Saturday, February 28, 2015


We're inside the beautiful bio-dome that is part of a hotel in Florida.  It is the hotel/convention center Darryl often stays at so he was excited to show it to us.  The plants were so fun to see.  I got to see an agave plant, and a coca tree in their gardens.  They had some alligators and turtles that were fun to watch in the pond behind us.  It felt like you were in a different part of the world being in this bio-dome.  It was strange to think that we were in the atrium of a hotel.  You'd look up and see people sitting on their hotel room balcony.  Darryl said at Christmas time they have concerts and so people just go out on their balcony and enjoy the show.  Such a neat place.

Moments with Beci and Will

Beci and her baby Austin watched the boys while we were in Florida. Will came up to visit on the weekend.  This gave Beci a great opportunity to see what her life will be like when she has older kids; Kids playing on the baby toys, and boys (and husband) glued to the Xbox.  The boys love when these guys watch them.  They're such great people.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wax Museum

Today the 3rd grade did their wax museum of their meshed together animals.  They are studying biomes and so they had to pick 3 animals to piece together that could live in their biome.  Clint's biome was the Savanna.  He picked the head of a grasshopper, the body of a giraffe, and the tail of a kangaroo.  He called his animal a Hoppeoo.  He worked on his poster and had it finished about a month in advance and if it were up to Clint we would have had his costume made that early too.  We finished his costume well in advance but Clint just likes to get going on projects. Unfortunately we were in Florida when they did the Wax Museum so Beci went and listened to the hoppeoo talk about himself since she was tending the boys while we were gone.  She took some great pictures but I'm not sure how great her baby, Austin, thought they were-- he looks a little concerned.  Way to be an awesome student Clint!  You did an excellent job! SO proud!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kennedy Space Center

What an awesome place to experience.  It is just so amazing to get an inside look on the space program.  We watched a couple IMAX movies and one was mainly about the Hubble Telescope.  The things we've been able to see from that are just incredible.  It was so hard to wrap my head around the massiveness of the universe when they were talking about a star being a trillion light years in diameter. ????  That just doesn't even seem possible.  Just incredible.  I always wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid but I found out today that I would have NEVER been able to do it.  I could never sit in such a confined are for days at a time.  The "astronaut" we were posing with was hilarious to watch.  He would stand completely still and then when someone, who wasn't aware that it wasn't a statue, came to take a picture next to him he would put his arm around them and scare them.  It was so funny!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Universal Studios Orlando

Our group of 25 adults tapped into our child spirits today.  We spent the day in Universal Studios getting rained on.  It wasn't miserable though.  Harry Potter World was so impressive.  I really don 't know anything about Harry Potter, as I have never read the books or watched all the movies, but the detail that they have put into this massive area for an amusement park is incredible.  We ended the day going on the water rides in a different part of the park.  The rides were super fun but the most fun was to watch these grown men spend their quarters squirting people on the ride.  Their faces were so intense while they took aim and then when they hit their mark their faces lit up with pure giddiness. 

Monday, February 23, 2015


I've never seen so many alligators!  The only alligator I've actually been near has been the white alligator they had at the zoo a couple years ago.  Well I saw a few white alligators and over a hundred other alligators today.  It was so amazing to see how lethargic they seem.  A few times we got to see them more active when they were dangling chicken over them and when we were throwing chunks of meat to them but overall they are pretty slow moving.  It was interesting to me how they would just be totally content laying on top of one another.  We paid to feed the gators.  This seemed uneventful until they had us pose in front of the gators for a photo.  Our nerves were a little on edge.  You can see in the photos we freaked out a few times before finally calming down to get the photo.  It was just so unnerving because you couldn't see what those big guys were doing behind you and the one directly behind us had been pushed back at least a dozen times because he kept getting too close.  He was determined to get where we were and so we were a little scared.  We also paid to get our picture taken while sitting on a gator--which reminds me I never got that from Megan :(.   I wasn't thinking it was as thrilling as it sounded until the little girl in front of me straddled the gator like everyone before her and it started flailing.  They quickly removed her and calmed it down and then got a different alligator to sit in the photos.  That made me a little nervous to go saddle up. :)  They also had some exotic birds that were very fun to see.  I'd never seen a flamingo before and so that was really fun to see a whole flock of them.  There were a few little birds, I'm not sure what kind they were, that hung out with the alligators and would even walk on them.  I was shocked to see that the alligators didn't even attempt to eat them.  They didn't care at all that they were right in front of them.  Speaking of birds, we were walking along and a peacock just appeared in front of us.  He fanned out his feathers and strutted, and spun around.  We were laughing talking about how neat it was that he was trained to put on this show and one of the workers interrupted us and said he was a wild peacock he was just putting on a show because a wild hen was behind us.  We turned around and sure enough we were in the middle of the love birds.  One thing was a sad reality was to see some of the gators chewed up from other gators.  The workers said they often get gators that are just more aggressive and so they have to isolate them or move them to another facility.