Monday, September 30, 2013

Moments at the Beach/Hetkiä rannalla

We have managed to fill our days with comings and goings here in Florida. There is SO much to see and do! And, of course, trying to get all our schoolwork done, as well.

To balance the busyness, we escape to the beach whenever we can.

An hour here, an hour there.

There is something so therapeutic in hearing the waves crash on the beach.

Digging your hands into the sand.

Loving *this moment* in life right here, right now.

Spending time together.

Forgetting time.

Forgetting chores and to-do lists, for a time.

Praising Him, the Giver of all good things.

But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow. James 1:17 (Living Bible)


Jokainen hyvä anti ja jokainen täydellinen lahja tulee ylhäältä, valkeuksien Isältä, jonka tykönä ei ole muutosta, ei vaihteen varjoa. Jaak. 1:17

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Clearwater Super Boat 2013


The Captain, Mr. A and Mr. T had a blast today.


They headed over to Clearwater, Florida, to watch the Super Boat 2013 speed races.


These babies are fast. Really fast.


We hear their top speed can be about 250 mph, although at the races they 'only' go about 200 mph. 

Superboat3 Superboat4

Thanks, Captain, for taking these photos! We're glad you had such an awesome time!
 Superboat4 Superboat4

Check out this website for more info and videos.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Oh, glorious day

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) by Casting Crowns

(Listen here.)

Kuvia aamukävelyltä tänään, sanat Casting Crown'in laulusta. Kannattaa kuunnella, linkki kuvan yläpuolella.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meeting Winter from Dolphin Tale


This week the girls and I had the most amazing field trip, ever!

We went to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter, the dolphin. We had watched The Dolphin Tale this summer, and loved the movie. Maybe our favorite movie of the year, so touching and sweet. It is based on a true story of an injured dolphin, who lost her tail, and.. Wait, I won't give anything away, you just need to see the movie:)


The Aquarium is under major construction at the moment, and actually will close in October for the filming of the sequel, so if you plan on visiting, make sure to check their website first for dates.

Winter, Hope and Panama had just been relocated to a different pool, and I had read online some visitors had only seen Winter's head in the far corner of the pool, so I was preparing the girls we might not see her a whole lot.

As you can see, the pool area was roped off, so you couldn't get very close.


Here's she is! Checking us out. She made her 'tweetie bird' sounds at us - so cute! In the background you can see Hope's fin.


"Hi, Winter!"


We learned Winter does not use her prosthesis all the time, only for a training and practice during a couple of hours a day. (I tell you, you need to see the movie!!!) I think this one was one she had outgrown. It was heavy!!


Our mini field trip crew in front of Panama's pool.


A bit later we returned back to see Winter, and this time she gave us a bit of a show, showing how fast she can swim around the pool. She is amazing!! Here's a short video clip.


The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is an active rescue center for sea animals. There were turtles, sting rays, nurse sharks, and various other creatures you could see (and some, touch!).

This is what their website says:

We are truly one-of-a-kind and strive to improve daily. We are ambassadors of the sea!
Learn more about what we do and who we are by clicking on the options to the left.

Our Mission:
As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

The picture above is of, Cooper, a paralyzed river otter. He was hit by a car, and now lives at CMA. He can swim fine with his strong front legs, and on ground he drags his back feet to move around.


There is a lot to see and learn at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Your general admission tickets allows you to visit the facility (including Winter's pool area). It also gives you a trolley ride to their second facility "Dolphin Tale Adventure", which tells you more about the making of the movie, and has movie props, etc. We didn't have a chance to visit there.

To raise money for their rescue operations, CMA offers various other programs. You can wade with dolphins, paint with dolphins, have your picture taken with a dolphin, take sea safaris, and even assist Winter's trainer for 15 minutes. (More info here.) All these were out of our price range, but we added the Behind the Scenes Tour to our visit.

If you pay online beforehand there is a small discount. Just to give you an idea, we paid around $80 for the three of us for general admission, and the tour. If we had a full day at the aquarium (we went there after my doctor's appointment), we could have gotten a little more for our money by visiting the second facility. But as it was, we were exhausted after three hours. Part of the facility is out in the sun, and only some areas are air conditioned. It's hot here, y'all. (Does that sound southern enough?:)

In the photo above we are starting out our Behind the Scenes tour with Brittany (she was great!). Anyone recognize the doorway?

SeeWinter4 SeeWinter5

CMA rescues and releases a lot of sea turtles. Here's a volunteer working with Aaron, an injured green turtle.


We even got to see little baby turtles!


The Behind the Scenes tour was great. We saw areas usually closed for visitors, and could have even witnessed a surgery (Missy is glad we didn't:). We also saw a lot of areas from the movie, and even props like the famous blender, and the fish hook swallowed by a turtle.

SeeWinter5 SeeWinter6

After the tour we walked around some more. Here's another rescued turtle.

Cozi Cozi

As we were waiting for the last presentation to start, we walked over to the gift shop, and to our great shock we saw "Hazel", Cozi Zuehlsdorff, one of the main characters from the movie! Missy waved to her, and Cozi came right over to to meet us. She is so sweet! What a neat experience!!

Cozi was there for a special presentation on the new documentary: Winter, the Dolphin That Can. As sweet as the movie Dolphin Tale was, it still was a Hollywood version of what happened. We purchased a copy of the documentary, and hopefully will have a chance to watch it this weekend to learn more of the true story.

SeeWinter6 SeeWinter7

We finished our visit by watching Nicholas paint and swim and jump around in his pool.

Definitely a wonderful, worthwhile visit. We highly recommend Clearwater Marine Aquarium as a field trip or family trip destination! The west Florida beaches are pretty awesome, too ;-)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Tällä viikolla kävin tyttöjen kanssa upealla luokkaretkellä. Lääkärireissuni jälkeen menimme Clearwaterin akvaarioon, jossa pelastetaan ja hoidetaan loukkaantuneita merieläimiä. Siellä asuu myös delphiini Winter, josta on tehty elokuva The Dolphin Tale (en tiedä onko ilmestynyt suomeksi?). Elokuva siis perustuu tosi tapahtumiin, ja olimme nähneet elokuvan tänä kesänä. Ihana tarina! Näimme Winterin, sekä yhden elokuvan päähenkilöistä Cozi Zuehlsdorff'in, joka esitti Hazel-tyttöä. Olimme niin innoissamme, Cozi oli todella sympaattinen. Ja muutenkin meillä oli tosi kiva iltapäivä akvaariossa. Floridaan matkaavat, kannattaa käydä täällä! Tosin he sulkevat ovensa nyt lokakuusta alkaen noin neljäksi kuukaudeksi, koska ensi kuussa alkaa jatkoelokuvan filmaus.