Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Key West Pictures

Key West Picture time!!! We took about 1900 pictures during our vacation, so of course this is only a small sampling. It's hard to choose which pics to post because there are so many great shots.

One of my favorite places, Gatorland!!!

It was pretty cold that day, and kind of rainy. We didn't stay as long as we would have on a nicer day, but it was still a good time. It's one of my favorite touristy places, so I'm sure we'll go back someday. There's a gator in that pen, but I guess you can't really see it. Sorry.

I took this picture from the car. The scenery is so beautiful, I think it would be hard to take a bad picture.

Pelicans!!!! That was one of the best things about the Keys, so many pelicans.

On Reese's birthday, she wanted to go to the Butterfly House. So we did. If a butterfly lands on you, it's good luck. Eli got one, and so did I. Nothing wrong with a little luck, huh?

I wanted to go see Ernest Hemmingway's house both because he's a famous author and because his house is home to about 50 cats. Reese wanted to go with me. There were cats everywhere, sleeping in bushes, wandering the grounds, eating out of the many catfood bowls. We found these guys on a bed in the master bedroom. Yes, the cats can sleep on the antique furniture. They can do whatever they want.

Me and my babies. That day we were hanging out near Mallory Square with the plan to stay until sunset. I can't remember if we did that day or not.

The day we did hang out on Mallory Square for the sunset, we got to see the Catman, Dominique, and his cat show for cat people. Yes, that cat jumped through the hoops of fire. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me, and I'm glad we got to see it.

One of the days we went to the Key West Aquarium. They have several sea turtles, and lots of other sea creatures. We got to watch the sea turtles and sharks being fed. Good times.

Christmas Picture with Christmas clothes on the beach! Yes, I made my children put on their nice clothes and made everyone go to the beach for pictures.

On the way home, we stopped at this beach to have some lunch and wander. It was windy and chilly.

So yeah, parts of our vacation. I'd definitely go to the Keys again. There is just so much to see and do, and it's very kid friendly. I think I'd like to go in the summer when it's warm and do some snorkeling.
I'm glad to be home though. :)

And...vacation is over.

Yes, we're back from our trip to the Florida Keys. I'll post pics as soon as I know where exactly they are, and if they have been uploaded or not to this computer. Eric is the photo guru.

Anyway, it was awesome good fun, being on vacation. We saw so many things. My favorites included Gatorland, the glass bottom boat ride, and the Key West Aquarium. I liked the Hemmingway House too, with all the cats. And the Catman on Mallory Square at sunset.

But it's awesome to be home too, although the house is trashed right now, littered with vacation bags and Christmas items. I have a feeling I'll be working on it for the next few days.

I'm also working on our homeschooling plan for the next handful of months. I'll talk more about it when I get my act together.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

And...we're off!!!

It's vacation time, baby, it's vacation time!

We're off to the Florida Keys, with a stop in Orlando to visit Gatorland. Whoooohooooooo!!!!!

I'm not sure how much posting there will be until we get back, so everyone have a fantastic Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Aren't these pretty?

They're vegan too.

These are Reese's birthday cupcakes. We'll be taking them to share with our homeschool friends tomorrow. Reese is very excited, of course.

And because we'll be on vacation during Reese's real birthday, she got to open some gifts already, including the gift from Eric and me. She got...A SEWING MACHINE!!!!!!! I'm probably way more excited about it than she is, haha. I think she's pretty happy though. It's nothing fancy, just an old singer, but a good starter machine for a 6 year old.

Six years old. That's crazy. I've learned so much since I found out I was pregnant with my Reese. I hope to learn a whole lot more in years to come as well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Busy, Busy!

Cleaning the house: I can tell we're not outside as much because the house is trashed every day. I suppose folding the laundry would help too.

Making the cookies: We already did this, but we're going to have to make more. Christmas cookies are just too darn tasty. I don't mind...It's a good project for the kids despite the mess. I've always enjoyed making cookies around this time of year. I remember the good old days (aka before kids) when I'd make half a dozen different kinds of cookies. Ah well. It's fun to do the sugar cookies.

Getting gifts ready to be mailed: Ugh. The post office is a zoo. Reese and I were there yesterday and the line was almost out the door. Tis the season! I think we will be able to ship two large flat rate boxes, one to my parents and one to Eric's parents with all the gifts. That will help streamline things. I'm excited about the gifties though!

Homeschooling: What?? I'm supposed to be educating these kids as well as picking up after them?? Haha, just kidding. In math we've been hitting the math facts pretty hard, lots of games and some paper/pencil practice. I'd forgotten how boring math facts can be, so we're trying to keep it fun but also emphasizing that it's something Reese needs to learn. Eli had definitely improved with counting and we're working on number recognition. I decided that since we're going to school year round, it's not imperative to rush through the basics of math.

Reese is reading up a storm, which is really fun. I'm so glad that reading is coming easily to her. And I'm also glad the library has so many easy reader books. She's pretty much done with her phonics program, aside from maybe doing some review. We'll continue to work on word families.

One of the things I've been pondering is what to do from here. There are so many options, ranging from buying a curriculum to just going it alone. I found a curriculum online that I'm super impressed with called Ambleside Online. It's challenging reading, classical reading, and goes through high school. It's the first reading curriculum that I've been really excited about. Now that Reese has a handle on the basics of reading, I think we might try to start Ambleside this winter, probably in January. One of the things I've been busy doing is making a book list, seeing what we can get from the library and what we can find online and what we'll need to purchase. Yay curriculum!

So yeah, we're freaking busy. It's great though, we're seeing friends and still exploring this part of the world. I miss Appleton (and the people who go with it), but I'm so glad we landed here in Georgia.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cookies!!!

Oh yeah. Frosting homemade sugar cookies. Good times. And even more fun with kids who can help. Also completed this weekend were a bunch of dipped pretzels and some ginger cookies. I don't think the ginger cookies will make it until Christmas though, they're just too good. If I have time before we leave, I'll bake another batch.
Over the weekend we also visited with Santa. Our apartment community held a Christmas party with cookie decorating and Santa. The kids had a good time, shared their lists with Santa, and played with some friends.
I'm getting Christmas sewing done, slowly. Tonight I worked on a skirt for Reese until the ruffles made me too crazy. I'll try again tomorrow. Mostly I need to deal with wrapping and shipping gifts now. Tis the season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Well, look at this!

That's right, I'm a winner! Actually, everyone who submits their 50,000 word novel on the NaNoWriMo site is considered a winner. But I did it! Novel written, 50,000+ words (about 300 plus, if you wanted to know), in 28 days. Most days it wasn't too awful. I enjoy writing. Some days, like the days when I had to write 3,000 words because I skipped a day, those were tough. Sometimes the plot didn't move, or it seemed boring, and I just had to keep in mind that NaNoWriMo is about quantity, not quality.
I hope I can get some other people to write with me next year. I hope I have a story idea for next year. I'm glad I signed up for NaNoWriMo, I'm glad I stuck with it. It helped me get out of my junk writing funk, at least for a month.
Many people have asked if I'll be sharing the novel I wrote. It's not very good, people. Really. It's lame. I'm not sure that I like the characters all that much. There's a LOT wrong with it. It's been a really long time since I did much character development or even any fiction writing. So I guess I'm still deciding about the sharing part. Maybe someday. Maybe never.
Now that NaNoWriMo is done, and I've taken a few days to NOT write much of anything, I think I'll be back to blogging regularly again.