Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life, An Education--Part IV

My favorite part of our trip!
We really had no idea how much we would fall in love with this day!

If you take a close look at this map you can see where we were....and you can see why we made the decision that afternoon to do what I will share in our next blog...

Before we began our hike...we took a picture of I'm hoping it's a panther. The problem with waiting almost 3 months to blog about a trip is that you forget so much! Well, my 41 year old mind does!

This is Michael's favorite thing to do in the whole world...bird watch and hike! When I fell in love with him in NJ, I fell in love with those very same things!

Anhinga - otherwise known as a piano bird...can you tell why?

The first trail we hiked was called Anhinga Trail...there were hundreds of Anhingas and another animal that begins with an "A"!

OH...misplaced picture...oops...moving these pictures around Blogger is a pain...here we are on the first leg of our hike..notice something here...each of us are have binoculars hanging on our necks and our Everglades Journal in our hands.

Here is the other "A" animal. Tons and tons of alligators. I really wanted to see wild alligators. I know we can see them in our own back yards, but I haven't yet, so this was one of my favorite sightings.
But as you can see from the picture below...we totally got our fill of alligators. I mean they were everywhere!

This really was breath taking. I took about 15 pictures of alligators. I just love them! They fascinate me.

I love that my husband and boys really bonded during this trip. (Not that they weren't bonded before.) I homeschool them, so they get their fill of Mom, this was uninterrupted time with Dad and it was awesome. Kyle in the above picture has always loved nature. He loves animals and he can totally see things we don't see all the time (attention to detail)! He knows how to use his binocs and spot the birds, just like his Dad. I loved this moment!

Here we are on another trail (I forgot the name of it)! This was awesome...we were in the dirt..I desperately wanted to see an alligator come up on our path (well, kind of..I mean I didn't want it to eat my children or anything, but....I know...I think I've seen too much Man Vs. Wild on Discovery Channel.

We read about trees indigenous to South Florida and saw watering holes for animals. It was very educational!

I was smart when I took this picture because I knew I wouldn't remember the name of this tree...so I told Brendan to strangle himself...this is a strangler tree! Look at the way it grew up and around itself. Fascinating.

So I had tons of pictures, but these gave a few highlights of this part of our trip. The above picture was perplexing to us. Being bird lovers we were a little disturbed by this. This was an actual turkey vulture hanging from a tree. We thought perhaps it got tangled in some wire or something, but then as we walked around we saw several of them hanging. They were purposefully hung there (after they had been found dead) to deter other turkey vultures from hanging around. They have such a problem with the vultures in the Everglades, they are so numerous and they apparently are attracted to the black molding in cars. There have been several incidents of car damage do to the vultures. So they are hung as a warning to the other vultures of potential danger. Interesting huh??

Next step of our vacation is the last step...The Florida Keys.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life, An Education--Part III

That would be my boy Kyle at a shop in South Beach! We had so much fun just walking around and looking in all of the over priced shops. Yes, I did get a South Beach T-shirt.
The Art Deco section of town was really amazingly beautiful. My husband must have taken 30 pictures of various buildings (yawn)...make no mistake, they were beautiful, but I like people pictures.

Like this one...
This was new to us...falling coconuts...right out of the tree. Very cool! (it doesn't take much to thrill us!)

Ahhhh...Miami beach. Now, we live 5 minutes from the beach so this shouldn't be a big deal, but again, I want to state that the water in Miami was just....so many shades of glorious blue!

There were some disturbing sights...the cross dresser was right in the middle of the sign...it was a tough decision...I just had to get a picture of the sign! So colorful--Miami!

Here was where we parked on the street. Of course...

this is where we waited for Daddy while he walked down the street to get some....

Starbucks. I know...we are so bad!
Tomorrow....The Everglades!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life, An Education...Part II

I know, I'm finally continuing with this story. From way back HERE! Actually, I think this is far more therapeutic. Three months later, I'm reliving the moments of my getaway! It was really glorious.
I want to say the Engels are outdoors people. We are, but we are not at the same time. We do have the most fun when we do spontaneous exploring in nature (however, my husband is convinced that I would never survive a camping trip...so he swears he will NEVER take me on one...sad right?). My son Kyle wants to be a zoo keeper, so any trip to the zoo is a wonderful experience. However, I think our time in the Everglades (blog to come) probably wins as the most amazing moments on our trip to south Florida! I digress...Miami Metro Zoo was really beautiful!

This being only our first full day in Miami (after arriving the night before)...we were really tired.
They were NOT!

We saw some amazingly beautiful birds and animals. It was breath taking!

Seriously, take a look at those paws. We really want a tiger!

I have to say, this was a lot of fun! Even I rode on the camel!
We left the zoo and hit the beach! See tomorrow!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I hope I didn't post a blog with that title yet! OH I used to be so good at this. Writing is what relieves my stress, organizes my thoughts and of course helps me to lay out my stones (book I'm writing). I went to my blog today and saw that the last date was April 6....so ashamed. I wrote on pruning. Oddly enough, tonight the breeze in blowing in my window and I can smell the sweet smell of jasmine from that very same bush that I pruned back in April. How wonderful to reap the benefits so soon.

I remember thinking that I was a conservative pruner and was asking God to not be conservative with me...I want to grow and blossom all I can for Him. I was encouraged to see the beauty of my jasmine even though I though I was conservative.

Well, the Lord has pruned me quite a bit this year, and it has been amazing. The journey, looking from the outside in, definitely could have appeared to be too overwhelming at times (who am I kidding..it looked like that from the inside out too). However, mingled in with all of this learning that I did this past year, was the amazing face of my Father in Heaven. Bagels & Blessings has come to an end for the next 3 months. We will begin again in September. We never had less than 72 women there and we had up to 108 one month. Women got saved, healed and set free. I continue to stand in awe of God. So thankful that the Lord set this vision in my heart and prepared the way and people to make it happen. I had a wonderful group of ladies to serve by my side and we all used our gifts and watched God do His thing, month after month.

I have to say that preparing to speak each month, while I know that it was what God called me to do, it was much like giving birth every month. I literally, in every way had to live what I was teaching. On this side of it, I am eternally grateful. While going through it, I was absolutely exhausted.

So, I am now enjoying an extended Sabbath. A period of rest. And it feels wonderful. I still have all the balls I'm trying to juggle, but one by one I letting go of some.

I do not want any encumbrances as I follow the call of God on my life. So, if somethings doesn't say Lisa Engel on it, I really shouldn't be picking it up. For now, I pray and see what God has for Lisa. I fully intend on picking up my pen (scratch that), getting out my keyboard and journaling the many adventures of this Superhero Mom (Mom to superheros...NOT a super Mom!---just reminding everyone!)

It's good to be back!