This blog is a record of my family, our adventures, and life as we know it. I named it after the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", because no matter what happens, good or bad, up or down, our life may not always be wonderful (or perfect), but it will always be a "Lacy Life", and that's wonderful to us!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Florida or Bust!

  I just have to begin this post by saying that I think I could have written this post about three times over for as much time as I've spent trying to get this thing posted!  No really... I'm serious!  Truth be told, I am NOT a very computer savvy person, to say the least!  The very fact that I have even managed to create and post as many posts as I have thus far, feels like nothing short of a miracle, a very small miracle, but a miracle none-the-less!  For whatever reason, every time I worked on this post, I kept having pictures and text disappear on me and show up in some other odd ball place on the page, or sometimes not show up at all, and on and on.  The quirkiness of this program, or perhaps that of the operator, has caused me to completely scrap the whole post, and attempt to re-create it on another, new post, because I am convinced that I must have pushed some button or did something weird to mess that other post up completely beyond repair!  So here I am, attempting to re-do this post, after first transferring it to a hand-written form.  HOPEFULLY it all works out this time!

  So, now that I have everyone rolling on the floor laughing at my less-than competent computing skills, I hope you enjoy reading about our journey to Florida that took place in mid-March.  :)  And I really hope you enjoy pictures, because there will be a lot of them!

  My dear husband and I decided, after much debate, discussion, and consideration, that we needed a vacation REALLY bad!  With all of the things that Mr. Lacy Life has been going through and dealing with on his job, along with all of the long hours he's been working.  Add that to the everyday stresses of life, the busyness, and just the normal workings of a family of 6, we couldn't NOT accept our dear friends several invitations for us to come and visit them down in Florida at their new vacation home.  Our family vacations usually consist of a weekend getaway up to the North Shore of Lake Superior in our home state of Minnesota, or going "up north" elsewhere, as we call it here, or going on a fishing/cabin vacation somewhere else in our "Land of 10,000 Lakes".  We even went to South Dakota once, but NEVER have we went on an excursion quite like this one, where it would take us 3 days to drive there, and 3 days to drive back!  All totalled, We were gone for 11 whole days, and we packed a LOT of family fun and special memories into those 11 days.  It was a well-deserved, greatly appreciated, time or rest, relaxation, reprieve, rejuvenation, and re-connection as a family.  

  First and foremost, I must say that I really, really wished that I would have gotten a picture of our mini-van all packed up, and pictures of the kiddos practically "buried" in our van!  It was hilarious...a sight to behold to be sure!  Our mini-van was like one of those brain bender puzzles that fits together in one way, and one way only.  But until you figure out that specific way, it is nearly impossible to figure it out.  I am happy to report...that after packing, unpacking, and repacking at least 3 times, we finally figured out that "brain bender" of a packed mini-van, and we were on our way out of Minnesota to Florida!  Yay!  Cheers all around!
  Okay, so you think that is funny, well the real funny thing is, is that one of our children made the comment that it felt nice and warm, cozy, and safe in the van.  Truth be told, we were packed in there like sardines, and the reason it felt that way was because we literally had things packed around us on all sides!  Seriously!  Thank God we didn't have a car accident, but I am convinced that if we would have, we would have been perfectly safe and sound padded by all of our "precious" belongings that we couldn't bear to leave home without!  I think my children inherited my notorious "over packer" gene, which I inherited from both my mom and my dad!  LOL!  Love ya, mom and dad!  (You know it's the truth!)  :)

  We set out on our 11 day journey on a COLD Minnesota morning with our gloves and hats on, and our winter hats within arms reach.  Our first destination was Hebron, Kentucky where we planned to stay the night and spend the whole next day at the Creation Science Museum.  We drove through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and arrived in Kentucky on our first day.  We arrived at our hotel kind of late, but that didn't stop us from allowing the children to spend a little time in the hotel pool burning off some serious penned-up energy, while my DH and I relaxed in the hot tub-we were on vacation, after all!  :)
A quick family photo on this beautiful staircase at the hotel before we spent the day at the Museum.

  We had a really great time at the Creation Science Museum, we spent the whole day there, from open to close.  We went through the WHOLE museum, experienced their planetarium (our children's first time), spent time outside at the petting zoo, the gardens, and on the suspension bridge and suspension docks.  We even saw a seminar on Genesis and Creation and a short play complete with special effects and vibrating seats! 
Checking out the turtles.
This chameleon kept trying to climb the glass. He was quite entertaining!
Hanging out with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Hanging out with our friends from the Old Testament.
Posing with a dinosaur.
A great miniature of Noah's Ark after the flood.
We couldn't believe how close this albino peacock let him get to it!  Fun!
Feeding the zedonk.
Feeding the miniature ponies.
I know you can't really see this creature in the picture, but my children were absolutely captivated by this little baby wallaby.  So much so, that they begged us to take one home!  Um, let me think on that...sorry, but NO!  :)
Here they are posing on the suspension bridge.  They made me dizzy just watching them jump on it!
A quick picture before leaving the museum.
 We spent the next two days driving towards Florida.  On the road, we had some great family times.  We spent our time talking, singing, I was reading out loud to the family, we listened to CD's of Bible radio theatre, we enjoyed the beautiful countryside that God created, as well as working on lots of school.

  We arrived in Florida at our friends' house on day 4, after a long detour through the Tennessee back roads the day before because of a landslide on a mountain that covered the freeway we were planning on taking. We enjoyed our time on the road, but we were so happy to be at their house!  There is nothing quite like reaching your destination.  The rest of the night we just got settled in and decided that the ocean would have to wait until the next day.

  The next day, go to the ocean we did...
Mom...look at what I found!!!
Learning the ropes of finding good sea shells and sharks teeth.
Learning the ropes on the boogie board.
Eew...Sea weed!
Okay, mom's, your turn!  Smile for the camera!
Making sand "art".
Mom... look at me!
A family picture to commemorate the historic event of seeing the ocean together for the first time.
  The next five days were filled with going to the ocean a few more times, to 3 different beaches.  Another fun thing was that all of the men/boys were able to go to see the Minnesota Twins baseball teams training camp, and my husband and 2 boys were even blessed with the opportunity to see a Twins pre-season game.  What a blessing that was for my husband, fulfilling a life-long dream of his to go to a pre-season Minnesota Twins baseball game and take his 2 boys!  This was an extra special blessing for the males in our family and will not soon be forgotten.   They were blessed with 3 FREE tickets to the sold-out game, and the seats were right behind home plate!  How exciting for them!
A picture of the hometown hero-Minnesota Twin, Joe Mauer... the boys' favorite!
The Twins' mascot.
  The rest of our time was basically spent just hanging out at our friends' house, going to their folks' pool & whirlpool, playing mini-golf, playing games, games, and more games, and either eating, sleeping, cooking, cleaning up after eating, or shopping.  It might sound like we spent a lot of our time focused on food, and truth be told, we did!  But that's no different from my every-day life at home, really.  When you have a hungry, growing family to continuously feed, and you want to make sure they aren't eating a bunch of junk, and eating healthily on a daily basis, it actually consumes a HUGE part of your everyday life!  Between the 2 families, we had 5 adults, and 13 kids to feed every single day, 3 meals a day, and that is no small undertaking, to be sure!  We had lots of help with the cooking and the cleaning up.  But even in that mundane task, we had a great time being together and enjoying each others company.  Here's some pictures to show a snippet of the rest of our time.

   The last thing to mention, is that we stopped in Spartenburg, South Carolina at a wonderful homeschooling conference on our way home for one day.  It was the first time we've ever brought our children to a homeschool conference, and this one was so friendly towards children that they didn't even charge for them!  They even had some fun things for the kiddos to do, like talks featuring the Mally family, and our 2 oldest even got a chance to join in on a Lego Robotics class that they thoroughly enjoyed.  Thankfully for you, I didn't bring my camera in, so you are going to be spared any pictures of the event.  He, he!  The kiddos reactions to the conference?  Well, some had a great time and cannot wait until we bring them to a homeschool conference again, and others were NOT happy about having to sit there and listen to the presenters for hours at a time.  Overall, I think it was a great experience for our family, and a great wrap-up for our family vacation. 

  That's about it, we had a great time, and we are SO thankful to our friends for inviting us to come and visit them in Florida!  What a great time we had, and  we definitely bonded as a family and tied strings of fellowship together.  If you've made it this far, I thank you. I realize this is a HUGE post, with lot's of pictures, and it's probably more interesting for the people that know us in real life. 

  I have one last thing to say...WHEW...I did it!!!  And just under 2 months after our actual vacation!!!  :)  Better late than never, I think that's my new motto!

It's a Lacy Life

P.S.  This program is still doing things that are bugging me, but I am posting it as is, because I REFUSE to re-do this post again!  :)

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