Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Boo's Excellent Birthday Adventure!

Last weekend was our boy's 14th birthday.
Where in the world does the time go?!

 We planned a little trip to one of his favorite places.
We headed to Downtown Disney to pay a trip to The Lego Store.

Although we've visited here many times,
we'd never gone on a Sunday morning.
It was shocking to see the store almost empty
when we arrived just after it opened.
It was beyond fabulous!
(Can you tell we don't much like crowds?)

 We were greeted by the usual amazing sculptures.
Here's a family of tourists enjoying the shopping mecca.

The Hulk was there to handle the expected crowd.

 Toy Story figures were happy to pose for pictures.

The work that goes into these masterpieces is unbelievable.
There are Lego Master builders right on the premises who put them together.
I think our boy could definitely land that job.

You can see some of our boy's Lego creations here.

In and outside of the store are building tables
to encourage young builders to let their imaginations go wild!

 This is the Pick-a-Brick wall.
For a flat rate, enthusiasts can fill a cup with any mix of bricks.

It's quite an accent wall, no?

 There are also scenes depicted along the wall of the store
to spark ideas about what can be created with just a bit of time and energy.

Of course, some things take a bit longer...

Okay, a LOT longer.

Although we enjoy our trips to this magical place,
it can be overwhelming for our boy.
Not only are the choices numerous,
but once the store gets busy,
the sheer number of shoppers can cause difficulties.
Kids with autism are challenged in crowded spaces
due to sensory sensitivites.
(He wears shades and headphones most places.)
That's why most of the time we get to places when they open,
and leave before it's too much.
We had a great experience with this visit
and he was so happy with his purchase.

The birthday boy had a wonderful day
and for that, we are so grateful.

Let them eat (gf) cake!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maple Hill Hop 57

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
Thanks for linking back to Maple Hill 101.


It's been a while since we talked about the fall garden,
so I thought an update was in order.

The saltbush has been in bloom for the last week or so.
It attracts moths, bees, wasps and butterflies like crazy.
It's wonderful to stand underneath and just hear all that low buzzing.

My friends Faye and Lynn had given me quite a few eggplants to transplant.
They're all doing well and this one that was planted into a pot has really taken off.
Ooooh, we might have homegrown eggplant for our Christmas  lasagna!

Since learning that I can eat broccoli without any problem,
it is consumed with relish whenever possible.
There are a few crops popping up throughout our back bed.

The radishes have been slow growers,
but with our temps now reflecting a more favorable range,
they should come right along.

Several varieties of lettuce are being harvested a couple of times a week
to supplement the bunch I buy from Faye and Lynn.
A few new types have been tried, including Red Sails, New Red Fire
and Amaize, a red Romaine variety.

The tomato plant is flowering,
so that can only mean that juicy Celebrity tomatoes are on their way.
We do occasionally get a frost here,
but for the most part, fall is a great time to raise tomatoes in Central Florida.

The marigolds under the oak have come back like gangbusters.
It's so nice to have that pop of color.

The rattlebox is in full bloom.
With the windows open during the day,
we can hear the seed pods popping open to self-seed in the back bed.

There are two pots of mums that are rotated from the front porch
to the back bed. When one gets to looking like it needs more sun,
it gets placed in the backyard to recover.

This butterfly vine blooms almost year-round,
but does especially well in the cooler months.

Its leaves turn chartreuse and then brown as they age on the plant.
See the butterfly shape?
This Florida native needs absolutely no special care.

A few rudbeckia are still showing us some glorious color.
These beauties have been blooming for months.
We're enjoying the sparks of color before our weather turns.

What's it look like where you are?
HOP on!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Boo!

Happy Birthday
to one of my favorite people 
in the whole world!

Lil Guy's Minecraft Skin

We hope your day is filled with love, laughter and fun.
We are so glad you were born.
Love you much,
Momma & Dad

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home to Monarchs

Thanks to Beth, over at Beyond the Garden Gate,
we have been certified as a Monarch Way Station!
She had posted a few weeks back 
about acquiring her certification.
If you haven't checked out her garden posts,
you really should.  Her garden is amazing!

It was simply a matter of filling out an application,
which can be found here.
Some of the requirements for these critters are:

*Planting native milkweed.  This is the host plant,
but also serves as nectar for the butterflies.
The monarchs lay their eggs on the milkweed,
and when the eggs hatch, the caterpillars begin
eating their way through the plant.
Without this host plant, the monarch cannot survive.

*Plant other nectar sources.  Pentas, butterfly bush and zinnias provide great food sources for them.

*Water sources.  We keep several birdbaths in our garden.
One way to ensure butterflies can get enough hydration
is to place a few rocks in the birdbath, so the monarchs can perch on them to gather the water.

Keeping everything pesticide-free is vital to the health and well-being of these delicate creatures.

We feel good knowing that we are providing for these critters
who add so much beauty and fascination to our world.
What a fabulous school or church project for kids.
I hope you'll consider joining us! 

HomeAcre Hop

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Maple Hill Hop 56

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
Thanks for linking back to Maple Hill 101.


"Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans."
Thank you Veterans and your loved ones
for having made sacrifices for our country.
Without you and your dedication,
our nation would surely be lost.
May God bless and keep you all.


Last week, Big K took a day off so that we could visit
The Florida Flywheelers' November event.
It's an antique tractor club
that opens its doors to the public a few times a year.

We enjoy the flea market area.
They always have oodles of kitchen equipment
and assorted treasures.

These refrigerator dishes were so tempting,
but I left them for someone else to find.

There were some new-fangled things, like this rooster 
fashioned from recycled tires.

This wall of tractor seats caught my eye.
What fun to have a collection of these!

 Various engines are displayed.
It is the Flywheelers after all.
They sputter and pop and make quite a racket.
Lil' Guy has hearing sensitivity, but he shared with us
that this was the first year that we've been going
when these engines didn't really bother him.

A wonderful array of tractors can be found.
This was the John Deere area,
but tractors of every make and model can be found.

We are partial to John Deere,
as Big K hails from the region where they are manufactured.
Made in the USA!

In the village area, where folks have their barns filled with collections for visitors to enjoy,
we found this fall garden planted with beans, peas, greens and flowers.
Such a wonderful surprise at the end of our tour.
This is hands-down one of favorite places to visit
and we go back whenever an event is planned.

You can see past Flywheeler visits

Now, let's HOP!