Sunday, January 21, 2018

One Down, One to Go

This past weekend I took the Florida K-6 Subject Area Exam so I can finally get my teaching license. And even though this guy decided to bother me and make a home for himself inside my book for two days while I studied, 

How about you study my adorable face?


I still passed :)  One more test to go...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Maybe You Can Hire: The A-Team

His team, and his coach, Mr. B. 
Luke even got a shirt with his name on the back, so who is the real winner?

A few months ago Luke was chosen to be on our school's first ever Academic Team.  Other schools in our county have had A-teams forever, but for some reason up until this point, South McKeel hasn't had one.  Heck, I myself was on the A-team (back then it was the E-team, e for economics) at Highland City Elementary when dinosaurs roamed the earth, so I am glad our school is finally a part of this!  Unfortunately, his team did not place in the top two at their first meet on Tuesday, so they were eliminated.  Overall it was kind of a terrifying experience for Luke; to compete in a big setting with 5 other schools in front of parents and teachers and judges, with live buzzers and points getting deducted for wrong answers, but I'm so glad he got to do this and work on confidence.  He was the only team member selected to play all three rounds of the tournament, so he technically got the most bang for his buck!  As we drove to the host school and checked in, all he could say is "This is just like Spiderman Homecoming...."  Heck yeah, Luke!  And you are my hero :)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Weekend Warriors

The first official weekend of 2018 was spent in downtown Orlando.  Jacob's high school team had a tournament, so we tagged along to enjoy the free hotel room and a bunch of free time in a city we actually don't get to explore very often.  Friday night we drove over and watched the last half of the first game from the comfort of our warm car.  Hey, it was CRAZY cold (I'm talkin' like 40 degrees) and I would have had to pay to get all of us in, so, yeah, the car it was.  

Can I just take a moment to say how proud I am of Florida this year so far?


It has been particularly cold on more that one occasion so far this winter season.  I have already had about 4 cold weather dress days at school as well.  Well done!  So much for that stupid Almanac...


But I digress....After the game we hit up a place called Tibbey's New Orleans cafe.  I had an awesome roast beef sandwich thing? with grits and sausage, while Cindy ordered the classic chicken and waffles.  And she put down the entire thing.  And that buttery syrup is the closest thing to legal crack cocaine that probably exists on planet earth.   


Magical butter syrup, will you marry me?


The next morning Jacob headed out to the first of two more games and I decided to hit up Lake Eola and rent a swan paddle boat with the kids.  I had seen this on Groupon about two years ago and kind of tucked it away in my brain until now.  Turns out it was really fun!  The sun came out and it was actually very pleasant, as paddling a giant duck is harder than it looks.  

Luke could not get enough of it!



Here is a swan butt




"Act natural"

Chinese pagoda? Sure, why not?





We had a perfect morning on the boat and walking around and exploring Lake Eola.  It's a beautiful place and I'm glad we had time to check it out.  




Next, we met back up with the team at 4 Rivers BBQ for lunch.  Is pulled pork actually as much of a thing in other parts of the country as it is here?  I mean, here, everyone, all the time, can go for a good pulled pork sandwich.  Their version was awesome, and their deep fried okra was exceptionally crispy. 





After lunch we separated once again, but this time the kids and I had some business to take care of.  We headed over to Disney Springs.  Yes, to walk around and sight see and find pressed penny machines and hit up the Ghirardelli shop for a shake, but our first priority was to find out the fate of some very old paper Disney tickets.  DeAnne had found a few tickets without expiration dates in her things in her house in Utah and sent them to me to find out if they happened to have any days left on them, just in case, before throwing them away.  It was worth a shot, right?

It is a written rule in the Disney handbook somewhere that absolutely everything you do at any Disney-related place has to have a line of some kind.  Upon finding the welcome center where the tickets could be scanned with a machine from the 1990s, we were placed on a one hour waiting list. (It was Disney Marathon weekend, so it was a little more crowded than usual.)  Good thing there were things to do in the mean time:


Like watch this giant balloon thingy go up and scarily blow in the wind at times...




Get a 7,000 calorie shake made from 14 chocolate bars and an entire box of Little Debbies... 




See this pineapple that Luke was convinced was some sort of ride...

It did have stairs, but not for the public

Press some pennies, which included Spiderman, Antman, The S.H.I.E.L.D. logo and the Millenium Falcon.  These souvenirs are the greatest things Disney has put in their parks.  A $1.00 souvenir??  Inconceivable!  And awesome.  


This picture doesn't really help you, does it?



We also rode the little boat that takes people to their hotels, a must-do free Disney activity.  

Finally, we were summoned by text message to return to the welcome center.  After another 15 minute wait, it was finally our turn.  Out of 5 tickets, 3 from DeAnne and 2 I had here at the house, we ended up with.....drumroll......FOUR TICKETS!  Two were park hoppers and they all have no expiration.  It was seriously the shock of a lifetime!  The kids were flipping out and all I kept thinking was, I was totally going to throw those away....  Well, Happy Birthday to me!  


Congratulations Sweeney Family! You just had an awesome first weekend of 2018!  What are you going to do next???



WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Definition of Irony

I secretly took this picture in the lunchroom today.  
This kid is eating an Uncrustable.

I'll just let that sink in for a minute...



Sunday, January 7, 2018

It Would Be Irresponsible to Not Blog This

This was quite possibly the picture of the year for 2017.



#tigerlarry is mocking me



Sunday, December 31, 2017

Trek 2017


Jessica, in her first Trek experience as a leader. Here are the photos. She can caption them later.


LATER


My dad was in charge of Trek again this time.  He was absolutely amazing.  From the planning that started 4 months ago to the last day packing up portable toilets and tarps, he did it all.  And he's just so dang funny, too!  Trek won't be the same without him.  Did I mention he walked the entire trail with us? 
Me and the Dread Lord of Trek
Some of our lovely big brothers and sisters...


Me and my counselors, who are amazing


Here are few pics from the pioneer festival...







Pioneer selfie  (that was totally a thing back then)


I'm sure the pioneers got bored and tried to benchpress the cart, right?



One of my favorite pictures from Trek.  Brigham, the roaming gnome, magically appeared on the Holmes' cart.  I think those ne'er do wells the Baileys, had something to do with it...



Morning devotional...






Rusty Weaver told my dad that the only way to eat the sausage egg burritos from McDonald's is with the strawberry jam that was in the bag.  Dad tried it.  And then spit it out and almost died.







Ahh, the magic of Brother and Sister Cox :)









Sister McKendrick giving a great devotional to the girls...





I went from being totally terrified of having anything to do with Trek, to absolutely loving it.  I would do it again without hesitation.  To think, Cindy AND Luke with both be on Trek next time around.  Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out.

Monday, December 25, 2017

What's been going on?

This blog is not as current as it used to be and that tears me up. I really enjoy the memories it captures and feel we are losing too much by letting it go.

I have tried to encourage everyone to blog as often as possible, but even I don't remember to do it. Plus, keeping social media up to date is hard enough. Transferring files and pictures to a computer to upload are even more of a pain. But I really want to stick with this.

Here is what we have been up to since our last post Nov 3rd-ish.

The high school soccer season has picked up and it's been a good year. 



Next was Thanksgiving. Brian and family came down to visit. We stayed right here in Lakeland. I'm kinda cheating here but this is the fastest way to store these memories. 




Then there was the impromptu Sanibel trip courtesy of FYSA and ODP.


And Cindy's chorus concert.






Christmas 2017 (Jacob)

I have no idea when anyone will blog about Christmas 2017, but just in case no one else does here are a few things.


Today we started with stockings, then Swedish pancakes followed by opening presents. Then we needed to play with those presents, which included a new PS4, a mini-drone, See's candies and a STAR labs hoodie.



Sweenish pancakes
One of the two hammocks we ended up with...



We got the game "Googly Eyes", which is like psychodelic pictionary.  Pretty fun!  AND you get to look just like Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter.  Bonus!























Next, we headed to the Grandparents Bingham for more presents some dinner, and games.



 Nathan and Linnley also got us this awesome BB-8 droid, who Tigerlarry was pleased to meet.





 The picture on the wall was also new this year.  Thanks, DeAnne!