Sunday, May 30, 2010

Destiny by the Sea

We rented this gorgeous house named "Casa de Fiesta" in Destin, which was in a small gated community called "Destiny by the Sea." Not quite accurate, but I guess it sounds better than "Destin on the Gulf of Mexico." There were 3 master bedroom suites, one for each family! We got the one with the balcony on the top floor.

Directly across the street from us was the private pool,

and about 3 houses to the left was the beach!

Gorgeous, white sand beaches!

With a school of sting rays patrolling the water not far from the shore. Maybe they were trying to get away from the oil spills somewhere out there in the Gulf. They never bothered anyone.

I'm sure you want to see us too, not just the scenery, right? Aaaaah, looking happy to be on vacation!

Look how tall our Joseph is getting - already half as tall as me and not even 3 years old!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

60 going on 16

For this milestone birthday, all Olga wanted was for all her kids and grandkids to be together to help her celebrate. So that we did, converging from Louisiana, Texas, and DC to rent a house for the week in Destin, Florida. There's so much to share from that trip, but first and foremost is Olga's special day. After a fun-filled morning at the beach and pool, we went out for a fabulous dinner at the Marlin Grill.

Later on we headed back to the house for cake. The kids and I all worked together (and did the best we could with the limited resources at the rental house) to make Mimi's favorite, strawberry shortcake. A little sad looking, but it served its purpose.

The day had started out with a sweet serenade, but Olga probably would have rather eased into her morning!

Happy 60th Olga!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!

Today our best buddy in the world turns THREE! His birthday party is tomorrow, but we sadly have to miss it since we're heading out of town. We made sure to order and deliver his present in advance so he would still get it today. By the looks of the picture we just got in our inbox, it seems Jack is thrilled to have a matching shopping cart like the one he uses at our house all the time.

Jack is totally into elephants and the color purple these days, so his party will center around those things. We (well, I) baked like crazy in advance so he'd also have a special treat from us at his party. Here's just a preview of those cookies I alluded to before. I can't wait to see how Missy stages the whole event!

We'll see if I can manage to blog a little from the beach. If not, see y'all back here soon enough.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Donald Trump called.

He wants his haircut back.

We were finally able to get that mop chopped. Last time I tried, he pitched such a fit that we actually had to leave. He tried to do the same this time, but I brought reinforcements - Brent, lollipops, cookies. But it was the portable DVD player with "The Princess and the Frog" that tamed the savage beast. Not a peep out of him the whole time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Little Pony

Yesterday was "May Fair" at Turtle Park, their annual fundraiser. Heard there would be pony rides, and wasn't sure how that would go over. But $3 and a 30 minute wait later, Joseph fell in love with Little Miss Pumpkin. "I pat her. She soft." "She pretty pony."

And though he also loves Lightening McQueen, he was not a fan of the big slide. $2 for 2 turns. Lost a buck on that one.

But he went in the regular bounce house twice and the "obstacle course" bounce house too.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dough Boy

We had some leftover sugar cookie dough after I made cookies for Jack's upcoming birthday party (they're not iced yet, so no previews!). I pulled it out of the fridge when Joseph and I had a little down time with nothing much planned a few days ago.

He must be more observant than I thought - he grabbed the rolling pin and starting rolling before I had even unwrapped the dough!

He was also a natural with the cookie cutters.

Yeah, he tried to eat the raw dough. No, I didn't let him. Yes, I ate some myself when he wasn't looking.

He had tons of fun with the different colored sanding sugars. Messy, but worth the enjoyment.

8 minutes?! Might as well be 8 hours!

Proud of his work, or just happy with a plate full of cookies in front of him?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scurvy Dog

We sure do love everything pirate around here. It's the constant subject of pretend play, and we're generally forced to read a book called "The Pirate Cruncher" at least twice a day.

But one thing we definitely won't have to worry about on the high seas is scurvy, for sure. Ever the helper in the kitchen, as were were making a marinade for pork tenderloin I caught my first mate methodically taking every squeezed lime half out of the bag and licking it dry before moving on to the next one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Longwood Gardens

On the drive back from NJ, we stopped off at Longwood Gardens, outside of Wilmington, DE. It's a place Brent has always wanted to visit, and JT and I are always along for the ride. It's touted as being the world's premier horticultural showplace. So I was about as excited to go as Joseph looks in this picture...

...BUT, it was actually quite a wondrous place. It helped that I had my camera this time (unlike at the Philadelphia Flower Show), and that we started off with fields of one of my favorite flowers, tulips.

There's a serene Italian water garden that was amazing.

And near that was a large lake where kids were throwing Cheerios at the ducks, but these huge catfish were snatching them up first!

The grounds were huge (over 1000 acres!) and you could get easily get lost, but luckily we had an experienced tour guide who was skilled with a map. He pointed us toward the topiary garden, then on into the conservatory.

There was so much to see and do inside the Conservatory too! This was one of my favorite plants. No idea what it is, but very neat.

There was an area inside called a Children's Garden, but it was more like a miniature water park, with fountains and water features everywhere! No kid came out of there dry.

A few more of my favorites:

I love the stark contrast between these 2 pics. Looks like one was painted or the other is black and white, but they're just 2 different places (guess which one is from the "silver garden").

And the best part of all? Joseph had a great time running around everywhere, and he was an angel in the car, cuddled up with one of his favorite blankies.

Really, you should go! It's just beautiful!