Monday, February 15, 2016

Community Nutcracker and Gingerbread Extravaganza

This is our second year attending the Community Nutcracker at The Florida Theatre.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Perfect Spot for Coffee Main Street - Magic Kingdom

My favorite place to have a coffee and Danish on in Main Street.

 So many flowers.  Walk past the caricatures and the silhouettes to three little tables with chairs.

Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch - Unprofessional Photo Alert! Walt Disney World Food

Ever find yourself looking at a friend's Disney vacation photos looking for details?  Not details of their happy faces in front of yet another park ride ... but at what is served one counter service venue over another.  I do.  And since I know that a bunch of you do too, I thought I would post our lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.  (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom)

The waiting area is themed as the main room of a Tavern in the Colonies.  We were called from the "Territory of Florida", which made the kiddos giggle.  There is a large fireplace with equipment and even a spinning wheel to one side.

 Our wait wasn't bad.  We had reservations we had made at 11am for 1:40pm. We were coloring for maybe 10 minutes, which we also used for a restroom break.  Restroom's are upstairs, but are very limited.  Only two stalls in the ladies room, a diaper changing station and two sinks.
Meal wasn't rushed, wasn't as loud as the counter service venues.  We needed a lot of water, and the server kept our glasses filled.  It had been a while since we had last been in the Liberty Tree Tavern, and I was happy that the mugs were no longer glass, which made them a fun drink cup for the kids without the weight of the full glass mugs.  (We had an accident last time.)

 We ordered the Turkey from the kids meal, which was very good, but not quite enough for a preteen boy.

We ordered the Fish and Chips which was the Market Special, The Pot Roast and Adults Turkey with Stuffing.  They all tasted great. 

We also had desert, a cupcake for birthday boy, and both the blueberry and peach cobblers.

Birthday boy was NOT waiting for pictures to be taken of his food.  My mom thinks we starve him.

Also, for the educational side, side near a wall.  Any wall.  They have all sorts of nods to the Founding Fathers that kids waiting for food will suddenly be interested during the wait.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blue Knights Meeting - Faith

Here are the Nuts and Bolts of the First Meeting

Set Up
Prayer to Begin
Shout Verse
Saint Story and Pictures
Game Time
Prayer to End

Some of the surprises were that we worked on how to pass out materials in a circle.  We went over what someone means when they say "Take one and pass it on". 

We took attendance and I made sure to go over and ask each boy questions as I kept record.  For example: " Taylor? Wow, Taylor, that is a great red shirt you have on.  Hey everybody, look at Taylor's cool red shirt!  Taylor, is red your favorite color? Wow, red it Taylor's favorite color, does anyone else have their favorite color red like Taylor?".  I am hoping that our smaller boys will benefit in learning new names as well as some of our older boys with special challenges.

We are working on The Sign of the Cross the younger boys need work on which shoulder first.  I am not spotlighting individuals to lead prayers yet. The prayer to St. Josephs "Copy Me" format is great, especially as we have mostly nonreaders, but we were outside and I forgot my copy, so we ended up doing Our Father, which some boys mumbled through, so we may be revisiting this prayer as well.

A hit with the boys was a "Check list".  It is suggested to have a posted schedule, and it really worked well.  I gave the boys turns actually checking (or making an "x") in the box next to each activity.  I found though, that I needed to say "mark" the list, as we have a child who will become very disruptive if we said check and the child did not make a check mark.

The shout verse was a hit.  We had to go outside, so that we were not disruptive.  Since we are on a sidewalk next to a street, we do not stay outside long.  Because ambulances are driving my to the hospital, we stop at least twice to say a prayer.  It was so sweet, but it was also a delay, as getting the boys back on track takes time. 

My oldest Knight, I am labeling as my Squire, and he is going to be reading the Saint Stories to the other boys.  I am hoping it encourages the skills of the Squire in reading in front of the group, and is encouraging to the younger boys both to read and to read aloud.

We are using color pencils for the Saint pictures, they show well on the pages and are different for many boys who currently only use crayons at home.  Markers obscure the pictures when darker colors are used, so we will be removing any markers from the pencil holder.

Our craft is tied to the concept of "Armor of God", and for the first meeting they are decorating mini shields that we made in advance at home.  I found some extra printed coloring sheets to go with this theme, but now that I look at them, many of the virtues do not line up.  Probably not gong to make a difference with the pre-readers.

Game time is using our faith to shield us from sin.  We were going to use cotton balls with our mini shields, but improved with plastic jumping  frogs.

We said a Glory Be as the big kids came into the room, and our attention left quickly.

Blue Knights Year One

My friend joked that I had too much extra time on my hands.  Well, I don't really, but I wanted Blue Knights bad enough that I took it on for this year.  I searched for  information on running the group, and really didn't find more than a post or two outside of the Ecce Homo Press / Behold Publications site for Blue Knights. 

So, I am posting a few things about it here.  I hope it helps someone out there, but mostly I hope it helps me.  We have a younger crowd this year, with the oldest being 9 years old and the youngest are 4 years old.  We are also meeting in the same room as our Little Flowers Girls Club.

One of the first tricks for my year is to have a quick starting craft for both the Knights and Little Flowers having to do with their virtue as they align most of the first year.  We have limited space and have to be considerate of noise and activity levels.

Blue Knights Year 1 Shield of Faith

I am determined to see what I can do with Blue Knights with limited cost and a lot of imagination.

For the Shield of Faith, I wanted to let the boys have something to personalize and to play with.  I didn't want to have full size shields, but I also didn't want to distill the idea down to a coloring sheet either.  Here is what I ended up with and it was very successful with the boys.

I ended up making paperboard shields that the boys colored their own designs on the front.  
I cut two shields approximately 5 by 7  inches from Cereal Box Paperboard.

Then on one of the cut outs, I cute two 1 inch slits one above the other, about one inch apart, near the top of the shield shape.  This was to thread the ribbon through so the boys could use it for their finger to slide in and hold their shield.

Making sure that the ribbon was looped out slightly, I then used the Aleene's Original Tacky Glue to glue the pieces together, making sure to keep the ribbon loop on the outside. 

The game for the lesson is using your shields to defend yourself during dodge ball.  We don't have activity space for that, and some of our younger boys are 4 years old, so the plan was to use their mini shields to defend against cotton balls that represented sins that your Faith can help.  I didn't remember the cotton balls, but I did have a game with little plastic frogs that "jump" so the boys used those. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hiking at 2 Feet Above Sea Level in South Jacksonville Florida

If you are driving south on I-95 and want a short hike close to the Interstate, Julington-Durbin Preserve is a great stop.  Exit 335 will take you to gas, food, lodging and a 1 mile trip through a diverse look at inland natural Florida.
Start out in a Stand of planted pine forest, a common site all over the Central and Northern portion of the state.
 Pines, cedars and wildflowers line an open portion of the trail.
 "1 Day I Will ... "
Halfway down the trail, the environment changes.  No more sand and only a few pines.
The Wetlands in the second mile are full of different but still facinating. 
On one day we were searching for fungi.
We couldn't resist photos of the yellow, lavendars, butterflies and other insects. 
Many were too fast for our camera.

 These white flowers smelled so very sweet, there was endlessly perfumed air.
A walk worth taking, even wtih little legs.
The walk, is a 2 mile round trip from the parking area to the creek and back.