Friday, April 27, 2018

Easter

Wow.  Time has gotten away from me.  Easter this year was on April Fool’s Day.  But the meaning was still there.  It is no joke that Jesus rose from the dead and has saved us from our sins.  The story is still as true as ever.  I enjoy Easter every year, and this year was the same.  I love the promise that Easter holds – my salvation.  I love the colors people wear to church – pastels and vibrant spring shades.  I love Easter breakfast at church – starting the morning out with my church family.  I love spending the day with family – hunting well hidden eggs, eating delicious food, and just enjoying one another. 


Here are the traditional Easter pictures – sunny and kinda cold out this year, but it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t snowing!

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Some candids, too.

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And that’s all, folks.

Bits and Pieces

And for the random little things that didn’t get a title …

We have a new cat.  No, not really.  But we do have a new cat that randomly visited our back deck.  We already have “Harriet” that comes to visit – super friendly, rolls on her back to be petted cat.  Now, we have “Mac” – a bit less comfortable with people, but willing to approach and be petted given time.  This is what we call “having pets” for now.

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I turned 40.  Yep.  I didn’t even give myself a blog title for that one.  It really wasn’t a big deal.  One more year in the books.  I did manage to have some fun things to celebrate – dinner with Jeremy at Basil, dinner with the girls and Gloria at Dutch Kitchen, and dinner with mom, dad, and Jeremy at The Crush House.  Does this tell you anything?  Such as.. I like to eat out.  I also brought some brownies to share with my students and apple bars for my co-workers.  It was a good day/month.  Let’s hope it is a good decade as well!  And Jeremy bought me lilacs (and a new water softener…)

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Dancing with Daddy

The girls went for the second year to the Daddy-Daughter dance put on by Living Water Church.  It is, from my understanding, one wild and crazy night.  It lasts about 2 hours and consists of dancing, screaming, running around, and a brief snack break.  The little girls love dressing up and going out.  The dads (mostly) like being there to hang out with other dads.  They do (I understand) occasionally dance with their daughters, but their daughters are usually pretty busy dancing and screaming with their friends. 

Grandpa Ediger joined for a bit again this year (although I don’t have the picture on my phone to prove it).  Here are the pre-dance pictures:

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Faith Adventures

We have been fortunate to be involved in a number of different ways that build community and intentionally engage with our Christian faith. 

At the beginning of the month, our church hosted Manna for Many.  This is an organization that brings all the supplies a group needs to bag dried soup ingredients.  Each bag feeds 7 people and costs approximately $1.  It was a lot of fun.  There were all ages involved one Wednesday night for about 2 hours of work time.  We tagged, bagged, weighed, and packed 2000 bags of soup.  It was a time filled with great conversations, laughter, and work.  Madison and Ellie had a great time.  Madison decided she could do this for her job some day.

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Last Saturday, I took Madison to a Secret Keeper Girl night out.  This is a night (afternoon) for moms (or significant adult) and daughters to connect with one another.  The theme this year was “Masterpiece of God.”  Basically, it is a way to remind girls that they are God’s masterpieces.  They do not have to look or act like society tells them; it also tries to build their self-image/acceptance.  I thought it was good, but I would probably have chosej to wait until Madison was in 4th/5th grade because some of the things they talked about actually start becoming an issue at that age.  As far as I can tell, Madison likes the way God has created her – strong, happy, playful, imaginative, and creative – and I LOVE that!  It was fun to go together – no Ellie and no Daddy (who had their own special time grocery shopping and eating at the Dariette).

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Finally, we participated in the Amazing (G)Race with the SYF.  Jeremy and I were both drivers, and the girls rode along with my team.  Katie (sponsor) planned much of the race, and it was a lot of fun.  Jeremy had the great idea that the drivers could be in disguise with moustaches, which made our role even more official. 

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My team came in last (and we had the longest distance between the challenges) but we put forth great effort – putting Bible events in order, backstitching at star pattern at Fitzwater’s, kayaking to the island at Braun’s, and pulling weeds at Himes’s. 

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Miami, Florida

We had this trip planned for months.  It just happened to piggy back on Hawaii.  So, too bad for us – Two tropical vacations in two weeks’ time! 

Jeremy has an aunt and uncle (Ned and Judy) and two cousins (Lori and Stephen) who live in Miami.  We have been saying forever that we would come visit.  We finally decided to do it.  Gloria joined us, and we caught a plane on Monday, March 26. 

We were able to stay with Ned and Judy for the three nights and four days we were there.  They are excellent hosts.  Plus, it gave me a chance to get to know them better.  They also have a pool, which the girls were very excited about. 

Lori and her husband, Ryan, met us for a good Cuban meal at La Carreta.  We enjoyed plantains (fried, sweet, and mashed), pork, chicken, black beans, rice, and more.  It was delicious.  We went to Ned and Judy’s to relax and settle in for the night. 

On Tuesday, we ate some cheesy scrambled eggs with sausage and toast for breakfast, fixed by Chef Ned.  We gathered our things and headed to Coopertown to get an air boat ride through the Everglades.  It was a good time.  We saw a variety of animals, including some alligators.

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At the end, we were able to hold a baby alligator!

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From there, we went to Everglades National Park Shark Valley Visitor Center.  We walked the boardwalk a short distance.  We even saw two alligators in the wild here! (There are alligators in both these pictures in the grass.)

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We headed home for the rest of the day.  The girls took a swim in the pool with Jeremy; I went on a walk on a really nice walking path around a park near their home.  For supper, Lori, Ryan, Stephen, and Paula (his wife) joined us for grilled hamburgers/hot dogs and sides.  It was a relaxing evening visiting with one another. 

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On Wednesday, we started the morning with Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  It was a great place.  We went on a tram ride of the entire gardens.

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Then, we walked back through some of it to see the Tropical Butterfly Garden, which was super cool.  It was alive with so many butterflies. 

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The flowers were colorful; they had a whole orchid garden.

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The second half of the day we went to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.  It was a nice beach.  The weather was so comfortable, the beach was almost unnecessary…. meaning, you didn’t really need to cool off.  It was still a good time.  Ellie enjoyed the water; the waves were much gentler here than Hawaii.  I think because they broke on a reef or sand bar fairly far from shore first.  So, we played, jumped in the ocean, and dug in the sand. 

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That night we had everyone back again for Pollo Tropical (restaurant in town) food and stone crabs – YUM!  The girls reluctantly showered and headed to bed before the party was officially over. 

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Thursday morning the girls swam for about 2 hours, while we watched and chatted. 

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Finally, we packed up, showered, and headed out around 11:30am.  Our flight left at 3:55pm which gave us time to enjoy lunch before going. 

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We arrived home around 9pm and fell into bed.