Saturday, September 24, 2011

Answered Prayers

This morning, we were awakened at 3:23 am by a pounding on our front door.
We were fairly scared out of our whits.
New to the area - there's no one we could imagine who might be at our door in the middle of the night.

I kicked my husband to make sure he was going to deal with it, because there was NO way I was going to even get out of the bed - much less, answer the door.
He pulled on some clothes, turned on the light in the hall, checked to make sure both of the kids were in their beds and okay, and then went to the door.

It was the police.

Apparently, when our trash container was brought into the garage earlier that evening, our garage door had been left wide open.

I've been pondering this all day (and much of the morning while I lay in my bed trying to release the adrenaline and get back to sleep).  Is this an area where we have to worry about our home being broken into?  Was it dangerous that we left our garage door open?  Why was it important enough to get us up out of bed in the middle of the night to address it?  As I said - new to the area, we still don't know a lot about everything here. In rural Colorado, it had happened a few times, but we'd never had a late night knock on the door, and it hadn't been a big deal.

This evening I went to a church meeting, where a worldwide conference was broadcast to all women from 18+ throughout the world. There, as I listened to the speakers, one of the talks really hit me.  The last speaker, Dieter Uchtdorf spoke about how Heavenly Father knows every single one of us, and cares deeply for us.

Each evening, before we go to bed, we kneel as a family and pray together.  Generally, my kids kick out prayer #6 or 7 as we sometimes call them.  Rather than a prayer from the heart, and really showing gratitude and giving thanks, and really asking for the things we may need, sometimes they just sort of say the same thing.  However, one thing that they usually ask is to 'please bless us that we can have a good night'.  In my personal evening prayers, I also generally pray to something of that effect - 'please watch over and protect us' etc.
(but mine usually vary to some degree - no #6 or 7's here)

As I listened to an apostle of God speak tonight of Heavenly Father's love for each of His children, I was impressed that the untimely and somewhat inconvenient knock on our door last night, was an answer to our prayers - Heavenly Father was watching over and protecting us, and so he sent someone to help us (even though we didn't know that we needed help - but He knew) - he sent someone to answer our prayers.    

Friday, September 23, 2011

Boxes, boxes, boxes

There's just nothing like a visit from friends or family that gets things done.
We have a 4th bedroom in our home.
It has been the resident home of the boxes.
We originally dubbed it the craft room.
A table was set up, and many boxes of all things crafty were piled around.
And, of course, anything else we just didn't want to deal with at the time.
Yep, the boxes of photos, notebooks, business files, material, crafts - really I could go on and on.

Last week was the material project.
I built 2 storage shelves, bought tons of bins, and got all of my material and the crafty stuff organized.
This week I put together a bookshelf, re-organized the closet, and can ALMOST see the floor of the extra room.  Once that room is put together, the only thing left will be the garage to re-organize.
Nothing like moving to bring on a good purge!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Food Storage Furniture

So, in our move, we downsized.
We went from a house with a huge full basement, to a house with a little less living space and considerably less storage space.
Did I mention that we have a year's supply of food? Yep, rice, wheat, beans, .....
Our church teaches us to be prepared, and so we worked hard over the past years to put together our food storage.
Then we had to move it.
That wasn't very fun.
Our moving guys didn't think so either.

We put everything in the garage on shelves.
Then, the ladies from church told us that if we keep things in the garage, they will spoil, because of the heat and humidity.

We set about trying to figure out some althernate options and went back to my husband's original "Distributed Food Storage Plan".

It consisted of distributing the food storage throughout the whole house.
While we haven't completely done this, we have adapted it in several instances.

We hauled all of the boxes upstairs and had a tower in our bedroom which reached the ceiling. Seriously.
For a month, I looked at it, trying in vain to figure out a way to mask the food storage monstrosity.
Then, one day, I had a revelation.
I evened out the boxes, and covered them with a cute stripy shower curtain.
Then I moved my bookcases to encase the food storage tower.
Then I bought a plant to fill in some blank space, and we now have some groovy dimension in our bedroom rather than a ceiling high tower o wheat. And the best part is that you can't even tell.

We also made a food storage tv table - covered with a simple tablecloth...

Our kids needed night tables for their scriptures and lamps and glasses, and....

So - we made food storage night tables.
And covered them with cute material that matched the room.
Cute huh?

We still had several #10 cans. My husband put them all under the bed.
Here you can see their smiling faces, just barely peeking out. The point is, while space can cause an issue, it can work with a little material and some creativity.

I didn't remember if I posted this already or not, but just came across this photo. There on the top of the trailer you can see our two cars - after being hauled from Colorado to Florida.

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The pool

Have I mentioned our neighborhood pool?
Yep - the famous one I jumped into - skirt and all?
Here it is.
We spend a lot of time here

Yesterday we worked on some water acrobatics

She had been standing on her daddy's shoulders, but I wasn't fast enough here

What you might not be able to see very well, is that here, under my husband, is our daughter.
He's sitting on her shoulders, but her hair is over her face - like cousin it...
She's pretty strong.

Remember in pride and prejudice when Mr. Collins appears?
I told my husband I liked his pool hairdo here.
He called it his Mr. Collins hair

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Downtown Disney photos

Love this shirt...
Something about it just says - ME

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Yesterday, we hit our pool instead of the beach, and since we live near an IKEA and have never been to one before, we decided to head over and search for a book shelf/storage system.
It was interesting. 
We had to ask directions - we couldn't figure out the concept of 'walk through, see what you like, write it down, then pick it up at the end'...

We have a crafty room.  Full of material and sewing stuff, and yarn, and all sorts of crafty stuff that our kids like to do.  
While we had some great storage closets in Colorado, we've been at a loss of how to get everything organized here.  As such, we have a room (still) full of boxes.  But, I'll be picking up this baby tomorrow and getting organized.  
Especially as we may have company coming our way. 

Downtown Disney

After the science museum, we headed over to Downtown Disney. We had no idea what it actually was, but figured that since there wasn't an admission price to get in - we would check it out.
We found some really cool lego creations.
We hear that a lego land is opening in the area
Fascinating what can be made with legos...

Then we found a sandwich shop.
We were really worried that it would be TOTALLY overpriced (like the $5 hot dog stand we'd just passed)

We had THE BEST sandwiches we may have ever had at a little shop
titled "Earl of Sandwiches"
Oh My Goodness
My husband and I are still in awe over their roastbeef sandwich.

And it was only $5.99 which wasn't the highway robbery we'd been expecting.
Our daughter went for the tomato soup, and while it wasn't as good as mom's (mine) she said it was pretty darn good.

We will definitely head back there again.

We played in the splash fountain, walked through lots of shops, and more shops, and even more shops - window shopping all the way.
The we passed by a stage, where a gentleman was teaching kids dance moves.
We sat down to enjoy the entertainment.
Our kids eventually decided to join the dance lesson.
As the evening wore on, at one point, the kids brought an adult down onto the floor with them.
Guess who got to go up?
Yep. Both of us.
Then, the kids got to sit down, and judge the adults as we danced for the audience.
That was a little awkward.
My husband.
He didn't even try.
I was very disappointed.

I tried.
I was a finalist.
But I didn't win.
I'm glad I didn't win.
Some of the dances and songs they did were a little, ummm suggestive.
I don't know how (or want) to nasty dance.

But - it isn't every day you get to dance for a crowd and become a finalist!!!
It's a good thing I don't embarrass easily I guess.
It was fun, and I think my kids were pretty impressed.
Next time, I'll know though.
While my husband took a video, I won't be posting it.
I didn't mind strangers seeing it...but people I know? No way!
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Orlando Science Museum

We watched an interesting on Arabia in the planetarium....and tried not to throwup from motion sickness...

Then watched the stingray feeding which was pretty interesting as well.

They finally kicked us out at closing time. The kids enjoyed a rocket and airplane flight simultion, and learning about powering a village with energy.

We headed out for another adventure when they kicked us out.
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We finally saw alligators!!

We had to go to Orlando's Science Museum, but we finally found some.
We got to watch and help out in the alligator's feeding time - throwing puppy chow type food to them.
And the girls got to pet a baby cute...

We enjoyed the pinewood derby races

And this super interesting under the sea scene fascinated us once we found out that it was created completely with royal FROSTING! How weird! But totally cool.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top views

Our girls were in a posing mood. Which doesn't happen very often.
Here are some final photos of some views from on top of the castillo.

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St. Charles Bastion

I thought this was pretty cool.
The tower seen in the background was where the sentry rang the alarm.
You can read what happened in the second photo.

I love the faith seen here.

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It was amazing to see the stones that they had quarried - that were literally made from millions of sea shells which had solidified and cemented together.

The drawbridge across the moat

Rey Carlos' coat of arms. At the entrance of the castle you can see this in the stone.

The view of the courtyard (not sure if they called it that) from above.

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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

So while we didn't have very much time (due to an extensive day at the beach), we decided to check out the castle (castillo) before it closed.

My hsuband points out that this "castle" was really a fort - since that was it's primary use, I'll have to give him that.

We had fun taking pictures with the sentry guard, and chatting with some 'period' guards later on

Canons seemed to be the thing at this fort. They were everywhere. We even got to watch a video that had a 17 minute re-enactment of how they loaded, and shot a canon.

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