Archive for February, 2009

On Tuesday after class Emily, Logan Green and myself headed down to Metro Church. I decided to head down to help Scott with his first “ONE” service, which is his once a month “Big” service to outreach to students in the Birmingham area.

me_horse1

Me getting sang to, Logan and Emily laughing!

We arrived in Birmingham around 6pm, and of course with Tuesday being my Birthday we headed out to eat for dinner! Choosing somewhere to eat was no easy task, however after about twenty minutes of deliberating we decided upon Long Horns. After eating our meal, Scott of course had to let it slip to our rather interesting waiter that it was my Birthday! This brought out the whole Texas Birthday Celebration which included a saddle for me to sit on while they did a big Texas “Ye-haw” for me! I must say this was a completely different environment than my Birthday Celebration at California Grill on Friday night!

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My Cookie Cake!

After dinner we headed back to the church to finish working on lighting and getting things in place for Wednesday. Around 11 we headed back to Scott and Holly’s house where they had me a Cookie Cake and a Mountain Dew to celebrate my Birthday one last time!

Spoken Word

Spoken Word

After staying up till 2am watching The Bachelor (For Logan and Holly) while Scott and I downloaded songs on-line I slept in a little late on Wednesday (Of course Logan and Emily slept in much later!) After waking up, Scott and I headed back to the church where we finished the preparations for the nights service.

The service was one of the biggest Scott has done since arriving at Metro and included several creative elements. We started off the service with a video promoting the idea of “ONE” that really got the place rocking, especially when the words “Metro Youth” came up on screen!

Praise and Worship

Praise and Worship

Following the video Scott came up and welcomed as well as did the offering. Next on the order was Spoken Word which was a really cool monologue that was recited from stage! I back lit the speaker which looked amazing (Check out Photo Above)! After the Spoken Word we rolled into the Amazing Love video and then straight into Praise and Worship.

The Live Painting

The Live Painting

The students did an amazing job leading and really got everyone into the mood of Worship with God! Also, throughout the Worship Set a live painting was being done on the side of stage. Over the last two weeks the painting had been created during Worship of a heart, last week Scott took and put a “hole” in the heart. This week during the Worship Set the heart was transformed into Jesus’s hand on the Cross! It was awesome!

Scott Preaching

Scott Preaching

Rolling after Worship was the Sermon Intro video followed by a powerful Sermon on God’s “Seriously Ridiculous” Love. Scott did an awesome job of driving the points home and really speaking to the hearts and souls of all the students (and a lot of adults!) in attendance.

The Drama

The Drama

After his last point a Drama about God’s Love was performed on stage, and the students did absolutely amazing! Holly’s gift of not only having a creative vision on dramas, but being able to teach it to students and have them deliver it so powerfully continues to amaze me! Following the Drama Scott gave an alter call which really got a lot of response of people seeking! It was awesome! (I’ll try to have some video of the Drama up soon!)

After the service we hung around a while talking and then Scott, Logan, Emily and I drove back to Atlanta. Scott had a conference he was attending so we brought him back to his hotel. I finally arrive back in my apartment around 2:15am!

All in all it was a fantastic way to spend my Birthday! The Service was awesome! A few staff members from The Basement even joined us for service! I am continuing looking forward to the awesome things that God is going to do through Scott and Holly at Metro Student Ministries!

Thanks for making my B-Day awesome Scott, Holly, Logan, Emily, Kaden (and of course Mom and Dad)

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News in the 1910's

News in the 1910's

I ran across this really cool photo set(s) that the Library of Congress is putting onto Flickr in their pilot program. They have several sets, my favorite of which is “News in the 1910’s” and the description of the set is:

Welcome to the daily news scene from almost a hundred years ago, as photographed by the Bain News Service in about 1910-1912. This selected set of 1,500+ photographs is from a large collection of almost 40,000 glass negatives. The entire collection spans 1900-1920 and richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, and political activities, with a special emphasis on life in New York City.

So go check it out! Some pretty interesting photos and all are free to use for any project! A great resource!

21 Years!

Posted: February 24, 2009 in Misc.
Tags: , ,
blake_old_3

Me

Well today I am turning 21 years of age! Wow time absolutely flies! I am excited to see what the future holds as I finish my college career and start my real career! I have been blessed with an amazing first twenty one years and I look forward to many more!

Ouch!

Ouch!

Thank you first of all to God for giving me an amazingly blessed life and to everyone who has been a vital part to getting me to where I am today: Mom, Dad, Emily, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and of course my amazing Friends!

No matter what the future holds for me, where I go or what I do, know that I will always love and cherish all of you!

And now one of the best Dr. Seuss Stories Ever- Oh the Places You’ll Go

Me

Me

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

Me at Disney

Me at Disney

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

Me

Me

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

—————

Me at the Beach

Me at the Beach

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Brayd
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Go check out the rest of the poem here

Thank you all!

“All our Dreams Come True if we have the Courage to Pursue Them”
-Walt E. Disney

More Disney Pictures

Posted: February 23, 2009 in Disney
Tags:

You can visit all of my Disney Pictures from this weekends trip by visiting these links:

Disney Collection One- Here

Disney Collection Two (Mostly Parade)- Here

Me and Goofy
Me and Goofy

After an eventful day Friday of Resort Hoping, Meetings and Dinner and the California Grill (See Part 1), Saturday was devoted to the Magic Kingdom! This is actually the first time I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom in about two years so it was a welcome visit back into the original Disney theme park. We started off the day around 9:30am by driving to the Magic Kingdom Ticket center where any visitor starts the day. We purchased our tickets and then took the Ferry Boat across Bay Lake to the Magic Kingdom itself!

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

Upon entering the park we were lucky enough to catch the first parade of the day! What better way to start off the day then being greeted by the infamous Disney Characters! After the parade we headed straight down Main Street and into Tomorrowland!

On Thunder Mountain
On Thunder Mountain

Making the most of the Fast Pass Ticket system we got a Fast Pass to Buzz Lightyear and then went to the Laugh Factory. This was my first visit to the Laugh Factory, and it was quite entertaining as well as pretty cool to watch! It is an interactive Computer Generated comedy show that has the famous Monsters Inc. characters on screen interacting with the audience!

Me on Thunder Mountain
Me on Thunder Mountain

After Laugh Factory we rode the Carousel of Progress then back to Buzz Lightyear. I came in first place among my family, pulling from last place to first in the last minute of the ride! Following Buzz Lightyear we headed into Fantasyland. We rode most of the traditional rides in Fantasyland like The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and It’s Small World. We also viewed, personally one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, Philharmagic! This is a must see for anyone visiting the Magic Kingdom. Donald chases Mickey’s Sorcerers Hat through many of the classic Disney Films, all in a 4-D experiance where the characters jump out at you, you feel the wind in your face and the scents of the extravagent feast in Beauty and the Beast fill the theater. Make time to visit this one!

On Splash Mountain
On Splash Mountain

Following Fantasyland we next headed to Fronteirland where we rode Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Not expecting to get wet on Splash Mountain with it being winter, we were extremely surprised when we got off the ride soaked! Thank goodness it was a very nice temperature in Orlando on Saturday!

Afternoon Parade
Afternoon Parade

Next on the list was the after Parade which while waiting for we visited the Country Bear Jamboree! This is a great “oldie” at the park that use to be one of my favorites! The 3:00 parade started and we were right at the beginning of the route! This parade included most of the characters and princesses from all the Classic Disney Movies!

Following the parade we headed to the Jungle Cruise where we were carried on a tour of four of the major rivers of the world!  After Jungle Cruise we rode a couple of more rides as well as grabbed a bite to eat. Then it was time for the Spectromagic Night Parade!

Cinderella
Cinderella

The Spectromagic Night Parade is one of the best of the park! We got a prime spot for the parade directly in front of the Train Depot! We took several photos of the parade, however Emily missed the shot of Cinderella! So as soon as the parade ended in our area (right at the beginning of the route) we took of running to catch up with the Cinderella float and take this picture!

After the parade we got ready for the Wishes Fireworks, this time getting a great spot right in front of the castle! It was absolutely amazing! I’m including a few of the pictures, the first of which is my absolute favorite! I’m using it as my desktop background now, click on it for a larger image!

Wow! Amazing! (Click for Larger)

Wow! Amazing! (Click for Larger)

Wishes!

Wishes!

Awesome!

Awesome!

After the fireworks we headed over to Tomorrowland to try and catch Space Mountain, however it was packed so we took a brief leisurely ride on the Tomorrowland Transit before calling it a night!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and an amazing way to spend my 21st Birthday! I look forward to the road ahead!

Check back later for a link to the complete collection of Photos from the Trip!

“All our Dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them”

Family at the Castle
Family at the Castle

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to travel with my family to Orlando, and of course to the most amazing place on earth, Disney World! Leaving on Thursday afternoon we slowly began to make our way to Orlando by first fighting Atlanta traffic! After an eight hour drive, including a few pit stops, we made it to our hotel and called it a night.

Friday morning we woke up around 8:30am and headed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to see the check out the Animals! This hotel is definitely on my top list for the Walt Disney World Resort, you wake up to views of the “African Savannah” every morning with Giraffes grazing right outside your window!

Inside the T-Rex Resturaunt
Inside the T-Rex Restaurant

After the Animal Kingdom Lodge visit we headed into Downtown Disney for a little shopping, of course visiting the Lego store, and then tried out the new T-Rex Restaurant! I would rate this one high on a themed restaurant scale for the WDW Resort. It has several themed areas, including an ice cave, a rain forest and a volcano fire room! Every few minutes the lights would dim and a meteor shower would hit. I ordered the Flat Bread Chicken Pizza which was quite good, however next time I will leave off the sauce.

Testing out Emily's Camera while waiting on Dinner
Waiting on Dinner

Of course next on my list for the afternoon were the meetings with some Disney Leaders I had scheduled! We went back to the hotel where I changed then I headed over to Disney Casting! The meetings were amazing, as they always are when I am able to visit! I will share more about those as time goes on! My family stayed at the hotel and rested for the long night ahead!

After my meetings I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the remainder of the evening! Our first order of business was to continue our Hotel hoping tour! It is literally a full day adventure to visit the different resorts within Disney, as each one of them have a unique environment! Our first hotel visit for the afternoon was The Wilderness Lodge!

Me at The Wilderness Lodge
Me at The Wilderness Lodge

This one tops my list of resorts to stay at while at Disney! Modeled after the Grand Canyon hotel this is truly a remarkable work of art! Walking in you are literally overtaken by the vastness of the great room! However the outside is what is truly amazing about this resort!

Emily and I looking off The Lodge
Emily and I looking off The Lodge
Grand Floridian Hotel Lobby
Grand Floridian Hotel Lobby

After The Wilderness Lodge we headed to the Contemporary to park, then took the MonoRail to the Polynesian Resort. The Polynesian is also a very cool resort, with beaches and pools that are reminiscent of a Hawaiian Resort. The Polynesian is also home to a few great restaurants including Ohana which I have had the privilege of eating at in the past. After the Polynesian we rode over to the Grand Floridian Resort, which is the “upscale” resort of Walt Disney World. With a very turn of the century atmosphere one is easily taken back to a time of pure luxury! This hotel also houses ‘ and Albert’s, which is a restaurant I will have to try soon (the meals run around $100 per person however!)

castle-wide-california-grill
A View from the California Grill

After the Grand Floridian it was time to head back to the Contemporary Resort to catch the Fireworks from the roof viewing deck and then for our 9:45 reservation at California Grill. We arrived a little early and Emily and I headed outside to the beach area were we tested out her new camera with night reflection shots! They turned out very cool! (Check the second picture above out).

A view from the California Grill
The View

Around 8:30 we headed upstairs to catch the fireworks! If you have not yet seen the fireworks from this angle be sure to make reservations at California Grill to do so! You are perched about 10 stories above the park and have a commanding view of all the Magic Kingdom. They also play the shows music over loud speakers on top of the deck! Warning- This does not take the place of seeing it in front of the castle of if you never have!

The Family at Dinner

The Family at Dinner

After viewing the fireworks it was time for my Birthday Dinner at the California Grill! This is an absolutely amazing restaurant that you must check out if you’ve got time! It is definitely geared more toward adults however, and the price range is at least in the $30’s per person, but it is worth it for the environment and the food! I believe I tasted the most amazing rocky shrimp I have ever had! Unfortunately mom was the one who ordered it so I only got a bite! After the main meal we ordered a dessert and they brought out my Birthday Cake! Of course, being Disney, all the Cast Members who were working “On Stage” knew it was my Birthday!

B-Day Cake

The B-Day Cake

After the meal we called it a night and headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next day at the Magic Kingdom! Check back tomorrow for that part of the story!

All in all it was a great Friday and a great way to start off my Birthday Weekend!

Heading to Disney World

Posted: February 18, 2009 in Misc.

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know I will be off the blogs this weekend until Sunday night as I’m heading down to Orlando! My parents, sister and I are going down to celebrate my 21st Birthday! I have meetings on Friday with some of the Disney Leaders, on Friday night we are eating at the amazing California Grill and watching the fireworks, and then on Saturday we’re heading to the parks! It should make for a wonderful weekend! (My Birthday is next Tuesday by the way, the 24th, gift cards and money can be dropped off at The Torch 🙂

Expect pictures and updates on Sunday Night or Monday!

“All our Dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them”
-Walt E. Disney

For this Top Five post I’m going to move up a decade and rank my top five current TV Shows (Last Top Five about Childhood TV Shows) Now I will go ahead and admit I don’t watch nearly as much Television now as I have in the past, simply because it always seems I am busy, but these are the Top Five I watch now.

Home Edition

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

#5- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Ok, so I know it might sound cheesy but I really like watching this show! I think it’s because of my interest in architecture and design as well as watching them build it for a family that really needs it! The moment they say “Move that Bus” and you see the families faces light up in excitement is always amazing! Check out their site

#4- NCIS

NCIS

NCIS

The cast of this show, in my opinion, sets it far and above the other “Crime Dramas” on television today. The way they all interact and mesh makes for amazing on-screen drama! Things are always fresh in this crime series as well, and they don’t employ the cheap tactics of other Crime Series nearly as often.

Monk

#3- Monk

This was close to coming to the top of the list, however the other two beat it out just slightly. I love the subtle humor of this show! Maybe it’s because I know a person or two who are just like Mr. Monk! It’s always comical, and you would think the making fun of all his oddities would get old, but it never does!

24

24

#2- 24
This is one of those shows you have to sit on the edge of your seat every week, and then be left hanging for another week! 24 Episodes! This is tiring trying to keep up with everything! However it is exciting and quite fun to watch. Word of Advice- Don’t miss an episode if you plan to watch this series!

The Office

The Office

#1- The Office
This show has taken the spot for #1 in my book! It is one of the most well written, humorous shows on television! I could, and often do, sit around and watch several episodes of this show in a row! My Dad and I will sit around sometimes and watch the same episode two or three times in a row! If you haven’t started watching this show, make plans to!

So what are your Top Five Current TV Shows?