Little Monkey–The First Grade Edition

August 21, 2012

This week, Little Monkey headed back to school for his first day of first grade. He was very excited to go to his new class. We discovered that he doesn’t have any friends from his last class in his class this year but he says he will make new friends.

Standard pictures for back to school. 🙂 Little Monkette had to check up on her big brother!

After getting Little Monkey to his class, Little Monkette didn’t want to leave him! She’s been begging all summer for him to go back to school but then wouldn’t leave him there. She wanted to color a picture like all the other kids were doing. Once I got her back home, she was okay with him being at school until we were at the gym. He was only gone three hours and she was ready to have him back home again! She does love her brother!

When we were back at the house, I thought it would be fun to do a line up of the first day of school for the past three years. It is amazing to see how much he has grown!

3 years of First Days of School

I am excited to line up 13 years of first days for him! So far he likes first grade but says they eat lunch really late. He is glad that they get to have a snack in class.


The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

July 16, 2012

Little Monkey has asked many times to go to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and climb all the way to the top! I have told him before that he would need Big Monkey to take him because I wasn’t planning on climbing up there. I don’t really like being high up, so the lighthouse was not at all appealing to me. Lucky for Little Monkey, his Grammy decided we should go last week while we were staying at the beach. Big Monkey was out of the country on a mission trip, so he wasn’t available to climb the lighthouse. Bad news for me because Grammy’s knee wasn’t going to allow her to climb all the way to the top.

The Littles and Me at the door to the lighthouse.

Once Little Monkey and I made it all the way to the top, I took a picture of us up against the Lighthouse. I then decided that no one would care to see the black paint of the Lighthouse, so we took another one with the beach in the background.

Little Monkey and me at the top of the Lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

While we were up there, we tried to grab a picture of Little Monkette and Grammy waiting for us down at the bottom. I hadn’t thought about it until after they had taken our picture so they were already on the move.

I wrote their names right underneath them. It is hard to see though! They are in the middle of the picture. We were pretty high up!

The climb up wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It is 203 steps to the top. The biggest issue is how hot it is in the lighthouse. At some of the windows there would be a small breeze but that was it. I was sweating before making it all the way up (And we weren’t charging up the stairs like we do at the gym!) The climb back down was a little more difficult but not too bad. As I stood close to the inside edge, but not too close, I stretched my arms out and took a picture of the staircase with my phone.

The stairwell!

Overall, it was a fun experience and I’m glad Little Monkey finally got his wish! I don’t think I’ll need to climb up there any more but at least now I can say that I have done it. 🙂 If you are ever in the Ponce Inlet area, you might want to check out the Lighthouse too!


Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day 2012

July 15, 2012

Every year I think, we should really dress up and get free food at Chick-fil-a for Cow Appreciation Day. And then it comes along every year and we don’t go. This year I decided we were going to make it happen! I printed the first page of Chick-fil-a’s costume kit which included ears and noses/mouths. I taped the ears to hair clips for easy use. Next we cut out black spots from construction paper. We taped those onto white shirts. I also made Little Monkey and Little Monkette each a sign similar to the Chick-fil-a cow’s sign.

Eat Mor Chikin or Frys and Frut!

Since Little Monkey can’t eat chicken, I made him a special PKU friendly sign for fries and fruit. Who knows, maybe we’ll help Chick-fil-a start a new PKU friendly marketing campaign!

They were very excited to meet the cow!

Shortly after we sat down to eat our food, the Chick-fil-a cow came out. The kids were SO excited. They hopped right up from the table to meet him. They got hugs, high fives and a photo op! The cow hung around for awhile, greeting people outside, going through the drive thru line, sneaking up on people eating or waiting in line, taking orders, handing out orders in the drive thru and sitting with other people who were eating. Every time Little Monkette saw the cow she would wave and often he would wave back (except when he was outside and she swore he did see her though!)

There were a few people eating in the restaurant (we got there about 4:15 to avoid the dinner crowd-turned out to be a great idea!) that were not aware of Cow Appreciation Day. One guy even asked me if something special was happening today. I told him about the event and assured him that we didn’t regularly dress like cows (Yes I was dressed like a cow too! Hello! It was FREE food!)

I would say dressing up for Cow Appreciation Day is worth it. We had fun and got to have great food for free. We didn’t spend any money on our costumes. Everything we used was stuff we had on hand. I’ve entered the kids picture into Chick-fil-a’s Cow Appreciation Day photo contest. Once I know the link of where to vote, I’ll post it here so you can go vote for them!

Update! I got the link to vote for the kids!! Please go give them your vote! Click Here! Thanks.


Firefighter Combat Race

April 30, 2012

A few weeks ago (because I”m slow at updating the blog and finding the time to write!), Big Monkey was working and the kids and I were looking for some things to do. We ended up making that Saturday and VERY busy day. The kids did their race, we picked blueberries and then we went to the Firefighter Combat Challenge.

The Firefighter Combat Challenge is a traveling competition for firefighters. While wearing all their gear and an air pack, they must complete a series of challenges. The goal is to do them all correctly and in the shortest time. We watched a little bit of the competition and then saw they also had a kids challenge area. Little kids could try out the challenge for themselves on a smaller scale. Little Monkey was old enough to try it but Little Monkette wasn’t. She was a bit sad about it but got over it and cheered her brother on.

Little Monkey got suited up with a jacket and helmet and we checked out the Bahia fire truck while waiting his turn for the challenge.

Ready to Respond!

We watched a few other kids do the challenge and talked about each step he’d have to complete. Little Monkey and another kid lined up, ready to try it out and listened to the directions intently.

Finding out what to do.

The first part was to pick one of the two hoses and carry it to the other end of the row and drop it by the ladder.

Running with the hose!

After dropping the hose, Little Monkey climbed a ladder, and then slid down the slide.

Sliding down!

Once he got to the ground, he ran over to the kid sized Keiser Force Machine. It simulates a forcible entry chopping. Using the mallet, Little Monkey hit the beam until it got all the way to the other end. This took him a bit of time but he kept at it.

Testing out his chopping skills for forcible entry!

The next step of the challenge was to run and grab the fire hose, carry it down to the marker, aim and shoot the water to knock down a target. Little Monkey said this was his favorite part of the challenge!

Shoot the target!

The last part of the challenge was to drag a dummy kid to safety. Little Monkey had a hard time getting a good grasp on the kid but once her figured it out he got the dummy to safety.

Dragging the kid to the safety zone!

After he was done, Little Monkey said he was tired and it was a lot of work. It wasn’t too much work though, because he ended up doing it twice! He thought it was a lot of fun but at the end of the day decided he still wanted to become a policeman when he grows up.

After doing the combat challenge, we also went into the Safety House where they taught the kids about smoke alarms and what to do if you hear one. Then the kids go into another part of the converted trailer where they fill the room with non toxic smoke. The smoke alarm goes off and they have to get on their hands and knees and try to get out. (There is a firefighter with them showing them what to do.) They feel the door to see if they can go out of it but it is hot, so they climb out the window and down a ladder. Little Monkey liked that and thought it was a cool thing.

They also had a room filled activites the kids could do, coloring, build a fire truck (paper folding), watch a video, etc. The event was lots of fun and helped wear the kids out even more from our busy day. Even better, the entire event was FREE!

Check out the Firefighter Combat Challenge webpage to see if they are coming to a town near you!


First Blueberry Picking of 2012

April 19, 2012

Little Monkette and Little Monkey hard at work looking for dark blueberries.

We tried out a new blueberry patch this past weekend with Mimi. Our ‘regular’ patch hasn’t opened up yet but the one by Mimi’s house was ready for picking! After doing the Kids’ Run, we headed over to the patch to get some blueberries.

Little Monkette took a little bit of teaching because she tried to just pick any berry she saw. Once we got her to look for the dark berries, she did great. Little Monkey did well too. We ended up filling a bucket with blueberries. It was almost 6lbs of berries! Even better, it was $15 for all 6lbs! That is quite a deal if you compare it to the grocery store. We will be getting more blueberries…once all of these are eaten.

Little Monkey showing off most of our blueberries!


Windermere Kids Run

April 14, 2012

The City of Windermere held its 11th Annual 5k Run Among the Lakes this morning. They also had three different lengths for kids races. Little Monkey has been begging to do another run, so when I found this one a few weeks ago, I signed the kids up.

This morning we headed out to the race and arrived just after the 5k had started. We parked and checked in at town hall to get the kids race bibs and shirts. Unfortunately, many other kids had already checked in (most who hadn’t registered ahead of time like we did) and they were out of kids shirts. The staff was nice and helpful and did get us one shirt, though it was a ladies medium. Looks like I have a new running shirt, or I can do a little sewing to it and make it fit Little Monkey. We waited around for the 5k to finish and checked out some of the vendors. Before the kids race ever started we ended up with two bags filled with free stuff! We got frisbees, flat water bottles, bam bam sticks, lollipops, Chick-fil-a cows and a coupon, popcorn and I’m sure I’m leaving something out! Mimi arrived (after getting stuck in race runner/walker traffic!) and we waited for the kids races to start.

Little Monkey and Little Monkette before the race!

The kids lined up for the first race (and the shortest). Mimi went with Little Monkette to help her along and then Little Monkey decided he wanted to run the short race too. They both did a good job and Little Monkey was right near the front of the group with the bigger kids. The next race was about 1/4-1/2 of a mile long. Little Monkey said he didn’t want to do it but then changed his mind after they already started. Mimi convinced him to do the longest kids run, just about 3/4 of a mile. She offered to run it with him.

Mimi and Little Monkey starting off for the long run!

Little Monkette wasn’t too excited to sit and watch for them to come back around but she did alright once some kids started coming to the finish line. When she saw Mimi and Little Monkey, she got very excited!

Little Monkey leading Mimi to the finish line!

Little Monkey did a great job running the 3/4 of a mile race. Mimi said they stopped two times for a short walk and then kept running. Little Monkey was very excited about it and is already looking forward to finding another race to run.

Little Monkette and Little Monkey showing off their medals!

The kids had a lot of fun and did a great job in their race. It was a great start to what turned out to be quite a busy but very fun Saturday!


Florida Special

April 11, 2012

The State of Florida or a Grilled Chicken Nugget from Chick-fil-a?

Little Monkette and I found the above gem in our lunch today. I immediately thought it looked like the state of Florida. I took the picture on my phone and then Little Monkette proceeded to pick up the nugget and try to shoot it like a gun. Pow, Pow!

I like to think that Chick-fil-a just really likes Florida, just like we do! 🙂