Monday, December 29, 2008

Bad to the Bone...

Just had to share some pictures we took of Cooper for a photo contest at an upcoming rescue event! Doubt we'll win, but we had fun taking the pictures!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our First Christmas in Florida

Our first Christmas in Florida was very fun...though a little lonely since all of our family wasn't together. We went to a beautiful service last night at church and then started a new tradition of going out for Chinese dinner...complete with PuPu platter!
This morning the kids didn't get us up too early before they went ripping into their presents! Looks like everyone was on the nice list again this year and the kids all seemed happy with their gifts!
After lunch, we headed to Anna Maria Island to start another new tradition of going to the beach on Christmas Day! It was about 81 degrees and the sky was a gorgeous blue with fluffy clouds! The water was too cold to swim today, but we spent about an hour and a half, walking along the shore, collecting shells and playing football! All in all, a perfect way to celebrate our Saviour's birth!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Little Christmas Cheer...

Here's a little holiday fun from Isabella and two of her friends, Haley and Maddie! This song is from one of our favorite Christmas books, Where Did They Hide My Presents? . Sorry for the shakiness (was holding the dog) and I have no explanation for the ending...?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Desoto Speedway...

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day and Evan and I heard from a neighbor that they were racing Lamborghinis (or Lambos as Evan refers to them!) at the Desoto Speedway! Even though it's only a few miles up the road, we have yet to go there. Racing is usually a Dad and the boys thing, but Bruce was still out of town, so Evan and I got to spend the afternoon together! To my surprise, it was really fun! We walked around the parking lot looking at all the entries (while Evan gave me the low down on each and every one of them!) . We watched the time trials and then a bunch of drag strip races. As Evan likes to say..."there's nothing like the smell of burning rubber in the morning!" WARNING! LOTS OF CAR PIX BELOW!!

...a whole lotta Vipers!


Sunday, December 14, 2008


Isabella finally lost her first tooth! She got her baby teeth really right around her first birthday, so I expected her to lose them late. She's the only one on her class tooth chart that didn't have at least one missing tooth! So tonite was the night! ....with a little help from the professional tooth puller

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas In Florida!

I've been without a camera for a loong while, that's why there haven't been any underwater camera is back for repairs for a third time (it froze on Evan's birthday and my other camera has mysteriously disappeared!). I bought another camera (hoping the missing one would suddenly turn up!) for the holidays and tonite was the first time I used it...but I forgot to put the memory card in so I was only able to take a whole five pictures!
Tonite we went to Christmas on Main Street! As we were walking in, we ran into the Big Guy in Red himself, who was just strolling down the sidewalk alone so we got a picture with no waiting! There was an awesome ice skating rink set up...actually it was some kind of plastic that you skated on with special skates, that looked and felt like real ice skates! Jonah and Caitlin loved it! We also saw an awesome model train display, which brought back memories of taking the older kids to see the display at Farmer Fulks, when we lived in Gaithersburg, MD. Then the kids spotted...SNOW! There was an actual hill with snow on it and the kids got to sled down it on a tube! What fun! Jonah was very homesick for Maryland when he saw it and at first, he didn't even want to sled down it because it would "make him miss MD too much"...but he couldn't resist and I think he's glad he did it! We also watched the dance team from the kids' elementary school perform, ate Christmas cookies, saw the huge tree lighting and wandered through the shops on Main Street while drinking hot chocolate...because you know, it was cold! It was 59 degrees! It was pretty funny to see everyone in sweaters and scarves...Isabella even had on her hat and gloves and I had on my winter coat! Guess our blood is thinning already!

You can't really tell from this picture how beautiful the palm trees look with all the lights on them!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Bruce has decided that THIS is the only way to put up Christmas lights! In shorts, in 70 degree weather! I have to agree though it's taking me a while to get into the holiday spirit with it warm outside and wearing sandals! We put our tree up and were scratching our heads over why it took us 14 years to finally decide on a pre-lit artificial tree! So quick and soo easy and soooo pretty and ZERO needles to vacuum up!
And in the spirit of the upcoming holidays, Sue at Happy Meals and Happy Hour once again took the words right out of my mouth (well ok, right out of my mind!) to explain hubby and my relationship about Christmas!

Last December 1st, my husband sat down at the dinner table and announced, "December is going to be a really busy month for me."

Then I stabbed him with a fork.

So I am launching the first annual Husbands' Christmas Challenge. And here are the rules:
• You must accomplish the tasks IN ADDITION to your regular responsibilities.
• You may not hire anyone to help you.
• You may not bribe your children to help you.
• You must accomplish the following by Midnight, December 24th:

Take a Christmas card photo - choose and order Christmas cards- buy Christmas stamps -sign, address, stamp & mail all 150 cards - Decorate house including wreaths, stockings, scented candles, advent calendar, indoor lights, stuffed Santas, snowmen, Christmas card holder, outdoor lights-Decorate Christmas tree with kids- adjust decorations when kids aren't around - Be sure kids have watched Rudolph, Elf, Frosty, and the Grinch - Acquire each child's christmas list - Buy wrapping paper, scotch tapes, bows, tags, bags, and tissue paper - Buy stocking stuffers, don't forget the dog - Buy and wrap gifts for kids teachers, dance teachers, karate instructors, and babysitters - Buy and wrap all kids' presents - Hide all kids presents - Buy and wrap presents for parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces,nephews and in-laws - Pack & address gifts - stand in line at Post Office - Attend at least one cookie swap - attend all Holiday School concerts - Attend all holiday school parties - Make and deliver Christmas cookies to neighbors & friends - Make a gingerbread house with the kids - Buy & fill money holders for garbage man, mailman, bus driver and cleaning lady - Set out milk & cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve - Read "Twas the night Before Christmas" - Fill stockings, set out presents, eat cookies, drain milk, leave crumbs - pass out.

THEN tell me you had a busy month. ;)

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dogs...

Evan has been taking lots of pictures of everything lately, so I wanted to share some of the pics he's taken of our awesome dogs with you!

We've had Harley for a long time...he's about 14 years old and still the best dog in the world! He's so friendly with everyone and is very faithful! We were a little worried about moving him so far away from what he was used to, but he did great on the trip down in the car with Jonah and Bruce and he seems to love Florida as much as we do! He especially loves rolling around in the warm grass out in the yard! If I don't keep a close eye on him, he's been know to even go and take a dip in the lake behind our house! He doesn't seem to like the pool, although one day last week I think he was walking around the edge where one side is pretty narrow... and I think he may have tumbled in. I looked out on the lanai and saw him shaking and water flying...but his head was totally dry! At least I know he's a good swimmer!
Harley is so patient with Cooper...well pretty patient! Cooper tries his hardest to get Harley to play with him, but he will have none of it! He barks at Cooper and eventually chases him a few steps, but then Cooper gives up.
We rescued Cooper over Labor Day weekend and he is so much fun! Because he's only about 2 years old, he's still very playful, but also loves to sit on my lap or at my feet. He especially loves to go in the car with us and hang his head out the window with his fur blowing in the wind! You've probably seen some pictures from past blogs that he loves to be in the pool! We were pretty sure that the novelty of a new dog would wear off after a few days, but surprisingly, the kids still fight over who's going to hold him and play with him!
This is how Bruce and Cooper spend Sunday afternoons...watching football!
Cooper tries his hardest to dig through the glass to get inside to be with his people!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Nation Under God...

Caroline over at Pocket Change put into words exactly how I've been feeling about the election and our new president! With her permission, I've posted her amazing thoughts below. Go visit her blog...and take a peek at her adorable little red head!

I am a person who tends to shy away from political issues. I simply haven't taken the time to learn about political happenings in the world today. Obviously I wasn't in the dark about the election on Nov. 4 and I did a little homework so I could make an informed choice while exercising my right to vote.
And vote I did.

I have to say I have had a really hard time with the election results. The Presidential Election results, that is. Now before anyone decides to write comments about me being a racist, please know that my unsettledness is not about that. Caucasian, African American, Asian American, whatever race the President is - that doesn't determine how qualified he/she is and how good of a job they'll do while in office.

I think for me, the real issue is this...

That so many people are looking to him and holding out hope that he will be their all in all.

But the truth is that he's just one person. And he makes mistakes like all the rest of us.

Can he bring change? I'm sure that he will in some form or fashion because the one thing that never changes is change. And change is not always a bad thing.

But we can't put our hopes and dreams on one person's shoulders because we WILL be disappointed at some point. That is for sure.

During these times of great economic instability, moral crises, and political change, our hope as a nation should rest on this...

The Lord (not a candidate or his promises) is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.Psalm 9:9-10

I pray that our new President will seek the Lord and that our nation will place its hope in God and not in man.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Fun-Filled Sunday!

Today was beautiful and sunny, but a crisp mid 60 degrees outside! We spent the day outdoors, but were off in different directions! Bruce headed to Tampa with Jonah for the Bucs vs. Vikings game! This was Jonah's second time at Raymond James Stadium and Bruce's first...Bruce decided this is the best field he's ever been to!

Isabella, Evan and I took advantage of the free mini-golf coupon that Evan got at the awards ceremony last week and went to Smuggler's Cove. I, of course, got my butt kicked, but we had a blast!

Yup...those are REAL baby gators!