Thursday, November 24, 2011

a beachy Thanksgiving

 Today we went to check out St. Augustine. It's the oldest European-made city in the Americas, with plenty of interesting things to see. It was fun to wander the pedestrian mall and look at the various old-looking shops.

 Notice the creepy lady in the window... this city also does ghost tours. It's not hard to see why.

 Eating our Thanksgiving lunch of cheese, crackers, yogurt, and juice. :)

 This is the Castillo de San Marcos. We didn't pay to go in, but it was fun to walk around the mote area on the outside.

Chris is  checking out a "hot shot" oven. They put the cannon balls inside before firing them at the ships. I wondered if this is where the term hot shot came from?


Then we headed to Crescent Beach. It was windy, but the kids didn't mind.

 The water wasn't too cold, but the waves were a little crazy.

The day my sister came to visit

 My sister Maryann and her daughter admiring one of our tiny gators!

We took Maryann's family to the museum. This is Ashley's favorite room.
I guess she likes feeling like Fish-Bait

Maryann and Clark wished they could get a pet sloth this big.
Too bad all of the ones this size are extinct.

The kids could have done the fan tube for hours.
The museum had all kinds of objects to put on top of the fan, including microwave dinner trays, cloth, feathers, and paper towel tubes.
They loved seeing what would blow the highest, fastest, or longest.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

this tooth fairy quits

Ashley lost another tooth a few days ago. And the tooth fairy forgot to come. Again.

The first time this happened, she was really upset. But this time she didn't seem phased as she told me, "The tooth fairy didn't come."

Out of curiosity I asked, "Do you really believe a little fairy comes around collecting teeth and leaving money behind?" (Because, hey, if she doesn't believe it, let's not go through this charade!)

She rolled her eyes and said, "I know it's you mom."  (Josh was sitting there and his eyebrows flew up)

I asked, "What about the Easter Bunny? Does he really hop around leaving candy and eggs?"

"No. He's not real."

"What about Santa?"

Very seriously, she said, "Yes. Santa is real."

Then she said I could just give her the money instead of waiting for the night to come around again, since last time I forgot to wake up. So I gave her a hand full of change and we called it good.

Josh said he wanted to take his turn being the tooth fairy next time someone looses a tooth, so I guess I'm off the hook :)


I needed to share some funny things Josh said:

*Today his class had a Thanksgiving meal, dressed like Indians in paper vests and headdresses. He came home excited about his costume and asked if he could wear it without a shirt underneath when he eats real Thanksgiving dinner. I said sure, and he replied, "We'll eat churkey! It will be just like being indians and ... those other guys."

*He keeps telling me all about Santa and the slaves who work for him. I asked what the slaves have to do. He said, "They work for Santa, making toys and stuff." I asked if they get presents too. Apparently Santa's a stingy task-master, because Josh said slaves never get presents, they just make them.

*Today at dinner he explained our life cycle. First people start out as babies. Then they become kids. Then they become humans. Then the human's have babies, who become kids, who become humans, then have more babies. I asked when kids become humans. Just so you know, we all become human when we turn 18. Although sometimes I still don't feel human.
As you can see, josh is not quite human here. Maybe when he turns 18...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Warning: someone's universe is showing

Lately Josh has been saying, "I want that ____ (fill in the blank with something like, cookie, or toy, or computer game...)." And he doesn't stop asking, no matter how many times we say no. And all the asking makes me want to say no even more.

Yesterday he kept up with the "me, me, me" bit, and Chris finally said, "give me, give me! I want, I want! The universe revolves around me!"

Just then, Josh's pants fell down (due to loose elastic waist bands and a skinny waist), and Josh said, "Oh no! My universe is showing!"

I hate when that happens.

Monday, November 7, 2011

snake skins and dung beetles and spiders, oh my!

Ashley's class went on a field trip to Camp Crystal, an educational camp the school district owns. I was able to go and have fun with her all day.

We rode the school bus together. I haven't been on a school bus since 1989. It was quite the experience watching boys put safety pins through the top layer of skin on their hands, and girls giggle and bop each other on the heads.

The counselors divided us into groups, then we got to be scientists and study the hardwood hammock, the lake, and the sand hill.

We found a spider inside a flower.

A snake skin! It was about 8 feet long. I didn't take a picture of it, but we were supposed to look for scat, and we found it :) Ours had a dung beetle making nice little poop balls to feed its babies.

Here is Ashley's scientist-group, excited to explore the flora and fauna around them.

They all went on a hay ride, but Ashley said the driver wasn't very good. She kept going off the road...

We checked out the museum of dead-and-stuffed animals. They had samples of a lot of the animal life you can find around the camp. Ashley said she saw vultures, alligators, fish, bats, deer, owls, and a cougar (go cougars!).

Ashley said her favorite part of the day was the hike. My favorite part was holding her hand the whole time, since she'll be too grown up to hold it in a year or two :)

Friday, November 4, 2011


This afternoon we strolled down the street to watch the UF homecoming parade. Apparently it's one of the nation’s largest homecoming parades, with more than 100,000 spectators packing the streets. The kids even got school off for the parade day! Everything was blue and orange.

Lots of the cars had these gator heads attached to the front or back of them. The little blue car above had a horn that played the UF fight song.

Our favorite part was when the marching band came along. They seemed to go on forever.

Here's a little soundless video of the marching band.
I wish I could have shown how far they were spread up and down the street.

The guy in the photo above was sitting near Ethan and Josh, and he played that banjo and sang songs about gators the entire the style of the Soggy Bottom Boys.
He even let the boys play the tambourine and wash-board.

As you can see, there's nothing like the swamp :)