Made it home

Flying in, i swear I could feel the cold through the walls of the plane. I could see that the roadways were white in the glow of the street lights. This morning, our lawn glinted like a million diamonds had been dumped in our front yard. Icy. Beautiful. Cold.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – birds

When your airline cancels your flight home due to weather, and you can’t leave for 2 more days, it’s best to go to Busch Gardens and feed the birds.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

When your airline cancels your flight home due to weather, and you can’t leave for 2 more days, it’s best to go to Busch Gardens and ride some coasters.

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I grew my whole life, he’s just 11.

This morning, I kicked my sporty sandals off and read for a bit. When I got up 30 minutes later to leave our room, my sandals were gone.

I went a bit nuts lifting my suitcase up, lifting my backpack up, looking under the bed, even checked the hallway outside our hotel room. They were gone.

I finally enlisted the Husband’s help, and after a couple minutes he says, “Are you sure the sandals the Child is wearing aren’t yours?”

Sure enough, the Child’s sandals were still in his suitcase and my sandals were on his feet.

Same size feet, same sporty sandals problem. 🤣

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Sea World Orlando

A day of rollercoasters and orcas and cute sea lions. We ❤️ Sea World Orlando.

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Captain Bluebeard 🤣

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Legoland Florida!

Today is all about Legoland Florida. We are so excited to be here – our first time. Our last visit to Legoland California was 3 years ago, in December of 2019. Lego Discovery Centers are fun, but definitely not the same league of a Legoland.

This park feels newer than Legoland California (opened in 1999), and when we visited the history center, I realized why! This park is just as old as our son! Completed in October 2011, it’s 11 years old!

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Tampa

We traveled last night to Tampa. Excited to be here again!

Today we spent some time with my brother and then headed over to a movie set and the Child was an extra in a movie. Basically, he got to pretend to trick-or-treat in January.

We’re headed to Orlando now.

(I’m resurrecting my blog because Facebook decided to arbitrarily disable my account with them, with no warning. Probably should never have relied on a company who, in my opinion, has gotten way too big for their britches.)

He always touches the ❤️ before boarding the plane!
All the actors and actresses!
Truck-or-treating on the set in January!

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Birthday letter to our child (#11)

Our child turned 11 years old today. Eleven!!

He is a smidge over 5’4” tall, weighs 106 pounds and wears men’s size 10 shoes.

The thing he loves most of all is spending time with his friends and family. He’s not the biggest fan of schoolwork, but he loves vacations, road trips, monster truck shows, theme parks, National Parks, bike riding, rollerblading, riding his hoverboard, Dave & Busters, playing or snuggling with his cat. He loves listening to audiobooks, making videos for his YouTube channel, playing Minecraft, LEGO Worlds, Monster Jam Steel Titans 2, and Wordscapes. He works hard to earn money, and still enjoys spending his money on his monster truck collection.

He’s been giving a lot of thought to his future this past year. He expects his first car will be a crappy old yellow Nissan and his first job will be an event planner. He wants to go to college, a Christian college. He thinks he’ll probably meet his future wife there and they’ll get married after college. He’s looking forward to having a family with her. He eventually wants to be a theme park owner because he wants people to be happy and entertained.

This past year has been one of growth and maturity. There have been lots of pointed questions with requests for specific information with fascinating discussions. There have been times when I’ve had to pause and examine the basis of my beliefs so that he not only understands the “what” but also the “why.” He is so strong minded and an excellent communicator. I’ve always heard that it’s “right before bedtime” that boys like to talk about things with their parents… for us, it’s always while we’re driving around running errands and then the deepest conversations happen when we pull into the driveway. So, inevitably, we end up sitting in the driveway to finish our talks.

I love parenting this child. I love the way his brain works. He is infinitely interesting to me. There are still days that I cannot believe that he is ours and I am always so thankful that he is ours. And I still love to listen to him breathe as he falls asleep, and I whisper prayers for his protection over him as he sleeps. Oh, and he is STILL incredibly snuggly.

Happy 11th birthday to our sweet child.

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Every Day Kind of Magic.

I’ve been following the tale of the baby hummingbirds just outside our front door for weeks now.  I don’t know why  hummingbird mommas like to build nests in this area.  It’s such a high foot traffic area, what with all the Amazon deliveries.  heh  Also, our neighbor’s entry way is right there, too, since their front door is maybe 10′ away from ours… and they have a teenage boy and girl who go in and out all the time.  Really, it’s kind of a mystery to me what’s so attractive about this walkway for hummingbirds.  ANYWAY… last year’s hummingbird nesting didn’t end so well.  The news got out in the neighborhood about our baby hummingbirds last year, and the neighborhood kids were over here pulling on branches and trying to see in the nest, and one day just a couple weeks after they had hatched, the babies completely disappeared.  I want to believe that the momma bird relocated them, but I know that’s not very likely.

That made this year a real treat… given where the nest was located on a flimsy branch and the way their little nest split apart when the babies started growing (who knew baby hummingbirds could have too much butt??), we guessed that this might have been a first time momma.  We hope she does better next year.  So, we worked to protect them… Tony constructed a support beam and wrapped paper towels around it to provide  “extra” nest (Tony checked on them last Sunday, Mother’s Day, and one of the babies had fallen out of the nest and was clutching onto a tiny twig for dear life, so that’s when he did nest construction!), and we blocked our pathway with a garbage can and put a sign out to the community’s landscapers to stay away, it was effective for delivery people as we found packages tucked behind our garbage can (ha), and we even tried to enter and exit through the garage when it was feasible, and we didn’t tell any of the neighbors about this every day miracle.  Her nest for sure wouldn’t have stood up to the kidhandling that happened last year.

Then… Saturday, I was in the garage and noticed the momma hummingbird was divebombing anything that moved within a 20′ radius, and she was screeching at everything.  I went around the corner of the garage to put something in the garbage and she screeched at me.  I noticed around noon that even our neighbors were entering and exiting through their garage, instead of their front door.  That made me laugh, because normally Saturdays and Sundays are filled with door slamming noises from them.  I was amazed that someone so tiny could cause so much havoc.  But I kind of knew what was happening.  Her babies were learning to fly… and isn’t that the way any momma is when her babies are leaving the nest?

 

Tony discovered the nest on 4/16.  Two tiny eggs, so tiny I couldn’t even see the 2nd egg as it was hidden under the ledge of the nest.

On 4/29, they were just teeny tiny things, not even filling the nest completely.

 

On 5/5, they had grown so much.  We could tell the momma bird had been there frequently.  Poops everywhere!

On 5/8, they’d grown even more.  
5/12, bigger yet. More feathers, too. On 5/14, look at all those feathers, and their eyes were open!!!
Another picture from our 5/14 peek.   5/18 found one of them outside the nest.  Both didn’t fit inside the nest, so thankful Tony built them an “extra” nest.
5/20 there was lots of commotion from the momma bird.  On 5/21, their nest was empty.  

 

I’m looking forward to seeing them at our feeders.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I *think* I saw one of the babies last night at our feeder… but who knows, really?

 

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