Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Indianapolis Children's Museum

While I was in my training, Ben earned Daddy of the year when he took all four kids to the Indy Children's Museum.  Boo's favorite part was China, R2 loved the dinosaurs, LE enjoyed it all and Hank liked playing in the dinosaur nest.
It is the largest children's museum in the world.  I wish Ben had gotten pictures of the outside of the museum, it was amazing.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Missouri day #2

On day two, we started the morning at the Precious Moments Chapel in Jopin, Missouri.  I had been about twenty years ago and knew the kids would love it.  Ben did not, I think he actually threw up a little in his mouth on more than one occasion, it was not that bad.  In the words of 3/4 of my children, it was so adorable.  Too adorable for Ben.
The man who created Precious Moments created a park and chapel decorated with statues from PM and there is a gift shop and ice cream parlor.  We took a self-guided tour and were on the road by 10 am on day two.
Our second stop was St. Louis, Missouri to see the arches. I didn't know the arches were a national landmark and we had forgotten our national park passes at home.  I also did not print out our free passes we had b/c we have a fourth grader.  There is a movement to get all kids in the national parks this year, so the government is giving every fourth grade student a free pass for their families into the national parks.
We took a tour bus around downtown St. Louis and then got back on the road to Indianapolis.
We had to make an unplanned stop in Effingham, Illinois.  Remember, HR being potty trained.  Well, he told us he needed to go potty and we told him to hang on, except we forgot when the next rest area arrived.  A couple hours later I noticed not only had he had an accident, but I was gifted from his blue football cookie he snacked on the day before.
We arrived in Indy on day #2 after 17 hours of driving over the two previous days.

Friday, September 25, 2015

vacation, all I ever wanted

And we're off... our first family vacation.  This year we headed to Indianapolis for a training, some hands-on learning and some fun.  No trip is complete without a stop at our favorite Czech bakery,
where the kids got to pick out their first treat of the car ride.
 The kids did so great on the car ride.  We did our traditional gifts along the route.  Boo received a rhyming dictionary and she blessed us with poems for the trip.  R2 and HR opened Lego friends and LE got nail polish.
HR is now potty trained, and he stayed dry the entire day.  We made a second pit stop in Oklahoma where we played at a local park and the girls made new home schooling friends.  Then, back on the road to Carthage, Missouri, our first night stay courtesy of Hotels Tonight.  We had dinner at a diner on Route 66.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

B.B. club

The girls have joined 4H this year.  They are taking B.B. gun shooting.  Boo wasn't able to start at the beginning of the year b/c of her birthday.  LE did great, she is a natural according to Ben.
Boys beware.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


After Epoch, Ben and the kids traveled to Gigi and PopPop's to meet up with our cousins from Washington state.  They are moving to Atlanta and made a stop over at Gigi's.  "My how they have grown" - Landry.
Lots of giggling and memories made on the back porch.

Friday, September 18, 2015

the big 4-0

Ben has crossed over to the dark side, thankfully it was not that painful.  My younger man is now in his forties.
Recently he started wearing reading glasses and a few weeks ago he rolled his ankle.  He came down stairs in black socks with his glasses and using a cane telling me this is what the next forty years looked like.  I'll take it.
We celebrated with some friends at Stiles Switch.  I actually pulled off a surprise.
I love you, Ben.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

epoch '15

This was our second year to attend Epoch, our family weekend with our church.  It was the kick off to Ben's two week vacation.
We traveled to Highlands Lakes for our fun-filled weekend adventure.  Our biggest take-away was that our attitude should be that of Christ Jesus.  It could not have come at a better time since just four days later we would be in tight quarters as a family for the next eight days.  There was lots of opportunities to exercising loving like Jesus.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

first day of co-op

This past week was our first day of 2015 co-op.  This year the boys are in pre-k together.
LE is taking zoology, sign language (jr. high) and Story of the World (modern age).  Boo is taking zoology, cooking and Story of the World.
I am teaching zoology and assisting in SOTW.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

preschool owl dissection alternative

The boys got a cleaner, more sanitary version for dissecting owl pellets.
Yes, we are doing school in our jammies after bath time. I love to homeschool, no rules.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

dissecting owl pellets

In one of the early chapters of LHIBW, Grandpa is frightened by an owl.  I took the opportunity to introduce the girls to owl pellets.  I was met with all kinds of resistance, including that Daddy would do it from them b/c they could not touch owl vomit and it be safe.  About 10 minutes in, they were asking for more owl pellets to dissect.
L found three skulls in her pellet, but Boo hit the jackpot with this fully intact skull.  It even opened and closed.
In Boo's journal on Thursday morning, she said how surprised she was to enjoy dissecting.  Score.

Friday, September 11, 2015

LHOP Christmas

This past week, we had the "cousins" over for Christmas dinner after we read how the Ingalls celebrated Christmas with their cousins.  We had ham, baked beans, venison jerky, cornbread, rye bread, dried apples, carrots and water.  LE taught our friends how to throw the knife and tomahawk and of course we dressed in pioneer clothing.  We also jumped on the trampoline, played in the playscape, played with Littlest Pet Shops b/c it is 2015, you know.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

meeting baby Leah

This past weekend, the kids and I traveled to Wall to see our new cousin get baptized.  Actually, we drove to Wall to meet our baby cousin.  She is four months old, but our crazy life has and sickness has prevented us from getting to meet her each time we had an opportunity.
She is absolutely adorable, so talkative and expressive.  It was so weird for HR to not be the baby any longer.  I wish Wall wasn't so far away for a mini van ride with four kids.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015


In church this past month, we celebrated missions including sending a team to Kenya and preparing on how we could go send, pray or disobey.  We culminated the month with a shoe cutting party for Sole Hope.  I was asked to coordinate events for the children who were unable to participate and activities for after they shoe cutting portion was complete.
We cut out 220 pairs of toddler size 13 shoes to send to Uganda.  Our family cut out 4 pairs to protect little
feet from jiggers in Africa.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Happy Birthday to me

This past week, I had another birthday.  Why do they keep coming, I will never know.  I got to sleep a little later and Ben made my yearly breakfast tacos (without the tortilla this year).  I taught my Parkinson's class and they surprised me with a cake and flowers.  And then, I spent the afternoon at the Apple Genius Bar getting my phone fixed again.  I ran into an old friend also visiting the Genius Bar.  Then, I sat on the phone with technical support for an hour.  That was not the highlight of my day.
We had a fun family dinner at Cheesecake Factory and yes I indulged and had a piece of cheesecake (after the kids went to bed).  We are leaving for vacation in a few weeks, so presents will be in the form of activities together as a family.  

Friday, September 04, 2015

best buddy

This is the boy's best buddy, Charlie.  We think he is kind of a big deal in our household.  Love that we get to spend a warm Tuesday morning watching minnows in the creek with him and his siblings.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

End of an era

Last night was my last night to sneak out right after dinner, the last night to miss bath time and bed time stories.  For the first time in four and a half years I'll no longer be teaching my night classes.  I loved teaching those classes, such a great group of people.  I could play my loud music, push them a little harder and get my own workout in too. From that class four members went on to become fitness instructors.
I realized recently how time is fleeting and I didn't want to continue being out of the house two times a week, missing that time as a family.
Last night, lots of my regulars came out to wish my well, including three people who say I am the reason they are instructors and/or pursued a career at 24 Hour. I will miss this crew, but I know God has bigger plans.  I just need to trust Him, and I do.  I also turned in my notice for another class at the gym, so I will only be teaching one class a day, M-T and then leading a new boot camp beginning in Septembers twice a week.