Archive for the ‘Family Trips’ Category

We do quite a bit of traveling around the US.  Between Chad’s and my individual travels as children, and the trips we now take with our children, we’ve covered pretty much the whole country.

Lately, though, we’ve been tossing around the idea of traveling overseas.  We’ve gotten conflicting advice….some people say that there’s no way we should attempt a trip to Europe with children, others tell us that’s bologna and we should absolutely be exposing our kids to different cultures.

Our family trip overseas is still in the “idea stage”, but we know for sure that when we go, we want to visit Europe.  My dream trip is to visit London, Ireland and Scotland in an all-in-one trip.  I think picking out the accommodations is one of the best parts…..I would love to stay in a bed and breakfast, but Chad thinks that is weird {he’s weird}.  So we are poring over hotels, checking ratings, and trying to narrow down our choices.  Like I said, the trip is still in the “idea stage”, but the planning and dreaming is a blast!

If we’re able to pull this trip together, we’d love to go next fall so that we can go with friends.  Once we get the flights, hotel  and rental car squared away, then we can relax and figure out what the must-see stops are, and how long it will take to visit them all.  I can’t wait!


The kids sang two songs in the children’s choir this year.

When I say kids, I actually mean just Ava.  This picture was taken during their practice, and while Kelvin is in this picture, he did not perform.  He started running to get in line to perform, and then did a 180 and came running right back to our seats.  Poor guy got a case of the nerves!

They both did a great job in rehearsal, and Ava did a great job performing.

The kids really enjoyed our church’s family dance during the Feast.  In spite of her “shyness”, Ava did quite a bit of dancing and got her first “crush”.

She announced her “crush” to everyone she talked to.  Hahaha!

And Carter looooved dancing with his “Uncle Aaron”. 🙂

There are no pictures of Kelvin because the boy refuses to dance.  I think Chad may have gotten some pictures of him sulking on the sidelines….I’ll have to look!

One of the first things we did here in Branson was visit the Butterfly Palace.

Both big kids got their faces painted.  You can tell that someone was more willing to sit still for a long painting than someone else was!

While the big kids got their faces painted, Carter had fun crawling up and down the big ramp that leads to the second story.  And by crawling, I mean, doing his funny little scoot!

They had tons of animals like lizards, frogs, toads, snakes, etc. on display.  Even Carter loved checking them out!

Then it was time to check out the butterflies!  They had fun hats and binoculars and magnifying glasses for the kids to use while they looked at the butterflies.

…and the adults had fun checking them out, too.  🙂

I didn’t get any pictures of our favorite part….the mirror maze!  We spent the majority of our time in there, but it was dark so it didn’t make for good pictures.


Despite my best intentions to blog more regularly and turn this blog into more of a “real blog” this summer, I feel like I flopped.

But that’s because we’ve been busy!

This whole having three kids thing is no joke!

Since I didn’t have time to write individual posts about everything we did, and I’m feeling bad about it…..

Ava ended the summer in Level 3, and Kelvin ended it at Level 2.  Both of them will be repeating them next summer.  Kelvin’s teachers said that they actually would have passed him if he hadn’t been so young…the next level is in the deep end and they didn’t feel comfortable sending a little guy to the deep end.  {Do you know why this paragraph was necessary?  Because this is where I go every year to figure out what level to sign the kids up for LOL}

  • We also threw a legendary rainbow party for our littlest one.  I still plan to write a legendary post about it, so I’ll leave it at that (for now).

  • We went to the fair.

  • We went to Branson for an Aire-Master conference.

  • We went on picnics and play dates at the park.

  • We went to library programs nearly every week.

  • We celebrated the 4th of July with swimming in our wading pool, setting off fireworks and watching fireworks at the lake.

  • We did lots of playing outside on our new deck.

  • We took a trip to Wisconsin to visit our families and help my grandparents celebrate their 50’th anniversary.

  • In addition to that, there were numerous trips to places like the zoo, the Discovery Center, the park, the pool, etc. etc. etc.

Summer is coming to a close for most everyone else, but really we have lots more fun ahead of us.  We didn’t finish our last school year until the end of July, so we’re not starting school until the end of September!  More adventures await us!


We are finally home from Wisconsin!  It was such a fun, chaotic, crazy few weeks, but it is definitely good to be home.  Well, except for the part about how I’m so behind on everything.  That part is not so much fun.  I’m desperately hoping to be mostly caught up by the weekend, though.  At least on all the time-sensitive stuff.

The older kids had a little trouble adjusting to getting back in their routines, but I think they’re back in their grooves now.  We got back into our school routine today.

Carter was happy to be home from the start, though….he went crazy exploring all the stuff he’d missed while we were gone.  He is so into EVERYTHING now!!!  I just don’t know what to do with him.  LOL

I have some plans up my sleeve for this here blog in the next few weeks (if I ever get caught up on stuff), so stay tuned!

…Not really, but I couldn’t come up with a better title to communicate that we are OUT.

We have been spending the last week with family and it has been so much fun!  Last week, we came up and spent the weekend with Chad’s family.  Then Chad had a brief visit with my family and left for home, and the kids and I have been staying up here ever since.  It’s been crazy, since ALL of us kids are staying here, along with our kids.  It’s like 18 people or something.  Chaotic, but awesome!  This is the last time this will happen for awhile, since David leaves for SOI next week and from there, he’ll be going straight to the base he’s stationed at.

Today is trying everyone’s patience, though, because it’s raining.  Send reinforcements…or coffee!  Or both!

My original plan for this week included heading to Kansas City to go to the zoo on Thursday.  The weather decided to throw a wrench in that plan, though….the news was predicting highs in the 30’s and possible rain/snow.  So we decided to go today (Tuesday) instead…after all, the forecast predicted a high of 57 and sun.  I packed up enough “stuff” for three kids for a day (I almost thought I was going to have to see if someone Got Briefcases for me when I wasn’t looking. LOL We needed a LOT of bags to pack all that stuff!) and made a picnic lunch to take along and we were off!

Unfortunately, as you can see from this picture, we were in our winter coats, so it was not quite as warm as predicted!

In fact, it was downright freezing and even started snowing toward the end of our visit!

The kids still managed to have a lot of fun, even though a lot of the animals weren’t on exhibit because of the cold temperatures.

Carter spent the entire time (except lunch) bundled up in the Boba.  I kept him toasty warm with Baby Legs, a sweater knit by Grandma with the Kitties and a hat knit by Grandma with the Kids.

One of my favorite parts of the zoo was the kangaroos.  They were free range kangaroos….no fences or anything!  This one was eying me up and one of my friends joked that it saw Carter in the Boba on me and thought it was a baby kangaroo.  🙂



One of the things we usually like to do at the Feast is visit some type of water park (or the ocean…which is what I prefer *grin*).  This year, our resort had plenty of large garden fountains , but didn’t have a water park, so we had to find one elsewhere.  The kids were in heaven and we stayed all afternoon!  This was Carter’s first time swimming and he didn’t *love* it, but he didn’t *hate* it either.

My big girl getting ready to go down the slides again:

My big boy in the “warm” tub (not too hot, not too cold):

My little boy “swimming” in the “warm tub”:


Kelvin’s birthday landed in the middle of the Feast this year.  We postponed the birthday party festivities until we got home and just had a fun family day.

Ava was soooo excited to give him the Spiderman watch she’d picked out as her gift for him.  She had been asking to give it to him for days and she just couldn’t wait past breakfast time:

After church, we took him to Red Lobster for lunch.  After we ate, the wait staff sang him happy birthday and gave the kids free sundaes:

Chad decided to let Carter suck on a spoon.  He doesn’t look too thrilled, does he?!

After lunch, we took him to see an Imax movie about polar bears.  I think he really liked it.  Then we took him to a Hibachi grill for the first time:

I’m not sure where the rest of my pictures went.  I know I have pictures of him opening his gifts from my grandparents and from us (and no, it was not anything boring like sheer drapes LOL), but they must be on my phone….and I still need to edit and upload those pictures.  I know, I know, I’m so behind!  But if you got to kiss Carter’s sweet little squishy cheeks all day, you’d understand!

Anyway, I can’t believe he’s four already!  The time has just flown.  He’s such a mixture of sweet, independent, funny, stubborn, and exhausting-ness.  He always keeps me on my toes, but my life would be so boring without him.  I’m so thankful that God blessed us with our first little boy four years ago!

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