Where Were We Last Week?

Okay, last week was crazy busy. My daughter turned twelve on Tuesday. I can’t believe Alexis is twelve years old. Where does the time go? Sorry, I am trying to be brave.

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Okay, back to the party. She wanted an around the world party so thanks to Pinterest, we got busy. The kitchen was transformed into Mexico.

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The dining room became Paris.

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Our living room became India (Bollywood).

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The pictures don’t do the decorations justice, but it gives you the idea. This party was so much fun to put together and Alexis enjoyed her special day spent with family and friends. So last week was full of decorating, family, and celebrating. I didn’t seem to find time to check in here, but it was a pretty great way to spend last week.

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Apple Picking Fun

The other day we stopped at a local orchard to check when they allowed people to start picking apples. To our delight, they had already started. So we had a surprise apple picking day! One minute we are making our way to gymnastics and the next we are picking apples together. It was fun to just slow down and be in the moment with the kids. They were busy running from tree to tree, grabbing all the apples they could. They couldn’t wait to eat their apple. They spent the rest of the ride to town talking about all the goodies we would make with our apples. We also got to come home and mark apple picking off our fall bucket list.

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Fall Bucket List

Hello fall! This is my favorite time of the year. I love the leaves changing, the cooler weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, craft fairs, and the holidays that fall brings. Fall brings so many wonderful activities to enjoy. So here is our list of fun things we would like to do this fall.

Fall Bucket List:

  • Go to a fall festival or fair
  • Go to a car show
  • Go apple picking
  • Make apple butter and applesauce
  • Make caramel apples
  • Make hot apple cider
  • Take fall walks and collect leaves for fall craft projects
  • Rake leaves and jump in them
  • Have a photo shoot in a leaf pile
  • Have a bonfire with S’mores and hotdogs
  • Visit a pumpkin farm
  • Decorate pumpkins
  • Make Halloween decorations
  • Go trick or treating
  • Make a scarecrow
  • Make and set out birdfeeders
  • Make thanksgiving decorations
  •  Make a thankful tree and add to each day in November
  • Make pumpkin pies
  • Make foods using pumpkin
  • Start making gifts for Christmas

If you have any great ideas for fall leave me a comment. I always love finding something I may have forgot about.

A Lazy Kind Of Day

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We our spending our Sunday outside enjoying this beautiful day.

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A little crocheting, some reading on the Kindle, and a tall cup of coffee seems like a good way to start my day.

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Along with a walk in the woods later to find some new treasures to add to our nature table.

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Maybe, just maybe we will find our way to the creek to cool off in.

However you plan on spending your Sunday, I hope you enjoy your day!

Exploring A New Zoo

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A few weeks ago my husband had to go out of town for work. The kids had a rare time off from gymnastics and we were able to make the trip with him. We ended up in Topeka Kansas, and made good use of our time there. We took a few days just to explore the city, which had some amazing things to do. One of the fun finds was the zoo. This zoo may have been small, but it was well worth our time. One of the things we found interesting were the elephants. We were waiting on the elephants to be turned outside so we could view them, when we noticed the workers walking around placing food in various places. Inside the play toys, on rocks, and in the holes of logs. We found this strange until they let the elephants out. The first thing these elephants did were come right up by the fence to dig for treats, giving us quite an entertaining show!

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Another part of the zoo we loved was the rainforest area. In the middle of this area they had a set of stairs that led up to a platform. The platform was as tall as the tops of the trees. This allowed us some amazing views of the animals that lived in the trees. In all the zoos we have been to, we have never had an experience like this one.

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We enjoyed watching this cute lemur crawl all over the place. He just crawled right over our heads like we weren’t even there.

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These things were my sons favorite thing in the rainforest, I of course didn’t have the same feelings. I envisioned myself on a show like When Animals Attack. Don’t worry that never happened and in the end this little guy even posed for some pictures. Spending a relaxing day exploring this zoo with her kids is just what this mama needed.

Remembering To Breathe

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It’s always easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life. We wake up, rush through chores, do school,  finish school, shovel a very early dinner in as fast as possible, rush out the door to gymnastics, rush home, shower, read (if we can keep our eyes open), and finally we head to bed, only to wake up and do it all again. The weekends come and it’s yard work, laundry, and don’t forget to clean the house. Oh yeah, don’t get behind because that will cause me to obsess about what I haven’t gotten done. Next thing you know, I hear myself saying things like, “No we don’t have time for art. We have to make up that math sheet from yesterday and we still have today’s assignments.” I see the disappointment on their faces and promise myself that tomorrow I will make time, but I just never seem to find this elusive extra time. I try to tell myself to slow down, but what happens if someone stops by and the house is a mess? Well, I would be embarrassed and apologize profusely. What happens if someone asks about where we are in school? Well, I would feel inadequate for not finishing everything I had planned each and every day.

This was the cycle I fell into last year, skipping the fun things just to get caught up. I would promise myself to make time but fear of what others would think about me would keep me playing catch up. I was a good mom, right? I was cooking, cleaning, supporting them in gymnastics and giving them plenty of love. Then I realized time is short and soon my kids will be grown and gone. My house will always be cleaned and laundry will be folded and put away. I also realized my house will be quiet and lonely. I don’t want to look back and regret not taking the time to enjoy life with my kids because of fear. My goal for this new school year is to listen to my kids. Let them lead me at times. For a few days the kids would ask if we could go on a walk and I found myself responding, maybe later. They asked again and instead of saying later, I grabbed my camera and asked them “You think we can find any beautiful flowers to take pictures of ?”

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We walked four miles and found so many treasures along the way. The best treasure of all was, I watched my kids smile while they pointed out every little thing for me to take a picture of.

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This little shovel had been buried in a ditch since this spring. We figured it was just a broken handle until my son decided to rescue it today. To our surprise it was just fine!

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Some of the treasures from our walk.DSC_0101

Flowers collected along the way so we can enjoy them on the table. So my hope is that I remember to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the day. Everything will still get done, right?

Baseball and Gymnastics?

You might be wondering what do baseball and gymnastics have in common. Well, let me tell you. Last night the gym my kids are a part of got to perform at our local minor league baseball game. Let me just say they had so much fun! When I asked them what the best part of the night was, their response was seeing themselves on the jumbo screen!

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After the performance, we enjoyed our first baseball game as a family. A game which the Springfield Cardinals won! I asked them if they would want to go to another game and they enthusiastically responded yes.

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After the games on Friday nights the stadium puts on a firework show so we got to end our night with fireworks! Who doesn’t love fireworks?

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We had so much fun doing something we normally wouldn’t do and I have to say at the end of the night my response to would I go to another game is absolutely!