Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick Salad

K1 has been experimenting in the kitchen and recently she came up with a quick salad that she could throw together. Sometimes you just don't want a hot meal, you know? Plus, Cross Country has started up so lighter meals can be easier on the stomach when running in this heat.

You only need four ingredients for this one. Tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and Italian salad dressing (we use fat free). Just slice up the tomatoes in quarters or thin slices - however you want! Then layer with sliced cucumbers. We keep the peel on because you know that is where all the vitamins are, but hey, do what you like. Sprinkle on the feta (we use a lot because we are rebels like that) and then drizzle with the dressing.

Quick, easy, and no heating up the house. Perfect as a meal or a side.

Thanks, Kassidy. Keep experimenting in the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sea World

We have been running around like crazy with our first week of school AND dealing with Tropical Storm Isaac so I forgot to post our last hoorah trip. We have tickets to Disney, and last year we did Universal, but we decided to add Sea World/Busch Gardens to our line up because they were offering Florida residents a really good deal. We haven't been to Sea World since I was pregnant with K2, so this was exciting for the girls.
K1 actually asked to have her picture taken with Shamu. He was very energetic, but I'm sure the cooler weather that day helped.
We were greeted by some beautiful "plamingos".  The girls have called them that since they were little and we continue that tradition today. I'm sure people think we are nuts.
It's not very often that these two get along (if you have girls, you know) but we had a good day.
We absolutely loved the Manta roller coaster. It was so thrilling!
We got to walk through an aquarium while waiting in line for the ride. It really made the time fly by.
The tanks really really beautiful and extremely clean...not all the area attractions are able to keep up with it all.
I remember watching the sea lion and walrus show when I was a girl. It's now a pirate theme, but they still have the same animals and it's still adorably cute and funny. Even though it did start pouring down rain just as the show ended.
I've almost got my hubby convinced to let me have some of these "plamingos" in my yard. What's a Florida yard with out these pink beauties?
K2 loves carousels, so we checked out this fish themed one.
Yes, K1 takes a book everywhere, usually for the lines. Here she takes it to a whole new level.
It won't be long before K2 is too grown up for these kiddie rides, so we're going to enjoy them while we can.
Hang on tight guys!
The dolphin nursery was one of my favorite stops. These little guys were so sociable! They loved the cameras and putting on a little show.
I don't know how they both got in there, but getting out was a real treat and they gathered quite an audience.
We finished up our day at the dolphin show. Next time we will hit up the Shamu show and Turtle Trek. The nice thing about passes is that you don't have to do everything in one day. Hope you remember to make memories with your kiddos!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to School

Back to school time is always bittersweet. It's nice to get a routine back and for the girls to have things to do. However, waking up at 5 am to get K1 to the bus at 6:30 is not fun. Plus, now we are trying to keep up with schedules and after school activities. I'm sure it will all work out once we get back into the groove of things. So far, day one was fairly uneventful.
K1 is a sophomore this year. That shirt had sleeves the night before, but she wanted to cut them off to wear it for the first day of classes. I don't see her getting a job as a planner in her future. We managed and it turned out great. Gone are the days of taking her to the classroom and taking pictures. Sigh. This year she gets to take 2 electives and she scored drama and the holocaust class. She is super excited about those two. Between drama and cross country team, we should keep pretty busy this fall.
K2, our little diva, had her clothes picked out and ready to go. The orange belt is for safety patrol. She has been looking forward to 5th grade for years just so she could be a patrol.
Another benefit of being a patrol is that K2 gets to be on campus early. She was the first one to the classroom.
She really likes her teacher, Ms. Gaines. I think this is going to be a good year. Good luck to all the kiddos going back to school!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weeki Wachee Springs

Weeki Wachee State Park
Since the girls spent the summer with grandma and grandpa, we've been trying to get some fun things in before school starts. One place we have been wanting to go ever since we moved to Florida is Weeki Wachee Springs. Good thing we did wait all these years, because now their little water park is included in the ticket price. The days are still quite warm here, so we needed to visit while the 72 degree water still feels refreshing and not so cold.
K2 has always been a big fan of mermaids, so she was especially thrilled to get to see "real" live mermaids swimming in the water.
We were greeted by an ostentation of peafowl. Who can resist itty bitty baby peacocks?
Even though they were molting, these gentlemen still looked gorgeous and we were able to score a few of the dropped tail feathers.
K2 enjoyed playing the part of a mermaid princess to her King Triton. Goofy people.

We all enjoyed reading the folklore behind the mermaids and even though the park could use a little restoration, it was in decent shape.
Then it was off to the boat tour. Just look at that water!
I don't mind being in water that I can see into. I want to be able to see what fish is coming near me before I'm attacked. Lucky for us, the gators and sharks don't like hanging out in this area. The water is 97% pure and stays at a constant 72 degrees year round.
We decided that we want to come back again and do a canoe or kayak trip. It was very beautiful.
Time for a quick break and an ice cold treat before going to see the mermaids.
There were two different shows available. One was a presentation of "The Little Mermaid" and the other was a performance of mermaids from the 1970's. 
We missed "The Little Mermaid" but we still enjoyed this show. They weren't too bad for being 60 years old. No kidding!
Next time, we will be sure to see the other show. 
The rest of the afternoon was spent at the water park. Surprisingly, the kids only went down the slides once or twice. I spent most of my time with K1 on the lazy river after finally braving to go into the water. It's shockingly cold at first, but then as you move around it's really nice. Floating down the little river allowed us to peer down into the water and see all the little fish and turtles enjoying the summer sun. It was a very good day and we all can't wait to go back.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to School

K2 1st Day of School Last Year
This whole week has been a flurry of preparation for going back to school. Not only do I have one kid in elementary and one in high school, I will be teaching two courses as well. So we are all getting ready. I love getting new school supplies for the kids as it reminds me of my own childhood. The only thing I really miss, besides the lower prices, is the clothes shopping. I grew up in Colorado, so going back to school meant getting new jeans and sweaters and any other typical fall clothing. Not so much here in Florida. It's still blazing hot with no sign of relief. The good news is that all the summer clothes are marked down for clearance and since we will be enjoying many more months of warm weather, that will probably make up most of our back to school shopping.

K2 has a really good backpack from last year, which she rarely used because she kept going back to her backpack from the year before. Sigh...alas, this is my life with this kid. I caved and let her get a new back pack this year with the incentive that she would get rid of the really old one and be able to swap between the new one and the not so used one. There weren't a lot of choices this year, but she did find one she deemed acceptable. I was worried that with the lack of choices there might many several kids with the same one, so I decided to personalize hers. I don't cross stitch as much as I used to because the patterns are so small that my eyes get tired. After spending all day at work on a computer, looking at tiny print is really hard on the eyes. Plus, my carpel tunnel flares up with the needlework. But, this was a fairly small project and too fun not to.
I used waste canvas to cross stitch her name onto the front of the bag. Waste canvas is pretty cool to use. After you cross stitch onto your fabric, you tear it out, which I'll show later. I've made the girls t-shirts with this as well.
I like to put a stabilizer on the back to keep the threads from slipping. Any fusible interfacing will work. 
Just pin both the waste canvas and the interfacing onto the fabric first to keep your project lined up.
What a coincidence that the Ray's game was on while working on this project. Ha! I had to giggle at the TV in the background.
After I finished the letters, I outlined them as well. The only drawback is that it's more difficult to pull the waste canvas out when you outline. Then I trimmed the interfacing close to the letters. No need to keep any of the extra on there.
I trimmed the canvas on the front as well. This way there is less threads to pull out.
Spraying the waste canvas with water breaks down the stiffeners in it and allows the canvas to be removed.
With a pair of tweezers, you can gently pull out the threads of the waste canvas.
All finished! Now she's ready to go back to school in style. Go Rays!