My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to school

I'm not finished with the vacation log, but I need to take a break to document the first days of school this year! I say dayS because my kids never all have the same start date.  Or end date.  Or vacation days.  Grrr...

First to head back are these two high schoolers!  Aren't they the cutest??  I can't believe how tall Caleb has gotten in the last few months!  He's 6 feet, and still growing fast!

Savannah got her license this summer and gets to drive herself to school this year.  Thank goodness for that license, cuz she is one busy girl!  I could never keep up with her.  Unfortunately, Caleb starts and ends school later than Savannah, so he is stuck with the school bus.

Favorite Caleb quote from the first day.  Becca asked if he saw any cute girls there.  "Ya, there were lots of cute girls, but most of them weren't wearing any pants!"  It's his first year in a public school without uniforms.  I think it was a bit of a rude awakening.

Two long weeks later, these guys finally started back to school.
Josh in 8th grade, Jonah in 5th, Simon in 1st.

They didn't know it, but they were REALLY READY for summer to be over.  These last couple of weeks have been mostly TV, video games, or fighting and teasing.  The silence in the house today is soothing to my soul!

And finally... two LONG hours after we dropped the big boys off, Eli had his first day of "boy school."  It's really just a rotating play group, but he loves to tell everyone that he gets to go to school.  He wanted to pack a backpack and a lunch, like the big kids.  These are his friends Clayton and Calvin.

Sweet little Eli- he had been talking about boy school for DAYS, he was so excited!  Then this morning about an hour before it was time, he knocked on the bathroom door.

"Mom, if I go to boy school, you will be so lonely at this house by yourself!"  And after a pause, "Maybe I don't want to go to boy school."

Bless his little heart!  He was willing to give up something he wanted so badly so that his mom wouldn't be lonely at home!  Melted my heart.  Luckily it didn't take much to convince him that it was ok to go... Mommy will be just fine.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


I LOVED Philadelphia!

We stayed across the river in New Jersey, and got to take the train into the city in the morning.  That was the highlight for a couple of the kids!

Our first stop was the Liberty Bell.  Before the trip, I had assigned each kid two subjects for reports.  I was hoping that they would get excited about some of the sights before we got to see them, and that they would be more meaningful.  Simon did one of his on the Liberty Bell.  In this case, my plan really worked!  He was so excited to see the bell and get his picture taken with it. He even spent his own money on a Liberty bell keychain!

We went to the US Mint, which was really cool.  They had a great interactive setup for kids, and we got to see coins being made.  They didn't allow pictures, but we did get this one of Eli's chin.  He tripped and fell while we were there.  Poor guy!

It was a pretty long wait for our turn to tour Independence Hall.

It was pretty hot, and Simon was mad about something or other.

But so worth it!  We had a very entertaining tour guide, so even the kids enjoyed the long tour.  It felt almost like a holy place to me.  The place where those men prayed and sought Heaven's guidance as they laid the foundation for this great nation.

We visited the Cemetery where Benjamin Franklin is buried, as well as several other signers of the Constitution.

 Then we headed over to Elphreth's alley.  It's a well-preserved colonial style street. SO CUTE!


The campground where we stayed in Lancaster county had a neat covered bridge and an old museum.  Sunday morning we toured those while we waited for church to start.  

After church we headed over to Hershey, PA where we took the free tour to learn how chocolate is made.  I'm sad that we didn't get a picture of our souvenirs from that!  We got Jeff a GIANT Hershey's Peanut Butter Cup in honor of Father's day.

Then it was off to our RV park in New Jersey.