Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break 2013: Time with Cousins

Rob's sister and her family now live in Florida. Today we visited with them and saw their new home, played putt putt golf, devoured our share of Mexican food, and Peachwave yogurt. Having cousins in Florida was definitely a bonus of our trip!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break 2013: St. Augustine - Day 2

I've been to lots of light houses and I highly recommend St. Augustine Light House as one of the best light house experiences ever.  The staff is engaging and knowledgeable.  The grounds are beautiful.  The view is breathtaking.  In addition, the museum and exhibits are educational and interesting for the entire family. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our morning at the light house.  From there we traveled down the Florida coast  stopping for lunch at Redfrog and McToad's.  The service was slow and not very attentive but the food was hot and plentiful.  We weren't in a rush and the kids really enjoyed the decor.  No one left the restaurant hungry. 

After lunch, we continued on to Fort Matanzas.  Our plan was to enjoy the visitors center, walk on the beach, take the ferry to the fort and complete another jr. ranger badge.  Unfortunately, spring break was not the best time to visit the fort.  All of the ferry tickets were gone by the time we arrived.  Although the tickets were free there were a limited number per day.  Without the ferry our enthusiasm for the junior ranger badge waned.  We enjoyed walking and relaxing on the beach.  The weather was considerable warmer today and we were all able to appreciate sitting on the sand in the sunshine.  We watched the educational video at the visitor's center then climbed into our vehicles for the ride to Grandmomma and Grandpap's.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Break 2013: St. Augustine, Florida

Of course, when we planned our spring break trip to St. Augustine we anticipated beautiful beaches.  We got the beautiful beaches but we also got winter weather than made it a quick visit on a cold, sunny, windy afternoon.
When Grandmomma and Grandpap arrived we began our sight seeing in earnest.  We began the morning at Castillo de San Marcos where we learned about the history of the area and the fort, enjoyed the views and the sunshine.
We chatted with Spanish soldiers.
M8 and S11 earned their junior ranger badges and took the junior ranger pledge.

From the fort we walked in to St. Augustine and down through the chilly yet busy tourist area.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Pizzalley's.  We all give it two thumbs up (that's 14 thumbs!) and recommend you make this a stop if you visit St. Augustine. 
After Pizzalley's we walked off a bit of our lunch then tried the designer popsicles from The Hyppo. Though the flavors were unfamiliar and even a little weird we enjoyed orange creamsicle, vanana banilla, pumpkin porter, and champagne mango.  Even on a chilly day we enjoyed the sweet treats.

 We continued our stroll to Flagler College, the former Hotel Ponce de Leon and back toward the car parked in the fort parking lot.
A final stop at Whetstone Chocolates brought that part of our tour to close and all were weary by the time we made it to our van.  On the way back to our hotel, M8 revived when she spied the carousel. 
She convinced Grandmomma to join her for a ride though she couldn't convince any of her siblings to get out of the van.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Birthday H14!

As so often happens, my intentions for pictorial documentation of a birthday ended just after breakfast.  We did much more than eat breakfast and give a single gift on H14's birthday.  The day was so fun I forgot the documentation part.  I suppose it's a good thing since I want to live in the moment.  I need to find a life photographer to take pictures while I'm busy living.

Anyway, we enjoyed a school free day, lunch at McD's, fun time all day, a trip to the library, and dinner with Rob upon his return from New Orleans at H14's favorite local Italian place.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Recap: March 4-8, 2013

This week included dental appointments all around.  It also included several days of kids and mom not feeling great.  And then there was a late start day because of snow.  Also, I had two afternoon appointments that didn't include the kids.  Just another normal week.

High - Grammar because I am learning poetry and I think it's very interesting.
Low - I don't have a low.  I really liked this week.

High - History because the Sputniks and Apollos are really interesting.
Low - Getting sick.

High - Math because I understood it.
Low - Being sick.

High - Halley's math was a high this week.  She hates math but is getting to be really good at it.  Spending time working through the lessons seems to boost her confidence.
Low - Fitting lessons between appointments and sick children.  It's  always a challenge to get everything done.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Munchies: Buffalo Cauliflower

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings'

1 cup water
1 cup flour
2 tsp. garlic powder - I used Mrs. Dash and garlic pepper
1 head of cauliflower, washed, dried and chopped into pieces
1 cup hot sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Combine the water, flour, and seasoning in a bowl and stir until well combined.
Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, combine hot sauce and olive oil in a small bowl. Use a basting brush to cover cauliflower with hot sauce then continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

This recipe came from the PETA website.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Recap: February 25-March 1, 2013

This week began with a ski trip.  We spent Sunday through Tuesday at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  Sunday night we enjoyed a couple hours of tubing.  The weather on Monday was beautiful.  Once we remembered how to ski we all had a wonderful time.  On Tuesday, the weather didn't cooperate.  Freezing rain covered the mountain.  We decided that sliding down would be better earlier rather than later so we left before lunch.

Returning home was kind of anti-climatic.  Getting back to work wasn't hearly as fun as skiing.  I don't think we ever got up to speed but we did get some things done.

Highs & Lows

Reading was both high and low this week.  I read books that were excellent but really difficult and sad.  The writing and characters were beautiful.  The storylines were amazing but sad. The books for this week were The Other Side of Truth and The Year of Impossible Goodbyes.

High - Bible.  I like learning about the end of the world.
Low - Math because I think I'll carry a calculator around everywhere when I grow up.

High - Skiing was fun because I got really good at it.
Low - Being sick.

High - Learning how to make sushi and preparing a sushi dinner for everyone last night.
Low - Struggling with not feeling overwhelmed by what we aren't getting done.   Sometimes I do really well focusing on the what we have gotten done rather than what we haven't.  Today has not been one of those days.