Category Archives: andrea

Fair day ’13


We are now the proud owner of a lemur. And a 3 1/2 foot long snake. (Both of which received a solid coat of Lysol before enter bedrooms, and one of which already needs back surgery to stitch him up.) We also came home from the fair with 3 sacks of candy, 2 plastic trumpets, and one pink ball (and likely many creepy carnival germs).


It was a fun day, and one that we look forward to in the months leading up to the Richardson County Fair. I’ve been to the Arkansas State Fair growing up, and what I’ve come to learn is that I like the small town fair much better. I loved growing up and getting to go to Nokomis, IL for the Homecoming Fair each year. I have incredible memories of those weekend, and I’m glad that my kids get the same small town fair experience each year.

We sit near the tail end of the parade route, and even though most have run out of candy to toss by the time they hit our spot, we still come home with enough tootsie rolls to last us the next several months. This was the first year since I started going that Brad’s sister brought her family down on Friday. It’s always fun to watch the kids get to enjoy their cousins.

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After the parade wrapped up it was time to find some lunch and gear up for an afternoon of riding the rides. Nate is kind of in an in between stage with rides. He’s too big for the little kid stuff, and none of the other kids are really big enough to enjoy the big kid rides with him. Lucky for him his little sister is in the 91% for height, and she was able to go with him on some of the bigger stuff as long as she had a adult with her.










And, this is pretty much how we all felt as we drove home:


Thank you Humboldt, NE and Richardson County fair for an amazing day at the fair!


she sews: a tote


Lately I’ve been having to juggle things back and forth between one tote bag.  Although obviously it’s not a necessity, but I’ve been craving a new tote so that I don’t have to switch things out constantly.  I peeked around at a few places, but I wasn’t finding what I pictured in my mind.  Couple my desire for a new bag with the chevron print I have had my eye on at Hobby Lobby for a while, and I decided to attempt to make my own bag.  I put together different aspects of different tote tutorials found here, and I love what I have come up with.  It was actually super simple to complete, and I spent under $10 to make it!  Not bad in my mind!





A Getaway!


Brad and I were super blessed at the end of September to travel with the other pastors and wives from KoK to take a few days to retreat together in Hilton Head Island, SC.  It was an incredible place to take a few days break from the norms of daily life.  The house we stayed in was beyond amazing, the beach was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and NO KIDS came along!!!!  (Thanks again to Dave and Kay!!!)

{the view from our bedroom}

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{this made me a little nervous}

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{a couple days later Brad and I spotted this across the street from the house}

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{It’s always nice to get away together!}

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{The amount of creatures we saw was amazing – and made us miss the kids since we knew they would love it all.}

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{After our all the quick time in Hilton Head was done, Brad and I drove to Atlanta to take advantage of a couple of extra days away and visited several different Atlanta spots.}

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Keep on coloring kids!


I recently had to take an emotional look at what it looks like when my kids sit in worship with me.  Very rarely, since Brad is often the one preaching, do I have help with the kids in worship.  In fact, by the time the kids get up on Sunday morning, Brad is already out the door and off to the office.  Sunday mornings are tough.  It’s a lot of work to get everyone up, fed, pottied, dressed, brushed, shoed, coated, buckled, driven, and across the mammoth parking lot on my own week after week.  Often times I’m frustrated and exhausted before I ever even walk in the door.  Sadly, I honestly dread the Sunday mornings when one or both of the biggers say that want to go to worship with me rather than Sunday School.  Sad, but honestly true.  I want worship time to recharge, refuel, and honestly provide a break from an already busy morning.  It has become more and more regular lately for the biggers to want to join me though.  For quite a while, I would grab a Children’s Bulletin for each of them, and let them work on that during the sermon.  Unfortunately though, I was fielding questions about “what do I do on this part now Mommy?” and “Mommy, is this right?”  It’s really hard to catch much of the sermon while this is happening!

I knew something had to change, but what?
I have worked with kids for years, I have study child development as I obtained an elementary education degree, I taught elementary school, I have been a parent for 6 1/2 years – I have a pretty good understanding of kids and what is and isn’t age appropriate at different ages.  Sermons (even those preached by their father) are not geared towards kids.  Many kids are able to focus better when actually doing something rather than just sitting like a lump on a log.  Also the learning style of a teen or adult is different than that of a 4 or 6  year old.  In my opinion kids coloring in worship IS GOOD!  There had to be something better than the Children’s Bulletin though.  Within days of my emotional mess of a day over this, the Lord provided me with a new way of allowing the kids to color which would be much more beneficial to them and myself!

I could not be more excited to pull out the Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils each week now – they actually join me more frequently now, and I actually mind less than I use to.  I know that many blessings will result from my kids being allowed to color during the sermon each week.

Here is a glimpse at what Nate (age, 6) has done over the past few weeks:

{during a sermon on Acts 18:24-28}

{during a sermon about “God is Vast”}

{during a sermon about God is perfect}

{while at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City this weekend}

(on  the right, all of the people are thinking about being with Jesus – I had to ask what all the black circles where – thought bubbles of course!)

It is such an incredible blessing to ask Nate after service to explain his picture.  It’s even more of a blessing to know that by allowing him to color, he is able to express the truths that God is teaching him.  Adults take notes (and doodle) during sermons, he takes notes with pictures.

How does it work?  I went to Target and bought both Nate and Jilly a sketch pad book along with a pack of Twistables.  Neither the books or the Twistables are allowed to be used outside of a worship setting.  They are to listen to what is being talked about during the sermon, and draw a picture that relates to what they hear.  I always date the page, and they are limited to the front and back of one page to help teach self control.  Obviously, Nate has a better grasp on this than Jilly does.  Most of Jilly’s colorings are completely random and abstract at this point.  I know though, that she will grow in this as she gets a little older.  My expectations for her vary from what I expect from Nate – as they should.  Seriously though, this often time frazzled each Sunday morning momma is just a little more at peace now, and lot more blessed!


synopsis of a summer


Oh my.  Where to start?  Where did the last two and a half months go?  Nate has 3 short days of summer break left and then it’s on to first grade!  Let’s see.  We survived tball season.  I’m still not convinced we are cut out to be a sports consumed family.  The kids loved attending VBS this summer.  They still sing the songs and continue to remind each other to “trust God” on a regular basis.  We traveled down to my parents and spent a week.  My Grammy was still with them, and I was super excited for Nate and Jilly to get to see her again since they weren’t part of my February trip.  We’ve enjoyed our splash pad, but with the extreme weather, we’ve not been there too much.  Jilly is beyond excited to start preschool on her birthday.  I’m still in disbelief that she’s about to be four!  We’ve been hard at work on our basement.  Framing of the walls is done.  Plumbing is run.  Electrical should be in sometime in late September, and then it’s on to drywall!  I’m sure there’s much more, but I’ve been putting off blogging longer and longer because of being so super behind.  Now I feel at least a little caught up.

bike riding battles


We have learned a lot about parenting and raising kids in the past 6 years, but sometimes something get’s thrown at you that just frustrates and perplexes you.  It has turned into a major ordeal as we attempt to teach Nate to ride his bike without training wheels.  He is quite content with training wheels and doesn’t have a lot of desire to learn to ride without them.  When we got him his new bike a few months ago, we figured he’d have to learn.  Problem was his lack of desire coupled with our lack of time to work with him led to no success in the 3 or 4 times he went out over the course of 2 or 3 months.

This weekend we decided to take a new course at trying to teach him.  Brad went out and picked up a pair of training wheels big enough for his new bike.  Unfortunately though they don’t quite work with his bike.  Brad got them on, but we have to tighten them regularly or they don’t stay on.  We set them high enough that he’s riding quite crooked when he’s leaned to one side or the other.  He hates it.  Now he isn’t just not interested in learning, he HATES even trying.  Tonight he screamed and cried the entire time.  (Seriously, the entire time.)

I’d love to just lower them and say we’ll try again next summer, but since the training wheels aren’t a perfect fit for the bike that’s not going to work.  I wonder if I can just hire someone to teach him.  (I’ll look into that when I discover someone buried money in my backyard and I’m a millionaire.)


vacation (pt.3)


I’m getting a little antsy to move on from vacation posts, but want to share our pictures and what we did.  I’m going to combine last Wednesday and Thursday into one post and get us a little closer to done with vacation posts.

Wednesday we got a really late start due to some beyond amazing blackout curtains in our hotel room.  My husband granted my hotel request and got us a suite style room so we wouldn’t have to sit in the dark waiting for the kids to fall asleep each night.  When Jilly woke up Wednesday morning, she asked if she could go lie out on the couch in the living room area, we told her sure and figured she’d be back in shortly.  That girl fell back asleep and continued to sleep even after the rest of us were up and moving around.

Once we finally got ourselves already to go we headed toward the Arch.  I really thought I had read somewhere that our hotel was a half mile walk to the Arch.  Apparently I read wrong.  It wasn’t bad, but it was longer than I expected.

The kids LOVED going up in the Arch.  For Nate the best part was seeing a helicopter with it’s propeller spinning while on a floating helicopter pad along the shore of the Mississippi.  After we went up it, they pointed it out every time we saw it as we drove around the city.

Thursday we had plans to do both Grant’s Farm and the Science Center.  We again, thanks to the blackout curtains, got a slow start to our morning.  I thought I had seen that the Science Center was open until 5, but I was wrong once again.  We got there at 3:50 and it closed at 4:30.  We didn’t have nearly enough time to see and do everything, but were blessed by the parking lot attendant who waved us through as we left without having us pay.  It was once again a full day which left kids more than ready to crash at the end of the night.

vacation (pt. 2)


Tuesday was the day we were most excited to share with the kids.  One of our favorite things to do in the 3 years we spent in St. Louis for seminary was to go to the zoo.  We went there regularly, and after having kids said that we would one day take them there.  Whereas our local zoo has great indoor exhibits and puny (at best) 0utdoor exhibits, the St. Louis zoo has amazing outside exhibits.  We decided we’d do the zoo on whatever day happened to be the coolest in our days in St. Louis.  We weren’t the only ones who picked the coolest day!!!  It was busy but not unbearable.

Because of our zoo pass we were able to get a pass to several different extras for a total of $20 for the whole family.  We skipped a few of the extras, but we took advantage of the endless carousel rides, train rides, and visited the manta ray touch tank with it.  We would have done the children’s zoo and 4D motion simulator, but we ran out of time and energy.

The animals we saw were great.  There were 2 lion cubs who were putting on a show as they playfully fought with each other.  The baby and momma camel were cute but in need of a major haircut.  And although I couldn’t get the kids to touch one, I got to touch a manta ray.

It was everything Brad and I hoped it would be for the kids.  They had a great time, and so did we.  I can’t wait for the next time we get to go back!

And, because I love flowers and they were in full bloom all over the zoo, I have to share one last picture.


vacation (pt. 1)


Last Monday morning we set off on our week-long 4 city summer (technically spring if you ask Nate) vacation.  Day one was spent in Kansas City.  After tolerating some shopping with Brad and I, we surprised the kids with a visit to the new Legoland at the Crowne Center.  Nate had no clue where we were headed until we got almost to the door.  His look was priceless.

Nate’s favorite part was of course the educational part.  He loved learning how they make the Lego bricks.

They had an amazing depiction of some of the sites of KC in one room.  (It took master builders 6 months to build and then 1 1/2 months to set up once they moved it to KC)

There was enough in the main room for each kid’s interests and level to keep them busy for hours.  All three, plus Brad and I, had a great time playing and building.

After a full day in KC, we hit the road and headed towards St. Louis.  It was 3 or 4 hours past bedtime when we got in, but not late enough to not want to hop on the luggage cart for a quick pic.