The Mascot Games

This past Saturday, we took the kids downtown to see the Mascot Games.  I had no idea what this was.  Chris got tickets through work, and we figured, “Why not?”  Turns out, it was a lot of fun!  They had all these sports teams mascots there from all over Florida, but also from all over the country, even as far away as Toronto. (This is the bear from our Orlando hockey team, the Solar Bears. My kids LOVE Solar Bears games, and seeing “Shades” was the highlight of their day!)…

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Ways to Help My City

I’ve continued to post about random pieces of our lives here for the past two days, but make no mistake that underneath all of that perceived “normalcy” my family, my community, my city, and our country are still reeling from the events in Orlando this past weekend.  Our television stations here are showing around-the-clock coverage, our radio stations are broadcasting tributes and updates in between every song they play and some have even stopped playing music altogether.  My Facebook feed is… well, I can barely take it.  Friends mourning people…

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When God is Tired of Our Prayers

This morning I woke up to headlines that made me sick to my stomach.  20 people killed at a gay nightclub.  And not in some far away, remote, Podunk town.  It was right here.  In my own city.  I headed to church with my family and by the time the service was over, the death toll had risen to over 50. Like so many others, I scrolled through Facebook to account for friends, to read breaking headlines, and to share in the sorrow of our “City Beautiful.”  But as I…

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Happy 7th Birthday, Bean!

Last Wednesday, Bean turned seven years old. SEVEN. As in, the number between six and eight. As in, WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?! On his birthday, we sprung him out of school and went to Universal for the day. My inner teacher self was totally opposed to this idea, for the record. But I was overruled by my family. And I’m so glad I was because we had such a fun day! Chris’s best friend was in town for the week from New York, so Justin came long, which was great…

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Gracie’s 5th Birthday Recap

Happy Easter, friends!  A better blogger would have scheduled an Easter recap on Easter Sunday instead of a birthday recap.  But… half-assed.  So instead, let me just tell you that we had a lovely Easter here at our house.  My mom came to church with us in the morning, and in the afternoon we had a big lunch with friends of ours.  It was relaxed, casual, and focused on what mattered.  Just the way I like to spend holidays. Easter was actually the ending of a really busy weekend at…

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I am a firm believer in celebrating the end of the week on Friday nights.  There’s nothing more disappointing to me than looking forward to Friday all week and then going home and sitting on the couch.  Fridays are meant to be celebrated! Last Friday, celebration was a little tough because Chris was in tech rehearsals, so it was just me and the littles.  I was on the fence about doing anything at all, really, but then Chris emailed me at work that Santa was arriving that night at the…

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If You Give a Teacher a Summer Vacation…

Last Friday, I had to go to the grocery store. Simple enough task, right? We had a ton of food leftover from the Fourth of July, and our family had been eating hot dogs and pasta salad all week long. We were in need of substance. And milk. I figured while we were out, we should go by this awesome camera store in downtown Orlando that I had been meaning to visit. Colonial Photo and Hobby has been an Orlando staple since God was a boy, I’m sure. And I’m…

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Art Festival Goodness

This weekend, we loaded the kids up on Saturday morning and headed down to the Lake Eola Arts Festival. Lake Eola is this giant lake in the middle of downtown Orlando. The city has spent tons of money in the past few years cleaning up the lake and making the area a really nice place for families to visit. There is a playground and always lots of ducks to feed. Plus, they have wide, clean sidewalks and big areas of grass to play in. Normally, we don’t get downtown much…

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An Unexpected Staycation

This weekend was a four-day weekend for me.  On Friday we had a teacher planning day.  At our school, it is optional for you to come in as long as you’ve gotten your grades submitted.  I came in that morning for a few hours to finish up my grades and get my lessons together for my next unit (we start our writing unit tomorrow!  My favorite!).  Friday afternoon I unknowingly began an unexpected staycation weekend.  I met a friend at the movies to see “The Hobbit,” one of my favorite…

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Universally Fun

On Sunday, we went to early church, came home, changed, had lunch, and then headed to Universal Studios for a family fun day. I was talking to my friend, Whitney, the other day and told her that the greatest part of living in Orlando is that you probably know someone who works at either Disney or Universal. We are lucky enough to know co-workers of Chris who work at Disney and Chris’s sister, Annie, works at Universal. Last week, I called Annie to see if she had any comp passes…

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