Sunday, December 30, 2007

How a Billionaire Does an Animated Light Show

Wow...I'm still trying to figure out some of his techniques. If there are any billionaires in South Florida, hire me! I would looooove to do a display like this.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A New Nutracker for Copeland Christmas!

We were lucky enough to get this santa nutcracker at JC Penney yesterday for more than 75% off. He was originally $399.00; we got him for $75!

I received a call from Mom at 9am. Ann, a co-worker alerted her that the nutcracker was on the clearance aisle the previous night. Needless to say, I raced up to the mall and waited inside with all the old mall walkers and towel sale junkies for a half hour until the doors opened. I grabbed the tags off him and three similar 6 ft snowmen, raced up to the register, and announced I'd like all four. I also grabbed one those 5 ft. ferris wheels for $100 (originally $330). I'm going to see if a neighbor wants it though.

So, we shoved the nutcracker in my car and two snowmen in John's Armada. I had to go back later to get the final snowman because he wouldn't fit in John's truck. Thanks Mom and Ann!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handmade Pot Holder

Matthew made me a pot holder for Christmas. He's 4.
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Day After Christmas Sales

So, John was at Lowes today at 5am to begin our now traditional Dec 26th Scramble.

The only problem is that Lowes didn't open at 5am this year (they did last year). They opened at 6am; but Dunkin' Donuts was open.

By the time I woke up, John had already been to the Jensen Beach:
- Lowes
- Home Depot
- Walmart
- Sears
- Dillards
- JC Penney in Jensen Beach.

After I woke up and got out the door, I was in charge hitting the Stuart:
- Walmart
- Sears
- Homegoods
- TJ Maxx

and in Jensen Beach, I went to:
- Dillards
- Target

Together, we went to the Stuart:
- Home Depot
- Stuart Lowes
- Jensen Beach JC Penney (again for John)

Wow! What a morning. I'll take inventory of everything we got and how much we spent. I remember the bill at the Stuart Lowes was $130, but the "you saved today" at the bottom of the receipt was over $600!
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Monday, December 24, 2007

A Fireplace DVD for Christmas

We just got back from the grocery store and found this DVD on the front porch. Thank you Sandra!

Sandra came by the other night to see the display and mentioned it would be neat to have a fireplace DVD on the TV in front of the living room village. I agreed and we talked about it for a few minutes. What a nice surpirse to come home today and realize sandra remembered, then actually took the time to go get it! We appreciate it.

Here's the tv and the living room village.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We're in two newspapers!

Yesterday, a Mother came by with her kids and asked,

"is the Christmas house from the paper?"

We pulled the paper from the recycle bin and sure enough, we had a small photo and a caption in the Stuart News.

Here's the Palm Beach Post listing too.

We were thrilled because this meant that we'd have a lot of happy visitors to meet tonight. We had a great night and met people from all over the country. I bet, there were 200 cars with 2-5 people per car.

We had some folks from Hyde Park, NY which is near my birth city of Rhinebeck. Everyone seems to have a story about why they came. Some people come on dates, most come with kids, some picked this as a meeting place to swap kids. Some people can't speak English, some were from overseas. Some kids were frightened, but others tried to climb right into the garage display.

One girl saw a couple display mice that she recognized from her childhood. She said they always freaked her out a bit, but she had never told anyone. She laughed about it. One person said this is better than Rockefeller Plaza and another said it is better than Disney. While I disagree, I was thrilled to accept the compliment.

How to Photograph Christmas Lights

I've been obsessed with learning how to take GOOD photographs of Christmas lights. I've learned a tripod and a disabled flash are the two most important steps to get great shots of lights. However, what about ISO, exposure, aperture...etc?

Here are 6 links that will mark the beginning of your crisp and vivid Christmas light photos.

By the way, I loooooove photojojo. It is one of two RSS feeds I religiously read. Lifehacker is the other. This is NOT a paid post (I don't do that).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lionel Train Under Christmas Tree

Here's today's shot of our indoor live Christmas tree. It has a circus train, hence the farm animals. I love this new camera! I took this shot by plugging the camera into the laptop and using the Canon Utility to take the photos....this led to less camera shake because my finger wasn't pressing the shutter button.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Cathedral in Milan during Christmas

natale a milano
Originally uploaded by grana [2007]
John and I visited this Cathedral in Milan, Italy a few months ago.

Did you know the rest of the world calls doesn't call it Italy?...or Milan? They are called Italia and Milano.

This one cathedral took 500 years to build and has been nearly destroyed dozens of times. Infact, there's a very catchy cliche phrase in Europe..."it's like building a cathedral." This is where the phrase comes from.

It's one of the largest cathedrals in the world and is considered the epitomy of the gothic style of architecture.

Napoleon was coronated here. There is supposedly a nail from Jesus' cross in the tip top of the dome inside. They take it down a few days each year and we missed it by 5 days.

It's one of the top 5 most memorable places I've been in my 28 years.

P. S. I found this on in the 2007 Christmas Group.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our Neighbor's Nativity Scene

I went walking around the neighborhood last night to take some photos of other houses. Here's one cute manger scene. I love how they put down hay and even used a shepherd's hook for the star.
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Sunday, December 9, 2007

100,000 website hits!

Atcually we're at 111,000 since June when the stats were activated. I'm pretty impressed and will use the next few paragraphs to brag a bit.

I did all the tedious SEO stuff that webmasters do to ensure to get a good page rank in search engines like google. I am proud to say that we are number one on google....the famous band Copeland is even behind us. Most any keyword that you would think of to find!

SO, to celebrate our 100,000th hit, I decided to revamp the website. I've added videos, photos, a new banner, and a new back end to the blog. Hope you all like it.

I'd really appreciate to know if you experience any problems and what browser you use. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Garage Gingerbread Photo

Another Gingerbread scene from the garage
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Garage Display (Gingerbread)

Today's shot. I'm still learning this new camera.
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My Brother Matthew

This santa sways from left to right. So does Matthew.
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Nov 30th Lighting Ceremony Photos

Matthew and I had a great time. I think we were trying to make funny faces for the camera in this shot. I love my new camera.
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