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Monday, April 27, 2015

We are hitting the road in June.

When I sat down in January to write about what's ahead in 2015, all I really wanted to write about was the road trip we are planning in June. I've been hatching this plan for years and waiting for the right moment. This year, I'm not pregnant and I'm not nursing a baby.  Now, we are really a family of elementary aged kids with a piggy tailed toddler who tags along. The key is that most of my kids will remember this ride and we can dare to venture out without a pack n play or stroller.
We are going to see all the middle bits of America, from the Mississippi River to California and back...Mt. Rushmore, the Oregon Trail, the Great Salt Lake, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and Route 66. The road is our destination. Our kids will be squashed together in our car for so long seeing America for the first time through the same windshield. They will never be able to deny they are siblings.
I'm going to be living out all of my homeschooling fantasies. We'll have road trip passports. We'll have glass bottles to collect flowers or rocks that we can then draw in journals with our travel water color set. We'll be listening to books on tape. I'm also dreaming of making a stop motion movie of the road as a family. Then, weeks after we return, I will send them back to their school and recover.
Everytime I see one of our destinations on TV, I do a little happy dance. I'm so, so excited, and I'm forcing Stephen to be excited too. I love that this isn't just us showing our kids our country, but Stephen and I seeing all these places for the first time ourselves.

This Land Is Our Land | My new trip on!

Friday, April 3, 2015

St. Louis is fun.

Last spring break, several of my friends posted pictures of their children crawling through crazy tunnels on top of a large building in downtown St. Louis.  This City Museum is one super cool, fun place, and we were told we needed to take our big kids there.  It totally lived up to the hype.  It was unlike anything I've ever done before.  Tunnels everywhere.  Slides two, three, five, and ten stories high.  Pretty good food, too.  Stephen and I did everything with the kids because we were afraid of losing them.  My heart started beating fast when I saw some of the small spaces we had to crawl through.  The thought of getting stuck makes my skin crawl.  Parents, if you ever go, buy yourself the $4 knee pads at the gift shop.  

My absolute favorite part of the trip was watching this old documentary of the making of the arch.  It was way old school, slow paced with a really calm monotone voice over.  The beautiful part was that these kids we took actually sat and watched this movie with interest.  No one fell asleep or asked when it would be over.  We were all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for someone to fall off the top.  They estimated thirteen people would lose their life in the making of the arch, but no one did.  

We rented a house off of, and I loved that Schroeder thought that the owner's sleeper sofa was amazing.  I think he has seen one before, but I suppose they are modern miracles.  

Stephen's mom gave each of the kids ten dollars as pocket money to spend at gift shops.  Schroeder and Julian put their money together to buy this rock collection set with a magnifying glass.  They came back to the house and marvelled over quartz and granite.  Julian is excited to go back to get the mineral set.  What?

We went to the city's Butterfly House.  Hundreds of these beautiful blue morpho butterflies were flying around.  After a mid-west winter, you forget what it is to be uncomfortably hot.  My camera's lenses steamed up immediately from the change of temperature.  What did it matter, how do you photograph a butterfly in flight anyway?!  

It was a fun trip.  Lots of sweet time with our big kids.  We had fun finding places to eat off the beaten path.  I read a whole book!  St. Louis, we'll be back.