Monday, August 27, 2012

Soaking It All In

walking a trail at a local state park

My family loves to get outside and hike.  We are very grateful to live in Kentucky where we have so many nice state parks and lots of different trails to choose from.  We normally like to hike in the mountains but this past Sunday after Mass, we went to another state park.  I love history and this park had an assortment of old war history.  But aside from that, it was a day to just be with my husband and kiddos.  I had packed a picnic lunch and after, we walked the park to see what we could see.  While I loved the history, my love of watching my family just be who they are takes the cake.  I snapped the picture above because I wanted to remember what I was feeling.  My boys were way up ahead talking about who knows what.  Mark and his shadow, Lily Rose were right behind them, she was, I'm sure telling her Daddy where to walk next.  I could have jumped up there with them but I didn't.  I did later but for the moment, I just wanted to watch them.  

I am the first to admit that I suffer from the green eyed monster syndrome sometimes.  I see other peoples nicer houses and the big trips they go on.  But it doesn't last too long.  You see, I have found the cure.  The cure is to step back and just watch.  When I do that, my eyes are open to the riches I have.  No, my bank account is very small and our house won't  be found in a  style magazines.  But my riches are worth far more.  My riches make chipped paint look like what chipped paint.  My riches are what you see in the picture above.  My family!  I watch as they walk and be themselves and  it becomes as clear as can be.  I love watching my boys carry on with each other.  Sometimes they fight and bicker but they are the first to lookout for the other all while looking out for there sister too.  I love watching my little girl learn more and more about the world we live in.  I love watching my husband teach them all how to read the trail maps and show them things as we walk these trails.  I soak it all in.  I jump back in and join my crew.  But I have found that in order to be truly present, you sometimes have to step back for just a minute to see exactly where you are and to give thanks to God for the riches in your life.

Just to keep it all real, we aren't out there singing Zipity Do Da.  They are kids and they don't always look so innocent.

a certain little girl protesting reading the names on the statue and having her picture taken.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Reading

Right now I am in the midst of getting all things school ready for our youngest. I have been reading and rereading this book over the summer and cannot tell you what a blessing it has been.  I have followed Elizabeth Foss  on the Internet for a while and love everything she posts.  This book has so many good ideas for learning at home and has helped me tremendously as I put together the year ahead of us.
If you are a homeschooling mom or know one, get this book.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vacation memories

Just wanted to share some vacation pictures and memories before the summer season is gone.  This year we were very blessed to have been able to spend a week in Florida in July.  My husbands parents and sister live down in the sunshine state, so we were able to spend time with them as well.  I was very glad I was able to stay the night with my cousin during our trip as well. She married a year ago and moved to Florida too.

We had a wonderful trip and it was so nice to just relax and remove ourselves from our everyday.  The place we stayed has a wonderful complementary breakfast.  Do you know how nice it is to walk over for breakfast and not have to get it cooked or clean up after.  Lily Rose and I put a dent in the number of strawberries the state of Florida has.  And to have someone else make the beds and clean the bathrooms up was a treat.  The first day after returning from the pool, we walked into our room and Lily Rose gasped and shouted, "Mom, someone cleaned our room."  The shock in her face was so funny.

our room for the week.

We visited the beach the first night down there and watched a drum circle on the beach.  So many sights and sounds and the fire twirler was icing on the cake.  But lets not forget the beautiful sunset.  The sunsets are so peaceful over the water.

drum circle

fire twirler


We visited Tarpon Springs, Fl.  If you are down there, you have to try to take a few hours to tour this very neat town.  We shopped in very neat, locally owned shops, ate desserts that were to die for, and went on a dolphin cruise to a beautiful island.  It was a wonderful day.  Watching the kids, especially my oldest watch as dolphins swam next to the boat would have been enough to make the day perfect by itself.  I would love to go back again sometime.

bringing in the sponges that were harvested

so yummy

this pic is getting enlarged and hung in our bedroom

watching the dolphins

ready to board the boat

Love this of the boys walking together.  Would love to know what they were talking about.

Lily Rose collecting every shell she  finds
She could not get enough of the boat

zooming in on a lighthouse while docked on anclote island

Of course you don't go to Florida without hitting the beach.  The boys stayed in the water the entire time.  The waves were so much fun.  Lily Rose enjoyed playing on the beach and even met another little girl named Lily. 

The rest of the trip included lots of visiting with family and just relaxing and taking in every colorful sunset there was.

My husbands family

My cousin and her new husband

So thankful for time with my family and time to take a step back and relax.