Friday, July 29, 2011

Florida Getaway-Day Four

Sunday morning all of us loaded up and went to Dan and Nicki's church, Stetson Baptist Church. Eli and Micah went to the nursery. I was a little nervous at first because I didn't know how well Eli would do in a new place surrounded by new people, but once I met the nursery workers I knew I had nothing to worry about. Nicki walked him back to his room where she said he immediately started playing with the toys they had there. I was so happy to hear that! I went with her to her Sunday School class and really enjoyed the lesson. I was very thankful that I didn't have to talk either. Fun Factoid about Amanda: I'm not so good with meeting new people, little kids yes, big people no. Josh sometimes calls me "socially challenged" because I get what he calls the "deer in the headlights look" whenever I'm thrown into a social situation where I don't know anyone. My stomach was in knots the entire time they were doing the welcome in the class, but thankfully Nicki handled the introduction for me and that was that. Whew! 

After Sunday School, we picked up Jonah and headed to the worship service. WOW! It was so nice to hear Dan preach again and their worship service was unbelievable! God definitely showed up! It actually reminded me of the worship services I grew up with in the Assembly of God church. It definitely helped prepare my heart for Dan's message that day. 

We left church and were going to just go home, but I decided that I wanted to eat at Chipotle, one of my all time favorite restaurants. Nicki started driving to Daytona and on our way there we spotted sky divers falling out of the sky. I'd never seen anyone sky dive up close, so we pulled into the parking lot next to the sky diving area and watched about three of them land. Wow! I don't think I'll ever have enough courage to do that. My brother just did it in Las Vegas and Josh is dying to go, but I think I'm going to keep my feet firmly on the ground. Eli loved watching the sky divers though, so I might be asking for prayers one day if he and his Daddy decide to do it together.

We continued on our merry little way to Chipotle only to discover there was a very long line and no booths or tables were available. We changed plans and ate at Panera Bread instead. It was so yummy! After lunch, Nicki drove a few miles to show me the World's Most Famous Beach...Daytona Beach. I'd never been on a beach where you can drive right on it, so it was pretty neat to see. I don't think I'd ever want to spend the day there, but we did have fun sightseeing as we drove. 

We left Daytona and drove to another beach called Ponce Inlet and in the distance I saw a lighthouse. Climbing to the top of a lighthouse has always been on my bucket list, so I asked Nicki if she would mind driving us to the lighthouse so I could make this dream happen. She didn't mind at all :) What a great friend! As we were backing up though, Nicki's van got stuck...very very stuck. What's ironic is I had just asked if anyone ever got stuck on the beach...guess I should have thought of another question to ask. I jumped out of the car and immediately saw we weren't leaving unless we had some help. We were all still dressed in our church clothes, but I was prepared to dig us out if I needed to. Luckily, some people took pity on two stranded mothers with three kids and they helped dig us out. Nicki and I were laughing so hard we were crying, but we were VERY GRATEFUL for the kindness of strangers that day!

We arrived at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Eli, Jonah, and I went inside to buy tickets. Nicki knew there was no way she'd be able to do it with Micah, so she stayed down on the ground with him. (It's a good thing too because I saw a sign once we got inside the lighthouse that said you couldn't carry children up at all. They have to be able to walk all the way up.)

I was a little worried about the boys being able to climb all those steps but they did a FABULOUS job. Jonah, A.K.A Pawpaw (according to Dan and Nicki), went first so he wouldn't fall behind and Eli and I followed him. Thankfully, there were little landings all the way up so we'd climb a set of stairs and then take a break. Once we got to the top, the view was amazing! The boys loved naming everything they could see from up high. We stayed at the top for a few minutes and then slowly made our way back down. Coming down was actually harder than going up just because our legs were tired by then. We went to a couple different buildings where we got to see the type of lens they use in the lighthouse. I'd love to go back one day without kiddos just so I can read everything on the signs they had posted. Still it was so cool to be able to climb up an actual lighthouse. I'm so glad we made this impromptu visit!

 Eli and Jonah ready to climb the 203 steps inside the lighthouse.

 Photo op before we go in!

 Yes, we climbed all those stairs!

 Taking a break on the landing.

 View from where we were looking down

 View from the top of the lighthouse

 We did it!

We got home from our little mini-outing to discover that Jonah had a present from his Uncle Scott and Aunt Emily (Nicki's brother and sister in law.) He and Eli opened the gift and it was an Imaginext Space Shuttle. They were both very excited about this new toy. This was the first time that Eli had ever played with any Imaginext toy and he fell in love (so did I!). He and Jonah played with these toys for a solid hour. I loved watching Eli playing and using his imagination. In fact, I've already added several of the Imaginext toys to his birthday list on Amazon. 

Eli wasn't into sharing his space shuttle with Micah

After supper that night, Dan, Jonah, Eli and I all played a fun new game called Curious George Hide and Seek Zoo. It's one of the games from the "I Can Do That" series and it was so much fun to play. (This game along with several more "I Can Do That" games have been added to his birthday list, too).
It's a great game that teaches listening, following directions and taking turns.

Four crazy nuts!

Micah had to stay in baby jail so he wouldn't mess up the game.

One fun part of this game is where you get to wear an animal mask and go hide. Dan gave me the pig-I guess he thought he was being funny- Eli was the giraffe, Jonah was the lion, and Dan was the panda bear. When the walkie talkie beeped all  the animals, except for the person whose turn it was, would go hide. Then that person would have to go around and find all the animals. Anytime he had to hide or find us, Eli and Nic-Nic were a team. I think this was his favorite part of all!

My little giraffe hiding :)

Micah got a little lonely in baby jail, so we dressed him as a pig, very fitting in this case :) That boy loves   food! He sat in my lap for a few turns and then it was time for us to all go and hide. Micah came with me and loved hiding in his Mommy's and Daddy's closet.

Micah the pig :)

Two pigs hiding :)

We ended the night with one more I Can Do That game (Dr. Seuss themed) and then called it a night. The boys didn't have a hard time going to sleep any night when Eli and I were there. We kept them so busy during the day that they all crashed when it was time for bed. Our vacation was coming to an end, but we had one more day of fun planned!

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