Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

More fun in the sun

We are loving life here in the Tampa Bay area.

The Children’s Museum…

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The kids wanted to go to the local pool instead of the beach today but the kiddie pool is closed for maintenance until tomorrow, so we explored the town of New Port Richey instead…

Sweet park!

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The park (and town) lies right next to this river…

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It is hot outside and the most adorable cafe and ice creamery was across the street from the park…

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Way too hot. We had to at least hit the beach and cool off before heading home.

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Teeny, tiny hermit crabs cruising along the shallows entertained the kids quite a bit…

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They look pretty cute in action.

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Me and my brood:)

We have been appreciating the swim shirts and saving on sunscreen but the kids started complaining their chest hurt after several days of use. I realized nipple chafing was the issue, just like runners get. Yikes! So no more swim shirts for now. I hope I can get the sunscreen on evenly.

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Slurping the salt water off her fingers and eating sand. Good times!

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Beach, beach and more beach

Now that we are “home” in our home away from home in Florida, we are loving life in the slow lane!

The kids caught a frog and a lizard shortly after we got here.

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Four rooms in this house and the boys still insist on sharing a room. We had to borrow one of the mattresses from another room to lay on the floor in here for Isaac. It has worked out beautifully for Lotus’ naps having a mattress on the floor.

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Anclote River beach just down the road from the house…

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I wish the true size of this orange setting sun would show up through my camera. It was GIGANTIC, unlike the pin-sized thing you see here.

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The Aquarium at the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs. The kids fed sharks and pet sting rays…

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This little turtle was following the kids around the tank like a puppy…

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Lotus pets the turtle…

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Caladesi Island beach, reached by ferry only…

Simon is catching some air in his mouth. We spotted some dolphins on the ride back.

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Such a beautiful beach!

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Ribbons of shells along the beach where the waves have washed up.

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Simon sweeping his hands through the many, many shells…

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Isaac found this giant “fan” shell, also called “pen shell” still inhabited. We snapped a pic and then he placed it back in the water.

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We’ve also gone to Howard Park beach (twice) and Busch Gardens amusement park but I left my camera at home those days. Only five days into our three week stay here and it has been wonderful! I really could live here and go to the beach regularly. The warm salt water is so relaxing:)

Road trip: Day Six


We drove from Nashville, TN to Macon, GA and staying the night in a ghetto (aka dirty, no shower curtain??) but big and cheap hotel.


Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, TN

God told him to build a treehouse and build it he did. He has been building and building and it is claimed to be the “World’s biggest”

It is completely free of charge for anyone to see and it was definitely our favorite stop.

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A super sweet lawn chair swing was the best!

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Can you tell it was my fav?? I made the kids laugh. I think God is telling me I need one of these swings in my back yard.

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This is our last night on the road (until the drive home). Tomorrow we arrive at the little house in Florida where I spent much time visiting my grandparents as I was growing up. The grandparents won’t be there, sadly, but I look forward to spending three weeks showing my children the house, town, beach, amusement parks and RELAXATION. yeah!!!!!!!!!

Road Trip: Day four and five


We drove from Ogalla, NE to Salina, KS and stayed in a hotel.


Prairie Dog Town in Oakley, KS.

This place read like it was going to be an animal freak show. It had a couple unusual animals: two steeds with a fifth leg hanging off their backs, a dwarfed donkey….and that’s it. The rest were a hodge podge of sad looking animals in cages. A box of rattle snakes “sizzling” and the grounds littered with prairie dogs popping in and out of their network of tunnels (don’t trip on a hole!) proved to be a great break from the road for the boys.

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A tiny prairie dog head is peeking out of its burrow. I know, hard to see.

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The gift shop was classic.

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We drove from Salina, KS to Nashville, TN where we stayed in a city hotel.


Bowling in Mt. Vernon, IL.

Watched an episode of Driver, Dine-ins and Dives for Athena’s Greek Family Restaurant in Nashville and then ate there for dinner when we pulled into town. It was indeed yummy!

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Simon sacked out with Nashville, TN city lights in view. Huge lightning going on.

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Road trip: Day three

An addition to Day two activities:

Dinosaur Park in Ogden, UT

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We drove from Lyman, WY to Ogalla, NE, where we “couchsurfed” at a home in the country. It was wonderful! The loud crickets, wide open corn fields, full moon, lack of city lights; all amazing!


Ames Brother’s Pyramid in eastern Wyoming

This place was so random and isolated. No people, clicks of locusts hopping, herd of deer crossing the dirt road in front of our car.

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ROAD TRIP! (Days one and two)

The family and I started our cross-country road trip from Oregon to Florida last Saturday the 10th (Jason’s birthday!) and it has been so much fun. We will be hitting our destination in Florida, for three weeks of rest and relaxation, tomorrow(!!!).

Since we arrived early to a hotel tonight, I finally have time to sit down and update the blog on our activities the last six days. Bear with me, since I don’t have photoshop I’m not doing any cropping or dust spot removal (old camera, badly needing a cleaning).

(each day will be a new post because pics are going in SLOW on this laptop on hotel wireless.)


We drove from home to Boise, ID, where we (tent) camped for the night.

Activity: None


We drove from Boise, ID to Lyman, WY, where we tent camped at a KOA for the night.

Activity: Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, ID (I almost typed Twin Peaks, ha!)

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Every year at this time…

I appreciate my kids are NOT starting back to school. We are free…free…FREE! They can continue to listen to their own body’s needs for sleep, food, running, playing, getting up, sitting down, using the bathroom, socializing, not socializing, going outside, staying inside. FREE!!!!

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In three more days we are off on a five week adventure around the US. We are so excited!

just ‘cuz

Isn’t my Lotus the sweetest?! She’s speed crawling everywhere now.


Jason built us a paver path

The path was started in June (when the grass was still green) and Jason has worked on it over a couple free weekends. It’s finally finished!

Clearing the dirt and many, many roots: the hardest part of the job, Jason declared.

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Jason “screeding” the sand layer with two pipes and a board.

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All done! And enough sand leftover for a small sandbox.

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The camping equipment got a good test run before our big road trip next month.

Look! The kids aren’t buried in camping gear now that we have the roof rack storage container! Yay!

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We hung out with the Beech bunch and it was a great park for kids to run around in: Play structure, pool, arcade and a full size fire truck they were allowed to climb on, in and around. I saw Simon standing on the TOP of the cab to get a basketball into the basket.

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Lotus’ first time tent camping since we re-homed the RV and she had fun. She woke up in the sea of family with a big grin on her face:D

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