Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Fun

The Christmas Season is in full swing now!  There are some great events coming up locally this weekend, especially a few I have done with my children since they were very small.  The blog has a long list of events for this month, check it out here if you haven't yet:  http://www.beachmomslife.com/p/upcoming-events.html. 

There are a few events I would like to highlight.  This Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6-8:30 the Bethlehem Walk is happening at Our Fathers House in Satellite Beach.  This event is a walk through of several scenes of what things may have been like in Bethlehem.  You must sign the census scroll on arrival.  There are even live animals and of course Baby Jesus at the end.  Very family friendly event and beautiful sets and costumes. 

This Friday night, the Indian Harbour Beach Recreation Center is putting on Christmas at the Park at Gleason Park.  There are cookies and hot chocolate along with carolers and musicians in the park.



Inside the Recreation Center they have the Learning Station Childrens band do sing a long songs with the kids.  The parents can participate also.   One important tip:  If you have Jingle Bells, bring them with you!




After the concert you can go outside where Santa will arrive on the Firetruck and you can take pictures with him in from of the big Christmas Tree. 









Saturday night beginning at 6pm, the Downtown Melbourne Light Parade kicks off.  This parade usually runs about 45 minutes long and includes many local businesses, marching bands, and various floats all covered in lights.  Of course the Finale also includes the guest of honor Santa!

After going to the light parade, if you still have a lot of energy you can head over to Wickham Park.  The Lightfest is going on all month long there but for Saturday (12/14) this special night, no cars are allowed and you can Stroll through all the lightfest on foot. 

Check the calendar out, there is something for everyone this weekend! 
Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tis' the Season

Today is December 4th, 2013 and Christmas Day is 3 weeks away.  I am not sure what happened in the blur between Halloween and now but time is sure moving fast.  By now most everyone has their Christmas tree up and decorated, lights outside gleaming to passing cars.  Even some of those early achievers have their Christmas cards mailed (of course that means they finished the family photo, ordered the cards, etc.), and some have their shopping completed.  But for the rest of us it is time for some organization and with that planning some perspective.

Amidst the craziness of the To-Do lists for the next 3 weeks, we all want to share some special Christmas Memories with our children and families.  I am already seeing posts from friends how stressed they are, how much they have to do, what more can they cram in.  But interesting enough a story was floating around online last week basically saying, Do Less Stuff.  It was a great blog post which gave some awesome perspective.  Here is a link if you want to check it out:  http://www.vitafamiliae.com/to-the-mamas-of-littles-during-the-holidays/

I remember back to my own child and despite the family events, the community events we took part in, what I remember most is baking cookies with my mom and making homemade ornaments.  We always wonder how to make the perfect Holiday with our kids, but in the most simple way we already do.  Search out those simple moments, cherish the little things. 

I am thankful for living in such a great family friendly area.  And I do a lot with my kids.  But I have learned to be more selective and really think about what I want my kids to remember.  Each month I create sort of an online calendar of local events.  I have done this for years and this was my primary reason for starting this blog.  I just completed the December list and I tell you it is jam packed!   Here is a link to some great local Holiday Events:  http://www.beachmomslife.com/p/upcoming-events.html 

Each year it seems like there are more and more things to do, especially as the kids get older.  But I will make sure I Do Less Stuff and choose wisely.  My plan is to ask the kids what they want to do.  And if they tell me they want to play Candyland instead of going to a Christmas Concert, etc.  Then that is what I plan to do.

I wish you and your families a blessed Holiday Season!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Welcome Pumpkins and Fall!

It has been over a month since the last post on the blog!  Like most of my friends we are amidst the craziness of school schedules, homework, sports, activities, etc. etc.  But today with the arrival of our first beautiful Fall Day here in Brevard County, it is time to just stop!  Just stop and realize what a beautiful time of year this is and how blessed we are to live in this paradise!

Although amazing to think that Halloween is just a week away, my kids and I have taken some time this week to enjoy one very important fall activity, the visit to the pumpkin patch.  Since we are absent cold jacket weather and colored leaves living here, the pumpkin patches are one small sign that it is actually Fall.  My kids love pumpkins and have since they were little.  We usually visit 3-4 pumpkin patches each year.  We have a few favorites, but I will highlight a couple here.

This year we checked out the Wesley United Methodist Church in West Melbourne.  In previous years I have seen posts about this patch, and it is the only one I know of where you can get hay rides each weekend of the season.  The patch had some great pumpkins and the hay ride was entertaining.  The church put some little displays out in the field which entertained the kids on the ride.  The tractor is kind of interesting too as you can see below. 

Another patch we visit every year as a family is the Church At Viera Patch.  They always have great pumpkins and their setup is fenced, and with the hay everywhere you can get a lot of good pictures there.  The night we went, a couple had carved a pumpkin out and had their little baby son in there.  They carved another pumpkin with handprints, footprints and his name.  It was really cute, see below!


Emmanuel United Methodist Church.  If you have kids that are into princesses, this next patch has a large carriage like Cinderella's.  When my daughter was 2 (she is now 8), she wore her Cinderella costume and I took her picture in this patch and carriage.  It was so cute.  They have the largest selection of pumpkins I have seen this year.


There are several other pumpkin patches in the Melbourne area.  Also Beachside there are other patches to visit such as Satellite Beach United Methodist Church, as well as St. Marks United Methodist Church in Indialantic.  We visit those as well if time permits.  Hopefully this cool weather will stick around a few more days for us to enjoy this last weekend of pumpkins before Halloween!

1.  Wesley United Methodist Church-http://www.wesleywebsite.org/announcements/pumpkin-patch
2.  Church At Viera Patch-http://www.churchatviera.com/eventCalendar.aspx?parentnavigationid=24331
3.  Emmanuel United Methodist Church Patch-http://www.emmanuelumc.net/connect/links/
4.  Satellite Beach United Methodist Church Patch-http://www.sbumc.net/events/pumpkins-arrive-on-saturday/
5.  St. Marks United Methodist Church-http://www.stmarksa1a.org/#/whats-happening/events-and-opportunities

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shark Week is here!

You may have heard of the TV show Shark Tank, or the movie Sharknado, but if your kids enjoy watching Shark Week on TV, they can get their own small version here in Brevard County, and yes they will want fries with that.  Located in Cocoa Beach, there is a small restaurant called The Shark Pit, located in the Cocoa Beach Surf Company building.  The aquarium holds sharks, morays, eels, various fish, etc.  And the best part is you can get a front row seat, literally.
Here you can see there are about 6 seats that sit right in front of the aquarium.  For even more excitement, on Saturdays at noon or Mondays at 2pm, they do a shark feeding at the tank.  On a recent visit with my two kids, we did see Eels, Fish but the shark was most exciting as they makes regular laps around the tank.

Even if you don't have the extra cash to enjoy a drink or meal there, there is part of the aquarium that is outside of the restaurant, viewable from the store.  You can see from this arial view below. Then you can browse the Cocoa Beach Surf Company or walk across the way to Ron Jon's.  Nice indoor air conditioned outing if you need to get the family out of the house!

For more information or menu details, check it out:  http://www.cocoabeachsurf.com/shark_pit_bar_grill.html

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Dawn, New Day, New Routine

Brevard County schools started back this past week on Wednesday.  It was enjoyable to read many posts on Facebook and Blogs.  Everything from, "Thank God, I didn't think I could take another day", to "I just wanted a few more days or hours to spend with my babies", to "I showed up to school on Tuesday not realizing school started Wednesday."  I probably saw this generic picture posted the most on news feeds, which pretty much sums up the sentiment of most friends!



For most people though, the return to daily routine was very welcome, including myself.  There is something about filling out that Calendar on the refrigerator each week, and for me the planner inside my purse.  The organization of daily activities and weekly events.  The excitement of new sports teams, new classes, new friends is very inviting.

This year I have a first grader and second grader but I was thinking back to a year ago when I thought I was very ready to send my youngest and last baby to Kindergarten.  I had already been through it once before, the letting go, the trusting, the wondering of what they would learn and who they would encounter.  And also how they would change over the year.  To my surprise I found the last was just as hard as the first, and in some ways even harder to think that I would never have another baby to say first goodbyes to and miss at the Boo Hoo Breakfast. This was my new Dawn, a closure to little years passed but a new Day to great and exciting beginnings.

My kids had a wonderful first week already!  Both of them love their teachers and the students in their class.  We are very excited for the journey this year brings.  But I know tomorrow I will try to give that extra smile, that extra hello to the Moms and Dads who will be saying their first goodbyes.  I had a wonderful friend share a poem with me when my oldest started school, so I am sharing this with all of you, and dedicating this post to all of our Kindergarten Friends!  Wishing all of you a blessed School Year!

First Day Of School
~Author Unknown~


She started school this morning,
And she seemed so very small.
As I walked there beside her
In the Kindergarten hall.

And as she took her place beside
the others in the class,
I realized how all too soon
Those first few years can pass.

Remembering, I saw her as
She first learned how to walk.
The words that we alone made out
When she began to talk.

This little girl so much absorbed
In learning how to write.
It seems as though she must have grown
To girlhood overnight.

My eyes were blurred by hastily
I brushed the tears away
Lest by some word or sign of mine
I mar her first big day.

Oh how I longed to stay with her
And keep her by the hand
To lead her through the places
That she couldn't understand.

And something closely kin to fear
Was mingled with my pride.
I knew she would no longer be
A baby by my side.

But she must have her chance to live,
To work her problems out,
The privilege to grow and learn
What life is all about.

And I must share my little girl
With friends and work and play;
She's not a baby anymore --
She's in Kindergarten today!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Sebastian Inlet Tide Pool-local destination.

I have a son who is six years old and like most boys that age, he loves to find critters.  In the dirt, in the trees, sand fleas at the beach, etc.  I even found a lizard in his shorts pocket one day!  But no local place gives him more opportunity in this area than the Sebastian Inlet Tide Pool.  We have visited the tide pool twice already this summer and he was not disappointed!  Fish, shrimp, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers are among the creatures you see down there.  Here is a picture of his recent catch:



We also found one creature that has yet to be identified but many there were saying it was some type of sea slug.


The inlet is a great location for all ages.  The tide pool is calm and shallow.  Although rocks line the side of the tide pool, the water itself is lined with sand and very easy to swim in.  In the mornings when the tide is out, the rocks provide a great area to search for creatures.  By 4pm or so, the rocks are covered with water.



During our last visit, we were also surprised by some manatees swimming around the tide pool.  They were about 2 feet from us!  Don't worry, they wont bite!


 The Sebastian Inlet is a state park.  Here is a link for more information.  http://www.floridastateparks.org/sebastianinlet/
There is a $8 charge per car entry fee.  There are picnic tables all around the tide pool area and we normally pack lunch and snacks.  There is a bait shop and a small snack bar place just on the other side of the bridge close to the ocean.  There is not a lot of shade around the tide pool so would recommend bringing a pop up tent or an umbrella.  Also for the kids bring water shoes as some of the rocks can be sharp.  A nice little fishing net and a bucket are also recommended for catching creatures.   There are showers up by the ocean but not any close to the Tide Pool area.  It is a great place to visit and merely a 30-45 minute drive from beachside towns.  I know we will return again this summer!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Time Fun

Today is Wednesday, June 19th and school starts here in Brevard County, eight weeks from today.  Is your summer going by super fast or super slow?  I know for me I have barely began to check off my Summer Bucket List.  Summer is zooming by and there are too many fun things to see and do.  In previous years I would sign my kids up for several camps, classes, etc.  But I find now that they are elementary age, their favorite things are the simple unscheduled things.  Going to the pool with friends (God Bless all our wonderful friends with pools who invite us over), going to the beach, the movies, the library, etc.  Also just exploring this beautiful place we live in.

In Brevard County, there are many adventures to be had.  Did you know on Tuesdays our Brevard Zoo is having Arctic Blast where they put huge blocks of ice in the kids water area?  Or did you know that on Monday, June 24th, you can see 28, 3 yr old Loggerhead Turtles released at Sebastian Inlet?  Or Saturday June 22nd, there is a free NASA Science Day at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office?  Not to mention the free kids movies, free library events etc.

Don't let summer pass you by.  Make a list of some fun things you want to do. If you need ideas, there are some great ones out there, like this checklist from Land of Nod. 


My kids and I also like to do a sheet with the ABC's of Summer.  We literally make a list of all the letters in the alphabet and with each special activity we write it next to the letter it starts with.  Great learning tool and keepsake in one.  If you haven't been out and about yet this summer, it is not too late!  Happy Summer!