Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Snakes Are Cool

It is so hot!  "How hot is it?" you may ask.  Well, it is so hot that the snakes are getting in the pools to cool off too.  The girls had been playing in the pool for about 15 minutes the other day when they discovered a little ring neck in the pool with them.  They had a great time holding him, and we kept him in a little tank to show him to Mike when he got home.  I am sure the little guy was happy to get back out into the yard and out of Leah's and Allison's hands when we finally released him. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day With Grandpa

We had a very laid back Father's Day weekend, because Mike was out of town and did not get home until Sunday evening.  On Monday we loaded up the girls and headed to Grandpa's house to celebrate a late Father's Day with him.  We grilled a tenderloin, baked an apple pie and had a great evening together.  On Tuesday, we all went out for breakfast.  Then, Mike helped Grandpa do a few things around the house.  After lunch, we loaded up the girls and went to Marineland.  After driving by the place for the last 15 years, it was neat to finally get a chance to see it.  It is located directly on the beach, and in the past was all about dolphin shows, but these days they claim to be a research center.  Not sure what kind of research they do, but they keep pretty busy offering several different levels of interactions with the 13 dolphins they have.  We could only afford the feed and touch, which was the cheapest interaction.  For five minutes you get to go into the pool area with about five other people and touch and feed the dolphins, of course.  It was quick, but a fun way to spend the afternoon. 

Friday, June 18, 2010


The girls have been enjoying their summer so far.  They have been hanging out with the neighbors, swimming, staying up late and sleeping in.  Rachel is loving the pool and is trying her darnedest to swim deeper into the pool.  She is so funny to watch with her little butt up in the air and her feet flailing around as she tries to swim down.  She is really becoming a little fish!  

Today, our neighbor asked us to go to the beach her and her kids, so we got our lazy butts in gear and spent the morning at the beach.  I was really glad we finally got around to going.  It was our first trip this summer, believe it or not!   Mike is always wanting to take the girls to the beach, but they don't like to go unless they have a friend along, and Mike doesn't want more kids to keep up with.  It was beautiful weather today and the ocean was really calm.  A calm ocean gave Rachel the opportunity to get out in the water and swim.  And swim she did!  She was in the water for almost three hours straight.  Having another grownup allowed me to focus on Rachel and follow her down the beach when she decided she wanted to "run."  The big girls also got to stay at the beach with their friends when Rachel decided she was ready to go home.  It was a nice day.    

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Camera!

I finally got a new camera.  It is nothing fancy, one of the cheapest you can get, but it does all kinds of neat things.  I think I am going to like this one.  The girls and I had fun playing with the night we got it.  It can take pictures in black and white.  Not such a big deal since I can change the pics to black and white on the computer, but it is fun to play with. 

It can take pictures in sepia.  Once again I can do this on the computer, but who knew you could do it with a camera!  Fun.

It has smile detection and will take a picture automatically when it detects a is not perfect though as noted here with the picture it took of Allison.  I guess a smile is subjective!  

It takes pictures in low light with out using the flash.  I have no idea how it does this. 

And it takes panorama shots.  Fun to play with, even though there is a little distortion.  That is me way off in the background (I blend in with the furniture).  I spent seven hours Saturday painting that silly pool deck with a sponge.  I am just about done, thank goodness.  All I need to do now is paint the area where all the furniture was sitting Saturday.  Sure I could have taken the furniture off of the porch and done it all at once, but after seven hours, I was not able to do anymore anyway.   

My last camera was just two years old and it was eight megapixels.  The new camera is fourteen megapixels.  Technology is sure changing quickly these days!  It is good to have a camera again.   

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Have A Pineapple!

We planted a pineapple in September 2008.  The internet reference we read stated that it takes about two years to grow a pineapple, so we were well on our way this past winter when it got so cold.  The pineapple plant was huge, so I covered it and hoped for the best.  After a week covered with sheets, the plant looked a little (a lot, actually) worse for wear.  A couple of weeks later it looked like a total loss.  I cut off the dead parts of the leaves and we watched and waited.  Just as we were about to give up on it, we saw a tiny little pineapple!  Maybe by Christmas this year we will have ourselves a pineapple!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mike's Birthday

I found the pictures from Mike's birthday.  Turns out they were on the memory card after all and not returned with the camera, thank goodness.  I am not sure why they were not showing up on the card the other day, but I am glad I finally found them!  We had a small family party after dinner and gave Mike his gifts.  He got a shirt, some shorts, Avatar DVD, money from Grandpa, and........a new boat.  They girls and I picked it out all by ourselves!  After dinner Mike and the girls took turns driving it.  They had a great time!!  

The big four six!

The girls could not wait for Mike to open the presents.

Taking turns driving the boat.

Did I mention it is a remote control boat?! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What The.........?

The last day of school before summer break, the big girls had silly hat day at their school.  Leah really wanted to buy a silly hat for the occasion, so we headed out to the local party store and this is what we came home with.   

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Weeks Into Summer Break

Summer is here!  It is hot.  It is muggy.  The girls are sleeping in late and wearing their jammies all day.  My calendar is pretty much empty, except for the occasional doctor or dentist appointment.  Now, if I could just get myself motivated to do some things around the house.  Remember the pictures of us redoing our pool deck.......well, we have not finished that yet.  The trimming around the pool and the planters has never been done.  I just cannot bring myself to get out in the heat and do it, not to mention, we are in the afternoon thunderstorm pattern and every time I turn around it is raining.  Or so it seems. 

We spent all of last week without air conditioning upstairs.  We have two units so we cranked the downstairs unit on high and turned on all of the ceiling fans to try to move some cooler air upstairs.  It didn't do much good, so by the end of the week the girls were sleeping on an air mattress in our room and all the animals were moved into the office.  We finally got it repaired Friday.  Word to the wise...........fix things when you know they need to be fixed.  This air conditioner was not working quite right at the end of last summer, but we didn't do anything about it, because we were getting by.  When it finally got really warm here again in May, we knew we had to do something about it now.  Turns out it was the compressor, a very expensive repair.  And guess what?  The warranty expired in January!!  Ugggghh!!! 

Rachel is still on antibiotics.  We got her runny nose cleared up the last week of school, but it came back with a vengeance the Monday we were in the Keys.  By Wednesday her ears were draining again too.  I called the doctor, and she started Rachel on her fourth round of antibiotics.  Now Rachel is taking an antibiotic twice a day, steroid nasal spray once a day, antibiotic ear drops twice a day and Claritin once a day.  Thank goodness she is pretty good about taking medications. 

We have been saving the world turtle at a time.  This morning we found a little guy in the road near the house.  We released him to the pond despite the girls protested that we should keep him.  This afternoon, I found a HUGE one in the road.  We took him out back and released him too.  I have no idea how many turtles I have put in that pond.  We saw a little alligator in that pond over the weekend, so I am not sure how much of a favor I am doing these guys.

I would have added some pictures of our catch and releases from today, but right after we got back from the Keys, I dropped my camera and broke it.  I have have looked around and not found what I want yet.  I actually bought one camera and brought it home, only to discover it operated on AA batteries, and it went through those batteries quick. I returned that camera.  Unfortunately, it appears that I returned all the pictures I took with it.  I cannot find the pictures we took on Mike's birthday. Someone here in Florida is probably wondering who that goofy family is on their new camera!  Oooooppps!      

Friday, June 4, 2010

Big Pine Key 2010

Saturday May 22nd, we headed down to the Keys for a weekend of camping. I am so not the camper, but we went a little more prepared this time, so it was somewhat easier than our last trip. At the risk of being too graphic, let's just say that a portable potty can make for a lot less trips to the bath house. We were concerned that it was going to be too warm going in May, but it was incredibly windy, so it did not feel too bad. It actually was so windy that we could not put the rain guard on the tent, because it would pull the stakes out of the ground. No rain guard made for some really pretty nights sleeping, because the moon was almost full, and it was beautiful. The girls said it was their night light. The only problem came on the second night when it decided to rain at 5:00am. Mike and I jumped up from a dead sleep and threw the rain guard on just in time for a torrential downpour. The rain lasted for only about five minutes, but it was very intense for a short time. We also got up close and personal with the wildlife during our visit. Key deer are all around and do not hesitate to come up close to see if you have food, and they will raid your garbage any chance they get. The first night we were there a racoon actually came into the tent to get to the food! It is quite a surprise to wake up and be face to face with a racoon! we also saw a couple of frigates and a bald eagle. The big girls just love hiking around and checking out the animals. They collected hermit crabs and tried unsuccessfully to catch a gecko.