Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emily's Exciting Birthday!!

My little, baby girl recently turned 8 years old!  This absolutely depresses me. :(  How has the time flown?  I am with her EVERY SINGLE DAY!

It was so fun and exciting to see how excited she was, so I got over my depressing mood REAL quick.

Thank you to all the Grandparents and family that sent her cards.  She was thrilled. :)

For anyone that knows this little girl, they understand how wonderful this picture is.  She adores to cook and clean.  ( I know....really cool, huh?)

She wanted a Breakfast Supper for one of her meals, and she wanted to cook the meal for everyone.
(scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and biscuits)

Instead of the typical cake and ice cream, she chose popsicles. ;)  The Harper's came over to help us eat them all and gave her a cute Minnie Mouse watch.  One of the gifts she bought with her birthday money was the movie, 'Soul Surfer.'  So, they froze their lips off, as they enjoyed movie night! HA!

On another evening, our new friends, Jerry & Ruby and Mike & Janice took us out for pizza and had a small party for Emily.

It is indescribable how sweet it is to meet the most kind, loving and encouraging people on this road of life.  The Lord has given us 'family' and a sense of community while living on the road.  For all of us, it has been overwhelming, but wonderful!

Emily LOVES gymnastics, so for her birthday, I took her and Hannah to Jackson's Gym for their Day Camp.

Happy Girl :)

Have you ever seen how narrow a balance beam is?!  A small foot can barely fit!

She flipped on the uneven bars.

They had smiles on their faces for 3 hours STRAIGHT.  Two tired, little girls, ready to eat lunch.

So, we went to the World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's!

They have the typical McD's menu, BUT, they also have shrimp, chicken alfredo, enchiladas, pizza and more!

We sat in the 'rainforest,' listening to the waterfall.

LOOK at this fancy-smancy bathroom!  Have YOU ever seen this at McDonald's!?

Upstairs, was a huge arcade room filled with the best of the best games.

It was a fun-filled, wonderful birthday for Emily.  YEAH!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunshine Travel RV Resort - Campground Review

Last week, we had a restful week in Vero Beach, FL., at this great Rv Park.  After Zach's accident, we decided to stay put, rest, catch up on stuff and get at on of school work done.

Tanner made $300 this week, at this RV Park, washing RV's!  He was SO excited, and it felt good for him to work hard.  (He is SO happy after a good work out) :)

I took Hannah, Emily and Parker swimming almost everyday and soaked in the sunshine. :)  We also hit all the Thrift Stores in town one day, while Zach stayed home and kept his foot up.  One of the great 'finds' was some crutches for only $3!!!

I LOVE THRIFT STORES!  You just never know what you will find at such a great price.

Sunshine Travel is a great RV park.  Their property is SPOTLESS.  Their staff is very friendly and helpful.  When they saw the size of our rig, they gave us a huge site, right next to the pool and Lodge.

Price - $99/week + plus taxes and fees = $120/week

Amenities - Beautiful pool, HUGE, clean laundry facility with 10 washers and 10 dryers!  Very nice, private, and clean bathhouse.  They have an active community there, so there were people involved in all kinds of horseshoe tournaments, meals, kayak trips, etc....  They also had a fun putt-putt course, too.

We would definitely come back here with the $99/week deal.  They had a "Special" for Thousand Trails' members during the months of December - March, and I am glad we took advantage of it. :)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jolly Roger Travel Park - Campground Review

Visiting the Keys of Florida can be a little tricky.  If you are SUPER organized and a great planner, then make a reservation about a YEAR in advance, so you can stay at one of the wonderful state parks. ;)

If you like to 'roll with it' like me, then you will want to stay somewhere like Jolly Roger!

Another tricky part, is the cost, and the proximity to grocery stores, or tourist attractions.  Just budget plenty of extra cash for lodging, gas and a day or two of fun, and you can enjoy your time.  I also recommend that you go grocery shopping BEFORE you enter the Keys of Florida.

So, for 3 days, we went to the beach, Mallory Square, the MOST Southern Point and Hemingway's home.  If you are on a budget, 3 days is plenty to fit it all in with out stretching your sanity!

Price - $35/night PLUS extra fees for kids and tax = $50/night WITH A PASSPORT AMERICA (50%) DISCOUNT!!!

Amenities - This is a large park, but the sites were a little crowded.  Todd, with his excellent driving skills, was able to fit into our spot, but it may be tight for other big rigs.  There is a laundry and bathhouse, but we did not use them.  (The bathrooms have curtains instead of doors.....a little risky for me and my kiddos!) ;)
There is also a beautiful pier, deck and swimming beach in the back of the park.  We also enjoyed the heated pool.

I thought the location was perfect for visiting the Keys.  From the Everglades, it only took over an hour to get there, and it was not crazy-busy with traffic, like it is further south (over an hour) in Key West.

If we ever visit the Keys in the future, I will definitely reserve a beautiful, ocean-view, state park site!  Jolly Roger was a good second choice though.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Syrup......Snorkeling......& Stitches!!!

So, we started off the day with giddy hearts, because IHOP was celebrating "National Pancake Day," and we wanted to be there!

Best part, other than the yummy pancakes, was that they were FREE!!!  I love free. :)

Parker enjoyed strawberry syrup, while others devoured the blueberry syrup.

After filling our bellies, we jetted on over to Bahia Honda State Park.

This is one of the best state parks in Florida.

There are a few beaches in the park and an rv park, if you can get a reservation!

This was a FIRST for the Golden Gang!  Snorkeling!!  We have had our snorkel gear for about 8 months now!  The time finally came!  :)

The kids enjoyed searching in the clear-blue water for sea life and plants, even if the water was a little cold.

Tanner was hilarious, trying to walk with flippers on!

What?!   Did Zach's head fall off?!!!

The kids also had a blast on the Harper's boogie-boards.

And then, the day went from wonderfully, perfect.....

To horribly scary.  All of a sudden, Zach told me that something cut his foot.  When he picked it up, there was blood pouring out from the bottom, and I could see a huge slice!  I felt so bad for him.  He felt so bad for everyone else.  (he didn't want to ruin everyone's fun day) :(

Praise the Lord for sweet friends, like the Harper family, because they all started helping; packing up all the beach gear, all the towels, goggles, shoes, chairs, toys......You get the idea.

Janet typed in a hospital, onto the GPS for me to rush Zach, and off I went.

 I was just praying that he didn't get stung by a jellyfish or worse.
 I didn't know if he severed a tendon or worse.  I was so concerned.

 After about 5 minutes of driving (remember, we are at the Keys!  Only two directions, surrounded by water), I felt a peace.  I honestly felt like the Lord was comforting me, and then I started thinking clearly.  I had Tanner call Todd (he was back at the rv park working!), and he gave me an address to an emergency clinc that would be less expensive than an ER.  Minutes later, we arrived to a nurse opening the door with a big smile.  I felt welcomed and immediately felt like Zach would be taken care of well.  Turns out, the doctor used to work in an emergency room for many years, before he decided to open a family practice!

God is so good.  Zach ended up with SEVEN stitches on the bottom of his foot, but it could have been much worse!  It was a clean cut, and will hopefully be a quick recovery. :)

Good Ole' Zach!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Key West - The Most Southern Point!

WHOO HOO!  We made it to the Keys!

From our campground, in Marathon, FL., we drove as far south as possible.  The mint green-blue water surrounding us on both sides of Highway 1 was just breath taking.

We HAD to get a picture of Zach in front of this Historical site!

We parked for free at the Eco-Discovery building, and walked and walked and walked till we hit Mallory Square.

There are trolleys driving around everywhere.

Parker and the Harper boys thought this was fun outside the Shipwreck Museum.

Then, we admired all the pretty shells and other decorations here.

Just beautiful.

Great white shark's teeth!

In Key West, there are some interesting things to see and admire. :)  This is 'Sponge Bob!' :)

Many cruise ships dock here daily.

They are massive!

We found so many roosters and chickens through out Key West, too!  Too weird!

Look at this tree's trunk.

The legendary Ernest Hemingway's home.  He still has over 40 cats living here!

It is just awesome to think that such a creative mind lived here for many years.

This is his backyard.  It seems like such a peaceful place, inside of a crazy-busy town like Key West.

Key West Lighthouse. :)

Highway 1 starts here and ends all the way up in the state of MAINE!

Along the streets, there are so many cute little homes.  They made such an effort to show hospitality.

Along with the chickens, we saw a huge iguana!  So cool!

YEAH!!!  Here we are!  One more step and we would be in the ocean! ;)