Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

More of our July

 One week after arriving, I decided to take the boys to Biscayne National Park, the one Jason and I spent a couple of hours at in April. It's close to the house, and so worth it. It was really hot that day, and the skies were clear. You could see across the water for miles!

If you look closely, you can JUST make out Miami in the distance!
The three boys sitting on a rock, after a long walk
One of many fish we saw

After spending an hour or so of walking the trail, we decided to go inside the visitor center. I didn't get any pictures of the displays, but the boys were all excited about them. We also got some activity books, including some for Alex to become a "junior ranger". Once the weather cools, we are definitely going back. They also have a book store, which was closed that day. When Jason and I were there in April (before they moved it to it's own area), I saw a bunch of different field guides and scouting books that I want to look at for school and scouts.

3 white ibises that were hanging around the neighborhood
Over the next few days, amidst all the other unpacking, we got our classroom/school area set up.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The first week in pictures

The nearby park, swimming lagoon and in the background Biscayne Bay. Our view at dinner.

A little friend (lizard) that made me jump out of my socks the second day in the house!

Alex and Jackson looking for lizards, butterflies and who knows what else.

Lizard in our yard

Movie night in the new house

Jackson digging in the sand at our first homeschool group beach day 7/10

Ethan and Alex at the playground in our neighborhood

Jackson on the playground

Jason and Jackson playing on a police car playset at the playground

Alex climbed the tree (with a little boost from dad)

Family game night
It was a pretty fun first week, getting settled in and making some new friends on that first Friday. We met up with a small group of moms and their kids from the homeschool group at the beach/swimming lagoon, where we played for a couple of hours. I could tell from the moment we met how laid back and nice they were. That's always a good thing!

More pictures and another post about the rest of our first month coming soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The ACTUAL move, or our summer adventure ;)

What can I say? I think I like it here. Sure, we miss our families, and our friends. On the other hand, it is absolutely gorgeous here! 

It's only been 5 weeks today since we all moved into the house here in FL, but it feels like a lot has happened!

I should start at the beginning though. After we had our fiasco with the moving truck, went to closing, and Jason left with our household good, the boys and I spent a couple of days with my parents. I took the mini-van over for an oil change and to have the a/c recharged. Upon inspection, it was determined that the minor accident I was involved in at the school last fall had cracked the rear a/c component that sits right behind the rear passenger wheel well, under the side edge of the back bumper. Since it would be a repair covered by insurance, we would have to go through our car insurance company at a specified place. So I had a tough choice to make. We could either spend an extra week or longer at my parents while the van was in the shop, and have no vehicle to use (I don't feel comfortable installing J's car seat, so I couldn't transfer it temporarily to my mom's car, and we also don't have rental coverage) or we could skip all the visits - my sister and her family in Columbus, OH, my friend and her family in MD, and my other friend and her family in SC - and head straight to FL. Yes, with no A/C. I chose the second option, at which Jason scoffed. 

My reasoning behind it was this: 1. we would all be together in our own home, 2. we could put the van in the shop for however long, and Jason could transfer J's car seat safely to his truck, and 3. at least while we were without one of our vehicles, we (meaning the boys and I) could be productive and unpack the boxes. After texting, messaging and/or calling all 3 of the people we had planned to visit, I let the boys know about the change of plans.

So on July 3rd, we loaded the mini-van with our luggage, and headed out on the open road. I decided we wouldn't take I-75, but instead I-77 to I-95. This route took us through Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and finally the entire state of Florida. The drive that day was actually very pretty, even with some rain. At one point, the route through the mountains is very winding while going downhill. Surrounded by walls of green, we went through dense patches of fog and rain. While I would have enjoyed the view more as a passenger than a slightly nervous driver, I was amazed by the beauty of it.

Our dinner break 7/3/15
Driving all day, with only a couple of stops for lunch and dinner (and the obligatory restroom breaks of course!), we made it to Statesville, NC before stopping for the night. Since we hadn't reserved a room, I used my phone while sitting in a hotel parking lot to access our account, and was able to reserve a room using our single free night. The boys and I went in to get our key, and the woman at the front desk told me had I waited even 5 minutes, we wouldn't have gotten a room there that night. We had gotten the very last one! I'm so glad that I thought to use our free night AND that we actually got a room!

After a somewhat restless night's sleep, we were able to enjoy a hot breakfast and watch the news before spending another day on the road. Saturday, July 4th was a beautiful, hot, sunny day, and as you can imagine the van was a tad uncomfortable without a/c. Luckily, we were able to put the windows down part way while cruising and enjoy the nice weather. 

Nearly to FL, we were enveloped in a torrential downpour. Unable to drive more than a couple of miles before pulling over behind about a dozen or so other vehicles, we waited for the rain to subside, in a now very uncomfortable van whose windows we could not see out of. After about 10 minutes or so, it slowed to a drizzle, I put the windows down to clear them, and we were on our way. Not 5 minutes later we were at the Florida Welcome Center. The boys and I joked about how the Sunshine State welcomed us with rain. HA! 

Florida Welcome Center
After a quick photo op, a complimentary cup of orange juice each, and restroom break, I bought our new SunPass and proceeded to put money on it for tolls. The rest of the drive went fairly smooth, other than being long. We finally got to the house just after midnight on Sunday, July 5th. 

It sure was good to be "home".