Our Kids' Blog

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

September 17th, 2015 by Mommy


Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is just a fancy name for the St. Louis Arch. St. Louis was the starting point (kind-of) for the Lewis and Clark Expedition which charted the Missouri River, it’s headwaters, and on to the Pacific Ocean. We weren’t sure how the girls would do in the elevator to the top of the arch and we were sure that the mama was not going to enjoy the elevator trip to the top of the arch, so we skipped it in favor of exploring the museum at the base of the arch. The museum was great and we recommend it for any age group. There was enough to keep Julia (5) interested and Emily (7) found lots to read and learn about that interested her. One of Robby’s favorite historical topics is the expedition of Lewis and Clark, so for him sharing the story with Emily was a highlight. We enjoyed about an hour in the museum and around the arch before continuing on in our adventure.



This was the first bison sighting of the trip. Yes, it is stuffed. Julia was SO excited to see it up close. Finding it really set the tone for Julia on this trip. She had an excitement for each and every stop we made.

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Harry S Truman NHS

September 17th, 2015 by Mommy


When traveling long distances in a car it is best to find a few stops for both education and stretching our legs. Our stop at Harry S. Truman’s home in Independence , MO was one of these stops. Truman was the 33rd president and hailed from the state of Missouri. We saw the small visitor center exhibits and movie about the home in town. It was where the future Mrs. Truman was born and raised and became the house the married couple lived in for their entire life. The historical perspective from the location we visited was about the home and how they used it. The “next” tour that we could join was a bit of a wait so we skipped it and moved on. The lasting effect of this stop is that the girls learned a bit more about the presidency, discovered that some houses have names (in this case the house was called ‘the little white house’), and can pick a photo of Truman out. We visited for a half of an hour.

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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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Last stop – Orlando

October 4th, 2013 by Mommy


No summer trip to Florida can be complete without a stop in Orlando to play. We spent a little less time this year because of the kids being sick. The sickness gave us only one pool day with all the kids so they made the most of it. On one of the play days we went to Downtown Disney to explore a little. All the kids had a blast checking out the Lego store and riding the train along with the carousel. After lunch we went back to play at the house. They had the most fun just being silly with each other and playing! Good memories!

boys emnatinpoolcarhulk trainlegoplayhouseplay swimminggirlpoohthreeonaraft unsuretent

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A Day At The Everglades

October 3rd, 2013 by Mommy


We wanted to see the Everglades during the summer when it is the rainy season, so we took the shuttle ride in Shark Valley. Because of the extra water in the Everglades the alligators were more spread out and were not easy to see, although we saw a young one by the road and one large one by the observation tower. The biggest difference from our previous visit was that it rained while we were on our tour. The large open spaces allowed us to see several rain clouds around us while we were riding which gave the day its own unusual beauty.


It was a bit breezy for the ride. Sitting with the grandparents made it lots of fun. Grandma shared her camera with the girls to take some photos. Who knows what photographic masterpieces she ended up with.


At the half way point of the tram ride there is an observation tower that we climbed to take a good look at the scenery. Emily decided to have a one-girl race to the top. She won.


The girls took a minute and stopped moving to check out the view.


This is the alligator who greeted us at the observation tower stop. He had found his lunch of a turtle. We watched him for a few minutes from a safe distance and then went to look at other views. After we got to the other side of the road the alligator threw the turtle into the air and grabbed it back as it fell. It is almost like he was showing off for the visitors. We were glad the girls missed the excitement.


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Summer Photos and Playtime

October 2nd, 2013 by Mommy


While visiting Miami each year we try to make a trip out to the beach to take photos along with enjoying the sun and sand. The weather during this year’s trip was not helpful for this activity. It was cool, windy, and more rainy than usual, so instead, we took some photos of the kids in the backyard while they were having playtime.

Ty was visiting his grandma for the afternoon and Lizzy came over for cousin time. There was lots of flower picking, ball kicking, running, and laughing. There is enough room on the swing set for everyone to have a great time.


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