Family vacation

Last weekend (8/8-9) we went on a mini vacation.  Here’s how it all started: I was desperate to get out of the house at least a tiny bit this summer and Nick agreed we could do something.  However, Sophie hates her car seat and can’t go further than about an hour away so our options were limited.  We decided to splurge and stay one night at the Embassy Suites in Rogers and swim in the indoor pool – it was close to 100 degrees that weekend so an indoor pool was awesome!  We had a blast in the REALLY NICE hotel room and had fun eating out and just goofing off.  The hotel had a “shoppers package” where you get a $20 gift card to the local fancy outdoor mall so we used that to get the kids some stuffed animals (Thad got a snow leopard and Gwennie got a puppy) at the Build A Bear store.  They thought that was just the coolest thing!  The kids all slept GREAT after such an eventful day – praise the Lord!  We slept in and then went down to the breakfast which was amazing.  Cooked to order omelets, huge waffles, all sorts of goodies.  We swam some more then had to head home.  All in all it was a terrific mini vacation and we decided to make it a tradition.  Every August we’re going to come back for one night just before school starts for one last summer hurrah.

On that school note – we had Thad’s open house tonight and it went great.  His teacher was super sweet and the room is decorated in a beach theme which suits us perfectly!  Thad was so excited he was giddy.  I can’t believe he starts school Wednesday!  I’m so happy for him and sad for me.  It will be just us girls all day now.  It will be fun but just not the same without Thad.  He’s my little sweetheart, my helper, my snuggler, my little guy.  Okay, I’ve got to stop, I’m going to start crying.  Moving on – he asked me as we drove away from the school tonight, “What did you think about my class, Mom?”  I told him I LOVED it.  He said, “Me too!  And I really like my teacher!”  He’s going to be just fine!

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Florida vacation – Naval Air Museum

We just spent the morning touring the Naval Air Museum in Pensecola (spelling) Florida. Lots of fun stuff to see and we highly recommend coming to see it. Here are a few photos to mark the occasion.

Kansas City trip

A few weeks back I was able to take the family with me as I went on a busines trip to KC. As I went to training the three of them spent their days on the town, or swimming in the hotel pool. I am testing a photo loaded from my phone, there will be more photos to follow.
Quick add of another photo taken at a local fashion show our DaySpring crew attended during the training. As you can see, “baby” is coming into fashion.

What’s been up with us lately

Sorry we haven’t written and posts lately!  It’s been surprisingly (pleasantly) busy these past couple of weeks!  On August 9th, Thad and Gwennie were the flower girl and flower girl escort in our friend Jennifer’s wedding.  They did AWESOME!  I’ll have Nick post pictures very soon.  They smiled (giant, ear to ear, all teeth smiles!) for the pictures and loved their fancy outfits and walked down the isle smiling the whole way straight to their spots and waited patiently for the bride to be given away and then joined me on the front pew.  It was a very long wedding so we three snuck out during a song so the kids wouldn’t disrupt anything.  After the wedding was a gorgeous reception and Thad nursed a bottle of root beer but it looked kinda funny so people were taking his picture all night long.  Of course he’s NOT camera-shy so he lived it up!  Gwennie flirted with all the guys and we danced the night away!  All it all – it was a HUGE success and a total BLAST!  

The next week (last week I guess – everything’s kind of a blur) was ultra crazy!  On Tuesday I left for a work retreat and spent that night over by Beaver lake.  It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that in 5 years!  I’ve always been either pregnant or nursing – for 5 years!  Anyway, it was a great time but when I got home Wednesday afternoon I only had a couple of hours with the kids before I had to go over to Rogers (about an hour away) for graduate new student orientation and didn’t get home until late.  It was a LOT of work stuff for me in two days but lots of nice (paid!) hours.  Then on Thursday night I babysat for our candidate-at-the-time pastor.  It was a very enjoyable time but missed the kid’s bedtime for the 3rd night in a row.  On Friday the pastor’s kids came to play at our house and Thad and Gwennie made hopefully lifelong friends.  It was fun to see them make new friends that they may have forever.  I took lots of pictures for them to look back at.  Saturday was busy with more church activities with the pastoral candidate and their family.  Sunday was potluck and then we just came home and sat.  Ahh, some quality Olympics-watching time.  That night we got the word that the pastor had been invited and accepted and we are SO excited!  It’s been a long 18 months of searching and lots of search committee meetings for Nick.  Praise the Lord for such a happy ending!  

Now we’re gearing up for another crazy few weeks.  JBU is hopping, new undergrads arrive tomorrow, registration is Saturday!  DaySpring is busier than ever for Nick and on Monday he leaves for Kansas City for a 4 day trip.  Since he works at Quizno’s on weekends and will be on the business trip next week it will be 10 days in a row that he won’t be home to tuck the kids in.  I’m starting to feel like a single parent.  😦  I’m convinced that if we didn’t have the medical expenses that we have, then we wouldn’t still have all this student loan debt.  If only we could win the lottery without having to put the money in to play it!  Okay, pity party over.

Thad started “school” this week here at home.  I’m home-preschooling this fall and he’ll go to a preschool through the high school in the spring.  Gwennie has enjoyed the “school” too. September starts super crazy time for us.  I’ll be back working Wednesday mornings at CCF.  Every other Friday is my mommy Bible study.  Awana will be Sunday nights.  Thad might do soccer on Saturday mornings but that’s still up in the air.  It’s busy but we are very blessed to all be healthy and happy!  Praise the Lord for family, friends, and fun!

In a funk

So all day today I’ve just been in a FUNK!  It’s the first cloudy/rainy day in weeks (maybe months) and you’d think I’d be excited to not have to water the plants for once and have a break from the oppressive heat but that’s not the case.  My mood has been just funky.  And it took a MAJOR turn for the worse when one of my grad students complained about me.  I avoid confrontation at all costs but this was unavoidable.  In one fell swoop I felt thoroughly inadequate, picked-on, belittled, angry, heart-racing, shaky, accused, etc.  I go years without any complaints, rather thankfulness galore, and then three grad complaints (not all about me) in two weeks.  It was just more than I could handle and it broke this camel’s back.  My funky mood just got funkier!  Despite that mood life goes on and it was time for our usual Thursday morning Wal-Mart run.  I tried to stay as pleasant as possible for the kids and not take any of my frustration out on them.  It’s funny how when you’re in a funk it seems like all you get, everywhere you go, are evil eyes.  I let the kids walk instead of forcing them to ride in the cart and being the sweet little urchins they are, they hopped and pranced around the cart as I walked.  Nobody but me smiled.  In fact I had several people make rude comments about them being out of control and me having my hands full.  UGH!  I thought they were precious – everyone else thought they were awful.  I DON’T CARE!  But it does make me wonder if I can handle any more kids.  I’d love to have up to 4 kids and comments like that sure don’t give me any confidence.  All that to say – well, leaving Wal-Mart my funkier mood just got funkiest!  

And then it happened.  As we drove home from the store I played on my ipod/radio the instrumental version of Hush Little Baby which I’ve changed the words to and made it Gwennie’s song.  She relaxed so much she almost fell asleep.  Then I played the instrumental version of Rock a Bye Baby and sang Thad’s song (no I won’t sing for you, just the kids).  HE STARTED CRYING!!!!  I’ve sung this song to him at least once a day for 4 and a half years!  Today he heard it with the background music and just lost it!  I had to crack up and ask him what was wrong.  He said that it was just such a special song and he loved it when I sang it to him.  My heart melted!  Funk gone.

Family vacation day at Silver Dollar City

On Thursday, June 12th the four of us took a family vacation day to Silver Dollar City.  We had a blast!  We left super early in the morning, ate breakfast in the car, bought tickets at a special discount ticket place that saved us almost $50, and booked it to the park for a fun-filled day.  First we went through the cave which is always amazing.  Then we went to the Veggie Tales show and that was just plain cute.  We rode on a couple of kids rides and ate our sack lunches – that’s me and Thad on the “Dumbo” ride.  Thad was SO brave and tried the flying elephants, the roller coaster ships, the giant swings, and the tea cups – all medium-size rides for bigger little kids.  He did great and loved every minute of it!  Gwen was 2 inches too short and green with envy – maybe next year punkin!  She was able to ride the very little kid rides and loved all of those – the hopping frogs and the flying butterflies.  Then we went to the ice circus which was a little cheesy but it was super cool in the auditorium and a great place for Gwen to rest a bit.  The kids liked it and that’s all that matters!  Then we walked around the park and saw all the super big kid rides and dreamed about going on those someday.  I think both kids will take after their mommy and like to ride the roller coasters!  We ended the day with a stop by the petting zoo where Gwennie got a huge kick (no pun intended) out of the goats.  They loved her too!  We stopped by McDonald’s for happy meals before heading home.  It is a two and a half hour drive one way and we thought for sure the kids would sleep the whole way home but they ended up laughing hysterically the WHOLE time!  I don’t know what got into them but they just kept cracking each other up!  Everything the other one did made the other one laugh.  It was a hoot and a great end to a great day!

Thad’s poem about a bug

“Once upon a time there was a little bug.

He liked to stand on a rug.

One day he saw a little girl.

On her head were lots of curls.

He bit her on the knee.

Because he was a FLEA!”

 

Again, sticking with the bug theme from the library.  This time we had to write a poem about a bug.  Thad came up with the first line all by himself.  Then I encouraged him to come up with a word that rhymed with bug and he said rug.  Then he came up with the second line again all by himself.  The third line was his too and I helped him come up with a word that rhymed with girl.  The 4th line was pretty much all me.  The last two lines were all his though!  I was SO proud!  We had fun doing it too.  Gwennie (the most verbal of us all) stood and watched us like we were speaking a foreign language.  Her expression cracked me up!  Hope you are all enjoying your summers!