On The Road Again - "Our" Business Trip

 Sometimes...Daddy has to go on business trips.  (Though - thankfully - it is not very often.)

And sometimes...we get to go with him!

Three weeks and one day after we arrived home from our cross-country road trip, we hit the road again.  But this trip was only about 4.5 hours long.  (We all laughed at how this used to be a "long" trip to us...but no longer!)

We have been to Orlando with daddy several times before, so the children knew exactly what they wanted to do while we were there: Downtown Disney (which is FREE), IKEA, Target...and - of course - swim as much as possible!  When the children were younger, we stayed at the hotel all day, and only ventured out after daddy was done and could go with us.  But now that I have so many good, big helpers, the world Orlando is our oyster!

While daddy was in meetings learning about all sorts of really important bank stuff...

...we headed to Downtown Disney.  First stop (where else?): The Lego Store!

Whenever you see pics without G and A it is because I had them corralled in the Ergo (A)  and stroller (G) - my strategy for how to manage 6 children by myself.

 We had fun eating at the T-Rex restaurant.

Well, I say "we had fun"...but G did have to keep an eye on the dinosaurs....

...who put on a "show" every 20 minutes, complete with movements and loud roaring and thunder noises. 

This year Daddy's conference was at a hotel we'd never stayed at before, but we checked it out online ahead of time and thought it sounded neat.  

We enjoyed the zero-entry "Family" Pool...

G was in HEAVEN with this "bassetball" goal!

With his -5% body fat, N was a little chilly

I have to include both of these...

...because D is just slap crazy!

...and the slide...
I just barely caught E in this pic

But I do believe the children's favorite attraction was the Lazy River!

Because D can't do anything normal...or easy.

Noah kept accidentally calling it the Lazy Susan...it was so cute!

Abigail and I went around the Lazy River one time together...but never again....because.... 

 ....random "cannons" and squirters shot you as you went around, and I'd spent too long on her hair before we left home to have it ruined.  Her whole-head protective style was supposed to last quite a few days (at least 5) and it wouldn't have if it had gotten soaked!

Thankfully, Daddy got to come down and swim with us after his classes one night.

 This was Abigail's first time in a swimming pool...

...and she liked it!

Gratuitous picture of the back of her sweet little head.

You may not can tell it, but Abby-girl is quite healthy.  At nine-months old, this is the first bathing suit she's ever worn...

...and it's a 4T.

LOVE this pic!  She is napping right now, but this pic makes me want to go give her a big hug!

The straps are rigged together in the back to make their length correct, but the suit is none too big!

She didn't get in the water very much (the pool was cold!), but she liked splashing around a bit.

Everything is just so much more fun when Daddy is around!

We also really enjoyed the hot tub:

I'm including this because of G.  No, he wasn't hurt...just being crazy.

 I wouldn't step foot in the cold pool...but all of us LOVED the hot tub!


She is so beautiful it takes my breath away.

The two youngest didn't sleep well on the trip.  At all.  A had the pack-n-play (which she sleeps in fulltime at home now) but wasn't content at all.  (We realized this morning that she has two more teeth (#7 and #8) peeking through, so this may have contributed).  And G was so wound up with all the fun of a big slumber party (WOOHOO!) and had trouble going to sleep every night.  Jas and I shared our queen with at least one (and sometimes two) cuties for at least part of every night.

I'm going to close with our requisite Pool-Side Line-Up Pic:

April 2015 - E(11), A(9mos), D(10), LK(9), N(11), G(3)...I apparently need a wide-angle lens

The last time we came was two years ago, and it was a (much appreciated) mini-vacation right in the middle of the house remodeling:

April 2013: LK(7), D(8), N(9), E(9), G(14mos)

And the time before that was five (!) years ago, when LK had only been home about 3 months:

May 2010: E(6), N(6), D(5), LK(4)

I got to go on this trip with Jas back in 2007, just a few weeks before we went to bring Daniel home (E and N stayed with my mom).  

And then the first time I remember us getting to go with Jas, there were three kiddos: E was 5, N was 4 and D was 3...and I don't have any pictures to show because I think I just concentrated on keeping us all safe!

I love doing posts like this and looking back at old pics and posts because...

1.  Superficially, it is such a sweet blessing from the Lord that we get to take trips like this!

...and more importantly..

2.  Seeing the way He has changed and grown our family.  It blows my mind...and I want to cry in amazement and thankfulness!


Miscellany Monday, April 20, 2015: Escape (!), Quotes, and Good Reading

Saturday night Jas came in the house from evening milking time and barked/yelled, “I need everyone in the backyard right now.  RIGHT NOW!”  In 22 years of knowing Jas, I have never heard him sound like this before.  

Turns out – as we found out quickly after stepping in the backyard – T-Bone had jumped over the pasture fence and was now roaming stampeding around the backyard.  After heading straight toward the white fence/gate that surrounds the pool and sizing it up, determining if he should/could manage to get over it…he instead - PTL - headed into the “Garden Area”  (a .5 acre section that is about 90% surrounded by fencing of differing sorts).  (If he had jumped the pool fence, inertia would have carried him straight into the pool, and I don’t even want to think about all the possible scenarios that could have led to – all of which are bad/sad/expensive.)

At our (loud) request/demand, Elisabeth went inside with the two babies (G's loud/scared crying couldn't have been helping the situation).  It took the other 5 of us about 20 minutes (that felt like an hour) to get T-Bone back through the gate into the pasture. 

If he pulls any shenanigans like that again, he will be headed to the freezer earlier than we originally planned. 


Noah, Daniel and LK headed to the swing set (20 feet away) and swung a little after the T-Bone adventure was over.  We all had to let our heart rates settle a bit.  

As I walked by the swinging Noah he said, “THAT is why I want to live in the city.”


Another funny Noah-ism, fresh off the presses:

As Gabriel raged (and raged some more) about something this morning, Noah watched with eyes as big as saucers. 

Noah:  “Does he have a disorder?  Like…a mental disorder?” 

Me:  “Ummmm, yes…it’s called ‘Being 3’!”


As much as I adore reading, and read lots of fiction to the children, I have not read much fiction for myself in years.  When I can snatch time to read for myself these days, it is non-fiction.

BUT, I have made an exception…..

When we had supper with the M family a week and a half ago, Cathy had a book tucked on her bookshelf that immediately caught my eye.  The author’s name, BIG on the spine, was “Jan Karon.”  I asked excitedly, hoping against hope, “That’s not another Mitford book...is it?” 

Praise the Lord, yes it is!

Cathy let me borrow it and I’m almost halfway through this 500 page monster, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good.

I found and read all the Mitford books in the early 2,000’s, when we still lived in Colorado.  Fell in love with Father Tim and Cynthia.  And Barnabas.  And Dooley.  And...well, everyone else in Mitford too.  I wanted very much to live in a small town like Mitford.  Cathy and I heartily agreed that now….we do!!!


And finally...I am super excited about this:  A (free!) 6-week course entitled "A Surrendered Heart: A Wife's Journey to Love the Jesus Way"

This course is from one of my all-time favorite bloggers.  I have been reading Laura's blog (Heavenly Homemakers) for years now.  Her blog is 80% healthy recipes, 20% other stuff...and 100% hilarious.  She seriously cracks. me. up!

All I have to do is show up on her blog RIGHT HERE every Thursday for the next six weeks.

Laura loves Jesus.  And she loves her husband.

And I am excited for this course to start on Thursday!


Our 19th Anniversary

While we were in Colorado, Jas and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.  Well, the date arrived, but we didn't actually celebrate per se,  because we didn't want to take a night away from all the family since we were only there for 6 nights.

So....this past weekend, Kalyn came to watch the kiddos and we finally took the time to officially celebrate number nineteen, because it certainly deserves to be celebrated.

Kalyn also took this pic for us - that sweet girl earns her money when she comes here.

Just yesterday, this was us:

Two 20-year olds, head over heels in luuuuuuv

As much fun as we were having as 20-year olds, being here is oh-so-much sweeter...and I dare say, even more fun.

We look different on the outside:  grey hairs (that thankfully look like highlights in red hair), no hairs, wrinkles laugh lines...

But the big difference is on the inside:  a comfort and peace knowing that while our journey through this fleeting life is rocky and bumpy (oh man is it)....

.....I am so thankful to the Lord for who I get to journey with.

WHAT was I telling Jas???

And I don't mean "comfort and peace" in a boring, stale kind of way.  Oh, no.

Because things are never boring around here.

And if the kiddos didn't make sure of that...

...Jas certainly could.  

No, I mean "comfort and peace" in a wonderful, safe.....wonderful sort of way.  A way I wouldn't have dreamed possible as that 20-year old in that picture up there.  

That 20-year old knew that she knew that she loved that cute guy....but she never knew that this would be so good.  I am so amazed and thankful for how the Lord has worked in and through our marriage.   While our kiddos are a close second (times 6), I easily consider Jason the #1 biggest blessing the Lord has given me.  


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