The Family

The Family

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

First Pensacola, Then New Orleans

Last week we spent two days in Pensacola, FL, before heading to New Orleans, LA. Here's our trip in pictures:

Dinner at McGuire's Irish Pub in Pensacola 

 Money hangs from the ceiling there

 The New Orleans Zoo

The New Orleans Aquarium

Little people, big tank, glowing eyes

Shark Bait

Cafe du Monde - where beignets and coffee are about the only things on the menu (no complaints from us)

A stop in between destinations at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL

And checkers action at a Cracker Barrel somewhere along the way

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Archaeological Dig

This week we got to experience something that was truly amazing. A real archaeological dig.

Months ago archaeologists from the University of West Florida in Pensacola discovered what they believe to be the site of the Luna settlement. The research indicates that this Spanish settlement is likely the oldest established European colony in the United States. It is currently believed to predate the settlement in St. Augustine, Florida, which for years was known as the earliest European settlement in the United States.

Matt's grandparents' home, on the bay in Pensacola, happens to be smack dab in the middle of what is believed to be the original colony site, and the generous and exuberant archaeology team from UWF graciously allowed several homeschooling families to tag along with us for an official dig.

We started at the UWF archaeology headquarters with a brief presentation on what archaeology is and what archaeologists do. Jack has been taking an archaeology class this past year, and his archaeology teacher and her kids were with us.

Then we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the actual dig. Matt's grandmother passed away in August, and a waive of emotion hit me as we pulled up to their driveway.

The archaeology team had two plots marked off in the backyard, so half the kids dug in one area and the other half in another.

We were part of the group that found a lot of glass.

We also found a piece of a Spanish olive jar.

It may look insignificant, but when one of the archaeologists remarked, "We're the first people to hold this in 450 years," I was completely in awe.

After lunch we traveled to a small archaeology museum on the UWF campus.

Our junior archaeologists had a great time. And so did their mommas.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Waiting on Spring

We took a blanket, picnic basket and Chick-Fil-A to a lawn on our local campus. The hope was to find signs of spring. While the temperature is screaming spring has sprung, the buds and blossoms aren't all there yet.

It was a good afternoon spent with one another, and my grandmother, roaming the lawn looking at the trees, finding sticks and acorns and sketching some of what we found.

We also took advantage of the kid's meal book found in our lunch bags.  I've found that if I try to push these kinds of moments on the children they resist. The key was waiting to see if either of them would present the book to me. I left it out on the picnic table, and just as we were about to pack up, Mattie asked me to read it. It was fun for all answering true or false to the questions posed in this book.