Thursday, July 31

Where'd It Go???

Okay, this just isn't right. Today, I was planning out August and September. Unbelievable!

Synopsis for the summer...
Zoom!!!! Everything was great. We did have our planned out weeks and most of the time it worked, but...
The planning wasn't there. The themes were great, but I was still on the edge of my seat with planning. I now what to do next summer (maybe...)

There was a campout, swimming, we did go to the fountains, a farm, talked about planes, made paper helicopters, played with bubbles, the water hose, water balloons. It was a fantastic summer.

Now, we are getting ready for school.

Oh, wait. There are a few new developements with us. #1: Jonathan has been typing his own blog. #2: Our neighbors are moving...they've been so good and now we need to pray for the new ones to be good! #3: VBS was a complete success! #5: Alex is beginning to get very mobile! Not officiall crawling (unless he does it when I'm not looking;) ) #4: Oh yeah, and we have a dog. No - a puppy.

I am now the proud mother of 5 beatiful children! Our newest addition is Ella. Our neighbors got her a few weeks ago and after two weeks, discovered that their 2 1/2 yr-old daugher is alergic. It was quite sad. They searched for a new family but couldn't find one and all the "safe" shelters were full. Jeff has such a heart for dogs, and I do too, we couldn't help ourselves. Now, we have a black cat and a black lab/mix. She is mostly lab and so adorable! She was born May 17, so that makes her almost 11 weeks! I'll tell you, it is like having twins in the house! With Alex moving around so much, EVERYTHING goes to the mouth! He AND Ella see every little crumb on the floor and want to eat it! They both litterally will put anything in the mouth. They both take about two/three naps a day and love to be outside. We love taking Ella on walks and do that about 3-4 times or more a day. She has to have her exercise or things just go nuts in the house! I've got a picture that I was about to upload. But the puppy is asking to be let out, so I better go!

Talk with you all later!

Friday, July 18

Week 3 - Nashville

Good ole Tennessee!
Week three was wonderful! The first part of the week was spent getting prepared for our trip and planning everything involved. In a nutshell, Nashville week included more books from the library (a trip there on Wednesday for story time); planning our days of travel; a night and morning in St. Louis; seeing grandparents, aunts, ncles, and cousins; four states; a cruise down the river; Tennessee state museum; Tennessee capital; swimming; and learning Tennessee state songs; and an excursion through the "Land Between the Lakes." (I wanted to also include Jefferson City, MO - another capital, but time just didn't permit)

Friday, after the kids and I loaded up the van and Jeff got home from work, we hit the road and headed for St. Louis! This was exciting for Jeff and me because St. Louis was the first major stop for us on our honeymoon. We were thrilled to show
the kids the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River. We arrived in St. Louis around 8 pm and got settled into our hotel. We stayed downtown, right across the street from the arch and got to see lots of fun things right from our window. We saw
horses with carriages on the streets. We all wanted to take a ride, but it was so late by the time we got everything into the room, we decided to wait till the next day. (Well, they weren't available before we left, so we missed out on that one)
There was also a Cardinals game going on and we could see the stadium and hear the fans from our room. So, we sat and watched out the window. We couldn't see the game, but it was fun to see all the red. Jonathan was pretty dissapointed that we couldn't go to the game, but I think he still thought it was cool to be so close to their stadium. Jeff and I finally got the kids settled into bed and headed to bed ourselves.

Saturday morning, we woke up and there was fog outside. It was beautiful! I took a few pictures from the windows, there is an album that you can go see everything. We had brought a cooler with us that had things for sandwiches and cereal and lots of fruit. So, that morning, we had cereal in our room. It was kind of nice to not have to worry about finding fast food on the entire trip down there. After we got all cleaned up, and our things back to the van then checked out, we headed out to explore downtown St. Louis! We walked over to the Cardinals stadium and took several pictures there. We also saw some pretty fountains. Then, to end it all, we walked over to the arch and spent time down in the museum. That was fun and the kids enjoyed it. We did not go up into the arch (that will have to be in about 10 years I think), nor did we watch the Louis & Clark film. But Jeff and I did talk about making another trip in about 10 years when all the kids are old enough to really get a lot out of it. There is so much more to St. Louis that I wish we could have discovered, but I'm looking forward to the day we go back. Before we left town, we had to take the kids down to the Mississippi River. You can't go to St. Louis and NOT touch the Mississippi! So, we walked up the hill, and we saw the river, FLOODED! It was definitely higher than it was the last time we were there.

When we were done experiencing St. Louis, we headed down to TN. It was a fabulous road trip. Everything between here and there is so beautiful! When we got to Nashville, it was beginning to get dark so we didn't get to see all that much. Sunday morning, we woke up and went to church services. That day and Monday we enjoyed time with the family. Monday afternoon, the five of us went to a place called the Hermitage. It is the home of President Jackson. I think it'd be a great place to check out on line (although I haven't yet). We learned quite a bit with just the short visit we had there. We didn't get to spend as much time as we wanted to there because we were going to meet the rest of the family for a dinner cruise on a show boat. The ride on the boat was fun. Jonathan soaked it all in. We had given the kids fun savers so they could take pictures at their level, things that they thought were cool. Jonathan and I walked around the boat for a while and he just took shot after shot. Some of the pictures turned out to be really good. I'm working on getting those uploaded soon. For dinner, the food served was delicious. There was roast beef, chicken, green beans, potatos (the best tasting ever!), and
bread. Dessert was delicious as well.

Tuesday morning, we woke up and got everything packed up and invited the family to join us at the capital and the TN State Museum. On our first anniversary, Jeff and I had a discussion about what we wanted to do with our family in the future. That day we pretty much decided that we wanted to home school. With home schooling would come so many great opportunities for educational travel! We decided that day that a goal of ours would be to visit at least the 48 state capitals. All 50 would be wonderful, but I'm not sure about going that far. So we had to go downtown! Jeff's parents were the only ones who decided to come with us. We had a good time. The museum was neat and the capital was nice. It was a pleasant experience before we headed back home.

On the way home we took out time. We actually ventured off of the Interstate through a place called "The Land Between the Lakes." This is an area of land that looks like a pennensula off of TN. There are all kinds of nature activities to take
part in here. Camping, fishing, boating, horse riding, etc. We just drove through it, to see what it was like. It was absolutely beautiful! It was interesting too, we kept seeing signs for family grave yards. I wondered about any stories behind them, how old they were, who the people were. What history is in that area. Four days for a trip like this was not enough time at all. This one's definitely going back on the list for more time! It was so much fun and I know we'd do it again. We finally pulled into our driveway at 2:00 in the morning on Wednesday. Jeff had the day off and that was nice for him to rest and get ready for Thursday. And it was good to have Daddy home to enjoy for part of Music Week!

You can go to our albums to view the pictures of our trip.

Thursday, July 3

Happy 4th Eve!

Okay, so, I've been pretty terrible about keeping you all updated on our 12 weeks of summer fun. Truth is, we've had so much going on! I started a blog (in text) after we got home from Nashville and I haven't even finished it yet. This week has been camp week and we've loved it. Right now, Jeff is out back (it is 11:45 pm) in our tent with Jonathan and Adie. Yes, they are asleep! We thought it wouldn't work, but it is! I would have stayed, but Alex is in his crib and I just felt too wierd having him in here alone. We had the monitor, but I just had to stay in here. Anyway, the reason I'm on is I just had to write about what happened a little while ago.
So the three of them are out there sleeping (on the night before the 4th - what were we thinking?!), our neighbor came home. Usually the car they drive is very loud but this time, it was so quiet! It sounded to me as if they might have been trying to be quiet. Maybe they had an idea with the tent out there (no privacy fences here) that people were sleeping there! I was happy when I heard the car turn off. Within 5 minutes, I heard them, the fireworks. Ahh! These weren't just crackers. I heard the hissing and the crackling and saw the lights. Before I realized it, I was standing outside the door (I really don't remember getting up to go to there!). There they were, flashing up into the sky. I thought the kids would be screaming and crying from startling (I probably would have after being asleep). But it was quiet. I went over to the tent. Adie and Jeff woke up but Jonathan was still out! Adie was fine and actually excited to see them!
Funny family.

Well, I suppose this should be all for tonight. Hope you all have a great day tomorrow!