July 3, 2016

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess BrideAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Put simply, this is a book about a movie, which was based on a book that is about a fictional book. If you are a fan of the movie (which, isn't everyone?), you will enjoy this book. The Princess Bride is one of those things where the right people came together at the right time to make something spectacular, and it turned out to be a fantastic experience for them along the way.

Cary Elwes wrote the book, but the other people involved make significant contributions. I wish I had listened to the audiobook just to hear all the different actors talk about the experience in their own voices.

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January 27, 2016

Eight is great

This kid turned eight years old today! The picture on the left is from our attempt at a one month photo shoot. He wasn't that excited about the preemie outfit I bought on eBay. I'm glad I kept it for comparison. I hope I don't have any grandsons who are small enough for it.

This year's big birthday gift was a WiiU. He is enjoying playing Super Mario Maker. We gave it to him a few days ago when we were snowed in. He is planning to have a party with his friends at BounceU on Sunday. I guess this birthday is brought to you by the letter "u".

December 24, 2015

Thank you JJ

Those of us of a certain age have lived with these characters for more than thirty years. We’re a bit attached.

When the first little Star Wars movie premiered in 1977, the Vietnam War and Watergate were still fresh in the minds of Americans. The Middle East was an ever bigger mess than it is now, and we were pretty sure the Soviets could nuke us all at any moment. Enter Star Wars: A New Hope with its group of misfits going up against the all-powerful Empire. It’s the ultimate underdog story. Their situation seems hopeless, and yet they prevail. It was the right story at the right time.

Sometimes we need to escape to a world where the good guys win. There's nothing wrong with that. Some of us are facing adversaries we know we won't overcome in this lifetime. We need stories like Star Wars. We want to visit with our old friends - Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and make new ones.

J.J. Abrams took this story and our beloved characters and added jaw-dropping beauty. He had a huge task, and he delivered. Thank you, J.J. for taking us on another adventure. It was worth the wait.

December 10, 2015

2015 Year in Review

Well, it's been a year since I've posted, so I've not kept up with my promise to myself to blog more, but I will try harder in 2016.

Adam will be eight years old in January. He is in second grade and enjoys science and reading. He did several day camps over the summer including two at the Adventure Science Center and Music Arts Camp at church.

Patrick is preparing to move his office to a temporary location while LifeWay's new headquarters is built. The new building will be located in the "North Gulch" area of downtown Nashville and will be finished sometime in 2017. He is working on several projects at LifeWay including an app for a new series of Veggie Tales books and MinistryGrid. He played keyboard for Oak Hill School's production of Jungle Book in November. He continues to help with the streaming video ministry at church.

Due to my health issues, most of my time is spent at home. I enjoy craft projects when I am able, especially for our new niece who is due to arrive anytime. I love staying connected with friends via Facebook and would welcome visitors if you are ever in the area. Check out our Facebook pages for videos and pictures!

December 8, 2014

2014 Watts Year Ender

  • Adam turned six in January and got glasses!
  • We survived kindergarten!
  • Adam’s summer activities included Robot Camp at the Adventure Science Center, Art Camp at the Y, Vacation Bible School, the Waggener family reunion, and a week with his grandparents in Texas.
  • Adam is doing well in first grade at Granbery Elementary.
  • We took Adam to Legoland Florida and Disney World for the first time this year along with Patrick’s parents. (We did Disneyland last year.)

  • Patrick is busy with his job at LifeWay. He is working on several projects, including a devotional app and online training for churches.
  • Lydia is serving on the planning committee for our church’s women’s retreat scheduled for October 2015.
  • Patrick is in a Christian Leadership Concepts with other men at church that meets on Friday mornings.
  • Adam got to see his cousins from Idaho when they all visited Texas for Thanksgiving.

December 3, 2014

Magic on Wheels

We hadn't really planned on going to DisneyWorld this year, but it kind of just came together. Because of my health problems, I didn't know if I would feel well enough to go until the week of the trip, and I knew if I went, I would need to rent an electric scooter and get a handicapped parking tag. I swallowed my pride so I could be there for Adam's first DisneyWorld experience. We asked Patrick's parents to join us for the week so Patrick wouldn't be flying solo if I didn't feel well. I had a Botox treatment right before we left, and I felt better than I had anticipated. Being around the magic helped too.

We usually stay on property to be "in the magic," but with our situation this time, we decided a vacation home would be better. We rented a condo from All-Star Vacation Homes which was just a few minutes from Disney property. It had three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a private swimming pool. Adam's room was even Mickey-themed. It was great to pull up to our own parking space right at the front door at the end of the day. Yes, we had to pay for parking at WDW, but we saved way more than that by eating several meals at the condo. The only real downside was that we didn't have an alternative transportation option if we wanted to split up.

On the first day, we drove to Winter Garden to go to Legoland. For a six-year-old obsessed with Legos, it is amazing. It is on the old Cypress Gardens site, and the gardens have been preserved. The park is well done, but not well laid-out. For us, the differences between it and a Disney park and quite noticeable, but I don't think six-year-old boy really appreciate those things. It was a good place for me to get used to navigating the scooter.

The next day (Monday, October 7), Patrick's parents took Adam to the Orlando Science Center while we went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot on our own. They got in for free with our membership to Nashville's Adventure Science Center. Adam loves science and gave OSC a glowing review.

On Tuesday, we planned for me to have a rest day and for the rest of the gang to go to Epcot. I wasn't feeling great when I woke up that morning, but I started thinking about Adam riding Soarin' for the first time and decided I had to be there for that. Thanks to the scooter and effective medications, I made it, and I'm so glad I did.

I think Adam could have spent a week at Epcot. It has a reputation for being a "grown-up" park, but for our little science nut, it was great. He also did Agent P's World Showcase Adventure that evening and really enjoyed it.

videoWe did Magic Kingdom on our last day. We didn't get to see as much as I had hoped because we were tired and it was hot, but we still got to do some fun things. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the newest attraction, and it is so well done. I love that they have taken Walt Disney's first animated feature and made a headliner attraction for it. Elsa may get all the glory right now, but Snow White was here first. The ride video makes Memory Maker so worth it.

I always tell people you can't do it all at Disney, and hopefully we will get to go again someday when Adam is older and experience more of it.

More pictures!

October 31, 2013

2013 Anniversary Trip

We decided this year that we would "try out" a Disney cruise for our anniversary with the idea that we would take Adam on one in the future. We try to get away on a trip without Adam every year about this time, and it is something I highly recommend doing. It is a great opportunity to reconnect, and we are blessed to have my parents close by to take care of Adam.

We took a three-day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island) on the Disney Dream. I went on the "Big Red Boat" in 1985, which was Disney's partnership with Premier Cruise Lines before they started their own cruise line. As with everything else Disney does, they have gotten cruising right, and no detail is too small. Plus, it's like cruising with our best friends - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto.

We also spent a day at Epcot and Magic Kingdom after the cruise. It was our first opportunity to try out Magic Bands, and I was pleasantly surprise with how well they worked.

Here are the pictures!