Monday, December 12, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Well, our house sold. Just like that.

We've been living in our new/old house since the middle of October.

Life just keeps on moving forward. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Grand Lake, Colorado

We went with Jason on one of his business trips to Colorado. We stayed in Grand Lake, but the event was officially held in Estes Park, Colorado. The town of Grand Lake is very charming. It's an old mining town and a lot of the cabins are 100+ years old. The town is incredibly safe and you will see young kids running around and biking along the roads and trails. It's very neat to get a glance of what it was like when that was typical in every town. We stayed with Dr. and Mrs. Kelley, and they are prominent members of the town so we had access to places we might not have otherwise. We got to go explore the yacht clubhouse and see a wedding reception that looked like something out of a movie. The first night that we there, we pretty much came in, said hello, and went to bed. It was very late our time, and we had traveled over 14 hours total. Saturday, we explored the town with Mrs. Kelly. Grand Lake is a very small town; I think the population is around 400, and most them are multi-millionarirs. Therefore, the cabins and landscapes are so great. You just can't stop looking.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Elaina's 10 Year Old Trip with Aunt Kat

It's been a hard day so I think I'm going to try to de-stress by posting about our trip to Virginia.
We've got some funny vacation combos going on with our family this year. Claire and Eily get to go on the cruise this coming March, so Elaina got to go with me to visit Jason in Richmond, Virginia.

My cousin, Kathryn, came to me last summer with an idea that I thought was fabulous and fun-sounding. She wanted for me and her to take a trip with each girl as they turned 10. We kept trying to make it happen after Elaina turned 10 and it only took nine months to be successful. :)

Elaina and I left the house very early Monday morning and made it to Memphis in record time. If you are wanting to travel from FS to Memphis and meet no construction on the road, do it in the early morning.  Since "Aunt Kat" happens live in Memphis and we had a couple of hours to spare before we needed to be at the airport (and because she got the call that her car had officially died earlier in the day), we picked her up and all three of us got mani/pedis so we would look amazing during our vacation. :) Elaina found it hilarious that she got stuck with the man worker. Kathryn took us to the airport since she was going to use the Suburban until it was time for her flight the following morning. We got there a little early so we stopped for lunch- BBQ of course! It was the Memphis airport, after all.
Waiting for our flight to see Jason

We finally arrived in Baltimore and then stood in line for about on hour to get our rental car. The man said that they had run out of the kind of car that we paid for so would we mind driving a SUV for the same price? Of course not. So when we walked outside, we died laughing because it was a huge Dodge RAM truck. Oh well, we are from Arkansas, after all.

We drove the hour to the house where we would be staying with Jason. The house itself was fabulous. It was a historical house and we stayed in the servants' quarters in the lower level of the house. We got up early Tuesday morning and drove to DC to collect Kathryn from the Regan airport. I have traveled enough in the past two years to have learned this one things about myself- FOOD is the most important thing to me when exploring a new location. I never care about shops or about what all there is to do, I just want to know- WHERE ARE THE AMAZING RESTURANTS? So of course I had put in some research and knew that the first stop must be 2Amys. It did not disappoint. (Well, Elaina wasn't a big fan.)

They had amazing pizza, amazing appetizers, and the most world-changing wild-flower honey sorbet. 

Pizze d.o.c. means that these pizza had been recognized as official Italian pizza from the Italian government. 
Elaina's drink of the trip was Ginger Ale. She said this bottle was the best of the trip. :)

Risotto balls and delicious deviled eggs

Pizza for everyone!!

We waddled out of 2Amys and made our way (much longer way than we anticipated) to the Metro station. It was a very rainy day and we got a little wet here and there.
They had these funny picture things all along the street. 

Elaina worked on her Metro skills the whole day. I would try to explain to her where we were going and see if she could keep up with where and when we needed to get off the train.

Heading down to the Metro!

Our first stop was the Natural Museum of American History. This is one of my very favorite places to visit in DC. There are always really interesting things to see.

Lincoln's hat he was wearing when he was shot. 
Kathryn and I have a mutual love for food and how to prepare it, so we both get a little "fan-girlish" when we see Julia Child's kitchen.

The kitchen is her literal kitchen. They moved everything to the museum and kept everything in it's exact place. You can walk around and look at it from every angle. I could have spent a couple of hours looking at everything but Elaina was ready to move on to another exhibit. 

I loved looking at the books on her bookshelf. I may copy every single thing. 

We finally left the museum and headed for the Mall. It was really looking very stormy at this point but we didn't let that deter us. I had bought a flimsy umbrella from a guy on the street but Kathryn held her ground and wasn't tempted. She later regretted that. :)

Elaina and Kathryn in front of the Lincoln Memorial

It started raining really hard while we were at the Lincoln Memorial but we saw a taxi sitting by the curb and decided to make a run for it. Well... he wouldn't take us because we were too wet. And believe me, we were completely soaked by that time. My umbrella had decided to invert itself and be of no use and poor Elaina and Kathryn were just drenched.

At this point, we really couldn't get any wetter so we decided to walk back to the Metro station and go home.
The next morning, we went to a nearby coffee shop for breakfast. We bought every type of macaroon they served and a few other delicious pastries. We may have gained a few pounds during this trip. :) Seriously though, the grapefruit macaroon was heavenly.

Our location on the schedule for Wednesday was Colonial Williamsburg. This was by far the highlight of the trip for Elaina. She was desperate to completely envelope herself in the time and place so we decided her birthday gift should be a period dress and hat. She bummed hard that they didn't sell genuine leather hand-made shoes. Haha
They do actually make them there but they are just for the people who work there. Elaina has also decided that she wants to work there one summer. I have to say I agree it would be an amazing experience. I would try to get a job in the shop that made the rugs and cloth. (Plus, their shop had air-conditioning. )

Learning to make a notebook with paper and thread. 

We spent as much time as we could at Colonial Williamsburg. It was so much fun. I hadn't been there since I was a teenager so it was fun to come back and watch my daughter have all the feelings I had the first time I went. It will for sure be a place that I come back and bring all the girls.
We went home again and visited a little with Mr. John, the man who owned the house where were were staying. His wife had left so we didn't get to meet her but she did write Elaina an email that I will attach at the end of this post. Mr. John is from England and his wife is from France. It was fun to listen to him talk and take notice of his impeccable manners. 
The next morning we drove to George Washington's house, Mount Vernon. Now in hind sight, We should have gone there the day before. Once Elaina had been to Colonial Williamsburg, nothing else could compare. She liked Mt. Vernon but she kept mentioning that she would love to just go back and spend the rest of the day at CW. :) She did, however, wear her costume in case there were some other people in their costumes.

That evening, we went with Jason to an artists' dinner down the street at another old, historical house. This one even had the only kitchen in the basement. The poor women helping host the event went up and down the starts about 50 times. And they weren't exactly spring chickens! The granddaughter of the woman hosting the event was also there and she and Elaina struck up a quick friendship. Her name is Colette and they plan on being pen-pals.  

We didn't linger long at the dinner. We were tired and Jason was completely exhausted. We came home and played some cards and watched a cooking show. The next day was Friday and Kathryn and I headed back to the airport. We got in extremely late so I stay the night and left early the next morning. I was very, very happy to see this sign. 

Jason and Elaina didn't leave until the following 
Monday. The spent the weekend picnicking with Mr. John and doing several Plein-Air painting sessions together. The did have an awful time getting home. They ended up having to stay the night in the airport and then catching a different flight home. At least Elaina had this memory to carry her through the ordeal. :)

The email from Mr. John after we were back home:

I believe you are about to land safely so hopefully this will reach you just in time!
Thank you so much for the absolutely wonderful painting - I showed it to Benedicte via Facetime as soon as I returned home and then I took a photo and sent it to her as well. I must say her initial intake of breath was sufficient, it really is beautiful and one we will treasure for all the  time we have left  on this planet - be in here in Richmond or back in England. It will hold a very special place in our home and bring back memories for me which I will always remember. 
Now - I do wish Elaina had her own personal e-mail address so I could communicate directly to her how much pleasure her drawing gave Benedicte and me today. We both thought it was SO SO SPECIAL - and we loved the real message you wrote to us. So Elaina - thank you so very very much.
In particular will always remember you and our talks together -Paris, tailwinds, currencies ( 2000 lira  = $X), the Boston Tea Party, Donuts (thank you Daddy!) how I met Benedicte (and thus discovered how your parents met) the picnic (and your multiplication tables - 9X9 !) English crumpets ( so-so) and marmite (awful !) ice-cream ( my apologies Mummy !) and I loved to see how you looked at Daddy - that was, in the best American way I know,   - "real neat". So - thank you so much for our picture - it's so very special. 
What I did forget to do was give you Collett's address so here it is. Do hope you can find the time to write to her. ( You could always suggest to Mummy that it could be an English lesson !) 
     *removed for privacy*

So - Jason and Elaina - thank you so much for staying with us - it was a real pleasure to get to know you both !

John and Benedicte ( from London)
I told her all about our adventure together  

p/s Just as you are both landing it has start to pour down with rain in Richmond - so you see we are not happy to have lost you both and the sky is angry !  

And this was the email from his wife, who we never met in person but was still a gracious host.

Jason and Elaina,
I certainly couldn't have put it better than John. 
I really was so happy to see both painting and drawing. It is one of my favorite view of Richmond, we often go to the park for a walk and look both to the river and the town. 
Thank you so much for your wonderful gifts, with their own personal and special message, I will treasure them very much. I am just sorry I was not in Richmond for the event as I enjoyed it so much in the past. 
I know John enjoyed having you to stay and I see that Elaina experienced Richmond to the full.
Hope to see you again next year.
With all my thanks


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Apparently I'm chatty now

Not that that's a new thing, it just hasn't been a current thing when it comes to the blog.

We buried my little nephew yesterday. His name is Able Isaac. He was born at 19 weeks but lived 18 weeks. It was a sweet, painful, God-honoring service.

Training for Classical Conversations starts tomorrow. Life just keeps going no matter what's going on during the day-to-day. Eily is with Mom and Dad, the older girls are taking a sewing class, and Nora is going with me to the training.

I have so many friends going through such hard things right now. I feel helpless so I just pray for them. Adulting is no fun sometimes.

Females, do you shave your legs every time you shower?

Whole 30 can be easier than you think. Try it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Whole 30- Day 1

So I guess that I started the Whole 30 (my version) today. That means that sometimes I eat cheese and I still put creamer in my coffee. I thought I had started it a few days ago but then I found out that a smoothie I was eating to kind of beat the sugar craving had tubinado in it. Super Bummer. So I've started back in on my exercise routine that I was doing before the recent trips, and I ate a smoothie- minus the sugar.
Breakfast- egg white omelet with sausage and salsa
Lunch- Strawberry Limeade with Mint Smoothie
Supper- Zucchini/Sausage Hash stuff that I made up and enjoy, Fried Egg

That's my Day 1.
I feel sleepy but pretty good.
What I have not done well- drinking water

Monday, July 04, 2016

July 4, 2016

This seem like a good day to take up blog writing, yet again. It's America's birthday!

I've been on hold with American Arlines for 22 minutes and 57, 58, 59,...seconds. I have yet to talk to an actual person. It's just great. Oh wait. I finally talked to someone and and she said you can't actually talk to a real person. you have to go online and fill out a report and just hope that you get what you need. Yeah right. I'm thinking we are just going to forget the compensation thing. Moving on.

So that's my holiday so far. I'm hoping the rest of it is more pleasant. If I ever feel like spending a lot of time typing, I'll tell you about Maui and Harmony Hill and Virginia.

Happy 4th!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Wolf in the Woods

It's coming for us, no doubt about that. We had our annual Family Day last weekend with my Dad's side of the family. We all visited and hing out together and the locals hosted the traveling family members in their homes. And now at least seven people are down with a stomach bug. I'm just waiting. I know it's out there, like a wolf prowling in the woods. I just don't know when and where it's going to strike. We've been using some essentials oils in hopes of keeping it away, but we may have started using them too late.  At least this week is spring break so we don't have CC, music, or ballet.

This not knowing is driving me crazy.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Oh man. I am so tired. How are you doing? I feel very disconnected from everyone sometimes, even though I really hear from you all fairly often. I just get so busy with what we have going on in our household that I can't even deal with what is going on in your household. Sometimes I love the busy and sometimes I hate it.

The girls are doing great. Elaina is writing some pretty cool stories these days. Claire is rehearsing with Eily for the upcoming ballet, Alice in Wonderland. Eily is also mastering the violin. Nora is large and in charge. So nothing is new there. :)

Jason has started his 2016 season of traveling and competing.

Life is pretty much consistently changing and evolving. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Checking In

We went to Maui. We came home. I took a lot of pictures. I am tired but less tired than yesterday. I am determined to make some progress today. I'll write up a Maui post soon. 

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Tell me a thing or two


That's me relaying the voices in my head. I am so glad that the work is getting accomplished, but oh my goodness, how badly I am needing have the furniture back inside my house and in its right place. And guess what? The day after the floor men finish, the painter starts.  (insert palm hitting forehead emoji)

The painting won't be near as bad because it's just a room at a time and and it's more just getting things off the walls, not removing furniture from the room. Thank Goodness.

So tell me, what has been going on with you? I need a distraction from all the work here.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Good Morning!

Today, I'm taking advantage of the fact that we homeschool. The girls are outside playing, and I am in bed doing computer work. There is a good reason I am in my bed. The floor guy is coming in the morning so there is basically no furniture downstairs. We do still have the couch but we don't have any side tables so there is no spot for my coffee cup. So I'm in my bed, drinking my coffee, working my Colossians studying, and typing for my blog. Such a multi-tasker. :)

We have a ton of schoolwork to do to be ready for our co-op tomorrow, but I have decided that today all schoolwork is going to happen after lunch.  I am chill and relaxed and ready to slowly cross things off my mental list. Days like this usually flow pretty good.

So I'm still going strong on my food habits. I haven't had sugar or gluten for a couple of weeks. It really hasn't been hard at all, and I'm extra grateful for that.

My in-laws came and visited us for the first time this past weekend and we had a really good time. It was low-key and the girls really enjoyed having them in their home and showing off their music "skills."

I'm off to take a shower and get ready for this day of relaxed productivity. Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Possible Repeat of Family Cuteness

You know what I never thought was that big of a deal but turns out I feel edgy without it? Baseboards. Well, the quarter-round that goes along the bottom of the baseboards, to be specific. I miss my quarter-round. I just can't ever feel like the house is clean these days. I know part of it is that our floor is rough concrete, but it's that small gap between the floor and the baseboards that just really gets to me.

We did a nice full day of school today. I felt very accomplished.

Claire had her first cello lesson. I'm not sure I see this having longevity.

I have been studying in Colossians. Did you know there's just a whole lot of goodness packed in those four chapters? Well there is. Read it. And then read it a few more times.

I have decided gluten should basically be eliminated from my diet. Last night, Jason surprised me with a date and and I splurged and had some breadsticks. I felt horrible afterwards. My stomach was swollen and tight and I had to waddle out of the restaurant. It was a good reminder of why I started avoiding it in the first place.

I can't remember if I ever posted any of family pictures but if so, enjoy again. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's Over

The floor coverings are gone. The downstairs is now all raw concrete except for my bathroom and Eily and Nora's bedroom. It's going to stay this way until March, so in the meantime, I'm going to finally get curtains and rugs so that it's not so cold and sterile feeling. In about the three weeks, the painter will get started painting all the walls, and we will then be two thirds of the way through all this home repair chaos.

I feel like all I'm blogging about is the very boring details of our house. Sorry. It's just that is what's captivating most of my thoughts right now.

A while back, Kathryn asked me what I would do in my "free" time if I could do anything I wanted. I think she asked it just offhandedly, but it stuck with me and I have devoted a lot of my "free" time thinking about it. What would you do?  I have narrowed it down to sewing and cooking, but I just can't decide between the two.  Of course, traveling would be the obvious answer if "free time" meant more than a few hours in a row and an endless budget, but she didn't clarify those facts.

What would you do?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Purposing to Remain Calm

A new week is starting. I was really looking forward to this week because it's like a tiny fresh, new beginning, but instead of starting off strong like last week, we are starting off in pure chaos. The men are coming tomorrow to tear up all the flooring and so my sister and I moved all of the furniture into the school room, Eily and Nora's room, and our bathroom. Forget school tomorrow. That's not happening. And of course it's the day before the first day back at our co-op. Ideally, we would be able to get to our school desks on that day, but oh well. So here's to a large cup of coffee in the morning, some quiet study time before the workers arrive, and to keeping calm when I really want to scream.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Aaannd, we crashed

Well, we all knew that good streak couldn't last too much longer. I overslept, Jason was up all night with a migraine, school went an hour longer than usual, I spent all afternoon on the phone learning how to work a rife machine (boring), the girls trashed the kitchen playing Master Chef Junior while I was on the phone, as I was cleaning up that mess Jason told me an art friend was staying the night, I got mad at Jason for inviting the art friend since I had just finished hosting a different art friend and we have more company this weekend, Jason got mad at me for being mad at him, the girls were irritable with each other, Jason and I got into a "discussion" and so we were almost late for ballet, I didn't look Jason in the eye when we got home from ballet and then he left to go meet that friend for supper instead of having her stay the night, and now I'm here on the couch, pouting and licking my wounds and not feeling very forgiving-ish. But you know what, I have to forgive. I just do. It's what is right and certainly not easy, but not impossible. And I have to ask for forgiveness. Y'all, I HATE asking for forgiveness. I love to show it, to feel it, etc... but I DO NOT like to say the words. And that's an ugly truth about me. I should say it's one of the ugly truths about me because there are plenty to be found.

Silver linings: I did all my prep work for my tutor meeting tomorrow and I'm about to work on the new cleaning schedule. Those two things were weighing heavily on my mind and it feels good to put them behind me. Also, tomorrow is a new day; tomorrow is a fresh start.

I'm still enjoying our routine-y days. I'm slightly obsessing over them, actually.

Is this post to personal? Maybe. But I'm going to take a small guess that you all have had days like this and so you can relate, perhaps smile at my misery a little, and say a little prayer that tomorrow is the opposite of today.

Do I still have readers? If so, I would love to read a comment from you. It helps to know that I'm actually "talking" to someone.  (kudos to Mom for her commenting) :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Still Going Strong

you guys...

Sleep makes all the difference. Seriously.
When the clock shows 10pm, I go to bed even if I don't think I'm sleepy yet, because I am pretty much always sleepy by 10.30pm and by the time I actually settle down to try to sleep, thirty minutes have passed and I fall right to sleep. Thankfully, I am a fast go-to-sleep-er and usually within five minutes I am snoozing. And last night not one child climbed in our bed during the night. Let me repeat that: NOT ONE CHILD CRAWLED INTO OUR BED DURING THE NIGHT.

It. Was. Amazing.

So in light of that news, I can tell you that Jason and I both woke up at 6:30 this morning feeling fully rested and ready to get the day started. That literally never happens. Because of his Lyme's, I am usually dragging him out of bed around nine o'clock. It was a great start to our day and it feels very nice to be having two great days in a row.

I did get my exercising in last night before bed and I am about to do today's exercising. School is finished for the day. So that leaves figuring out the rife machine, assembling my Morning Routine binder, and folding two loads of laundry. I'm feeling that's very doable. I LOVE THESE KINDS OF DAYS. Oh, and I need to call and make hair appointments for the girls. Still, so totally doable. I am soaking up this moment because I don't know how long this good streak is going to last. 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Today has been a pretty good day. We got back in our normal routine of things and it was a welcome change to the three-week long break that we just finished. I have actually accomplished everything on my to-do list except exercise, and I will get to that once we get back from getting Jason's van from the car place.

Our new couch came today. I ordered it back in October so I really had no idea what it was going to look like. I mean, I had a vague memory, but not really. The color is less gray and more brown that I remembered, but I still like it. It is very large. Like very, very large, but our living room is pretty big so it's looking alright in its spot.

We've decided not not to put down hardwood floor. It's kind of a hard decision because I was getting $12,000 worth of hardwood for $1000, but the pressure to decide on the type and color was just too much for me. Over Christmas we stayed with Jason's brother and his family and they have stained concrete in their downstairs. We decided to save some money and come out ahead on the insurance by having him come stain ours for us over spring break. This also means that I get to rip up the old, nasty carpet that is currently in our living room. Hooray for that! We still have to hire the floor guys to take out the old flooring and clean up the concrete, but that is significantly cheaper than putting down new hardwood floor. We will also pay his brother some, but it's still much less money than it was going to be. I predict that by the end of 2016, this house will look much different than it does right now. But in a positive way.

Jason got his passport today and will be leaving for China for three weeks in March. Good thing he likes Chinese food. Ha!

We start back with out homeschool co-op next week. I was supposed to have the revamped cleaning schedule ready- not done, and have prepped for the tutor meeting this Thursday- also not done.

One of my goals for 2016 is to blog once a week. So far, I haven't failed. hahah

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, January 01, 2016


New Year.  New memories to make. I don't really make resolutions for the long term, but I do usually make one for the first month or two of the year. This year, it's no sugar for the family until the middle of February. The girls haven't even acted like it's that big of a deal and they are all on board. Jason is SUPER on board which makes me really happy. That will make it so much easier to actually follow through with this resolve. Our family's health really, really needs this. As does my gut.

I am ready for school to start back again. We need the daily routine of it and the push to get out of bed at a decent hour.

Happy New year, everyone. I'm off to make breakfast for the fam.