Things are busy around here, as always, but it's the good kind of busy now (instead of the horrible kind of busy where you always are doing things you don't want to do).
Saturday morning, Chris and I took the kids to participate in one of the Give a Day, Get a Day events sponsored by Disney. Essentially, you volunteer in your community for specified events of service and get free Disney tickets in return. Now, I'm all about volunteering anyway, so we didn't tell the kids they were going to Disney. Unfortunately, there were signs up, so we did have to let the cat out of the bag once we arrived, but that's okay. I was so proud of them for cheerfully (mostly) giving up their Saturday morning to pick up trash in public areas. But knowing they were going to Disney? Well, that bolstered the spirits and surely was the thing that got us through the morning once we started finding things like vienna sausage cans, 5-gallon bottles of herbicide and even a hog jawbone that needed to be picked up and disposed of.
Yes, we were given gloves.
Yes, we were so happy to be wearing them.
Yes, we sanitized ourselves head-to-toe once we were finished.
And that brings us to the conclusion of an amazing year of theme-parking for us. It's nor normally within our budget's reach to visit the local theme parks, but this year has given us the free admission to three of them! Partner that with passes to the local zoo that my parents gave us for Christmas, and we have had more family-outing fun than I even know what to do with!
So. Where was I? Oh. Saturday morning. Picking up trash.
Saturday evening found us at my parents' house, catching up with old family friends from the midwest. These are people that knew my parents when I was something like three years old. I do remember them - a very, wee, tiny little bit. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner and stories and jokes. It was great fun.
Sunday morning, after church, we four packed up some sandwiches and headed to the zoo in Tampa. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here (save for a couple of days of torrential rain). The skies are bright blue, the temperature hovers in the low 70s and there's always a good breeze. This is why we live here. Now, remind me of that in September, will you? I hate Florida Septembers.
We spent a lot of time with the birds - birds are favored by Drew and me. There is an aviary filled with little parakeets. They zoom around and you can feed them treats on sticks.
I thought they were especially adorable sitting on top of this fan:
In another of the aviaries, we were all absolutely taken with this pair of (I think) doves.
Emma has only recently plucked up enough courage to pet the rays. She really loves them now - they're very playful and they feel so silky.
Once we'd had our fill of birds and monkeys and pygmy hippopotamus, we took the kids to see Alice in Wonderland. They both enjoyed it so much. I was a little bit worried that it would freak Emma out, but she seems to finally be growing into her imagination. That imagination of hers has always been able to get the better of her, but this time, she thoroughly enjoyed herself. We had actual, nearly-grown-up discussion about Tim Burton and his imagination and how great it must be to have tools at one's disposal to bring one's inner world to life. I enjoyed it very much - both the movie and the ensuing conversation with one of the muchiest girls I know.
I, for one, am really needing a bit of extra sleep after that crazy time change. I know, I know...it happens ever year, but still. Ugh.
I will try to dump a little bit more out of my brain very soon (it's feeling so full in there), including sewing and knitting projects and some garden progress. Stay tuned!