Thursday, August 30, 2012

When in Rome ... Day 3 (Florence, Italy)

Bright and early on Tuesday morning, we boarded a bullet train to Florence, Italy.  It took us about 90 minutes to get there and we got to ride through the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

This picture was for Claire.  She loves sunflowers!

We finally arrived in Florence!  Will and both went to high school in Florence, Alabama, so we were excited to visit the "real" Florence.

This is the Church of San Lorenzo.  The facade of the church was never finished.  (Michelangelo was commissioned to finish the facade, but the funds were never there.)

Lots of mopeds on the narrow streets of Florence.

The first thing we did was stand in line for a really long time to see Michelangelo's "The David" statute.  Unfortunately, we couldn't take any pictures inside, but it was amazing.  I had no idea it was super-human (13.5 feet tall) and displayed in a beautiful rotunda with lots of natural light.  This picture was snapped while we were waiting outside the museum.
Here is a "fake" David statue we saw in another area of Florence.

Next we visited the Religious Center of the City.

 It includes the Baptistry (dedicated to St. John the Baptist and the oldest building in the city) ... 
And the Cathedral ...

And Bell Tower.

The political center of the city ... Piazza della Signoria.  This palace still houses some city government offices.

We ate lunch in this square ... lots of outdoor seating restaurants.
And Will ordered a really large beer!  (He was hot ... and apparently thirsty!)

My favorite Italian dish ... caprese salad.  Look at those red tomatoes and fresh mozzarella!

The Arno River.

This is not the best picture, but Will is standing on "The Old Bridge" which is the oldest bridge in Florence and houses many of the original, world famous, goldsmith shops.  Unfortunately, we did not have the funds to purchase any gold while we were in Florence.

A better picture of the scenery behind Will in the picture above.

This is another beautiful square called the Piazza della Repubblica.

Time to board the bullet train for our ride back to Rome.
"Florence" in Italian.

We arrived back in Rome just in time to freshen up for dinner.  We ate at this cute spot in the Trastevere neighborhood.

The meal was good, but the tiramisu and espresso were our favorites!


That is all for Day 3!
You can read about Day 1 and Day 2 here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pirate School

I wanted to do some fun "school" activities over the summer.  I planned out 4 theme weeks to spread throughout the summer, but we went to the pool so much that we only go around to one theme.
And the winner was ... PIRATES.
I found these cute Jake and the Neverland Pirate printables (both preschool and Kindergarten) to use and planned a few "fun" learning activities too.

Found these foam pirate ships at Joann's.

The pirate treasure dig was a big hit with the boys.




Found that wooden pirate masks on clearance at Joann's.  The kids colored them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I know what you did this summer: Summer Fun (Part 3)

You can read about Part 1 and Part 2 by clicking the links.
Hanging out with friends.  Luke is quite smitten with Miss Waverly.
Claire and McCall.

Neyland and David.

Luke loves to sit in baskets.  We cancelled our newspaper so our newspaper basket was empty and he hopped right in!
More bowling!  It is free, so why not!
You really can't see it in this picture, but David bowled a 114 in the first game.

Of course, it's a lot easier to score this high when you are bowling with a ball stand and bumpers!
My cute niece struck a pose!

We banged on the piano quite a bit this summer.
And there was quite a bit of napping in the car.

Will took a guys trip with his bible study group to Pickwick Lake in Savannah, TN.  They ate some catfish and played a little golf.

We spent A LOT of time at the pool this summer.  I finally managed to get my camera out there once.  This was at kids' night one Wed. night.  The girls are making tie-dye shirt.  My kids loved this and their shirts turned out really cute.

Claire and her pool buddy Maggie.

We also spent 5 long night without air conditioning upstairs (which is where all of our bedrooms are).  The AC finally bit the dust (it was 21 years old) and while we priced new units on Sunday, they couldn't come install until Thursday morning.  It was 93 degrees in our upstairs that last day.  The kids enjoyed "camping out" downstairs for the week, but I was glad to have the AC back up and running!!

Remember when Claire went to Camp Wonderfully Made earlier this summer?  Well, they have a 4th week of camp for underprivileged children and invite the earlier campers to help with camp during the 4th week.  So, Claire and I got together with about 6-7 other moms and their girls to make lunches, crafts for the campers, and have a time of fellowship and devotional together.  We then took lunch to the campers and ate lunch and played games with them.  One of the moms made these cross shirts as a special treat for the girls who volunteered to help.  We really had a fun time!
Lunch at camp.

Claire and her buddy Adelaide.

Claire and me.

Claire and Mrs. DeeAnn (the camp director).

Finally, we had a pool day with some "old friends" and had so much fun.  I always hate it when we wait late into summer to do something and then we wonder why we didn't do it sooner (and now summer is over).
The itty bitties.  Luke and Samantha.
The pool snake was a big hit with the big kids.

Will and the boys.

Claire modeled her cute swimsuit for me.

After the kids got bored with the pool, they did some riding on the mule.  Mr. Matt was a great chauffeur!  Luke would not get off of that thing!  All the kids loved it.

The End!