Tag Archives: sidney

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?!


The new Cinderella movie came out this weekend and we were invited to go watch it with Sidney and Jesse.  I had not been to a theater in many, many years.  I honestly could not tell you the last movie that I saw outside of my living room.  I had definitely never been to a theater with seats as comfortable as the ones at Crown Point, which was just recently renovated.  It has electric, leather-like recliners and swivel tables.  It was awesome!!  I could relax, prop my feet up and enjoy a movie – just like at home, but better.  Here are the seats…..

The best part was that I got to go do something special with Faith and our friends.  Faith and I don’t always get a lot of girl time together.  I almost cried walking into the theater with her because it was something fun and special that we could do together without the boys.  (I tend to get sentimental when I do something new and exciting with the kids.  It is like I get to see it through their eyes.)

The cutest part of the day was when we got dressed to go to the movie.  Faith got dressed and then picked out my outfit so that we matched.  We both had on 3/4 length sleeves, black leggings and Uggs.  It was a real compliment that she wanted to dress like me.  (I know that won’t last too much longer.)

Overall, the movie was wonderful.   The underlying theme was more about love, kindness, and good parenting – more so than just about a girl and a prince.  Good things happened to her because she was kind to others, and not just because she was beautiful.  Faith and I really enjoyed ourselves this afternoon. I need to remember to take the time to do more new and exciting things with her….she is my little girl.

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…




Comedy Zone

After the rough week that I have had, I decided that going to the Comedy Zone was just what I needed.  I called Sidney and Michaleh, found a sitter for the kids, and off we went to the Comedy Zone in Charlotte.  I had been there once before and loved it.  How often do you get to sit and laugh for an hour or two straight?  Almost never.  Tonight the headliner was Ryan Hamilton.  He was very funny.  Here we are with him after the show.



He reminded me a lot of Seinfeld.  They looked the very similar and they even talked similarly.  His bit had to be at least an hour long.  After it was over we all realized that his whole show was free of profanity and sex jokes, which is rare in the comedy world.  It was so very refreshing.  At one point I looked at Michaleh and she was crying because she was laughing so hard. It was such an enjoyable night. I really needed a little bit of comic relief and a night out.   I am so glad that I was able to spend it with these two girls.  Here we are before the show started sharing our giant margarita….


Charlotte Beer Festival

Last month Sidney alerted us that there was a Groupon for the Charlotte Beer Festival. Sidney’s idea was that we would go with her and Bobby and Doug and Jacqueline. It was a great idea! For $10 a person we could go on a triple date and drink many types of micro brew beer. My parents offered to watch our children and let then spend them night. Perfect!

The six of us rode uptown together to the EpiCenter, which is a three story outdoor mall with bars and restaurants. The beer festival was held outdoors on two of the floors. It was much more crowded than any of us anticipated. I guess now that we are all older and out of the “scene”, we forgot that young people flock to places that allow you to drink as much as you can in four hours. :).

There were over seventy different beers represented at the festival, one DJ and a band. We did try many of the beers but I doubt we got to them all. It was a beautiful day to be outside with friends.

Here are the six of us ( we don’t know the guy in red behind us…photo bomb)


Trivia Night

All throughout the fall and early winter Sidney and I would go to the YMCA every Thursday night for an awesome Cardio Funk class.  When Lem quit teaching it at the end of January we quit going.  We just knew that it wouldn’t be the same.  Four weeks ago we found something new and exciting to do on Thursday nights:  Trivia!  By the end of the first night we were hooked!  Of course the fact that we have won every week, and received a gift card to help pay for our tab, has certainly been part the inspiration for returning.  Sidney is a one woman show when it comes to trivia.  I am not much help.  I can justify that I am part of the team because I typically can help with two or three of the questions – we need those to win too right?  There are eighteen questions in all and the final question is like Final Jeopardy – we have to wager a certain number of points.  Now we just wager them all.  Go big or go home!

So far we have come in second place three times and first place once.  Most of the time it is just Sidney and I playing, talking and laughing together.  It is a great night out for the two of us.  One week I invited some of the teachers from the Little Church preschool where I work.  They loved it.  They are asking to return and play another night. I think that we may have a rather large crowd next week because a girl from our dance class at the Y wants to meet us there too…another convert.  :)

The funny thing is that I find myself listening to NPR hoping to learn a bit of useful information.  One night I even got on CNN.com to catch up on the news and then caught up on my pop culture knowledge as well.  Anyone that knows me well knows that this is very unusual.  I am completely withdrawn from what goes on in the world.  I don’t watch the news, read newspapers or listen to the radio very often.  I laugh and say that WW3 could be going on and I would never know it.  I am blissfully ignorant of anything that goes on beyond my interests and daily travels.  Trivia has motivated me to use my brain a bit more because I am realizing it is turning into mush and I am only 41 years old.  It is time to reverse the damage from years neglecting my brain.

All kidding aside, Sidney and I have a great time on Thursday nights.  Yes, we have gone from working out to drinking beer and eating peanuts, but we are still together doing something that refreshes us from our daily lives with children.  We feel like fun women again and that is what really matters.  Winning doesn’t hurt either. :)