Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wrapping up July

Well, now that July is almost over, I guess I should do my third blog post of the month ;)

Keenan, Moriah and I have been busy training for our triathlons next month, so lots of swimming, biking and running going on here! =)

As a result of reading a book by Michael Pollan called, "Cooked", about how cooking in general, but especially as a family is a dying art - I have been getting the kids into the kitchen a lot more (even made it a part of their school requirements!)  =)

Chocolate chip cookies  - 100% kid made!

Moriah made these "pop up pancakes" for Philip and the kids for breakfast one morning - so easy and fun!

I have also done a ton of experimentation in the kitchen.  Along with baking bread and making yogurt, I've made shrimp and sausage jambalaya, cottage cheese, ricotta, pickled eggs, tried my hand at fermenting (beets), made lime curd (SO yum!), soaked and cooked black beans, and have been finding lots of uses for all the whey I have accumulated.

On July 11, I dropped the kids at VBS, came back out to the van 10 minutes later and found that my window had been smashed and my purse was stolen!   I almost Never have cash, but this time I had $200 for something the next day =0/

I was super grateful that 1) They didn't take my phone (that was sitting right there in the cup holder), 2) They didn't take the garage door opener (which would have been super creepy), 3) The pastor of the church came out, and let me use his phone (my died as soon as I called Philip) to call the police and helped us clean up the mess 4) Philip took care of calling all the card companies 5) We were able to get my new license taken care of the next morning at the DMV in SIX MINUTES! 6) God really worked in my heart and helped me to forgive the thief and to not speak bitterly about it after. 7) While cleaning it up, I realized how pretty the broken glass was as it sparkled in the sun, so I scooped some into a bag and saved it.   

It sits on the counter and makes me so happy when I look at it!

Caleb made this at VBS and I can't even stand how cute it is =)

On July 12, we hosted First Wednesday here and had great speakers (former grads of Via Christi) from North Africa share about their ministry.

Caleb learning how to play Battleships!

July 15 - Caleb and I had a delightful breakfast date at IHOP.   As we were leaving, he said, "I had a fun time, thanks for bringing me here!"  =)   That evening, Keenan and I had a date and spent an hour and a half at a waterpark together.   It was So much fun just being able to hang out with him.  We went on the lazy river, rode water slides, sat under the Monstrous dumping water bucket (over and over!) played tag and water basketball.

July 16, Moriah, Caleb and I got up early to watch our friends compete in a triathlon here in town and then Philip and Moriah went out for a breakfast date.

They rode bikes to Quick Trip, picked up breakfast sandwiches, donuts and drinks and then went to a park to eat before finishing up another few miles on their bikes =)

For lunch that day we headed out to Stearman's Field.  Philip and I have been there twice for Christmas parties, and have heard how awesome it is in the summer, but kept forgetting to take the kids out there!   We Finally did and loved it!   The restaurant is located at a small airport, Right beside the runway, so you can see small planes coming and going the whole time!

While we waited to be seated, we watched a plane get towed out onto the airstrip

The restaurant has huge doors that open up so you still have a great view of the planes while you eat!

A plane taking off

My faves

July 17-21, the kids did another week of day camp at the Art Park, this time with an Ancient Egyptian theme.

July 20 - Picked up Panera and had lunch with Philip at his office.   I enjoyed a personalized beverage with my lunch!

These are delicious if you ever have the chance to try one!

July 22 - I helped with the annual Planeview trash cleanup and got to ride on the back of a trash truck for four hours!

Now I can check this off my bucket list!   (Haha!  I didn't know it was on my bucket list until Devin mentioned it!)  =)

 We picked up a Ton of brush, LOTS of couches, mattresses, chairs...and all manner of other gross, nasty things.   It's pretty awesome watching a trash truck "eat" an entire couch (with pullout bed in it!) in just a few chomps.
We saw spiders, cockroaches, and mice!  It was hot, hard, dirty, sweaty...and Awesome!

My friend, Sarah, gave the kids a fun chalk paint kit, so they decorated the sidewalk and driveway

July 29 - Dad Dooley got into town!   Woohoo!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fourth of July, 2017

Our Fourth this year was wonderful.   No hoopla, nowhere to be, no food to prepare, no parking and walking to fireworks...just the five of us and God's beautiful creation.

We started out at Fall River State Park.   It was still raining when we arrived, so we waited it out a bit and then started when it was just sprinkling.  Everything was very wet and muddy on the first trail.  It wasn't the type of trail we are typically used to and was very grassy, some quite high.

See how overgrown the trail is?

I made sure Philip went first and carried a stick to swipe all the cobwebs, since no one had used the trail before us that day =)

The kids and I with the pretty Fall River Lake in the background

All five of us

I love how their bright colors stood out against all the green =)

A few fun plant shots:

On a bridge... where we mistakenly added some extra mileage to our hike...
By this time we all had squishy, wet feet and were getting very hungry!

With my love.
Look how grassy the trail is here!

I love this shot!

We were VERY ready for lunch at the finish of this hike and were happy that Philip had suggested we all bring an extra pair of dry socks!

It was actually quite cool at lunch and these two snuggled in a blanket while they ate

We had some delicious "All Dressed" chips with our lunch - Yay, Canada!

Next, we headed to Cross Timbers State Park, at Toronto Lake, near Toronto KS (named after Toronto, Ontario!)

Now This is hiking!   Go Kansas!!

So fun to have some elevation change

Thanks, Grandma Eberts for our 4th of July clothes! =)

Couple family shots by Toronto Lake

Our little billy goat ready for the last hike

American Cutie

This trail had a super cool "fort" that people have made over time!

That evening we sat in our driveway and enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks.   The kids did some sparklers:

In other news, Philip and I watched these two great movies (both based on true stories) over the weekend and highly recommend both, ESPECIALLY Lion!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Canada Day/Farewell Stephens

Canada day here was not particularly patriotic or celebratory, but it was a fun day as a family, nonetheless.

Well, it was mostly fun.   The morning was bittersweet as we went to the airport to see off our friends, Todd, Dawnita and Tam who are headed to France and then on to West Africa for the next year!   We got to spend some special time and prayer with them before they headed through security.

I love this one of Moriah and Tam!

The three of them

Todd and Dawnita

What a sweet friend and encourager Dawnita has been to me, I will miss her so much!

On our way out, we ran into Andrew, our friend and Via Christi grad from last year, who had been in town for the week.

Our annual Canada day pic =)

In the afternoon, we took the kids to the theater to see the brand new Despicable Me movie.   We all loved it!! =)

After dinner we all went for a 3.5 mile walk.   We're trying to make a point of getting in exercise that is going to help us on our hikes on our big state parks trip in September!

John and Heather's Wedding

Last Sunday we attended the last of four weddings in the last five months! Recently graduated resident, Heather and new third year resident, John got married at the beautiful Barns at Timber Creek where our friends Dan and Mindy got married a couple years ago!

A couple pics before the ceremony since no one knew if the weather was going to hold!

Devin and Melissa


...and a bee on a flower =)

Time for the weddin'!

Heather and her dad

John, Heather and Sam

Just as they were wrapping up, the ominous grey clouds let loose and the umbrellas were a poppin'!

Their joy can't be dampened by rain!

Umbrellas selfie!

Haha!   Our friends Sean and Todd sharing an umbrella

For their guestbook, they had someone take polaroids of each of the guests and then we put them in a book and wrote a note underneath - so cool!

Mr. and Mrs. Grisham!

Philip and I lucked out and ended up at a table with three Amazing, godly couples - Sam and Amy McVay, Todd and Dawnita Stephens and Jeff and Jenny Doolittle!

Everything was beautiful, the food was delicious, the speeches were awesome and the fellowship was sweet.   Congratulations, John and Heather!