It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Our Worst Vacation Ever

Carl and I were blessed with the use of my Tuesday client’s beach house in the Florida panhandle, near Destin, for the third year in a row. We left on Saturday for a few days by ourselves before having our Card Club friends, Pat and Don join us on Tuesday and then Dee and Eddy join us all on Thursday. We were all excited for lots of fellowship on the beach, delicious meals and games each night, plus fishing for the guys each morning.

Saturday after arriving, unpacking and shopping for groceries, we headed to the beach with cocktails for the sunset.

As we got out of our car by the beach, we both started coughing. As we sat there, we noticed lots of dead fish and eels on the shoreline.

A quick google search told us about the dangerous Red Tide hitting the Gulf Coast…Problem #1.

We tried to return to the beach the next day but it was even worse.

We only were able to sit there without coughing by downing water nonstop. We decided to abandon the beach and go hang out by the pool.

Problem #2: the pool was closed due to mechanical issues.

Yesterday we awoke to Problem #3: Tropical Storm Michael was worsening into a Category 2 hurricane* headed right towards us (we were in area of blue dot).

When our friends all decided to stay safe at home, we decided to cut our loses and head home ourselves after about 48 hours of vacation. We are hoping to be able to reschedule next month instead.

And that my friends, officially became our worst vacation ever!

*Michael continued increasing, reaching up to a Category 4 Hurricane so we are very grateful that we decided to jump ship!

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It's About Me, Praises

HAPPY 10-YEAR BLOGAVERSARY!

Can you believe that I have been blogging for 10-years?! Yes, it’s true! From August 14, 2008 until August 14, 2015 I blogged about life, homeschooling and crafting at Kristy’s Corner. In 2015, after our move to Jacksonville, I felt it was time for a fresh start so I moved to Jaxty’s Place and have been blogging here since. Most of Kristy’s Corner blog posts have been made private, with the exception of the crafting posts.

I thought it would be fun to give you some facts about my blogs in honor of my blogaversary.

  • Number of Posts:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 1,431
    • Jaxty’s Place: 257
  • Most Popular Topic:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Crafting
    • Jaxty’s Place: The Kids
  • Most Viewed Post:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Due to being published on some crafting websites and being pinned on Pinterest, these two posts have some whopping counts!

(We still have two out of three of these trees – the red one got broken during the move to JAX).

(We don’t have these any more…they got all rusty after a few years.

  • Followers:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 43
    • Jaxty’s Place: 27
  • Number of Comments:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 9.6 thousand
    • Jaxty’s Place: 1.1 thousand
  • Most Frequent Commenter: It’s actually the exact same for both blog sites!
    • #1: My mom (yay for mom!)
    • #2: My dad (yay for dad and his “nice”)
    • #3: My aunt Gale (yay for auntie)
  • Search Terms That Brought People to My Blog:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 
      • Kris Humphries parents: 1,681 times (due to a blog post I wrote about our former pastor performing the wedding ceremony between Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian…I tried to find it but couldn’t)
      • braces: 204 times (I have no idea why this drew so many searches to my blog…yes, both boys had braces and I featured some photos but geez)
      • bottle cap wind chimes: 182 times (see post above)
      • tabernacle: 147 times (due to a classic blog post I wrote about Anthony’s school project)
      • eating pizza: 145 times (ha…apparently I blogged about eating pizza a lot!)
    • Jaxty’s Place: only one search has brought somebody to my blog
      • A painting with a road going off into the sunset (ha! What the heck? I don’t think I’ve even used that phrase ever in my blog or talked about that even remotely.)

For those that are still here, reading my blog, THANK YOU! For those that have been here from the beginning…an extra special THANK YOU! For those that leave me comments, which really do make my day and help me feel connected to you, an extra, extra special THANK YOU!

I keep wondering when it will be time to stop blogging but honestly, I do it for my family and my kids and my grandkids-to-be. Each year when I create my blog book full of family photos and memories, I hope and pray that one day they all will enjoy looking through these precious memories. I think it would be so cool to read a book written about my parents and grandparents when they were a young family. So speaking of that, it’s off to create my next blog book…Volume Number 10!

 

Education, The Kids

Zack, Plan D

Last year, around the time he was graduating high school, Zack decided that in the fall, he would attend the local technical college for his electrician certification. Then, right before the program was to start, he decided to switch to the Aviation Mechanics Program. Then, one day into that program, he decided to work full-time for a year until he decided what he actually wanted to do.

After working at a lumber yard full-time for the past 8 months, he has decided to give technical college a try again. This time he is pursuing a Computer Programming Specialist Certificate. There are five technical certificates that could lead to an Associate’s Degree in Computer Information Technology and eventually a Bachelor’s Degree, if he desired. But we just want him to focus on this one certificate at this time and we’ll see how it goes. We are hoping that he can get a decent job to support himself after obtaining a certificate or two without actually having to get a degree (since those general education courses would be the difficult part for him).

We hope that this is a good path for Zack and that he will be successful. We wish him luck! And if this doesn’t work out, there’s always the military!

 

Florida Life, Odds and Ends, The Family

Summer Fun

Hello? Are you there?  I thought that I’d take a break from floating around my swimming pool with my Kindle and a cool cocktail to share some random summer tidbits.

We have been enjoying a lot of time in the pool this season. We have been trying to invite various friends over each weekend, including hosting about 20 friends from our church home group this past weekend. I failed to get any photos then but this was our home group after we won our church’s “Summer Spiritual Olympics” by completing various tasks to earn points during the month of June (such as listening to sermons, reading the Bible, volunteering as a home group, sharing the gospel, etc). IMG_8992

Those two girls in the red and black shirts were carrying our team, earning about 500 points each week, determined to win the Gold Medal. I’m glad for their sake that we did because they definitely earned it!

I love my husband’s servant heart. Carl spent one whole Saturday helping friends move into their new house and he even dragged Zack along.

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Carl even took another day off of work to help at Youth Camp one day. Part of youth camp including hosting a Vacation Bible School for inner city kids for three afternoons.

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Don’t worry, he has found time to enjoy himself when he’s not serving others. He enjoyed a day excursion to Pompano Beach for some scuba diving and saw some ship wrecks and lots of sea life.

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For Independence Day, we drove down to our neighbor’s beach house for the day for lots of relaxing by the pool and catching up. We even made Zack come and hang out with us all day and rewarded him with a cocktail or two.

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Afterwards, we were able to watch some fireworks on our friend’s, John and Michelle, dock on the river.

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After having Zack drive around without a door handle for the past 6 months, Carl finally went to a junk yard and found a replacement and taught Zack how to install it. Way to go guys!

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I hope that you all are enjoying your summer. Back to the pool now!

Praises, The Family, The Relatives, Traveling

Wedding Plans!

We are in the midst of planning Anthony and Kameko’s wedding and two major milestones have been checked off the list – the DATE and LOCATION!

The date is March 3, 2019!

The location is a beautiful 7-bedroom house in Hauula, O’ahu, Hawaii just 1/2 mile from the beach that Carl and I have secured for all of Anthony’s immediate family to share for the week.

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It has a big, open backyard where we will hold the wedding and party afterwards.

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The red building is where the property manager lives with his family.

If it’s rainy, the inside is large and open and can accommodate the party inside.

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We are very excited as plans and guests are starting to fall into place. We know that my mom; Carl’s parents; my brother John and wife, Laurie; Carl’s brother, Jim and wife, Linda; my aunt Gale; and Zack will be attending and staying in the house with us. We are really, truly hoping that Kelly and Avram will be able to get off of her internship/his school teaching job for the week to come also but they won’t know until both of those start in the fall. We are hoping that our nieces, Kate and Abby will join us but they will have to see what their work schedules allow. We believe Anthony’s birth-parents are coming and we are excited about that and it will be fun to share in such a joyous occasion with them.

We are hoping that a few more family members (I’m talking to YOU, Aunt Sandra and Leslie!) can come. I wish that somebody could win the lottery and treat all those family members that can’t afford to come (like my dad, other two brothers and their families) but know that they will be missed.

We are now working on all of the other details. It’s all very exciting and we are very happy for them and grateful that they are allowing us to assist in preparations and asking for our input (of course, as the financiers of the wedding, that makes it more of a necessity, ha!). Carl and I are actually planning a two-week vacation to Hawaii for the wedding. We will fly into O’ahu a few days earlier than everyone else for some wedding preparations. Then after our week together, Carl and I are going to fly to Maui to stay with a friend that moved there last year. We are so excited!

 

Florida Life, It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

The Socialites

We’re famous….we made the newspaper!

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Granted, it was just the local Resident Community News but we’ll take any press we can get!

Scan2It was interesting to see the 100-year old Casa Marina Hotel and all the cool, old photos lining the hallways but the event itself was kind of lame. Mainly because there was hardly any food and what they did have was eaten in a matter of minutes. But we are always happy for a night out together checking out new places (to us) in Jacksonville. Thanks Jaguars for these fun experiences!

 

 

It's About Me, Praises, The Husband, The Relatives, Traveling

Wait For It….

The other MAJOR reason for stopping in Chicago after Minneapolis was to fulfill my obsession over the past year by seeing Hamilton!

Well over a year ago, I was working on my computer and selected “Showtunes” on Amazon Prime Music (my favorite music venue since it’s already free with my membership and there are NO commercials) to listen to while I worked. A song that I was unfamiliar with popped up and I was instantly hooked. After seeing that it was from Hamilton, I then searched and discovered the whole soundtrack was available for free with my membership. And thus began an absolute obsession with Hamilton music!

I would go on to listen to the soundtrack once or twice a week for months and months, eventually tapering down to just the occasional listening. I also watched many YouTube videos and documentaries on Hamilton: The Musical and Alexander Hamilton in general. Could not get enough!

So last year when we came to Chicago, I looked into tickets but since it was still new, tickets were selling for a minimum of $350 each. Seeing as we could take an entire cruise for that amount, we just couldn’t do it. Hamilton has a lottery each day for two tickets for $20. I tried everyday but it wasn’t meant to be.

So this year, knowing we were going to Minneapolis, I again checked out ticket prices for Hamilton in Chicago and was thrilled to find out that they were much more reasonable (still $140 each but way better than $350 each). So after convincing my husband to make a detour before returning home and asking my mother if she wanted to come too, our tickets were purchased!

We did some research and found some reasonable parking at the Palmer House so we drove down early.

We walked over to Millennium Park and then to Buckingham Fountain for some photos. Then we stopped at Miller’s Pub for dinner and drinks.

Finally, it was showtime!

It was amazing! I loved every minute of it. Obsession fulfilled! Although I knew the soundtrack well, it was even better to see the actors and choreography and to catch some things I missed.

Although I had tried to have Carl listen to the soundtrack before, he never really got into it. So he found himself a little confused at times. After reading a synopsis at intermission, he found the second half much more enjoyable. So my advice to everyone thinking of seeing Hamilton is to familiarize yourself before seeing it. Listen to the soundtrack several times. Read through the song lyrics (some of the songs are so fast paced that it’s difficult to understand if you are unfamiliar). Or at least read the synopsis.

Hamilton is coming to Jacksonville during the 2019-2020 theater season. You can be sure that we will be going again!