Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pre-Blogapoloosa Catch Up

In less than 24 hours, we'll be with ALL of my family for a few days... which is going to produce a crazy amount of blog fodder, so I figured I'd better catch up on our recent randoms before that happens! =)

Life looks a LOT like this in our house... Keenan and Moriah spend time sorting these and making new projects almost daily...

They do make for fun photos


Just a snap of my oldest when I told him he didn't have to pose =)

A couple shots of Moriah after I finished a shoot for a friend.

Beautiful park and beautiful girl!

Last Saturday we had the Penny kids and their friend, Sean, over for the morning so Devin and Melissa could go out...

We spent most of the time at the pool:

These two are such great friends

They actually jumped into the pool hugging like this =)

Smiley Treyson

What a goof!

Sean's birthday had been just a couple days before so we surprised him with some decorations and a cookie cake

Our friends, the Longas (who had the premature baby a couple months ago) came on Saturday evening and stayed until Monday afternoon, since they had a check up for the baby.   The kids all picked right back up where they left off!   It was also great to have the Longas join us for house church on Sunday, so our friends who had been praying so much for them and baby Joshua could meet him!  * Philip and Amy had also never had the chance to meet until this visit.

Rachel and Moriah (dressed to match)

All the crazy kids (except the baby)

Finally a picture of the whole family together!
(Jesse, Amy, George, Rachel, Joshua and Thomas)

What a precious boy!
(He now weighs more than 3 times his birth weight!)

On Tuesday we took Dinner to our friends, the Doolittles, who recently had baby Josephine join their family (five weeks early!)

It was so much fun to get to meet and hold her for the first time!

Wednesday was spent trying to get things sort of organized for our trip and Thursday, Friday and Saturday (9-4) the kids and I were at a Classical Conversations Practicum all day!   The kids were in fun camps (Caleb was in Play Camp, Moriah in GeoDraw Camp, and Keenan in Heroes of History Camp).   They had a Blast!   I was in speaker sessions each morning and in tutor training each afternoon.   It was great, and always encourages me and helps motivate me for another year of homeschooling, but I REALLY hope that practicum and leaving on a two week trip never run into each other again!

Soo excited for tomorrow!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Blackberry Picking!

After friends told us about Elderslie Farm, we decided to check it out on Wednesday!    Are we ever glad we did!

Waiting for the "Berry Ferry" to take us to the field
(they have a beautiful little cafe and outdoor seating area where you can have breakfast!)

On our way

My cuties

When we got to the berry field, we were blown away!!!!    There were SO many beautiful berries!

Excited to get started!

The berries were ridiculously huge

Look at those!

The picking went SO fast!

How beautiful is that!?

We were instructed to eat at least three each ;)

We picked two of these pails full and were done in time to catch the next wagon back (15 minutes after we got there)


Us girls (oops!  Same shirt as a couple posts ago!)

Handsome boys
(I was impressed that we made it out without any berry stains!)

This will Definitely be at least an annual tradition for us!    Best berry picking experience EVER!

July Fourth 2016

Our Fourth of July was pretty low key, just what we needed in this busy stage of life!
We opted for a family day, rather than getting together with friends and started the day off with a family bike ride... (phone pics had to do):

Getting ready to head out!

On a bridge, watching the (storm swollen) Arkansas River rushing by!

Love this guy!

As a family we did about 8 miles, but Moriah and I decided to ride home from the park where we started and rounded it off to 11!    We were all SO proud of her!

When we got home, our boys surprised us with special drinks!!

In their special shirts from Grandma Eberts! 

Doing our own fireworks in the driveway (while able to watch the neighborhood set off all of theirs) is always the highlight of the day for the kids.

Sparkler fun!

Being spectators

Our only family photo of the day

So excited to set off Roman Candles for the first time!

More (huge, colored) sparklers

That about wraps up our Independence Day!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Micro Adventure: Salt Mine and Cosmosphere

On July 2nd, we drove to Hutchinson, KS and visited Strataca, The Kansas Underground Salt Museum!   We'd wanted to do it when we first heard about it, but had to wait for Caleb to be four.

On the lift going down 650 feet below ground!!

It was surprisingly unlike what I was expecting.    It was a pleasant 68 degrees, dry and very wide open and spacious (in all the areas we were in).    It's an active mine and they supply several states with road salt.   They have over 150 miles of tunnels (and host a 5K and a bike ride down there!)

Super cute miner

This isn't a great quality photo since I needed to turn off the flash, but this was the kids dancing in the cool light being projected through a filter onto the mine wall

In the front car of the train tour!

One of the interesting things about the mine is that they have Underground Vaults and Storage.   This is what their website says about it:

"650 feet below the plains of midwest Kansas, encased in a solid rock salt cocoon, rests one of the most secure and elusive underground storage facilities in the world.

Our Hutchinson salt mine facility was established in the unused portions of a working mine, during the height of Cold War nuclear concerns, as a safe haven for sensitive information and assets. Since 1959 Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike have stored here, from every industry, around the world. It is the largest single storage facility for movie and television film internationally.

Safely tucked away from prying eyes and disaster, more than 1.7 million square feet of space holds untold millions of items in cool, dry conditions. That is roughly equivalent to 35 football fields encased in solid stone, more than 45 stories below the ravages of man and nature.

That which you value will be preserved here, perpetually. It’s called forever storage. It’s arguably the world’s largest time capsule."

This one is for Grandpa Jeff!    This is the actual Dorothy from the movie, Twister!

On another tour, we each got to choose a piece of salt to take home with us (it had to be palm size or smaller)  Caleb wanted this one =)

Us girls

Stylin' in our hardhats

One last photo (as some of the original mine workers) before heading back up to ground level

Next, we switched gears and headed to a space museum (also in Hutchinson), called the  Cosmosphere.

Caleb buckling into a jump seat

The kids with a huge rocket outside

My favorite guy

Huge foam lego!

Philip and the kids did a motion flight simulator that the kids really loved, and the highlight of the Cosmosphere for me was the IMAX show, "National Parks Adventure", with gorgeous, breathtaking videography from a ton of our beautiful national parks!   It got me all jazzed up to go and see All of them!! =)

"Dr. Goddard's Lab" science show was another really cool thing we did there.   Dr. Goddard (I learned) was the father of modern rocketry and the show had all sorts of fun stuff related to that... lighting things on fire, rocket propulsion, and the guy doing the show even (accidentally) dropped a huge beaker of liquid oxygen on the floor and shattered it into a million pieces.  Oops!