Our Kids' Blog

Adventure Trip – 2014

June 18th, 2014 by Mommy

2014 tripsmall copy

Our summer adventure for 2014 was a long and ambitious one. It was first inspired by Robby and Rachelle’s desire to visit the state of Oregon (48th state visited). Then, Emily inspired some of the trip stops by being very interested in volcanoes. And the last inspirations came from Robby’s interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition and Julia’s desire to see live bison.

We took two weeks to make the trip by car. It is hard to pick a favorite thing from the trip, but introducing the girls to so many cool places and watching their reactions had to be it. Sharing some of our favorite places with them was amazing. Julia’s favorite thing was seeing bison. Emily’s was our visit to Mount St. Helens.

We had promised Julia a bison sighting. We found one in a museum that was stuffed and she was pretty excited to get close to it. When we arrived at Yellowstone’s entrance gate, we found three just off the road keeping the grass cut low. Her excitement was so much fun to watch! We continued to see them throughout our stay at Yellowstone. Some were close to our hotel and some with babies were off in a field we passed. Definitely the highlight for her.

Before the trip Emily would tell you that she was most excited to see Mount St. Helens. On the way she was looking forward to that day. When the day came and she could see the mountain from an overlook she was jumping with excitement. She watched a movie about the days surrounding the eruption and all the different destructive flows that were caused by the volcanic event, she saw exhibits about what happened, she saw the mountain top from different viewpoints, she saw the growing glacier inside of the crater, and she saw the destroyed trees that still remain high on the mountain, and at the end of the day she was still so excited she had come to see this volcano. Now that we are home it is still her favorite stop of the trip. She did tell us that while she likes to learn about volcanoes that she doesn’t want to be a volcanologist because they can die.

A few (hopefully funny) observations we made over the miles we traveled-

  • When stopping for food or bathroom, a child will fall asleep just minutes prior to stopping.
  • I have heard countless times that the kids have lost things in the car (shoes, stuffed friends, pens, toys etc.). I never heard them say that they lost their Princess Pez dispenser. I guess they do know how to keep up with some things.
  • Drivers seem to obey speed requirements better as the speed increases.
  • It is good sometimes that rabbits breed like, well, rabbits.
  • When wanting to complain about not feeling well in the car, one can complain of being homesick instead of carsick in hopes of getting more sympathy.
  • When all electronic play is being help up by timed reading time, one’s little sister becomes our biggest cheerleader.
  • Any stop that involves space to run is a good stop. If a sprinkler happens to be watering grass there will be glee!
  • Driving at night can be a challenge in the rain, but without rain driving at night can be a challenge with bugs insisting to inspect the windshield
  • The pros and cons of driving east and west – Westward driving = gained time, but requires dealing with evening sun. Eastward driving = loss of time, but with a lot less eye squinting.

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We Found Nemo

October 26th, 2012 by Mommy


Mama loves this movie. So of course we had to go and see it as a family (missing the first several scary minutes). The girls enjoyed it, but had trouble sitting to watch it. Luckily there were just eight other people in the theater.

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Beach Babies

August 6th, 2011 by Mommy


Baby Elizabeth enjoying the sun and attention. What a happy face!


Baby Mikayla not loving the camera so much, but enjoyed her beach time.

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The Girls Vacation-Atlanta cousins

April 7th, 2011 by Mommy

Our last stop was a “rest” stop on the way home. We stopped and visited with Aunt Janet and Uncle Art for one night. The day we arrived they had just had their annual Easter egg hunt with extended family and friends. Our bonus was that all of Rachelle’s Atlanta cousins were there and stayed for an evening of visiting. It has been years since we have all been together and it was a joy. The girls took a while to warm up, but they were in an unfamiliar place with loads of people. Emily warmed up first and loved playing with the new to her toys. Lily was great to play with Emily too. Eventually even Julia was running around and playing in the cubby under the stairs. The next morning we visited until after lunch and then headed on home to see Daddy. Thanks for the hospitality and the invite for future visits!


Julia was having fun running around playing and acting like her pixie self. At this moment she was supposed to come for a group photo, but had other things in mind.


Emily getting a special front porch hug!


Uncle Art and Aunt Janet with the girls. I wish the girls would pose better for photos, but it was cold and they were just ready to go home and see Daddy!

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Family Christmas

December 26th, 2010 by Mommy

We celebrated Christmas with extended family who visited for the holiday. We attempted a family photo and ended up with this awesome photo. I think the fact we got all the adults to look at the camera at the same time and not blink was a success and then adding Caleb’s expressive face to the mix made it over the top. Maybe one day the younger ones will want to look at the camera.

In the photo: Don Lieder, Ann Lieder, Jennifer Reichle, Philip Reichle, Joyce Reichle, Robby Edwards, Rachelle Edwards, Phil Reichle, Caleb, Nataniel, Emily, and Julia.

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The Santa Story 2010

December 26th, 2010 by Mommy

Scene 1 – The Visit:

The girls visited with Santa in Miami this year. Santa was visiting in an ice and snow palace and after talking with him there was a snow room that had snow for kids to play in. Emily was very excited to see and speak with Santa. She showed no shyness with him. There was no line behind us so she had plenty of time to talk. Santa asked Emily what she wanted for Christmas and she told him she wanted toys and a star for the top of the tree. Santa was very kind and sweet with the girls. Julia had a different response to Santa. She cried at the idea of sitting with him. In the end, Mommy had to sit next to Santa and Julia on her lap. The girls were not sure of what to make of the faux snow, but liked to watch Mommy play in the snow and throw it into the air.

Scene 2 – The Message:
Some sweet friends of ours arranged for the girls to receive their own individual messages from Santa. We recorded the girls watching their videos. The messages were quite a hit! Emily continued to talk about what Santa told her through Christmas.

Emily’s Video Message

Julia’s Video Message

Scene 3 – Christmas Morning:

Christmas morning we found that Santa had visited the house and left lovely things in our stockings. Among what he left there was a Christmas star, princess coloring book, Backyardigans characters, Ernie doll (a Julia favorite), ponies, musical instruments, and toy kitchen utensils. The girls loved finding their stockings and were excited to empty them out. There were lots of excited proclaimations of discovery and joyful facial expressions.

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