Saturday, November 28, 2009

Watching the Manatees

Not to far from where we live is a power plant. One of the byproducts of the power plant is warm water that is released into the bay. During the winter, this place turns into a spa for sea creatures looking to keep warm.
The power plant maintains a viewing center that is free to the public.
From a dock you can see dozens of manatees.

We could see their bodies too but the reflection from the water wouldn't let me get a good photo of them. I had told Matt that I wanted to arrange to swim with them until I saw the
3-5 foot sharks and stingrays jumping out of the water around them. I'd still do it, but someone would have to be standing on a boat nearby with a harpoon gun to protect me from 'Jaws.' Me and the kiddos plus Audrey's new friend.
Posing with the plastic manatee.
There is also a little educational center near the dock. Meili had fun looking at all of the displays.
and was happy to be included in the manatee race.
The manatee skeleton got her attention.
Finishing a puzzle (with some help.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Day of School-Take Two

On the day that our stuff arrived in Florida, we sent Noah and Xander off for their first day at their new school. This is our first experience with school uniforms. So far, so good. I like the collared shirt thing but it makes for some very boring clothes shopping-khaki or navy pants and blue, white or gold shirts. The kids also eat a free breakfast at school. It makes the mornings at home really easy-one less mess to clean up! In AZ, the boys caught a bus to school at the end of our street. Now, we live about a 5 minute walk from the school so I walk the boys with Meili in the stroller and sit with them while they eat and then walk them to their classes. I'm guessing that eventually I'll drop them off at breakfast and leave but the school is HUGE (1100+ kids!) and feels like a hs campus to me so I can only imagine what they think about it. I don't want them getting lost. So far they don't mind Mom tagging along with them in the morning. We'll see how long it lasts.

Here's Noah gearing up for class: And Xander with his new teacher, Mrs. Nicely. Isn't that a great name for a Kindergarten teacher?

After all this trouble, we better find a place to camp...

Our tent trailer made the ride to FL packed like a sardine in the moving truck with our other stuff. It was quite a feat to load it and the same feat in reverse to unload it. A flat bed tow truck was backed up to the van and the movers pushed it out with a dolly from the inside. Unbelievably, the thing is now parked in the garage, man nor machine injured in the process.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Between Homes

From the 10th through the 16th of November we called a hotel our home while we waited for our belongings to arrive from AZ. We have made the discovery that everything is hard with five kids. Living out of suitcases and eating out at restaurants are now a few of our 'favorites.' Needless to say, we don't have many photos from the week but here are a few of us trying to minimize the number of 'I'm bored's' that we would hear on a given day:

Another trip to the aquarium-
We took the kids to see A C.arol and came out famished. This was the first restaurant we found. Matt was sorely disappointed..:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Big Move

It's actually 2 months later as I blog this and still so sad to look back at the pictures and still so hard to process the whirlwhind that was our life in 2009. I can remember taking this picture and just thinking, 'This can't be real.' We're settled in Florida now and doing fine but we had a nice little life in Arizona and we're definitely going to miss it.

Matt's buddies pulled up with BBQ gear on packing day and treated us to a delicious lunch. It would be our last home-cooked meal for weeks and it was very much appreciated. The 'Matt-mobile' on top of the car mover. The suburban made it's way up there too but we had to run off somewhere so didn't get a picture. Wait till you see what they did with our tent trailer in another post!

3 of the kiddos in front of the van before it pulled away.

The girls on our cul-de-sac. Lots of fun memories with these girls!

And the boys. Lots of fun, usually with light saber in hand, were had by these guys over the years...
Saying goodbye to our house.

I just looked up our house online to see if it was still on the market (relo company bought it from us, thank heavens!) and it is. The relo company has painted the entire interior white. It doesn't look like our home anymore but it was and we have 6 years of happy memories there to prove it.
Saying goodbye to Tucson.

Meili's 7th airplane ride in 3 1/2 months...:(

Our friend from church, Randy, flies for Delta and was a passenger on our flight to Georgia. It was nice to have a bit of Tucson with us on our layover. The kids asked him why he was wearing his Halloween costume...:)