"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mr Math!

Our "math teacher and tech support guy" is cuter than yours!!  . . . so thankful Kevin is willing to fill in these VERY vital roles in our homeschool, he does an INCREDIBLE job!  smile emoticon 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunny South Padre!

We are driving back home from a great week at South Padre Island. The kids are currently harmonizing in the back of the van ~ Maroon 5, Imagine Dragons and . . . Backyardigans (!) songs ~ even Emily! (but don’t tell her I told you) . . . They spent an hour or more bursting into belly laughs over the old home videos that Emily was sorting on her computer! Glorious moments. What a treasure listening to them laughing together ~ no bickering, no hurt feelings or harsh words, actually enjoying being together. I long for more of those moments in our everyday lives.

We’ve been looking forward to this trip for quite some time. We are on our third attempt (third time’s a charm? . . . ), having had to reschedule twice in the past few years. For over a year I’ve been selling things on eBay and stashing away “fun money” ($5 & $10 at a time) JUST for this occasion. The kids created a jar many months ago to start contributing to the “fun money fund” . . . they gathered a little over $100 in coins and $1 bills alone.

We were overdue for a road trip and long overdue for the beach! I love Colorado, but the beach is truly my “happy place” . . . the sand between my toes, the waves lapping the shore, the sandpipers scurrying, the seagulls soaring, the sun (aahhh! the sun!), the smell of salty ocean air, the relentless breeze, the moonlight dancing on the water, the horizon a distant ripple on a sea of waves. The solitude, the beauty, the big-ness of God manifest at the edge of the known. I. LOVE. The ocean.

Our trip thus far has been smooth in every regard. We left (on Kevin’s birthday) before sunrise, made good (drive) time, even with some rain. Emily shared in the driving rotation ~ we are still adjusting to that reality! (she did a great job). We stopped for the night at a hotel with an indoor pool and went out to eat (since it was Kevin’s birthday, we splurged and even went somewhere with silverware!) and then returned to the hotel to play in the pool. We woke up Sunday, ate Texas shaped waffles at our hotel and finished the second half of the drive. We arrived Sunday evening, found our timeshare (a very generous gift from my mom), checked in and went straight to the beach! (after everyone excitedly claimed their bed or corner - or closet! - and set up their spot for the week . . . ) Anticipation grew as the waves lapped the shore and the kids splashed about in the cold, salty water. Laughter, giggles . . . . unity. Beauty. Wow.

Since moving to Jellystone, it has been a challenge to get away, we used to go on road trips in the summer, it is now nearly impossible to go anywhere during the summer months.  Last year I became determined to change that ~ and we found a way to weave “mini road trips” into our summer . . . but an actual family vacation to the beach has been a long time coming . .. so I've been praying for this trip to “feel” like a summer vacation even though we had to do it during March.

It did!  smile emoticon

The weather actually exceeded my expectations! I’ve been praying, specifically for the weather, for several months – it has been rainy, foggy, cool and downright mucky much of the winter in SPI . .. until the day before we arrived! Thank you, Jesus, for caring about the little things . . . for this crazy blond chick with an abnormal obsession with the very mention of sunshine!

We allowed each of the kids to choose one “bigger” outing (in addition to the things we did as a family). Anna chose riding a horse on the beach, the boys all chose para-sailing and Emily chose jet-skiing. (Emily also bought herself a horse ride and joined Anna on her adventure). Each one of those experiences was wonderful . . . expertly staffed, excellently done and greatly enjoyed. One of our family adventures was a snorkeling/lunch cruise. Awesome choice! It was near perfect and a great introduction to snorkeling for the kids (and one of the best hamburgers I've ever eaten). Later in the week, we also enjoyed a sunset dolphin watching cruise. We went with one of the less expensive dolphin boats, but were in NO way disappointed, they did an awesome job finding the dolphins! It was great fun.

In addition to the “big stuff”, we enjoyed playing in the surf, walking on the beach, building sand castles, playing tennis, playing cards, playing in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub, watching “Dr Who” in the evenings, visiting the turtle rescue center, eating ice cream, taking night walks on the beach, kite flying, kayaking and canoeing (on the bay side of the island), exploring the beach with a metal detector, recreating photos from our last beach trip, eating seafood and Sushi (for Levi’s bday) and even making homemade donuts in our cute little kitchen.

I’ve spammed Facebook all week long with pictures of our adventures (sorry, probably went a bit overboard!) . . . but for those of you not on FB, here are a few (okay, more than a few!) of the highlights.

We plan to be back home later this evening and will likely hit the ground running - gearing up for Easter weekend activities at Jellystone, the arrival of baby goats, the home stretch of the school year and the ramping up for peak season at the campground.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Have Oils . . . Will Travel!

This is the first big road trip we've taken since I've become smitten with oils ~ WOW!, what a blessing they’ve been to have with us (you KNEW I was going to bring them along, right?!) From motion sickness to laundry stain spray and many things in between (bug bite relief, an injured arm, treating a strange rash, headaches, staying alert while driving, first aid, making the water taste better, helping in the aftermath of wheat I shouldn’t have eaten, etc). What a blessing! Love my Young Living oils! (I left the shelf at home . . . with the kitchen sink!   smile emoticon  but I brought the oils!)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Let them eat Pi

It only comes once in a century.  "Super Pi Day" . . . and here it is!  Let all math-heads, nerds and lovers of dessert unite!  The pie is gone, consumed on 3.14 15 at exactly 9:26:53.  Celebration complete . .. I can now go to bed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Semi psychotic, kale crazy dog!

This dog.  LOVES. Kale,  Sauteed kale.  I have NEVER met a dog who was as crazy about kale as this silly little 4 lb thing is.  Sorry, puppy ~ you are nearly irresistible, but you may NOT have my lunch, you already scarfed yours down.