Monday, June 30, 2008

What's For Dinner...

We first tried Chick-Can, Beer Can Chicken, Beer in the Butt Chicken (seems to have a LOT of aliases) at the Batmans a few weeks ago and it was soooo juicy and delicious! So I decided to give it a go especially since rotisserie chicken is one of the few things that everyone in my family will eat! The little gadget to the right costs only a couple of dollars and recipes abound on the internet for a variety of concoctions to add to the can of beer or soda that goes up the chicken's...I mean in the chicken's cavity. An onion or potato caps off the other end to keep the moisture inside. You can do a variety of different rubs for the outside of the chicken and then cook it either on the grill or inside the oven. The secret is that the liquid from the beverage inside keeps the chicken super moist! We'll see what the vote is from the kiddos...though they're perfectly happy with the traditional $6.99 rotisserie chicken from Publix...and no chickens are humiliated in the process!

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Friends...

The kids have made lots of new friends since we've moved to Florida, and fortunately for Bruce and me, we happen to really like their parents! So we've gotten together quite a few times to go to the beach or have dinner or whatever! These pics are from a night at the Papas when we got together for dinner, swimming and ...what else? Dress up of course! Everytime we're together, we're amazed at how well a group of eight kids ranging in age from 3-11 can play nicely for HOURS! Not complaining by any's just AMAZING...and AWESOME! We can actually have a conversation with our grown up friends! Rade and Chris Batman (cool last name huh?) have two kids Mason, who's in third grade and Pierce, who's in first grade. Colleen and John PaPa have Haley in fourth grade, Maddie is in first grade and Ella is 3.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

One of Our Favorite Sounds.. the sound of an ice cream truck! It's just not summer without the ice cream truck coming down your street just as you're about to serve dinner! At least tonite it was after we were finished! I heard rumors there was an ice cream truck that comes through the neighborhood, but somehow we just kept missing it. Tonite I was in the garage going through some boxes of books (that I have nowhere to store inside...wah I miss my built ins!) and I heard the unmistakable tune of the ice cream truck in the distance. I opened the door into the house and yelled "ICE CREAM TRUCK!" and three very excited sugar addicts came bounding out of the house to the sidewalk. Maybe I should try yelling that the next time I need them to do a chore! Anyway, he was still around the corner and I think the kids were sure I was teasing them, but all of a sudden the music got louder and there it was...the almighty purveyor of Sponge Bob Popsicles, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich (my personal favorite..and Jonah's!) and the Chocolate Eclair bar! All is well in Greyhawk Landing tonite!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


On Tuesday, Bruce and the boys spent the day at Busch Gardens Africa while Isabella and I went to
Adventure Island, which was right across the street. We got there around 10 and left at 8 and had a really fun time! The boys of course hit all the roller coasters, some more than once! Their favorite was SheiKra (the one pictured above)! Bruce said the coolest thing about the park was all the animals throughout the park...they even saw white tigers up close and personal !




Isabella and I were wet and wild all day! Although she loved the water slides, especially the ones we could go on together, her favorite thing was the Rambling Bayou (or the Lazy River as we kept calling it). We just floated on the water that snaked it's way through beautiful landscapes. She could have stayed on that all day! There was so much to do...slidesand more slides, dumping buckets and squirters, jumping off 15 foot cliffs into deep water, floating on the "Lazy River" through a rain forest type jungle. Spending the day there, plus all of our visits to the beach have convinced me that I need to invest in a waterproof camera! I had no camera yesterday and was not happy about it! Even though we were pooped when we got home, we're anxious to go back! We got passes so we can go whenever we want and it's close enough that we can head up for an afternoon or just an evening. Isabella can't wait to check out Busch Gardens and Evan is dying to hit the water slides, especially since Jonah was already there on his 5th grade class trip! We are just loving the fact that there is so much fun stuff to do here at relatively affordable prices...they give Florida residents quite a deal on the local attractions and theme parks

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stupid Human Tricks...

Have I said how much we love having a pool?? Well we DO! Yesterday the boys decided to come up with some cool pool tricks, including diving through the floatie rings. I never thought they'd make it through, but I guess being wet and slippery helps...a LOT!

Happy Birthday Jonah!

Today Jonah turned 11! Hard to believe but he's becoming such a nice young man! Some of the things I love most about Jonah are his sense of humor, his impersonation skills, how polite he is with grown ups and his growing love for the Lord!Jonah totally lucked out for his birthday this year...he had a birthday party with his posse in MD, went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant per his request so he could get his favorite, spaghetti! Got another birthday cake, a Carvel ice cream cake this time (don't count the candles!) and tomorrow the boys are going to Busch Gardens Tampa while Isabella and I go to Adventure Island water park next door.
Hope you had an awesome birthday buddy...we love you!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where in The World...

Thought I'd post a map of Florida (that I stole from Amy Burch's blog!) to give you a better idea of exactly where we are on the Gulf Coast. Florida is an interestingly shaped one of my dear friends pointed out, it's better known as America's male genitalia. In any event, ahem...we are located just south of the line that's above Sarasota. We live in Manatee County, but very close to the Sarasota County line, which is important when you're shopping because the sales tax in Sarasota County is higher. Bruce works in Tampa and crosses the Sky Way bridge from St. Petersburg to the peninnsula you see above it, then back across another bridge to Tampa where his office sits overlooking that bay...terrible view huh? Orlando is less than two hours away which is very convenient since we're major DisneyWorld fans! Tampa is home to the Buccaneers football team and the Rays baseball team (who, by the way, play in an air conditioned stadium!). Tampa is also home to Busch Gardens, where Bruce and the boys are going for Jonah's 11th birthday while Isabella and I go to Adventure Island, a water park right next door. To the south of Sarasota is Fort Myers, where Isabella and I visited several years ago on our girls' vacation. A little north of that is Sanibel Island, where Bruce and I truly fell in love with the Gulf Coast.

Bruce's parents live on the east coast of Florida near Ft. Lauderdale. They're here visiting until Tuesday and love being able to visit us with a four hour car ride instead of flying. Tonite, we went to dinner at Chili's and ran into a friend of Jonah's from his fifth grade class at Twin Ridge, Joey Ogg. He was here visiting his grandparents, who live near us. It was really crazy! Jonah and I both saw him and I really thought it was someone who just looked a lot like him but it really was him!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Evan's Room

My 9 year old son, the one who is a major gear head, of course wanted a car room! He asked me to paint some special kind Porsche bursting through his wall...not gonna happen! So I turned to the trusty internet and came across an awesome peel and stick that was pretty close to what he wanted! We set his bunk beds back up when we moved, which works out perfect for sleepovers. Just have to find some cool window treatments and he'll be done! Evan also loves his fan! If you remember, Evan had quite the obsession with ceiling fans as a toddler!

This is the bathroom that Isabella and Evan share. It's in between their bedrooms and so far there has been no fighting about sharing it! We went with a fun beach theme and as you can see, the green is just a little BRIGHT!

There's a SNAKE In My Boot...I Mean My POOL!

I've heard it can happen but was hoping it wouldn't happen to US! I can handle the fire ants, and geckos, and frogs, and armadillos....but I am so not into snakes! Last evening after dinner, Isabella and Jonah were in the pool when we heard great screams of terror as they both came running in to let us know there was a snake in the pool! Fortunately, it was your garden variety, non-venomous, less than 12 inch water snake, but when you're out enjoying yourself in the pool, and one of those little buggers slithers past you, it can be quite alarming! Not one to miss blog fodder, I grabbed my camera then headed out to capture the slippery little beast. No sooner would we get him in the net then he would slide out like a piece of cooked spaghetti...he enjoys our pool as much as we do!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Fish, Two Fish...

Who would have ever guessed that city-boy Bruce would become a fisherman? Jonah started fishing first, then seeing how much fish he caught, Evan decided to give it a go. Off to Wal-mart to buy a Barbie fishing rod for Isabella and an Ugly Stik for Bruce and we were good to go! Bruce scoured the internet for tips on stringing a line and tying knots and he and the kids are out at the lake behind our house most nights now! Fortunately, it hasn't gotten to the point where I have to learn how to clean them and fry 'em in a pan!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Isabella's Room

Slowly but surely the house is coming together! Isabella's room is just about finished though I need to get different curtains...her window is HUGE and those curtains are still too short. We had fun with the flower theme (especially the huge flower wallie and the new PINK fan!) but didn't really take into consideration the fact that she wanted ALL of her Zac posters put back up!

there's a shelf above the closet doors that so far have only held tossed stuffed animals!

you can't see it in this picture, but there are three big palm trees outside of her window!