Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye

We are having a wonderful time in California with relatives.  We have been visiting my aunts, uncle, and cousins, and our children's second cousins.  Rich, rich times.  And fun!  And emotionally exhausting.  Yesterday we visited with an elderly aunt and uncle whom I will likely not see again this side of heaven, so saying goodbye was very hard.  I'm not sure I said all the "right" things, but I said what seemed appropriate at the time.  How much I loved them, how important they were to our family, and that we would be praying for them regularly.  We told old stories, reminiscing and laughing.  We cried.  We prayed together.  The children hung out in the room the whole time, listening to the stories and sometimes coloring.  I wondered what they were thinking.  Driving away felt wrong, and yet we had to go.

Lord, have mercy on them.  And on us.

Today we are driving several hours to meet up with my parents and one of my sisters and her family to go camping together for four days.  I'm super excited for that!  More good-byes today.. and hellos.  Love can be complicated and hard!  But it's also deep and rich.  I'm thankful for an extended family that truly loves one another ~ it is a rare gift.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grand Canyon!

Posting real quick from outside a Starbucks in Flagstaff, AZ.  We had a FABULOUS time at the Grand Canyon.  Words cannot describe the beauty, the majesty, and the awe-inspiring experience each of us had at this amazing place.  I'll post lots more pics when I have time and computer access, but here is just a taste!  Picture above was taken right after we'd finished a four hike partway down the canyon and back up.  AMAZING.  My feet will not forgive me, but it was worth it!

10 point buck sitting right beside the road just eating!!  We saw lots and lots of wildlife.  Elk wandered freely throughout our campsite.  We got as close as about 20 feet away.

One of the many canyon vistas we experienced.

Today we move on to California for the next part of our vacation!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 4.....

We are set to arrive at the Grand Canyon today.  Beyond excited!  This will be day four of driving all day.  A few tense moments in the vehicle with growing bodies stuck close together, but overall having a great time being together and seeing the country.  So far we have:

talked, laughed, and played with friends along the route
taken pictures of some amazing architecture in Kansas City MO (who knew it was such a beautiful city?!)
seen hundreds and hundreds of cows
seen acres and acres of corn
listened to the first Artemis Fowl novel on audio
watched only one movie in the car
been blessed by old friendships renewed
experienced a massive Texas thunderstorm
driven on historic route 66

Looking forward to today!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


 I get to make all of this:

 fit into this:

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


and it's close relatives:




double checking

Also related:

doing laundry for above mentioned packing

shopping for a few items of clothing that said packing revealed were missing but needed  (and just because I found this somewhat shocking, our 12 year old is now wearing size 18 pants!)

creatively using up food 

mowing the lawn

arranging for someone to water the flowers

stopping the mail

and doing necessary repairs and maintenance on the vehicle that will carry us 5000+ miles in the next three weeks!

More distantly related:

preparing for school immediately following our trip

making arrangements to miss the first week (or two or three) of scheduled activities

That sums up my week.  :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Leaving... On a Jet Plane....

Actually, we're not leaving on a jet plane, just had that song running through my head!

We are leaving.... in a suburban.  For a three week road trip.  Yes sirree!  SO excited!  So much to do in the next few days....

We have to hit the ground running with school as soon as we return, so in addition to getting ready to go, I'm also trying to get ready for coming home.  One big new thing for all of us this year is that we joined a large home school co-op and will be attending there one day a week for classes.  I went to orientation tonight, and now I am so geeked for co-op to start!  Such lovely, kind, and caring people.  Such motivated teachers (they are paid, not just volunteer moms, and usually experts in their particular field, and passionate about what they are teaching!).  Such GREAT classes, that meet needs for each of my children.  I am praying we will all make new friends quickly.  Just so thankful that God led us in this direction, and confident that it is the right fit for us.


Before school and co-op comes vacation!!!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kitchen is DONE!

The painting of the kitchen is now complete.  HUGE sigh of relief!!  Before, our walls were sponge painted tan on white, like the background behind these grapes.  The grapes were stenciled on by the previous owners, and they were LOVELY.  But after 11 years of enjoying the grapes, it was time to make the kitchen my own.




 The new tan color looks so good next to our red family room!

It's just a kitchen, and it's just paint.  But it looks cleaner, less cluttered, and it's color coordinated once again with the rest of the downstairs.  It makes me happy!  And since I spend the majority of my time in these two rooms (and because I'm the mom!), happy is good!  I'm so very thankful to check this OFF my summer to-do list! 

(thank you, paint fairy, for helping me with the most visible edge!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am so tired of painting....

Currently working on the kitchen after a brief start and then a four week hiatus.

Pray that I can persevere...

There are not many big sections of wall to paint, but there are So. Many. Edges.  Big sections of wall would be so much easier and faster.

We better love this when it's done!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First College Visit Today!

To a local university.  The scheduled informational meeting and tour are designed specifically for homeschoolers, and since it is for 7th graders on up, I am taking our two oldest children (8th grade and 10th grade).  Neither of them may end up attending there, but I am looking forward to the experience and pray it will motivate and encourage them!