Fall Bucket List: Family Day Trip

Russ took the day off work on Friday. The girls and I had co-op in the morning but the whole family was plan free the rest of the day. Such an awesome rare occasion. Nowhere to go and nothing we had to do. It gave us the perfect opportunity to get out of town. 

Yup, that’s us. We are a classy bunch if I may say so myself. I don’t think it takes long to tell who takes after who by looking at this picture. If the hubby wants to “sabotage” my picture with his goofy expressions I’ll just post it anyways :). 
We quickly decided to head down to Arkansas. A few months ago we visited an art gallery down there and we decided a second trip would be nice.
After a busy morning and a card drive we decided to stop at a park and let the girls play for a bit. Wise choice on our part if I may say so. 

Next stop, Crystal Bridges. I don’t think this place could ever get old. It is so beautiful there.

We didn’t spend as much time in the main gallery this time. We quickly walked through and found the kids area.
Interactive art

Marissa worked on a scratch art project while Emily played with blocks. 

Then we headed outside. I love that there is so much to do AND explore there. 

It was perfect weather for a walk on the trails. We had wanted to do that last time but it was SO hot in July!
The fall air smelled amazing, crunching leaves underfoot and raining down on us.

It was great.

We made our way back to check out the new pop art exhibit.
Yarn art.
This pieces was HUGE and done out of fabric.

Art in motion.
This telescope was constructed of all of the little pieces punched out of the wall. 

Interactive art exhibit. Using bells to hit a balloon with,

Another great trip to what is becoming one of my favorite places.
Plus a couple more things crossed off of our list. Who knows we might just get our list completed after all.
How was your weekend?

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It’s The Little Things: Bonfires and S’mores

The weather this weekend couldn’t have been better. It was the perfect balance of cool but not to cool.

It was finally ideal, perfect fall weather.

The girls had been outside playing in the yard for hours and it was the perfect night to finally get out the fire pit. The girls and I got busy loading up the wood and then we started it with our “secret weapon” Lucky you I am going to let the secret out. A couple years ago my friend Sarah showed me the easiest way to start a fire. It’s quick, easy, works every time and doesn’t’ stink.

There you have it. Simply twist a paper towel, dip one end in the vegetable oil and light the other end on fire.

Like I said, it works every time.

Sunset, fire and my girls. It really doesn’t get much better than this. 

They oh so patiently waited for the fire to get going so we could make s’mores. 
What would be the point of having a fire if we didn’t have s’mores. 
Well, I say patiently. Emily kept licking her piece of chocolate. 
Finally we were able to toast the marshmallows. 

After s’mores and some trampoline jumping in the dark we headed in for baths and bed time. 

I would spend every evening like this if we could. I love being outside around the fire as a family.
This was the perfect start to our weekend.

What would be your perfect fall evening with the family?

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The Great Donut Quest Part 2

In case you missed it, National Donut Day was Friday. We couldn’t have asked for a better time to make another stop on our quest to find the best donuts in town?! Sadly, it was raining and gross and daddy had the car on Friday. So we celebrated as a family on Saturday morning. 

Our 3rd donut stop was to College Station Donuts. This place has been opened for years but we have never been there.

When we first walked in I thought, wow! It was great. Cozy, inviting almost like coffee shop meets donut paradise. The selection was perfect.

The donuts, the donuts were perfection. We quickly agreed hands down that this was our new favorite.

Added bonuses: comfy chairs to watch cartoons in while mommy and daddy finish and a friendly staff.

Could this be the winner? 

We still have at least one more stop before we decide!

Stuffed full of donuts, we headed to Home Depot for their monthly Kids Clinic.

This months project was making a small toy lawn mower. The girls were instantly excited about having mowers for their doll houses.

We hammered, painted and had a great time.

What an awesome Saturday morning family outing.

What do you like to do as a family for fun?

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It’s The Little Things/ Nature Walk

Monday felt like the only real “day off” we had on our four day weekend. We wanted to get out of the house. But more than that we needed to get out of the house!

We are finally reaping the benefits of having two kids that don’t take naps any more. I know some of you are thinking how could there be benefits to that?! But trust me there are. For starters we left the house at 1:00, typically what I associate to be the start of most kids nap time. Secondly, they didn’t get all grumpy and cranky on us because they weren’t sleeping like they are used to. I see those as two major perks it really feels like our little family is more “mobile” now and I am loving it. We ended up taking a drive out to an old bridge that is now a scenic area with several trails around it. 

Our amateur photographer daughter snapped this one, not to bad really!

After our time on the bridge we decided to go for a walk on a trail. Which turned into us being super paranoid about poison ivy and the girls touching any 3 or 5 leaf plants.

I really need to educate myself in the poison ivy identifying department.

It was a great time and nobody got poison (added perk)! 

We got home just in time to relax, watching the rain from our porch and a movie.

I love days like this. Definitely the highlight of our weekend.

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Five on Friday /Silver Dollar City

It’s Friday! And not just any Friday. Today is GOOD Friday. Such a meaningful day for Christians. I don’t think I ever used to give much thought to the significance of Good Friday before we joined our church. Everyone is so eager to celebrate the resurrection they sometimes skip out on the crucifixion. Every year we have a Good Friday service and it has became one of my favorite services of the year. I am so excited to go tonight.

Also daddy is home today! And even better than that he was home yesterday to. So we packed up the kids early and got out of town. We headed to Silver Dollar City, our closest and favorite amusement park located in Branson, Missouri. This is our second year of being season pass holders. Last year we made about 6/7 trips down there between April and December.

My 5 this week are going to be highlights from our first trip of 2014!

1. Marissa is now over the 48″ mark. We hit that sometime this winter and she was THRILLED. This now means that she is not only tall enough to ride almost all the rides (at age 5). But, some of them she could ride all by herself. She told me that she would ride Thunderation, a roller coaster, 44 times if she could. She is also now big enough to be a “single rider” on the big swings. That girl has LOVED rides ever since she was big enough to ride them.

2. This guy, pushing a pink and gray stroller and carrying this back pack. Our normal, gray one was full so I grabbed this gem instead and he didn’t even flinch. 

3. Watching Marissa be such a good big sister. As Emily has gotten bigger, they are getting more “independent”. It is so sweet to see her really watching out for Emily. Here she is making sure Emily got buckled up properly and at the end she helped her get out to.

4. Some time with just Emily. While Dad and Marissa were riding the “scary” flooded mine I got to ride on the carousel alone with Emily. We had 3 rides together, one on a donkey a carriage and a bear. We also rode on the tea cups together since Russ and Marissa like to spin about 100 times faster than we do.

5. Just being together. I love being with our girls. I love having those out of the normal long weekends to do something fun with our kids. It is a joy, and a blessing. I am so excited that we still have today and the rest of the weekend to enjoy being a family!

What are your weekend plans?

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It’s the little things /Pizza Sunday

 At our house we love us some pizza, and I mean LOVE!

My favorite part of pizza has to be that everyone eats it. I don’t have to worry about Emily not liking dinner, or begging the kids to eat more of their food. I make it, we eat it, and everyone is full and happy at the end of the meal. This is how I wish every meal would go, sadly that is not always the case. So much for my unrealistic, naive expectations of the picture perfect family dinner every night. 

About a year or so ago I started making Pizza on a regular basis. That changed to being almost every Sunday night and some how that morphed into what we now call “Pizza Sunday”. This is our weekly family time that we can always count on. Everyone has a job and pitches in to get dinner done.

I love that on Sunday nobody asks “Mom, whats for dinner?” X 50 instead they excitedly squeal in their high pitch voices “It’s pizza Sunday” They know it is our night, they look forward to it and they love it. 

It isn’t fancy, overly structured or glamorous. It is just about being a family and being together. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to end the week. 

Does your family have a weekly tradition?

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