fibers are short and breaks easily, so they are not suitable for clothing like cotton is.  The seeds are edible.
I love the base of the tree.  These buttresses are huge, as you can see from the picture below.  You could play hide and seek real well with this kind of tree in your back yard. 
Another must take photo if you visit Key West is this sign.  The third place to get a photo is with the bouie at the tip of the island.  Sorry, we didn't get off the trolley for that one.  The line was way long, so I didn't do it!
Here are Troy and his parents kicking back and taking it easy on their veranda.  Our stateroom was the one on the left.  They waved down to us and so I, of course, snapped this picture.  (I should not admit this, but) As I was replacing the lens cap and walking at the same time, I failed to see that there were 2 steps up and I missed them both!  Yeah that's me Miss Grace!  The scrape on my knee is almost healed, thank you! 
As the ship moored behind us set "sail" and the sun began its westward journey to kiss the sea, it was a wonderful day in Key West!