Friday, May 25, 2018

Strawberry Picking May 2018

The kids finished their testing today (Yay!) and we all went strawberry picking!

Squinty selfie on the ride out to the field

Caleb with "the perfect berry"

The kids are Great pickers!

About half way down our row, the picking got Really good!!

Full buckets, happy kids!

We got over 16 pounds of berries and they are So sweet!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Back Home to Summer in Wichita

We apparently missed the two days of spring while we were in DC, and now that we're back, it's summer! Well, it's still not as hot as summer gets here, but it sure feels like summer - the temps have been in the 80s and we're ready to swim! :)

Here are some fun pics of what we've been up to since our trip.   Most of these are taken on my phone:

We recently discovered that when the "hot" sign is on at our local Krispy Kreme, that means you can come in for a free, hot and fresh donut!   The kids are loving this.  :)

On Friday, Philip and I watched Black Panther.   It is the ninth highest grossing film Ever, apparently.  It's really good if you're into superhero movies

Saturday morning we picked up our first CSA (Community Sourced Agriculture) share at the farmer's market downtown.   This is produce grown on a family farm here in our county and we'll be getting it weekly from now through October.   It was cool to meet the people growing our veggies, and it's been fun figuring out how to prepare some new to us veggies like kholrabi, napa cabbage, chard, salad turnips, etc.

Keenan's last lacrosse game was later that morning and Wendy and Harby came to watch with us

Melissa and I (with no planning involved) showed up to the game dressed like this!

Coach's (Devin) comments after the game with ice cream treats

The team (or those who showed up)

On Saturday evening, Keenan accepted Christ!   I sensed that the Lord was softening his heart and had asked several of our family members to be praying with us.   Mom E had specifically asked the Lord to give Keenan a Scripture that he'd be able to lean on in the future.   When Keenan was telling me what had happened, he said he'd been given an "indescribable sense of peace".  After that he flipped open his Bible and it opened to none other than....Lamentations chapter 3!  Haha!  Not the book I'd usually associate with salvation verses!
The Scripture that the Lord gave him was Lamentations 3: 22-27 and 31-33:

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness:
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him.
The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of discipline....
For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.
Though He brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love.
For He does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow."
In his journal, Keenan wrote:  "Day 1, May 19, 2018, Wichita, KS
Today I finally accepted Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior.  It felt so good to finally have that eternal peace and I hope I never forget it.  I hope that God will use me as a tool to bring himself glory and I also hope that I will always have this amazing peace.
To Future Keenan:  I hope that you will always stay in Christ's hands and that you will be a powerful tool in God's arsenal."

Our home (along with the heavens) is full of rejoicing at this new birth!

Our little "master of building" (Caleb) has been busy with his train tracks lately 
I am BLOWN away by the stuff this kid makes!

Philip is home this week to administer the kid's ITBS testing.   I so appreciate him doing this, and it has been Wonderful having him around during the day!

On Monday, my friend, Erica (who used to live two doors down and then moved to Michigan and then moved back here) and her two kids came to lunch - how fun to have them back (if only for a year)!

On Monday night I did a sleep study.   I have been experiencing some pretty serious fatigue the past few months, and after doing a full lab work up and not finding anything, my doctor suggested this.   What an experience!   I had about ten monitors attached to my skull (with a big blob of goop accompanying each one in my hair!).  These ones measured brain activity, whether or not I was sleeping, and what stage of sleep I was in.   There were another 6 or so attached to my face, to monitor muscle activity in my eyes and chin, about four on my neck and shoulders, two separate nasal cannulas in my nostrils (attached to the tiniest microphone that sat in front of my mouth), a monitor on my finger to detect oxygen levels, an electrode on each leg to measure body movement/muscle activity, and elastic belts my chest and stomach to measure breathing activity.   I remember waking up three times, and estimate that I got about 4.5 hours asleep before she woke me at 5 am.   I am anxious to hear the results from my doctor!

How could I Not get a great night of sleep?  :P

This is Caleb writing an apology in a card he picked out for our neighbors after we found out that he'd been playing with their hose and it had been left on for two days! :0/

Wednesday night, the Pennys had us over for dinner to celebrate Keenan's salvation!

A sweet moment between Caleb and Grace

 Another awesome thing Caleb made

 We got Moriah's hair trimmed - and I think she looks so much older!

Today (Thursday), Philip and I took Moriah out for a special lunch to celebrate her outstanding CC memory work this year.   We tried out a fun diner we'd never been to before.   Moriah decided to get a cinnamon roll with her eggs and bacon...

 ...and look how HUGE it was!!

 All of us with our yummy food

With her caramel sundae for dessert
(She saved most of the cinnamon roll for the boys)

That about catches us up!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

DC Trip 2018 - Spy Museum/Arboretum

Philip and Keenan spent the morning of our last full day in DC completing the one thing that Keenan desperately wanted to do as soon as he learned we were going to visit DC, despite the fact that we required him to pay for his own admission because it is one of the things in town that is not free.  Yes folks, they went to the International Spy Museum.  Caleb would have been free but opted out and it was probably a good idea.  According to Philip it is an interesting, engaging and well laid out museum, but it still involves reading a lot of displays which is not really my thing and and certainly not Caleb's thing at this age.  Keenan loved it and said it was in his top two things of the trip along with visiting Udvar-Hazy.  They learned a lot of interesting things about this history of espionage and intelligence gathering.  One display claimed that pigeons were the most decorated military animal and shared the story of a famous World War I pigeon named Cher Ami who saved nearly 200 men by flying 25 miles in 25 minutes despite multiple wounds, including having one leg shot off.

Outside the entrance
(No flash photography was allowed and Philip didn't take many pics inside)

While Philip and Keenan were gone, Moriah, Caleb and I watched an episode of "Nailed It" on Netflix.  A hilarious baking show where contestants are given a time limit to copy, to the best of their ability, some elaborate creation.  The winner gets $10,000.

I got in a short nap while the kids watched a couple episodes of other shows, and then we walked to lunch...

A selfie with some of the beautiful ivy on the way

We decided to eat at Dupont Italian Kitchen - it was delicious and fun!

After, we stopped by McDonald's for chocolate shakes for the kids and an iced coffee for me

We met Philip and Keenan back at the house after they had lunch at Shake Shack and then picked up a ZipCar and drove to the National Arboretum (another place Philip had never visited during past trips to DC because it is well off any MetroRail stop).

Zipcars are rented by the hour, we used them a few times while we were here

The first thing we checked out was the Azalea Collection, which was still quite impressive despite some damage from the severe rain storm the previous night:

Such a pretty trail!

Us pink girls

This bush had two different colors growing on the same bush!

Some of them looked like this!

Fun artsy shot

A pretty little pond we found

It was FULL of frogs!   We could probably see ten at a time!

Moving on to the Asian Trail...

I loved this tiny, curled fern!

Lastly, we went to the Bonsai Museum.

I hadn't really understood much about the art of Bonsai before, but apparently you can take just about Any kind of tree, and through years and years of "training" they call it, you can groom and manipulate it into a miniature tree!

The gardens were quite beautiful 

An Azaelea bonsai!

Keenan was more interested in reading in the shade ;)

This is a forest style bonsai

I think this one is perfect

This one blew us away - as the sign below says, it has been in training since 1625!!!

That blows my mind

The National Herb Garden was my favorite part of the day!

I don't remember what this fruit was called, but it looked Amazing!

Moriah took this for us, and if you look closely, you can see Caleb sneaking in the background

By this time we were all HOT and tired, and were ready to head for home.  We had dinner and spent the evening packing up for our flight in the morning.

On Wednesday the 16th, we took our last metro ride, had two great flights back to Wichita, and rode our last escalator for a while... whew!  It's good to be HOME!

What an amazing trip!  I have to give Huge kudos to Philip for all of his extensive planning to make this trip possible and so full and rich for our family.  We saw and experienced So much and we are so blessed and grateful!  Love you, Babe!