Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winding Down

We are only 5 days out from Christmas and we are winding down our homeschool term here.  The changes we made, leaving our unit study method, and returning to our Classical model, has made a huge improvement for me.  We are also pretty well scheduled, using the Maxwell's "Manager's Of Their Homes" as our model.  Our master schedule is color-coded and hung where we do school so everyone, even the littles, know exactly what they should be doing and when.  While there are some days that are a bit less rigid than others, we all know the schedule is there to keep us on track.  It's helped my mood and attitude tremendously, in that I was definitely feeling some burn-out symptoms after Thanksgiving.  Part of it was due to the curriculum issues but the other was certainly because I felt so out of control when it came to how our time seemed to be wasted day in and day out.
We have also been able to work in fun stuff, like the Christmas parade, almost daily walks after lunch, mommy/daddy Christmas shopping, and even a couple of child/parent dates.
Here's Ryan on one of the garden sculptures at Crystal Bridges museum.
 Jack and Ry
 Ella-Kathryn and Ry...Will was there too, I just never got him to be still long enough for a pic!
 Jack's scout pack went to the reenactment at Prairie Grove Battlefield.  It was a huge production, to commemorate the 150th anniversary and we had a great day.  Here are the kiddos at the one room school house.
 Jack and Me waiting for the battle to begin!
 Managed to squeeze us all in this shot:)
 Sweet Ella-Kathryn covering Will's ears during the last skirmish of the day.  He really does not like loud noises and I forgot the big ear protectors that we usually have on hand for this kind of thing (and 4th of July:))  The re-enactors were literally right in front of them - I filmed some of the fight and it is quite loud!
 This silly boy wearing his daddy's motorcycle helmet.  Jeff rides for the Sheriff's Dept and does so for some of the local xmas parades - sadly we missed the ones he was in this year.
Here they are bundled up for the Bentonville parade.  Doesn't Jack look thrilled:)
 My little human chain - stacking firewood on the back porch. It was so cute to see Jack loading Ryan up into the wheelbarrow for the trip back to the wood pile.  Ryan loved it! On Wed. we had temps in the 60's and that night we even were under a tornado watch.  Then Thurs. it was in the 30's and we had snow flurries!  Welcome to AR!   Thank goodness we got a fire going early this morning because right as our lunch was finished cooking, our power went out for a few hours.  School was officially declared out for the rest of the day!  Ryan is napping, and the other kiddos are out playing with our neighbors - it is eerily quiet in the house right now...just waiting for one of my people to need me:)
So now we have one more day of school left and then the weekend is devoted to cookie baking, present wrapping, and waiting...to celebrate Christ's birth and for our family to arrive from FL and TN.  We are so excited to see everyone!
A few more things I want to note:
*In our advent reading this year we've been tracing Christ through the bible from Genesis on.  One of our stories included Jacob's death - ryan remembers this at every reading now and reminds us to pray for his family:)
*Ryan said "awww poor baby" when I told him that baby Jesus had to sleep on hay when he was first born.
*While math continues to be a difficult subject for Jack, I have definitely seen improvement this year.  Praise God!  He is even beginning to do work independently - this is huge for him!
*Ella-Kathryn loves to do pre-school with the little boys and so I've scheduled a half hour for her every day to have fun with them.
*Will is learning to read - it is so much fun to see the light bulb moments when the letters form words in his mind and then he realizes that he's just read a sentence!
*Jeff passed his real estate exam!!!!
*I got to have a night out with Mel and Kimberly - God has blessed me greatly with these friendships - I am so undeserving of this gift, but I will take it gladly!
*I have a bad case of babyitis...crazy I know, but I am missing having a newborn in the house.
* the kids beg Jeff on a weekly basis to please adopt a baby girl.  He is still a firm no in this area:) Although I count it as nothing short of a miracle that he admitted that he had prayed about adoption!
*I was on the phone with Karen one morning and she had to hurriedly hang up because something had happened with Case.  While explaining to my kids that I was off the phone and didn't know what had happened to Case, Will piped up, "I bet I know.  Emily probably put make up on Case."  What in the world?!?!
*Ryan is still coming into our bed at night - never the same time or anything, and I am of two minds on this.  One part of me is tired of the bed hog visiting each night.  The other is holding onto this because he is the last baby in the family and very soon will genuinely be too big for this!  One night I did say to him, "let's go back to your bed like a big boy."  To which he very politely said, "No thanks.  I like your bed."  Sorry folks, I can't say no to that!
*Ryan is struggling lately with using the word "hate" - which we don't allow in our house. Last night I finally broke down and put some vinegar on his tongue and told him that his ugly words made us feel yucky like the vinegar did in his mouth.  then I gave him some honey and reminded him that God tells us that our words show others what our heart really looks like - and that when we used our words to tell others nice things etc. they feel loved.  He seemed to understand (we'll see how long it lasts) but the funny part was as I was coming back into the living room, Jack turns to me and says "Mom, I really liked how you handled that.  What a great teaching moment.  Dad should learn from you mom."  Ha!!  Thanks Jack!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Working it out

As any follower of Christ knows, this walk, this life is sometimes so hard.  Death of a loved one, difficult financial situations, broken relationships, disappointments...sin brought so much ugliness into our world.  We have to choose, daily, to see God in our lives.  It stands to reason that there are going to be days that this choice "feels" easier and those when it seems almost impossible!  Having godly friends can help greatly in this area.  As does having parents and other older relatives who demonstrate how to live out one's faith, in the midst of life.   So it goes here at the Simpson house:)  The daily challenges of homeschooling, character issues, and the overall weariness that can arise in mothering 4 people day in and day out - they all can lead me to feel burnt out and empty.  My friend is writing an ebook which sets out to encourage and demonstrate how to have a quiet time.  My sister is faithful in rising early to spend time with the Lord, and my dad is never far from the scriptures early in the morning.  My time too is before the day really gets underway.  Will often joins me and then the others trickle out.  This time really does prepare my heart for the challenges of the day as well as getting my eyes ready to see the blessings.
Right now we continue to parent through some character issues - lack of diligence, ugly tempers, and negative attitudes.  Unfortunately, God continues to remind me that where the mom goes, so goes the child:)  Where I show a short fuse, so will the boy.  When I feel lazy and cut the lesson short because I'm frustrated, so will the child think  that cutting corners is acceptable.  Time and time again, this "one-piece life" (Ann VosKamp) shows me how lacking I am in every area. Yet, the hope comes in knowing that I don't have to be enough.  Christ will be glorified in my shortcomings.  I must only remember to rely on him moment by moment and extend his mercy to myself and my children.  In this, we pray that they will be drawn to the gospel.
Ok, so some things to remember:
Ryan asking if we know the movie "Black Harry" - finally realizing that he means "Charlie Brown"
Jack working with Poppy to complete his toolbox for scouts - it's really amazing!
Hearing the kids encourage one another
Watching Ryan shadow Jeff - all day long, every move he makes, Ry is right there!  Oh how he loves his daddy!
A great Thanksgiving visit with dad/Poppy - relaxed and fun, we all enjoyed our time with him.

Looking forward to the coming Advent season - trying to prepare our hearts and minds in a way that honors Christ's birth.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I had another wacky dream this past week.  Nothing unusual there, but this one made me laugh out loud when I woke up.  Back story:  when I was in high school my whole family, one of my aunts, and my maternal grandparents all traveled to Europe.  It was wonderful trip getting to see so many amazing places.  Back to the present, I just finished reading a memoir of sorts:  an American author and professor, her professor husband and their 2 children move to Paris for a year.  I'm  a sucker for a travelogue/living abroad story, and  Eloisa James (Mary Bly) is a fantastic writer, both touching in her honesty in the passages about her mother's death as well as her own cancer story, and hysterically funny in the bits on her own family, parenting, and the faux pas that come from those cultural and linguistic nuances.  So I can only imagine that these two things, amid others I'm sure, were the roots for this dream.  Ok, so we are living in some city, New York sort of but not quite.  I am walking through this huge library which also operates as the subway station - side note: I think this is a lovely idea, forcing people to spend time in rooms full of books while waiting for their transportation.  As I'm wandering, I am thinking about the fact that my Aunt and I are flying to England later that day and I have neither packed, nor decided which, if any, children I am taking with me.  I am also unsure of whether or not I have a valid passport, but this detail is dismissed from my mind when I become side tracked by a shelf of books, historical romances (this is where I'm sure of the Eloisa James influence, as she writes this kind of fiction) and a woman with her newborn.  Babies will side track me every time, dream or reality.  I find a book that looks interesting and ponder the idea of somehow having another baby, even though it is biologically impossible now. Then I'm in my Aunt's apartment and we are trying once again to determine what to pack and when to leave.  It occurs to me at this point that we should have already gone to the airport because we think our flight leaves in an hour and being an international flight and all, well, security etc. we should have been there hours ago.  Oh well, I think, lets just go now.  Oh, and pack a few things. And decide if I'm taking children.  Then this woman, Beverly, Bev for short, whom I apparently know and rather well at that, chimes in "I'm taking my 3."  Children that is, and  it is completely fine that a) this woman is traveling with us, and b) she is bringing the children, and c) this would have some sway over my own decision to bring/not bring my own.  I woke up at this point feeling both a tremendous sense of relief that I didn't have any major packing to do for that day and that my children didn't need to fear that I would or would not choose to take them to the grocery store that day. Otherwise I was also disappointed in myself for being so woefully unprepared for my dream trip.   It made me think about those yucky thoughts I have about myself: that I'm a flake and typically fly by the seat of my unprepared pants.  No worries, I was quickly able to dismiss the thoughts, but I remained saddened that there is no international travel in my future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

When You Just Want To Throw In the Towel

I really do just want to throw in the towel.  I just want to sit around and read my books, haphazardly selected from the libraries we visit regularly.  A biography about a writer whose family lived in Paris for a year, check; a novella about an turn of the century boat wreck cum survival story, check; a slash and dash murder mystery, check.  Unfortunately I cannot merely curl up on my couch and read.  At the root of my discontent is that our curriculum is really not working for us.  I can't put my finger on it exactly which is probably the real root of my discontent.  I hate NOT being able to pinpoint the problem.  If I could then I could merely excise it like a tick - pick the offender off, pinching it between my fingernails and then washing it down the sink.  But I can't.  All I know is that we are all edgy and crabby and not learning.  The unit study method was selected so that I could join the bulk of our learning time into one group session which would be made either less or more difficult based on the child.  We did a couple of units and it seemed ok.  But the main issue is that there is much independent reading to be completed by the students - again an ok principle but a flawed practice in a home where one child is primarily and auditory learner.  I can only read so much in a day.  and I love to read aloud so that in itself says something.  More than that, I think, is that the books are not particularly engaging - I wouldn't want to read a biography of Isaac Newton that spent whole pages detailing mathematical language and infinite equations.  It also doesn't feel rigorous enough either.  Ugh - i struggled just typing that sentence because I struggle with this whole idea of rigorous academics vs. an educational environment.  So I guess what it filters down to is that I am bored, not learning, and don't really know what I want our homeschool to look like.  And that, my dears, is a ginormous problem.  if the captain don't know where she's headed, the whole crews going to mutiny:(

Saturday, October 6, 2012


So much for posting every day.  I just can't seem to make this a priority - which is sad since I don't have any other means by which I jot down "memories" for the kids.
*Since I last posted, we have yet to reschedule Will's trip to Fastlane.  The sweet boy hasn't even asked about it either!  Jeff's parents came up that Sunday after all, so he did get a bit of a party that weekend.
*Jeff got his first deer of the season.  Small doe, but we'll take it!  The funniest moment of the day happened when i looked out the window to see the deer strung up on the end of the swing set and Will and Ryan happily swinging on the swing right next to it as Jack and Ella-Kathryn helped Jeff gut it etc.  Crazy!
*Will continues to enjoy soccer and we've been really impressed with his hustle!  He is not afraid of the ball and will run like the wind to get a goal!
*We are back in the groove with homeschool - getting our days done, even if it takes ALL day:) I got my new "Ultimate Homeschool Planner" and that's been helpful in just getting it all down on paper to see our goals and how the days should be lined out.  It's always a challenge getting the work done with the little boys first - but as the old adage goes, if you teach them first, they are much more likely to play etc while I spend time with the bigguns.
Ok, photo dump...
Ella-Kathryn wanted to try her hand at pumpkin pie.  We bought a ready-made crust for her first time, but she made the filling on her own and baked it etc.  It was delicious!  As you can tell by the picture - i didn't even get a chance to take a photo of the whole pie as it was cut and served as soon as it had cooled enough to eat!
Poor Aunt KK had ordered Will's bday gift forever ago and it was back ordered so it didn't make it to him until a week or so after his actual birthday!  But when it did arrive he was thrilled!  A new watch - camo, of course, with a light!  

 This goober smooch... oh where to begin!  As we were sorting through clothes for the cooler weather, we also went through the hats/gloves to see what still fit/what needed to be replaced.  Ryan found his mitten, but we couldn't locate the other.  He was enthralled with it and wore it for naptime and in the car on our way to soccer practice.  what a silly boy!!!
Well, we've had quite a turn in the weather in the past two days.  On Thursday it was in the low 80's and by yesterday it had dropped to the 50's and this morning it's barely 40 right now at 11 am.  We are headed to the soccer game - bundled up for sure!  I really like this weather, but it makes me want to bake and eat all day!  Jeff is on the motorcycle for the Sheriff's office this morning - poor guy:(  It's wet and cold and the event is just a motorcycle safety thing, so he's barely moving.  Good thing he's hot natured - hopefully it's not bothering him too much!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Will's soccer season is in full swing, so I wanted to get a video of his fancy footwork.  Here is one of his 3 or 4 goals that he made at tonights game:)  He's #5, and I apologize in advance for the shaky camera work and the loudness of my voice!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Will's 5th Birthday

Happy 5th Birthday Will!!!!
Your BIRTH day:) 
First Birthday!


You are such a dear boy!  We thought you would be our last baby...and then you became a big brother!  Most days you do a terrific job in that role:)  Some, of course, you would rather that you had been the last Simpson born!  It is so sweet though, on those days, and in those moments when you lovingly take Ryan under your wing and teach him how to do something, or share an adventure.  You still have that Jekyll and Hyde thing going on too:)   One minute you're an angel and the next...watch out!  Mean boy on the rampage!!  Thankfully, you are getting much better about getting control over your emotions and you are usually so quick to demonstrate a contrite heart.  You love to be read to and of course are following your dad and brother's footsteps in the love of the outdoors and hunting.  You were anxious to begin school with Jack and Ella-Kathryn, so you began a kindergarten math curriculum as well as a reading program. You are so much better about being dropped off at church etc, and for the most part like to try new things.  Your two "friends" are Will Bankston and Annabella Tyburski.  You are playing soccer for the first time and at your first game scored three goals!  It was so much fun to watch you play even when you stole the ball from your own team-mate to score! 
Ella-Kathryn says "he's the second funniest kid in my family" (she puts Ryan in first place:))
Jack - He is a nice, kind person and sometimes tries to hurt me:)
Ryan - Will plays with me (this was a coaxed answer which came after he said that he liked Will's haircut, his spider man t-shirt, and that he was a fish:))
We love you Will!  Happy 5th birthday! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


 First day back to school after a LONG summer break.  We began back in June - did a unit and then ended up having one thing pop up after another.  So we just said we'll wait...and wait... and then finally September rolled around and we really needed to get back to school!  We are studying the Middle Ages and enjoying learning about knights and castles:)

This goof ball had a blast at the lake on Sunday.  The family who opened up their home for all of us, also had a great dock and the kids could step off and right into the lake.  It was the perfect depth there for them to walk around and splash a bit. 

Jack has enjoyed playing with airsoft guns for a while now and of course the little guys had to get in on the action.  Will bought his first gun with some mad money he got from his Pappa (Jeff's dad).  Here he is ready for action:)  I will say that on this day they had been driving me bananas wanting to actually shoot one another and finally I caved - 1 minute after this pic was snapped Will came running up to the same door screaming that Jack had shot him in the arm!  There was a decent welt there for days:(  But he hasn't asked me to shoot at each other again! 

 Ryan does NOT have an airsoft gun, but likes to hang with the big boys.  He mashed his face up to the front door and yelled, "mommy!  Take a picture of me!  I'm cute!"
and before I forget - Will and Ryan and I were headed to a friend's house to pick up the big kids.  It has been a really hot and humid summer here and Will was telling Ry that it was so hot out still, at 6:00pm, and that the reason it felt so hot was because it was also so "human" - or humid as the rest of us like to say:)

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Ella-Kathryn attended VBS a couple of summers ago.  She told us that she had accepted Christ as her lord and saviour:)  We were so excited for her - there is no greater joy than knowing that your child her relationship with the Lord and how that will carry through her life.  What tremendous peace comes from knowing that you can have hope in this seemingly hopeless world; that you have a divine purpose; and that you will be immeasurably loved, beyond the love that you feel from your parents, all the days of your life!  She wanted her daddy to do the honors of baptising her, as he had done for Jack.  Jeff was not excited about getting up in front of our huge church family to do this again:)  Crowds and public speaking are not his thing!  So this opportunity presented itself - to baptise her at a local lake with friends who would be baptising their daughter, who is a dear friend of Ella-Kathyrn's!  Yes, we were in! So today, Sunday September 09, 2012, Jeff baptised Ella-Kathryn. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


With Monday "missing" from this week, I found myself scrambling to finish strong, as I kept thinking I had another day to come:)  Oh well.  I headed back to the eye doc to check my new lenses - alls fine so they sent me home with a new supply of contacts.  Much needed after a long summer of wearing them to/in the pool.  apparently a major eye no-no.   Again, oh well.  I mean they told me to wear goggles. Um, no thanks.  I'll take my chances against those super scary eye diseases you have exploded to the 100th power on the wall chart over there.  I'm a rebel like that.  And super vain. 
So, we end the week miraculously on schedule with school and eating dinner through a doozy of a storm which Jeff said had 70 mph winds.  We were all good here - a flicker of the lights right before we sat down to eat, but the kids ran and got their various headlamps/lanters/flashlights, so  we were well prepared for the non-weather that followed.  Good lesson in better safe than sorry, I suppose.  The kids are watching their Friday night movie, one from the late 80's(The Explorers with a very young River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke)  that I don't remember ever seeing.  How that's possible I also don't know:)  Jack just poked his head in and said, "this movie's awesome!"  I'll take him at his word. 
Been thinking about this trip lately...
wishing we could go back for another week or so, sans kids:)  It was such a great time together just the two of us alone no little people - well you get the picture:)
But also knowing I would miss these crazies...and for the record I still pee my pants every time I see the one with Ella-Kathryn - not her but Jeff in the background.  I have no idea what he was doing, but that expression is PRICELESS!!! 

So that's it for the week:)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I have decided that if this is to be a place to document our childrens' lives, then it must be done on a far more frequent basis:)  So, here goes.  The launch of a new blogging philosophy.  I intend to post every day - even it is only a few quick sentences.  Mark the day so to speak.
Since my last post we have celebrated my birthday as well as Ryan's, Jeff's Kathy's, Ella-Kathryn's, and sent cards to Poppy for his bday.  Yet none of this is here:(  So here we go...
Ryan celebrated his 3rd birthday!  He is such a funny boy, and loves to be funny.  He makes great silly faces and is really getting into story telling, aka making stuff up:)  We will have to really watch this part of his personality - don't want a compulsive liar on our hands!  He loves music - singing, dancing, seems to just be a musical kid.  Still is not great about going to sleep and/or staying in his bed at night, but really we've not done much to discourage his nightly visits to our room, so I can't complain.  can't wait to see what this next year has for him!
                                                        Headlamp-gift from the Woelkes
Camo backpack - from Poppy.

Ella-Kathryn celebrated the big 8!  We did parties with family and then with a few girlfriend - so fun!  She is blessed with some dear girls who love to be silly and have fun with her.  She continues to be our encourager and helper.  She enjoys reading and does well in "school" and as much as she loves her dolls and dollhouse, she also gets a thrill from hauling heiny around the yard on our little dirtbike!  Oh that girl!
Jeff's back injury from late June, finally healed enough for him to return to light duty in early Aug and then regular duty a few weeks later.  He did step down from his Sgt. position too, in an effort to care for his health better and hopefully make a dent in the issues he's been having with cholesterol and blood pressure!  He is on the 3-1 shift now and while it's been an adjustment not being in charge, he is getting a full nights sleep now!  We weren't able to go to FL this summer b/c of his back - didn't think we should leave him here alone unable to walk:)  We are hoping Poppy can visit in the fall!  The Woelkes came for Labor day and while it was super hot, we did have a great time hanging with the cousins.  Karen and I did some shopping sans kids on Sat and then we hit the pool on Sun.
Ok, so for some administrative stuff for my benefit:
Current curriculum -  A World of Adventure - unit based curriculum, using for J and EK; MCP math; A Reason for Handwriting
Will - MCP math and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
So far so good - some days are super easy and others are really challenging!  Jack and i still "battle" on a regular basis:(  I am often left wondering if this is really what God wants for us:)  Jeff assures me that it is.  I know it is too, it's just that when it's hard, you just want to throw in the towel and farm them off to someone else.  Refining experience this is...
I am beginning the study for the book Unlgued, by Lysa Terkeust.  It deals with anger and how what we do with the anger in our lives.
Fun reading:  finally got around to Jeffrey Eugenides - reading Middlesex; read The Marriage Plot (good, great literary ref, not just the title, and overall good read)
Also reading Grace Based Parenting, Kimmel; Stepping Heavenward, Prentiss;

Friday, July 6, 2012

Oh, was I supposed to educate my kids today???

As moms, parents, people involved in children's lives, there comes those moments when we question whether or not we're doing  the "right" thing for them.  That right thing might be sports, bible study, or in my case education.  When we decided to bring the kids home for school, I walked confidently for, um, about 2 weeks.  Then it all came crashing down.  Self-doubt, worry, fear began to take over where previously our firm conviction that we were following the Lord's will had once resided.  I know that these moments occur when I take my eyes/ears off the Lord's plan for our family and start peeking in on what everyone else is doing.  Oh, look at that family, the first grader knows their multiplication tables, we must really be messing up if our first grader doesn't know them!  Or, geez, Jack is still struggling with math, I really am the world's worst teacher or else this would come easily for him and he would be doing 10th grade math by now!  When you take a countercultural stance you need to expect to have those feelings of fear and insecurity try to steal your God confidence.  My head nods along with that statement and it makes complete sense, but of course my heart says, no you really are NOT RIGHT.  YOU ARE ALL WRONG!
The past few weeks have been a mess in the school department.  Traditionally we do school year round.  It's good for them to be busy and keep their brains going, and it's better for me if they can be constructively occupied for a couple of hours each day.  But, 3 weeks ago we were caring for a friends child.  Then Jeff hurt his back.  I tried to have to the kids get a math page or a handwriting sheet, and even do our read-aloud, but it was truly a half-hearted effort, made all the more frustrating by my own exhaustion and distraction.  I am known for this by the way, this wishy washy attitude, inability to focus and stay on task:)  Sad but true.  So, I said enough.  For now at least.  Decision made.  No school for the rest of the week.  I will sit down on Sat. and regroup.  Look at our school plans for the following week and we'll pick up again on Monday.  It's hard for me to look up and see the kids "doing nothing" all day.  But I have to remind myself that over the course of the year they are doing just fine.  But, I also have to remain committed for those time when we are "in session." My flesh is lazy, and my spirit is depressed, but thankfully, my God is stronger than both of these:)  Seriously, my point is that I can certainly be hard on myself and I can most definitely compare myself and my kids to anyone and everyone else, but it gets me nowhere and leaves me feeling more distraught than before!  Any one of us can fall into this trap and see that if we lose our God focus, we wander of the path he made straight for us.
Our beach trip is officially cancelled.  The kids are sad, of course, but they understand.  Their daddy can't walk, so we can't leave him here:)  They've enjoyed the extra time with daddy and while it hasn't exactly been a a vacation for him, the time off has given Jeff a chance to think through our future.  He has also been rather content with where God has him right now, injured and mostly bed-ridden!  He's starting to get a bit stir crazy, but overall he's in good spirits and for that I'm grateful.
Random picture dump:

Annual Bella Vista 4th of July parade.  Jack is in behind Ryan:)
 Pool days...
 Such a happy camper:)

 Will getting some cavities taken care of.  He did great until they put the metal bracket around his back teeth to hold the rubber teeth covering in place.  Then tears and this momma's heart breaking.  It was all I could do to NOT scoop him up and run!  Being a parent means doing the hard things.
 Big Wheels car wash.
4th of July!  We even managed to get poor daddy in on the action.  He crawled out to the car and then we were able to get a spot on the golf course such that all Jeff had to do was open the door and using his camp chair as a cane, limp out a couple of feet and park himself for the show.  The kids were SO excited that he came!  The weather was great too and the show was fun, despite the dam catching fire a couple of times!  It's been so dry and hot this summer, we were just thrilled that they went ahead with the display.

 Can any one in my family look at me with a happy face please??? Ok, thanks EK!