Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Road Trip to Montezuma, Kansas!

About a week ago, a friend asked if I would consider doing a photo shoot for her extended family at her parent's farm the day after Thanksgiving... the only catch was that it was in a tiny town called, Montezuma... three and a half hours from Wichita!!    Philip was rounding, she said she'd pay me for my time, and the kids and I decided to take a roadtrip and make a day of it!

If this photo doesn't shout "Kansas", I don't know what does =)

We got to the town about an hour before the shoot, so while we waited, we checked out a coffee shop that my friend recommended.   It was adorable, the drinks (hot chocolate for Moriah and Caleb, a frozen caramel drink for Keenan and a chai tea for me) were all delicious and came with adorable, stamped burlap cup holders!  (Oh, and the people in the shop knew the people we were coming to see!)

After that, we headed down the street to the Stauth Memorial Museum.    It turned out to be quite a gem!     The Stauth family set up the museum to display all of the amazing artifacts they collected on their journeys around the world (to every continent except Antartica)!    It was a phenomenal collection!   (We literally had about 20 minutes left when we got there, so a sweet lady who works there gave us the "super fast" tour through everything).

Keenan loved the coin collections from all over the world

Moriah loved this pretty African jewelry

Caleb liked the ivory carvings

They also have an exhibit area that changes out every month to six weeks.  Right now it has "Christmas Traditions of Western Kansas".    There were displays set up by various families, businesses or churches...

We were in such a rush that this is the only picture I took of that part of the museum.  On the left was a collection of beautiful china dolls one woman had made and on the right was a stocking collection that a grandmother (now 91) has made for each of her grandchildren when they were born (the most recent one was made for a baby a couple weeks ago!)

One snap of all of us

Caleb wanted to pretend to put an ornament on the tree

Also in the museum was the Fry Wildlife Collection.    Ralph Fry was a neighbor of the Stauths and was a big game hunter.    He hunted for almost 50 years, all over North America, including Canada, Alaska and Norway.    His collection is stunning.

He even had a Wolverine!!

...and a "Jackalope", hahaha!

Too funny

Our guide told us that the moose heads were the only ones mounted at actual height.  That blew my mind!!!

We weren't ready to leave yet, but had to get out to the farm for the shoot! =)

The family was awesome - super friendly, very cooperative, and in perfectly coordinated outfits.   What more could a girl ask for??

At the end of the shoot, we drove into town for a couple shots... you know it's a small town when you can pose a whole group in the middle of the street! =)

One last shot as we left town...

The kids did Amazingly well with all that driving in one day (I did let them watch one movie on the way out and one on the way back... as long as I got to choose Elf as one of them)  =)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016!

Today was a great day!   (Well, Philip had to work, so that part wasn't great, but the rest was!)

Today was the first day of the Holiday Running Streak Challenge, so this morning the kids and I headed over to the Pennys to do our first run with Jade and Eden (27 others have joined us in the challenge!!!)

Caleb and Moriah bought these hats yesterday - they crack me up!!

All ready to head out and get warmed up!!
(The girls did a 10:32 mile, not bad!)

I roasted up this bad boy yesterday (the kid's 26 pounder from the Turkey Trot!) and also made two desserts - Chocolate peanut butter bars and pumpkin pie bars.

This morning I cooked the rest of the meal (cheesy potatoes, squash, corn, stuffing and made a salad), and then we loaded it all up in the van and headed across town to celebrate with our refugee friends!  (On the way, we stopped at the hospital and dropped off Philip's share, with one of the residents, since Philip was in a delivery!)

This paper write-on kid's table cloth was a hit!!

Time to eat!

Patricia and Moriah

Seriously, Caleb!?
L-R: Gabriel, Obama, Justus, Jane, Michael

Everyone loved the table cloth, not just the young kids! =)
Keenan and Gabriel playing the dot line box game

Caleb and Michael playing at the other end of the table

Caleb made Gabriel color his turkey with him =)

Bahati woke up and had some dinner, too!

Jane and I
We are So grateful to know this family and are honored to call them our friends!

When Philip got home from work tonight, he and I went out and ran a mile (so glad he's doing the challenge, too) and then we turned on our outdoor Christmas lights for the first time (he put them up a few days ago, but we don't do Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving) =)

A couple randoms:

Keenan used Moriah's loom and made this long chain!!!

Yesterday we received a package from JAPAN!!    A friend of ours, Mary Jo (she was on our Ecuador team back in 2003!) and her husband are missionaries there.     Six weeks ago she put a package of treats in the mail for us and we'd been anxiously awaiting it's arrival!   What a fun "international tasting experience" it was!

This was unlike anything I'd ever seen before, sort of spongy?  The kids really liked it!

The most "normal" thing in the package was square, chocolate covered cookies, and the strangest thing were sheets of "fish jerky!"  (those were not our favorite) ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Turkey Trot and Friendsgiving 2016

Yesterday the kids and I ran the Turkey Trot again. It was a chilly, 30 degree (felt like mid 20's) race!

Fortunately, this time we got to wait inside until start time!

Jade and Eden ran too!

The boys

The girls

Only the kids registered, I just ran alongside Moriah to keep her company.

At the start (it was a huge race!)

Keenan and Jade making their move

Us girls right out of the start

It was a great race!    At the end, when it came to the "chute" in to the finish, I broke off and ran along the side... I got a chuckle out of these pictures Philip took as Moriah finished (Keenan was too quick and finished before Philip was ready!)

I realized that tiny red blob over on the left was me!!  Haha!

Look how determined she was!

I think this woman was surprised (and then cheered) when that little pink streak shot past her! =)

There she goes!  

There were 1,543 runners
Keenan placed 271st, his time was 17:27 and pace was 8:44 (he beat 1, 272 people!)
Moriah placed 683rd, her time was 22:08 and pace was 11:05 (she beat 860 people!)

With our friend, Colin from CC (his first race ever!)

Us and some friendly photo bombers =)

When the Pennys signed up, all the turkeys were gone, so we gave them one of our vouchers, but the kids and Philip picked out this Beast!

26 pounds!!!

Last night was the second annual "Friendsgiving" hosted by our friends in Planeview, the Poseys and Tomsens!   So much fun!

Moriah and Caleb by the fire pit

SOOO much food!

People everywhere!

This picture looks like an accident, but I actually took it to show that in this tiny piece of hallway, there were FOUR baby seats with sleeping babies inside! =)

Fun times with friends old and new!

We are so blessed with the friends and community we have here, thank you Lord!