"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 4: 6-9

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visiting the sweet Montanez kids

The Montanez family is very dear to my heart. I taught their oldest daughter Rachel at the preschool I worked at when she was 2 years old. Rachel just turned 11! I became their full time nanny when their second daughter, Becca, was around 2 years old. They added one more little guy during that time, Alex, and I watched him through his first year and a half. Life is busy, for everyone, so I don't get to see them as often as we would like, but when we do see them, we have a great visit! Carson was a year old when I became pregnant with Tanner and decided to stay home full time. He still remembers them and greets them by name now...it's so sweet! Here's the growing bunch... Rachel and Becca with Tanner... Alex and Carson are 6 months apart and had so much fun playing... They even hugged goodbye all on their own when we left! We can't wait for our next visit!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Central Florida Zoo

What a fun day at the zoo! It was quite the rainy week last week, so when the sun popped out for a few hours, we jumped in the car and headed to the zoo with Jamie and Hannah. Love this picture of this kangaroo just hanging out... Carson asked me when we got to the zoo if we would see a "Brachiosaurus". I told him that there would be other types of animals and named a few, but no brachiosaurus. Our nature walk proved Mommy wrong! Who would have thought in the middle of this nature walk we would come upon a BRACHIOSAURUS! Carson was thrilled! Scary Mr. Alligator... Trying to pet the sheep... And the real fun begins for Tanner! My sweet boy LOVES water! He was squealing with delight on just the walk down to all of these fun water fountains.
Our mission of wearing the kids out with fun was accomplished! What a fun day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amaya Papaya fun!

We love Amaya Papaya! It's an indoor fun place for kids under the age of 5. What I love most about it is that they are very thorough with the cleanliness of their place, and it's safe and age appropriate for both of my boys. This was Tanner's first trip to Amaya Papaya where he could get down and play and he had an absolute blast! Carson "catching fish"... Tanner climbing through the tunnel... One of Carson's favorite things to do at Amaya Papaya (besides the sandbox!) is jumping on this trampoline. He probably jumps a little to high! Tanner kept climbing through the shelves...funny kid!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

River fun with the high schoolers

Matt and I were so grateful to Steve and Lori for opening up their home and letting us bring our high school small group for a day of river fun! The kids started off on a canoe trip down the river led by Matt and Steve. On their canoeing adventure, they found a swimming spot...aka a jumping spot! When they returned, Carson was ready to swim with Daddy! The girls stayed out of the water... While the rest of them lined up for some rope swinging... The boys really got into it! Couldn't be true rope swinging without a little injury! After all the water fun, we grilled out and had a nice time hanging out. Thank you Steve and Lori! We had a great time! Here are some videos of them jumping out of the tree:

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Tanner and I were excited to tag along for a fun day of wedding preparation in Gainesville. We rode up with my parents, and Jamie met up with us in Ocala. After a quick stop at Brooke's apartment, we headed right for Leonardo's, our favorite pizza place in Gainesville. Yum! Tanner's first trip to Leonardo's: Brooke's matron of honor, Kyra, and her husband joined us too. After lunch, we rode around to different places looking for the perfect spot for the rehearsal dinner. Our favorite pick of the day was a place called The Ivy House.
Tanner is just along for the ride! After visiting several places, we drove to Haile Plantation and walked around. This is where Jacob and Brooke's reception will be. We were walking by the place at the perfect time, and someone preparing the hall for another event let us go in and see the inside. Here's Jacob and Brooke "practicing" their first dance: Papa and Tanner getting some exercise after the day of driving! What a great day of wedding fun! We can't wait for the big day!

Tanner's Indian chant

On our way to Gainesville, Nana taught Tanner a new trick! Now he does it with his own hand around the house and it's so cute!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sea World

Jamie and I took the kids on their first trip to Sea World last week! I'm not sure who had more fun, the kids, or us! It was a blast! Our first stop was at Shamu's Happy Harbor. The steel drums were quite the hit! Carson would have stayed there all day. The kids loved the splash pad. Carson loved the spray guns and fountains: Tanner was squealing with excitement: And Hannah Grace was stylin':
We visited the fish and shark tunnel next. We sat down for lunch and ate just in time to make the animal show...the show we were really hoping to see.
But this is what we were greeted with AFTER we unloaded all 3 kids and got them to the entrance:
Luckily we had a much better time watching the dolphins from an underwater viewing area. Seeing the excitement in their eyes was priceless!! My sweet boy in awe: What a fun day! We are so excited to have a year long pass now and visit again soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Girls Weekend

God blessed me with an amazing soul sister and best friend going on 16 years ago! Erica and I met in Mrs. Laudani's 8th grade English class, and have been best friends ever since. Erica and I have been there for each other through some amazingly happy times, and some sad times as well. Erica and her precious family moved to Arizona a year and a half ago. She has been back to visit several times, but we were ready for a "girls only" weekend of fun! We split a plane ticket and decided it would be best for her to come to Florida. Our husbands were amazing and were responsible for the kids the whole weekend. The night Erica flew in we went to Tijuana Flats for dinner (a place we love and they don't have in Arizona). The next morning, we met up with Jamie and Hannah, and my mom for some playground fun with the kids. Tanner and Aunt Erica have a special bond! Everytime Erica visits, Tanner takes right to her. I love this picture of them playing on the floor. This is why he loves her so much! We hit one more playground before it was time for Daddy to take over! Our fun girls night started with the Cheesecake Factory, another one of Erica and I's favorite restaurants! We took cheesecake to go, ran through Starbucks for coffee, then headed to All Fired Up to paint pottery. We had previously talked about painting our kids something and came up with "It's Your Special Day" plates. We hope our kids will have fun each time there's a celebration and use these special day plates! We had the best time painting, and put lots of love and laughter into them! The finished product: The next morning we met up with my mom and Jamie for a brunch at The Garden Gate Tea Room in Mt. Dora. This tea room is simply wonderful! We thoroughly enjoyed our girl talk and of course the delicious food and tea!
After brunch and a walk through Mt. Dora, Erica and I had a caribbean spa pedicure awaiting us at the Pure Aveda Spa and Salon. We were so excited to get pampered! After our amazing and relaxing pedicure, we ended our fun weekend with a cookout at my parents house. My mom made Erica's favorite brownies and we enjoyed our time together!
It was sad to see our girls weekend come to an end, but we were so thankful for the time we had to spend together! Thanks Er for traveling so far for our fun weekend and thank you to our awesome hubby's for all their hard work taking care of the kids! Can't wait til' next year's girls weekend!