Tag Archives: florida

Florida with Sidney and kids

Last year Sidney and I took the five kids down to Florida to visit her parents.  The trip was such a success that we decided to do it again this year. We packed up her two kids, my three kids, and all of our stuff into the car last Monday morning and set off for Deland, Florida.  It is an 8-9 hour drive to her parents “ranch”.  Honestly, I know it sounds crazy, but the drive really wasn’t that bad.  The kids love to be together and they get along very well….and so do Sidney and I.  :)  We drove down on Monday and came back on Friday so that we are gone while the men are working during the week.  Perfect!

This year we trekked it over to the beach twice instead of once.  The kids love the beach and they rarely get to go.  The first day that we went it rained the whole time, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone so we stayed and played in the rain until the thunder came.  The second day was beautiful.  We were there for many hours and when it was time to leave the kids wanted to stay even longer.  Being at the beach is so refreshing.  I love to stare out at the water and be amazed at the vastness of it.  It always reminds me of how powerful and creative God is, and in turn, helps me to reflect on how blessed I am to be healthy and alive….not to mention that I love to play in the water and dig in the sand, just like the kids.

As soon as we arrived at the beach Faith and Jesse made a new friend.  I am always amazed at how easily children make friends.  Shiloh is also in the picture with us, in front of me…

The kids buried they feet in the sand…    It was Yibbit’s birthday while we were at the ranch and she decided to take us all on a river cruise.  The boat floated through the river and out into Lake George.  We were able to see a few alligators, herons, turtles, etc.  It reminded me of going to the everglades when I was little.  I really enjoyed it and so did everyone else.


Our small gang for the week….

The days we spent in Florida were very relaxing.  The kids swam in the pool, I got to sleep in most mornings, I ate well, did very few dishes thanks to Tom, had interesting conversations, enjoyed wine with dinner, spent time with good friends, and got away from my everyday routine.   What more could a girl ask for?!

Florida adventure part 2

Today we decided to take the kids to the pancake house and the natural springs. They wanted to go to the pool again but the girls each had pool blisters in the bottoms of the toes from playing in the pool so many hours (again, something that I had forgotten about from my Florida youth).
First we ate pancakes at a restaurant where you cook your own pancakes at the table. I worked at a place similar to this in Colorado but there the patrons cooked their own steaks. This was much simpler…except for the five kids at the table with two hot griddles. The kids did pretty well and Robin even learned to make his own pancakes.



After breakfast/lunch (it was after 11:00 because we were not in any hurry to get anywhere), we decided to try swimming in the chilly fresh water springs. I have to mention that the park was called “Ponce De Leon Springs”. Any good Floridian knows that he was an explorer looking for the Fountain of Youth. I felt a bit of my childhood coming back after hearing the name of the place that we were playing….maybe I wasn’t such a tourist after all. The water was very chilly and the kids played in it only a little while before heading over to the playground where it was warm.


As usual, a thunderstorm rolled up quickly and drove us back into the car and back to the Ranch. The kids watched tv while the adults talked and napped. Before dinner the kids wanted to swim again. Sidney and I did cannon balls in the pool with the kids and taught them “bumper butts” (another childhood favorite). And as it happened each day, Tom (aka G-daddy) brought the kids ice cream by the pool.


We had a great tIme in Florida. Sidney and I became quite a team over the week. We tend to get along all of the time and don’t take anything that happens too seriously. We can laugh at mishaps, roll our eyes at the kids whining, and then relax each night while drinking wine and chatting with her parents. It was a very successful trip that I think we may even brave again next year.

Florida adventure

A few months ago Sidney and I decided that we would drive our combined five kids to her parents house in central Florida. We wanted to go during the week because the men would be working at their jobs during that time (we didn’t want to miss out on our weekend help). :). We planned this far in advance and we were all looking forward to the trip, especially the kids.

We were finally on our way Monday morning. We loaded up ourselves, the five kids, and a small pack pack for each person. Thankfully, we are low maintenance gals. Here we are ready to go…

The trip was supposed to take us about eight hours but it took us nine and half. We jokingly took this picture to describe the trip, but it actually went very well. (It will probably be more indicative of the ride home)


I have known Sidney almost all of my life, but I have known her parents longer. Her parents, Tom and Yibbit, are like my second set of parents so staying with them for four days was not going to be uncomfortable at all. I was looking forward to seeing where the had chosen to retire. They live thirty minutes west of Daytona beach on over fifty acres with a swimming pool. The perfect place to visit with five kids.

The first full day that we were here the kids swam in the pool for four straight hours. We finally made them get out because they kept arguing about a blue mask that they all wanted to use. The kids are together so much that they are beginning to act like siblings, which is a good thing in our book since we all consider each other family as well. The kids have had constant activity and aren’t even going to bed until after 9:00 each night. I don’t know how they do it. I am exhausted by the end of the day.

Today we drove to Ormond Beach which is about thirty minutes east. We tried to get there early so that we would have plenty of time to enjoy the beach before the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in. We did get about three hours of playtime in before it started to thunder and lightening. It is probably a good thing we left because my kids all looked sunburned, even with sunscreen on.

A few things struck me as interesting at the beach:
1. Wilson is awesome in the water. He was diving under the waves and karate kicking them the whole time. He did amazing in the ocean.

2. I miss Florida a little bit. I have been gone so long that I am a tourist in my own home state. I noticed things today at I hadn’t thought about in a long time: beach front houses that aren’t stilts, round white curb
markers in the grass, life guards on the beach, and small stuco houses with horizontally slatted windows. These all used to be common place.

3. My kids are needing some one-on-one time with me. They are having fun with their friends and are in the same room with me but haven’t had much time alone with me. I tried to spend time with wilson today while he played in the water. It made me realize that I do a better job of spending time with them at home than I give myself credit for.

Going to the beach was great. I am so glad that tom and Yibbit came with us. It was fun to spend that time together.

All in all, the trip has been fun and easy so far. There has been a lot of activity, which is good when you have five kids to entertain all day. Even when there is t an activity the kids are completely entertained by each Other. One of the best parts for me is sleeping in each morning. The kids are in the main house while Sidney, miller and I are in the pool house. A bit of vacation I would would say. Here are some pictures of us at the beach…