A Little Bit of Personal History

Isn't life strange sometimes?

It's funny - I had typed up a monstrously HUGE post about my thoughts on teaching history, and all that junk, but it just didn't feel right.

So I bagged it.

Instead, here's a light update for you.

It's wild to think that we've been here 6 months now - in Florida. At times I look back on our old lives, and our trip, with a strong sense of wanderlust. This place - with its flatness and monotony makes me itch for elevation, a view, and relief from the heat.

I enjoy looking at these lovely pics to remember and refresh my spirit.

Man I could look at mountains for hours.

But at the same time - you know how it is when you reach a point in your life where something has to change? And once you change it, you can't ever go back.

Here's an example...

When Chris and I were first married, I took a job at a place called Berton's. I worked there for about 2 years, or so. Some people I know flourished there, but not me. I barely made it out of that place with my life. In fact, if it weren't for God looking over me, I wouldn't have made it out of there alive.

I am SO THANKFUL that I don't ever have to go back to that place - not so much physically - but mentally! I moved on, and I'm alive.

It may hurt, at the time. Change... that is! You may have to suffer from less money, from loneliness, from hurt, or who knows what all else. Surely you know the feelings I'm talking about - right?


This change, that Christy and I have felt led into, has not been as easy here as we had hoped. But, I think, it was needed. For us to grow and change on many levels... personally, and maybe even professionally and spiritually.

So - thank you to all of you who have loved us, cared for us, and supported us - even IF you don't agree with what we're doing. We appreciate hearing from you, chatting from time to time, and catching up whenever we can.

For you, who may not know, I started teaching this week. Substitute teaching - that is. And man... am I tired. Bob Brayton - thanks for the tips on just being patient!

I've been to an elementary, middle, and senior high school all in one week. It's wild to be back working. It's almost surreal, like I've been living in another world. It's like having a dream, where you are the ruler of a kingdom and your loyal subjects are fanning you with palm fronds, as you sit there on your throne... only to bluntly wake up... freezing and shivering in bed because your spouse pulled all the covers onto their side and you set the thermostat super low to conserve energy.

Yeah... It's like that!

So - I'm back in the saddle again, but finding my rear-end a little 'saddle sore'.

But it just feels good to be doing something cool again.
Mostly, I just wanted to share with you.

All the best,


Arggh! There be Pirates About.

This time - we rolled into the south side of Clearwater beach, Florida.

It's been very nice here in January. The evenings are getting down into the 50's and 60's - even the 40's if we're lucky. The days are in the mid-60's to upper 70's. It's very much like an Oregon spring or fall - I won't say summer - because it hasn't really been super hot.

Even with the mild temperatures, though, it's still got a muggy, oppressive feeling in the air. There's not like a cool, crisp, fresh feeling - except for the very coldest of nights. I very rarely walk outside and am blown away with a fantastic breeze that makes me want to bundle up.


We went to the beach, and the water was actually cold. It was more like - let your feet get numb from the coldness and then you can walk in deeper - cold. Which is definitely more like the Pacific Northwest. Very few people were even putting their feet in the water this time.

Here's a shot of the beach - looking south from the rock jetty and the causeway, which separates north from south.

Here's the causeway.

The rock jetty is pretty cool - but they don't let you walk out on it for fear of sneaker waves or something like that.

While there - Kaitlyn got the crazy idea to build a moat right beside the shoreline. She was in desperate need of help, so I jumped in to give a hand. Finally, it got so bad that we even needed Keeley to help out, as well.

Finally - we achieved success.

Kait was so happy, she busted out in song.
Reminiscent of 'The Sound of Music'.

And Keeley was off, in an instant, planting her garden - which we had so rudely interrupted her progress on.

However, we didn't get much of a chance to bask in our glorious success - because a pirate ship appeared out of nowhere and threatened our entire clan. I'm sure they were shouting a bunch of obscenities and other mean, piratey things. So we decided to pack up and leave real quick like.

All-in-all it was a pretty fun day on the beach.

Speaking of pirates...

If you haven't had a chance to read 'Peter and the Starcatchers', and 'Peter and the Shadow-Thieves' - By Dave Barry, to your kids...


The stories - about Peter, the Lost Boys, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell before they became the characters you know and love - are truly amazing.

Well worth every family moment together.


Kids... Beware the Turkey Vultures!

Sometimes - you just gotta let the kids out to run around outside. You know... inside an apartment gets a little too cramped at times.

Around here... when the girls spend too much time outside playing, here's what you start to see hanging around.

Yep - that's a turkey vulture. Just outside our apartment.


Leave the kids outside a little bit longer, and here's what you see.

Lots more - like 50 or so - of those suckers flying around, zero-ing in on their prey.

It kinda reminds me of the old cartoons - where the vultures are flying overhead waiting for their food to keel over. It's a strange site.



I think it's time to come in now.

Another trip to Downtown Disney World

Not too long ago, we decided to make another short day trip back down to Downtown Disney.

I actually like heading over towards Orlando. It seems like a quick, short trip - that usually ends in a visit to Chipotle (YUMMM!) They don't have Chipotle here in Lakeland.

Anyhow, Disney was pretty cool. In fact, there is a place down there that I've heard of but never seen before - House of Blues. It's a pretty cool looking, ecclectic place with a very industrial/rustic feel. I can see, just from looking at it, why it's so popular.

Hey Mark... if you're out there reading, you might appreciate this place.

And here, you can see how cushie the Disney employees have it...


Here's a few other shots of interest. Some more interesting than others.

First - Planet Hollywood's better side..

Next - Richard Petty's Driving School Car Advertisement

And then - Cirque Du Soleil

Also - some crazy arch with an artifact from home

And last... A few pics of the girls