Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I LOVE YOU Banquet...Part 1

Last year we started a tradition to have an "I LOVE YOU" banquet with our family.  We enjoyed it so much and knew we wanted to do it every year!  A few weeks before our banquet we drew names for gifts to exchange.  The rules were the same as last year.  #1, you must keep the name you draw a secret (we always seem to break this rule)  #2 you can't spend any $$$ on your gift.  It was so fun to see the looks on everyone's faces as they drew names.  So much excitement!
Silas drew Tabitha's name.  He was so happy to make homemade bath bombs for her.  He wanted to make sure they smelled good and were her favorite color. So thoughtful.

It's always fun to decorate the table with lots of goodies and hearts.

Then, it was time for our banquet to start.  We had such yummy food!  Steaks, baked potatoes, and green beans.

I'll post next on our gifts for one another.  Each one was so thoughtful and brought some tears.  I sure do love my family.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fly Eagles Fly!

So, I'm definitely behind in my posting.  But, this is a memory I don't want forgotten!  We are still in so much excitement, and maybe a little shock, about our Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl!  I say "OUR" Eagles, because ever since the day I married Patrick, it was mandatory that I become a fan. :o)  We've rooted and cheered for them for so long, so they are "OUR" team!

What a season we had!  Completely heart wrenching as we watched many of our key players get injured.  But...they pulled through and made it to the Superbowl!  We knew we wanted to make watching the game a big deal. 

A few days beforehand, us girls tiedyed some shirts to wear.  That Eagles green color is hard to figure out!

The day before the game we brought out all of Patrick's Eagle gear.  The house was covered!

When we were just babies, going to our first game together!

Our shirts turned out great!

We invited a few friends over to watch the game with us.  Superbowls are always on Sunday evenings.  Church comes first! And is way more important to us than football!  So, after a great evening service, we made our way to the house and caught the last few minutes of the 2nd quarter.  Perfect amount of time to get our snacks all ready!

Is that Tabitha stealing a pretzel?

Even Liberty was cheering for the Eagles!

And, as you know, they won!  What an exciting game right down to the final seconds!

Whew!  That really wore all of us out!  What an exciting season!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Homosassa Springs State Park

We had such a great day taking the kiddos to Homosassa Springs State Park!  On our quest to visit all the Florida State Parks, this one was at the top of our list.

My parents took me here as a kid.  And being a manatee lover,  I loved it!  But, when I was a kid, it was an amusement/entertainment park.  Since then, the state has bought it and turned it into a state park.

Usually it costs $6 a car load to get into a park. This one was a little more expensive at $5 for 6-12 year olds, and $13.00 for 13 and up.  Yikes!  So, when my sweet Mam-maw gave us some Christmas money, I knew how we wanted to spend it!  Memories are priceless!

When we arrived at the entrance, we took the boat to the park.  It was about a 15 minute ride and it was so much fun!  We saw wildlife along the way...alligators, turtles and birds!

Beautiful Florida....breathtakingly gorgeous!

It was quite chilly for us Floridians that day!

There are boardwalks and walkways all throughout the park that are well kept.  We did a lot of walking that day!

The underwater observatory is exactly like I remembered as a kid.  It's so neat!  You walk underneath and you are underwater!  You get to see all kinds of fish up close.

And the best of all you get to see manatees!  I love these creatures!  I find them very fascinating.  And cute! ;o)

Patrick was in awe at all the fish he saw.  He impressed me once again with his ability to name so many species!

Then, it was off to see some of their other animals.

Their hippo, Lou, is quite old.  And lonely looking.  And very slow moving!  We spent a lot of time just watching him and talking to him.  :o)

We saw bears, panthers, alligators, and many many birds!

My brave Micah decided to touch one.  Crazy kid!

And an eagle with an American Flag appropriately hanging behind him.  He was so strong and majestic!

Then, we went into the Discovery Center.

There were lots of activities to do!  The kids loved it!

And just like all of our other state park experiences, we saw this familiar sign. 

What a great family day!  Many memories, laughter and fun!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Almost ready to fill!

I sure do have some smart friends! :o)  You are right, we are building a raised garden bed in hopes that our garden adventure will actually turn out this time.  We're halfway done filling it up and hope to be planting soon!  Pics to come....of course! :o)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A New Project

So, I dropped a hint to my husband a couple of days ago.  Dropping a hint goes something like this:

"Oh sweetie, have you heard about....."
"I think it would be great if we tried to get...."
Then, I print info up about the new idea and leave it where he can see it
Then, I look up sites with the info and when he opens his computer it is still open
Then, I take a nice romantic walk with coffee in hand around our property and say, "Oh this would be such a great place for...."

And, what do you know, that afternoon he heads to Lowe's and buys the supplies! ;o)

Now, don't worry, sometimes I come right out and say, "Honey can we....?" 

Sure do love this sweetie of mine!

Any ideas of what he is building for me?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lots more greens!

My hardworking boys just finished the new Paddock for our goats!

The area they enclosed has lots of different vegetation for our little goat herd to munch on.  (We still only have 2 goats, I just think it's neat to call them our herd. :o) )

These two have been happily munching away at all the new treats!

They have a covered shelter that was given to us as well.  They love it!  So, now....we feel the itch to get some more goats.  And we have an empty paddock awaiting another animal.  We're trying to decide what to get that would be enjoyable, and a wise investment.  We went to our local livestock auction last week.  We learned so much!

~Large goats actually bring in a lot of money!
~Pigs stink.  bad.
~Goat babies are adorable.
~Sheep are pretty neat too.
~Cows are rather large.  Larger than maybe we want to have....
~There is a demand for goats in our area.

So, we are absorbing lots of information and praying about what to do.  We're also rethinking trying our hand at gardening again.  We said we would never try again,'s a new year!!   Lots of spring pictures are hopefully in the future!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Expansion for our goats

Over the past 3 years, I have realized something more and more....maybe I am more of a city girl than I realized!  I jokingly call our property our "little family farm" because I love farm life and want to be a good steward of this great land that God has given us.  I have so much to learn!  And I need so much more energy to do it!  I feel like all of our adventures have been trial and error.  Sadly, we are down to 2 goats.  Silas sure does love them and it has been a hard lesson in learning that sometimes animals just die.  He's doing well though and is being a great caretaker of his goat herd!

Spring is closing in and we are starting to feel the itch to get things more orderly around here.  Our kiddos have loved playing outside in the cold temps.  But, this winter the chill has kept me inside with socks on my feet and a blanket close by.  Brr!  It's been cold!  But now it's warming up and my mind is whirling with ideas for our property.

Someone recently gave us a bunch of fencing and goat supplies!  So, Patrick has been working to enclose an area that he would like cleared.  Our goats eat so much, so he would like to let them help clear a portion of our property.

Putting up fencing is hard work.  But, my guys are always up for a challenge!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Blue Springs...Florida's Newest State Park

We are loving visiting our Florida State Parks!  After school Friday, we decided to visit a new one...Blue Springs State Park.  It used to be privately owned, but the state recently bought it.


A sign we have seen at every state park so far!

We could tell that the state had recently bought the park.  They didn't even have maps printed yet!  And there were a few things that needed fixing that I know they will get to soon!

The springs were absolutely gorgeous!  So deep and such a beautiful color!

It was quite chilly that day and very overcast.  The kids were comfy in their short sleeves, but the girls and I kept on a sweater.

 After a great, busy week of school, the park is the perfect place to go!

The park is so beautiful!  Even in our brownish, winter time, it has so much Florida beauty!

 We even saw some turtles in the springs!

Then, it was time for a hike.  I love this part! They didn't have a map for the trails and they weren't marked very well.  So, it was quite an adventure figuring out where to go.  We hiked for about an hour and ended up where we started.

We saw so many things that led to lots of science review.  Homeschooling at its finest!!

There were many smaller springs along the way.

We found this huge Cypress Tree.  You can see where the flooding marks are from our recent storms and hurricane Irma.  This area was quite flooded!

We found this attached to a tree.  Any idea what it is?  It was about the size of a nickel.

Silas was wondering what animal makes its home in there.

Another spring found along the way.

 We all loved this park!  They had several sand volleyball courts and lots of picnic tables.  I know this place is very packed in the summer with swimmers.  We visited at a great, quiet time and enjoyed the beautiful outdoors of the state of Florida!  Lovin' where we live!!