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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

North Carolina Fall Color : Scattered Leaves

Posting one of my photos from our recent trip to NC mountains.  This was taken in Hillsboro on our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For Week #46 of P52 2014:

Tonya Travelstead NC Nov 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Disney Cruise 2014: Time Zones

Disney Cruise Series: Post #5

One quick tip... be sure to note your time zones and set your watches accordingly, especially if you are getting on and off the ship!

We saw an older man run almost the entire length of the pier in Cozumel because he did not do this. He boarded after the whistle sounded for the last passenger aboard and almost missed the ship.  Everyone who happened to see him running from their balconies (like us) was cheering him on and telling the crew to wait.  I'm sure he'll  never do that again.

Even though there is no internet service (unless you bought one of the plans), be sure to set your phone/iPad, etc. to whatever time zone you are in if you take it off the ship.  I had mine still set on "set automatically" for New York, Eastern Daylight Time.  I got off the ship in Grand Cayman which is an hour earlier and unknowingly, came into a wifi area.  My iPhone which I had set one hour ahead, reverted to its original NY time setting and I thought I had missed my tour!  Thankfully, I had not, but to avoid any unnecessary panicking...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Disney Cruise 2014 : Doing Your Laundry

Disney Cruise: Post #4

Chores--yes,  you can do your own laundry on the ship OR you can have it done by your room host/hostess.  Not sure how much that costs, but to do it yourself...

$1.00 per small single load box of detergent
$1.00 washer
$1.00 dryer

$3.00 total for one load which took about 1 1/2 hours to complete.

The main issue is finding an empty washer and dryer.  Check your Navigator app for the locations or call Guest Services to find one.   OR ask your room host / hostess where they are all located.  Ours told us about one that was not even on our map which was a huge help.

Everyone seemed to be doing laundry on the same day that we did, which was the Thursday day at sea before returning home on Saturday, so get this chore done early.

It's so much easier to pack clean clothes than dirty ones (and more sanitary, too), so this was a given for us to set aside a little time to do this.  We just put a load in the washer before breakfast and put it in the dryer after breakfast. Did a little shopping while it was drying... piece of cake... or you can have an ice cream cone on one of the decks.  :)

Also, the only irons and ironing boards on the ship are located in the laundry rooms (Disney calls them launderettes).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Disney Cruise 2014: Navigator App

Disney Cruise:   Post #3

This handy phone app for iOS or Android is a handy tool.  Disney definitely thinks of everything.  Incredible the way that it only works on the ship's wifi free of charge, yet blocks other access out but its own.  The wifi network is pricey so we did not purchase it.  Plus, you're on vacation, so who wants to answer mail?

When opening your app on the ship though, most times as it refreshes, it would also refresh my Facebook and mail accounts during the 2-4 seconds it takes to open.  So I was generally able to see what was going on at home.     Don't count on this as I'm sure Disney will figure out sooner or later that this happens...

Be sure to download the app  BEFORE you leave home or you will need to purchase one of the internet packages in order to use it.

What's in it?  No need to reinvent the wheel, so take a look at THIS link to see the details.

OK, I'll tell you a few things that it has:
  • Deck plans (maps)
  • Menus at the restaurants
  • Show times for stage and screen
But really, click on the link to see everything that is has to offer.  :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Disney Cruise 2014: What to Wear

Disney Cruise 2014, Post #2: What to Wear

This is primarily for women since I am one, but I will advise men to take a jacket, dress pants and shoes (and socks) and a tie.

Day Wear:
Cruise Casual--shorts / capris and T-shirts, blouses, flip flops
Around the pools of course, swimwear and  cover-ups
Buffet type food locations:  swimsuits and cover-ups are fine
Table service food locations:  no tanks, swimwear

Evening Wear:
Cruise casual, unless designated

3 out of 7 nights were dressy for us:
(1) Captain's Gala, the most formal--cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, photo shoot with the Captain and crew in their dress uniforms
(2) Dinner at Palo restaurant
(3) Another evening that was designated as semi-formal

I took one long dress with two different shawls and jewelry to change them up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Disney Cruise 2014: Planning Your Trip

My husband and I just returned a couple of weeks ago from our first cruise on the Disney Fantasy to the Western Caribbean.  It was seven days of a truly lovely vacation. We are already discussing taking another longer one next year to a different location and taking our sons on a short one sometime in between.  We were fortunate to have a friend who had been on several cruises to sit and talk with us and give us some handy tips and ideas.  So, even though we probably have not met, I'll be that friend to you!  :)

Post #1:  Initial Planning

--Renew your passport

--Check your budget

--Look at the weather forecast and for women, plan your wardrobe and do whatever shopping is needed early.   2 suitcases per person are allowed to be checked.  My husband and I each had one suitcase and we shared a third that had tennis shoes,  umbrellas, jackets, snorkel gear.  We carried my laptop on board primarily to upload photos each day.

--Take advantage of the planning center that Disney offers to get an idea of all of the excursions that are available and budget your $$ to do something fun at each port, even if it's as simple as just getting off the ship and walking around the new city, sightseeing and doing a little shopping.   Don't plan to do too much each day.  Our cruise had 2 days at sea, with stops at four ports.  Day 1 debarkation is not until 4 pm, and we boarded at 11:30 a.m. so that was another day as well.    Book your port adventures as early as you can.

--If this is an anniversary or special occasion, adults check out the fine dining (it's ALL good) and the special reservations-only restaurants on board the ship [Palo and Remy]. You pay a little more for one or more of these evenings but they are very elegant to celebrate a special time together.  Make those reservations early.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Sunday!

Have a wonderful, restful day ...  wherever you may be, I hope you begin it with worship.

Heb 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, 
but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cross Stitch Gift : Bookmark

Here is a cross stitched bookmark that I made for our sweet Chinese scholar when she returned home... I actually made a second one similar for me to keep to remember her by.

One of my sons gave me a laminator as a Christmas gift and this was its inaugural project.  Works GREAT.

The verse on the back in Mandarin Chinese reads:

Philippians 1:3-4
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coming soon: First Disney Cruise

My husband and I experienced our first cruise last week--on the Disney ship Fantasy. 
I will start posting about it over the weekend and will do a series on this excellent adventure. 

Check back soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seasons of Life ... Time to Cross Stitch

I used to do cross stitch when my children were very young... before our homeschooling days.  Now that our youngest is about to move out of the house for college [bittersweet to me]  I've picked it back up again.

How do you like these two cards I made last week?

Cross Stitch Handmade Card

Cross Stitch Handmade Card

I also tried my hand(s) at quilling... something I'd only done once before marriage, before kids...  It was quite easy to do.  Saving these pieces to add embellishments to cards at a later time.

My P52 photo for Week #34

Quilling Tonya Travelstead P52

Working with your hands can be a pleasurable way to spend some time, especially if doing something mundane like watching television in the evenings... handmade gifts are so cherished.  Give a little of yourself to someone else...

1 Thess 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Buried Treasure ... Treasured Memories

It's been windy and rainy lately here in Florida.  My husband and I were sitting in the front yard over the weekend and a little bit of color peeked through the mulch.  With all the wind, this buried treasured artwork--a mosaic stepping stone-- made by one of our sons had been covered in the mulch.

It's funny how little things can spark memories.  He made this one summer in an art camp.  I think he was about 8 or 9 years old at the time (now 25).  Because the tiles are coated and encased in concrete it will probably last longer than we do.  Whenever I see this, I think back to those special years of having two young boys at home and am so thankful I was able to be home with them...

...years of joyful play
...swimming and shrieks of laughter
...lots of little boy friends over to play
...homeschooling and learning together
...story time at the library
...Barney and Arthur
...afternoon snack time
...cuddles and naptime

SO thankful for these sweet own personal treasures from long ago.

P52, Week #32
Tonya Travelstead P52

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Art: Fifty Shades of Grey

If you stopped by to see a review of the popular erotic book or the movie, you'll be disappointed.  Not something I plan to read or see and I would advise you to not do the same.

I took this photo on an outing last week... simply a wall of grey brick with water streaming over it.  If someone told me they had a photo of a basically grey wall, I'd think "how boring"... but if you look at it for a bit as I did when I took the photo, it's actually quite beautiful.  Because of the flowing stream of water, what is plain and simple can become lovely.  I think there is a life lesson here.  :)

Tonya Travelstead Fifty Shades of Grey
This is my P52 2014 photo for Week #31

John 7:37-39  ... “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive...

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


The talks from #tgcw2014 are now available online. 

Lazy Saturday plus Grain-free lunch

Fun Saturday morning for me... Slept in, shopped at Staples to use up my rewards... 

Trip to the library for fun books... Watched Pioneer Woman while eating this yummy grain-free lunch.  

Spring greens. Tomatoes. Avocado.  Sunflower seeds. Green pepper. Small bit of chicken salad. Delicious. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Saturday in the Park ...

Saturday, as is our custom, we had breakfast with friends and the strolled around the park. Here are a few sights from that morning...

This one is my P52 photo for Week # 30. [I'm #22}
 Can you find the bee?

Tonya Travelstead P52

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gorgeous Sunset AND a Rainbow ?

Everyone loves posting photos of sunsets and rainbows but both at the same time?

My husband walked past our kitchen window at 8:30 pm the other night and saw the brilliant sky all lit up.  We went outside, me of course, with my phone in hand (wish I'd had my real camera in hand) and this is what we saw (facing west).

Choosing this one for my P52, Week #29.  [I'm # 39.]
Tonya Travelstead Florida Sunset

We turned around to go back in the house and this is what was behind us.  Friends told us if we'd looked that direction a few minutes earlier, we'd have seen a double rainbow (facing east)!  Amazing.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

It's 7 Eleven Day again... Free Slurpees + Free Treats all week!

Don't forget that today is 7 / 11 day... free slurps and with their new app, you can get free treats all week long!

Click HERE for more info.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Share A Coke : Is Your Name on the Bottles?

Is your name on the bottles in Coke's new campaign?  Not surprisingly, mine is not.  BUT there is a way to make a virtual Coke bottle with yours on it.

Tonya Travelstead

Just go to THIS SITE and follow the instructions.   Very simple and fun to do.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

P52 Fresh Georgia Peaches

Nothing says summer like peaches from Georgia (or South Carolina).  Juicy and delicious... my all-time favorite fruit.  I grew up eating these but never knew until we moved to Florida that you could eat the fuzzy peel.  Mmm...

A simple photo for P52 Week #26.  I'm #33.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Star Wars Weekend 2014 #sww2014

On Father's Day my husband wanted to go to Disney's Hollywood Studios to check out the Star Wars Weekend.  Here are few highlights from the parade...  LOTS of photos on Twitter #sww2014!


Pulling out this one for my P52 photo for Week #25.
I'm #31.

Tonya Travelstead #sww2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Amazon Instant Video--Lark Rise to Candleford

If you love British drama, check out this wonderful 4-season series that I just finished on Amazon Prime Instant Video... Lark Rise to Candleford.  Must have a Prime membership to view.

Lark Rise to Candleford

I SO enjoyed each episode.  So much in fact,  that I downloaded the book trilogy onto my Kindle reader to continue the journey.  :)  

Book Description:

At the end of the 19th century, Lark Rise – an isolated hamlet deep in the Oxfordshire countryside – was a rough and ready place, simple in its routines and narrow in outlook. Its people lived by the land, and the village year followed that of nature’s cycle, as it had done for generations. They laboured from dawn till dusk, and would often find themselves on the brink of poverty, yet, for all the hardship, the inhabitants of Lark Rise led a happy life. A country wedding, dancing on the green ‘until dusk fell and the stars came out’, the gathering of cowslips for the May Day garland, the beauty of the ripened cornfields, the Harvest Home feast of hams, plum puddings and beer – such unselfconscious, joyous moments turned their lives into ones of real fulfilment and pleasure...

Update April 2016: I looked for this series again last year and Amazon had removed it from its listings.   It has now appeared AGAIN on Amazon Prime so be sure to watch while it is still available.  I sure am.  :)  You'll so enjoy this one, especially the ladies in the house.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Front Yard Reflections

Mark 6:31 And He said to them, 
“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place 
and rest a while..."

We have a screened-in porch in our back yard / pool area but my husband and I really enjoy sitting in the front yard when the weather is nice and mosquitoes are busy elsewhere.  Neighbors walk or ride bikes by and say hello, the birds and squirrels are closer, and there's something about the totally open air that is remarkably different from the screened area.

These were taken over the weekend while we sat and talked after dinner.  Scroll down to the second and third photos and it looks like another couple had the same idea.  :)

I hope you have a quiet spot where you can relax and refresh after a busy day.  How do you relax in the evenings?

P52 Week #24 (I'm #26.)
Tonya Travelstead P52

Tonya Travelstead P52

Tonya Travelstead P52

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Simple Things: A Single Red Rose

So much beauty in the simple things such as this single red rose, my P52 photo for Week #23.  [I'm # 18 on the P52 site.]

Tonya Travelstead P52

Luke 12:27  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Florida Summer Beach Days

Our 27th anniversary was last week so my husband and I took a lovely trip to the beach.  Which ocean photo do you like the best?

Using this one for P52 Week #22.  (I'm #25.) 
Tonya Travelstead P52




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Watching and Waiting

Springtime on the pond... watching and waiting...being so patient.

This is my P52 Week #21 photo [my photo is #17].   I just love capturing close-ups of wildlife.  Right after this was taken, this bird captured a fish but I had already put my camera down...apparently his watching and waiting paid off!

So much of everyday life is a parable or visual aid to spiritual life as well.  Be still and keep your eyes open for deeper truths in the daily...

Tonya Travelstead P52

Jas 5:7  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Just Hanging Around Butterfly Photo

This is my P52 Week #20 photo [I'm #40.]. I was so happy to capture this beautiful butterfly before it flew away.   Do you hold your breath, too, when trying to take a close-up photo of something that moves?   :)

Gen 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stop and smell the roses

So beautiful... take time to stop and smell them today.  :)

P52 Week #19 (photo #17)
Tonya Travelstead P52

Monday, April 28, 2014

Local Outing: Black Hammock Restaurant / Oviedo

We joined some friends for dinner this weekend at a little restaurant called the Black Hammock in Oviedo.  The food was pretty good but the outdoor view was wonderful.  Had a nice, cool breeze, spotted a few alligators in Lake Jessup plus a gorgeous sunset to end the evening.

This one is my P52 photo week #18 (I'm #16) for this week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Blossoms and Blooms 2014

After church on Easter Sunday, our family went out to lunch.  The park near the restaurant was bursting with blooms as was the restaurant entrance.

The prettiest sight was on our way home when we passed a church with this gorgeous flowered cross in the front.  Breathtaking.    Don't you just love this?  [Using this for my P52 Week #17 photo, #20.]

Tonya Travelstead P52 Week #17

The significance of the flowers on what was a barren cross, I imagine, is the new life after death and resurrection of Jesus.  What a lovely picture of this truth.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; 
he who believes in Me will live even if he dies...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Disney Epcot Flower & Garden Festival : Disney Characters

We were at the flower and garden show last weekend and I took photos of some of the characters formed out of plants.  The Snow White face is amazing!

My P52 Week 16 photo.  I'm #27.
Tonya Travelstead P52
What a Surprise to See You!  

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