Here's a more recent version of the Canon Powershot S3 IS which I still keep as a backup camera. READ REVIEW
Long Zoom Range with digital add-on Smaller than an SLR, Image Stabilization. FULL AUTO mode, but you can also use manual settings.
This is the third Powershot IS I've owned. I now have a Nikon D5000 SLR with 2 lenses. But from your description, I'd recommend you check out the Powershot by Canon.
I'd be happy to lend it to you for a few weeks, if you want to try it out, Kathleen.