Monday, July 6, 2015

A Trip In Pictures

I look forward to my summer road trip all year long.  It is freedom. It is unstructured. It is just my kids and me.

Each year after each road trip I fall more in love with my kids and I fall more in love with our country and the world.  I want to pay more attention to places and people and all of it.

I want to see more and learn more and do more.

This year we were gone for 10 days. We traveled almost 2,000 miles. We visited museums, stayed in a couple motel/hotels and with my cousin for a night and with my sister for a week.  We got lost. We found our way. We yelled at each other. We laughed with each other.  We went to Graceland and a thousand other places in between.

Here are some pictures from the trip and a video.

We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on gluten free bread for A LOT of our meals.


A little video action from the trip...

(Click here to watch the video.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Our History

For the past 10 days I have been on a road trip with my four kids.  We have seen so much-- mountains, the Mississippi River, history museums, hotel pools, what feels like a million miles of farmland, country stores, Beale Street in Memphis, tributes to Elvis, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, baseball games, fireworks stands, signs about Jesus, signs about triple X rated bookstores, fast food restaurants for days and a lot of open road.  We visited family, jumped on trampolines, swam at water parks, cheered on cousins at swim meets and baseball games.  We laughed a lot.  I threatened to pull over a lot and maybe once said one of my kids was going to have to find a ride home to Michigan. We had to pull over during a tornado warning and wait out the storm with strangers in a small Kentucky town. We heard the news about the Supreme Court overturning the ban on gay marriage and we cheered in the minivan as we headed across another state.

I have so many things I want to say and write about. So many! And I will, when we get back home.  But for now, I am thinking so much about history--visiting it, learning about it, seeing it, living it, creating it.  

Each stop we've made has impacted my kids and me. We've had discussions about what it was like when...what we would do if...We talked about the whys and hows. We talked about Elvis and the south and baseball and civil rights and equal rights and Johnny Cash and my aunt's dementia and my mother's mental health and why she still smokes and needs so much medicine; and how beautiful the mountains are and the red dirt and how hot it was in Memphis; and how there are good people in the world and also bad people, and trust and fear and so much more.  

We talked about how our country is complicated just like family can be, and how there is so much to love but also things that we hope change and how we can be a part of it all.

This road trip with everything we saw and everything we did and talked about will be part of our family history.  I hope my kids remember it forever, I know I will.

Saw this quote on Instagram this week and well, I love it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Baseball And My Fancy Camera

I am enjoying my fancy new camera and starting to learn how to use it better.  Every week I'm going to post some pictures of some of my favorite things and title it "Using My Fancy New Camera."

Here are a few shots of JT on the pitcher's mound a couple weeks ago doing what he loves so to do.   

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Journals (A Pinterest Poser Challenge, Sort Of)

As we prepared to go on our road trip down south I was telling the kids about the summer journals they used to make. Or well, that I used to make them make. And actually only Peyton and Lucy did them and then when the other two came along I was too overwhelmed and busy to do very many cutesy projects like summer journals.  But they were really cute and we had a good time going back through them.  It was basically just pictures and a few sentences and it was just everything.

So as we packed and planned to leave, I thought it would be fun to make journals. This week's Pinterest Poser Challenge* is Creating A Summer Journal.  It can be used for a road trip or summer camp or just hanging out at home.

*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week-ish I detail a new project/idea/recipe inspired by Pinterest.
**My definition of a Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

We had old binders that I found in the basement.  I just encouraged each child to create a cover and then they had fun with the three-hole punch and put in some paper to draw and write on throughout our road trip.

It was free.  It took one child five minutes to finish because he didn't add a lot of detail.  It took some of the other children a solid 40 minutes. It was fun.

Free. Fun. And encourages creativity and writing and telling their own story. Boosh! I love it.

I'll keep you posted with how often they write/draw in their journals while we are on the trip and hopefully share some of their work if they feel comfortable with it.

Watching them get excited about writing and drawing about our trip, I decided I wanted a journal too. We were out of binders so I just used leftover brown thick paper that I have no idea where it came from.  I punched holes in the sides and then tied the paper together with ribbon.  I decorated the front with scrap book paper I found in my craft bin.  Free and fun. I am excited to write down my thoughts on paper with a old school.  

How is your summer going so far? Have you gone on a road trip? Have you made anything inspired by Pinterest lately? Let me know in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Here are some of the Pinterest projects I've done/made/attempted:

Homemade Chalk Paint- click here
A Flower Crown- click here
The Rainbow Challenge- click here
DIY Trundle Bed- Click here
DIY Artemis Costume- click here
Taking Pictures of Your Kids- click here
Gluten Free Pretzels- click here
Cinnamon Sugar Doughballs- click here
Painted Lockers- click here
Melted Beads- DIY Suncatcher- click here
Tissue Paper Pom Pom Garland-- click here
A Delightfully Simple Birthday Party--click here
Make An Awesome Omelet--click here
Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood- click here
Herb Garden with Chalkboard Pots- click here
Backyard Graffiti Art with kids- click here
Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here
Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here