Friday, June 28, 2013

Little House Afternoon

As a child, I had visited several of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homes! My Mom read the books aloud to us and I've reread them a bunch of times since and then enjoyed reading them aloud to my children. This summer, we completed our reading of the entire series together! What fun we've had and I wanted to cap it off with a trip to one of the homes on our "way" home. It isn't technically on the way but I sort of made it on the way!

We enjoyed a nice afternoon stop in quiet Mansfield, Missouri. Beginning with a picnic lunch - thanks to my Mom and Grandma for the picnic fare and sweet Katie for the plates!

Here's a funny story from our picnic! During one of our road trips, my Dad was filling the car with gas and washing the windows. He saw a bright green bug and picked it up to move it off the car and it made a loud funny noise at him. Of course, then he picked it up again and showed it all around - we've had fun mimicking the noise ever since. Well, one hopped onto my plate during lunch. Can you believe I took a picture of a bug? Me neither - only for you Dad!

Ewww - ok, I have the creepy crawlies feelings now - gotta change the subject!

You can't take any pictures of anything inside - but here are a few pictures of our fun times!

Of course, none of the Little House series actually takes place at this home site - but it was still neat to see where she wrote so many of her books! We loved seeing Pa's fiddle and Emily loved seeing some of Mary's handcrafts that she made after she was blind. We saw the plate and some of the silverware that were saved from the fire and the clock that Almonzo had bought for their Christmas present.

When our family came in my childhood, this was the only home you could visit. They have since purchased back the home that Rose {their daughter} had built for them just over the ridge. Again, no interior pictures allowed, but wow - was it quiet and peaceful there!

What a fun ending to our reading of the series and a great break in our day of driving!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garden and Lego Sculptures

16 states and 4500 plus mile later - we are now home and have had a wonderful adventure! Today begins photos of our trip home - we started out in Kansas City seeing more my Aunt, Uncle and Grandma. We went to a neat garden that was featuring Lego Sculptures! Few words and many photos today!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mama Retreat: Remain Strong

After a second Spring of feeling completely overwhelmed, I finally realized something. I start out the school year feeling fresh and organized and on top of things. I put a lot of systems in place and I am diligent in maintaining them. As the year goes on, I get lax about things or a child is sick or we just have a busy season or all of those and I get to feeling snowed under and unable to catch up or manage well.

Summer is a time of refreshing, of reflecting and making good plans for the coming year. Since I'm here again now - I want to be diligently praying to remain strong this year. Yes, I will be facing the same situations or other challenging ones - but I want to prayerfully be diligent in maintaining as many good systems and routines in my home as possible.

It is easy to think I need a new system or many new systems for home and family and school management. But truly all I need is perseverance and diligence to maintain the ones I have already found to work for us.

Coming from a mama who struggles with this - remain strong mamas, the fruit will be bountiful.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Backyard Campout

We continued our fun tradition of camping out in the backyard! Last year, my Dad slept outside with all the young campers so this year my Mom and I took the honors!

My Mom had a brilliant idea to bring the mattress from the hide-a-bed out for she and I to sleep on! Hooray for a good and comfy night sleep and camping out? Yes please!

Dad was the Chow Cook for dinner - no outdoor fires {for obvious reasons} right now but gas grills are allowed, so we did what we needed to do!

Watching little hands wash, rinse and dry the dishes in tubs of water outside did this Mama heart good! Huge bonus: they LOVED it and in excitement asked if they could do that every night. Um, sure!

Next up: S'more's!

A little admiring of the Colorado beauty, a couple of rounds of Uno and story time and then it's bed time!

After a good sleep, the traditional find-your-own-breakfast-hunt was on! They hunted for hot chocolate packets, cereal and juice. Now, prepare yourselves for completely adorable-ness. My Mom wanted to make pancakes and the table was out in the yard away from the needed outlet so my Dad suggested the little red wagon and Grammie's Chuckwagon.

Sooooo much fun!