Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Flat Adventures in Florida!

This afternoon when we got back from our trip to Toledo I opened the front door to have a padded envelope fall out at my feet.  I don't know how given the current condition of my tailbone, but I did the most excited Happy Dance ever - our Florida mail arrived!

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

After getting Noah off to school this morning Kayla and I headed back home long enough for me to prep up tonight's dinner Bean and Honey Burrito Casserole.  I stumbled across this recipe which claims to hail from a Mexican restaurant in Southern Florida and because it seemed like something my crew would enjoy. I will admit that I adapted the recipe a little bit by leaving out the chicken (Ash Wednesday and all...), tearing up the tortillas and giving it a few different layers, but the basics were there.  My crew ate this up (pun intended) without blinking an eye.  (Even Noah who is very anti-bean).  I love relatively make-ahead recipes on those busy days.

Because today was one!  I had no sooner finished my kitchen prep when the Bean and I headed off to have lunch with Shell!  We were so glad to see her :)  We perused the mall for a bit before heading over to lunch at Panera (Mikayla introduced Aunt Shell to their mac and cheese - all was right with the world).  We don't get to see enough of Shell (honestly think this may be the first time since Christmas) so it was good to catch up.  Made me look forward to my girls weekend even more!

We made it home in time to grab Noah from the bus, head back here for some baths and then dinner before the event of the day - Florida Mall Call!

So, some of you might remember about a year and a half ago we helped Corinne's family out with their Flat Peyton project which is loosely based on Flat Stanley but is the adventures of Corinne's son, Peyton.  We loved having Flat Peyton with us for a few days and showing him the sights in and around Farmington Hills.  Well, when I asked for volunteers to help with the state project I was so hoping that Corinne would offer to do Florida because I knew she would come up with something amazing,  (She is my super mom idol, no joke) which she did!  She and her boys created Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla and showed them all the Florida sights!  They then wrote a whole book (complete with pictures of Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla's advetures!) about the things in Florida that make that place special.  Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla traveled from everywhere to the locker room of the Tampa Bay Rays to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to a trip to the beach where Flat Mikayla buried Flat Noah in the sand. It is AMAZING!  The kids went absolutely crazy.  Plus they got the seashells from the sand castle Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla created, some sharks teeth, a beach ball and some shades directly from the Sunshine State.

OK, so I did have a head's up about this because Corinne messaged me about it last week saying she wanted to keep it a secret, but had run into a little snag.  The final stop on Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla's tour was to be a trip to Disney!  But their planned day to go last week it was pouring.  So she decided to send what they had and then plan another Disney trip and send it along after.

Well, as of this afternoon, I can announce Flat Mikayla met Cinderella!  Corinne (God love her and her boys) got a fast pass to a Cinderella meet and greet where she introduced Flat Mikayla to one of her favorite princesses EVER!  I told Mikayla about this and she is about beside herself giddy!  Corinne has promised to send pictures shortly as well as to send Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla to the real Noah and Mikayla.

I cannot deeply enough express my gratitude to EVERYONE who is helping with this project.  Today's mail totally blew we away, but everything we have gotten so far has been incredible.  People who know my kiddos and put a lot of time into writing a report for them or tracking down lots of pictures and items from the state, people who have never met them that have sent postcards and cactus!  I know the kiddos are learning and that they are enjoying all of this, but what I am enjoying so much is feeling connected to places I have never been and people I have never met or seldom get to see.  Thanks for the bottom of my heart, this has been quite the journey so far and we're only about 1/5 of the way through!

I'm drained after all this, so thinking it's time to wrap it up for the evening.  MOPS tomorrow, Kayla has PJ's and Pancakes day and we'll do our state coloring pages and the "We've Been There" (hmm, think it's pretty safe to say we'll all get a sticker this week!) tomorrow.  Plus my Bean will be delighted to know that Florida seafood is on the menu!  So until then...

Florida Fun Fact of the Day:  A swamp such as the Fakahatchee Strand in the Everglades functions in three major ways. First, its vegetation serves as a filter to clean the water as it makes its slow journey southward. Secondly, it's a major habitat for wildlife and plant life. Finally, it actually prevents flooding by slowing down the flow of water after heavy rains.

Lunch with Aunt Shell

It arrived!

Noah got an award at school today (and a bee in the bucket!) for being a good role model.  So proud of him lately!

Honey and Bean Burrito Casserole

Explaining the package to my twosome

Can you see the look on the Bean's face??

Reading all about their adventure

Meet Flat Noah and Flat Mikayla!

Shark's teeth!

I then filled Mikayla in about her adventure at the Magic Kingdom today - here's her reaction

Two VERY excited kiddos

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