Sunday, May 13, 2012

Warning: serious bragging ahead!

I have to say that when people learn that Keith is the stay-at-home parent and I am the full time worker, we get some funny looks.  Really, I think the situation is pretty darn fantastic, and the kids LOVE having daddy around full time compared to just a few years ago.  Our schedule is hectic, and if we didn't have a stay at home parent coordinating our craziness, we'd really be in trouble.  Truthfully, there's nobody that says that kids need to be involved in this, that and the other, but we enjoy seeking out opportunities to make new friends and most importantly, being involved when there are school events.  

This past week, Keith was up at the school for two different meetings.  On Tuesday, Joshua was tested for the Gifted Program at school.  We needed to have a parent present and even if I didn't have to work that day, I think it's awesome for Joshua to have Keith accompany him to testing.  The school counselor, Joshua's teacher, Keith and Joshua all met together to discuss the merits of the Gifted Program and to move forward with testing Josh.  Apparently, Joshua scored pretty darn high.  

Thursday, Keith returned to FCE for the 2nd Grade Reading Celebration.  The celebration was held as a BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) family pic-nic.  We didn't pack Megan a lunch that day, and so she was nearly moved to tears when she saw her awesome Daddy show up with a quilt thrown over his arm and a pic-nic basket full of goodies.  She is such  Daddy's Girl! 

 As you can see, inside the basket was Chic-Fil-A!  Megan came home with samples of her writing...she's so creative and loves to write stories.

 While at the school, Keith got to go inside her classroom and look at what the kids are learning.  Here is an outline of Megan's body and some bones and organs.  I'm very impressed!

 Our Lilly-girl had a large lump on one of her hind legs.  On Friday, Keith took her in to get it looked at.  Our awesome vet did an Incision and Drainage of the wound and sutured it back up.  Friday night, into Saturday morning, Lilly was feeling pretty yucky from the anesthesia.  We stayed home from church and all piled into Keith and I's bed with the dog to read some books together.  It was such a great morning!

Other things that happened this week...
Monday I registered the kids for the Altamonte Springs swim team.  I figured we could handle the once-a-week Friday morning practice and occasional week-night swim-meet.

Wednesday night, we met the Figueroa Family for dinner at Bonefish Grill to celebrate Juan's birthday.  It was early enough to be casual and to be home  before bedtime.  I had never eaten there before.  It was super-yummy.

Backing all the way up to last Sunday...Keith had a guys-day-out with some friends while the kids and I went to Uptown Altamonte for a Fun Fest.  We saw so many awesome things and ran into a few friends there, too.

 The kids got to climb in different police vehicles from local law enforcement departments as well as the Sheriff's department.

 Of course, there were bouncy houses galore!

 We ran into a Storm Trooper (Joshua just corrected me and told me he is a Sand Trooper).  I think Megan's not in this picture because she was talking to an officer friend from our church.   The kids also competed in some games from Radio Disney and climbed a large rock wall.  There were a few tables set up for summer activity registrations for some local day-camps.  I checked them all out and was saddened to see that one of the dance studios that I had considered enrolling Megan in was a little too over-the-top for my comfort zone.  The young girls all were wearing heavy stage make-up and artificial hair pieces.  At the risk of sounding too opinionated, I don't find that pressure to appear unnaturally beautiful to be at all appropriate for this age group, or even any age group.  In the end, I'm glad we choose to go with cheer leading - which I was sure it was just as bad as the dance studio - but after meeting with one of the parents that is heavily involved, I am really impressed with the stress being on sportsmanship and nail polish, make-up, or jewelry allowed.  Megan will start cheer practice in August, and cheer for pop-warner games in the fall.

 Megan and her book she choose to do her book report on.  I think it's an excellent topic, but I can see how I might be a little biased.

 With as much as we are on the go, I really love that by the time I get home from work at night, and even during my days off - all the craziness has already been taken care of, and I can just relax and hang out with the family.  I will say that this week, I've felt more relaxed than I have in months.

At least my math book has a sense of humor.  I get most of my studying done when I'm off work during the day and the kids are at school.  I'll have to work on a different plan for time management in a few weeks when they are out for the summer.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Legoland Florida with 5 Kids Ages 9 and Under - Whew!!

Last fall, I won 8 tickets to Legoland Florida.  It seems as though life has moved in fast forward from that time until now, and now that things are getting back to normal around here, it was time to have some fun.   Pam (my younger sister) and Bruce and their boys - Aidan and Austin were thrilled to join us at the park for a day of fun.

 The kids were amazed at the entrance and all of the fun things that we saw on our way into the park.

 Everything was made out of Legos!  So fun!!  This thing even squirted some water every few minutes.

 All of the kids would run from one little Lego man to the next - and these little men/women talked!

 I couldn't get anyone to go up in the big circle with me.  Not even my fearless Megan, who insisted in riding most of the roller coasters.

 Oh boy...Star Wars Legos!  That's one tall Darth Vader!

 Moving further into the park, we rode the double-decker carousel on Lego horses.  Then we walked over to the Lego displays where various cities were created out of Legos.  The details were amazing!

The Daytona Speedway

People in the stands at the Daytona Speedway

Some of the displays were interactive.  In the picture above, the kids were racing cars. 


The boys loved all the cars!  So fun! 

St. Augustine

Daniel loved the pirates display.  There were so many details to check out.  The cannons were firing, and you could hear the pirates yelling to each other. 

Sword fighting pirates

Megan liked the cat lady with the curlers in her hair!

Washington, D.C.

This is really part of the Vegas area, but the kids were excited because we had just read about the pyramids being built and a story about the Sphinx.

Moving on to some rides...

The kids riding the jousting ride.  There were no lines at most of the rides. 

As usual, Daniel is my riding buddy.

One of my favorite parts about the park was that the rides are so kid-friendly, that I didn't have to ride all of the rides with the kids.  

Joshua and Aidan getting ready to drive through the Lego safari.

Lego Einstein and Joshua

The park is located where the old Cypress Gardens park used to be.  It was too close to the time for the ski show, so we didn't walk through the gardens part of the park. 

Eating lunch...the only bummer of our trip was that there wasn't  convenient indoor /air conditioned  dining. 

Megan and the beautiful Cypress Gardens girl.  I can remember going to Cypress Gardens and seeing all of the beautiful ladies in their hoop dresses walking around. 

Lego Batman and Robin.  The boys were pretending to be fighting with them. 

Megan pretending to dance with Robin.  

How is it that we managed to find the video games.  We hung out in here for just a little while to soak up some cool air. 

Waiting on the steps for the ski show.

The pirates ski was awesome!

How do they manage to ski with these bulky costumes on?  It was awesome to watch. 

Don't let the picture fool  you...Megan was the only one from my crew that went on this ride.  It wasn't a real roller coaster, but it was pretty high off the ground with a few twirls and dips.  

Daniel and the octopus outside our favorite ride.  We loved the yellow submarine ride.  Megan was too short to ride this ride by herself, and we ran out of adults to ride with her, so one of the Legoland employees rode with her (I could see them the whole time).  I thought that was so nice, I could hear them both giggling and squealing when the water was squirting them. 

Loving all the recycled stuff in the park!

Joshua and Aidan driving the boat.  I thought it would be on some sort of track keeping them moving in the right direction, but no...they had full steering control and managed to turn themselves around once.  

Pam was super brave and rode with Megan, letting Megan drive.  They also managed to steer into a wall.  

Bruce and Austin.  

Daniel karate chopping "jaws" for eating his brother. 

Team mates Aidan and Joshua.

Whew..this was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.  Daniel is not the best partner for this game,  but his enthusiasm makes up for his lack of muscle!

 Then the kids got their driver's license pictures taken and a safety briefing before being sent out to drive in the community. 

They are driving following the rules of the road.  Again, there are very few restrictions, but the cars go very slow.  The kids were so excited to be able to "drive for real". 

Pam bought me a new hat.  I love it.

It was such a fun day!!