Monday, June 4, 2012

What I Loved About the Last Two Weeks (33rd Ed.)

Did you notice What I Loved About Last Week was missing last week? We drove to Illinois to visit my parents while Kansas Dad went up to Chicago for a conference.

1. Our best drive to my parents' house ever - no one threw up and hardly anyone cried. We stopped at a rest stop and had a picnic lunch. The kids loved running around and playing games. We made it in record time, too. (Let's not talk about the drive home, shall we?)

2. Second Son started saying "yep" our first day at my parents' house. I'm not really sure where he picked that up, but it's adorable. Over the past two weeks, he has started talking a lot more. "Yep" and "nope" get him far. He also says First Daughter's name and will ask for "more water," though he often means more milk. When he's in the mood, he'll repeat almost anything you name for him. Not that he's in the mood very often. He teases us with it, yelling stuff out when we start to move on to something else.

3. A morning on horseback. We visited friends of my mother who graciously let First Son, First Daughter and Second Daughter ride. They also hitched one of the horses to a pony cart and gave us all rides.

First Daughter would still be on this horse if it was at all possible.

4. An evening with fireflies. We let the kids stay up late one night and run around outside catching fireflies. We don't have many of them on our bit of Range, so it was a new experience for them all. They loved it! We let the fireflies go when we went back inside.

5. A night with Kansas Dad in Chicago. My parents graciously watched our children, with some help from my awesome aunt and uncle, while I hopped a train to join Kansas Dad at his conference. We had dinner with a dear college friend and her family and, the next day, I spent hours with them walking their neighborhood and enjoying a fabulous lunch. It had been about four years since I last saw her, so it was a very special treat to reconnect. (It was nice to hang out with Kansas Dad, too.)

6. Memorial Day at the pond. All the cousins came. We fished, we picnicked, we tried to take a picture of all the grandchildren. It was a great day. (Yeah, I didn't fish. Kansas Dad was in charge of that. Fish and bait don't bother me; I just find it really boring. If I'm going to sit around and stare at the water, I want to be holding a book, not a fishing pole.)

First Son's first fish!

First Daughter's first fish!

7. Ordering books! Sacred Heart Books and Gifts had a coupon code for free shipping. I took advantage of it and ordered most of what we still needed for next year. I love buying books! A few I'm most excited about: A Saint and His Lion: The Story of Tekla of Ethiopia and Saint Thomas Aquinas.

8. Lesson planning. It's a hassle, but I love it. I'm working my way through American History, Physics part I, and Financial Literacy right now. So many wonderful books we're going to read next year!

9. Fences that stand up. A big branch broke our picket fence a few months ago. Subsequent storms have weakened it further. Kansas Dad devoted a few hours on Saturday to a temporary fix. (Eventually, I think we're going to have to rebuild that part of the fence, but since we're not sure of the long-term fence situation, it made sense to avoid a big investment.)

10. Dinner with family. Kansas Dad's brother and sister-in-law were in town this weekend. We were a little wary of infecting them with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, but were able to meet up for a dinner over the weekend.

11. Photo albums. I recently decided to start making photo books with an online service rather than ordering prints and putting them in albums myself. I finished the first album of 2012 over the weekend and ordered it. I also uploaded our May pictures and shared them with family. I am therefore officially up-to-date on pictures! (Not that I have met all my picture goals. Second Son's official picture on our wall is from when he was three months old and the family portrait hanging above our fireplace is more than five years old and is missing two kids.)


  1. I love the planning too - but it sure is hard to figure out how to squeeze it in! I've only just begun to plan for next year. I find your progress impressive! We are finishing up with our school year this week so I'm hoping I can really get cracking soon. I really appreciate the lists you share - I'll be looking at them for my soon to be first grade son.

  2. Amber, I fit planning in when I can, usually while the kids are playing or after they've gone to bed. It will probably take me all summer to get our plans in place. Then I just modify a little bit as we go during the year because I have significantly less time then.


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