Bioscopes 2012

A few weeks after attending the forestry tour, I attended another workshop called Bioscopes.  This workshop was really good and it paid!!! Workshops that pay are a HUGE bonus for teachers because during the summer, we are not making any money.  More importantly, it was designed to help improve teachers content knowledge in biology.  We did research, attended lectures and took a field trip to Tibet Butler Preserve off 535.  I feel much more confident in how I’ll approach my biology classes for the 2012-2013 year.  Thank you Bioscopes and Dr. Enz!

Thank you again Bioscopes! Great Workshop.

Florida Forestry Teacher Tour 2012

One of the perks of teaching is the interesting workshops you are able to attend.  Earlier this year I was awarded a grant to attend the Florida Forestry Teacher Tour.  The tour was amazing!!!! We toured different paper mills (non-stinky ones), lumber mills, chemical factories, and different nature reserves. I have a new appreciation for Forestry.  It was really cool to learn that the Florida lumber/paper industry is now a sustainable/renewable industry.  I had to re-adjust my old Lorax mentally. They are actually planting more trees than are harvested.   Below are some pictures that I took at the different locations.

If you are an educator I highly recommend attending this.  It doesn’t matter what subject area or grade level you teach.  Great tour!

Warm Summer Breezes in Northern Michigan

One of the great things about joining a family means inheriting their family traditions. That can be in the form of a special recipe passed down from generation to generation, a phrase or expression that you hear, and in my case (and I think the best one), summer trips up to Michigan. John’s family members, both on his mother and his father’s side, have been spending their summers in Michigan for years! Nestled in the quiet woods of Interlochen, Michigan (about 20 min from Traverse City), there is a little cottage by the name of Maple Woods. The cottage is a cozy little get-a-way on a private lake. When up there, John and I immerse ourselves in the nature. We love to fish, boat, read and just relax! We spend time sitting on the deck with family with a nice glass of wine, or find ourselves in the water with the kids!

This summer was an unusually hot summer for Michigan with temperatures reaching the 90’s! We didn’t let that stop us though and had a wonderful week! There was a full house at the cottage! On the final night we had John’s parents, sisters, and 6 nieces and nephews! Needless to say, there was never a dull moment!

We hope you enjoy looking at some of our pictures!

Maple Woods is the lovely lake cottage owned by John’s parents. It is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy life. The home inspires reading new novels, trying out new recipes, drinking great wine and letting you take a step back to enjoy each moment of life.

Jake loved being at Maple Woods! He definitely had a lot of nice chairs to sleep on!

Fishing was a daily activity while up on the lake even though we always let the fish go afterwards!

The kids enjoyed fishing more than John and me (and were braver than me with hooking worms and unhooking fish)!

John and I both enjoyed finding areas where the lighting was beautiful.

John and I took a drive while up in Michigan to the Mission Point Lighthouse. The drive from Traverse City is gorgeous, taking you through vineyards and cherry orchards. Here is some more info on the lighthouse and its history-

This cottage was built in the 1800’s and has been historically preserved for vistors to view while on the grounds of Mission Point.

Jake on the grounds of Maple Woods Cottage

We took a trip up to Legacy Art Park one afternoon. It’s a beautiful park with hiking trails and along the hike you will see many fun sculpture installations! Here is some more information on the park-

John’s niece and nephews loved interacting with all the sculptures!

A quiet moment of fishing

John with his lovely niece, Lilly

There were many things swimming in the lake but one of the smallest impressed me the most! A baby catfish!

Summer fun at the lake!

The serenity in fishing

Enjoying a family night of fire and fireworks!

Lighting the firework

John & the nieces and nephews dancing around the flames!

On our final day, we visited Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sleeping Bear was recently voted the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America. It truly is breathtaking! Here is some more info on Sleeping Bear-

We loved sharing our memories and hope you enjoyed the photos!

– Tara & John

Just a moment…

Sometimes in a day, there is that moment where you just want to grab your camera. Yesterday, while cleaning the house, we noticed both dogs sharing a bed. To a normal person, this might not be anything, but to a dog lover, it was truly was an adorable moment!! We grabbed the camera and took a few shots before noticing that the lighting was just a tad too dark. To fix this problem, we took the dogs and the bed outside and shot some pictures around sunset! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. It’s just a little moment in our day that we will share with you.

Beach Day

Our day at Smyrna Dunes Park…

Back in March, John and I discovered a wonderful dog friendly beach in New Smyrna, Florida. The park, known as Smyrna Dunes Park, is a large peninsula that has the bay on one side and the ocean on the other. Its a beautiful park and so great that dogs are welcome too! We decided to take our two Pomeranians, Milo and Luci, and just have a fun beach day! We swam and soaked up the sun! 🙂

Curious thinking…

Luci is the name of the Pomeranian that we adopted last year. She is a spunky dog with lots of energy! She loves people and loves to be the center of attention, sometimes to the point where she demands it. She also has what we call her “emo moments” where she will just go and sit in a corner by herself. This picture captures her in one of those moments. Her eyes captivate you and make you question her thoughts. What is she thinking…?


A Knight’s Graduation

My younger sister, Sheila, just graduated from the University of Central Florida in May of 2012. Like most students who graduate, Sheila wanted to get pictures of herself around the campus in her cap and gown to reflect her milestones and accomplishments. We set a time in the early evening and headed out to UCF. We started out in the Student Union where Sheila was a student employee for 4 years. There is a tradition that union employees have (I myself was one!), and that is when they graduate, they take a picture on the roof! The roof provides a gorgeous backdrop of the campus. We captured some great shots there and then went around the campus to the buildings that had a significant meaning to Sheila, whether it was the library where she studied or a building where she took classes for her major. We ended the session with some pictures by the UCF reflection pond, which is a special location for all UCF alumni. Go Knights!