Friday, April 30, 2010

Dolphins And Stingrays



We have been told this is stingray season, and to shuffle our feet in the water. Which we have faithfully done. Imagine my surprise when swimming with Little Miss yesterday - and I saw a stingray (or manta ray?) jump up to the surface close to us!! Very cool to see, yet that ended our swimming for that day :) I didn't even know they jump up like that, but google search confirmed my story. (What did we all do before google searches??)



We had another fantastic beach walk this morning. The beach was nearly deserted, and I picked up a really beautiful conch shell. Little later on our walk we realized there were dolphins in the water, very close to us! They weren't in any hurry, and slowly swam back and forth, coming to the surface every once in a while. Beautiful to watch! There's a short video of one of the dolphins at the end of the post.



video

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Tänään aamukävelyllä dolfiinit uivat lähellä rantaa, ja sain otettua (kännykkäkamerallani!) kuvan ja videon yhdestä dolfiinista. Niitä oli ihana katsella!

Eilen kun olin uimassa pikkuisen kanssa, stingray-otus (mikäköhän suomeksi?) hyppäsi pinnalle aika lähellä meitä. Upea nähdä, mutta siihen päättyi meidän uintireissumme, nämä otukset saattavat pistää pyrstöllään jos kokevat olonsa uhatuksi. Onneksi ei kuitenkaan tullut niin lähelle!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Best Classroom Ever/Paras luokkahuone!



This is how I discovered Missy doing school today. Taking a Language Arts test on the balcony, looking at the glimmering ocean and an occasional dolphin swimming by. (Mr. D woke up early this morning and finished school by 9 am!) School doesn't get much better than this!

We are using SOS homeschooling program this year and it truly has opened the world to us as a classroom - now I scratch my head and wonder why I fought so hard against homeschooling last year.. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made as a family!

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En tiedä miksi taistelin niin kovin kotikoulua vastaan viime vuonna, se on ollut yksi meidän perheen parhaimmista ratkaisuista. Tänään Missy teki englannin kielen kokeen parveekkeella ja yksi veljistä heräsi aikaisin ja sai koulutehtävät tehtyä ennen klo 9:00. Voiko koulunkäynti olla parempaa kuin tämä??

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Days/Onnenpäiviä













































Blogger is giving me a hard time here, so I'm giving up before any little seed of frustration tries to make my wonderful day into one not so wonderful. We are so happy here, enjoying our beach days. I've snapped hundreds of photos that may need to wait editing until some cold dreary New England winter day. And I know I will wish to be back right here.

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Onnenpäiviä, me olemme saaneet viettää onnenpäiviä täällä rannalla. Olen ottanut satoja valokuvia, jotka jäävät odottamaan editoimista jollekin kylmälle talvipäivälle Uuteen Englantiin, jolloin haikeana katselen kuvia lämpöä ja iloa ja toivon, että olisin juuri täällä.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Icy Precipitation Alert

Rain / Snow Showers
High: 40°F
Low: 34°F


Chance of Precipitation 60%
Wind W 16 mph
Humidity 70%

Yup, that's the email notification I received for our hometown in New England today. Glad to be in Florida today ;-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

After The Storm/Myrskyn jälkeen




We didn't get tornadoes here in St. Pete, but it sure was windy and stormy last night! Thunder and lightning, heavy rain and 60-65 mph wind made our condo rattle and shake, as well as some of our condo's residents. We were very curious to go on our morning walk to assess the damage. Which, surprisingly, wasn't all that bad. New England ice and wind storms seem to do way more damage than last night's craziness outside. On the beach the sand had blown up towards the dunes and the roads were littered with palm branches.




It stayed windy all day, but in the afternoon some of us ventured out to the beach to play in the sand and waves. We didn't stay too long, and came back to the condo to wash all the sand off of our ears and hair and bathing suits. (Yay for outdoor shower, and washer & dryer!)





Last night we missed our evening walk due to the storm and drenching rain, but tonight the sunset was gorgeous! Captain & I walked a long way on the beach and just enjoyed. The beautiful colors, each others' company and time to chill and relax. Heavenly!

*****

Usassa on ollut viikonloppuna pyörremyrskyjä ja kovia tuhoja. Täällä Floridassa ei onneksi niitä ollut, mutta viime yön myrsky oli kyllä hurja! Laitoin kuvia myrskyn jäljistä, sekä kauniista auringonlaskusta rannalta.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beach Goes Pops





On our evening walk yesterday we wandered back to an outdoor concert (same as the night before): Beach Goes Pops - apparently the 20th Anniversary concert of this fabulous event. Good thing we were walking as the roads and parking spots were full! What a fun event!






An evening walk is becoming a part of our routine here. Hopefully we walk enough to burn off all the calories we are consuming at the newly found ice cream shop...!

*****

Eilen illalla kävelyllä päädyimme ulkoilmakonserttiin Beach Goes Pops rannalla. Hetken aikaa istumme jätskien kanssa kuuntelemassa kaunista musiikkia, ihastelimme auringonlaskua, ja jatkoimme taas kävelyä. Iltakävelyistä on tulossa yksi lempparirutiineistani täällä! Ja pakko onkin kävellä paljon että saa käydä taas jätskillä :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fun First Day/Hauska eka päivä!





I'm not sure if we enjoyed the morning or the evening most here at St. Pete. The Captain & I walked around the block this morning and enjoyed the beauty and (almost) deserted beach & streets. Some of us went out to enjoy the sunset and an evening concert at the beach - fantastic! Even the afternoon with mundane errands, work and school was fun here in paradise!




Yes, we think we may have found paradise. Not sure if even the Mothership can draw us away from here...!

*****

Terkkuja paratiisista! Hiljainen aamukävely rannalla ja autioilla kaduilla oli yhtä ihana kuin auringonlasku ja konsertti rannalla illalla. Jopa arkitouhut iltapäivällä olivat mukavia kun ne sai tehdä täällä paratiisissa. Voi olla ettei edes Mothership-asuntoauto saa houkuteltua meitä täältä pois :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Made It To St. Pete!



This is what school looked like today for us. I had my teacher's version up on my laptop on the kitchen table, and the kids were working on their Dells each at their own pace. I think Mr. T was actually doing school outside at the picnic table.



After school and packing we took a quick last swim at the campground pool. Our boys were having a meeting here at one end of the pool :)



Before dropping the Mothership off we made sure she was all sparkly and clean. After driving off (and being about half an hour away) I remembered I forgot the milk in the fridge. Oops!!!



We arrived to St. Pete at sunset. Aaahhh.......!!!!! We are renting a great little condo here, just a stone's throw away from the beach. After putting the kids to bed, the Captain & I came out to sit on the balcony (from where the kids saw dolphins earlier!) to chill and relax. Love listening to the waves, the rustle of palm tree branches (and an occasional car driving by :).

Life Is Good! God Is Good...!!!! So very good...

Packing/Pakkaamista



We have had a busy morning with homeschooling (all done!) and packing (almost done!). We will be bringing Mothership back to storage for a few days, then back to Camping World for some maintenance/repairs. Meanwhile we will be enjoying Florida's West Coast and a beach condo for two weeks - it will be luxurious and oh so roomy after squeezing the seven of us into Mothership. Not sure when our next adventure will be, but probably sometime next month - we don't plan too much, just go where the wind blows :)

We've had a good stay at the Sanlan RV Park, it is a quiet, well-kept and friendly park. In the mornings we've done school, after lunch we've enjoyed the playground (not that great, but it is a nice shady spot with swings and a slide, a climbing dome and a basketball hoop) and the pools. Last year we explored some of the trails in search of alligators, but this year we've only waved to them from the car windows as they laze in the edge of the pond(s).

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Tänä aamuna olemme kotikoulun lisäksi pakanneet kahden viikon rantalomaa varten. Mothership lähtee ensin varastoon, sitten huoltoon sillä välin kun me nautimme 'suuresta' kahden makuuhuoneen rivitaloasunnosta Floridan länsirannikolla. Seuraava Mothership-seikkailu tulee varmaankin olemaan toukokuussa, tosin emme ole vielä suunnitelleet mitään reissua, mutta uskoisin että haluamme seikkailla joku viikonloppu täällä Floridassa.
Meillä oli ihan kivaa täällä leirintäalueella, mutta kiva päästä oikeaan asuntoon pariksi viikoksi :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Love My Crockpot!



On tonight's menu we have spaghetti sauce with meatballs. Took about 59 seconds to put the liners in the crockpot, add the sauce & frozen meatballs, and add a few spices and honey. Set it on low, and dinner will cook as we play! When we are ready to eat, I will boil spaghetti & serve Italian buns as well, so everyone can choose if they'd like spaghetti or meatball subs. Perfect cooking for RV-life! Leaves time for more important things like driving the Mothership (then we put the crockpot in the sink and turn on the generator so it can cook while in transit), or swimming in the pool, or having a video iChat with Mom :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Is A Monday, Even In Paradise...



Monday morning came with a Bang! Homeschooling was very challenging, and the laundry piles daunting (and mostly wet and dirty, ugh!). After conquering today's schoolwork, getting laundry started, lunch served, and dinner started in the crockpot, we took a nice break in the campground pool. Aaah...!



It started raining again after dinner, so we popped in a movie and got the beds ready. It is lovely to be listening to rain drumming on the Mothership roof and be comfy and warm inside. A good ending to a busy day..


Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Together Again/Kaikki yhdessä jälleen!

video

Friday night our mini family attended a Hangar Party at the Lakeland Linder Airport during the Sun n' Fun Airshow, hosted by our friends in Lakeland. What a fantastic party with great company, food & entertainment! Thanks, family H, for the fun evening!!

Saturday morning we pulled out of Sanlan RV Park in the Mothership, and made our first stop at Tampa International Airport, where we picked up our two missing family members: Missy & Mr. D. They had had a fun week at my sister's house, but were so ready to join Our Mothership Adventures! They thought it was quite cool to be picked up from the airport in the Mothership :)





From the airport we continued Mothership Travels and drove via the Skyway bridge (very cool!) to Fort Myers, where we met some New England friends, who had relocated to Florida two years ago. We were going to stop by, but ended up staying for a swim in the pool, dinner & an overnight visit! Thanks, Family C, we had a wonderful visit!! We hope to see you soon again!






This morning we drove down to Naples, in rain, and visited Naples in rain. We left Naples about an hour ago (blogging here as the Captain is driving), and it's still raining - so weird, we are listening to music as we drive, and as I typed: "it's still raining", Casting Crowns sang exactly at the same time: "it's still raining" (song Praise You In The Storm).

We really, really like Naples. The Captain's Grandparents used to live there, and we fondly remember many fun times spent there. We had lunch at the Pinchers Crab Shack in Tin City, and had fun browsing the little shops. Everyone agreed the Crab Shack had the best New England Clam Chowder! (The question is - was it really better than the Cooke Seafood's chowder, or are we all just a little bit homesick?)



(Had to add a photo of this t-shirt we saw, just for fun!)

What a great weekend mothershipping around Florida West Coast! Even in the rain..

*****

Perjantai-illan vietimme ystäviemme lentokonesuojabileissä Lakelandissa, siellä on koko viikon ollut ilmashow. Lauantaina haimme kaksi puuttuvaa perheenjäsentämme Tampan lentokentältä. Heillä oli ollut kiva viikko siskoni luona, mutta olivat valmiit Mothership-seikkailuihin :) Lauantain vietimme ystäviemme luona Fort Myers'issa, tämä ystäväperhe muutti meidän läheltä Uudesta Englannista tänne kaksi vuotta sitten. Jäimme heille jopa yöksi, ja tänään kävimme Naples'issa. Kapteenin isovanhemmat asuivat siellä monta vuotta, ja meillä on monia hyviä muistoja Naples'in kaupungista. Se oli yhtä ihana merenrantakaupunki millaisena sen muistamme.. Nyt olemme tien päällä taas, hyvä aika blogata :) Kiva viikonloppu Mothership-seikkailuille, jopa sateisella säällä!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Buyer Found/Ostaja löytyi

But who's selling???

A man stopped by the Mothership today and left his business card: "When you are ready to sell, here's our info." He also asked for a permission to take a photo of her. Do we file this card in the RV folder, or in the 'files' under the kitchen sink? ;-)

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Mutta kuka on myymässä???

Eräs mies pysähtyi Mothership'in luona tänään, jätti bisneskorttinsa että voimme ottaa yhteyttä häneen kun olemme valmiit myymään asuntoautomme. Olisi pitänyt kysyä mikä on tarjous :) Sen sijaan mietimme mihin laittaa tämän kortin, asuntoautopapereihin vai keittiön altaan alle? ;-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Under The Spanish Moss



Sorry to leave everyone hanging on Sunday. We were able to charge our battery enough to drive to a nearby RV park called Spanish Main RV Park. Had a restful night there sleeping in the Mothership. Clean bathrooms and showers too!



Monday and Tuesday were spent driving here and there, combined with my migraine that at times felt under control, and at times... not. We left the Mothership at Camping World and had the battery issues addressed. It has been so nice to have a car this time! Last year when the water pump needed to be replaced, we all (7 of us!) sat in the small waiting room for about 2 hours.



While the Captain was settling in his office, I took the kids to the library. Our big kids are such bookworms they didn't want to leave, so that was an easy way to spend the afternoon on Monday. Little Miss got a little restless, but after reading books and drawing pictures we took a walk outside the library.




Tuesday morning was spent at a hotel pool, and also in the hotel room working on school. We picked up Captain from his office and drove to St. Pete for the afternoon. Weren't really prepared to go to the beach, but soaked our toes (warm water!) and vowed to come back. Soon.



Today we woke up at Sanlan RV Park. My head is feeling better than last night, but fragile, so the kids and I decided to spend the day here. The boys have been working on school (and taking nice breaks!) and Little Miss helped me do laundry at the park laundry facilities (first laundry since leaving home!). The cost: $2 a load to wash, $0.75 to dry (but took 2 runs to dry even medium size loads), and we had two loads. A little over an hour later laundry was clean. (And I have the boys already wearing bathing suits during the day :)



The boys are almost done with school and we may head to the pool. Even though we've had school and work to do, being in the Mothership makes it feel like a vacation. What day is it again??

Oh, and looks like we found a home base for ourselves here in Florida! More on that later...

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Sunnuntaina saimme ladattua Mothership'in akkua sen verran että saimme ajettua läheiselle leirintäalueelle. Maanantaina ja tiistaina asuntoautomme akku korjattiin, joten me suuntasimme yöksi hotelliin. Kapteenin on pitänyt viettää aikaa toimistossa, joten olen lasten kanssa viettänyt aikaa kirjastossa, hotellissa kotikoulua käyden ja uiden uima-altaassa. Valitettavasti kaamea migreeni on vaivannut viimeiset pari päivää, joten se on rajoittanut meidän ohjelmaa jonkin verran.
Eilen kävimme pikaisesti St. Pete'n kaupungissa länsirannikolla, ja totesimme että niille rannoille pian takaisin! Nyt olemme leirintäalueella, sain pyykit pestyä ja pojat tekevät koulutehtäviään. Kohta uimaan! Niin, ja näyttää siltä että löysimme kodin itsellemme täältä, lisää siitä myöhemmin...