It's hot. Like, melt your face off hot. Real feel is 110 degrees, and the humidity is unbearable. What happens when it's so hot outside you can hardly move, yet the kids are aching to "wanna go?" as Aidan would put it? Indoor activities are your only option!!!!
Quick research on the internet, and we were planning a fun filled day for the kiddos on the west coast of the state! So, we packed up the car with all the sippy cups, movies and baby wipes the minivan could handle, and we were on our way!
The over the shoulder shot of the little one.
A long drive filled with "Are we there yet?" and "How much further" and an occasional toy thrown up to the front seat, and we arrived at our first destination. Great Explorations Children's Museum in St. Petersburg is a brightly colored museum filled with all kinds of scientific and fun filled activities for the kidlets. I think Alex spent about 90% of his time making robots and testing them out.
Monkey kept running around the Museum, squealing with delight. He wanted to touch everything, just like the big kids.
After spending around 4 hours at the Museum, we headed to Largo for a little slice of Pennsylvania. The Amish Country Store stocks all kinds of Pennsylvania goodness: ring bologna, Middleswarth Chips, A-Treat soda, Amish canned goods, etc etc. Considering I spent $6 on a bag of chips, I must have really been yearning the stuff pretty fierce!
We drove down the coast, breathing in the salty sea air and trying to shield the kids from the glaring sun that poured into our van. I love the summer, but the sun's rays are so brutal! We finally made it to John's Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach. It's a cute little shopping village, reminiscent of boardwalks on the East Coast. We slurped clam chowder and fried fish doused in vinegar at the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant, did a little shopping for tiny pirate ships and sipped a Kohr's orange drink (a popular drink at the Bloomsburg Fair, where we are originally from). It was a gorgeous afternoon, if not a little too hot.
The sun was beginning to set. The boys were hot and sweaty. A quick trip to Clearwater Beach to see the bright orange sunset was in order.
By the time we arrived home, both boys were half asleep and were dreaming sweet dreams as soon as their heads hit the pillows. Mission: accomplished!
We like to soak up life and live it to the fullest. If it means spending our "weekend" sitting at home and enjoying time together, then so it is. And it is grand. Sometimes, we venture out a little..taking in the sights and sounds of our area. We live in a very touristy, very amusement oriented city. We like to seek out the "secret" places to have fun, to explore. And we often do this by visiting resorts and exploring. And, so, this is how we began our weekend.
After a big pizza dinner with my Mom and Dad, our little family decided to head over to Disney's Polynesian Resort. It's a beautiful, relaxing resort with lots to see and do. Our first stop was the pool area to check out the massive volcano. After walking through lush tropical foliage and amid glowing tiki torches, we made our way to the stunning pool.
The pool lies directly next to the beach, where we took in the Electric Water Pageant. The dancing lights were awesome, as usual, and then we settled in for a fireworks display like no other. Summer Nightastic at the Magic Kingdom is a beautiful show, and we could see and hear (thanks to the speaker behind us) the show right from the beach. Summer memories for sure!
We ended our night with a late night snack at Captain Cooks and then played a few rounds of games in the arcade.
The following day, we woke up with no plans except to play with the boys and relax. There is nothing that says summer more than grilling cheeseburgers and corn on the cob wrapped in aluminum foil! Legos were the hit of the day for the big kid, and the little one amused us with his new found love of repeating and doing everything big brother does! That kid cracks me up!
Our night ended with sparklers in the driveway, followed by a viewing of Alice In Wonderland and big bowls of ice cream.
Our weekends are the best. Whether we're relaxing at home, exploring our surroundings or playing at a theme park.....we are savoring the little moments!!!
Our Fourth of July was very low key and simple, but tons of fun!!! My parents came over to enjoy the day with the boys, and we had a little picnic inside (it was waaaaay too hot outside).
We all dressed in our red, whites and blues. We ate popsicles when it got too hot, lit sparklers and set off little fireworks in the driveway. Took lots of pictures and had a very fun day!
Unfortunately, ONE of us was rather crabby in the mid afternoon when he missed his nap. He cheered up quite quickly though when the popsicles were brought out! (hello, Mother of The Year Award right here for snapping a pic when the little guy was not happy. LOL)
We did end up staying in for the night. Stephen had to work, so the boys and I were content to enjoy our little fireworks and watch the neighbor's set theirs off. There were so many going off that we had our own fireworks extravaganza just outside our door!
I'm so very thankful for living in a country where I am free to speak my mind. A country where I am allowed to venture outside the home in shorts and flip flops if I so choose. A country where I am free to be a SAHM. A country where I can home school my children without repercussions. I am so very proud to be American. Life is Grand!!!!!
Within the past year, I've been drawn to anything and everything nostalgic. I want to simplify our lives, have some old fashioned fun and live life to the fullest. I've come to realize that it's really and truly about the little things (with a few grand things thrown in the mix). I had this amazing idea, which was inspired by a Facebook friend (shout out to Sandy!) to create a chalkboard plaque with a pretty frame around it; and then write 5 things that make us happy on it each and every day. Simple things to remind us how much we have to be thankful for and to teach the kids that life isn't about money, fame and power. I want to proudly display it in our home, where the kids can reach it and create their own 5 things. I can't wait to get started on this project!!! I'll share photos as we create!
I'm so excited about the Fourth of July this year! Not because we're doing anything fantastic or extraordinary, but because we will just relax and have fun!!! Plans, for now, include swimming,bbqing, painting, sidewalk chalk, yard games and a walk. Our menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, baked beans, chips, pickles and olives, corn on the cob and watermelon! I also want to get some bomb pops for the kids...I think they will make great photo ops! :) I'm not sure if we'll go to any fireworks this year. Fireworks are pretty common in Orlando. Every single theme park has them almost nightly, and I've seen them hundreds of times. While they are nice and pretty, it's not something extra special..so we may skip 'em this year. Although, who knows, we may venture to Celebration for their annual old fashioned block party and fireworks; or head over to a Disney resort to catch the fireworks. We'll just have to wait and see I suppose. No matter what, though, we'll be twirling our own sparklers around, lighting some small fireworks in the driveway and watching those fun "snakes" you can burn on the ground (Alex loves these). Are you excited???
I realize I haven't posted much about homeschooling, although Punky has been doing really well with it! I'm so proud of him! We are continuing our schooling through August, just not as strict and focused. He's mostly reading as much as possible, studying things here and there that he enjoys, and studying math. I'm not sure if we will always do a year-round school, but I decided to this year because of evaluations. In Florida, you have to have an evaluator look at the student's work; and they submit a form to the school district. You have one year from the date that you formally declared your child to be home schooled. For us, this date is in October. So, this year, I figured we might as well continue until the end of August and have him evaluated then. We'll start over October 1 (third grade). Anyway, he's doing really really well! The only definitive plans for this summer is to have him write a book report based on a chapter book, do some math worksheets and play math games (it's our hardest subject), and read read read read read. :)