Year So Far

2014 is off to a great start for us. Plenty of sliding and bubbles and beach time:IMG_0080 IMG_0074 IMG_0053 IMG_0051101_0123 100_0204 100_0213 100_0218 IMG_0249

Lots of good things happening in the garden:IMG_0036_2 IMG_0031_2IMG_0130IMG_0146 IMG_0134  IMG_0170

Some art and fancy shoes:                                     IMG_0155 IMG_0157 IMG_0163

A fantastic visit from Super Duper Grandma Luper:100_0292 100_0289 100_0279 100_0272100_0281  IMG_0243IMG_0210 IMG_0236IMG_0198 IMG_0193_2

Such is winter in the tropics!IMG_0263 IMG_0258 IMG_0266

Christmas Card Outtakes

Several weeks ago, Mae and Zipper and I headed over to our favorite alpine-forest-like spot to get some shots for our Christmas card. Although invasive, Casuarina trees do a nice job of making the tropics feel festive this time of year.

I like how the card turned out (especially the thumbs up), but I have to admit, some of these less than “card-worthy” shots are my favorites:

Happy Holidays!

Edamame Extravaganza

The harvest:                                                                   100_9618

Forced labor…                                                                       100_9626

Intense pod-popping concentration:100_9642

Yum! (Scoffed at pizza and ate an entire meal of edamame.)100_9646

The Going To Bed Book

Someone has her bedtime story memorized.

Couple things:                                                                                                                        1. The first 12 second are upside down … my fault.                                                              2. Mae takes a break from 1:13 to 1:34 to discuss the ceiling fans and air                                  conditioning in her bedroom. Hang in there, she gets back to the book.


Also, we had a nice Thanksgiving … gobble, gobble!

Cloudy Days

We’ve been having about a month of “off” weather. A few very rainy weeks (great for starting the garden, more below), followed by several extremely windy days. I think we’ve only been to the beach once since I last posted (gasp!). My hope is that the weather is getting everything icky out of its system before Christmas Eve, when my sister and her family arrive for a week. So excited already!

When it’s gloomy out, wearing your shades can brighten thing up. Paradoxical, yes.

Lots of rain means old canoes full of tadpoles! Mae figured out how to catch them herself. Sometimes they even got kisses and lullabies. She was very careful not to squish.

The vegetable garden is off to a good start. This year we’ve planted tomatoes (3 varieties), cherry tomatoes (3 varieties), cucumbers, red bell peppers. eggplant, sweet potatoes. watermelon, green onions, dill, arugula, green beans and soy beans (edamame variety). Oh, and the pineapple plant I started over the summer. I usually have more herbs, but they can be so fussy, I just didn’t feel like dealing with them this year. Mae can give an expert garden tour and she caught on to weeding really quickly. Only two cherry tomato casualties, which needed to be thinned anyway!

Sidewalk chalking has become a full-body activity.

This past weekend we took a very windy walk on North Point. Mae hiked like a pro and especially enjoyed the portions where we pushed our way through stabby bushes. I was worried about her little eyeballs, but she loved it! (It was also father-daughter Blackhawks gear day.)

And now I’ll leave you with these two nice osprey, who were completely unconcerned with Zipper’s maniacal barking and attempts to leap up an old telephone pole.

Water Baby

It’s been pretty low-key around here for the past several weeks (apart from a kickin’ 8th birthday party for our buddy, Zach). Lots of beach time since the weather is still really steamy. Yesterday when I told Mae is was time to get out of the ocean, she cried. And she’d probably live in her orange floatie if we let her.

Really enjoying Tom’s homemade tortillas!

Grand Finale

On our way back home through Nassau, we decided to splurge and take a little vacation from our vacation. Atlantis on Paradise Island is sort of like the Disneyland of the Bahamas. Not sure if I’d enjoy a whole week there, but two days was great. There are tons of neat marine creatures to see, and we enjoyed the kiddie pool and a few of the tamer water rides.                                                              

Flocks of baby stingrays are pretty much the cutest thing ever. They may not photograph well, but trust me.                  

Moments later, she declared, “I like that fish there. With the mouth.”

And Atlantis gets bonus points for clever signage:

It was a really nice way to end our several weeks of travel, and now we’re glad to be home!