Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pearson (and Taylor) family reunion

Posted November 26, 2007

Last year in Alabama, I took a ton of pictures. Hmmmmm . . . I see, however, that I never actually got around to posting them. I should get on that.

This was the first time in years that all 4 Taylor boys had been together in one place. I had to at least get a picture of that, even though for the rest of the visit, my camera stayed tucked away in my purse.

Here are Mary and Don with their "little" guys:

And here are the guys with their better halves:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Puppy update

Ginger went back to the eye doctor today for one more re-check, and she is doing great! We are to continue her eyedrops for another couple of weeks, but she was finally able to get out of her dreaded cone collar.

In honor of this exciting development, I thought I would hop back in time and share a happy pre-injury tale. Shortly after we arrived in DeLand the kids and I, along with my sister and her husband Jeff, went to spend the day with our friends Desiree and Hal. Dez and Hal have 2 dogs, so we took Ginger along for a puppy playdate, and she had the best time! We even took her in the pool for some swimming . . . and surfing:

Here is a picture of Ginger lounging by the pool. If you click on the picture to see it larger, you can see that her eye was already hurt although we didn't discover the injury for another couple of days:

The funniest thing was when Jeff and the kids were roughhousing in the pool. Ginger watched from the side, quite concerned and barking insistently. When they failed to heed her warnings, Ginger jumped in the pool to save the day. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera handy, so we had to do a reenactment, which I captured here:

Tomorrow we're leaving Florida for a few days in Alabama on our way home to Kentucky. I have tons of stuff that I haven't gotten around to blogging, but hey, I'm on vacation! More to come, I promise.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Coming soon to a highway near you

Mike celebrated his 15th birthday on Saturday by taking his learner's permit exam online and passing on the first try. He had to wait until today though to go to the DMV and take his eye test and get his picture taken. We had an appointment for 11:00, and we were out the door, permit in hand, by 11:30. When we got back to my parents' house, Fred took him for a short spin around the block:

Now the fun begins!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Big weekend

Posted November 25, 2007

This was a busy weekend, starting with Fred flying down on July 20 to join us for the last leg of our vacation. That night we went to a street fest in downtown DeLand and then camped out at the Family Book Shop so that the kids could nab their copies (yes, copies, and I think I'm probably the only person in country who paid full retail!) of the new (and last) Harry Potter book.

Fred napped standing up in the aisle while Mike studied his drivers manual and Annabelle basked in the Harry Potterness of it all:

Jenny and I ran into friends from high school and college and had a great time visiting.

The last time I went to a Harry Potter book premiere, it was almost 2 a.m. before Mike had his book in hand and we were on our way home from Borders. Choosing a smaller venue certainly had its advantages, as we were out the door of the bookstore by about 12:15 a.m. and sitting in a booth in the IHOP next door just a few minutes after that.

The morning of July 21, we had to get up early to celebrate Mike's birthday in spite of our late night. Mike took the test for his learner's permit online but had to wait to get the actual permit since it was a Saturday (see next post). We watched him open his presents, and then set off for Tampa for the Boyd family reunion. We had a cake for him there:

It got dark as we drove home from the reunion, and I had to stop at a gas station to buy Annabelle a flashlight so she could keep reading her Harry Potter book. She finished at 1:34 a.m. on July 22.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Meeting old friends

Posted November 25, 2007

When the kids and I spent the holidays in Florida while Fred was deployed a couple of years ago, we met up with my friend Wendy and her son Rory while they were also visiting family in central Florida:

Wendy and Rory have since moved back to the area, so we got together with them again on this trip:

My, how the kids have grown, eh?

Wendy and Rory rank very high up Mike and Annabelle's list of Cool People We Know. They spoke at length about the upcoming Harry Potter book, video games, and music. As we walked to the car, Mike said: "Wow, Mom, you have the coolest friends! And they are so nice to hang out with somebody as lame as you."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Seeking Fountain of Youth

Posted November 26, 2007

On July 15, the kids and I--along with Jenny and Jeff--went to DeLeon Springs to meet my friends Alexis and Claire and their families for breakfast. We had pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill and then posed for a group picture before hitting the springs:

I also snapped a few pictures of the natural beauty of the park, like this flower:

And this tree:

We had such a great time at the park that a couple days later, we decided to go back. This time we took my mom and a delicious picnic munch (no, that's not a typo--it was munchies, not lunch). We sat on our beach towels and enjoyed our snacks:

The rain chased us into the car for a while, but we waited out the storm and were able to return to our spot after a little while. It's impressive how quickly a little bit of lightening can clear the swimming pool. Here's a typical shot of the crowd at the pool on the 15th:

And here's the same pool moments after the first crack of lightening on the 17th:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Going bananas

Posted November 25, 2007

Every time I go to Florida, Mom and Dad say, "This time we really need to go out to 3 Bananas Cafe in Crescent City." For a variety of reasons though, I've never made it out there . . . until now. 3 Bananas claims to have the Best Fish Sandwich, and I'm inclined to believe them!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Potter fodder

I'm not a Harry Potter fan, but both Mike and Annabelle have gotten into it over the years. Annabelle is currently in a Harry Potter frenzy. This week she is re-reading volumes 5 and 6 in preparation for the release of volume 7 next weekend.

Last week she got to attend the newest movie on its first day with her friend Karen. Naturally, she couldn't attend such an auspicious event in Muggle clothes, so she and my parents hit the local thrift stores, where she was able to put together a spiffy Hogwarts uniform:

When Karen came to pick her up before the movie, they took a few minutes to duel with their wands:

Annabelle came home with rave reviews of the movie and can't wait for the release of the new book. We are planning on going to a local bookstore here in DeLand for the midnight party Friday night and then hitting IHOP for middle-of-the-night breakfast.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dinner to remember

Posted November 25, 2007

Grandma and Dave treated us to a very nice supper at the Lake Beresford Yacht Club. After supper, the kids and I went outside to walk on the dock and look for gators:

The grown-ups (I'm somewhere in between "kids" and "grown-ups"--it's an awkward stage) joined us for a group photo:

As we drove home from the club, we did a little bird watching:

We had a really great time that night. Unfortunately, on August 1, the club was destroyed by fire, so I'm glad we went while we had the chance.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Waiting for the mothership?

Look at my little martian:

Ginger is obviously feeling much better today. She was so draggy yesterday, but today the spring is back in her step. She still tends to bump her cone into corners, but she is getting around OK overall.

We are getting better at her eyedrops, mostly because we get lots of practice. We have discovered that she is a sucker for wet, stinky cat food, so I hold a piece in front of her mouth for her to lick at while Mom squirts the drop in. Once the drop is in, I release the food to her.

We have to be in Maitland at 9:00 tomorrow morning for her first follow-up appointment. The clinic down there is called Affiliated Veterinary Specialists, and it is an amazing place. I dread getting into Orlando rush-hour traffic though!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Public service announcement from Ginger

Ginger would like to tell everybody out there to be careful around cats. They may look cute and fuzzy, but they are sharp and hurt your eyes. Chase cats at your own risk. If you are unlucky, you will wind up with 9 stitches in your cornea and a lampshade on your head:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Long time no talk to!

Wow, it's been a while, hasn't it? Things have been crazy, so I will bring you up to date on random events with some bullet points:
  • My mom flew up to Kentucky on Sunday, June 24, in order to visit and then drive down to Florida with me and the kids that Thursday. Greetings from the sunshine state (where it has rained like crazy all day)!

  • Annabelle and I got haircuts last week. I've been agonizing over whether or not to cut bangs for months, and I finally took the plunge. Annabelle was even more courageous and got a cute little pixie cut a la Audrey Hepburn. She can even spike it out for a funkier look:

  • Mike got TWO haircuts last week. First, he had his hair cut on post last Monday, but he is such a chicken when it comes to his hair that he wound up not getting enough cut off. On the drive down to Florida on Thursday, he started fretting somewhere around Atlanta about his hair and how stupid it was going to look when he put on his tux for the wedding on Monday (see infra--with any luck this will all make sense soon). We made a food stop in Perry, Georgia, where there just happened to be a salon in the strip mall behind Chick-Fil-A, and he got his second haircut for the week.

  • Annabelle found a potato with a face. Had it looked like, say, Jesus, we would have tried to sell it on ebay. We couldn't figure out who it looked like though, so we took its picture and then baked it and ate it for supper:

  • Mike is going to be the mascot for his school next year. I don't have a photo of him in his complete costume, but here's something you don't see every day:

  • One of the reasons we timed our trip to Florida for when we did was so that Mike could take part in the wedding of his friends Chris and Laura. We pulled into DeLand late last Thursday night, and Friday morning, I dropped him off at Shades of Green at Disney World with the rest of the wedding party. Annabelle, my sister, and I joined him on Sunday, and Annabelle and I attended the wedding with him on Monday. Here's a pre-wedding shot of the kids (note Mike's new and improved hair):

  • The rodents attended the wedding as well. Pellet and Cheezer are helpless to resist a good party:

  • Mike really enjoyed being part of the wedding festivities and took his groomsman duties seriously (and not so seriously):

  • Chris and Mike were in band together this past year and are both guitar players. Chris wanted to surprise Laura by playing a special song for her at their reception. Mike borrowed guitars from my parents, and he and Chris played "Wonder Wall" by Oasis. Mike and I were referring to the guitars by the code name "jelly" as in "Hey, Mom, don't forget to bring the jelly!" Accordingly, I have dubbed this "Jelly's Last Jam":

There! Now you are more or less caught up, and I will try to be a more conscientious blogger in the future.