A Fruitful Adventure

 

Let me just say it: I LOVE SPRING BREAK!

And maybe one more thing: I CAN’T WAIT FOR SUMMER!

I have really enjoyed the freedom that has come with Spring Break to jump in the car and go wherever we please with no schedules to work around and no homework to do. We’ve done the pool, Disney, Ikea and the beach. Today I decided that we needed to do a first for my kids.

We got up early, which I swore I wouldn’t do on Spring Break, and left almost about the same time we would leave for school. We had to get an early start because the forecast was calling for rain after noon and we wanted to be sure to be done and at home with our pickings by the time any and all storms hit. I had googled “U pick oranges” and found a website that listed all the places in Florida to pick your own produce. There is an Orange Grove I want to visit in the future, but Sledd’s strawberries was the closest to us so that is where we went.  I was a bit worried that Ethan might stomp on the strawberry plants but he did really well and was actually really into picking them. I had to be more careful that he not pick unripe or overripe berries.

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We had so much fun!

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And before we knew it we had 10.5 lbs of juicy strawberries picked.

We added in a 1/2 gallon of Mr. Sledd’s freshly squeezed orange juice (he has groves too but he doesn’t do U pick oranges, I asked) and we were all set. He was so nice, he let the kids pick some strawberries just for eating right then(he even washed them for us) for free, and he gave us each a cup or orange juice for tasting.

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Once we were home we posed for another picture with our pickings and then went to work. So far we have 8 16oz jars of strawberry jam and we just finished a delicious dinner of waffles topped with strawberries and cream,  and our orange juice too. But I still have a large colander full of large ripe red strawberries that I need to decide what to do with before they go bad.

It was definitely a yummy adventure!

For locals go HERE for the info on Mr. Sledd’s Strawberries. (You can see all U pick places on this site but scroll down pretty far and you’ll start seeing listings for Brevard County and his is the first one.)

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Visiting an Old Friend

Last year it was a NEW friend, but after so many visits last summer, and an almost 4 month break from frequent visits,  we now comfortably call the beach our “Old Friend”. I love everything about it. From the anticipation to the bits of sand I find days later reminding me of what a good time we had.

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It was so welcoming to us this morning. The sky was brilliantly blue and the sun was warm.

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We hesitated to go after yesterday’s wash out, but we ventured out early and it was beautiful.

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My kids have grown so much in the last 18 months as far as the beach goes. On our very first visit in November of 2009 they were terrified of the water. But now they play on the beach like pros. Jumping waves, boogie boarding and perfecting the art of sand castle building.

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Ethan loves the birds you see at the beach. He likes to chase them, and today he fed them. They loved him (or his cheese crackers) so much we had a hard time getting rid of them.

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It was a pretty perfect morning.

I am so glad the beach made our Spring Break 2011 activities, because of the weather forecast we weren’t sure it was going to happen, thankfully the weatherman was wrong for today.

Spring Break 2011

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Spring Break started this past Friday. I love that our school district works in a day off the Friday before Spring Break so we get 10 full days off. I sure needed a break from the routine. The first order of Spring Break was to pick up Nana from the airport and the second – was to get to the pool as soon as possible. Soon the pool will be a daily stop for us.

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The only bummer is that my planned beach days may not pan out because the weather man is calling for rain.

We are hoping he’s wrong though. But, even if he’s not, we’ll have fun. Lots and lots of fun. I think of it as a summer teaser.

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Ethan and Ella

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This is Ethan and his (girl)friend Ella.

If it were my choice (and why isn’t it?) I’d make sure he married her. She’s so sweet and cute. And, I know she’d be good for him because she has endured his hitting phase over the past 9 months and still likes him.

She stayed the night at our house the other day so her parents could go out – I noticed them playing so nicely together at the train table so as soon as I could I grabbed my camera and tried to capture just how cute they are. But, I waited a bit to long as the light was gone and most turned out blurry because the shutter speeds were far too low for two 2 year olds. Oh well. At least maybe I got one for their wedding slideshow! 🙂

My Bella

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You may remember that I am working on a little project. When mine all comes together I’ll post it, but if you’re wondering the what it is check out my photography blog (www.itreasurephotography.com) and find THIS post. It will explain it more, and show you an example of what I did with my sister’s family.

But, enough about that…lets talk about my Bella.

What on earth do I say about my Bella? She has one of the sweetest most precious spirits there is. So thoughtful, so caring, so genuine. She is so in tune with others thoughts and needs. She is helpful, and selfless. She is practically the second mom in our house. We ask a lot of her at times, maybe too much, but she does it all without complaint. She is such a great older sister. I am so glad that she came first. Her younger sister and brother sure have a good example in her and I think she is just what they need. She certainly is the child her dad and I needed and prayed for.

I can’t believe she is 7 – Time. Stop. Now. But, I know it won’t, and in some ways I don’t want it to because I think she is going to be one amazing adult.

Oh, did I mention she’s lost a few teeth? (and still totally beautiful)

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Girls Weekend 2011

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I got home this afternoon from a much needed and anticipated weekend with my mom and my sister. We didn’t do anything too fancy, just spent the weekend shopping, laughing, eating good food and we may have even shed a tear or two. We also made a few crafts and played a card game or two. It was so much fun and I love my mom and sister so much. They are very much apart of who I am and are 2 of the strongest female influences in my life.

And of course, we can’t get together without a picture…I even stuffed a black sheet in my bags just in case we needed it. I was planning on using a timer to get a picture of us, but I set the camera settings and my niece and nephew took turns. I think this one was my nieces work.

I’m so glad we got together, even though I admittedly missed Anthony and the kids a ton. And although I was sad to leave my mom and sister, I was so happy to see my family today, and I think they were all happy to see me too.