Monday, August 29, 2016

Tips for Traveling to Yellowstone with Kids

What I learned about Yellowstone 
(and some tips for you)....

#1- We were not prepared for the #s (parking lots are nutso - they need to expand upon them for sure)

#2- Pit toilets are gross!!  many of our kids wouldn't even use them and would hold themselves until we reached a real toilet.  So take advantage of the nicer toilets when you see them.  Make everyone go or at least try.  

#3- Skeeters are nasty, so have bug spray handy and constantly reapply (that and sunscreen)

#4- High elevation can cause sickness (vomiting!) and being short of breath (this really affected me being pregnant!).

#5- Lots of curvy roads, cliffs, mountains and my weak tummy/nervous self had a hard time with it all (Sea bands helped me tremendously!  That and prayer....)

#6- Pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks and drinks.  There are not many restaurants in the park and with all the driving that you do, it's best to come prepared with your own snacks and meals.

#7- God's magnificent beauty - you will be filled with wondered and awe

#8- Be prepared for the many dangers - a life was lost in Norris during our stay.  Use an ergo or a sling for your baby, so that you have two free hands for hand-holding two more kids.  And, even though your bigger kids and teens are really smart and invincible, give them rules and explain the dangers to them as well.  Not all of the paths have rails and it could be very easy to slip off with the crowds alone.

#9- Be respectful of the wildlife - this is their home, we are their guests.

#10- You will get to experience many different cultures - more foreigners than Americans it seemed.  (This group of Chinese tourists jumped in our family picture and photobombed it)


To see the other places we visited on our trip Way Our West, click the image below....

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Prayer Request...

++St. Christopher, pray for us++

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

15 Things We Love About You!!!!!

We should have known that when you were born on your actual due date, that it would be a little hint of the person you would become.  Fifteen years ago, when I woke up with contractions, I knew it would be the day I would get to meet you and I couldn’t wait to become a mom.  Every day since then, I am so blessed and grateful to be a mom.  YOUR mom!  We love you SO much!!  Here’s just a small sampling of the reasons why we love you….

15 things we love about you, to celebrate your 15th birthday!!!!!!! 

#1 – how handsome you are!!  (Mom)

#2 – how he plays Pokemon Go and is so good at it (Max)

#3 – he plays baseball with me (Pookey)

#4 – how he is so responsible and good at his school work (Mom)

#5 – he helps me with my school (Ariel)

#6 – he’s my best friend (Mario)

#7 – I like his hair (Rose)

#8 – how he is so fun to watch play video games (Melody)

#9 – he plays games with me when he babysits me (Rose)

#10 – how helpful you are to your family and how much we rely on you (ex:  if you don’t pack the van, half of the stuff we need is forgotten)   (Dad)

#11 – he helps me build new lego sets (Pookey)

#12 – he’s the big guy and I’m the tiny guy (Yoda)

#13 – how he plays Super Smash Bros with me (Max)

#14 – he lets me play his ipad (Ariel)

#15 – you have a great sense of humor and make us all laugh  (everyone)

++Thank you, Lord, for Fone!!  Please bless him today on his birthday.  Help him feel your love. And please help him feel your presence all throughout the next year!!++

Thursday, August 18, 2016

12 Things We Love About YOU!!!

Our first August birthday is here!  Melody turns 12 years old today!!

To celebrate here on the blog, we wanted to share 12 Things We Love About Her along with 12 pictures from the past year....

#1- that you are my sister (Ariel)

#2-  that she plays games with me    (Pookey)

#3-  that we like to read the same books (Mario)

#4- how responsible, mature, and helpful she is (Mom)

#5- her lovin's and snuggles (Yoda)

#6- that she is pretty and beautiful (Rose)

#7- how good she is with kids (Fone)

#8- when she tickles me  (Max)

#9-  we are a lot alike - she likes to do what I do (Ariel)

#10- that I get to wear her old dresses (Rose)

#11- how much she reminds me of her mother (Dad)

#12- she is a mini-me (Mom)

++Thank you, Lord, for Melody!!  Please bless her today on her birthday.  Help her feel your love. And please help her feel your presence all throughout the next year!!++

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CSJ Boys Camp 2016 - "Whatever You Do"

Two weeks ago today, I waved goodbye to my hubs and two oldest sons (and two nephews who rode with) as they drove away for a campout with the Community of St. John.  With a few tears in my eyes.  When you are married and completely one in your marriage, a parting such as this is hard.  But so worth it, because of the amazing opportunity that comes with it.

So what is Boys Camp and what do they do?


(Look at that cutie in the top left!!  Can I admit how my heart skipped a beat EVERY time I saw him in the video - see below....)




(father of 8 - soon to be 9 - has the gift of delegation down perfectly.  Don't you love his pointed finger in giving direction?!)


Here's this year's video of pictures from the camp....
(which some of the pictures from above were taken from it, so I apologize for any blurriness)

++Thank you, God, for the Community of St. John for leading this wonderful camp every summer for our boys and giving the boys such a beautiful experience on what living their Catholic faith is like. Thank you for your Body of Christ, living and present and shining so brightly on retreats like this!!++

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