Monday, August 22, 2016

Drop Off Day

Riley is now at school.  I think this is where some epic music should play, but well, not sure how to do that so just imagine.

Drop off was amazing.  And overwhelming.  And long.  And well, a lot of things.

Praise the Lord we will see her in about 7 weeks for Fall Break.  I can do anything for 7 weeks.

So can she, although I am slightly less worried about how she will do.  Me on the other hand...I will let you know!

And just for the record, no, this does not get easier with each child.  I know "they" tell you that.

"They" lie!

I will leave you with pictures for now.  Thoughts and stories will have to wait!

On the way-

A warm welcome-


The favorite spot-

And just because-

For those of you swimming this same current- here's a quote from one of Riley's favorite musicals, Finding Nemo, The Musical:

Marlin- But what if they're not ready? I mean how do you know?
Crush- Well, you never really know, but if they're ever gonna grow
Then you gotta let 'em go, you know!?
Just go with the flow...
Crush- When you're raising sons and daughters, it's like surfing the muddy waters, oh oh oh, go with the flow!


Friday, August 19, 2016

5 on Friday

1- On the road again... this is becoming a habit! Yes, we are dropping Riley, our second daughter, off at college this weekend.  I will post about it next week...until then prayers for this momma's heart would be appreciated!  She will rock it.  The verdict is still out on me!

2- On our various travels we got to visit with old friends who have opened a new Culvers franchise just a few exits away from the Kansas City airport.  I love how our travels and our friends frequently cross paths!  If you are in the area, stop by and say hi to them for us!

3- We finally made it to the Omaha Zoo.  You know, because everyone says it is the best!  It was on Riley's to do list before she left for college.  We had a great day and are eager to go back when it is not quite so hot!

4- Our last trip (told you this was becoming a habit) took us back to the place of our first assignment, where our oldest was born!  We had not been back there in 22 years, so it was fun to see how much had changed.  And a few things that had not!

5- Proud bragging moment.  Ashton's quilt business, Ashton's Attic, is starting to take off and provide a living for her.  Just this week she sold two!  She is taking orders for Christmas now- be sure to get on her calendar!

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Isn't Every Venue the Same?

I am so glad you asked.  Why, no, they are not!!

Have you shopped for a wedding venue lately?  Oh my word!  The choices!

Churches, museums, barns, even the zoo!  Basically, you can get married just about anywhere.  For the right price.  And IF it happens to be available the date you want.

Yep, price and date.  It pretty much comes down to those two things.

Price, well, let's not go into that too much right now.  We are still in sticker shock when it comes to how much a wedding costs.

And date, that gets a little tricky when your sister/maid of honor is getting ready to head off to her first year of college.  She kind of needs to be here for the wedding, so that pretty much narrowed our window of opportunity.  We tried to hit October upon the groom's request, but alas, no appropriate venues were available.

That brings us back to the venue thing-

What are you looking for?  Do you want to get married in a church and have the reception there or have the reception elsewhere?  Do you want to have the wedding and reception in a different location?  We love our new church family, but since we are new to the area, the actual church building does not hold sentimental meaning to us.  Therefore, Ashton really wanted to look for a place that we could have the ceremony in one room and the reception in another area on the same property.  Found it, but it was not easy.

Is that place available?  Again, we were looking at an October date, a November date, had ruled out December, and then had a January date.  October and November dates were simply booked up this close.  January was what we were left with.

Can you afford it?  You can get married in many churches for a small fee, especially if it is your home church.  You can also pay THOUSANDS for some venues and "destination" weddings.  Be prepared to write the checks!

Can it hold the number of guests you expect?  There were several places we really liked that simply could not hold the number of guests we expect.  Because we are not from here and many will have to fly in, even that number is hard to estimate.

Does it have specific rules that you can or cannot abide with?  This has not been an issue for us, but I know for some it has been.  Does the venue allow open flames, have a dress code, allow dancing, have security, or allow alcohol, just to name a few?  If there are certain things that are important to you, ask now!!

Is it local and convenient to get to?  This was a BIG factor for us.  Again, because many people will fly in, we wanted to make those guests' lives as easy as possible.  Airport shuttle service to and from the airport to the hotel, and then from the hotel to the ceremony venue was important to us.  Again, ask the questions up front. The weather could also be an issue for us, so we did not want to have to worry about out of town guests driving in winter weather they are just not used to for any distance.

Does it fit your vision?  Most brides have in the back of their head somewhere visions of their "perfect" wedding.  Talking through those ideas is a good way to start to narrow down how you want things to look.  Although I do not love Pinterest for much else, creating a "wedding" board with the look you want can help you and the people working with you be on the same page.  If your desire is to have a country wedding, then a modern museum is probably not the best venue for you!

So, once you have the venue and date set, what is next?

Food.  We are still working on the food! ;)


Monday, August 15, 2016

Why Color Coding Still Works

I think it was a few years ago that I began color coding my kids' school supplies for the upcoming school year.  I cannot remember where I first saw the idea, but it appealed to the artsy side of me. You know, the "I really want to be a good mom and teacher and cool in the kids eyes," but don't have a creative bone in my body thing.  Finding matching notebooks and such, now THAT I could do!

As for impressing the kiddos, well, I am not sure how impressed they were, but hey, they did like the fun colors.  That being said, don't pick hard colors.  Not every school supply comes in orange or purple.

So why color code?

It's fun!  If not for the kids, at least for mom!  I know that some people stress about finding school supplies.  I am pretty sure I would too if I was given a three page list of the things my kids needed. But hey, when you get to decide what your kids will use for the school year, it can be like a treasure hunt.  Have a little fun looking for blue scissors or green tape dispensers!

It helps you stay organized.  When you are schooling multiple children, finding the right notebook to grade a child's work can get challenging.  Even with just a few kids, the number of notebooks stacked up at the end of the day can be overwhelming.  When I can narrow down the potentials by a simple glance of color, I am thrilled.  I can further help myself out by making each of the notebooks in one color slightly different.  Trust me, by the end of the year you will know that the 4th grader's math is in the blue Star Wars folder!

It gives kids ownership!  I don't know why, but there is just something about personalizing kids' things that gives them more ownership and therefore more responsibility for something.  It's like adding their name to an item.  All of a sudden it belongs to them and they take better care of it. Finally, that "mine, all mine" attitude is a good thing!

Just a quick disclaimer- color coding does not have to break the bank!  With back to school sales, you can get notebooks for 17 cents each.  Nothing in our piles was more than about $1!  For $5 you can have a lot of fun!

So color coding - simple, but effective!  Hey, it's the little things, right?