Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Springs

Normally our springs have total visibility. Like to the bottom whether that is 12 feet or 30 feet. But due to a lot of rain last week, the river connected to the springs flooded and made the springs "dirty." 
The water is not usually brown like this. There was very little visibility.

Spring water is 68F all the time so the water is very cold no matter the air temperature. It was sunny yesterday, but only 70F air temperature. Still, the kids had fun.  We rented a wet suit for Tyler, but they didn't have child sized ones. We didn't make anyone go in the cold water that didn't want to. 

Jessica, of course, has a wet suit that Uncle Ken bought for her. Unfortunately, she forgot the basic rule of holding your mask when diving in, and her $80 mask went to the bottom. It was about 12 feet here. She was having trouble staying down long enough to find it (in about a foot visibility) using Tyler's mask.

So it was big brother to the rescue. Some divers said they'd get it later if she couldn't find it, but we didn't need them. There were two different training classes there. Not a good day for it. You obviously couldn't even see down to the training platform or the entrance to the caves. The more advanced classes do low visibility and night dives, but not beginners.

He wasn't sure about the cold water, but gave it a try.

Tyler's mermaid impression.

I grilled while they were in the water.

I was going to check how well done the steaks were, but  Jessica wanted to use her dive knife. We had hot dogs and hamburgers with us too in case I burnt up the steaks! The kids ate the hot dogs, but we brought the hamburgers home and had them for supper. 

Divers and their knives!

We decided to go to a smaller spring that had been under construction to see if it was finally done. They'd put up cement walls around the edges, which I liked. But they removed them to make it more natural. Much better visibility at this one, but it's really small.

Adam really wanted to go but had to work. I told him we'll go again this summer and hopefully have clear water. There's a spring about 4-5 hours away the kids want to dive at. There's a beach too, so we might go there this summer. The kids would need to rent tanks. Jessica has much higher certifications that Tyler and Rick, but it's part of her major. She got basic and advanced first semester and is now doing nitrox, science and something else. Maybe search and rescue?

The hockey was actually Thursday evening and the springs was Friday, but I forgot about these pictures.

Adam doesn't have skates. At the end, Tyler took off his skates, and he and  Adam played some one on one. It was lively. I have video, but it's not downloaded.

We are not in the greatest neighborhood, and the houses in the background are not well cared for at all. We have a double wide manufactured home, but we try to keep our house and lawn in good repair. Kiara loves to dig so the yard is not in good shape, but it's mowed and trash free.

It's actually quite warm out, but we have a big problem with gnats so that's why the kids have jackets with hoods (except Kaleb who didn't wear one). We still got a lot of bites.

Jasmine and Adam made strawberry muffins from scratch with real strawberries. He made chili for lunch which will be on the what's cooking post in a couple of days, went to work, then came home and made the muffins.

I'll be posting recipes and pictures from what the kids cooked in March and hopefully pictures from tomorrow. Hoping for good weather.

If you've been reading for a long time, you might remember our very memorable first trip to the smaller springs! Here's the link to that post.

First trip to the smaller springs

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More of the Same and school photos

Spring break has pretty much consisted of making fattening desserts and playing Wii Outdoor Challenge and Just Dance Disney or Just Dance 4. The kids have gone out on trampoline and out on scooters in the afternoon when it's warmer.
These two have finally started bonding. Max misses his buddy Shy. They'd been together almost 12 years when Shy disappeared last August. Max was born in '99 and Shy in '01. Max will sometimes disappear for a while, and we'll think he's gone only to have him show back up. But Shy never missed a meal. We still miss him. Max and Jayden are both pretty laid back. Shy was more active. Not playful, just not to be ignored.

I always thought Max was pretty small until we got Jayden.

Adam had to work today, but he made cream cheese chicken chili before he went.

The others played Just Dance 4. Jessica got to play today, but she works this evening. It gets a little dramatic around here some times.

It's nice to see everyone get along. Except when they argue over which character they are going to be. You have to copy the dance moves of your character on the TV. The remote measures how well you do. So you have to have the remote that matches your character. Adam is our reigning champ so far.

The last meet was so small that the coach let some of the guys try hurdles who had never ever jumped a hurdle before--at least not until about five minutes before hand when they warmed up! Someone posted this photo of Adam, so I was able to get it.

Remember the day I took pictures of the kids before their school portraits? Well, below are the proofs. For some reason I'm not as thrilled with Kayla's. I don't know if it's the smile (not her real smile), the pose or that the dress is too light of a color for her. The packets costs a lot so I may try to get her picture taken somewhere else. Sears does great but they always take so many and I end up buying way too many. I bought a bunch of Jasmine because there were all so good, but it cost a lot. So I'm trying to rotate between getting school or sports photos one year and Sears the next.

What's your thoughts on these? Favorite background?

She just doesn't look thrilled to be getting her picture taken.

They always take photos on the cruise, so we can probably get one then. Or I'll just take one with a good background.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Running, Baking and Playing

Adam got called into work early.

The rest of us went to the park to run a practice 5K. Then Tyler built a fire.

It was cold so we were glad to have the fire to warm our hands.

This park is really shady so it's hard to get photos without shadows.

I asked the kids to climb trees to give me some good photos. No problem! Well, the girls had to be convinced, but not Tyler.

Jasmine climbed up me and then gave Kayla a hand up.

Can you see Tyler?

We've been making a lot of fattening stuff this week. But the kids have  been running and playing Wii Outdoor Challenge (me too) and Wii Just Dance (not me.)

Making Fun da middles.

They're done!

Just Dance 4 Final Countdown. You have to jump over each other. That didn't go so well.

Tyler and Jasmine were closer. But he jumped right out of my picture.

My Easter Lily from Tyndale.

Jessica has had school all week and has gone to work straight from school.  So she leaves early and doesn't get home until 11 P.M. We haven't seen much of her this week, and she's missed out on all the Wii and Just Dance times. She had a very cold two tank dive yesterday.

Today I'm taking Adam and Jasmine to Genghis Grill. I have three free bowls on my card. I used a coupon when I went with Jessica during her spring break not knowing I had that many free bowls. That would be from taking Adam's friends for his birthday. Adam and Jasmine cleaned their rooms and tried on all their spring clothing, so they are the ones to go this time.

I forgot to say on the last post that as soon as I signed up for the cruise, the refrigerator went out, and I found out I needed brakes, bearings and rotors plus two new tires. Rick needed two tires also.  Doesn't that just figure? Well, the fridge was only a $30 service call because it was just the fan stuck, and he just adjusted it. I only got the most necessary stuff done on the SUV ($600) for now and will get the rest later in the summer. I need to check my records because I think part of that was just done at another place and if it's bad already, it should be under warrantee.

Of those of you who left comments, some of you have gone on cruises and some haven't. Our normal "vacations" are trips up to see our families in Indiana or to the book convention in the summer. In the past we've had one year resident passes to Universal/Islands of Adventures or Disney. But those have the summer blocked out. (I made an exception last summer and let people pay to upgrade their ticket to include summer at their expense). And we've gone on a few weekends, sometimes on the way to other places--TMI camp, medical appointments etc. Right now we don't have any passes. Our Disney ones ran out at Thanksgiving. It's a 6 1/2 hour drive to Orlando so we don't use them as much as we'd like so decided not to get passes for a while. So the cruises are a bit of a novelty for us. Someday Rick and I will probably do one with just the two of us, but for right now, everyone is growing up so fast that I want to do this one together before anyone else leaves permanently.

Overall, spring break is going pretty well. There have been no real issues and everyone has been cooperating pretty well. The kids are getting along great when playing Wii and Just Dance or baking something. Jessica doesn't have classes on Th or Fri so she'll get to be here. She works closing tomorrow, but that gives her most of the day with us.