Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to the beach...

This morning, (after Brian's SPECTACULAR breakfast) we went to a "new" beach.
Just a few miles from where we were there was a beach you could drive your car on.

So we packed up the kids, the cooler, the beach bag and off we went.
The boys try their hand at fishing - - came up empty.
The kids did some surfing.
Then some sand art :-)

And finally...we attempted to make a sand castle - but that was quickly thwarted when...

Brian started a SAND FIGHT!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

At the beach....

From the picture below you can't really tell that the beach house we were staying at had a private path and it was a mere 2 minute walk from our door step to our first step in the ocean.

Ahh, it was really something!!

Well something else we didn't know was that we were a mere 15 minutes (drive) from our friends Bill and Catherine and their daughters!!

Once we made this discovery (thank you GPS) we crashed their house unexpectedly and stole their oldest daughter for a sleepover. It was FANTASTIC!!!

They came over this afternoon for a little BBQ and swim in the ocean. Between us all we had 17 bathing suits. However, we all thought it would be SO much more fun to swim in OUR CLOTHES!!!

Take a look :-)


Today, like all days past on this vacation Brian made a full blown breakfast buffet. Oh, how I love vacation and much appreciated break from cooking!!

After breakfast we headed to Marineland. Where we got to touch and feed Nellie. Nellie is a world famous dolphin. She is the oldest to ever live in human care. Nellie was born at the center and she is now in her 50's.

It was a special treat to meet and greet such a celebrity but she was quite fragile and well...blind. We were given instructions to throw the fish directly into her mouth. The kids and Brian managed to accomplish this task. I however failed MISERABLY and the poor old blind dolphin had to go swimming to find her food. :-(

When it was time for the rub down we were able to rub her belly, her back, her tail everything BUT THE EYES. Somehow I missed that memo too and poked the poor old blind dolphin in the eyes and had to be "reminded" by a trainer. I was mortified to say the least!!!

All and all though it was quite the experience. :-) Sorry no pics - cameras were not aloud.

I do have this one of the kids being gobbled by a shark though.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fort Matanzas

Today we made our way to Fort Matanzas.

Before you get to see the pictures you have to first have your history lessons on the fort:

"the story of Fort Matanzas has been closely intertwined with that of the city of St. Augustine. Located fourteen miles north of Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos serve as outstanding reminders of the might of the early Spanish empire in the New World.

The area of the Matanzas inlet, now preserved within the park boundaries, was the scene of crucial events in Spanish colonial history. The massacre of French soldiers here in 1565 was Spain's opening move in establishing a colony in Florida. Later, the construction of Fort Matanzas in 1740-1742 was Spain's last effort to ward off British encroachments from the north.
Fort Matanzas represents a very well-preserved masonry watchtower fort built by the Spanish from 1740 to 1742. The tall tower provided a perch to observe vessels approaching St. Augustine from the south, and the cannon blocked potential enemy advancements up the Matanzas River, the backdoor to St. Augustine.

The Massacre at Matanzas In 1565, almost 175 years before construction began on Fort Matanzas, another story was played out at the Matanzas Inlet--the massacre of the French Huguenots. A large French force under Jean Ribault had left their settlement of Fort Caroline in Spanish-claimed territory near present-day Jacksonville to attack the Spanish at their new settlement of St. Augustine (San Agustin). A storm shipwrecked the French fleet farther south. When the Spanish discovered the French on the beach, they ordered them to surrender, give up their Protestant faith, and accept Catholicism. Being without weapons or food, they did surrender, but renounce their faith they refused to do. So the Spanish massacred nearly 250 Frenchmen as trespassers and heretics near the inlet which was then appropriately named "Matanzas", the Spanish word for massacre. This confrontation began 235 years of Spanish control in Florida. "

The fort was quite spectacular complete with men dressed up in Spanish military attire retelling the history of the fort.

A real treat if you are ever in St. Augustine. AND ITS FREE!!!

Ok so here are the pics:

We took this ferry from the dock over to the fort. The boat ride was about 5 minutes. Of course
the kids LOVED IT!

This was the fort - it has 3 levels and was set up as "real time" for the soldiers. The short beds, the rough blankets, the kettle hanging in the fire place for stew...Very Authentic!

These aren't great shots but I think you get the picture. The kids are climbing a narrow ladder through a narrow opening to get to the look out tower. I was scared senseless and the kids were just plain SENSELESS! They went up and down about a 100 times!!

These are the men playing the part of the Spanish military.

And as if the fort wasn't enough this place has UNBELIEVABLE trees and walking trails.

It was undoubtedly a GREAT DAY and a place we will be sure visit again!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hammock Point

Our family was blessed beyond words by a friend this Spring Break!!

Our friend Ken owns a beautiful beach house just South of St. Augustine. The house is SPECTACULAR! It's a 3 bedroom 2 bath house on stilts with a wrap around balcony over looking the ocean.

It was AMAZING!!!

Here is a picture of the view I enjoyed every morning while sipping my coffee.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dinner with Paul

We learned earlier this week (Monday 3/23) that Paul our dear family friend and Brian's' long time mentor was terminally ill.

He was recently diagnosed with cancer and his prognosis is grim.

Brian suggested we start our vacation a day early so we could see Paul and so Paul could see the kids.

What a great time we had this evening!

When we got there tonight, Paul looked good. Tired and thin and still smoking like a chimney but he looked good.

Karen showed the kids the lay of the land including the horses which they were thrilled to feed and pet.

At dinner, Paul was his normal honory self. I was indecisive about what I wanted for dinner and Paul said "c'mon we don't have all day".

And then when he was stirring the sugar into his tea he spilt a few ice cubes. Like typical Paul he swept them across the table hitting none other than our waitress.

That is Paul. He can say and do things no one else can and still EVERYONE loves him.

It was refreshing and comforting to see the old Paul come out.

What a blessing it was to spend time with him and Karen tonight.

Mommies In Training....

Pancakes and eggs anyone?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where do babies come from???

This post is dedicated to our friends Dave & Amy.

Amy recently posted on Facebook that she was "expecting".

Brian happened to be walking by as I read her post and so naturally I shared this great news with him.

Little did I know that would lead to a big huge Father/Son conversation between Ethan and Brian.

Here's a recap:

Ethan: Aiden's and Drew's mommy has a baby in her tummy?
Mom: Yep, isn't that exciting?
Ethan: Are they happy or sad?
Mom: Happy of course Ethan, this is great news news.
Ethan: But now she can't eat...
Mom: Sure she can honey
Ethan: But what if the food gets all over the baby?
Mom: Oh baby, can you talk to daddy about this - I need to upload these pictures.

*The rest of the story is from Brian and Ethan...

Ethan: Daddy how will the baby come out of Ms. Amy?
Daddy: She'll push it out
Ethan: Like she'll go poop?
Daddy: (laughing hysterically) No Ethan, she'll get some really bad pains and she'll push from her tummy and it will come out.
Ethan: but how?
Daddy: (completely mortified) from her vagina.
Ethan: (completely serious) and then they'll take it out of the toilet?
Daddy: (trying hard NOT to loose it). Oh no Ethan, Ms. Amy and Mr. Dave will go to the hospital and a doctor will help them deliver the baby.
Ethan: So when Ms. Amy pushes really hard does the baby pop out and go flying through the air?
Daddy: No, the doctor will lay Ms. Amy down and help the baby come out. After that he will give the baby to Ms. Amy to hold.
Ethan: Oh (leaves room)
Ethan: (enters the office where I am) Mom, I know how Ms. Amy's baby is going to come out of her. Then he proceeds to tell me the above story.

Dave and Amy we are SO excited for you and your growing family but we could have done with out the sex ed talk here. :-)

I don't like.... get up early! get dressed! go to school EVER! NEVER!
...any of my shoes! have my hair done EVER! NEVER!
...anybody at my school!! EVER! NEVER!

This was the heart of my sweet Madison this morning. CRANKY! We've all had those morning we we just don't want to get up and we especially don't want to get out.

It was a tough morning to say the least.

I just held my sweet baby, dried her pretty face and whispered tender prayers of encouragement in her little ears.

What a blessing it was to see her cranky sad spirit transform into a happy spunky little girl ready to head off to school and tackle her day.

Thank you Jesus!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What my kids really think...

My friend Heidi tagged me on Facebook and I thought I'd share "what my kids really think" with all of you.

My kids are...
Sadie 6
Ethan 6
Madison 5

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Sadie: You're a crazy cat
Ethan: "I love you"
Madison: please

2. What makes mom happy?
Sadie: reading
Ethan: when I say I love you
Madison: Smiles

3. What makes mom sad?
Sadie: not snuggling
Ethan: when I don't give my love to you.
Madison: crying

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Sadie: when you tickle me
Ethan: when you be funny
Madison: when you tickle me

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Sadie: princessy
Ethan: I don't know
Madison: like Ethan, Sadie and Madison

6. How old is your mom?
Sadie: 13
Ethan: 89 (ouch!)
Madison 13

7. How tall is your mom?
Sadie: 42 inches
Ethan: 45 feet
Madison: This big - I can touch your nose :-)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Sadie: drink coffee
Ethan: be with me
Madison: computer

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Sadie: go on the computer
Ethan: clean the house
Madison: sleep

10. What is your mom really good at?
Sadie: making cards
Ethan: making cards
Madison: work

2. What is your mom not good at?
Sadie: puzzles
Ethan: building things
Madison: kissing

13.what does your mom do for a job?
Sadie: help clean
Ethan: take care of kids
Madison: yard work

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Sadie: carrots
Ethan: eggs (not exactly!)
Madison: mashed potatos

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
Sadie: that you snuggle with me
Ethan: when you draw pictures.
Madison: that you are happy

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Sadie: Ariel
Ethan: Tom & Jerry
Madison: A pirate

17. what do you and your mom do together?
Sadie: go shopping
Ethan: run
Madison: paint

18. How do you know your mom loves you?
Sadie: because you accpeted Jesus into your heart
Ethan: because you do
Madison: because you always say I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Sadie: He's handsome
Ethan: he takes her on dates
Madison: I don't know

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Sadie: Nana's
Ethan: outback or that place we went yesterday (Lonestar)
Madison: Out to dinner

Be sure to leave a comment if you try this with your kiddos. I'd love to hear what they have to say.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We are the Champions

Whew! What a season....

Nearly undeafeated this season we went up against our toughest competion for 3rd season in a row for the Championship.

And, well, you know what they say about the "3rd time being a charm". It's true.

We were up, then they were up. Then we tied. Then they were up. Then it RAINED...A LOT! The game went on - we were up, then they were up again. It rained harder!! It was the LAST 36 seconds of the game and they were up. Did I mention it was raining - HARD. It was our ball and Dominick ran - the whole field - and scored a touch down. The winning touchdown!!

WE WON! After 3 amazing seasons. The Tigers now hold the #1 title for the season.

What a ride.

Meet the TIGERS! This team really ROCKS!!
Ethan and Dominick

Ethan with Coach K

My boy. Proudly showing off his trophy's.