Days 345 – 351

We left Florida a little early to beat the big storm bearing down on Rhode Island.

Welcome home. New England Style.


Snow day!
We got an extra day of vacation so we rotated our couch around in our bay window and made a “snow nook”. Andrew read books and I read blogs while we sipped hot chocolate and watched the snow fall. It was awesome.



Once we were settled and unpacked and made it through the busy work week, we exchanged Christmas gifts with each other and opened presents we had received in the mail.




Day 344

Christmas 2010











Later that day we headed to my dad’s for Christmas dinner.IMG_56020



Days 335 – 343

We headed down to Florida for Christmas. 

One of our first stops was visiting family in Sun City and seeing the manatees. Each time we visit Florida we try to find a new animal for Andrew to see. Alligators. Check. Dolphins. Check. Manatees... Check! teco

the power station’s discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean and warm, back to the bay.

In the wintertime, the manatees gather in the canal near the warm water discharge at the Big Bend Power Station in Tampa. The area is now a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary and we are told the discharge water is clean (saltwater is taken in to cool the plant and warm water flows back to the bay). There were hundreds of manatees in the canal!IMG_51900


Andrew, Mom and I on the boardwalk overlooking the manatees.IMG_52350


Back at my mom’s house: Christmas ornaments on the tree—shout out to Rollins and U of I:)IMG_52490


We met up with Becka and Reagan. And of course, Mr. Andrew was the hit of the party.catch

The whole family gathered to celebrate Grandma’s 84th birthday. IMG_5404

Days 324 – 334

Saturday morning breakfast.
This week we went to the Liberty Elm Diner. We had heard some bad reviews of the food and service, but we were pleasantly surprised. The service was good, the food was decent, and the diner atmosphere was fun.




We made treats and had friends over.

Adorable Baby


The week ended with a birthday celebration of breakfast and presents.IMG_51210

Days 316 – 323

We received a pizza stone from Andrew’s parents for Christmas. It’s something that we have wanted for a while and couldn’t wait to use. So we attempted to use it as soon as we got home. Fail.
When it says to preheat the stone and to use cornmeal, perhaps those directions should be taken a little more seriously.
IMG_48200[Note: Despite the disaster of our first attempt, we were able to rectify the situation and have cleaned the stone and successfully used it with cornmeal.] 


We began decorating for Christmas.IMG_48270


We went out and got our first Christmas tree! We were hoping to cut it down ourselves, but in RI you can only select your tree and someone else cuts it for you. Andrew was really disappointed, but I was secretly happy that we didn’t have to carry it out of the forest ourselves;)tree_farm


We brought the tree home and immediately began decorating it:)IMG_49000


And this was our final product! We had bought some ornaments last year on clearance after the new year so our tree was red, white and silver themed.IMG_49470