Wednesday, September 21, 2016


The top picture was in March of 2013 just a few days before I had Jude. I'm dying a little bit inside seeing how tiny and precious they were as I tend to do when digging through pictures. 

The bottom picture was last week. Jude is not normally willing to stand still for a photo, I was bribing him with candy from the gift shop. 
 Last week was homeschool week in Jamestown and Yorktown. I was really hoping to connect with some locals, but it turned out, we were the only locals present on the days we visited. 
 Jude was pretty much along for the ride as he wasn't old enough for any of the special events. He was such a trooper. He lasted right up until we had fifteen minutes left and finally whisper yelled to me, "THIS IS BORING! I'M READY TO GO!" 
 The fella doing one of the firing demonstrations lined the kids up with fake guns. Jude asked to join in and he let him. He marched through all of Jamestown with the big kids, struggling to hold his gun and struggling to keep up, but I'll be durned if every single person in the whole settlement didn't stop and smile at him. 

 There aren't any pictures of the biggest Mr. from that day. He was at a separate event learning about what it would've been like to be on the ships. 

We picnicked in Jamestown as it was a beautiful, breezy 80 degrees. We couldn't have picked a better day to go on such an adventure. Pulling back into our neighborhood, we spotted this fella noshing on something and felt all, "Rah rah, America!" He was absolutely massive. He was so big we thought he was a vulture until he popped his bald, white head up. Even though we see him fairly regularly, I'm still awestruck by our bald eagles every single time. 
Homeschool friends, I highly recommend the Jamestown/Yorktown Homeschool events. It's a bundle ticket and includes visits to both parks as many times as you want during a two week stretch. You can also sign the kids up for different tours and classes. Williamsburg also has a Homeschool week, but I don't pay for anything in W-burg. There's enough free stuff to do there that I feel like paying for anything is a waste of money. I'm only half joking. Added to that, everyone at Jamestown and Yorktown were incredibly nice and knowledgeable. I can't say honestly say the same about quite a few docents I've met in Williamsburg. But...if you're coming from out of town, ya might as well do the whole shebang.

If you're from out of town, consider this a formal invitation to stay with me! That way you can save on hotel costs so you can buy more plastic crap at the gift shops.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Filthy beauty

Sean has started his doctorate because, well...the short version is that his graduating class from USU was the last that was a masters degree. All the classes since and in the future will graduate with a doctorate. 

So as not to owe more time to Uncle Sam, he's decided to go his own route this time. His own route requires several trips to the school house that is a couple of states away. 

All that to say, ROAD TRIP.

We decided to all go for his first intensive. There's not much in the way of vacation destinations between here and the school and we wanted to break the trip up. I used my go-to, Airbnb to book us a lovely mountain lodge in the middle of nowhere. I mean, no-where. This town still had a video store, m'kay? Actually, I think that was the only thing this town had. 
 Imagine my surprise when we drove up to this beautiful setting and it was crawling with people. I thought perhaps we'd come through the rundown part of town. Nope, it was the town, but the campground was having a tough mudder type thing. It was enough of a crowd to make the trek into the campground a nightmare. Dodging running humans on a windy, one lane mountain road only to not be able to find our "cabin" at the end. 
 After dealing with the same crotchety old man three times, he finally understood what "cabin" we were looking for. I should've known. Despite the 5 star reviews, I should've known. What looked like a quaint, glamping type cabin was actually a shed. Had we known how beautiful the campground was, we would've lugged the camping gear with us. Knowing it was only a pit stop, we(Sean) didn't want to do that. In hindsight...
 We thought we were tough enough to hack it. We decided we'd walk around at the campground, see the river, it would be fine. The thing about these tough mudder things is that it's really awkward to be in the middle of one without being involved. We were definitely the odd man out and the campground was absolutely SWARMING with people. We couldn't see the river, much less get to it and enjoy it. 
 We trekked a ways down and found this secluded little nook. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. Half the kids hadn't changed into swim stuff since we were just going to look at the water. Sean took a step in with Jude and the giant drop off beyond the rocks combined with the slick mud took him down. It was hilarious from my end. I don't recall him thinking it was all that funny. 
When we got back to the shed, soaking wet, we decided to dry off on the little porch. The little porch facing the bathrooms. The bathrooms being used by the hundreds and hundreds of tough mudder guests. Yeah. Inside, the shed was really a shed. As in, all that was missing was a lawnmower. Picture a wet Mastiff coming in and soaking your couch. It was like that on every flat surface, but moldier and dank. I imagine the 5 star reviews came from college age males as I can't picture any of my female friends being happy with the accommodations. Even my tough, outdoorsy type female friends.

Sean finally wrapped up our little adventure with, "I've worked too hard in life to be sleeping in a shed."

Thankfully, our next Airbnb adventure worked in our favor and our shed owner even refunded our money when I told him we weren't staying.  The next time we pass through this lovely slice of earth, it'll be with a tent and sleeping bags in the trunk.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A birthday whistle

He wanted an Xbox. 
He got a whistle. 
To go with his kayak.

Because he's a sweetheart, he acted like he was happy with just the whistle. 
He has declared the kayak his greatest gift ever. I'm not sure what that says about the present he got last year. Two living beings in the form of furry mutts. Maybe he forgot they were his gift...
Poor guy was so sick, hence the angry birds pants. We had to delay cake because I didn't want him blowing out his candles with contagious spittle. 
This boy is approaching teenage-hood much too quickly. He was an inch taller on his 11th birthday than Simon was on his 12th. He's surpassed the hand-me-downs and is actually a size bigger than Simon. He had to hand back some hand-me-downs. He gets hangry. If he doesn't eat at very regular intervals, he turns into an absolute turd. He will apologize after the fact, but he can be downright mean if his tank it empty.
This boy is my homebody. He loves to read and is going through books faster than I remember to buy them. He is very patient(unless he's hungry). He doesn't freak out when he can't figure something out, he works through it. He is gracious(unless dealing with Titus). His favorite pastime is arguing with Titus about the most meaningless things that one wouldn't think could be argued about. He is the most loyal friend and is struggling a bit with not having anyone close by that is his age. 
He loves animals and is very empathetic towards all creatures. He's the type that rescues ants from being squashed. He does everything thoroughly and with little complaint. He always has a yo mama joke ready to go. 
He compliments my cooking and thanked me for making his cake instead of buying one(be still my heart). He enjoys helping in the kitchen. This one fits his name to a T. 
11 already, geez. 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

A way with words...

My day started over the phone with my favorite sister. After we'd said our tenth good-bye, I really had to get off the phone. I explained with an,  "(UGHSIGH), they're fighting over deli meat." Not even joking. If the offender who selfishly piled the last four slices of ham on his sandwich had been in the room, the verbal altercation would've escalated to fisticuffs. My sister assured me, while in a fit of giggles, that girl moms do not have to break up fights over deli meat. Hmph.


After repairing a pair of brand, spanking new shorts that received a seven inch rip in the buttock,

"Aw, man. I wanted you to sew a poop emoji over the rip."

He wasn't a fan of the delicate zig zag stitch that perfectly camouflaged a rip that should've landed those shorts in the trash. The zig zag stitch in a color of thread that so perfectly matched the fabric that it was worth the hassle of accidentally knocking three rows of thread from the display case. Do you know what thread does when it rolls under the display rack at Walmart? It picks up hair. Walmartian hair.

Speaking of which, we saw a grown (hairy) human dressed as Pokemon last time we were there. I guess the adult size Pokemon robe is technically on fleck. Yeah, fleek autocorrects to fleck because even a computer knows it's not a word.


Felix was helping Titus with an assignment the other day. From the kitchen I overhead him explaining the fill in the blank, "In the blank, blank made the blank and the blank." Titus, the master stall tactician,

"Yeah, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't speak blankety-blank."


Simon drilled some holes into four seashells and put 'em on a string for me to wear as a necklace. Felix said he should've done 6 to include one for Sean and I. Titus interjected,

"No, there are seven of us! Remember the baby that died? The baby girl mom had?"

Thanks for remembering, Kiddo.


A conversation with a fellow homeschool mom that has me chuckling...

How early is too early for a glass of wine?

Breakfast wine is acceptable if you homeschool.

Can I print that on a mug?

I think a coffee mug printing might get us banned from the homeschool society at large.

Homeschoolers are like Baptists, they hide their drinking well.

Could you imagine showing up at a co-op with that printed on your mug?!?

Have you ever seen a denim skirt withOUT deep pockets? Hmmm???


After having to watch a Bill Nye video for his science class,

"My eyeballs want to commit suicide. That was the worst video I've ever seen."


Road trip gems, all Sean:

After hearing, "I have to pee again," after having just stopped..."It's magic. We turned 4 liters of water into 18 gallons of pee."

"Shut. Up. This is not evening at the improv. Go to sleep!"

Sean singing, "Ya gotta have faith, fuh-faith, fuh-faith. Hm. How awkward would that be to sing at church?" 

Sean singing Adele 550 miles into the trip.

Always the health professional, certain aromas brought medical conditions to mind. "Was that one of you? Seriously, I need to know. That is so awful."

"If you don't knock it off right now, I'm going to find everything in this car that you hold dear and throw it out the window."

After stopping at a rest stop at 2 a.m. "Open the damn door before I get shanked in the parking lot!"

His lectures and rants typically bring stifled laughter from all. 


A picture from a recent trip that I almost deleted. It cracks me up, so it stays. I'm not sure where the whirling dervish connected, but the victim is obvious. I hope they recreate this picture one day. 

Sunday, September 04, 2016


I had a little fun playing with pictures tonight. There are lots more, but these are the ones I couldn't leave alone as they were uploading. I opted to stick 'em on here because I can post them larger than on Facebook. For those of you that don't know who this is, this is Sean's sister and her family. It gets confusing when Sean and I both have sisters named Niki/Nikki. I also have a brother, Jim, and a nephew, Jimmy.

All weekend, Jude was correcting Nikki when she'd call her son,"It's Uncle Jim."

:) Anyway, the pictures!

 She did not intend to sleep. I have no idea how to take pictures of a newborn, but I had fun trying. 

 I LOVE these of Grandma Audie(Sean's mom) and Mackenzie. 
 Her wittle face. :) 

 Nikki and Mackenzie, sigh. Nothing like a mama with her new babe. 

 Jimmy and Mackenzie. 

 My favorite of the two of them. You'd never know this was between cries. 

 I love Daddy's hands holding his baby girl. And that little chicken leg hanging down. LOVE!!
 He even coaxed a sleepy smile out of her. 

 The superhero thing works. I love the batman shirts so much! 
There are more to come, Nik, just have some more editing to do! 

The rest of the pictures...