Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Camping at Petite Jean

The kids were super excited to get to go camping with Poppy and Grammy a couple weekends back.   We have been to Petite Jean several times, here's one of our recent trips.  The big boys went up on Friday and helped get the campsite setup then Adam and I brought Emerson and Ava Jane on Saturday after his baseball game. We set up the tent and chilled out for a bit then headed off to the trail.
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There's a beautiful waterfall that we have hiked to, but this time we took another trail and enjoyed its more moderate intensity down and around to the rocky stream.
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Grammy and Poppy had some walking sticks and the kids enjoyed playing with them so we stopped by one of the park stores and were able to pick up some for the kids and they were a huge hit as you can imagine, they were even turned into guitars at one point on the hike.
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Being out in nature was wonderful, the fresh air, the sights and sounds of the birds, the need for lanterns and flashlights and the slower pace was a welcomed reprieve for the weekend.
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Petite Jean State Park
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The boys enjoyed the fire side time, especially Lawson.  
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And we all enjoyed hamburgers and brats, beans and of course some smores.
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smores

Our time with the Heads was fun, the first weekend out with their new camper was a complete success.  We look forward to making more memories with them in the future.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

This year, we enjoyed several Easter celebrations. The first was with our new neighbors, we had a potluck dinner complete with an Easter egg hunt and egg relay races. We truly have some of the nicest neighbors and our kids enjoy playing together which is a real blessing.
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Here's most of the kids on our street, this was the best group picture we could get.
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Then Sunday we enjoyed worshipping our risen LORD with our church body.  Singing the songs, hearing the message and experiencing the presence of God is always awe inspiring and I again left grateful and thankful for Jesus' sacrifice for me.  He had the power to get down off that cross but instead He chose to endure the pain and all the shame so that I might have the chance at eternal security and life forever with Him.  I'm so thankful for the cross, and what it means for you and for me today and every day.  Mom, graciously hosted lunch at her home and the kids once again enjoyed gathering up all kinds of pastel colored-plastic goodness...some of the eggs even had money in them which made for a fun egg hunt for sure!
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Aren't these the cutest little people you ever did see?!
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Because He lives I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives all fear is gone.  Because I know who holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.  He is risen, He is risen in deed!  I hope you too had a blessed Easter.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break 2017

For spring break we were mostly home doing some outdoor projects but we did take a few days and went to Branson with some good friends.  We left mid morning on Wednesday and caravanned through Arkansas into Missouri.  We stopped for an interesting hibachi style lunch, which happened to be our kids first experience with Japanese cooking entertainment---some at our table were thrilled while some were scared by the flames, but all of us enjoyed our large portions of chicken, steak and shrimp with our fried rice of course.
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Lawson was asked by our server to stand up and shake his booty and try to catch a veggie in his mouth...he was naturally quite hesitant to stand up backwards on his chair since the server had just lit up a large flame on the cooking surface!  He was a good sport though and had a little smirk on his face.
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This was probably the most unplanned trip Carol or I have ever done together.  We literally were just finding restaurants and entertainment along the way, but sometimes that can be nice too.  Leading up to our small get away, we both had had a lot of crazy going on so winging it was just the way it had to go.  We had VRBO-ed a place so we did have a condo waiting for us and we had planned to see the Moses show and had tickets for that, but as for all the other stuff, we were winging it with our posse.
There was that one moment when we pulled over to figure out exactly which way we needed to be going....and per the large sign, it must've been a hot spot for travelers trying to navigate around the large metropolis of Branson, Missouri.
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Our VRBO condo was a bit of a surprise to us when we arrived.   I'd been telling the kids we were staying in a cabin where we could do some catch and release fishing (according to the website) and where there were walking trails and some nearby parks to play at.  It all sounded nice and serene, and it was, but the reality was a "little" less rustic then we'd all thought it might be.  Turned out, we had rented a condo on a golf course so those "walking trails" were more of golf cart paths and those "ponds" were really water hazards, but no matter...the kids had fun!
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After unloading and getting settled a bit we changed into our "active wear" and headed to Fritz's Adventure.   The whole family had a great time climbing walls, crawling through tunnels, doing ropes courses and laser mazes; from start to finish we had ball!!
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On Thursday we had a pancake breakfast with sausage, all sorts of juices, milk and mixed fruit on the side...the one item we forgot, was a little thing called coffee.  So Carol and I volunteered to go get some while the guys took the kids on a nature walk.  At one point, Adam had all the kids by himself while John went to get our car....naturally, Adam would have them doing stretches and relay races.
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They went to a nearby park where a rocky creek made for an excellent place to play, while Carol and I tried to make our way back to the condo from the nearest gas station...we were not happy to see this map showing that we would be sitting in the car for next hour or so.
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Our little posse had a lot of fun and really travels quite well together.
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Thursday afternoon we headed off to the Sight and Sound Theatre's performance of Moses.  I can't say enough good things about it.  It was awesome!  The kids loved it, Adam thought it was a truly great presentation and I thought it was a Broadway caliber show.  With live animals, three stages surrounding the audience, beautiful singing and acting, it felt like we were right in the middle of the story.
Sight & Sound Theatre
After the show we headed to Mel's Hard Luck Diner where singing servers are the entertainment.  It was a 50's style diner serving hamburgers, hot dogs, shakes and the like.  It was definitely an experience.
Branson, Missouri
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While we packed up and loaded the cars, the kids enjoyed digging around on the rocks outside the condo
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Before leaving town on Friday, we played a round of putt-putt golf, which the kids were super thrilled about doing.
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We'd packed a picnic lunch and had planned to find a park to eat at but there just happened to be a couple of tables at the Lost Treasure mini golf so the guys went and gathered the stuff from the cars and we quickly had the kids chowing down.
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Our little get away was a lot of fun.   Our kids loved it and were not ready to get back into the swing of things. I'm so glad we had the chance to make more memories and enjoy the time together.  Hope your Spring Break was restful and enjoyable for you too.
 
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