Monday, February 29, 2016

OPE Citizenship Award for February 2016 (again!)

Our smart and sweet daughter won another Citizenship Award through Orange Park Elementary School for 3rd grade - this month was for "commitment". We are so proud of her! Her commitment to her education (paying attention in class, eagerly learning, extensive reading and completing assignments) plus her commitment to growing stronger in her sport by practicing, doing her strength training, learning from her lessons and keeping pace with girls (and boys) two - three years older. And now, she is so COMMITTED to getting her new puppy! We have reviewed her responsibilities and she is COMMITTED to taking care of her new puppy - definitely her first "puppy love"! Proud of our youngest daughter!

Happy! (of course you don't see her fussy face when I ask to take a picture..... so as long as the result is a smile for the photo, I am happy too!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 - Professional Photo

Chinese New Year celebration with our local First Coast Families with Chinese Children is always looked forward to each year. A bit of China culture with music, dancing and karate type demonstrations; also good Chinese food (noodles, dumplings, spring rolls, etc.) and an open bar (good for us adults!). 
At first, we did not do the annual photo (Aikophoto) as it was only Ford and I attending during the "wait". Then when AA arrived, this is our new tradition for remembering our growing family. So glad Cathy came; missing other family. Maybe they can all come next year.
Original photo:

I did a little crop and enhancements:
See you next year!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chinese New Year Celebration (FCFCC)

The First Coast Families with Chinese Children hosted another wonderful and fun Chinese New Year celebration, Year of the Monkey. We were happy to have Grandma Cathy bring Kilee! 
Craft table was popular, you could make a monkey fan, a clothes line monkey clip and a bookmark made with stamping and beads. 

Livi and Alyzabeth:
I volunteered for 30 minutes at the craft table, which was pretty easy to manage. Two of the crafts had an item where little fingers needed some help, but over all was a success.
Location on the river, where our annual CNY photo is taken:
Below are inside photos while placing raffle tickets for donated goods we would like, waiting on dinner and enjoying the grounds at the Jacksonville Women's Garden Club. We were excited for Livi and Dylan who won a total of three raffles - Girl Scout cookie basket, a travel basket and the Gator Fan basket! We bid on two items and won them both - the Jacksonville Zoo Senior horticulturist to evaluate our plants/yard and a house keeping cleaning! Both great wins for us!
Dinner was delicious with butlered fried macaroni cheese balls, a chicken noodle dish, dumplings, pork sliders, Asian meatballs, fruit and spring rolls; then cupcakes for dessert (not a favorite). Watching the children dance and demonstrate culture performances; and then a Kungfu Academy demonstration:
The end is always the Lion dance, someone wakes up the lion and then everyone gets to follow him/her around the room (I think it was two ladies under the costume this year).
A few photos outside, almost dusk, as we were leaving. Fun times!
Our selfie as we were leaving! Dylan is trying very hard to stay in the photo!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It's Been A Dog-Kind-of-Day!

We have been looking for a rescue dog that is female and does not shed, but alas, none have been found. Most dogs we have encountered are too big or tiny chihuahua mixes. So Ford began looking at specific breed rescue groups, then specific breeders. The decision became to purchase a puppy for AA or continue searching..... When she turned nine, we said we would actively look so I have delayed this at least five months!! I am not a fan of having another dog. 
AA decided on a labradoodle, which with a standard poodle parent, grows to be 50 - 60 pounds! We decided to visit a breeder, Labradoodle Country, just south of Ocala to play with several puppies. AA decided she loved a chocolate brown girl, four weeks old, she has named Cocoa. We will go pick her up by the end of March. Cocoa has a beautiful brother, white and brown who was equally adorable. 

Brother to our Cocoa:
This litter is only four weeks old, so they were very slow moving and sleepy!
Cocoa Morgan!
Happy girl!
After selecting Cocoa and putting a hold deposit, we decided to visit Micanopy. We remember the town being very quaint, lots of antique shops and a few luncheon restaurants. It has not changed, and for a Saturday noontime, seemed less active even though there were about a dozen motorcyclists visiting too. Without them, the place would be silent as crickets. Too bad, but I don't know anyone who really buys antiques anymore including us!
Leonardo's, a really interesting antique and music shop as they have a huge collection of guitars and musical instruments.
We ate at the Old Florida Cafe (rated 3 of 8 in Micanopy); the food was good, but basic. The Cuban black beans and rice was flavorful. It was a beautiful day, so sat outside, listening to the music from the restaurant next door (rated 6 of 8).
As we were leaving, we texted friends Kenny and Pam to see if they were home, and they said yes, come for a visit. We enjoyed our visit chatting, seeing Ralph and Sandy plus tasting a few new beers. AA had a good time being friendly with their dog, Buddy.
A nose licking!
AA brushed Buddy with a metal, toothed loop; interesting brush! 
What a great day, and home in time for homemade Sloppy Joe's and baths!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jesse, Marsha, Dylan and Livi - Famous (again)!

You have to watch what our son-in-law created for a special kindergarten class! He wrote the music, played it and sang, along with his adorable daughters as the actors. Thanks to Marsha (Jesse's Mom) for getting this project into production!

{copy and paste either in your browser}

Also, today, Thursday, 02/18/16, Jesse played live on local WJXT!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NFJG 2-Day Deercreek Tournament

Another NFJG tournament completed - two days at Deercreek, one of the toughest golf courses. The first nine holes has four hazard/water carry holes. Alyzabeth did get into the water on two holes each day, so her score was impacted alot. She had some great holes and is competitive; can't wait until she can carry some of the hazards from the ladies tees. The Foundation Girls group had two girls, so it was fun to play with Tylar again and to meet her Mom! Great family to hang out with and hope we can get the girls together for some practice rounds.

There was a threat of rain, so the umbrella went up for a few minutes, thanks to Tylar for sharing!
Reminding them to drink! Since it is not hot, everyone forgets to keep hydrated.
Funny girl!
Nice walks between holes. This one is going to the 9th Hole green; AA hit the bulkhead, so her ball went in the water; she had plenty of club speed, just too low!
The End! Back to the Club House for pizza!
Scoring table:
 Winner Tylar W.
From NFJG Jack Aschenbach:
FOUNDATION BOYS - Jack Roberts was all smiles as he earned and took home the Presidents Day Invitational Champions trophy beating some pretty talented young players in Phillip Dunham, Carson Brewer and Rocket Dekalskyy.  Three birdies in the 18- hole competition was enough to seal the deal for Roberts as he claimed his second Junior Players Tour event of the year.  After round one, Roberts took home a two stroke advantage over seven time champion Dunham, with Brewer just one stroke back of Dunham.  Round two would find Roberts not willing to make any mistakes, until the 18th.  Now at one under par for the day going into the final hole with a six stroke lead on the field Roberts would hit an errant shot, but at no cost to the championship.
Our Girls Foundation contest only had two players in the field this week, but Tylar Ann Whiting and Alyzabeth Morgan battled it out for 18 holes. With a birdie on the par- 4 fourth Whiting would take the advantage and cruise to victory circle winning for the third straight time.  Morgan
is a two time champion and the current Player of the Year Points leader who holds a slight lead over Kaitlyn Schroeder. Climbing the ladder is our newest talent Tylar Ann Whiting.  It should be exciting to the finish!

Next tournament in two weeks. Chinese New Year with our FCFCC group is next Sunday.