Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating Easter


I have to say that this is the best Easter we have ever had as a family. The weather was beautiful all weekend and we spent all of our time together outside playing games and just hanging out. I couldn't have asked for a better day spent with my family.

We spent Saturday evening coloring Easter eggs. Kyndal and Collin joined in and Dawson stepped up to make a Pokemon and Spiderman egg.


We got up bright and early so the kids could check out their Easter baskets before I had to go to early service at church to play bells.


The Easter Bunny usually brings video games and dollars for the Easter baskets. A family favorite was Frozen on dvd.

Then we celebrated our risen Savior at church. My kids in Sunday school helped hide eggs for the younger kids, and I played bells in service. It's always so great to look out and see my whole family filling a pew.


We came home from church and the kids hunted Easter eggs.


Then we went to my parents' for a family fish fry. My grandma and uncle joined us, as well. We played a few games outside as a family and just hung out and ate and enjoyed the day.

My WHOLE family

And my original one

I am one blessed mom

My sister and nieces

Grandma and Papa with the grandkids, minus Bell who is in South America.

The big cousins. We have this same picture of them as they have grown up.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ End of Our Break


Sadly our Spring Break has come to an end. We took this week as a vacation from our vacation, and it was just what we needed! But next week we start the final weeks of our school year. Only two more weeks left!

The Past Week in our Regular Life

Life this week consisted of sleeping in, lounging in pjs, and resting up for our final couple of weeks of school before our next break. I finished up my church handbell choir practices for the year and Brynne started softball practices. Otherwise, we just enjoyed a quiet week at home.

The Schooling Basics

We didn't do any school work this week, with the exception of Eli picking up his book to read one morning. I promised the kids we wouldn't do any school work and I stuck to my promise. This was a true week off!

The Schooling Fun Stuff

The only thing we had on our schedule this week regarding school was our final Lewis and Clark class at the library. I gave the kids the option of whether or not they wanted to go and they did. They graduated and received certificates of completion. They will start a new class in a couple of weeks on gardening. It will meet once a week through the summer and into fall.


The Kitchen

Spaghetti, tacos, and pizza for dinner (none of which I can really eat.) But for breakfast and lunch I have been trying to get back on track on my healthy eating. I have stuck to eggs in a mug, steel cut oats with berries, asparagus with turkey and melted cheddar cheese, chicken salad, and tilapia with brown rice and black beans. They are easy lunches and healthy.

The Days Ahead

We are back to regular school this week with softball practice in the evenings. Then next weekend we are taking Eli and Brynne to their state bowling tournament.

The Books We are Reading

Mom: Fly Away (finished) by Kristin Hannah, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Living So That by Wendy Blight.

Brynne: A Surprise for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Eli: Big Nate: In the Zone by Lincoln Peirce.

Read Aloud:  The Raft by Robert Trumbull.

The People and the Places

We had the BEST weekend with lots of family time. It was one of my favorites! We had some teenage boys over on Friday for hot dogs and s'mores on the fire pit. On Saturday we bowled and went to our town's egg hunt and then played outside as a family for a couple of hours. 


Then today we went to church, had our egg hunt at home and opened our Easter baskets, then went to my parents' for lunch and more outside play time. I'll be posting all about our Easter tomorrow.


The Savings Jar(s)

I put $9.63 in the change jar this week!

The Bible in a Year

I am not completely caught up on my Bible reading, but I am getting there. I should be completely caught up and back on track by the end of the weekend. I am currently reading 1 Samuel.

The Favorite Things

The girls and I have been doing a little dreaming and planning for an upcoming event. It has been fun and a little stressful at the same time. It's going to be life-changing in the best of ways.


Linking up





Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Thumbs Up


We just finished our MUCH-DESERVED Spring Break trip to Florida and are now back home in Missouri. It was a perfect week and we are sad it's over, but are looking forward to our final Spring Break week at home. Good thing we have no plans because it's supposed to snow today??? What?

The Past Week in our Regular Life

We left our house last Friday afternoon and drove two hours to spend the night at our friend's house. Then we were up at 3:30 a.m. ready to leave for our trip. We had a very good drive considering we were piled in one car with five kids. There were lots of movies watched and snacks eaten.


One of the kids has asthma and he was having some troubles at the beginning of the trip. Then Brynne arrived in Florida with a sore throat and a fever. She had a very fitful night of sleep that first night and ran a low-grade fever all day on Sunday. They spent the first day on the couch playing Minecraft. But after that they were both all better and ready to have a fun vacation.


The Schooling Basics

NONE. The End.

The Schooling Fun Stuff

We did log some school hours this week! We spent 3 hours at the National Naval Aviation Museum.


We spent 2 hours at Mess Hall - an interactive Science museum.


We watched a practice show of the Blue Angels and got autographs and talked with them.


We spent many hours wave jumping. (If you don't think that's P.E. then you have never jumped waves.)


We toured Fort Pickens.


And we stopped by the pier to chase the pigeons and look at the boats.


The Kitchen

Jodi and I made a specific meal list and stuck to it this week. It was nice to share the kitchen and meal preparations with a friend. We may or may not have sipped a few glasses of wine.


The Days Ahead

This week we are on vacation from our vacation. We are taking off this week from school and just getting the house reorganized. Brynne has softball practice a couple of evenings this week, we have bowling on Saturday, and Easter is Sunday.

The Books We are Reading

Mom: Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (finished), Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, Living So That by Wendy Blight.

Brynne: A Surprise for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Eli: Big Nate: On a Roll by Lincoln Peirce (finished), Big Nate: In the Zone by Lincoln Peirce.

Read Aloud:  The Raft by Robert Trumbull.

The People and the Places

We had such a great time with these people this week!


The Savings Jar(s)

I put $5.30 in the change jar.

The Bible in a Year

I did not read my Bible each day this past week. But this week I will be reading two days' worth each day to get caught up.

The Favorite Things


Rick surprised the kids by coming home on Saturday evening to greet them when we walked in the door. They didn't know he was in the house and when they saw him they pounced on him! Brynne just sobbed and sobbed. They love their daddy so much and were so happy to see him.

Kyndal and Dawson were awesome while I was gone and I came home to a clean house. I was so grateful to them.


Linking up





Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Days of …. Missouri - Quirky Places {Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop}


I have had a lot of fun sharing my home state of Missouri with you this week. I have shared all of the fun things to do in St. Louis, Kansas City, and the Ozarks. I have filled you in on a couple of remarkable historic landmarks in the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and childhood home of Mark Twain. But today I thought I would tell you about some of those quirky places that you might want to pull over to see if you are traveling through the state.

Here are a few of my favorites on the Roadside America list of Missouri Tourist Attractions and Oddities:

Big Chair in Branson, Missouri (there are several things in Branson .. it is a quirky town!).


Precious Moments Park and Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.


Jim Brown's Gas Station in Center, Missouri.


Oldest Continuously Operating Motel on Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri (heck, just drive the old historic Route 66!).


Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline, Missouri.


Beverly Hillbillies car at Ralph Foster Museum in Point Lookout, Missouri.


And there is even one right near our stomping grounds … and I didn't even know about it … You can spend the night in a train at the Cruce's Cabooses Bed and Breakfast outside Calhoun, Missouri. Well how do you like that?


I hope that you have enjoyed your trip through Missouri this week, and hopefully we will see you here soon!


Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers joining in on this blog hop. Specifically, I would love it if you would visit some of my good friends …

Dusty @ The Moon and Back ~ Five Days of Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ Five Days of Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Five Days of Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Five Days of Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Five Days of Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Five Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: Where Life Happens ~ Five Days of Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ Five Days of A Christ-Centered Home

April Blog Hop

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Days of …. Missouri - Historic Landmarks {Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop}



Are you looking for a little history while in Missouri? There are several historic sites, but two in particular would be worth a special trip.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum

Mansfield, Missouri, is home to Rock Ridge Farm, better known as the Laura Ingalls Wilder House. It is the home that Laura and Almanzo built and resided from 1896 until her death in 1957 and where she wrote the Little House books. The home is one of the few surviving structures where Laura actually lived and is now a museum honoring her.


The Museum and grounds are open from March 1st to November 15th. You can visit:
  • The homes
  • The Rose Wilder Lane museum
  • The Rocky Ridge Bookstore
  • Laura's Vegetable Garden


While you are in Mansfield, and if you love gardening, stop by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I have heard it is quite a site to behold! They specialize in preserving 19th century seeds including Asians and European varieties.


Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

Hannibal, Missouri, is where Mark Twain lived and was the inspiration for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. There is a several structure museum and Mark Twain's boyhood home. You can even see the white picket fence bordering the home. A ticket to the full exhibit includes admittance into the following:
  • The Interpretive Center
  • Mark Twin's Boyhood Home and Garden
  • Boyhood Home Gift Shop
  • Huckleberry Finn House (real home of "Huck Finn" [Tom Blankenship])
  • Becky Thatcher House (real home of "Becky Thatcher" [Laura Hawkins])
  • J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office (where Mark Twin's father was a judge)
  • Grant's Drug Store (where the family lived for a while and where Mark Twain died)
  • Museum Gallery
  • Tom and Huck Statue
  • Seasonal productions 

These are definitely two trips that my kids and I will be taking in the future. In fact, we are doing a full year study on Little House on the Prairie starting in the fall, so a trip to Mansfield will be imminent.


Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers joining in on this blog hop. Specifically, I would love it if you would visit some of my good friends …

Dusty @ The Moon and Back ~ Five Days of Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ Five Days of Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Five Days of Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Five Days of Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Five Days of Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Five Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: Where Life Happens ~ Five Days of Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ Five Days of A Christ-Centered Home

April Blog Hop

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five Day of …. Missouri - The Ozarks {Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop}



For today's tour of Missouri, we are meandering through The Ozarks.

The Ozarks encompass a large stretch of land in Southeast Missouri. If you are looking for some lake and country fun, it would fit the bill for you. Today I will be taking you through Springfield, Branson, and the Lake of the Ozarks.

Springfield, Missouri

Springfield is a quiet city with its claim to fame being the home of the original Bass Pro Shops. We lived there for seven years and even though it is a fantastic city wherein to reside and raise a family, Bass Pro Shops is about the only touristy thing there is to do there. Really. I only mention Springfield because if you are going to Branson and are into the fishing/hunting/outdoors thing, then it's worth a short drive to Springfield to see it. While at Bass Pro Shops, it's worth a look at the Wonders of Wildlife museum and lunch at Hemingway's is first-rate.


And in between Springfield and Branson you will find Lambert's Cafe: Home of the Throwed Rolls. You will definitely want to stop there to eat. You choose an entrée and the waiters bring around all kinds of southern foods and plop them down right in the middle of your table on a paper towel. You will have fried potatoes, fried okra, and all other manners of fried food. Then if you want a roll, you catch the attention of the roll thrower and they zing it across the restaurant to you. It is very entertaining and the food is awesome!

Branson, Missouri

Missouri's greatest tourist attraction would have to be Branson. It's like the mini-Vegas of Missouri, without the gambling. The streets are lined with amphitheaters with all manners of shows, from second rate country singers, to magic shows, to gospel shows, to much more. You will find Silver Dollar City, White Water water park, a gazillion hotels to fit every style, and shops, shops, and more shops. Branson is not really my cup of tea. But I know people who go several times a year for the food and to take in the shows.


Here is sampling of what you will find:

The Titanic Museum
Showboat Branson Belle
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede
Legends in Concert
The Shepherd of the Hills

There are as many restaurants as things to do in Branson, but a fun restaurant I have enjoyed is Mel's Hard Luck Diner. It is a 50's inspired restaurant with burgers and shakes and the wait staff and cooks sing 50's hits throughout your meal. It's a fun place to go!


Lake of the Ozarks

Now this is what I enjoy. In fact, my parents have a small house right on the lake and we go several weekends a summer. I am not much into adventure boating, skiing, and the like, but I love a relaxing day at the lake. You can stay in resorts, such at Tan-Tar-A or Lodge of the Four Seasons. You can rent a condo or cabin on the water. Or you can just get a hotel. The watersports are endless from boating, to fishing, to jet skiing, to water blobbing, to parasailing. There is absolutely no short of fun things to do on the lake. Restaurants on the water are a lot of fun and can get pretty wild, so be cautious if you take your young kids there on a Friday or Saturday night.


Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers joining in on this blog hop. Specifically, I would love it if you would visit some of my good friends …

Dusty @ The Moon and Back ~ Five Days of Babywearing
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy ~ Five Days of Spring Studies
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs ~ Five Days of Essential Oils
Annette @ A Net in Time ~ Five Days of Science
Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Five Days of Frugal Fitness
Meg @ Adventures with Jude ~ Five Days of Homeschooling from the Kitchen
Lori @ At Home: Where Life Happens ~ Five Days of Favorite Books
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker ~ Five Days of A Christ-Centered Home

April Blog Hop