Disney Festival of Lights

We made our annual trip to check out the Osborne Family Festival of Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios. I think this is getting a little bit bigger each year.

We are in Michigan now, and are already to go back to Florida, man is it cold up here.

Max's Birthday Party

We had Max's birthday party yesterday, went off very well. It was a big Star Wars party, Max even wanted to wear his Anakin costume without the robe. The menu was:

Ewok Eats (veggies and cream cheese)
Tie Fighter Ties (little weenies with a breadstick around around it)
Darth Vader Dogs (a hot dog with a crescent roll wrapped around the base)
Death Star Meatballs
Light Saber Pretzels (chocolate covered pretzels in blue and red chocolate)
Wookie Cookies
Darth Vader Cupcakes
Ewok Cupcakes
Yoda Soda
Sith Slush

Zach, Felicia's fiance, ran a Jedi Training academy for all of the kids. And we had a big inflatable water slide, sans water (it was too cold), for the kids to play in.

Max had a really good time, and loved to study his presents. Now, we are officially bowing out of the big birthday party business.

Here is a link to some of the photos.

Took in another Magic game

I was able to get some free tickets to the Magic game tonight from work. So, we took the kids right after our family holiday party at work where they got to talk to Santa because they enjoyed going to the first one about a month ago so much. Ella practically led our section in the Def-ense chant. The people around us got so into it, that the guy in front of us and acquired some of those boom sticks and gave one to her to help. Then later on she made friends with a young couple behind us and sat with them instead of us through the entire 4th quarter. They gave her one of those big foam fingers, so we ended up with 2 souvenirs that we didn't pay for, and the game was free. The Magic won as well.

Tomorrow is Max's birthday of course. He has asked for donuts for breakfast, then they have another kid's birthday party to go to. The only other thing that he has asked for is to go ride Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World, so we will probably try to do that for him.

Max's Birthday

Max's 3rd birthday is approaching at the end of this week. We are going to have a party on the 13th for him. It is going to be a Star Wars party, and he has been talking about it for months.


Soccer season is a wrap

The soccer season wrapped up a few weeks back, I forgot to post an update. We closed out the season with a final loss. The Apopka Pirates are very excited about having the #1 pick in next spring's draft. In a surprising move, my contract was extended for the spring season. I think management recognizes that I am building a whole new system here and that can take some time.

We will be retaining most of the team, at least one player will not be returning.

Yes, we lost again

8 to nothing. Absolutely the worst game of the season, the kids were just not engaged today.

The parents have asked that I return for another season because registration just opened for the Spring season. I'm not sure what my decision will be yet.

Trip for the Holidays is booked

I just bought our flights to head up to Michigan for Christmas. We'll be up for 2 weeks. We will be flying up on the 18th, arriving at 12:30pm. I will be heading straight to the Coney Island for lunch, you can find me there. We are flying back on the 1st, leaving Michigan at 5:30pm. There will be much Chinese food consumed in between those dates.

I think my dad offered up his car for us to use, so we will take that. We are still working out arrangements on where we will stay. We might rent a house with Sarah's parents for some of the time. It is just nice to have a place to go to where the kids can be loud and cry because we keep them up to late when we come to visit.

See everyone in just over a month.

Please keep a few people in your thoughts

Mary Butcher, Gene's mother (and Lisa's mother-in-law) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. For those of you that don't know Mary has survived a tough battle against Leukemia and has been in remission since receiving a marrow transplant some years back. She just recently found out that she has stage 3 breast cancer and will begin chemo and other treatments soon. Let's pray that she pulls through another difficult battle.

My mother was just laid off from her job this week. Her law firm had to cut back and my mom was laid off. With my dad also not working, things could be a bit tight for my parents. I am sure she will find a new job soon, but it is certainly a very stressful time to have to deal with.


Ella voted "red"

Ella's preschool class voted yesterday. Their election was between the colors blue and red. Ella said she voted red, and red ultimately won the vote. I couldn't be more proud of my early conservative daughter, it must be ingrained in her DNA.

Oh bax, Obama wins

Well, Obama has just been named our next president. All I have to say right now, is that I don't believe that history will be kind to his legacy. The early honeymoon period (and liberal media) will all seem great, but long term this will be an absolute disaster.

To explain "oh bax", Ella said "that sucks" a few weeks ago because I say it all of the time. I told her that she needs to be a bit older before she can say that. So she said, is it ok to say bax? I said sure, so she started saying, Max picked it up, and now I find myself using it.

I am going to have some ice cream...

Get out there and vote!

Voting is your voice! That’s all kinds of constitutional, baby! You better vote or that’s all she wrote!

Really just wanted an excuse to get a little Terry Tate up here.

Return of Terry Tate

It was a loss

We had high hopes going into yesterday's soccer game. We ultimately lost again, 8-3. We were definately the better team, the trouble was that we scored 3 goals on ourselves. So we scored 6 goals, and the other team only scored 5, but it doesn't work like that.

We are definately not a morning team, we need all of our games at night. Evident in the fact that we scored 3 goals on ourselves.

Another Halloween

Another successful Halloween in the books, our pictures just suck. The kids had a great time, in a very busy day. Ella had school in the morning, and they had a little party. Then the kids got all dressed up and everyone came to my work to trick or treat around the office, and they had a little Halloween party. We hurried home to have some pizza and go trick or treating.

Sarah's parents came down, and we have some friends from Brazil visiting, they were trying to get down from South Carolina to see the whole Halloween phenomenon. They did make it a bit late, so we were not able to show them much, but they saw some stuff.

We went trick or treating in our old neighborhood with our old friends. Its is good for trick or treating, a lot of people, everyone walks around with drinks, it is good fun. One house goes all out and builds a haunted house in their garage every year. It is actually really good. Ella ran through it and just loved it. Max had the daylights scared out of him by a kid dressed as Joker hiding around a corner, he dropped all of his candy and spilled it all over the floor. Joker was nice and helped clean it up. Ella took Timoteo (our Brazilian friend) back through after he finally made it down. The guy who owns the house was amazed that she isn't scared by anything, she just keeps saying "it's just a costume".

Jacob (our old neighbor) was Harry Potter, and Ella was Hermoine, so they made a good team. Max was Anakin, and he was definitely sweet.

Here are a few photos, I'll see if anyone else has any better ones.

VICTORY!, Oh how sweet it finally is

The Apopka Pirates finally got their first win of the season tonight with a 9-3 victory over the Yellow Jackets. We were tied at halftime at 3-3, and we just came out steaming for the second half to put up 6 goals. We won due to one of these three reasons:

1) We just stepped up to play in primetime under the lights. None of our kids are really morning people, so this could be it.
2) The last few of weeks of intense physical practices are starting to pay dividends. The kids were attacking the other team and driving to the goal like mad tonight.
3) The other team just happened to not be as good as us. They did lack a superstar like all the other teams have had.

We'll see how these last 3 games play out to see which one is true.

Mr. Barrack "The Liar" Obama on TV Tonight

Mr. Obama is going to be all over network TV tonight, apparently he has purchased 30 minutes of time on a lot of the major networks (I'll watch baseball instead thank you). Everyone should remember that it was not quite a year ago that he promised to stay even with his counterparts in campaign financing. Boy, did he break that in a hurry. Don't just take my word for it, even CNN is calling him out.

Link to story by CNN

If he gets elected, his lies will never stop. Tax cuts, hah (you will notice that he has never said when he would put these tax cuts into place). Health care reform, good luck.

All he will do is sit there and waste a whole bunch of our money putting this country in an even worse position.

Good cartoon

Courtesy of Mr. Benedict, appropriate for the holiday.

Apopka Blue Darters are ranked #1 in Florida

Our own Apopka Blue Darters high school football team is currently ranked #1 in the state. They have 1 loss on the season, but it was a game where they went up to Mississippi to play some team that has won 73 straight games and 94 out of their last 95. It was even televised on ESPNU.

Their QB, Jeremy Gallon has committed to play for Michigan next year at WR, which works out well because the helmet design is the same.

Their most famous alumni is the future hall of famer Warren Sapp.

Oh, and apparently a blue darter is a type of bird.

I thought we were going to get that first win

The Apopka Pirates were playing well this morning, we played a tough first half, but were still loosing 4-2 at the break. I made a few adjustments, I felt like we were just a small effort away from getting the W. But, even the best laid plans can be demolished and we ended up loosing 12-2.

The kids played well as a group, they all played hard. We were just missing the individual effort that we needed to score some goals.

It is a busy soccer week with a game today, practice on Tuesday, another game on Thursday and then the following Saturday.

Sarah is in South Carolina for the Week

Me and the kids dropped Sarah off at the airport this afternoon. She is off to Greenville, SC for the week for work. Just me and the kids all week, this should be interesting.

Food and Wine Festival

Epcot is running their annual Food and Wine Festival which is one of our favorite events. They setup all of these little booths all around the World Showcase and you can buy food items, wine, and beer from all over the world. We usually go 3 or 4 times while they run the event for a month and a half each year. This was a our 2nd trip this year.

It can get pretty raucous for Disney standards. There are always groups of people on pub crawls around the world. The usually get the custom shirts made up, that say stuff like "We aren't leaving until we're heaving", stuff like that. Then, there is this other weird element where they dress up in themes. This last trip there was a group that were all dressed like 80's tennis players. Big socks, short shorts, headbands, kind of crazy. If the groups are not into theme dressing, then they go for the crazy hat approach and try to buy the craziest hat that they can find in Disney.

Score: 14-3

We were the 3.

The Apopka Pirates will be launching a private investigation into the use of Performance Enhancing drugs by the opposing team. Also, birth certificates will be examined for authenticity.

The Pirates played well, but this other team was ridiculous. There was 3 kids on their team that each one of them on their own were probably the best kids in all the league. This one kid in particular was like the Tiger Woods of 5 year old soccer, he could score from anywhere on the field, I am pretty positive that he could play with 10 year olds and be competitive.

Good article on Mr. Obama's Proposed Tax Cuts

Wall Street Journal just put up this excellent article on Senator Obama's socialist regime that he is pushing through as tax cuts for "middle-class" families. All it is, is redistribution of wealth packaged in a way that makes it sound good.

Don't be fooled by the wolf in sheep's clothing my friends. Typical left wing rhetoric that could very well do more harm than good.

Link to WSJ article.

Fall Festival in Celebration

We made our 2nd annual trip down to the Fall Festival in Celebration. We go with some of our friends down here, and their families, it is usually a pretty good time. Celebration is a planned community close to Disney that was mostly designed by Disney architects. It is a cool little town, and they do this Octoberfest festival each year. They close all of the city streets and have food vendors, drinks, etc. Then, every hour or so they blow fake leaves all over main street. I had my first ever boot full of beer. It is not that exciting really, just a big plastic cup that is shaped like a cowboy boot with a strap around it so that you can put it around your neck (I was not that dorky, I just carried it around).

At the end of main street, they setup a stage and have a bunch of bands come in and play music. This year, they had this guy, Robbie Carrico who was on American Idol last year. The crowd was going pretty crazy for him, and he actually wasn't that bad up there live on the stage.

They had some face painters setup, so we let Ella get her face painted. Despite me trying to talk her into the girly designs like flowers, or a princess, she wanted to be a skeleton. So, I let her, she really enjoyed the power of being scary, she ran around scaring all of her friends, screaming at them.

Oh boy, 0-4

Despite a really good week of intense practice, we still lost our 4th soccer game of the season. It wasn't even close, we lost 10-3. Now, in our defense, the other team had the Ronaldinho of the Apopka Under 5 soccer league, the kid was incredible.

I think the focus on defense has been taken a little too literally by the kids, that was all they were interested in all game, we generated almost no offense.

I pulled myself out at halftime (the coaches are on the field with kids and act as refs in the Under 5 league), and put in my assistant coach, Matt for the second half.

I received a vote of confidence at the end of the game by some of the parents, they thought the kids played better. I'm not sure that we watched the same game.

Preview of Max's costume

Max wanted to be Anakin Skywalker for Halloween, but no one made a costume small enough for him. So, Grandma Linda made him one. He is really excited about it. It is a little sloppy in the photo, he wouldn't sit still and we need to make a couple of adjustments. He is pretty excited for Halloween.

Ella's First Field Trip

On Friday Ella's class took their first ever field trip to the local fire station. This was particularly exciting for Ella because her uncle Gene is a firefighter in Michigan.

She learned to call 911 in an emergency, and to freeze, drop, and roll if there is a fire, which she has been practicing over the weekend.

She said that she wants to be a fireman when she grows up now. She asked Max what he wants to be when he grows up and he said that he wanted to be a pirate. Ella told him that is only a costume and you can't be that.

The Chants for "Fire Wynn" Begin

The Apopka Pirates dropped their 3rd game today by a score of 10-6. We were the better team today but lost due to a lack of discipline. Rumors are beginning that my practices are too soft, nevertheless, they will remain closed to the public for now while we work on internal team issues.

We were down by 5 points early, but mounted a comeback to get within 1. We started the second half with no intensity and let the other team walk all over us, before I knew it we were down by 4 again. There was no coming back this time.

We are going to try a more intense practice this week, get the kids to start paying attention. Ella is going to get some one on one attention as she was a little afraid of the ball today. She had an easy goal opportunity, but failed to take the shot because there was another player nearby, so she let up going after the ball.

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

MyHeritage: Celebrity Collage - Free genealogy - Free genealogy search

Apopka Pirates fall to 0-2

We put in an excellent effort today. we played much, much better than last week, in fact I think we opened the game a bit over aggressive. Practice on Tuesday was rough, the kids were not listening, so I made them run laps over and over again until they started listening as a group.

The discipline may be paying off though as the kids really responded to what I was trying to get them to do. The trouble this week was that the other team really had a superstar that we just could not stop, and we fell on a score of 6-7. Next week, we'll work on ball possession a bit more, and start to teach some defensive fundamentals which we have not even covered yet.

Ella learned to swim

Watching Michael Phelps in the Olympics really motivated Ella to swim, so she taught herself how to do it in the bath tub. We had taught her the basics, like floating and kicking, but Ella (after putting on her goggles), taught herself how to hold her breath and put it all together. We met Sarah's parents at a hotel last night for dinner. They had a pool, so Ella was ready for her first real swim. She did all of this with a nasty cold too, she sounds like an old lady who has smoked her whole life right now, but she didn't let that stop her.

Adding one more video now:

Apopka Pirates Open the Season at 0-1

We had our first soccer game yesterday, and despite a tough effort, we fell to the Jaguars 8-6 (they scored 2 of our goals too). We don't technically keep score or standings, but I do, I just don't tell the kids. We played well, and played especially good in the last 5 minutes. I have to work with my team to be more aggressive. If the other team had the ball, we would tend to just run next to them and not try to take the ball away. Our next game is next week.

Come on down to Florida for your Birthday

Disney just announced their new promotion for 2009, and they are giving everyone a free ticket on their birthday. Not bad, a 1 day ticket is running $75 right now, so that is pretty good, plus you get a free place to stay.

Link to story in the Orlando Sentinel

Looks like Ike is going to pass us by

Hurricane Ike has continued to move south and west, so it is now going to slide right by Florida by way of Cuba. It looks like it will move through the Gulf and hit Texas. Sometimes these things hit the Gulf and then do a U-turn back into Florida, but there are no systems coming along to push it back our way, so we are looking safe.

Ella's coerced confession

Kind of a funny story over the weekend (depending on how you look at it). Ella's teachers put things in her backpack that they want to send home, calendars, letters, homework, stuff like that. Well, on Friday when I got home for work, I opened her backpack to see if there was anything in it. There were two little toy ponies that were definitely not ours. Last year, they had toys in the classroom to play with, so my immediate thought was that she brought them home from school. I honestly did not think Ella would have plotted to steal them, but it seemed a little weird.

I decided to ask her about it, and she just said that she didn't know how they got there. That seemed a little weird to me, so I kept pushing. Ella kept changing her story on me, first she didn't know, then she claimed our friend Tracey put them there, then she said something about Katie (we didn't know who Katie was). Sarah started questioning her about this time too. It was pretty late, past her bed time, and she was starting to get pretty stressed out and whiny. We kept asking her if she took them from class, and she would say no and look all nervous. Then she finally said that it was a secret, that did not sound good. Ella was pretty frustrated at this point, so we just let her go to bed, figured we would deal with it in the morning. Then, at the last minute, she said that she took them from class. We decided to let it go for the night and address it in the morning.

The next morning, we woke up and I set her next to me on the couch and talked to her about stealing and lying. I told her that as long as she always tell the truth she would not get in trouble, and how it is never OK to take things that do not belong to us. We decided not to punish her, but told her if she ever did it again she would be in big trouble.

We let it go from there, by the time her next class rolled around on Wednesday, I put her in the car to take her to school (usually our friend Tracey takes her in the morning). On the way there I talked to her again about not taking things that do not belong to her, and that she needed to give them back to the teacher, tell her what she did and apologize.

So we finally get to her class, we go in, I give Ella the ponies to give back. She is looking pretty nervous, but it is a good lesson for her, so I let her toughen up and take it. She hands them to her teacher and said she was sorry. Then the teacher said "these are not yours?". I told her no, Ella took them from the class, and then she said that they were Katie's (took her a few seconds to remember), Katie had brought them in for show and tell, and the teacher must have put them in the wrong backpack. I bent down to get level with Ella and tried to make sense of the whole thing in Ella's head. I told her that I was sorry, that she had indeed told the truth, to which she simply replied, very emphatically, "I know".

Sarah and I felt pretty horrible for pressuring Ella into a confession. I guess it ended up being more of a lesson for us then it did for Ella. Sarah told the story to someone at work, and he said that we were running a little guantanamo bay.

Random notes and news

I noticed that Detroit's finest mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, finally gave in and resigned as mayor of Detroit. I said it when he was elected, I still say it today, that guy is a thug and a gangster, I can't believe that he was ever elected, what a moron that guy is.

On other fronts, I was very impressed with Sarah Palin's speech last night at the convention. She has a great sense of humor and seems to be grounded in good sound principles. It will be interesting to see how this whole plays out. I am getting quite disgusted by how many articles I see springing up around the Internet, and various media outlets trying to devalue her as a VP choice.

It looks like Tropical Storm Hanna is going to miss us completely after sitting in the Caribbean for a little while. However, Hurricane Ike is going to be a monster, projected to be a Category 4 storm (Katrina was a 2), and is headed right for us. We will know more over the next couple of days, if it comes our way, it should get here mid next week. My parents are coming in on Wednesday, so we are hoping that it does not effect their travel plans.

Obama got back at me

Google's AdWords picked up on the Obama post, and there may be a slew of Obama ads coming up in the advertising section to the right, just down a little.

So, if there are some down there (not from PBS), I need you to click on those. Sounds counterintuitive to what I have posted, but his campaign has to pay for those based on the number of times they are clicked. So, click away, let's rack up a big charge for his campaign.

Cool marketing video

Being the biggest game plublisher in the world gets you a lot of haters. We get a lot of comments at work from people who are unhappy with the games they buy from us. One thing that has become popular lately is to film the bug that they find in the game and post it on YouTube so everyone can talk about how sucky EA is. Our marketing team decided to fire one back this last week to accompany the launch of Tiger Woods '09. It was pretty cool.

First soccer practice for Ella and me

We had a first soccer practice tonight. The only trouble was at the beginning, there are a lot of fields so it was kind of hard for everyone to find us given that they had no idea who I was. I was supposed to get some balloons and tie them to the soccer goal, but Sarah was running a little late from work and we didn't have time to get to the store. But, everyone figured it out.

Ella had a good time, and I really enjoyed coaching as well. I was really worried about the kids not listening and just running amok, but they were great. They listened to everything that I said, did what I told them, it was a lot of fun.

Usain Bolt - Crazy fast, but can go a lot faster

Usain Bolt was one of the cool stories of the olympics, running faster than anyone has ever run before. He set a new world record in the 100m at 9.69 seconds, and that was with him pulling up at the end because he was so far ahead of everyone.

I came across this article today that is really interesting, it predicts that humans will probably get down to 9.44 seconds in the 100m.


A new photo & video

We mentioned before that Ella said she needed to put her swimsuit on to get ready for the house flooding, so she could swim in the house. We managed to get a picture. Last night, the kids decided to put on a rock show with guitars from Rock Band. It was pretty awesome, video posted below.

Sorry about Mr Opinionated

While I won't say if I agree or disagree with Chris, I will apologize for him using this forum to rant about his political opinions. I hope you still continue to visit our site to see what is going on with our family here in FL.

Obama is an idiot

I really don't like Senator Obama, I think he is way too liberal, bordering on socialist tendencies. But, I want to comment on his latest add that I just saw which ends with it saying "...middle class first". This add is built on several principles, none of which have anything to do with helping the middle class.

1) End the war in Iraq responsibly.
Not sure how this would help the middle class in any way whatsoever. All this would do is end some angst in this country and allow a very volatile area of the world to become even more volatile. Even if I liked Obama, I would not vote for him just for this principle on its own.

2) Improve schools
How are you going to do this? By raising taxes, that's how. How does that help the middle class?

3) End tax breaks for big oil companies
What? If anything is going to cause higher prices at the pump, it's this. If oil companies start paying even more in taxes (they already pay 3 times more in taxes then they make in profit, that's ridiculous), all they are going to do is pass those costs on to us.

It is not that I like McCain, because I don't love him, but Obama is just an idiot. How do any of things in his latest ad help the middle class? It is ludicrous. I really hope that the American public just doesn't buy into this dribble blindly without thinking about it. If anyone has the guts to stand up and challenge him (and Obama would also stand on the other side of the debate, which he has not been willing to do yet), he would get destroyed because he stands on no real principles. He will flip and flop all over the place to try and make people feel good.

Still raining

It is raining harder now than it has yet so far. The news was reporting that some places along the coast received as much as 26 inches of rain, which was more than all of the rain from the 3 hurricanes of '04 combined. The news reported a funny story last night saying that a woman called emergency services to report that a manatee was swimming around her front yard.

Schools are cancelled in the area and I took the day off work, so we are just going to hang around the house today.

Fay bites back

Well, Fay turned around and pounding us all day. It is still raining, I think we are going on about 32 straight hours of rain, heavy rain too.

We just got our power back, it went out at about 5, came back on at about 7:30, lasted 10 minutes and then we lost it again. We had to fill the house with candles, but it finally just came back on.

We have a little water seepage into the west side of the house into Ella and Max's rooms. It is somewhat common down here in these slab block houses, it happened in our old house too. I just hoped it would have taken a serious hurricane to make it happen here. The carpet is all wet all along that outer wall of the house, we had to move all of the furniture away from there, it is a real pain.

Sarah told the kids that the house was leaking, so Ella wanted to put on her swimsuit so that she could swim in the flood. Max simply said "me can't swim mommy", so Sarah had to explain the purpose of the retention pond just behind the house and that the house was not going to flood. I wish I had some photos of oue house that flooded when I was a kid, they would have gotten a kick out of that.

Family update

Ella started pre-K 4 on Monday and is excited to be back at school with her chums. She will be going 3 days a week. Max is a little sad that he is still too little to go to school but is having fun playing with his Star Wars action figures while waiting for Ella to get home.

I (Sarah) am going back to work full time on Monday, August 25th. The kid's will be at home in the care of our nanny Felicia who is coming back to work and bringing her baby Aubrey with her to the house. We're still working out logistics of schedules and car seat space for the pre-K running around and it's a true blessing this has all worked out for us. I received official word of the start date yesterday afternoon, so today and Friday are purely have fun with the kids days.

Since Chris has been giving you lots of information on Fay and Olympics, I will will say only that the kids and I are having a fun cozy bundled up day watching the storm outside go by while we have a movie marathon and sip hot cocoa with marshmallows. Ummmmm....yummy. Ella has been sneaking out of her room to watch gymnastics every night cheering loudly for our "crunchtry" (country) and needs these lazy days to catch up. It is rather gusty and some of the trees look bent over and ready to break so we're staying away from the windows for now.

I have to tell you our spider update - Pest folks came out 4 times or so plus I waged battle on the remaining survivors on the porch with our home sprayer. Those were the brown widows and we have killed a few more scorpions inside. The best moment of spider killing mommy time was when Chris hollered for me in the pantry and there was a large wolf spider (size of a baseball if you drew a line around its legs spread out) headed up the wall behind the food supplies. I kept throwing stuff down and whacking at the wall but he was quick! Finally, I scaled the shelves and straddled both sides of the pantry to reach the top corner of the wall and whacked him good! I felt like a Ninja Warrior! Ella and Chris just stood at the door cheering as I climbed and when I killed the spider I got a memory moment of Ella that will last through her teen years of her looking at me in awe and stating "WOW Mom! That was aaawwweeesome!"

Still raining

It has been raining for almost 24 hours straight now, and is supposed to rain for the rest of the week. That stupid storm hit the Atlantic and just stopped, now it is turning around and coming back across the state just to the North of us. There has been quite a bit of flooding out on the coast, but we're fine.

Still nothing from Fay

Tuesday night, and we sill have not had any effect from Fay. It has been getting pushed further and further west over the last day, and the rain and heavy winds seem to be centered on the northwest side of the storm. So, we have not had anything here at the house, no wind, no rain.

My office closed at 4pm, but schools are still scheduled to be open tomorrow, even though the latest forecast has the storm getting into the Atlantic and turning into a hurricane before turning back around and hitting Jacksonville. The winds have not really slowed down at all and are still at about 65mph near the center of the storm.

It supposed to be pretty much out of here sometime tomorrow morning.

This guy went for a pretty wild ride. He apparently thought that it would be a good idea to go kite surfing in the storm. The storm had the last laugh, the guy is in critical condition right now.

Fay update

Fay is still coming, but hasn't really done anything yet. It is only really cloudy, a little rain earlier but that is about it.

Schools are all closed, but my work is still planning on being open.

They have advised people in mobile homes and low lying areas to get out of dodge.

It doesn't seem that it will be that bad at all right now. It is really slowing down and is only projected to have winds of 45mph by the time it gets to us late on Tuesday.

Hurricane path changed overnight

Now it is coming right at us. The only question really is how strong will it get over the gulf as it crosses from Cuba to Florida.

Haven't taken too many precautions other than buying a few cans of food and some water. It will weaken significantly when it makes landfall sometime on Tuesday, by the time it gets to us, it will only be a Tropical Storm.

Hurricane update

The updated path has Fay moving a little bit more west, but it will most definately still effect us, remember we live west of Orlando. It should hit sometime mid day on Tuesday, we'll probably start to get some of the northern rain bands on Monday night.

Hurricane alert

Looks like Hurricane Fay is headed our way, probably making landfall a bit southwest of us as a Category 1 hurricane around Wednesday morning right now.

Weather Forecast from the local news.

The worst part of it is that it will probably knock out the satellite signal so we won't be able to watch the olympics. Other than that, it will probably just be a lot of rain and stuff, maybe a day off of work and school.

In other news, we are still rabidly attached to the Olympics, it is all we have been watching since it began. Even while I am work, I turn it on because I have a TV at my desk and we pipe cable throughout the entire building to everyone's cubes.

Ella start Pre-K next Monday, the same place that she went to last year, so she will be in class with most of the same kids.

We are getting ready to go see the new Star Wars cartoon, Ella and Max are really excited. Ella woke up like it was Christmas and was running around the house singing "it's movie day, oh yeah", over and over again.

Men's 4x100m Freestyle Olympic Race

By far and away, the most exited event of the olympic so far was last night's swimming event. It was Michael Phelps', 2nd of 8 events to win gold in, and the one that was going to be the toughest. The French team have been really good and were talking trash about the Americans saying that they were going to smash the Americans.

We were behind going into the last leg, with the anchor for the French team being the current world record holder in that distance, but the American, Jason Lezak didn't give up and swam the fastest leg of this relay ever...at 32 years old. He had to make up about a full body lead by the French halfway through his leg, and he really burned it down the stretch. It was unbelievable, they smashed the world record in the process.

In case you missed it, you can check it out here:

Link to video on NBCOlympics.com

Take that Frenchies!

I also added a nifty little video viewer from NBC over on the right.

Olympic Fever

Olympic fever has hit the Wynn household, it has been the only thing on our TV since the opening ceremonies began.

Max has really liked Boxing so far, he calls it boom fighting. Ella is enjoying gymnastics right now and has worn only her gymnastic outfit and does her version of the routines in front of the tv for us. Swimming is also popular with both of them.

Call me Coach Chris

I signed up to be Ella's soccer coach, so I am now leading the Apopka Youth Soccer Under 5 team, the Apopka Pirates. I have 7 four year olds, I need to recruit an assistant coach and a team mom. We'll get practice started on August 26th, with our first game on September 20th.

Favorite new show

Well, thanks to everyone up in Michigan, Ninja Warrior is the family's new favorite show. The kids just went to bed, but before that they were creating obstacle courses around the furniture in the family room to play on. They just can't get enough of it.

A new look

I changed the way the website is hosted to make it a little bit easier, and cheaper. Pretty much everything, this site, our email, photos, videos, is all hosted by various google services. It has been down the last several days as everything has been getting transferred around in the great nebolous internets.

I'll be changing some of the graphics on the site pretty soon to look a little more personal.

Ella is registered for soccer

She is old enough to play in the city league now which is good, because the facilities are right around the corner. She is playing in the under 5 league, they have 10 games in total. I volunteered to coach if they are in need of coaches, I wasn't sure if I had the patience for a group of 5 year olds, but we'll see what happens.

Vista finally installed!

Wow, what a pain in the neck that was. Trying to get to Windows Vista Ultimate on my Home Theater PC that I had to replace the hard drive in. Here is what I had to do:

1) Unplug the network connection.
2) Install Vista Home Premium fresh (my Ultimate licesne is an upgrade from Home Premium).
3) Plug network connection back in.
4) Upgrade Home Premium to Home Premium (because my base Vista license is an upgrade license)
5) The install failed right at the end.
6) Unplug the network connection.
7) Repeat step 4.
8) Plug network connection back in.
9) Download Ultimate license file from Windows.com.
10) Put in the Anytime Upgrade disc and upgrade to Ultimate.
11) The install failed right at the end.
12) Unplug the netowrk connection.
13) Repeat step 9.
14) Repeat step 10.

It works now! You think it would be a pretty simple matter of just knowing that I own x number of licenses, simple as that.

Windows and dinosaurs

A couple of random unrelated items.

First, my media PC in my theater blew up. I have been trying to rebuild it, but am having all sorts of problems installing Vista. I have the upgrade version, and it does not let me install it fresh, I have to install XP first, and then upgrade it to Vista which is a real pain. Then, I got my versions all mixed up because I have 2 different licenses, and could not remember which versions I had. I am installing it for the 3rd time, hoping third times the charm.

Other random item, this guy filmed this video at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History of a really cool dinosaur suit. Its pretty cool, I imagine that the kids would really dig it.

Widows continue to be a problem

After getting our garage cleaned out (we killed almost 20 brown widows), the pest guys have kept it clean since then. We were just cleaning out our back lanai (patio), and we found a few more nests. I grabbed the bug spray and headed out to go to battle. I turned over all of the furniture and checked it out. I found about 10 egg sacks, and killed 8 more widows, 7 of them were pregnant. The bug people are scheduled to come back next Thursday, we'll have to continue this genocide later this week.

Spent an afternoon at Typhoon Lagoon

Since work is a little slow right now, I took Fiday afternoon off. Our water park passes were expiring that day, so we decided to use them on the last day. Unfortunately, it started to rain again right as we go there. There was lightning in the area, so all of the attractions were temporarily closed. We had to hide out in a store for awhile. It eventually stopped raining, but everything was closed for another 30 mintues. When everything finally opened, it started to drizzle which made things a little cold, but the kids loved it. Max rode the kids inner tube slide about 20 times in a row, then we took a ride on the family tube ride, and a trip around the lazy river.

We finished the day in the wave pool. Ella would scream "that was so awesome" as loud as she could after every wave crashed over us. We grabbed some ice cream on our way out, and came home and put the kids to bed.

Some changes at work

While we were up in Michigan, some changes happened at work and I was transferred to a new project. I can't talk about it the why yet, because we have not made any public announcements. Anyhow, I have taken over Madden for PS2 and PSP. I am not really that excited to be working on those hardware platforms, they are small teams and small budgets, but it is a new group, and we will be able to pitch some new small game ideas, and I have one cooking up now. We'll see what happens.

Spent the day at Disney

The kids had Disney World withdrawl which is sort of ridicolous, but whatever. So, we decided to go to Disney World for the day. Turned out to not be such a nice day. We got there around 3pm, watched the parade, and then headed over towards Thunder Mountain to get some fast passes. It started to rain just after that, so we had to hide out in the Hall of Presidents for a little while. Ella and I went back to Thunder Mountain after the rain ended, but the ride had been struck by lighting and was not working. We had some dinner and then went back to Thunder Mountain and it was working again, so Ella and I decided to ride it. Afterwards, the wait for Splash Mountain was pretty short, so Ella and I jumped on that while Max and Sarah played in the little kids playground. Max is too little for these two rides.

We headed for Pirates after Splash Mountain because that is Max's favorite. We lucked out, there was no line whatsoever. But, when we got off it was starting to rain again. We decided to ride it one more time to see if the rain slowed down. It did slow down a bit, so we headed out. We got a little wet, but had taken our ponchos, so we were ok.

Not a bad day overall, but the rain kind of dampened things a bit. The kids certainly enjoyed it.

We're home and all rested

We all got home yesterday afternoon, after an uneventful flight. The kids were very well behaved, we had to split up 2 and 2 as the flight was pretty full.

Thank you to everyone that let us stay in your home, loan us your car, give us rides, or opened your homes to allow us to see a lot of people that we have not seen in quite some time.

Funny story about Max. We bought him some Batman pajamas while we were there, they look like the batman costume complete with a cap that is velcroed to the back. He was so excited about them that he had to put them on Wednesday afternoon, he wore them all night, played in them and then just went to bed in them. We woke up pretty early to get to the airport, and he was just not going to take them off, Sarah and I were in no mood to argue with him at 6am, so we just let him wear them. He wore them to the airport and for the entire flight, all the way home. Everyone in the airport kept calling him Batman, which he thought was pretty cool.

Ella went indoor skydiving

While our friends, Tanai and Gildo, from Brazil were here visiting, Ella was able to go indoor skydiving with them. She was super excited, and thinks that she knows how to fly now.

I did this once when I was 16, Ella was a lot better than I was.

Incredibly busy year so far

Well, this year has been unbelievably busy. We have had a ton of visitors which we love, especially with the new house.

Ella is finishing up school, she joined a soccer league, which is just about wrapped up. Her school did another musical end of year performance the other night. I will try and get some soccer videos and a video of the music thing up soon.

Max is still Max, he is talking non stop just like his sister. He is adding new words to his vocabulary every day. He is finally starting to try and climb out of his crib, so we are going to need to switch him to a toddler bed soon.

Sarah is enjoying life at home, but will probably be returning to some work, hopefully something where she can work from home.

I just finished work on NASCAR '09 for the XBox 360 and PS3, it should be on store shelves on June 10th.

Added Gaming info

Down to the bottom of the right hand column, I added my XBox360 Gamer tag so you can see how awesome I am.

Some Videos from Ella's Christmas Program

Ok, I got a few of the videos of Ella's Christmas Program up. I switched over to Google Video from YouTube, because I like the options a little bit more, its easier to have your videos be private which is nice.

Guess Who?

Teddy Bear

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Busy Holidays

The Holidays are all wrapped up and passed. We had a nice time with a lot of time to relax at home and enjoy some time with family. Here are some of the highlights:

Ella's Preschool Christmas Program
Ella had her preschool Christmas program where all of the kids sang a selection of Christmas tunes. It was very entertaining. Here are a few of the songs, there were 12 in all and Ella was given the award for the best singer.

I'll try and get a few videos up here soon.

The Butcher's Visited for the Holidays
Gene, Lisa, Caitlin, and Connor spent the holidays with us. Gene and Chris formed Something Evil and took the country by storm in Rock Band. We all went to a pirate themed dinner show that was really cool, the kids loved it. We spent New Year's Eve at Disney World, the midnight fireworks were really something. All in all, a very nice visit, we all had a great time.

We all got sick
Ella was the first to pick up some kind of stomach flu just after Christmas and quickly gave it to Gene, it slowly made its way to Sarah and then finally to me. The worst part was Ella throwing up on me in line for the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney World. I think I knocked a little girl over trying to get out of that line when I could tell that she was feeling sick.

Sarah quit her job
With Felicia, our nanny, being 7 months pregnant, we decided that it would be best for Sarah to stop working and stay at home with the kids from now on. Ella will be starting soccer this year, along with Pre-K in the fall, our schedule will just be getting busier and busier. It will be a little tough financially, but we'll figure it out.

The Benedicts are coming to visit
Ben happens to have a conference at Disney World in early February, so we are expecting the Benedicts for the first week or so of February. Max is pretty excited, most of the young kids down here happen to be girls, so this is the first time in a really long time that he gets to hang out with other boys.