Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunny Florida

 We just got back from spending some time with Kenton's parents in Florida.
As usual I came home with lots of random shots and missed opportunities.
We love seeing and smelling all the orange groves.
Helping grandma pick oranges and make juice is a favorite.
Elmer and Kathleen shared their shuffleboard court.
The kids loved beating dad and grandpa.

We took roller blades and bike helmets. Emily thoroughly enjoyed riding this trike.
I can't believe I never took a picture of Megan roller blading.  She zoomed up and down and back and forth.  Her goal was to learn to go backwards.  She figured it out.
Everyone enjoyed soaking up vitamin D.  
Kenton wanted the kids to hear the speaker at the Holstein breakfast at the Florida State Fair.
It was a total bomb.  The speaker spent two minutes talking about the weather and two minutes explaining that he didn't have a speech prepared.  The cow show wasn't exactly a huge hit either.
Sidenote: Emily is now potty-trained.  I made many, many, many trips to the bathroom.  Evidently that's her method of coping with boredom. 
While the cow show got old quickly, the kids enjoyed the fowl and rabbits next door.


Grandpa and Jimmy took Kenton and the older three fishing one night at Istapoka.
Bug nets were appreciated.

They caught around 48 fish.
Grandpa, Jimmy, and dad were kept busy baiting hooks and taking off fish.

We went to Siesta Key one day.
It was a perfect day for being at the beach. 

Kenton thought it was hysterical that a gull grabbed my sandwich right out of my hand and took off with it.  That made Davis determined to catch one.  Turns out those birds are smarter than us - he never caught any but they made off with Jamison's sandwich, too.

Required beach entertainment, right?
One day we went to Myakka State Park.
The canopy walk
View from the canopy tower

Always on the move
We took an airboat ride and saw lots of alligators.

Grandma taught the girls the basics of Sudoku.
Lots and lots of time was spent roller blading, biking, reading, relaxing, and visiting.  We had a turkey dinner with Allen and Linda(and Rachel) and breakfast on the patio with Jim and Isabelle.  Kenton was having such a nice time just relaxing that he opted to skip visiting Kennedy Space Center.
We've been hoping to catch up with the Brabson family since we came home from China.  Emily has foiled several attempts but this time -TA DA! - we finally met with them.
Jason and Katie were adopting Lingling while we were there adopting Emily.  When I was beyond exhausted, they went sight-seeing with our kids while I slept and Kenton was with Emily at the hospital.  We've been looking forward to meeting their sons Moosie (sp?) and Finn and seeing Lingling now that she has her place in the family.
It was so much fun to reconnect and we didn't have near enough time.
It was beautiful to see how Lingling has grown.  In China she often shyly had her face turned in to her new mama.  To see how she and Emily strutted through the halls, swam in the pool, and have found their place in their families is a tremendous blessing. 

And then it was time to head for home.
Time to get back into routine.


  1. Sounds like you all had a fun family vacation. Sorry Emily ended up in the hospital.

  2. I think you got lots of great pictures! You packed so much fun into your time in FL! The beach pics made me anxious for all this snow to melt and warm weather to arrive :)

  3. What a wonderful family time and what a blessing that Emily is potty-trained and was healthy during your trip! Love that beautiful white sand of Siesta Key. I spent so many years from high school until Joe and I got married in that area. My parents had a beautiful beach house on Longboat Key......ahhhhh those were the days!

  4. I'm so jealous! We love Siesta Key! I'm glad you had a lot of fun.