Spring Break Day 3

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our "5 mile hike" began mid-morning. We decided to hike some of the Mammoth Cave National Park trails. They all intersect so I can't be sure how far we hiked, exactly, but I know it was somewhere between 4-5 miles.

With breathtaking views and rough terrain we were pushed to keep going as we got deeper and deeper into the trails. Aaron at one time said, "Mom, I want to go back." to which I replied, "the only way back is to keep moving forward." And that was so true. We had plotted our course, we were looking at the map when we came to split paths, and we had made our decisions. Good or bad we couldn't go back, we had to keep moving forward because going back meant retracing some of our most difficult terrain...a place I didn't care to travel twice in the same day. (I'm trying to make a faith lesson out of this, and those who walk in faith should get the most out of this attempt...I'm not always that great with words.)

So...moving on...here's some pretty pictures to look at!!

The kids loved the natural landscaping and to keep them
engaged I asked them to find cool natural formations and wildlife!

 We saw two areas where water entered or exited the caves.
At this location we found some deer...which were hard to spot!

 At the top of a trail we found this beautiful scene.
Even with the bare trees this is a gorgeous view!

Here's some cute pics we took while resting along the way (or waiting on someone to catch up)

After this long hike we were all hungry and ready for some lunch! We enjoyed a late lunch and later we enjoyed the campground which included a mini-golf course, jumping pillow, playground, and candy store.

Peter is poking his head out from behind Yogi!


Spring Break Day 2...part 2

Monday, March 28, 2016 (Part 2)

I'm sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for my next post!! You just have to know what we finished our day with while on vacation. I know you just couldn't contain you excitement!

SO...we went to this place that had mini-golf, go-carts, bumper cars, rock climbing, horse back riding, etc., etc. We got the family package that allowed us each to do two events. We all played mini-golf (sorry, no pics!) and then we had the hardest time deciding what we should do. Each kid wanted to do something different. Seth and I wanted to do the rock-climbing wall. The kids, of course, wanted to do go-carts but none of them were tall enough. So we settled on bumper cars. (Sorry, no pics there either). Luckily, the attendant let Seth and I ride for free since the twins couldn't reach the pedals.

All in all, it was fun for the kids and that's all that mattered! I was hoping for horseback riding but it was expensive! So was the zip-line. Ridiculously expensive to be exact!

This rock "wall" wasn't as sturdy as I would have hoped. I got a little over half way and it started to sway...I then climbed down. Not to mention the strength it takes to do it, whew...I knew it would be hard but my arms were shaking!

See, aren't you glad you waited around for that!!

I'll have much better posts about our vacation coming up soon!


Kentucky Down Under

Monday, March 28, 2016

One place Seth and I loved when we visited Kentucky in 2007 was a zoo called Kentucky Down Under. Just minutes from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky Down Under provides another cave tour in an active cave (watch out for drips), Australian animals, and animal "shows".

The cave tour here was a much smaller tour than Peter and Seth had taken at Mammoth Cave in terms of people and cave size. This cave was tight and you had to be careful where you stepped or you might slip down a "slide" or into a small pool of water. You also can't touch the walls, which is very hard to do when there are no hand rails!

 Ready to enter the cave! We had to carry flashlights
and thankfully they had flashlight helmets for the kids!

Amazing formations to see in this active cave!

 The story of how this cave was found is interesting.
This is the original opening to the cave.
You can read more about the cave here. Look for the
articles along the left side of the screen too!

After our cave tour there were two scheduled "shows" for visitors to see. One of them was herding of the sheep with the zoo dogs. We got here late and weren't able to see well, let alone take pictures. We did, however, get front row seats to see these two beauties.

 This is an albino kangaroo. The woman pictured below is currently her
mother and carries her everywhere in a pouch; including the movies, grocery stores,
restaurants, and family gatherings.

I don't remember this 'pretty birds' name but he was
entertaining! I love that my kids got to interact with him!

Finally, with all the scheduled events out of the way we were able to explore on our own time. We were able to get in line to go on the kangaroo walk. This was the most exciting part for the kids.

 Petting and feeding the kangaroos!
Not all were this small...we did feed adult ones too!

There was also a couple Emus roaming around the area.
We were allowed to feed them too. They are feisty, just ask Peter!
He was on the receiving end of their nibbling when he didn't hide
his sweet potato sticks well enough!

That was our day at Kentucky Down Under. We then went to play mini-golf and do a couple other fun things. But I'll save that for the next post!


Mammoth Caves

Saturday, March 26, 2016

An 8 hour car ride to Horse Cave, Kentucky went beautifully. With three kids I was a little nervous since we had never taken a car trip this long before. I prepared them by creating a binder for each of simple car games and activities they could play. Also, it didn't hurt to have a Portable DVD Player in the car! It might have been a difficult one to hang and operate but we got the hang of it quickly!
We arrived in Horse Cave at a hotel (the same one Seth and I stayed at on our trip to Mammoth in 2007) around 8:30 CST. We were relieved to finally be on vacation!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Our day started by packing everything up again as we had a cabin reserved not far from the hotel. We had a complimentary breakfast, enjoyed some relaxation, loaded the car and headed off to Mammoth Cave National Park so that Seth's parents could meet their tour group at 11:30 for a two hour tour that featured Domes and Dripstones at Mammoth Cave.

What were we to do for two hours? Well, we ate some lunch, talked a minute or two, enjoyed walking around the gift shop and visitor area, etc.
Remember how I said I have anxiety...? One of those anxieties for me on taking this trip was entering the caves. I had decided that I wasn't going to go, I didn't want to worry myself silly over it and decided I would instead enjoy just people watching. Peter and Seth had tickets for a 3pm tour for Domes and Dripstones.

Seth soon decided we were doing the self-guided tour...and I was going to go along. It was only $5 and if I didn't like it I could exit easily and he would continue with the kids. I told him I would try. And you know what...I DID IT!! I overcame my anxiety and tried to ease my mind by focusing on the kids and watching their faces as they entered the caves for the first time.

 Seth and I at the end of the self-guided cave tour

The entrance to the self-guided cave tour

IT WAS AMAZING and I'm so excited I did it!!

Relaxing and doing Junior Ranger books
while waiting for Seth's Parents

Seth's parent's returned from their tour, we hung out for a bit, Seth and Peter went on their tour, the twinners, Seth's parents, I went for nature hikes and enjoyed the scenery, and just as Seth and Peter returned around 5pm it started to rain! Time to leave...we were all tired and hungry anyway!

It was a perfect day in a beautiful place and we made so many great memories as a family!


Stress, a vacation, and a {promise}

I'm always starting my blog posts with "I'm sorry it's been so long..." and again I start that way. The past many months have been me relaxing with no kids around most days. I promised myself I would spend this year organizing, cleaning, and developing me (spiritually and mentally). As I sit here and type, though, my children are home on Spring Break and one is calling me to help him now, the other is screaming as she runs through the house for who knows what reason, and I'm, well, I might go bald today by pulling out my hair.

We had a great vacation last week. We visited some beautiful places that have opened my eyes again to the beauty God created and the beauty of our family. Getting back to the swing of things, though, is just a little hard. We enjoyed our time away, time to just be a family without the pressures of a job, a schedule, housework, homework, and stress.

Stress has been a normalcy for me, lately. I get stressed about everything. My fuse is short. To be honest, I don't even have a fuse some days; it just goes straight to blowing up. Let me reveal something about me, I take medicine for anxiety and depression. Without it I would be much worse. After a doctor visit recently my medication was switched to see if I can return to a more "normal" me. She also took my blood to check some different levels in my body. Maybe I'll finally get some answers. Or maybe moving to Kentucky could help?

Kentucky is where we visited for our first ever Spring Break Trip with the kids! Seth and I had visited there in 2007 and enjoyed it immensely. We knew it was a place we would visit again, when our kids were an appropriate age. It was so great to see the kids in a new and different place. They had never been on such a long road trip; but I had prepared well so it was easier. I plan {promise} to post more about our vacation in the days (maybe weeks to come) but I'll leave you with this conversation:

Seth: Okay kids, what was your favorite part of vacation? Abigail, you go first.
Abigail: The ELEVATOR!!
Me: Great, that much money into a vacation and her favorite part is the elevator that she can ride for free at Sears!
Aaron: My favorite part was the pool!
Peter: Um....um....um....I don't know.

Peter really enjoyed a lot. We visited Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky Down Under, The Creation Museum, and Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana. I think Peter just had a hard time picking which was his favorite, because he enjoyed all

Coming home in snow made us want to turn around and go back South, but we pressed on. Thankfully, we made it through one of the highways before they shut it down! Our road trip ended but our vacation still went on. My kids get two weeks for Spring Break, which is okay and all, until they start fighting like they did this morning.

Just so you know, I'm finally finishing this blog post at 8:30ish at night and my hair is still here, I haven't gone grey, and the kids actually got along after lunch. This day and this post may have started in a bad place but my night ended happy with kiddo snuggles and ice cream! I hope you find this post ending well too, with a little more sane writer and a very "grateful for my kids and hubby and life" mama!


School has begun

And the kids are off to school. Today is their 5th day of school!

Peter has begun 2nd grade with ease. Talking to teachers, staff and students as if he's been talking since day one. After the progress last year there was no doubt in my mind he would just keep it up into this year. He's playing with a friend at recess and they can't get enough Ninja Warrior fun!!

Aaron is off to Kindergarten and is adjusting exactly how I thought he would. He loves his teacher and I know the friends will come once he adjusts to this new schedule. We seperated him from Abigail this year because we know he needs the social skills without the comfort of her. Adjustments are hard for him and there will be another big one soon as his teacher right now is only a long term sub until they find the permenant replacement for the teacher that left. (And before I even hit post the email came through that the new teacher will start tomorrow!!)

Abigail, too, is in Kindergarten and is making friends left and right, of course. She's struggling with the long hours and missing home (specifically missing me) but loves the social aspect of school. I'm not sure if it's just her perspective or if she has that many "naughty" boys in her class but she always tells me her teacher talks loudly when the boys are not listening. It won't take her long to adjust and show her spunky attitute, Heaven help the teacher!

I have had some quiet days. I have gotten quite a bit done already and have been enjoying time to myself. I am cherishing the moments in the evening I get with my kids more than ever. I have only roughly 5 hours a day with them now and I find myself wanting to be around them instead of hide from them (I only kid, I never hid from them....too often).
I'm working on a routine that will include bible study for myself and my family, working on Norwex, house cleaning schedule, organizing, blogging and exercise.

I've been having major anxiety lately and need to get rid of it!! Prayers for this part of my life would be appreciated. As I get into routine again, I pray this anxiety will subside. I'm not quite sure what is causing this flare up but it is affecting all parts of my life...again.

Until next time,


Half way through Summer

Taken on Father's Day 2015

I can't believe that we are already half way through our Summer!

My kids go back to school in 27 days!

For the next 26 days we are going to:

Enjoy Life Together
Go Camping with Friends
Explore God's Creation (walks, gardening, etc.)
Have a couple more family outings (zoo being one of those)
Enjoy a week off with Seth!

In 27 days:

I will be home alone for 7 hours a day
I will implement routine for myself
I will work hard on building my new business (NORWEX)
I will spend more time in the Word of God
I will blog more
I will enjoy silence and cry through the lonliness (I'm happy to be at this point in life but so sad to see my twinners gone for so long during the day; it's a bittersweet realization!)
I will be without children for 7 hours of the day/5 days a week for the first time ever since I became a mom almost 8 years ago!

I'm not promising any more posts to the blog for the next month, but maybe I'll suprise you (and myself!)