Tuesday, June 24


"I think I can, I think I can," said that adorable little train.

I've always loved trains. I can remember playing on the floor in our house many years ago...pulling my trian along, but every so often, the train would hit a bump. I'd say, "Chugga, chugga, chugga, uh-oh!" Down the train would go and I'd have to pick up all the cars, put them back together and start the train ride over again. There is also a book that I love to read with the kids, "It's Fun Where Ben's Train Takes Him." In this book little Ben loves to draw trains and tracks for his train. Then he pretends all day long in his room where his train goes. It goes through fields near cattle, through a huge city, past large animals. And then, the end of the day comes and it is time for bed. The time has come to say good night.

Today, I feel as though I am pulling a train along. But this time, it's different. I am Ben. I've been drawing that train, my perfect train. I've laid down the tracks. We've been going chugga chugga, and there is the occassional "uh-oh." I've been on quite a ride and I know that I am not the driver...as much as I'd like to think that I am. I have no idea where this train ride is taking me, or my family for that matter. We've been preparing for homeschool and I've been excited about it all, but today, this train has turned into a freight train... Going FULL speed ahead!

There is so much to be learned! And it's not just the three younguns that will be doing the learning! I have a habbit of trying to do too much all at once and maybe trying to take things into my own hands. I am the Conductor - the one who takes the tickets, treats the wounds, handles the paperwork, and my office is the caboose. God is our Engineer - the overseer of all our operations, keeping our locomotive running.

As for Ben, the time has now come for me to begin to head to bed. It is funny where this train has taken us. It is a wonderful ride and I hope you all are enjoying your rides as well.

Wednesday, June 18

Week 2 - Around the World

Week two of our 12 weeks was fun as well. We picked up some books from the library for China, Italy, Egypt, Kansas, and Missouri. Let's just say that week two was a learning time for all of us. It didn't go quite as planned, but we still learned about those places. In my head, I had envisioned a grand week of tons of cultural activities! Well, what I learned is that (again) things don't always go as planned.

Monday we read our books about China and then planned a Chinese dinner - that went very well! Italy was about the same, we read about families that live in Italy and had Spaghetti for dinner. Wednesday, well, Wednesdays are always more busy. We did read about Egypt but I never went on line to figure out something that could be Egyptian. Maybe we will try that this summer still. (Besides, who says that we have to do cultural things just during that week!) Thursday, I had planned on taking the kids to Topeka, but gas prices are so high and we needed to save for Nashville week. Later on this summer we will do the capital trip. Friday, we got up and got ready to meet our homeschool group at the park. That was loads of fun! I
got to meet more moms and visit with some wonderful women. I also discovered a great math program that I will be using for Jonathan. The kids really had a great time with all the new friends. Alex was passed around and gave everyone great
smiles. Adie made a new friend her age and is excited to have little girls her age to play with. Jonathan really showed that he is getting older and gave me a surprise and a small fright! He got along well with the other kids and had a great time running around with them, but he still showed a tendancy of enjoying time alone as well. When it was time to sit down for lunch, I went over to where I had last seen him. He wasn't there. I looked for a few minutes and I couldn't find him. You
know my heart was racing. I continued to follow the stream (this was Cody park by the way) and found him down close to the tunnel that goes under the intersection. He'd been "fine" he says and he was just exploring! He had taken off his socks
and shoes and was getting his feet wet. We had a talk about safety and making sure to tell me where he's going to be. But I learned a lesson at that time as well, my boy is not a baby anymore. He can venture off and still be okay. It's hard
to let go of the first. (I guess it will be hard to let go of them all). I am just so glad that he didn't go around the whole world by himself!

We had a great time reading about other countries and the kids got a taste of things outside the USA. They are learning that there is more to the world that just the few states we've lived in and there are all kinds of people that God created.

Thursday, June 12


Mommy, I have a new tooth!

(that is both of my boys!)

That's right, both Jonathan and Alex showed a new tooth within two weeks of eachother!
Today, I noticed Alex's very first baby tooth. And about a week ago or so, Jonathan has a new one coming in behind his baby teeth (not a single lost tooth yet).

Tomorrow, we will be off for our Nashville trip. Goodness, time is getting away from me!

We enjoyed Around the World week. There are definitely a few things I will change for next time, but it was fun. Nashville week has been full of getting ready for the trip. The real stuff is coming this weekend!

I just finished a BIG job of uploading pictures from the camera. Now, when I come back, it will be the BIG job of posting albums and pics here and there!

So many wonderful things going on this summer!

Thursday, June 5

When they grow up...

Today, the kids said what they wanted to be when they grow up.

Jo -- "I want to go to college to play football."

Adie -- "I want to be a fixerman!"

Week 1 ... Parks!

Park week was fabulous! We really did have a great time. Alex and Adie are sleeping right now and Jo is working on some math flash cards. Meanwhile, as I'm sitting on the couch enjoying the peace, our cat is trying to catch a fly flying on the window behind me. It is quite funny, she is trying to climb up the blinds. If I could only catch it on camera! I will try, for now, to get in as much as possible about last week.

Anyway, okay, let me reach way back into my memory bank and pull all of this out. We started off with Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday we hung out at the house and then had some KS barbeque for lunch. It was pretty good. We ate Arthur Bryant's BBQ, if you ever get the chance to eat it, DO! After lunch, we headed out to Wyandot County lake park. It was pretty cool, and beautiful! We stopped at a small play ground and all had a turn on the swings, I slid down the tall metal slide (the kind I played on when I was five, back in Estancia). Yes, that was me! No one else would take the chance! Ha! It was envigorating to be a kid again! We looked at bugs and watched ducks and turtles play in the lake. We didn't stay too long, it had rained the night before and so it was pretty muddy. So we headed back home for a short rest. Then we headed off to Tonganoxie for a rodeo! F-U-N! The kids loved seeing the horses and bulls and Alex even had fun! When we got there, the stands were pretty full so we got to choose a seat down right next to the action. Oh, did I mention that this was an outside arena? Yes, we were outside (we've only been to inside arenas and got to sit in nice seats). So, with the rain the night before and all the mud, we got to see, and feel ,everything! Adie was so funny! She thought all the mud was poo! When the horses started coming near us, and the mud would spatter on everyone, she yelled out, "There's poo on me!" We all had a good laugh with that. We had the good ole' hot dogs and soda, and just had a great time kicking off summer with a great rodeo.
On Sunday after worship, we headed out to a baseball game. A few weeks ago, we discovered that not so many people were at the Sunday games right now, so we thought that might be a better day to go. So, we went and overall it was a great time, but our seats ended up being in the sun, right next to people sitting in the shade! The seats were so hot and it took over an hour for the sun to go down. But we really did have a great time. Jo is playing T-ball this summer so he was really in to all that was going on. We enjoyed dollar dogs and lots of lemonade. Alex wore his "All American Boy" baseball cap and Adie had her red, white, and blue on. We're looking forward to a few more games to attend this summer.
Monday, Jeff and Jo were both off. We stayed home and did some clean up and, in honor of park week, we went to a park for a little while. There is a park fairly close to us called Cody Park and it is really nice. It's got a great playground, a walking trail, the all important washroom, good seating for parents, and a nice little brook that runs right through the middle of it all. This day we discovered a great little area that is in the shade and is where the water comes from. I savored every moment with my family that day. Jeff and Jo were playing with the bat and ball, while Adie, Alex and I sat and watched the water come into the park (I'm really going to have to take a picture of it). We were in a corner, right under a street intersection. The creek runs under that intersection and pools up then continues flowing into the brook that goes through the park. Adie was throwing rocks, Alex was just wiggling trying to reach for the grass and rocks, and explore all he could! Adie then started making up a story about the cave. There is a monster that lives in there and we had to be quiet, so as to not wake it up! After a while, Jo and Jeff joined us and then Jeff taught us all how to skip rocks across the water. I was able to once and Jo and Adie are still working on it.

Tuesday, Jo had his last day of school. After school, we went to a park that was really cool. It was called David Brewer Park. It has a small soccer field, volley ball sand pit, walking trails, tennis courts, a great playground, a washroom, good swings, and a couple places to sit in the shade. The kids really liked this one, Jo voted it #1 and Adie voted it #2 (Cody is her fav).

Then, Wednesday, my baby graduated from Kindergarten!

Thursday, we went to two parks. Wollman Park was nice, but there wasn't a place to sit and watch the kids (sometimes I just need to take a break - especially while holding Alex), and it was pretty small. The one in Lansing (we didn't see a name) was okay. Pretty small, not a lot of shade, and NO washroom (a must for little girls newly potty trained!).

Friday, we went down to Bonner Springs and found a pretty cool park next to a sports complex. However, I couldn't find the washrooms! And the slides were broken.

Well, that was park week! Pictures will be posted for parks and graduation. Alex is awake now and I'm sure he'd like to eat! Oh, and he slept until 11:30 this morning! It was nice to have the morning with Jo and Adie! And! Jo is getting his first permanent tooth! He's growing up! He and Alex will be getting new teeth together this year!

Better go!

P.S. We voted Cody and David Brewer the #1s for the family. They are both pretty awesome and we could go for just one!