washed in the blood and the wild west

Saturday was a fun-filled day for us.  It’s so nice to break from the mundane and adventure.  We spent most of the day at a lake with our little church fellowship.

I cannot tell you how special it was to witness the baptism of six teens and tweens would are part of a lovely family (cousins, siblings, ect.).  The public scene made it even more special.

I have seen several baptisms over the last 15 years.  They were all church events.  None was in the middle of a very public place like this one.  I could hear people talking about what was going on.  I saw groups that were loud and rowdy calming down and listening attentively.  It was just so sweet and touching.

We had a fun BBQ with our church group and headed home.

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We detoured to Tombstone and got a taste of the Wild West.  The reenactment of the shootout at the OK Corral was fun and educational (nerd mom happy).  The kids also got to see some confederate money, old poker game, and a quick tour of the Bird Cage Theater.

We ventured into a paint ball gun range.  We got to choose which pistols we wanted to use.  All were the same types used  in the 1800s.  We were labeled the “Deadly Family” since we all made kill shots.  The younger kids had never shot before, and it had been at least 13 years for me.  I’m happy to say I turned my six rounds into 1 head shot and 5 chest shots.  The guy there said he pitied the person who dared break into our house or complain about my cooking!  Haha.

We had such a fun time as a family.  I do believe we’re dipping our toes into the roadschooling I mentioned ;)  Baby steps.  Baby steps.

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What do you do to draw close as a family?  What are your favorite memories?

out camping

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We headed to the mountains Easter weekend.  It was a needed reset to our busy and work-filled lives.  Unplugging was a marvelous idea, indeed.

Let’s not talk about the all night party bunch.  Then we’ll forget all the good moments that we had.  We might block out the fact that we were all together and enjoying a camp fire and marshmallows.

How do you create memories on a budget?  What are your favorite childhood family times?

I always loved camping and spending the day at the river when I was young.  I haven’t forgotten even one of those trips.  It takes some planning and effort, but I think we are going to make a summer habit of these short weekend adventures.

penny

I mentioned a few days ago that our sweet little poodle Luke died.  We have all been so sad.  Luke had his faults, but he was a great family dog.  He never hesitated to lick and love on us.  He always laid next to the under-the-weather family members.  He stuck like glue to Josie’s side while she recovered from surgeries.  He was a wonderful dog for all these kids.

He tolerated anything these kids dressed him in.  He always had energy to play.  He was a lover of face licking.

I silence fell upon our house when he was gone.  An energy was missing.  I’m sure we could never forget all the laughs and comfort Luke brought.  Our house hasn’t been the same since.  It’s quieter.  I like when it’s quiet, but this is the sort of quiet that feels like a void.

A month and a half has passed.  We decided we’re ready for a new puppy fluff.

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The energy is back full-force, I assure you.  We haven’t laughed or smiled this much for a while.  Penny came to live with us Friday.  If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen this tiny ball of fun.  We are all so excited about our new puppy.

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If you don’t think she’s cute, you are heartless.

Her faults include: being too much fun to focus on school work, being too cute to stop holding, acting as the perfect distraction from housework.

These are also her strengths.

Some seasons in life are best gotten through by using a tiny, fluffy, energetic pup as a Segway.  We are thanking Jesus for bringing this little girl to us in the most likely way, in perfect timing.

Oh, Penny.  You are just what we needed.

beating the heat

IMG_1619 IMG_1623 IMG_1617There is a heat advisory in our area now.  As if anyone who lives here needs to be advised that it’s totally stinkin’ hot.  Naturally, it was the perfect time for our AC unit to break.  Yeah, not so fun.  I know that there are people who live in the jungle and never have air.  If you’re not raised that way or you’re not on the mission field, it’s difficult to be at ease with the inside of your house reaching 90 degrees. I’m so thankful that Nick found such helpful people to walk him through the fix.  It took two full days to get our house cooler.  We have it rigged now, but the cold air’s blowing.  All this yucky heat led us to break out the swimming pool that was given to us a few months ago. This kids didn’t seem to mind this route for cooling off. What are some of your ideas for cooling off?  Popsicles are another one of our favorite beat-the-heat treats.

cold weather reading

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Last Fall Nick finished reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia to the kids.  We immediately bought The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Nick finished The Hobbit, and now they’re nearly done with the first book in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Family reading happens more often in the colder months, when gathering early in the evening by fire or candlelight ,is an unavoidable draw.  I am usually cleaning up the kitchen, while the younger three color or do puzzles, while they listen to the story.  The older two cuddle up next to Nick, and take turns reading the little poems and songs scattered throughout the tale.

Later I join in and keep the littles busy.  I can sneak in some Christmas knitting on most evening.

Yesterday, we started Avent reading using The Jesus Storybook Bible.  Each evening a story is read and discussed.  I printed out this schedule, but it’s just the first 24 stories starting December first.

What do you read to your children in these cozy cooler months?  Please leave a comment.  We just may get a lovely list of reads to work our way through.

free family camping

About a month ago, while my mom was visiting, Nick built a fire pit.  If you have a fire pit, then surely you must roast marshmallows and sleep in the camper right?  The kids enjoyed some good daddy time in this fashion, while mom and I retreated inside for plenty of late night talking.

(Here I would like to say the for all you unbelievers out there…the laundry fairy is real, I assure you.  Thanks mommy!)

Since then, Nick and the kids have slept in the camper a few more times.

We did this in our own yard.  I mean, 20 acres?  Why pack up and travel and cook by flashlight?  Well, mostly we have just been too busy to get away.  This idea Nick came up with was a great one.

I admit I didn’t sleep in the camper once.  I stole away inside to read in silence.  It was great for everyone.

What are some of your favorite family fun ideas?

I can’t wait for the birds to fly south.  Living so close to their winter home conservatory of the Sandhill Cranes will call for family walks in our Autumn future.