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.

favorite recipes of the month (December)

It’s no secret that I love Pinterest.  I pin like my life depends on it.  You can follow me by clicking this link.  Every week I look through my pins and pick new recipes to try.  I’m adventurous that way.  Here are our favorite new recipes we’ve been enjoying lately.  None of them were fail.  If you missed my last linked list you can find it here.  I will state that I usually have to triple recipes for our size family.  I made more in each one listed.

Broccoli Pesto Bake

General Tsao’s Chicken

Chicken Terriaki

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I hope you enjoy these meals as much I we have.  The kids loved the first so much, I made it three times in one month!  What are you favorite finds on Pinterest?  Please share below!

chore/allowance system that will blow your mind!!!

I’ve done my share of printing and laminating chore charts.  Some have worked better and longer than others.  All have failed at some point or another.  Nick and I decided we wanted to work on cleaning as a family instead of having everyone assigned different areas/tasks.  We came up with something that blew our own minds.  I’m so excited to share this with you!

First, a word on our chore philosophy.  We don’t require much.  We want them to learn to be responsible and accountable, but we are not slave-drivers AT ALL.  Secondly, we have never had set allowances.  Occasionally, we’ve paid various willing children to help us with big tasks- all voluntary.  We expect everyone to do something to help around here.  They are part of a family.  Families work together.

About allowance.  I’ve never liked the idea of trying to come up with a payment plan.  Who gets what?  When? How often? Seems like just more info I’ll forget or flake out on.  It also made me nervous about strife, competition and fighting among the kids.

Here’s what we came up with.  I’m still wondering how this idea came to our heads!  Thank you Jesus!

Click here for our PDF.  family contributions chart PDF  Follow this video link for the “normal” household chart.

vintage baseball

To celebrate the wonderful Husband’s birthday, we packed up the crew and walked over to the oldest ballpark in America.  It just so happens to be right around the corner.  The 2nd Annual Copper City Classic was so awesome.  Next year I’m inviting people to see how great it is.  The Warren Ball Park opened in 1909 and has been running ever since. The Vintage Baseball games are played using the old rules, gear, and uniforms.  How cool is that?  I’m not a huge fan of watching sports, but I do like baseball.  And vintage baseball?  Well, that’s even better.  The Boys and Girls Club hosted races for the kids between games.  Andre and Olivia won their age group races and Isabel came in second.  A proud daddy saw it all from the stands.  What a fun day!  I see a family tradition in the future.