Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a great weekend!

It's been a great weekend. Friday evening we had a fantastic thunderstorm right around dinner time. We've been getting evening showers that come with little notice. As soon as we have one or two rain drops plop down, it's time to run inside because the sky is going to open up and pour buckets of rain! When it's not raining, the sunshine is fantastic! Keith and I joke that we keep the kids outside as much as possible to make up for all of the Vitamin D we missed out on living in Alaska for 5 years. Keith taught Joshua how to ride his bike with no training wheels. Joshua is lightening fast now! Keith is now working on the other kids. His technique is to remove both the training wheels and the pedals, to have the bike function more as a balance bike first. Then once the kids get good at balancing, he'll put the pedals back on.
This one is of Megan at the front door with her bike. She's hot and sweaty and wanted to come in side.

Here's a shot of Daniel in his Sabbath School classroom. His shirt was perfect for last month's lesson of Joseph and the coat of many colors. This next coming month is my turn to teach and I'm quite nervous. I'm sure it will be tons of fun, I love the 3 year old age group. This week we're going to go scrub down the classroom and get it decorated for next month's lesson. Next month is Joash the boy king.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Megan's room - updated

After cleaning out Daniel's room, it was time to tackle Megan's room again. She's a bit of a packrat (a gene which she inherited from her father). Her room looks right across the hallway to Joshua's room.

Before moving things around, her bed was right in the middle of the room, which didn't give her much room to play in her room. Now she's got plenty of room to spread out.

Daniel's room

At Target this weekend, we got Daniel a rocketship that mounts on the wall and stores stuffed animals. When I went to hang it in his room, I had to send him searching under his bed for his favorite animals. When then as piles and piles of things started coming out from under the bed, a huge room-cleaning extravaganza began. The result is a nice clean room.
His room overlooks the pool. He actually keeps his room pretty clean. Last month, I moved quite a few of his toys out of his room and sent them off to the church thrift store. Now he's just down to the few things he actually plays with.

Father's Day Fun!

For Father's Day, we all met up with Grandma and Grandpa and went to Mimi's Cafe for breakfast. It was super-yummy. The kids really enjoyed it. As usual, Daniel was really into the lettuce. Keith has been really into gardening and growing things. We went to Ruben and Shirley's house on Friday night and Ruben was showing Keith all the things growing in the garden. Keith planted an avocado seed in this container months ago. It is really getting big. (Pay no attention to the coloring sheet on the kitchen table - we've got a house full of artists!)
Last week we saw a comercial for the Topsy Turvy upside down planter and Keith said he really wanted it. When we are at Target with Grandma and Grandpa, we picked one up, along with a tomato plant to try it out.

We have Joshua on leaf-watch. Right now, the leaves are facing the ground because the plant is upside down, we are waiting to see how many days it takes for the leaves to turn themselves over to be "face up" to the sun.

Fantasy of Flight

Grandpa, Keith and the kids went to Fantasy of Flight in Polk City. I can see how this place is ranked one of the best kept secrets in Florida. From the pictures and the exciting stories - it looks like a great time was had by everyone!
I'm not quite sure who the pilot and co-pilot are.

Aren't they cute? How fun to be able to sit in the cockpit of some of the planes!

I love that Megan is semi-striking a pose and Daniel looks less than thrilled. I heard there were some parts that he wasn't crazy about.

Joshua flying.

The crew out for a fun-filled day!

From what Keith explains to me, when everyone walks through this plane, the "windows" are playing a video to make it look like the plane is actually flying through the air. Daniel was not happy and kept saying, "Dad, get me out of here".

Everyone had a great time looking at all sorts of planes, then having a picnic lunch. Keith forgot the camera, so fortunately Grandpa had Grandma's camera with him and managed to snap some pictures for me. Blogging is starting to become a family affair!

Joshua's Vacation to Palm Island Resort

Joshua went on vacation last month to Palm Island Resort with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma and Grandpa have been vacationing at Palm Island for many years. Keith and I went there on our honeymoon. The resort is beautiful.

Blue skies, palm trees, clear pools...what's not to love?

Joshua's such a cool dude. He was quite proud of himself, going on a big trip without any of the other kids.

He had a great time at the beach.

Joshua really enjoyed fishing with Grandpa. Joshua keeps his fishing pole in his bedroom, and is ready for the next fishing trip.

He's looking a little uncertain about the parrot.

I had to get a picture of Grandma in here somehow, since she put so much work into the trip. So here she is in the kitchen (as usual). Joshua came home bragging about all sorts of yummy things he had to eat while at Palm Island.

Summertime is in full swing around here

A huge thanks to Grandpa for sharing these pictures with me.

Summertime is definitely in full swing around here. Today it was hot, hot, hot. The radio today said it felt like 110 degrees outside today. Yikes! My car dash registered at 104 degrees and that was parked in the shade.

Here is a shot of beautiful Megan playing outside.

And one of Joshua enjoying some ice cold water. Notice the pink cheeks on both of them. We're making up for all of that Vitamin D we missed out on while up in Alaska.

The hang-out of choice these days seems to be Firehouse Subs. The kids are crazy about the decor and the free fireman hats.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Family Date Night

Last weekend, we had Family Date Night at the Orlando Science Center and then Steak and Shake. The OSC was showing laser shows in the Cinedome. The kids were rocking to songs like "In the Jungle" and "Yellow Submarine" during laser show. All the kids really enjoyed it. I think this is the first time Daniel has stayed awake during an entire show in the Cinedome - usually he falls asleep as soon as the lights dim.

In the waiting area at the Cinedome, there were jellyfish hanging from the ceiling to promote the new underwater movie coming next month.
After the movie, it was nearly 7:30pm and we hadn't eaten dinner yet, so we zipped up to Steak and Shake, where kids eat free on the weekends - whoo hoo!!

The kids had a blast! We even ate dessert - ice cream for those than can have it, and cookies for those of us that can't. Everyone left happy.

Crane's Roost Park

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I went for a walk around the park. We always have to stop at the fountain to play with the water. By the time she was finished playing, Megan was soaked.
They were reaching into the fountain and putting their hands over the sprayer waiting for the pattern to change and the water to shoot up into their hands. Endless (free) entertainment!

Joshua getting his hand squirted.

After playing with the water, we walked around the loop. Daniel insists on walking it now, so I don't even bother lugging the stroller with me anymore. It's about a mile long, and he manages just fine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Science and Summer Chores

Keith and the kids have been viewing you-tube videos of different acrobatics, juggling acts and science experiments. They learned some number tricks and then tried them out on me when I got home. It was great fun for them to trick me!

We had a chance to talk briefly about animal habitats. Our pool had some tadpoles growing in it last week. Keith scooped them up for the kids to take a closer look. Unfortunately, when I loaded the pool full of chlorine, I killed off the tadpoles, so the ones that Keith fished out did not survive for long.

Our next door neighbor had a family of raccoons that were living up in his eaves. Animal control came out to board up the entry point of the raccoon home and to set out a trap to catch the pesky raccoons. Seems like this guy is wandering around looking for a place to live. Megan will have a unit on animal habitats in the fall as part of her homeschooling curriculum.

I put Joshua to work cleaning the tables and chairs on the back porch. He used a safe cleaner and scrubbed away! He isn't crazy about cleaning his room, but once I give him any other chore, he completes it with gusto!

Megan told me she was bored and wanted a job, too. I gave her the dreadful job of sorting all the socks. I'm pretty sure she'll never ever tell me that she's bored ever again!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Busy Busy Weekend

Last week was a short work-week, having celebrated Memorial Day on Monday with the day off of work. Then on Thursday night while talking to Mom it occurred to me that there were quite a few things she needed help with given the fact that she's handling everything with Bill and the Hospice nurses all by herself. So, Thursday night, Megan and I went over to Daytona to help sort through stuff in the mobile home. We got back Friday evening, just in time for Keith to leave for duty over in Clearwater. Bummer. This "ships passing in the night" type lifestyle is really getting exhausting for everyone involved.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around, Megan was weepy and cranky, and I was still way behind on unpacking the mini-van of all the stuff I brought back from Mom's house. Not to mention that our pool had bloomed so badly with mustard algae, that I needed to really spend some time tending to it. We actually had tadpoles swimming in our "swamp".

Ordinarily, we are at church bright and early on Saturday morning - but for the past couple of weeks we just haven't been able to make it out the door, so we've been streaming the service on-line. I have some mixed feelings about streaming the service, since I really feel as though we must be physically present in church weekly. However, the irony here is that the kids were just glued to the laptop watching the service. There was no wiggling, giggling or climbing on my lap. Wow, it was actually enjoyable. (Not that physically attending church isn't enjoyable!!). However, I have now created a monster. This past week none of the kids were sick, yet Megan was weepy (she's been having frequent nose bleeds again) and came out of her room carrying her church dress and announcing that she was staying in her pajamas so that we could just "call church on the computer". I had to agree that I was exhausted and aching from sleeping on my mom's couch Thursday night, so the thought of just being home sounded really good to me. We read some stories, listened to some music and cooked up a big delicious breakfast.
Backing up to Thursday night and Friday - Megan and I had a great time visiting with Nana and Bill. Bill is a ton of fun to be around and he and Megan really seemed to enjoy hanging out. Mom and I worked on the funeral pre-arrangements so that there will be less for her to do when the time comes. The Hospice nurse has really laid things out nicely for us.

Megan and Bill hanging out. They enjoyed pancakes for breakfast at Denny's. Then Bill decided that he needed to look underneath the mini-van to see if his hitch that he's not using would fit on my mini-van. (The dent is old from sliding off the road into a ditch up in Kodiak. I promise, I'll get it fixed one of these days, it just keeps moving way down the priorities list.)

Nothing gets the neighbors talking quite like a terminally ill man on the ground in his driveway.
Daddy made it back home on Sunday morning. Not a moment too soon, either, as I was really ready for a nap or at least some form of peace and quiet. I could feel the weight of the world leave my shoulders when I saw him walking up to the front door. Keith brought home some of his things from the apartment in Clearwater. Daniel helped bring the stuff in.
Here he is saying, "can I play your guitar?".

And then there's the surprise that it really is a tennis racket! So his next question was "are we going to play the wii?".