Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

What's a phrase your mother often said to you? If you're a parent, is this something you now say to your own children?

"Things always happen for a reason." I do say this, or something similar to this, to my kids quite often. I want them to always know that God has His plan and this particular thing that is happening is part of that plan.

What is a scent you associate with your mother or your childhood home?

Mowed grass. My mom was always persistent about keeping our yard mowed. Since we were outside playing a lot I could always smell the freshly cut grass. She still compulsively mows her yard so her house smells that way in the spring and summer even today.

What's an activity you remember always doing with your mother (or someone who was a mother figure in your life)?

Going "to town" was a big deal to us as kids. The nearest shopping places were over 30 miles away, and that was a long way back in the day. It was a special occasion if we went to town shopping. I loved it. It's still something my mom and I like to do together.

Flared jeans, maxi dresses, and jumpsuits are 70's fashion trends back this spring. Are you on board? Which trend would you be most inclined to try?

I would prefer for flared jeans to stay away. But I am wearing a maxi dress to my son's graduation and another one to my daughter's beach wedding, and I am wearing a jumpsuit to my daughter's bachelorette party. I love those styles!

May 6th is Teacher Appreciation Day and also Nurse Appreciation Day. Is there a nurse or teacher you have especially appreciated along the way? Tell us why.

My favorite teacher was my high school English and Speech teacher, Mrs. Rhodes. She loved the subjects that she taught, which is hard to find in a teacher these days. She is the reason why poor grammar drives me crazy today. Sadly she passed away from a heart condition a few years ago.

If I came by your house, what would I find on your fridge door?

You would find nothing on my fridge door. On the side of my fridge, however, you would find two newspaper clippings: one of my kids at a cooking demonstration at the library and one of Kyndal and I competing in the 3-legged race at our 4th of July festivities last summer.

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana made her royal entrance on Saturday, May 2nd. On a scale of 1-10, how much attention did you give to all the news coverage? 1=Who's Charlotte? 10=Sat glued to the telly, cuppa in hand.

I'd say a 3. I saw on the internet that she had been born, and I kept an eye out for her name. Otherwise I didn't follow the story any further. Love her sweet name, however, and am happy she was a healthy baby.

Insert your own random thought here.

I feel like such a legit fitness guru now because I got a Fitbit for Mother's Day!! It is so super cool! I now know that last night I slept for 6 hours and 54 minutes, 8 of which I was actually awake (a sneezing dog) and 39 of which I was restless (14 separate periods of restlessness ... a sneezing dog, I assume). It tracks my heart rate, how many steps I have taken that day, how many calories I have burned. And the really super cool feature is that it is synced to my phone so when I am away from my phone the Fitbit vibrates and tells me who is calling me. My kids love that because now it might mean that I will actually answer them when they call. Thank you Rick and kiddos for loving me!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Chat

As Leslie at Time Out for Mom is obsessed with some particular super heroes, this week on Tuesday Coffee Chat she says ... Tell me about something you think is super.

School breaks are super super! We are on our May break now and it feels so good! Of course we are busy, busy, busy (which is why we take our break in May), but it is so nice to not have to really think or plan for a while.

What do our days look like?

I am still up early each morning because Macie comes to stay with us while her mom is at work until midday. But after I get Dawson's lunch made and get him out the door to school I can sit on the couch and drink a few cups of coffee and get caught up on my computer work.

The kids sleep in, of course, and pretty much drag out of bed whenever they feel like it.

Kyndal and I are still working out every day, but we now have the luxury to do it whenever it fits best into our day. Today we are working out at 9:30 a.m. because my mom and I are starting a purge in my house promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Yes, I have time now to do all those things in my house that have needed to be done for ages! I finally broke down and called in my uber-simplifying mother to come help me purge to get our house as simple as possible. I need extra help in finding places for all that stuff we have that has no home except in a pile. That is the real downside of living in a turn-of-the-century home (the century being the 20th one) ... there are very few closets or storage options.

It is free city clean up days until tomorrow afternoon so I have today and tomorrow to purge so I can get rid of any junk we have. We are also participating in Brynne's Girls on the Run service project today which is a rummage and bake sale to raise money for a teacher who has had a major surgery. Anything we no longer need or want can be donated to the rummage sale, but it is this afternoon! Gotta get busy today!

And I have to bake something for the bake sale. A certain little girl volunteered me to donate something.

After the purge I will spend my days this month cleaning out closets, switching winter and summer clothes, reorganizing dressers, etc. Always something to do!

Evenings are spent going to softball practices, softball games, family dinners, bike rides, frisbee games, etc. We are always doing something!! Eventually I get the kids back in the house, bathed, fed, and ready for bed. And then I collapse.

Somewhere in here I would like to read a few books. I have been in a reading slump and I have three I want to have read by the end of the month. And I have loads of shows backed up on my DVR that need watched.

And then there are the weekends. This weekend we are going to Jefferson City, Missouri, to tour the capitol and then the kids are bowling in the state bowling tournament. Last year their team was the state champion for their division, so they have a title to defend!

Next Sunday Dawson graduates from high school. He is a pretty low-key guy and does not want any hoopla (no parties, receptions, etc.). So we will just watch him graduate and then we are going out to eat as a family. It will be such a great day of celebration as he closes this chapter of his life and starts a brand new one!

Then just five days later we will all gather to witness Kyndal and Colln say 'I do' at their legal family wedding ceremony. They want to make it legal in the states before they get married on the beach in Cozumel on May 26th. On May 23rd our family is all leaving for our vacation to witness that awesome day!

So .... where in the world would we fit in school with all of this activity? Summer breaks are SUPER! (and absolutely necessary!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Running our First 5K

Yesterday our family ran in its first 5K for a program called Girls on the Run. It was such an amazing day!! Eli and Kyndal ran the 1 Mile Fun Run together while Rick, Brynne and I ran the 5K. I had my best time at 34.27. Rick hung back with the girls, encouraging them and the moms we know running the race, and he finished at about 39 minutes. Brynne finished at 49 minutes with her friends. It was a crazy exciting experience!

After the race the kids were treated to a swimming party. Running the race was why I was there, and supporting my girl. Brynne was there for the friendships made.

I was so proud of myself for reaching my goal, and so proud of Brynne for her commitment to Girls on the Run. She has put her whole heart and soul into it, even on the upcoming community service project her group is doing to raise money for a teacher who has had some significant surgery. She is a great girl! And I was so happy to have Rick there with us, supporting his little girl. There were very few dads present, and it means the world to our kids to have their daddy be involved in their activities. Plus he's always a lot of fun. And .. this crazy fella won the bronze medal in his division!!

I love our family and how we support each other. It made me happy to hear Kyndal tell of her and Eli's experience there supporting our girl in the one mile run, and to see them waiting for us at the finish line. I couldn't have asked for a better family event.

Girls on the Run is a fantastic program, and if you ever get a chance to participate in one of its events I encourage you to do so.

"Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large." ~ GOTR website

Saturday, May 2, 2015

First Day ~ May

Our first day of May was a fun and full day! It was our last official day of school and we went on a great field trip to the Truman Dam called Pioneer Days. On the grounds there are authentic cabins and  other buildings from the late 1800's. There are local homesteading families that come and demonstrate different ways of doing things from pioneer days, and it's just a really fascinating and fun thing to experience. We had perfect weather, and it was the absolute best way to end our year of studying with Prairie Primer.

A sunny start to the day!

Those loud black birds!

Mmmmm .... my morning coconut blended hazelnut coffee.

And some oatmeal.

So cool to see the wool yarns hand-spun.

The late 1800 antiques were beautiful.

Brynne and her good homeschooling friend watching for turkey vultures over the lake.

Eli at the map of the Truman Lake.

Checking out all the fishing boats.

Getting instructions on spinning wool.

The view over Truman Lake was beautiful.

A view of the dam through the viewfinder.

Eli comparing this dam to Hoover Dam. Quite a difference!

Brynne actually loved all of the sewing activities.

This cabin actually housed Jesse James for one night.

The table in a period cabin.

The fireplace.

The sleeping quarters upstairs.

And the "kitchen".

This was all so peaceful that I could totally live like this.

Watching lace be made. Fascinating!

I honestly don't know how they do this!

Brynne did a little four-strand braiding.

The kids got to go through the general store.

Eli gave the day a thumbs up!

Jacob's Ladder. Lot of fun!

The kids got one last school lesson.

This school marm was really informative and friendly.

A demonstration of preserving fruits and vegetables.

This is a real homesteading family demonstrating how to
make soap and wash clothes.

I think I'll have Brynne start doing the laundry!

Ohhhh .... authentic kettle corn. It's amazing when it is fresh and warm!

Because of that I needed to take a walk when I got home.

The kids needed to get back to the electronics of the 21st century.

And I have to admit I enjoy watching my shows, too.

On our way to dinner that evening. Rick wasn't wanting
his picture taken.

Kyndal and I are always up for a selfie.

We ate big in anticipation of our 5K the next day. Yummy!

What's a date night without a trip to Walmart?

You can join Nicole at Journey to Josie each month with your First Day photos.