The Educational Benefits of Traveling With Your Kids

Whether you’ve chosen to homeschool your children or not, there’s no arguing that travel is beneficial for their learning and development. In fact, many parents within the homeschooling community are now traveling with their kids as much as they can afford. When families travel, children gain firsthand experiences and applications. Consider some of the benefits of traveling with your kids: A better understanding and appreciation of different cultures One of the most amazing things about traveling abroad, whether it’s to New York City, China, Africa, etc, is that it allows your children to learn about different cultures. While you could teach … Read more…

St. Louis Travels

I have not pressed my fingers into my keyboard hardly at all the past couple weeks. The desire has been there, but along with many other things, it fell by the wayside with my lack of motivation as I battled through some sickness. Some days my only goal was survival and keeping food down. Other days were better, but they were busy because due to my sick, get-little-done days I had gobs of laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. to do. Though Mitch has been pitching in a ton and frankly keeping us going and fed some days, despite being quite … Read more…

Nebraska Adventures

Rebekah and I spent a lot of our time in Nebraska visiting friends and family. However, we had a unique chance to do some of my favorite “Nebraska” things and even mark something off my bucket list. It was a last minute trip, but we packed in a lot to those six days. Several downtown Grand Island businesses hosted a free concert series. As a teen I loved going to local concerts. It just so happened one of my favorite musicians from my teen years, Connor Oberst (Most known for his work with Bright Eyes.) was set to perform while we were in town. Dad … Read more…

Going Home–An Anchor Set in Shifting Sands

Going home simultaneously feels familiar and foreign. Traveling back to my roots and my hometown in Nebraska reminds me that few things stay the same. And yet, some things never change. Though many of the changes in my hometown are positive and full of hope–I still find a part of me mourns the change. I think I want to preserve something in this life that feels ever familiar. Nostalgia I guess. In theory, isn’t that why so many people romanticize going home? They dream about their mom’s cooking or drive by the old house they lived in for 30 years. But instead they … Read more…

Tips for Mastering the Family Road Trip

With summer now upon us, I am excited to share a guest post by Marie Nieves about ways to have an enjoyable family road trip! As you set off this summer for your own road trips, family time, and adventure, my prayer is that you may be blessed with safety and lifelong memories. – Nathana Most youngsters are prone to showing defiance when removed from their common environment (their room, the company of their peers, etc.). Road trips can be troublesome due to the long ride in the car. As the pumped air circulates through the car with the smell of stale Cheetos, … Read more…

Plan to Be Surprised

I am a planner. I like to know what is going to happen. I tend to set unobtainable expectations. Unlike my spontaneous, easy-going husband, a change in plans can really derail my day. The past several months I have been reflecting on what it means to give thanks in every circumstance, even when plans change. A couple months ago I read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (affiliate link), which opened up my mind and heart to how often God tells us to give thanks. Jesus was always giving thanks, regardless of the circumstances. Even when … Read more…

A Family Tradition–Watching the Sandhill Cranes

Rebekah’s fever finally started to break and stay low enough to get out a bit. And by “get out” I mean drive around. After all, we didn’t want to overwhelm her. We had been wanting to drive around to the cornfields and river to look for sandhill cranes, so we packed up and set out. Most of the cranes have already continued on with their migration, but we still saw quite a few rummaging in the cornfields. Going out every spring to see the cranes is a favorite family tradition of mine. Some years, like today, we just casually drive the … Read more…

Hello and Goodbye, All in One Day

This past week we rejoiced with our family and friends who welcomed sweet baby Blake and Eleanor into their arms. Our friends, Andrew and Sonia, gave birth a sweet baby girl Eleanor. I couldn’t resist making her a couple headbands. Here is the first: I am working on crocheting flowers for another headband (possibly interchangeable flowers) and a flower or two to make into barrettes for her older sister, because older sisters should not be forgotten! Be sure and check out other Yarn Along posts here. Last Friday we made the trek down to Springfield for a quick day trip. … Read more…

Our White Christmas

Christmas took us from Columbia, up to Nebraska, back to Columbia, and then down to Springfield. I fought off a cold the first leg of the trip, but all things considered, it was a lovely Christmas. Rebekah did quite well around our large families, at least until she reached nap time. Then it was nuzzle-into-mama-and-don’t-let-go time. She even slept pretty well, thanks to a rocker that some friends lent us. (Sadly, we are now on the rocker’s goodbye tour because Rebekah barely fits in it length-wise, and the tiny straps barely reach around her tummy.) It snowed on Christmas Eve. … Read more…

Crossing Kansas

Watching the terrain change before our eyes as we travel across Kansas toward Colorado makes me marvel at how diverse we are as a nation. As I write this post, the mountains of Colorado are rising in front of us, straight out of the plains that draw our eyes miles in every direction. We made our way through a patch of winter fog earlier this morning while crossing Kansas outside Salina. Frozen cow ponds and knotted, gnarly trees draped in the heavy mist, looked as if they belonged in a gothic novel by Emily Bronte. Mitch let me pull off at … Read more…

Embracing Life’s Bittersweet Moments

bittersweet moments: transitions

Bittersweet. The word everyone uses when facing a transition or major life change. We use it to encapsulate our conflicting emotions: excitement about what lays ahead mingled with nostalgia and sadness about what must be left behind. I first experienced a bittersweet transition when I graduated high school. A new adventure stretched out before me; yet, it meant moving away from, and inevitably loosing, close contact with many of my high school friends. Graduating college was also bittersweet. It was that long-awaited transition into adulthood: no more homework, no more classes, etc. However, I mourned the tight-knit college community, familiar sights and sounds of campus, … Read more…

First Day of Autumn: Sharing a Love of Nature With Your Children

It is officially the first day of Autumn, my favorite season! I cherish something about every season: Summer’s recreation, Spring’s awakening, and Winter’s gusty, swirling snow. Yet, Autumn encapsulates so much of what I love: the way the first nip of cold comes sweeping in on the breeze; the coziness of breaking out knitted sweaters; clasping a steaming mug of apple cider as you sit around a fire; hayrides bumping around dry, sometimes shaved-to-a-stubble cornfields; pumpkin patches bursting with orange and red pumpkins and gourds, ripe for the picking; the smell of dry leaves falling; the color scheme of Autumn with … Read more…

Five Ways to Avoid Camping Mishaps

Mitch and I were married for six months when we decided to take our first vacation, which turned out to be a camping trip. I was set on going to my favorite place on earth, the Niobrara River Valley. As a result, he let me plan the trip. My church used to camp there and float down the scenic river lined with crags, cliffs, trees, and even herds of steers. My family also rented a cabin up there for what was one of my all time favorite vacations. I remember thinking, How hard could it be? I have this in the bag. … Read more…

Vacation Travels — A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A couple weeks ago we took an impulsive day trip to Flagstaff to get out of the Phoenix heat. Yes, our dog Hazel came along! It was wonderfully simple just to lay out a blanket on the grass, play music, read, and soak in cool weather! We also got to catch up with a couple college friends over dinner. However, the real reason I have not posted for over a week is because we were on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider this blog work! In fact, I really wanted to bring a laptop, but we did not … Read more…