Friday, February 24, 2017

Koreshan State Park

 We really are blessed to have both sides of our family living in the same city!  It's great to spend time with everybody!  We decided to take Denise to Koreshan State Park!  I hadn't been there since I was a kid, so it was fun to see it again and show the kids around.  And Denise is so fun and easy going to be with.  It was a great day!

For some reason, I thought Koreshans were indians.  I was wrong.  The story behind the cult of Dr. Teed is very sad.  This was their land and it was eventually given to the state of Florida.  I took this opportunity to remind my kiddos that the Bible really does have all the answers and God's Promises are true!!

 The park is absolutely beautiful!  We loved all the trees and plants.  The grounds are very well kept and have nice paths to walk around on.

 There are many historical buildings to explore, it was quite interesting!

 The park is right on the Estero river.  Of course, there are alligators in there!  Welcome to south Florida!

 We also saw people kayaking on the Estero river and there is a canoe rental place close by.

 The bamboo is huge!  We went on a breezy day.  I love hearing the sounds of bamboo.  It's God's windchimes!
Another beautiful park!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sweet Memories

We made many sweet memories on our trip to Fort Myers. Here's just a few:

My Dad has given Callie flowers ever since she was little.  She saw her Grandpa through the window, coming home on Valentine's Day with a huge bouquet of Red Roses.  Callie said, "Grandpa brought me flowers!!"  My Mom was thinking, "It is Valentine's Day, they could be for me!"  And my Dad entered the house, not knowing he could hurt a girls feelings.  But, which one? ;o) 

 He sweetly gave the flowers to my Mom with a kiss.  Then, my Mom whispered, "I think Callie thought they were for her!"  He stepped onto the porch and brought out the 2nd bouquet he picked up for his littlest granddaughter.  He had both of their faces lighting up.  Have I mentioned how amazing my Dad is? ;o)

My Mam-maw with 4 of her granddaughters.

Aunt Robin, AKA Mama Michigan

Mom with her 4

Dad with his 4

4 generations

Micah and Callie have been asking a lot of questions about their Grandma June.  I have a picture on my wall of Callie and my Grandma when Callie was a baby.  But, of course, Callie doesn't really remember her.  And my Micah wasn't born when she went to heaven.  They asked if we could go see where she is buried.  I was able to show them the spot where we put hers and my Grandpa's bodies to rest.  I was happy to show Micah Reuben, the spot where my Grandpa's name, Reuben, is on the tombstone.
Many sweet memories.  It goes so fast!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Off to Fort Myers we go!

 After looking at our schedule, and knowing my Mam-maw and Aunt Robin were spending some time in Fort Myers, we figured it was time for a quick trip down south to see some family.  Yay!  I told my Mom that while I was there I wanted to spend a few hours at one of my favorite places.  The Beach!

 So, on the first night, my Mom arranged for us to have pizza on the beach.  Yay!

We arrived a little early so we would have extra time to enjoy the sand and sea!

 We love to walk on the beach!

 The water was freezing!  But, that didn't detour my kiddos.  They love the water!

 Fort Myers beach has my favorite sand.  It feels so powdery when you walk on it.  I could spend all day with my toes in this sand!

 I was so thankful for my Aunt Robin getting all the pizza for us and for extra family joining us!  It was a great night!

 I love any extra time I get with my Mam-maw!
 And my Dad!

 And my Mom!

The sunset was breathtakingly beautiful!  I love this place!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

 After earning our "8:30 Man"  we were off to the park.  We were so excited to visit one that we had been talking about going to for a while!  It's actually a giant sink hole that you can climb down into!  Fun!
We went on the perfect day for a hike.  The weather was slightly chilly, very sunny, and gorgeous!  We started at the top.  Then, we walked down the steps to the 120 feet deep sink hole!

 There were so many beautiful plants and trees and signs describing many of them.

 At the bottom, there is a small pond.

 It was very beautiful!
 It didn't take long at all to get down to the bottom.  Maybe 5 minutes.  And that includes little 4 year old legs walking.  When we got to the bottom, we looked around, took pictures, and then started our climb back out.  Of course, that took a little longer than it did on the way down! :o)

Once to the top, we enjoyed some crackers at the picnic table.  We were there for about an hour and a half.  It was a perfect break from a busy school week!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Junior Ranger!

We found something really fun when we went out to our "8:30 Man" reward!  At the front of the park we saw huge banners for their Junior Ranger Program.  I talked to the Ranger and learned all about how my kiddos can become a Junior Ranger.  There are all sorts of activities and papers to do.  At the end of the program they can earn a badge.  Sounds like fun!  And sounds like a great thing to incorporate in to our schooling!

It also got us to thinking.  We have loved visiting our State Parks since moving to this area.   We have visited several.  But, there are many, many more left to visit!  So, we have set a goal to visit all of the Florida State Parks!  Hopefully we'll make that happen before our Silas graduates.  We have a while before that happens!

So, there will be a new label on this blog called, "Florida State Parks"  where we will blog about each park we visit!  Excited about this!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How I get my kiddos moving in the morning!

 For a homeschooling Momma, the struggle is real.  To be up, dressed, chores done, and ready at their desk at a decent time, is sometimes an amazing feat!  When there is not a deadline of being in the car by a certain time to make it to school, it's easy to let the getting ready process drag out.  We were running into that rut and we needed a way out!

After some brainstorming, I come up with 8:30 man!  It's working well!  When I call for my blessings to wake up in the morning and remind them of 8:30 man, they jump up and start moving!

 So, here's how it works....I found a cartoon-y man online.  I knew I wanted our prize to be a hike at a state park, so I found a man in hiking attire.  I cut him into 7 pieces.  But, I kept what 8:30 man is wearing a secret!

Every morning that my kiddos are up with their chore chart done and waiting at their desks with pencils ready by 8:30, they get to see a new part of 8:30 man.  After 7 days of successfully being ready on time, they could see him all complete and figured out that their reward was to go on a hike!

They loved it!  This was such a motivation for them!

They didn't quite achieve 8:30 man in 7 days.  There was a morning they were a little slow moving and sleepy.  I kept strictly to the exact time.  They were disappointed, but ready the next day.  Then, there was a day when one kiddo was slightly grouchy and not helping was a good day to talk about teamwork and also doing your part.  It was a good lesson learned and the next day they were ready to try again!

On the morning that 8:30 man was completed there was so much cheering and excitement!  They truly worked hard and loved their reward!!  Success!

Of course, 8:30 man could be 8:00 man, or 7:30 man....whatever works for you.  For us, by the time we get dressed, eat breakfast, do devotions and chores and feed animals, 8:30 is a great goal!!

Today is Saturday, so no 8:30 man.  When I woke up Micah this morning, he said, "Yay!  I'm ready for 8:30 man!"