Captain Kuss, Blue Angel Fly-Over, RIP

Getting ready to salute Captain Kuss tonight on the beach as the blue angels do a fly over. Welcome home Captain. The entire community is grateful for your service. The Blue Angels will perform a flyover in honor of Opposing Solo Capt. Jeff Kuss as the team transports his body to their home base of Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.

Since moving to Pensacola, our love for the Blue Angels has really grown into something special! We love watching them practice every week, and have always enjoyed seeing them fly right over our house and along the beach.

In order to catch the Fly-Over, we drove just down the street to Johnson's Beach. 

Noahh brought with her two stuffed "Blue Angel" airplanes that she got from the Blue Angel Air Museum a few months ago.  She adores them! They are also her most favorite "stuffed animal" (planes) to sleep with at night. 

Although Noahh is too young to understand the tragedy that occurred, or grasp that one of her most favorite airplanes crashed...we felt it was important to show our support and take her to this event.  Becca enjoyed it as well, being raised in a Navy family, it was close to her heart.  I was a military wife in the Navy for years and my heart breaks for the family left behind by Captain Kuss. 
Our prayers are with his wife and two children...

We got to the beach about an hour before the scheduled fly-over was going to take place. It gave us an opportunity to play in the sand a bit and find a good spot on the beach.  

Erick took a few hours off work early so he could make it as well, and it was really nice having him there.  It turned out to be a beautiful evening that we spent as a family. 

Here they come! #5 plane, and Fat Albert... (Noahh is holding her stuffed mini "Fat Albert".  She watched with intent as the real thing passed right above her and Becca. 

"Smokin' up the beach" was one of Captain Kuss' favorite things to do...and this was one of his most favorite routes along the emerald waters of Pensacola. 

I don't believe there was a dry eye on the beach at that moment. Everyone was very quiet and touched as they flew over head. 

What a wonderful opportunity we had tonight to show our condolences and gratitude for this great hero! God bless the Kuss family, God Bless the Blue Angels, God Bless Pensacola, & God Bless America! 

Hillcrest Farm, Blueberry U-Pick in Alabama

Thursday night, Noahh came down with a pretty bad ear infection that landed our family in the ER until about 1am on Friday morning.  Because we didn't want her swimming until her antibiotics had done the trick on her ear we decided to go inland up into Alabama to pick blueberries at Hillcrest Farm.  It was the first time our family had been there and we're already excited to go back for another haul of fresh berries. 

This cute little farm grows just about everything you can imagine, including pineapples! Just like the ones we've grown at our home in Perdido, Noahh noticed right away this cute little pineapple plant! 

...but her favorite part of the trip was most surely the turtles on display! They had both water turtles and box turtles. Noahh just got a huge kick out of them. 

On the way out to the blueberry fields we stopped to look at the chickens...

The whole way out to the farm, the weather looked grey and gloomy. (mind you it was still almost 90 degrees outside!) I'm happy to report however that it didn't rain once during our entire stay. I think we just missed it, coming and going, which turned out to be perfect.  

Our oldest isn't a huge fan of blueberries but she picked right alongside the rest of us so we could fill our buckets quick and get back into the comfort of the air-conditioned car. 

Noahh is a natural "forager". Ever since she was born, we have caught her picking food and eating it right out of the garden.  It's gotten to be such a habit of hers that now we really need to watch her because we are in a new place, with new plants that we don't always know what they are. She very much loves picking "lettuce" or "greens", so we watch her constantly when we are outside. We'd hate to have her pick something she thought was edible and get a terrible stomachache! 

I'm so glad she has taken on a love for gardening and growing food the way the rest of us have. It brings me a lot of joy to see her working in the garden with mom and dad, and enjoying REAL food.

She most certainly is in her element here. She was so "in-tune" with the whole process we never had to ask her to keep up, or remind her why we were there.  Because of her height, there were a lot of berries right at eye level to her. Let's face it, most adults don't bend over that low when picking, so she had an endless supply of ripe berries along the rows she walked. 

These kids! 10 years apart, but best friends. 
Noahh calls her big sister "MY BECCA", and she means it. 

All finished! We ended up getting just shy of 5 lbs. of fresh blueberries, and priced at $1.00 a lb., who can complain?! Not us! We'll take all we can get. Erick's already plotting in his head of all the desserts he can make with them. 

Time to feed the chickens before we left! Children are given small buckets of scratch to feed the hens before they leave the farm. Noahh never passes up an opportunity to feed the chickens. After all, it's one of her most favorite past times in our own backyard. 

Alright, we couldn't stay away! On the way home, we came around the Alabama side instead of going through Florida, and we stopped at Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, Alabama
(Gulf Shores is also where Erick works.)

Although we couldn't swim, we walked the pier and enjoyed the beach. More turtles too, YAY! 

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