Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday

We have been mostly at home this week, not traveling. Here is my thankful list:

~ my husband bringing home a s'mores pizza extra for me when he stopped to pick up our pizza for supper from Papa Murphy's. I had done the order online, and he added the s'mores one to surprise me.

~ my big boy having a fun time fishing. I loved the pictures and his stories. He looked so grown up in the pictures with the fish he caught.

~ my baby boy having a great report at his 15 month check up. He did okay with his shots as well. He cried of course but didn't have fever or anything because of them.

~ liking the new pediatrician. We switched for several reasons. I'm glad we found one we liked.

~ finding books at Goodwill for 4/$1.00 for Caleb. I picked some I thought he'd like and figured if he didn't want to read them it wasn't too great of a loss!  I resisted getting the packs of cards and envelopes I saw for cheap since I need to use the ones my aunt got me recently before I buy more.

~ and speaking of books, I'm thankful for the libraries we have here. I ran in and found the next book in a series I'm listening to in the car. Also they offer Hoopla so there are more choices to listen to at home. We all love books. I hope Titus will always like them much as the rest of us.

Have a day of blessings!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Family Vacation 2016 (Part 2)

After we left the park, we drove a short distance over to Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari.   I had never head of this place but found it on Trip Advisor.  

We tried to arrive earlier in the day before it got too hot.  We started our drive a little past 11.  Some of the animals were under the trees, but they would come up to the car for food when we stopped.  

It was such a pretty day, and we all enjoyed it.  We could take our time and drive at our own pace to enjoy the animals.  The boys thought it was fun to feed the animals out of the windows.

We recommend you driving through too if you are in the east Texas area.  Visit their website for more information about pricing and hours of operation.    

Here are some of the animals we saw:  

This camel was chasing us!

You can tell what a beautiful day it was when we went.  I loved the big clouds is the sky as we drove through the park.

We had to stop to figure out how to get around these guys!  This big fellow would not move!  Look at those horns.  

Have a day of blessings!


Friday, July 15, 2016

A Different Beautiful

I am so enjoying the book A Different Beautiful by Courtney Westlake.  It has such a wonderful message about how we see those around us and what is truly beautiful.

 I feel like so many people would benefit from this book.  It's release day is just a few weeks away!  Pre order your copy now! You will enjoy Brenna's story.

Here's a quote from the book I thought was fitting:


Have a day of blessings!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Is it really Thursday again already?  We had a fun week traveling for an overnight trip with  my husband.  It was to the city where we used to live.  We drove by and looked at our old house and also ate at our favorite place.  The boys had a fun time in the pool.  We enjoyed our time there, and it was nice to be together.

This week my thankful list includes:

~ the sweet things my husband has told me that shows me he loves me.  It was making me smile one day to think back to the kind words he told me before he left for work.

~ my boy having fun in the pool and watching him swim and play. I'm glad he is not afraid of water like he was when he was much younger.

~ hearing my baby boy repeat words we say and seeing him do the things we do. I ask him What do we say to the flag?  and he puts his hands on his chest.  I showed him to put his hand on his heart and started saying the pledge when we saw a flag.  So now he's started doing this and it's so adorable.

~ relaxing at my Mom's....We stopped at her house on our way and were able to enjoy some time there.  The boys had fun, and we enjoyed good food and relaxation!

~  safe travel on our trip.  We saw some reckless drivers more than once.  I was thankful my husband was so alert and paying attention so we were not in danger.

~ fun working on birthday party ideas and invitations with my big boy.

Have a day of blessings!


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book: The Second Half

We commonly hear of children being raised by their grandparents. That is the case in the book The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling. Main characters Ken and Mona have many plans to enjoy life as Ken is about to retire from the local University. They both look forward to that season of life, and then suddenly everything changes. Their son is deployed so they are left caring for two young grandchildren since their mother had previously abandoned them. How will Ken and Mona adjust to having two children in their house again? Will they be able to figure out a new routine with the kids while their plans have to be put on hold?

I enjoyed this book overall. Since I am not to this stage of life yet, I could not totally relate to the characters.  The author did a good job sharing the characters' feelings and emotions about having this sudden change in life.  The emotions they felt seemed to be how real people would feel if they experienced this change.  They love their grandchildren but were totally not expecting to have two of them moving into their home.  Plus they are worried about their son's safety during his deployment. Another aspect of this book I found interesting was depression.  I thought the examples given of how the character Mona felt and dealt with her depression during this season of life were insightful.  I have not faced this personally but found it to be helpful to know how people facing depression must feel daily.

This book is easy to read and a good story.  I'd also like to add that when I received the book in the mail, my 11 year old son read the back and wanted to read it.  He read it quickly and enjoyed it as well.     

This is a standalone novel.  You can visit Lauraine Snelling's website here to find out about this and other books.

This book was provided to me from FaithWords with the Hachette Book Group for my review. Thank you.

Have a day of blessings!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Happy July!  I hope you had a nice Independence Day weekend.

This week I am thankful for...
~ going on a date with my husband last weekend.  We went out to eat and went to a couple stores.

~ having my boy back at home! He had fun when he stayed with my Mom but I sure missed him....It reminded me how much I miss him when he goes to school.

~ seeing the love my baby boy has for his brother.  It was just precious to see how excited he was to see his brother when we picked him up.  He kept hugging and patting him.  Caleb was equally excited to see him.

~ watching fireworks at the home of a friend from church on Sunday evening.  It was a beautiful night.  Titus ended up taking a late nap that day and enjoyed the fireworks too.  He liked playing with the other kids too before they started.

~ cousin day!  Caleb and Titus had a fun day with their cousins, and I enjoyed visiting with my sister in law. We went to the park for library story time, lunch, and then home to play.

~ purple tulips my husband brought me.

Have a day of blessings!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Family Vacation 2016 (Part 1)

I wanted to share a little bit about our vacation.  We were not sure when or where we were going until about a week prior to leaving.  Earlier this year we'd thought about going to Arkansas but didn't know if we wanted to drive that far so I didn't plan anything.

I had found one cabin for us that I thought would be great.  Then a couple days later I looked and I believe the prices went up over night. While it said prices may change without notice, I just did not like that so I did not want to go there.

Instead we went to Jellystone Park at Whispering Pines.  I'm so glad we made the decision to go here!
We drove down the beautiful tree lined road and came upon the entrance to the park.

Examples of some of the cabins
We got checked in at the Ranger Station and found our cabin.  It was situated among the trees and across the "street" from the pond.  In the picture below you can see the pond behind these other cabins.  

The resort property is so nice.  Everything was clean and comfortable.  The equipment was well-maintained.  I thought the staff was nice and friendly.  They seemed to enjoy being there and wanted to help.

They have all sorts of activities for guests....swimming pools, basketball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, volleyball, and a jumping pillow to name a few which are all free to use.  They have a mini golf area that was very new and very nice.  You do have to go "rent" the putters from the Ranger Station which is free but you have to buy the ball for $5. There is also a really cool playground with a neat wooden climbing structure.  They have a nice outdoor theater where they show movies at night.  They have a big fire pit surrounded with tree stumps to sit on where you can meet with Yogi to make s'mores. Besides these amenities, they offer some special activities for the kids including gem mining, tie dying, and ceramics.  

I thought this was a pretty picture with the light coming through the trees.  

We stayed here Sunday through Wednesday.  There was plenty to do and enjoy.  We would not have had to leave the park except we forgot a couple of cooking items!  It was not overly busy while we were there.  There were quite a few cabins full as well as RV spots and tents, but I did not feel like we were surrounded by people.  

We took food to cook on the grill outside our cabin.  Some of the cabins have kitchens in them, and I may get that cabin in the future. We forgot our BBQ tools so had to run to get some at the dollar store nearby.  One day it started raining too while my husband was trying to cook. He'd already finished the hot dogs and had to take off the pork chops because of the rain. I had not considered what we would do about our food if it had rained and he was unable to cook.  It did not last long though and was able to finish cooking the pork chops for our supper.

We all enjoyed our time here and would like to return.  Check with this park if you would like to make a reservation this summer for an affordable vacation at a fun, relaxing location!
Have a day of blessings!