Monday, September 22, 2008

The Boys Start School

Colin and Nicholas started school. They are still attending Calvary Christian Academy. Colin started 7th grade and Nicholas, 4th. (WOW! I can't believe it sometimes myself). Ryan also started Pre-K3 this year.

A quick Disney Trip

Because we had Labor Day off, we decided to head up to Disney (we have four 4-day passes that don't expire) and (of course) some indoor skydiving.

We stayed at Bella Vida, a condo development made solely for tourists. We stayed in a 4 bedroom, 3 bath condo (with a really-real kitchen, laundry room, etc) for $150 a night. it's on 192 about 6 miles East of I4 - I highly recommend it. Here are a few pics

The condo was two-story. A very good size.

As you can see, the inside was well-furnished.

The condo had a small private pool.

In fact, the boys got a little TOO comfortable, just like at

home (notice Colin's shoe and sock lying on the floor!)

Maggie, as always, was a real cutie.

The condo development had a clubhouse, with a gym and HUGE pool we had to ourselves!

We went to Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM studios). We went on the new Toy Story Mania ride - an interactive 3D ride where you play amusement park midway games in 3D. DEFINITELY ride this one.

Our 4 pests riding a 5th in at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids set...

See the Kids sliding down a leaf below. Poor Maggie - She apparently was a little TOO shrunk to handle the slide very well.

Ry wanted to meet the Backyardigans and Jojo (above).

Ry also got to meet Handy Manny.

J and I also slipped in some indoor skydiving at SkyVenture. We spent 30 minutes in the tunnel - about six 2-minute jumps each. I got to fly with my instructor in the tunnel with me (I can maintain my position well enough that he can fly with me). J finally overcame her fear of flying "high" in the tunnel (I put high in quotes, because it's only like 10 feet up...).

We all had a blast - we definitely like Orlando.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brandi Cavalancia 2002-2008

Brandi was born on April 7, 2002 and came home and became part of our family on July 14, 2002. She was a loved member of our family. Brandi had a stroke a few months back and appeared to have recovered. Over the last two weeks, Brandi had become lethargic, not wanting to eat (and other symptoms which I'll spare you details about). She went in for surgery to look for a blockage in her stomach and during her recovery appeared to have had some kind of neurological relapse.

Today, Brandi had become so overcome with what I can only describe as "crazy behavior" (for example, she walked in circles today, sort of like chasing her tail, for literally 20 minutes straight) that we knew she wasn't going to recover.

J and I made the decision to put her down to keep her from suffering (she was no longer eating or drinking, nor responding to our voice or commands). It was a truly sad day for everyone in the family.

Brandi was put down at 6:30pm on Wednesday, September 17, 2008. She will be missed.

Here are a few pics of her.

Ryan loved to play with Brandi. She was a loving dog that didn't
mind damn near anything the kids could throw her way.

Water - Brandi was ALWAYS at home in the water.

Brandi LOVED being at the lake - she would spend literally morning till night at the lake shore. We plan on taking her ashes and spreading them at the lake. It was her favorite place where she was happiest.

Brandi spent most of her time at the lake fishing. Mind you, she never caught a single fish in 6 years of summers at teh lake... but she never gave up. Perhaps it was the thrill of the chase...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Memorial Day at Brian Styles (Catch Up)

We got invited to Brian Styles house in Delray. (check out the link - zoom in and it's the HUGE house on the water) It's on the intracostal and is a multi-million dollar home. Very beautiful and spacious. While the house was amazing, the best part was the backyard pool area. The kids had a blast. Here are a few photos showing off both the kids and the backyard.

Nicholas about to jump in.

Colin hoping to meet some girls.

Maggie having fun in the 4-inch deep walk-in area of the pool. (very helpful for us, BTW)

Ryan spent much of his time in the Hot Tub. He was interest in where the water was leaking out to.

The pool had the coolest feature, a sitting area in the middle of the pool!

Here's a bit of video to show off the pool area. It was a blast hanging out with Brian and friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our 15th Anniversary

J and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this week. I was out of town in Orlando at a Microsoft conference so I surprised J by flying her up to Orlando for the evening.

I took her to Seasons 52 for dinner and then to SkyVenture Orlando, an Indoor skydiving experience!

It was a complete blast! I DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone looking for a thrill like nothing else. I've always wanted to skydive, but wouldn't because of J and the kids (can't have them going through life without me!) so indoor skydiving is just right for me!

You first go to a classroom and learn how to lay your body while in the air (125MPH air blowing upwards to keep you afloat). Then you suit up: A diving suit, goggles, earplugs and a helmet are required.

Here's a picture of J and I ready for the challenge.

Each one of us got two 1-minute "skydives." this is the equivalent to 2 real skydives (which, according to our instructor, a real 10,000 foot skydive lasts about 50 seconds before you pull the chute). So J and I have "jumped" twice now!

You can see how well J did:

I was next:

Lastly, our instructor, Nick Scott-Tomlin (a very nice guy from South Africa), showed us how it's done (watch how easy he makes it look at watch how he lands at the end - AMAZING!). Nick has logged over 2000 HOURS in the wind tunnel, which translates to over 120,000 jumps!

I loved it so much, I showed the folks from work the video and 8 of us went again the next day! It is VERY addicting. It is amazing how the human mind can figure out how to interact with nothing but AIR and make the body perform amazing stunts.

Needless to say, our anniversay was one we definitely won't forget. 15 down, and the next 15 will be even better!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trip to Cancun

Every year ScriptLogic has a "President's Club" - a trip awarded to the most successful salespeople. Execs got to go this year as well, so J and I were able to take the kids. This year's President's Club was in Cancun, Mexico!

We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun. Here are a few pics to summarize our trip.

The view of the Gulf of Mexico was breathtaking.

J and I were thrilled to be there.

There were several pools there. One had a very shallow end, perfect for Maggie and Ryan.

The boys played together well. Everything you could want was provided.

Colin LOVED bodysurfing in the waves.

I had a blast spending time with the kids. (I think Ryan enjoyed it too! )

Nicholas enjoyed himself in the Gulf, building sandcastles. (More on that little girl in the picture later...)

Mike Lebeau (from ScriptLogic) used to be a swimming instructor, so he enjoyed teaching Ry how to kick and blow bubbles in the water.

Ryan met his first girlfriend, Ava (she was in the pic with Nicholas). More on these two in Ryan's Blog.

The awards dinner was themed with palm fronds threaded into a net on the ceiling, pyramid ruins and more, all to make you feel like you were in the middle of the forest.

J and I at dinner (and Tobin Cultrera, apperently there at the left!).

The trip was a nice departure from everyday work, responsibilities, etc. It was 4 days of pure heaven. I highly recommend a trip to Mexico if you ever have the chance.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

An Unexpected Cold Snap

Since there are only two seasons in Florida - Summer and February - it was quite unusual to have a really welcome cold snap that lasted almost a week. The boys were so cold at night, they bundled up three layers full when they slept (yes, we could've turned on the heat, but it was really quite nice out).

Nicholas wearing way too much for bed.

Colin wearing even more.

Even Ry and Maggs got in on the act.

Colin and Nicholas wore two paris of sock as well, so they began slip-sliding down the hall and forgot they would need to stop themselves somehow.