Friday, September 8, 2017

Totality and our First Week "Not Back to School"

***Warning....this is a two week know we can cram a whole lot in two weeks....there is a lot crammed in here!!!****

Soooooo..... it was a rough month in August.  There was a lot of upheaval helping out our family through their initial struggles with losing their beloved one.  We know there is a long way to go, and we are grateful that we were able to shift things around to help them out.  But I need to force myself back on track mentally to catch back up in the blogging world!

We were able to get to Tennessee to see the Solar Eclipse.  We got into Nashville at 2 am, and was up again to the park by 10 am to see the eclipse.  BOY!!! was it worth it!!!

We brought extra family with us so that they could have an adventure and also they needed to get away from the trauma of everyday life for just a few days.

We made plans with some friends that live in that area and we spent some time with them.  It was great!

Then we went for Solar/moon Ice cream at a place called Jeni's....I fell in LOVE!

It's the best ice cream in the world!

Lots of pool time.

A little drawing for me.

The next day we went to explore some of the Natchez Trail with our friend from TN.  We made a detour into Leiper's Fork.

The walk was a little difficult for some, but it was so worth it!!

The kids had so much fun exploring!

Then was lunch!

And finally we finished this day by visiting the Carter House in Franklin TN.  This was the site of the Battle of Franklin during the Civil War.  Now this was the 3rd time we have visited this location, but the first for my niece and nephew.  There are still bullet holes and cannonball holes in the siding from that day.

It was a long day... We got Jeni's again on the way back to the hotel.

We also had the opportunity to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame with all us girls.  It was fun!

The kids made souvenir buttons and did a scavenger hunt.  It was really a great learning time.

My favorite... Trace Adkins

Then we spotted a few places from our favorite show Nashville.... we drove by Deacon's house

And Rayna's house (and it could be yours for $20.1's for sale)

and also stopped at the Bluebird Cafe

Since it was all just us girls.... we of course did a little shopping and hit Justice.  Now we had three mermaids!

As if that wasn't enough to do in one day ... we did a walking tour of downtown Franklin.  I love listening to the Civil War stories and facts they give on these tours.

No trip to Tennessee is every complete until we have been to Sweet CeCe's.

It was a nice time together and then on the way home, we stopped at Mammoth Cave!

Little visitors we passed on our way into the park.

Little bats were hanging right above our heads.

The mug I should have bought when we were there! love this!

When we got home very late (as usual), we woke up the next day to go to Cedar Point.  But I went out to check on our chickens.  They are getting so big!

Family day together.

Carra and Lydia rode the Slingshot.

New Favorite Jelly Beans!!  Where have these been???  Candy corn jelly beans, and they are not gummy.  They were so good.  I bought them as a treat for myself and Brayden stole them from me.  (He loves candy corn)

My nephew Robbie asked for Star Wars waffles or pancakes...what do I need to do....make the boy what he asks for!!

Now by this time.  Joe is taking Brandy and her family back to their home and he decides to stay with them for a few days.  To help them out those first few days back at home without their loved one.  We knew that it would be hard, and will be for a while.  So the kids and I stayed home and started by our schoolwork officially.  (as if they aren't learning something almost all the

This year we updated with new school uniforms (lol.... 😂😂😂).

A few new supplies, a candy treat and a card for each of them...and then we were off and started on our to-do lists.

Brayden even made lunch.  He had gotten chili cheese nachos at Cedar Point and wanted to learn how to make them at home.  He was shocked at how easy it was.

The next day Joey started back to "work" at the Dayhab.  The girls had their Girl Scout Daycamp.  We did a Scat activity.

And made edible scat... why yes, you read that right.... edible scat!  It was like chocolate playdough and there were mix-ins depending on the animals diet.  (died coconut flakes (grass), berries, etc)

It was gross and cool all at the same time.  The girls all loved this.

Then we went on a nature walk.

And found fossils

Ate foraged berries (under the supervision of a park ranger of course.)

And she showed us how to cook up foraged foods.

The final event of our day camp was a presentation by a local wildlife rescue.

What a day.....we were exhausted but ready to take a vacation day with Daddy.  He came home long enough for us to go to Cedar Shores Water Park.  We had been planning this with our friends for a few weeks.  We were all so excited.  That morning our niece and nephew that live right by us were able to go with us, because their school had a fog cancellation.  It turned into such a beautiful day!

It kept going, when the water park closed we hopped over into the amusement park and they rode rides for a couple hours before heading home.

On Thursday we headed out to visit my sister-in-law with Joe.  We had lunch with her and met more of my brother-in-law's family.  After seeing our niece and nephew when they got home from school, we headed home and got ready for an impromptu trip back to Cedar Point.  (Hey...we are getting our money's worth from these season passes!! Joe had one more vacation day left that week.)

While there (on this very windy and chilly day), Caty found her first kindness rock.

And they rode lots and lots of rides.

This is how I survived the cold and lack of energy...multiple trips to Starbucks

The waves were white-capping a ways out from shore.  This is the view of the beach on Lake Erie at Cedar Point.

Brayden is in Green...his favorite ride ... Gemini

Joey rode a few rides and spent the rest of the day like this.

 There they all are on Maverick (ok...Joe and the girls)

The next day we had to go dress shopping for a formal party that my niece is hosting next weekend.  The older kids had gotten gift certificates from the library for volunteering over the summer.  So they got to pick out what they wanted and since Caty is pretty much dragged to all their jobs, she got ice cream too for being such a good sport.

The next day we planned to head back to Indiana to see Brandy and the kids.  Since we have a tradition of me baking the kids a giant chocolate chip cookie the first day of school, we held off and did them at the end of their first week of school, and I made one for my niece and Nephew also.

After some boat trouble, we all headed to the beach at Dallas Lake by LaGrange Indiana.

Brayden even got in the water.

Whew.....I'm glad to have a little downtime this week.  I have been able to sort through some piles (including the mail) and now have a bunch to take to Goodwill.  Little things that didn't get finished in August will gradually get done in September.  I stocked back our fridge and now we can get back on a normal eating schedule too.

Hope everyone had a wonderful summer!  Looking forward to hearing about how your "Not-Back-To-School" is going!

Linking up with other moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. Wow! What an amazing end to your summer!!! Here's wishing you a streak of quiet time. :)

    1. Thanks! Things have been so out of control! Hope you have an amazing new school year!