Monday, December 24, 2012

Sleigh ride Florida style

Gary asked me the other night if I missed the snow.
But there are some things that are classic Christmas, that just aren't possible the same way in a tropical climate. So we are changing up traditions and trying new things and loving it.

We already went to St. Augustine and rode the Holly Jolly Trolly so what do do Christmas Eve?

 Go to the swamp and hitch an air boat ride. Obviously. ;) Actually, we have some friends who got a gift certificate for an air boat ride for six people. They gifted it to us because they weren't going to use it and knew we would. None of us have ever been on an air boat so we were all pretty excited. It was a cooler day so we bundled up a bit since we'd be against the wind. I was glad to have a use for the hats I knitted the kids. :) Awe look at that ping, ping, ping, ping, ping.

 Olea got to ride the high seat first. Giddy was happy to chill for most of it.

 Nev was singing into the wind.
 Cranes looking for a place to build a nest.
 The clan of us (driver took the picture)
Zurich wanted to go fast and got his wish. He's watching the dials.
 Pretty Lake Woodruff
 Giddy-Phone before he rejected the earphones.
 Nev was so pleased when she got her turn to sit on the high seat. She sang the whole time and the driver got a kick out of it. He was totally cool with the kids, I always worry because people here just aren't that used to kids, especially four of them at once. He was very accommodating and we had a blast. Gary really is interested in doing a gator hunt or bow fishing via air boat.
 We saw quite a few Gator especially for it being an overcast day but this lil guy was the only one I got a picture of.
As we headed home I said to Gary, "That was a nice sleigh ride; Florida style."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

oh dear

Came up last night after cleaning up and saw Nev sleeping like this. Classic for my little girl who chose to sleep on the floor to avoid falling out of bed. I couldn't believe it and had to run for the camera, especially since I had already checked on her and had to scoot her away from the edge of the bed.

a bedroom for boys: almost done

My little boy turned 5 recently. Since we moved into this house the boys room has been an eyesore. I've been dying to get rid of the ugly elephant wallpaper and edge to edge blah color. I mean the baseboards were even painted the same color, and closet doors... He's never had a room that really was his, since he shared with his sister before. So it was time we rewarded the little boy who keeps his room so clean. Seriously, his is always cleaner than the girls'.

We finally got around to beginning it and emptied out their room. Z was SO excited to sleep on the floor and had been dying for his turn since his sisters did while they waited for their new bed to be put together.
First I had to remove that awful wallpaper border. Which thankfully wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. My mother in-law had to help me get over my fear and get to it. :)

Zurich has wanted a Spiderman room for a while now so of course we went with that. I wanted a paint scheme that would age well though so I had it in my head to do a cityscape silhouette at twilight in comic book greys, which are really more blue and purple. Gary couldn't envision what I was describing but went along with it anyway, what a dear.

He left me to pick out the paint by myself and he went to get the wallpaper... What? you are supposed to match the paint with the wallpaper? no.... I think it will all work out though.

Gary came in from working on the beds and taped off a few visually identifiable silhouettes, and I worked on the general buildings. Tip: paint top color first to the lowest point your buildings may dip then tape off building lines and roll or brush into paint. I didn't roll down far enough and had to touch up some later, but I had to do that anyway so it's not a big deal. I had my basic line at 33 inches where a chair rail would go and had some higher and lowers along that line.

I'm pleased with it.

We also had a set of bunk beds from my days growing up. Sturdy suckers. However, when we moved here we chose to keep some brand new mattresses in the house and found they were xl twin. So we had to make new side rails to lengthen the bed. We just covered up the unfinished wood with bed skirts in the mean time.

Gary and his Dad decided to make some necessary and some pretty modifications to the beds and sand them down and re-stain and gloss them to match the dresser. It turned into a pretty big project but they sure turned out pretty.
Here is the room partially put back together so the boys could sleep in their room again. Giddy is still in the crib so that will free up space when he moves to the bed. 

While waiting for the wallpaper and decals to arrive we haven't put any of the pictures back up and I was missing the clock. So I got his Thomas clock and decided it would be easy to add a Spiderman face to it. The blue border would work well. Of course we are mildly out of black ink and its 10:30pm and Gary is gone on a business trip so I decided the little ink failure adds to the effect. Don't judge me. I'm moving on with my life.

I used the image from here: and stretched it a little to make it circular. Downloaded the free spiderman font that had numbers here:  I reversed out the 3 and 9 with a little text rasterizing and erasing.

Snap the thing back together and I can hang it up tomorrow when kids aren't sleeping. Gary said he will pick up more ink on his way home tomorrow... The numbers run into the border a little. Hmm maybe I will fix that and print it out again... maybe.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa are amazing

For Christmas this year we did our best to convince Grandma and Grandpa to come here again for the kids.  :) It worked out their time off was when we were planning on re-doing the boys' room. Oh they always manage to get sucked into our projects. But they are so skilled! Don't worry we made plenty of time for play too.

While they were here Grandpa made the kids stilts and a teeter-totter. It's perfect sitting there between the trees. I love it. The kids love it, so that's the best.

Grandma took the scary out of wall paper removal for me and kept the kids entertained so I could paint. Gary and his dad worked on the bunk beds.

Grandma needed bubble wrap for the cute advent calendars she made with each of the kids and at Lowe's the guys picked up a huge role of it. So Grandma covered the kitchen floor with it and let the kids live out a childhood fantasy.

After Gary and I got the basic of the paint done we took the kids out of school and went up to Historic St. Augustine. Since moving to FL we have tried to learn more about our new home state. It's kinda crazy to grow up knowing Utah/ Idaho and west history and geography and barely anything about your new home state.

Nev has also been begging to go with Daddy on a trip and stay in a hotel. Oh they love hotels. I think it might be the phones.
 First up the Irish Pub for some corned beef
 Then the Holly Jolly Trolly

We missed Santa, he left early so we went the next day.
LAME. He didn't even bother to pull up his fake beard.

Nev was so cute with her glasses on and slunked up in her coat with her squishy face. Oh how I adore my lil cherub.

We took a historic tour in a trolly which was really cool.

I could develop a fondness of a local college. :) We also visited the Castillo de San Marcos and Olea took the time to read up as she saw things. It was nice to go again when it wasn't so busy.


 Nev finds flowers to pick everywhere.
Olea saw a man weaving palm fronds and admired them for a while. He gave her this dragonfly. Pretty cool. Off to the sweet shop.  
While walking the streets of  St. Augustine we got the kids their t-shirts and I saw a shirt and almost said something to Gary but decided not to. While I thought he was paying I went out of the store and was telling Gary's dad about the shirt, next thing I know he comes out all proud of himself with a bright blue shirt on. YUP, that's the one I decided not to direct your attention to. :D Totally goes with the do-rag he was wearing to keep his minor head surgery covered. (He had a cyst removed from his scalp).
Giddy love to pour things.... it's cute to see how exciting it is for him, but exhausting to clean up all the mess.
  We went to Winter Wonderland and played around, the Santa there was much better. We got to take the kids ice skating. Zurich tried it but didn't care for it much. Olea was a pro. Nev was very determined and I was proud of her. Giddy enjoyed it but overall was just plain tired. They even made fake snow out of suds which was fun, but without all the cold. :)

We also went to the Alligator farm and expanded our knowledge on alligators. :)

 A little boy I know was being a pretty big "no" say-er and ready for a nap.

 Grandma and Grandpa came so full of energy giving the kids horsey rides and helping us tackle some pretty big projects, go go go play play play. We were so happy to have them with us and all their help.