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Florida Homeschool Family Fun!

Florida Family Fun 411_Christmas 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some sweet memory making events to enjoy with your family this Christmas season. Visit Our Homespun Holidays where we will be posting more holiday family fun to share with your family.




North Pole Express

North Pole Express

All Aboard for an express trip to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole! Christmas Carolers will be entertaining the passengers with festive songs throughout the journey. Santa will be available to greet every child upon arrival at the North Pole and present each one with a special gift. The round-trip ride with stop at the North Pole will last approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Santa Claus Special

The Santa Claus Special is a day-time excursion that lasts approximately 1.5 hours round-trip. Guests do not get off the train as Santa will be onboard to greet every child and present them with a small gift.

For available dates and pricing visit The Florida Railroad Museum

Universal Orlando Christmas
Holiday Celebrations

Christmas at Universal Studios Orlando 

December 4th, 2010 through January 1st, 2011

No need to travel to New York City for the holiday season! Universal Orlando brings a touch of New York City to Orlando during this holiday celebrations.

Experience a Musical Celebration of Holiday Fun & Excitement at Universal Orlando Resort.

Bring your family and enjoy the Universal Christmas Celebrations from December 4th, 2010 through January 1st, 2011.

Enjoy the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, with authentic balloons, floats, and performers direct from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Meet the Grinch in Islands of Adventure, presenting the one and only "How The Grinch Stole Christmas Live." And experience some of your all time holiday favorite performers in the Universal Holiday Concert Series.

Universal Holiday Celebrations Highlights

  • The KidZone Holiday Show: Join the fun with your character friends as they dance to holiday hits in this live show.
  • Barney’s Christmas Show: Sing along and clap along with Barney and friends in A Day In The Park Show. A show your little ones will never forget!
  • Blues Brothers Christmas Show: See the Blues Brothers live performing holiday favorites like "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" and "Blue Christmas" with snow on Delancey Street at the end of each show.
  • Wrap up your day at Universal Studios with the big Hollywood finish of Universal 360–A Cinesphere Spectacular. Through the unique "Cinesphere" technology you’ll experience the sights and sounds of some of Hollywood’s biggest films projected onto huge spheres in the Universal Studios lagoon, plus one of the largest laser displays in Florida, dazzling pyrotechnics and more. It’s the most explosive, jaw-dropping cinematic adventure you’ve ever seen!

Christmas Family Fun in St. Petersburg, FL

Annual Santa Holiday Parade.

Sat, December 3, 10:00am – 12:30pm

St. Petersburg’s 84th Annual Lions Club Santa Parade is Saturday, December 3, beginning at 10 a.m. from Central Ave. and 5th St. NOTE NEW ROUTE THIS YEAR: the parade travels east on Central to 2nd St. then turns left to 1st Ave. N., turns right and goes east along 1st Ave. N. for two blocks to Beach Drive, then turns north to 5th Ave. NE, disbanding near the Vinoy Resort. Free family fun, bands, floats, costumed characters, dancers and much more. Followed by Snowfest in N. Straub Park, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 727-893-7441.


A Real Snow Event – 65 Tons of Snow!.

Sat, December 3, 11am – 3pm

North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg expects sixty-five tons of snow to fall Saturday, December 3 at Snowfest, a "real" snow event in North Straub Park, 5th Ave. and Beach Drive NE. from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Activities include toboggan slides, climbing wall, art tent, moonwalk, reindeer races, giant slide, glice ice skating, and KiddyLand — an area designed especially for pre-schoolers with inflatable games, cookie decorating, snowball toss, and more. Wristbands cost $5 and include all activities. Call 727-893-7441.

Holiday Lights and Illuminated Park Displays
N. Straub Park and S. Straub Park, Beach Dr. area. Come out to celebrate with the lights the holiday tree and the illuminated displays across the waterfront. Holiday lights and illuminated displays on nightly through Dec. 31. 727-893-7441.


Saturday, December 3, 2011
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transformed into a winter wonderland
with activities and amusements for the entire family.

  • Visit with Santa Claus
  • Enjoy continuous holiday entertainment
  • Make-n-take holiday crafts
  • Hands-on games and activities
  • Ice skating
  • Fun for the young and the young at heart!

Holiday Parade
At 11 a.m. the will begin at Morgan Street and Kennedy Boulevard,
travel west on Kennedy Boulevard to Ashley Drive,
turn north and end at Ashley Drive and Cass Street
Download a parade application.

For parade and festival information, please call
(813) 251-3378


SeaWorld Orlando special annual event: Sea World Christmas Holiday Celebration

Sea World Christmas Celebration

See fantastic Christmas holiday lights and shows at SeaWorld’s Christmas Holiday Celebration. Watch a special Shamu show, ride the polar express train, see colored water fountains dance and fireworks explode. SeaWorld’s Christmas Holiday Celebration is lots of fun for everyone!

December 31st 2011 and January 1st, 2012

SeaWorld Orlando special annual event: SeaWorld New Years Eve party

SeaWorld New Years Eve party
Put on your party hats and ring in the new year with SeaWorld’s New Years Eve party! See all the special shows that have been going on during the holidays. Then watch a special new years eve show and fireworks at the Bayside stadium.


Trees & Traditions – A Centennial Celebration
December 3, 2011 – Flyer
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Suggested $2 donation

The Pinellas County Historical Society will sponsor an open house with refreshments, children’s activities and crafts, holiday music and carols, tours offering a look back at how Pinellas residents celebrated the holidays from the mid-1800s through the 1950s, and a special visit from Santa Claus! Visitors can also find those one-of-a-kind holiday gifts at the Beach Cottage Gift Shop.




American Victory Ship Mariners Memorial Museum
705 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

Come aboard the American Victory Ship for the best seats in Channelside to view the Boat Parade of Lights. It’s fun for the whole family and will become a favorite holiday tradition!

2011 Christmas Shows – Begin Thursday, November 10, 2011

The mission of the Holy Land Experience is to communicate the gospel truth of God’s word through our exciting and moving presentations which range from the theatrical and musical to dramatic historical recreations. Performed daily on a wide range of stages these original Christmas presentations can only be seen at the Holy Land Experience! And as always our powerful "The Passion of the Christ – We Shall Behold Him" will be a highlight of your day and should not be missed. And in addition there will be touches of Christmas in some of our popular year-round shows such as "Legna" and the "Women Who Loved Jesus. Make your plans to join in the celebration today at the Holy Land Experience where the Bible comes to life.

Please note, show schedule is subject to change and not all presentations are performed daily.


What is Legna?
A hilarious comedy that features clever retellings of classic Bible stories such as “Daniel and the Lion’s Den” and “Peter and Rhoda.” A thought provoking look at God’s messengers and how they are still at work in the world today. One of the most popular shows from the Holy Land Experience that is unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Come and experience Legna; where lions talk, prison doors are opened and nothing is exactly as it seems. Legna is a dramatic presentation that stirs your heart and soul and offers a powerful reminder of God’s love. Experience the story of Legna and discover the secret for yourself.

Bethlehem’s Miracle Night

The town of Bethlehem comes alive in the Holy Land original musical "Bethlehem’s Miracle Night". Experience the hustle and bustle of a town turned upside down. Follow Mary and Joseph to the lowly stable where God gave His greatest gift of all. Feel the amazement of the shepherds as they hear the angel’s charge to find their Messiah. Join the Magi as they worship and adore the newborn King! Watch as the lives of the innkeeper and his wife are changed forever because of their encounter with the newborn Messiah. All the wonder and beauty of the season as you have never seen before, "Bethlehem’s Miracle Night" is a joyful and exciting celebration of our Savior’s birth!

The True Story of St. Nicholas

Laughs and surprises wait for you in this hilarious show, "The True Story of St. Nicholas". You will visit the tiny village of Patara and discover the amazing story of a 3rd Century bishop who learned it was better to give than receive. Hear the myths that became legends and sit on the first church council (complete with boxing gloves). This may not be exactly how you remember it but you will never forget "The True Story of St. Nicholas!"

Women Who Loved Jesus

Experience for yourself the story of four women who each share a deep bond of love for the Lord Jesus. As their stories unfold you will see the pages of the Bible come to life in this original, Holy Land Experience drama. Gain valuable insight and depth into the Scriptures as you explore their lives and learn how each one has been forever changed by their loving Savior. Their love is their testimony, poured out like fine perfume at the feet of Jesus – "Why I love Him" is the expression of that love as you’ve never seen before!

Christmas Time is Here

A brand new musical production for our 2011 Christmas Season will have you coming along with us on a Christmas Journey. Christmas Time is Here will stir memories from the past as well as putting you in that unmistakable Christmas mood for this wonderful season. From old standards, to moving ballads and songs that make you want to get up out of your seat and join in the fun – Christmas is Time Here is sure to have something for everyone. A combination of concert, drama and fun.

The Passion of the Christ – We Shall Behold Him

Experience the Passion of the Christ – We Shall Behold Him in a way that will change your life forever. New music, new scenes and new drama have been designed to put you right in the middle of the action and make you feel as if you are really a witness to the most important event in all of history! Then be witness to Jesus; returning in all His glory for His bride. See for yourself as His train fills the Temple. Come and see why this incredible Drama is our longest running and most powerful presentation. It is our prayer that once you’ve seen it you will never be the same!

Remember Me – Communion with Christ

Join us for a presentation like no other. You will be ushered to the Lord’s Table where a Disciple of Jesus will transform you back in time to that moment when Jesus and his followers shared their last meal together. You will be given the bread and the cup and allowed to partake as Jesus leads you through the significance of his sacrifice. This service is a special and precious time that you are sure to remember.!

The Great American Christmas

We cordially invite you to join the residents of Pickashaw Parish in celebrating a very special Christmas with a touch of patriotic nostalgia. The time is 1945. The war has just ended and this town is ready to welcome back the troops and start the holiday season all at the same time. So, come and join this cast of unique characters as they spend the day celebrating the many things they have to be thankful for.

Celebrate Jesus – Karaoke

Come and share your love for singing and Praise and Worship with guests from around the world. You select the song, let our MC introduce you and then wow us with your talent. A wonderful time of singing, laughter and lifting up praises to our God.


Santa Parade.

When Sat, December 3, 10:00am – 12:30pm

Where St. Petersburg, FL (map)

Description Dec. 3 – Annual Santa Holiday Parade. Parade travels through the downtown to the waterfront. Beginning at 5th St. and Central Ave. traveling to the waterfront ending at North Straub Park. Begins 10 a.m. The St. Petersburg Lions Club, The Exchange Club of Northeast St. Petersburg, Florida Central Credit Union, The Suncoasters of St. Petersburg and the City of St. Petersburg invite you to celebrate the holiday season with the sounds of marching bands, beautiful floats and most of all to welcome Santa to sunny St. Petersburg. 727-893-7441. Participation Inquiries call: Monday – Friday (8:00 – 5:00 pm) 727/525-5950. Weekends or after 5:00 pm 727/528-7763.


Christmas Jamboree

We attended this event a couple of years ago and had a blast. You can read about it at Our Homespun Holidays.

When Sat, December 10, 10am – 4pm

Where The Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, 3130 31st St. S., St. Petersburg, FL

Description Dec. 10 – Christmas Jamboree. The Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, 3130 31st St. S., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Old Time Christmas decorations, food & crafts. Free admission. 727-866-6401.


Christmas at Gaylord Palms Resort

November 16, 2011 – Jan 2, 2012

Ice slide at Gaylord Palms


ICE! will return to the Gaylord Palms Resort again this year to chill and thrill guests as part of the resort’s holiday celebration. The holiday attraction is one of the coolest and most spectacular in the nation… and it happens in sunny Orlando, Florida.

Hand-carved from nearly two-million pounds of ice, the Christmas attraction has garnered national recognition from USA Today, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Southern Living magazine, and Travel + Leisure magazine.

In its ninth year, the popular family experience gives guests a chance to visit a whimsical winter wonderland of interactive environments and larger-than-life, three-dimensional ice monuments and sculptures. The enormous structure used to house ICE! — dubbed "The Florida Fridge" — is cooled to a chilly nine degrees, making it necessary for the resort to provide over-sized parkas for visitors to wear.

After freezing your "noses and toeses," you’ll be ready to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa in the ICE! Cavern, a pre- and post-show area, where the ICE! experience continues. Here additional "Best of Florida Christmas" activities, such as family shows, atmosphere entertainment, special meals and visits with Santa take place.

Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW

A brand new "Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW" will have guests crawling through underground snow tunnels and sliding down rolling hills on the all-new 64-foot pagoda slide. Kids will be able to throw snowballs at Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda and Lord Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2 and some of their evil henchmen.

"Kung Fu Panda Awesome SNOW" features real snow — 130-tons of it made fresh daily — where guests can make snowmen and forts and play in over three-feet of the cold stuff in a 55-degree atmosphere.

Holiday Hoopla

December 10, 2011

Beach & Shore Blvds.
Gulfport, FL 33707

Holiday Hoopla is a celebration of arts, crafts, foods, live music and roving holiday characters set in a waterfront atmosphere amid bright, twinkling, colorful lights, and Santa & Mrs. Claus. Stroll the decorated streets filled with up to 200 talented exhibitors and unique shops from 10am-6pm. The festival will provide shoppers with one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be found anywhere else, and all of your holiday shopping can be done in one place!

Visitors will be enchanted by a variety of festive and fun holiday-themed music, holiday carolers, dance performances, and roving street performers. Many types of entertainment will perform during the Hoopla, from local school bands & Choral groups and local musicians to area performing arts groups. Roving performers include Dickens characters and carolers, Your Total Entertainment street artists and Spotlight Amusements will be on site with children’s amusement rides and games. Oh, yeah, and the big guy in the red suit and Mrs. Claus will be there, too, from 1-6pm, and will be available for photos with children adults and pets!

Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s, 26th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade takes place following the festival. Members spend many hours planning and then decorating their boats in hopes of sharing the holiday spirit with the surrounding communities. The parade will begin by entering the Gulfport Municipal Marina at approximately 6:00pm. It will then travel past the William’s Pier in Gulfport and into the canals of Town Shores Condominiums and Pasadena Yacht Club Estates.


Holidays Around The World

Christmas at Walt Disney World 2011


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event held each winter on select nights at Magic Kingdom theme park. Purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This festive celebration is filled with live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and an oh-so-jolly holiday parade.



One of the highlights of Christmas at Disney are the Holiday Storytellers. Each country represented around the World Showcase at Epcot has a special presentation of the original of the holiday in their country and how they celebrate. We enjoyed spinning dreidels after learning about Hanukah and playing along with the Norwegians. In Norwegian Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘God Jul’ (pronounced goo-you).

A Children's Choir Performs at the Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional

Dates: November 25, 2011 – December 30, 2011

During the holidays, Epcot theme park is transformed into an international celebration of Yuletide traditions filled with festive decorations and live entertainment. From Holidays Around The World to Candlelight Processional, delight in the sights and sounds of the season.

Candlelight Processional is a special holiday event held nightly at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot theme park as part of Holidays Around The World. The event retells the stirring story of Christmas with a special celebrity narrator † accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.


The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Special Event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

November 10, 2011–December 7, 2011 and
December 9, 2011–January 7, 2012

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park is a breathtaking seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music.

The lights are so extensive you may find it hard to comprehend their magnitude. Entire buildings are blanketed in sheets of multi-colored lights, and thousands more lights form twirling carousels, heavenly angels, and even Santa and his reindeer. Approximately every 10 minutes, the lights dim and then dramatically spring to life — dynamically choreographed to traditional holiday music. You have to see the effect to believe it!

Some nights, if you truly believe in holiday magic, the show is capped off with an enchanted flurry of snow.


Snowing in Celebration, Florida


Snowfall and Events EVERY Night through December 31st *
(including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)

Nightly Snow Falls at 6, 7, 8 and 9 PM. Photos with Santa, Strolling Holiday Carolers, an Ice Rink, Entertainment and more!!!

A Celebration tradition! Join Celebration Town Center as they kick off 13th Annual Now Snowing event with a Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 26th from 5:30-9 PM. This special tree lighting event will feature live music, a special entrance by Santa Claus himself, and family fun for everyone.

Now Snowing, Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event, offers an all new ice rink and a schedule filled with surprises. Now Snowing is a month long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM.

The ice rink will be open daily from 4:00-10:00 PM through January 2nd – Make sure to ask about Resident Skate Passes or multiple-day skate passes for guests.

In addition to the everyday fun at Now Snowing Nightly, join us for the Orlando Sentinel Celebration of Voices on December 3rd and you can catch a special Radio Disney Holiday concert and filled with surprise performances on December 10th.

Largo Train Rides

February 05, 2011 – February 04, 2012

101 Central Park Dr.
Largo, FL 33771

This is the little miniature railroad that could. Kids and adults can experience rides aboard 1/16th-scale replicas of trains on the 1 1/3-mile track through Largo Central Park, site of the old Pinellas County Fairgrounds and one of the city’s most popular gathering spots. Take a trip on a 1927 Amtrak F40Ph passenger train, a 1960s CSX MP15AC freight engine and a Seaboard freight engine. Public runs are held on the first full weekend of each month. "Birthday runs" can be arranged on other weekends.

Holiday Stroll

Holiday Stroll

Stroll through Storyland!

5:00 – 9:00 pm
Largo Central Park

FREE to Attend!

Come to beautiful Largo Central Park to delight in the extravagant light display as you Stroll Through Storyland.

A million LED lights (85% more energy efficient) brighten the path. The playful scenes they depict will surely dazzle you.

Ooh and ahh when we light up the tree at 7:00 pm.

Take pause at each of the picnic shelters to experience some of your favorite holiday stories.
Treat yourself with a variety of delicious festival foods and desserts.

New this year – take a photo with Santa in the life sized snow globe for $5.

Enjoy live performances on the mobile stage and other special places around the park. Entertainment will feature aerial acrobatics, dancing, singing, and puppets! Performers will include Dance & Circus Arts of Tampa Bay, LHS Madrigal Singers, LHS Band of Gold, Tutterow Dancers, Late Night Brass, Largo Smuppets and more!


All on-site parking is $5:
– Lot One (pass only)
– Lot Two (handicap only)
– Lot Three (opens at 4:45pm)
– Lot Four (opens at 4:45pm)
– Lot Five (Library staff only)
Free shuttle available to/from:
– Largo High School
Wait times vary. Average 10-20 minutes.
Last shuttle leaves Largo Central Park at 9:15 p m
Off-site parking is free:
– Largo High School
– Largo Middle School

This is a free event open to the public

Winter Wonderland

December 2nd, 2011 at 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM

This is a family friendly event.

Event Location:

George C. McGough Nature Park
11901 146th Street N
Largo , FL 33774

Winter Wonderland
Join us and the amazing Southwest Recreation staff as we
have a blast throwing snow balls with real ice shavings,
making winter crafts, going on night hikes, and roasting
s’mores by the campfire-we’re talking some serious fun
for the whole family! Come out for a night of fun, memories,
and a good old snowball toss! Call (727)518-3047 to

Cost: $5 per person, children 2 and under free.


Sunsets At Pier 60

Pier 60
10 Pier 60 Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

The Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival is a nightly sunset celebration that takes place in Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach, Florida. This free family event features artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment, weather permitting.


Merry Christmas!


November 27, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, Holidays | , , , | 1 Comment

Thanksgiving 2011

The holiday season is upon us and I have been on the hunt for resources to make it fun, meaningful and memorable for our family. I hope the following resources help you to make your family’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Here is a wonderful article by Family Life that will help you slow down and enjoy the celebration Teaching Life Lessons at Thanksgiving.

I wrote some time ago about the resources we have used to celebrate Thanksgiving HERE.

Check out my Autumn and it’s Holidays Board on Pinterest for even more inspiration! Here are a few of my favorites:

Try it Mom’s Caramel Apple Bites


The Old Schoolhouse Digital Holiday Supplements

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Barbara Rainey’s, Thanksgiving a Time to Remember, is a true keepsake to hand down to future generations. She speaks to my heart in this article adapted from her book Thanksgiving a Time to Remember.

The Legend of Squanto Radio Theatre Drama

Focus on the Family presents our Radio Theatre production of "The Legend of Squanto," a fascinating account of the origin of Thanksgiving and one American Indian’s journey to freedom.

Part 1

Part 2


Disney’s Family Fun website is chock full of Thanksgiving Family Fun. You will find recipes, crafts, printables, games, decorations and more. Have fun playing with your kids and making your holiday dinner table special.


You Are There (TV series 1953–1957)

The Sailing of the Mayflower

Walter Cronkite

Original Air Date:  22 November 1953

I am so excited to have found this episode on

My Audio School. Enjoy!


Here is a sweet find for Thanksgiving ideas by the Aussie Pumpkin Patch.

And last but not least a Thanksgiving tradition from my childhood growing up in the Big Apple is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationally on NBC-TV to an estimated 50 million viewers and is widely considered to be the "official start of the Holiday Season." It will air from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, November 24, 2011.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving-kindness is everlasting."

1 Chronicles 16:34

Eat Turkey & Go Make Memories!

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Holidays, In The Kitchen, Once Upon A Family | , , , , | Leave a comment

*Jesus is the Reason* Operation Christmas Box 2011


What a great way to set the tone for the holidays by than by putting others first. Our family will be putting together a couple of boxes for needy kids to brighten their lives.

You are still in time to do this with your kids. You have until November 21st to drop off your boxes. To learn more visit Samaritan’s Purse.


November 17, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

*Jesus is the Reason* World Vision Gift Catalog

Every year our family hosts a Christmas party. It is a BIG party. It has not only become a tradition for our family but for some of our friends too. It fills my heart to bless our friends with this fun night of fellowship in Jesus as they have been Jesus to us on countless occasions.

In recent years we have begun putting out a jar to collect money to donate to World Vision for the purchase of a goat and two chickens. This year we are hoping to raise funds for even more. We just ordered a free fundraising kit and extra catalogs to share at our Samaritan’s Purse, Christmas Child Box Party. Click below to order your own catalog(s) and fundraising kit.



You can also sponsor a child. It’s like adopting one. You not only give financially but you can also pray together as a family and write letters to your sponsored child. What a meaningful and sweet gift to the family for Christmas, to “adopt” a child by sponsorship in the name of JESUS. Joseph “adopted” Jesus! How is your family celebrating JESUS, the reason for the season?

Our family is going to sell cookie dough to help raise funds for our World Vision Gift Catalog.  It’s perfect timing for cookie dough with the holiday season right around the corner. You will have hot, fresh baked, homemade cookies within minutes. Our family is making a variety of homemade dough and mixes.  Would you prayerfully consider buying a tub of cookie dough from us. If you are interested leave a comment below and I will send you the information. Help us help them!


November 10, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, Holidays, On My Heart | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Family Fun 411-November 2011

There are lots and lots of great events for families to enjoy this month. I might have to split it this 411 into a few posts it’s so big. As always I post what tickles my fancy, is family and budget friendly.

If you have any other events like this please post it by leaving a comment at the end of this post. I would also like to hear about it if you attended any of these events especially if you blogged about it.

*These are not listed in chronological order because that is time consuming and I want to get out and have some fun with my peeps!



November 2011

Free Museum Admission Weekend for Bank of America Customers

Saturday Nov. 5, Dec. 3 & Sunday Nov. 6, Dec. 4

Free admission to participating museums for Bank of America Customers! (includes science centers, zoos, botanical gardens, etc.) and more on the first weekend of every month (Check with your local Museum for available days and times)

Dania Beach

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum


Young At Art Children’s Museum

Fort Lauderdale

Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale

Museum of Discovery & Science


Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Science and History



Miami Art Museum

Miami Children’s Museum

Miami Science Museum

Museum of Contemporary Art


Miami Beach

Bass Museum of Art


Orange County Regional

History Center

Orlando Museum of Art

The Mennello Museum

of American Art

St. Petersburg

Florida Holocaust Museum

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg


Tampa Museum of Art

West Palm Beach

South Florida Science Museum

Here are some neat Amazon Kindle FREEBIES. I don’t own a Kindle but I save these on my Kindle for PC.


Circle of Friends Cookbook – 25 Savory Pie Recipes [Kindle Edition]

Gooseberry Patch (Author)


Holy Bible, GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) (with direct verse lookup and book and chapter navigation) [Kindle Edition]

Baker Publishing Group (Author)


Nov. 8 – 13, 2011Carol Morsani Hall

Watch Tony Award nominee Cathy Rigby soar in a timeless production that takes flight at Carol Morsani Hall in the Straz Center. Tickets start at $38.50. Nov. 9 is Broadway Family Night; buy one adult ticket, get one free child’s ticket (12 and younger). Also enjoy pre-show family activities. www.strazcenter.org

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.*

Canaveral National Seashore
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gulf Islands National Seashore

Mark your calendar for the final fee-free days in 2011:

November 11-13
Veterans Day weekend


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Martha Stewart Living™: Holiday Small Projects

Get holiday ready with help from Martha Stewart Living

· Discover how to choose the correct paint, tools and accessories for your home small projects

· Learn more about our selection of MSL project paints and stencils

· Decorate a frame and tile coaster using MSL project paints and stencils – FREE to take home!


19th Annual Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival

November 19th & 20th, 2011
Saturday & Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Free Admission

Main Street in Downtown Dunedin, FL

If Tampa is on your travel agenda this November, you can not miss out on this terrific craft event in the city’s most desirable suburb of Dunedin. It is here, a short drive from Tampa, along Dunedin’s Main Street, you will meet some of the country’s finest artists and crafters with products all handmade in the U.S.A. Botanical hotplates, ceramic planters, functional pottery, hair accessories, handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and an expansive Green Market offers something for every taste & budget.

I-275 to exit 39 (Clearwater/Tampa Airport Exit), take Highway 60 (Gulf to Bay Blvd.) to US 19. Go North to State Road 580. West on 580 to Alternate 19, left on Alternate 19 to Main Street.


Florida Craftsmen’s CraftArt 2011 returns to the great outdoors on Saturday, November 19th & Sunday, November 20th from 10am – 5 pm just outside the doors of Florida Craftsmen Gallery, on Central Avenue in beautiful Downtown St. Petersburg.

New this year: CraftArt will be joined by an adjacent festival, St. Petersburg Artscapes, which will feature fine art, photography and sculpture. The two festivals will appear seamless along Central Avenue from 4th St. to 7th St. S.

One of the most eagerly anticipated arts events each year by collectors and patrons, CraftArt features some of the nation’s best established and emerging fine craft artists with handmade works in jewelry, clay, fiber, glass, wood, metal, paper and mixed media.

Enjoy Craft Beers featuring exciting varieties by the Cigar City Brewing Company in Tampa. Sample great food, watch artist demonstrations, bid on raffle items which have been donated by the artists and try your hand at creating a piece of coral for the reef which will be in Florida Craftsmen next summer. The weather is usually fabulous and it’s a great event for the whole family.

For information, call Florida Craftsmen at 727-821-7391 or email us at info@floridacraftsmen.net.

501 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Free and open to the public.






$5 Day at MOSI

Presented by Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) at MOSI, Museum of Science and Industry

November 11, 2011

On Friday, November 11, the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) is offering all visitors admission to MOSI for only $5. Five Dollar Day allows guests access to MOSI exhibit galleries, including The Amazing You exhibition, TARGET AMERICA: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause, Kids In Charge! and a 3-D film in The Coleman Science Works Theater. Admission also includes one standard IMAX® Dome Theatre ticket.


November 11th, 12th, & 13th, 2011


Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Gates open at 11 AM daily – No Re-entry

Dig in to this sumptuous event at Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Blvd., St. Petersburg. Kick back with live music, including John Fogerty, Trace Adkins, and Styx, while dining on tasty barbecue. www.ribfest.org

This fun filled three day charity fundraiser features the best barbeque ribbers in the world, national touring bands playing classic and southern rock and country hits.

Ribfest­™ 2011 Headline Acts – click HERE to see All the bands performing on the Main Stage

Check out the Family Fun Zone. Video Game theatre & 4D Movie Ride experience, face painting, carnival games with prizes, putt putt mini golf, make and take crafts, fun with bubbles,, their very own stage and much more. All the events for kids 12 and under are free except for Giant Inflatables.


Farm City Day
November 19, 2011 – Flyer
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pinellas County’s Heritage Village will host a Farm City Day celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is the kickoff for Farm-City Week, celebrated nationally each year during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Participants will be able to enjoy agriculturally-inspired arts and crafts and play "olde-time" games. Farm-City Day is sponsored by the Pinellas County Farm Bureau. There will be lots of giveaways and “make and takes.” Call (727) 582-2123 for further information.


I had an amazing date with my hubby here. We intend to go back soon and bring our kids and their friends.

Saturday Swing Dance

November 12, 2011 – December 17, 2011

Address: 400 Alt Keene Road, Largo, FL 33770

Weekly Swing Dance in the fabulous GOODMAN BALLROOM (Largo Community Center)DJ plays it all – Big Band * 50s’60’s Rock n Roll * Jump Blues * Rhythm n Blues * NeoSwing! 7-8 PM Beginner-friendly Dance Lesson8-11 PM DJ Dance$7.00 Admission, includes the lesson at 7:00 PM Smoke-Free! All-Ages, FUN!!! Well-lit Parking * Great Dance Floor * Snack Concession * Cash Bar

Christmas Under the Oaks Arts & Crafts Show

Sunday November 13, 2011

GFWC Clearwater Junior Woman’s Club and the City of Clearwater presents the annual Christmas Under the Oaks Arts & Crafts show on November 13, 2011 at beautiful Coachman Park on the waterfront in downtown Clearwater, Florida. Show proceeds benefit the scholarships, grants, and projects our club provides for the community.

"Oaks" in the St. Petersburg Times


The Hyde Park Village Fresh Market takes place at the Fountain the first Sunday of every month, year round, rain or shine, from 11 AM to 3 PM.

With space for over 70 vendors, the Hyde Park Village Fresh Market will feature:

Agricultural products | Fresh, Organic, Hydroponic & Conventional Produce | Plants, Herbs & Flowers | Gourmet Take Home Foods | Fresh Bread | Pasta | Honey | Spices | Ready-to-Eat Foods | Brooklyn-style Knishs | New Orleans-style Crawfish Pies | Kettle Corn | Southern Style Foods | Hand Crafts | Local Art | Handcrafted Jewelry | Accessories | Live Music | Cooking Demos | Outdoor Seating | Mini-Massages | …and more!

2011 Hyde Park Village Fresh Market Dates:

Sunday, November 6
Sunday, December 4

Admission and parking are free to the public and friendly dogs on leashes are always welcome at the Fresh Market and in Hyde Park Village.

The Hyde Park Village Fresh Market is sponsored by Tampa Bay Markets, the St. Petersburg Times, tbt* and Hot 101.5!


Meet home improvement experts and check out more than 600 exhibits related to Florida living at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Times: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission and parking. www.tampabayhomeshows.com


Largo Train Rides

February 05, 2011 – February 04, 2012

101 Central Park Dr.
Largo, FL 33771


This is the little miniature railroad that could. Kids and adults can experience rides aboard 1/16th-scale replicas of trains on the 1 1/3-mile track through Largo Central Park, site of the old Pinellas County Fairgrounds and one of the city’s most popular gathering spots. Take a trip on a 1927 Amtrak F40Ph passenger train, a 1960s CSX MP15AC freight engine and a Seaboard freight engine.

Public runs are held on the first full weekend of each month. "Birthday runs" can be arranged on other weekends.


The Largo Central Railroad, founded in 1991, was built and is now maintained through the work and dedication of the LCRR club members and through generous donations from the people of Largo, Florida. We currently have approximately 1.2 miles of main line track with numerous passing sidings running through beautifully landscaped Largo Central Park. Public runs are held on the first full weekend of each month.

Largo Central Railroad

101 Central Park Dr.
Largo, FL 33771-2112



Sunsets At Pier 60

February 01, 2011 – January 31, 2012

Pier 60
10 Pier 60 Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767


The Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival is a nightly sunset celebration that takes place in Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach, Florida. This free family event features artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment, weather permitting.

"Sunsets at Pier 60," a Clearwater Beach tradition, offers a variety of crafts and entertainment from 6 – 9 p.m. each night. A beautiful view of the sunset makes for a perfect way to celebrate the end of the day. Enjoy live music, local artists, jugglers, magicians & other entertainers. Parents will also be glad to know that a well-equipped playground provides hours of enjoyment for little ones.



The 36th Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels® is a vibrant, open-air art festival in the Downtown Disney area. Featuring more than 150 award-winning artists, this world-renowned show is a highly anticipated annual event for Guests, artists, collectors and art lovers.

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Showcasing one-of-a-kind and limited-edition painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more, this prestigious show is ranked among the country’s finest outdoor art festivals. And there’s a lot more to enjoy, like amazing chalk art, live music, specialty foods and family-friendly activities.

Dates and Times

  • Friday, November 11, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 12, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 13, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Interactive Activities With Michaels
Cultivate your creativity with the Michaels Design Team, offering interactive arts and crafts experiences designed to delight the entire family. Featured activities include:

  • Custom Framing: Explore the different ways you can showcase any great piece of art. Located at Downtown Disney West Side.
  • MiDesign@Michaels™: Enjoy new ways to personalize—in an instant, online—with digital scrapbooking, photo books and more. Located at Downtown Disney West Side.
  • Collaborative Painting: Join the Michaels Design Team and work together to fill a larger-than-life masterpiece. Located at Downtown Disney West Side.
  • Design-Your-Own Friendship Bracelets: Commemorate your trip to Disney by creating customized friendship bracelets with colorful threads. Located in the Downtown Disney Pleasure Island area.
  • Disney Wood-Framing Experience: Start with the basics—and walk away with your own picture frame decorated with fun Disney embellishments. Located at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
  • Michaels at the Waterside Stage: Discover crafty ideas and tips for every age and interest. Come join Jo Pearson, Kate Gribbon, Kathy Kromer, Jennifer Mele and Paula Schweikhard on the Waterside Stage at the Marketplace.


Waterside Stage Performance Times
Friday, November 11, 2011: 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 12, 2011: 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 13, 2011: 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Admission and Parking
Enjoy complimentary admission and parking for the Downtown Disney area.

More Information
For additional details about this event,
view the Festival of the Masters pdf.


Vets & Military can get
Free Meal on Monday, November 14, 2011
at Golden Corral!
On Monday, November 14, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Golden Corral will be giving out Veteran’s Day free meals to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military. No identification is required to get your free meal!


Ice skating — in Tampa?

Well, at least for a little while. Head over to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for Tampa’s only outdoor ice skating rink. Yes, it’s real ice.

The 44- by 100-foot rink sits on a bed of sand. Above the sand sits a sheet of plastic and a series of tubes filled with a substance colder than freezing, which circulates through a chiller turning water to ice.

For more information, call (813) 251-3378 or visit www.tampasdowntownonice.com

Tampa’s only outdoor ice skating rink opens
Friday, November 11 at 10 a.m.
Admission is only $10 per person and includes skates
90 minute skate
The rink is open daily from Nov. 11, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012.
Monday – Thursday from 4 p.m. – 9 pm.
Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday from Noon – 9 p.m.
Holiday Hours:
Thanksgiving Day, November 26 – CLOSED
Friday, December 24 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 25 – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

  • 1-19 people $10 each
  • 20-49 people $9 each
  • 50-99 people $8.50 each
  • 100 & up $8 each

Contact JR Malone at icerinkeventstampa@yahoo.com for more information.


Celebrate the start of the holiday season at the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony in Hyde Park Village. This free, family-friendly holiday spectacular has become one of Tampa Bay’s most highly recognized events! Highlights include the new holiday light display, Santa’s Cottage, a variety of live entertainment, free cookies, cocoa and cider, drink specials, cigar stand, a street festival and Santa’s Arrival!

Hyde Park Village
1621 W. Snow Circle
Tampa, FL 33606


Holiday Tree Lighting and Illuminated Park Displays.

When Fri, November 25, 5pm – 7pm

Where North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL

N. Straub Park, Beach Dr. and 5th Ave. N.E.

Description 5 p.m. activities, 7 p.m. tree lighting Come out to celebrate the tradition of the Mayor flipping the switch and lighting the holiday tree along with the lighting the illuminated displays across the waterfront. Activities begin at 5 p.m. with holiday entertainment:C​community Band and Radio Disney. Blanket Seating and concessions available. 727-893-7441.

Holiday lights and illuminated displays on nightly through Dec. 31.


IKEA Tampa Kids’ Academy!


1103 N. 22nd Street, Tampa Bay, FL, United States, 33605

Featuring FREE activities, a FREE meal and a FREE IKEA Tampa Kids’ Academy t-shirt for kids under 12 years old who attend.* Activities last 20 minutes and start at 11:00am, then repeat at 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm.

November 11, 2011 Students can make a flag to honor our service men and women.

November 21, 2011 Use your hand print to make a festive turkey decoration.

November 22, 2011 Use our PYSSLA craft beads to design and make a special decorative item.

November 23, 2011 Use our DUKTIG baking set to make cookies for your holiday guests.

November 25, 2011 Kick start the holiday season by making your own wrapping paper with our MALA paints.



American Victory Ship Mariners Memorial Museum
705 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602

Join us each and every Saturday from 10am to 5pm for Kids Ahoy! We promote education and learning through fun and encourage family bonding and communication. Come aboard, participate in a scavenger hunt, arts & crafts projects, receive a fun snack and free Kids Ahoy! bookmark. It’s brought to you by the Kinder Morgan Foundation and Publix Super Markets Charities.

November 8, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, G-Force 411, Holidays | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeschool Parent’s Night Out with Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries

I wanted to share with a an event that is being hosted by the PPEA-Pinellas Parent Educators Association. It is now open to non-members. Alf and I are going. It’s only $3! We’ve heard him speak at FPEA Convention. I blogged about it. You can read it by clicking HERE. He’s hilarious and real! He wrote the book LIES Homeschooling Moms Believe. It will make a fun date night. Feel free to pass it on.


Happy Schooling!


Todd Wilson
"The Familyman"


“Reminding Dads of What’s Important”


When was the last time you smiled or really laughed? clip_image004

You started this homeschooling thing because you thought it would be fun. But somewhere along the journey, the fun vanished, leaving behind frustration and feelings of failure.

The problem is not that you don’t work hard enough, but that you’ve forgotten what really matters.

Join us as Todd Wilson reminds us and helps us laugh again. This will be an incredible evening for both homeschooling dads and moms.

You’ll be glad you came. clip_image004[1]

View video interview with Todd and his wife.


Thursday, October 20th-7pm

Grace Brethren Church

6300 62nd AVE N

Pinellas Park

$3 per adult-no Child Care available-please reserve your own babysitter as due to space this is an adult only event. Nursing babies are welcome.

Sign up now as space is limited by visiting


*For any further information or questions contact the event coordinator. Her email link is on the sign up link.

October 14, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Museum Day @ The Burg-Part 1

ArtsAlive - Free Museum Day 2011

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The Aquarium at the Pier

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It was a great day for all in the Burg! FREE Museum entry to most museum’s in town. Our family headed to The Aquarium at the Pier first. I was so happy it was free because it was small and had very little to offer. When we left a light rain started that felt quite refreshing.

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We passed lots of artsy vendors on our way to The Museum of Fine Arts. I know what I ‘m doing with all those old Lp’s in the garage!


Kind of cool, kind of creepy Wizard of Oz inspired Art?


We girls found some funky domino bracelets, vintage spoon bracelets and composition notebooks with vinyl albums for covers.


The kids have an assignment to make their own replica of one thing they liked best from our day out. When their projects are finished I will post them.

Stay tuned to see our favorites from the Museum of Fine Arts.

October 7, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

See YOU at the Pole

See you at the Pole is a nationwide student led prayer rally done mostly in public schools the 4th Wednesday in September each year. My oldest son Mikael and a friend have been organizing this event for two years for homeschoolers in our city. This year Mikael took it on by himself. He did a great job. He  has chosen to hold the event in a central city in the county. He emailed people in our local support groups and contacted the city hall to inform them of the event and to invite their staff to join us.


We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the mayor of the mayor of the city is a Christian. He shared with the kids about his faith and encouraged them to be obedient to their parents, to work hard at their studies and thanked them for praying for him and his staff.




The sun is always blaring hot but the joy of watching our kids standing together praying for their families, local communities and national leaders makes it all worth it.





Immediately following the event we have fellowship and lunch at a park close by.


This was Mike’s final year facilitating the prayer rally since he graduates high school this year (sniff, sniff).  I was blown away by his devotional share. It was a rally cry for warriors for Jesus! In spite of wrenches that the enemy has tried to throw his way this year he has fought the good fight and emerged victorious in Christ Jesus. His focus is being set apart for his purpose for his life.

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He encourages me and inspires me not only to be a better mom but a more holy one. One that surrenders her agenda for her kids and continually gives them over to God, for His glory.


Thanks to all the families that came out to pray and play!

I hope you and your family take advantage of this opportunity in the coming years. Visit See you at Pole for more information and to sign up for updates.

Soli Deo Gloria!


September 30, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, On My Heart, Once Upon A Family | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Collect ROCKS Day! Huh?!

Yes, September 16th is Collect Rocks Day.

Although I found no credible source Martha Stewart has rock crafts. If she playing with rocks then I will too! 

My kids have been collecting them well since they could reach for them to stick them in their mouths.

Go for a walk and make sure to bring a basket or tote bag for each person to toss their finds in. when you get home gather the troops for a rockin’ good time decorating.

If you want to make a day of it. Pack a picnic and take the paints, brushes, and any other supplies and make the mess at the park. Invite some friends to join and no doubt there will be some trading of these freshly made collectables.

I am amazed at how many resources and ideas I found to incorporate into Collect Rocks Day. Maybe it’s my love for unit studies. I try to always incorporate our faith into our schooling. And there are a few scriptures that refer to rocks. (Well Duh!) God made the rocks! Share these verses with your kids as you celebrate the day.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV)

Joshua 4:1-9

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Memorial Stones

1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; 5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the LORD had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.

Exodus 17:5-7

New King James Version (NKJV)

5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”
And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 So he called the name of the place Massah[a] and Meribah,[b] because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

Exodus 33:21-23

New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Matthew 16:18

New International Version (NIV)

18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it.

(the Greek word for Peter means rock)

Psalm 18:2

New King James Version (NKJV)

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

(horn symbolizes strength)

Luke 6:47-49

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

(Jesus is the Rock!)

Matthew 7:23-25

New King James Version (NKJV)

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

1 Samuel 17:48-50

New King James Version (NKJV)

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.

Luke 19:37-40

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Here is a short video of Douglas Stahlman’s and his fabled "Scripture Rocks."

Below are some cool pics and links to inspire you

from around the WWW.

Paint with acrylic paints, glow in the dark paints or permanent markers. If you want to be able to change up the design use Chalk Ink markers.You can wipe them clean and start over.


Use some permanent markers to write thoughtful words, names and scripture. What a neat way to carry your bible memory verse around. You can just reach into your purse or pocket for it. If you run into a friend you can share it with them and then they can pass it on to someone else. I think this rock thing is gonna catch on!



Use as garden markers


Make them into necklaces. Boys would definitely wear a rock necklace, especially if it looked like a gross eyeball.


Happy Rock Collecting Day!


You can also decoupage paper, fabric or any drawing or magazine cutout to your rocks. Here is a simple recipe I saw on Pinterest by the DIY Divas. I have always just used straight glue but will give this recipe a try when we decorate our rocks.

I just love how you can incorporate these rocks into your home décor by displaying them on a shelf or putting them in a bowl or basket.


 fabric or decorative paper decoupage from modpodgerocksblog.com



matryoshka rocks also from modpodgerocksblog.com


These hot rocks are crazy cool!  I saw them on A Girl and a Glue Gun. All you need is crayons and an oven. Oh, and DUH, rocks!


Go Make Some Memories!

September 12, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Holidays, Once Upon A Family | , , | Leave a comment

My Disney Video Planner

Disney now has a nifty new feature to enhance your Disney vacation planning, My Disney Video Planner. After answering a few simple questions it will automatically put together for you a customized video that will show you all you need to know to get ready for your upcoming vacation.


disney custom maps

Like the FREE Disney Customized Maps You can save time by planning ahead your itinerary. But by far my favorite thing about these tools is that they make great FREE souvenirs!

Have a Magical Day!

August 23, 2011 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411 | , | Leave a comment

Summer School = Fun!

I love History! Get a daily dose with

 This Day in History”.

This is a quick and easy way to keep

learning over the summer with your

kids. Let the kids pick an event that

is interesting to them and research

it. Share it with Dad at the dinner


God’s world News also has a nice

timeline style daily history.


Happy Summer Schooling!


June 10, 2011 Posted by | Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Once Upon A Family | , , , | Leave a comment

Spring has Sprung!

The kids and I are planning our garden projects this week. Everyone is choosing the plants they want to grow and areas that they would like to fix up. I drew a picture of what I want to work on.

The planning and dreaming has led us to learn lots of new things like Self Watering Container Gardens and Worm Composting.

In a few weeks Strawberry U-Pick Season will start and we will be picking lots and lots of berries this season! My girlfriend Betty, whom I affectionately call Bettypedia, will be teaching me how to can my jams. Last year we tried freezer jam and that was crazy delicious. Canning will help me to not only learn a new skill but have fresh jam year round that doesn’t require refrigeration.

Check out Betty’s blog Little Farm in the Big City

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Visit the University of Florida Extension site for help in your lawn and garden. click on your county.

Here is a listing of classes offered to our community. I want to attend a composting class. They give you a FREE composting bin and rain barrel with the classes!


What better place to get in the mood for spring gardening than to attend a local garden festival.


We attended some popular local festivals and markets while Abuelita was visiting


We saw lots of beautiful and inspiring ideas to use in our own gardening adventures. What better combo than shabby chic and country all rolled into one?

From trash to terrific! Look at these wind chimes made out of kitchen lovelies. Absolutely love the the recycled glass ware. At one time they refreshed someone with a cool beverage now they bring refreshments to someone’s garden. But my very favorite are the spoon plant markers. So shabby! So chic!





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My peeps trying to keep up with my excited pace, Koi fish, and some retro vintage planters made from old LP’s. Groovy!


My sweet garden fairy discovered these unique planters made cement in various shapes. check out the cool hanging planters made from some kind of recycled material. I’m thinking of sewing on of these with grain or coffee sacks or better yet, that weed barrier material.


Each kid was given a free butterfly attracting plant.


Stacked pots and pvc pipes with holes in it make great vertical planters, stacked plates and bowls are used here as bird feeders and I guess some water can  go on the dish and the feed in the bowl. How cute are these little glass vases hanging from string that has been embellished with beads and shells?!


We made great memories and came home inspired to learn more about innovative ways to plant and decorate around our yard and home.


Happy Gardening!

May 2, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411 | , | Leave a comment

Sunny Sunday in St. Petersburg, Florida

Last year was the Waterfront Park’s Centennial in Downtown St. Petersburg. Above is the poster to commemorate the celebration. It’s so cool that we were actually sitting in the very middle of the above poster. We took pictures in those very Banyan trees!

I was on the hunt to add more relaxed and balanced family activities after a year of fun at the happiest place on earth.


My Clowns.They always play along!

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We had a glorious time together at the North Straub Waterfront Park. We finally found balance from the busyness.


After stopping at Michael’s to buy some Prismacolor pencils (with a coupon of course), we headed out to have some family fun. The outdoor cafes were buzzing, people walking their dogs, families tossing Frisbees and couples walking hand in hand enjoying the cool breeze.

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We had fun taking pictures and getting artsy.



They will be called oaks of righteousness,

a planting of the LORD

for the display of His Splendor.

Isaiah 61:3b


After we had our picnic snacks we all took to our creating some art. How could you not with such a view and vibe all around you.


Sometimes kids (adults too) don’t know where to begin or what to draw. Here are some great products to help your family get started.


Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil Set, 72/Tin with New Colors





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We had the Museum of Fine Art to our right, the new Chihuly Museum to our backs and the blue sky and waters in front of us.

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We had a very relaxing time


The kids had fun drawing and playing with bubbles


This is my favorite drawing of the day.


Zachary’s view from our blanket, of the new Chihuly Museum.


There’s our very own artist!



You know it’s good day when your kids give you “huggles”.



May 1, 2011 Posted by | Familia, Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy, Once Upon A Family | , , | Leave a comment



Krispy Kreme Donuts are the family favorites. When we lived in Miami it was just a few blocks away from our house. Whenever their neon sign “Hot & Now” was flashing you can count on the line going out the door and the drive thru line backing up street traffic. There is a location about 30 minutes from us. While on one of our Disney trips we spotted the flashing neon beacon to yummy family fun. What a thrill to watch the tasty clouds of yum pass by on the conveyor belt. Give it to us HOT & NOW!

Here’s how to make them at home Quick and Easy, Hot & Now!

Tasty Clouds of Yum!

  • 1 can of refrigerated biscuits
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Powered Sugar
  • 2-4 Tb of water

Heat an inch or two of oil in a frying pan. Use a bottle cap or apple corer to make the center donut hole in each biscuit. Save these little balls. They will become your donut holes.


Mix 1/2 cup of powered sugar with a couple of tablespoons at a time of water. Continue to add water until you achieve a glaze consistency.


Fry up the donuts. it only takes about 30 seconds per side.


Dip them in the glaze.





March 17, 2011 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, G-Force 411, In The Kitchen, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment

Calvary Couponista Fellowship

There has been a growing interest in couponing in our area. A lot of my Facebook friends were posting their shopping trip savings and a lot more (including myself) were wanting to learn and asking lots of questions. I asked a few ladies form our church if they would share with others what the y know. Within a month we put together a meeting. I have learned much more. I learned a lot more. Our panel of Couponistas all did their couponing different from each other. Their different way of organizing their coupons helped me a lot. I am still trying to figure what will work best for me. What we all had in common is our love for our Lord Jesus and wanting to help and encourage each other to be better stewards, wives and moms.

One of my top five strength’s is Input. You can read my earlier post about Strength’s here. Input goes along perfectly with couponing. Here’s why:


You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information — words, facts, books, and quotations — or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

Inquisitive: learning about couponing did not intimidate me, it energizes me

Collect things and information: hello! I’m collecting coupons and information off of websites and blogs

Acquiring and storing: This is the beautiful thing, after a few months I can donate my expired coupons to military bases

With all this said I put together lots of information that was shared at our meeting and then some! Here are the files for you to download. There is a lot of 411 on the internet on couponing. I tried to give credit to the places I received info from. I hope it helps you on your journey.

Happy Shopping!



February 6, 2011 Posted by | Favorites and Cool Finds, G-Force 411, In The Kitchen, Moni's Homeplace, Printables | Leave a comment


1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a dance war
A dance or die
5, 6, 7, 8, now we’re gonna celebrate
D-Dance or D-D-Die 

Night of Joy came and went and I’m still feeling the effects of  “shaking like an earthquake”! I am filled to overflowing with joy after spending this special event with my hubby and kids and good friends. Dancing, jumping and headbanging alongside my kids was priceless.

I laughed hard, sang loud, cheered and screamed until my voice was almost gone. Mike’s in the process of putting together a video of the entire experience. I will post it as soon as it is ready. Meanwhile take a journey in pictures with “63 Seconds” and their groupies.

Mikael designed t-shirts for our group also.

On The Tram

On The Tram

Entering the Gates to Rockin' Disney Magic

Entering the Gates to Rockin' Disney Magic

63 Seconds and their groupies inside the gates!

63 Seconds and their groupies inside the gates!


September 14, 2009 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, G-Force 411, Once Upon A Family | Leave a comment


“Home Grown Teens” (Christian Homeschool Group) and “Calvary Karate Club” (Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg) members came together to rejoice, rock-out to JC, and hopefully win FREE TICKETS!!!
Thanks JoyFM, we had SO much fun!






August 28, 2009 Posted by | Disney Fun, Family Fun, G-Force 411, G-Force Academy | 2 Comments


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