Trip To The Zoo

Saturday was the day that the technology team at Nathan’s workplace took everyone to the zoo!

I wondered if it would actually happen because it coincided with the “great Tennessee gas panic” and we only had 100 miles left in the van. I got up early on Saturday and found gas and only had to wait behind one person.



Safely fueled, we made our way to the zoo. We brought our umbrellas because we heard it was supposed to rain on and off through the day. Sure enough. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. We walked over to the barn to see the cows while we waited for the rain to let up a bit.



Later the kids had their faces painted.



Because of the rain, we didn’t stay too long after they fed us lunch. We made our way to the reptile building. We looked at lots of disgusting snakes, spiders, and other critters.

I’m pretty sure I took a nap when we got home. 🙂 That’s what rainy Saturdays are for, right?


Thursdays remind me that I am weak 🙂 Even though we are 6 weeks into this school year and every Thursday we have the same routine at our tutorial, I still finish out the day completely exhausted.

This was today’s schedule:

5:45- Get up and shower and get dressed.

6:30- Kids get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, finish packing their bags.

7:30- Leave the house and head to WalMart because I don’t have anything for lunches for the kids.

8:00- Arrive at the church where we have our tutorial and bring all the supplies in for the class I’m teaching at the end of the day.

8:15- Teacher meeting.

8:30- Tutorial opening program

9:00- Help get the 1st graders to class and assist the teacher for the next two hours.

11:05- Send the 1st graders to their next class and welcome the 2nd graders to our class. I now assist a different teacher with the 2nd grade class.

12:05- Gather Ethan, Audrey & Isaac and walk out to the van and drive across the street to a park for lunch. A bunch of our friends are there. We hang out with friends and eat. It’s 90 degrees and I’m dripping sweat 🙂

12:45- Drive back to the church and get the kids to their classes.

1:00- Assist in the teacher with one more hour of 2nd grade.

2:05- Get the 2nd graders to their final class of the day and head to the class I’m subbing for today.

2:06- Teach Lego, More to Math to 11 kids in 1st and 2nd grade.

3:05- Kids get picked up by their parents and I tear down the classroom. Fold up 4 tables and bring them upstairs to the storage closet. Go downstairs and vacuum the classroom and set it up for Sunday school.

3:30- Wrangle my own kids and the Lego Math supplies and head home.

3:50- Get in the door and sit down and don’t get up again. Everyone is on their own because I’m toast.


I do not know how teachers do this all day every day!

Well, Hello There, September!

It’s September! The month of school starting (except for this area starts in August) and everything else starting.

We’re a month into our tutorial for homeschool. Ethan is taking History, Anatomy, Composition, Geography and Engineering Crash Helmets. Audrey is taking Science (Flying Creatures), Tennesse History (and the textbook is so bad…. it’s slowly killing us), Composition, Brain Games, and Girl’s Book Club. Isaac is taking Astronomy, Fine Arts, PE, Cantering the Country (US Geography/History), and Lego Math.

We’re also doing Math, Language Arts, and Reading on our own.

Ethan starts STEM Scouts tomorrow. This will be his second year.

All three of the kids are doing Bible Bowl this year. Ethan moved up to the higher level and Audrey & Isaac are in the beginner level.

Isaac also has speech therapy on Monday afternoons. We skipped today because it was grandparents day and the speech teacher told us there would be an extra 600 people on the school campus. 🙂




Nathan and I just started watching through Murder, She Wrote on Netflix. Nathan has never seen it before! It’s so delightful. Jessica Fletcher has the most snazzy running outfits and says things like “Fiddle, Faddle”. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a fun show to watch.

Happy Fall, everyone!

Wrapping Up July & Moving Along To August


The most exciting thing I have not written about yet is that Audrey got to spend a week (Monday – Friday 9:00-3:00) at a horse camp. They got to help feed the horses, get them ready, ride them, learn about the farm and ended each day with some time in their pool. This was pretty much a dream come true for Audrey. She loves horses. She didn’t care that is was 90 degrees and she had to stand outside in long pants. That’s how much she loves horses 🙂


We would drive to Franklin and drop her off each morning. She didn’t care that she didn’t know any other people that were going to be there. Audrey might be quiet, but she is not afraid to try something new. I admire that!


It was a great end to our time off from school. August is “back to school” time for us. Our kids started their first day of school last Monday! It took a few days to get our rhythm figured out. It’s difficult to teach three different grades of kids. I’m ping-ponging from Tennessee History, to Astronomy, to 2nd grade phonics, to Flying Creatures, to 4th grade Math. I’m thankful Ethan doesn’t need me too much.


I know you’ve been on pins and needles wondering how my running is going 🙂

I’ve been sticking with it! Here is what I’ve done since last I updated you:

7/2- 5 miles

7/4- 2.1 miles

7/7- 2.1 miles

7/12- 2 miles

7/14- 2.7 miles

7/16- 6.5 miles

7/19- 2.1 miles

7/21- 2.3 miles

7/23- 6.7

6/26- 3.1


Saturdays are my “long” run days. I got up on Saturday morning and ran at 5:30. I hoped to do 7 miles, but finished with 6.7. I’m sticking with doing intervals of one minute of running and one minute of walking. For the most part, my body has been cooperating. My IT Band was starting to get tight toward the end of my last long run. We’ll see how it holds out.

Here’s a fuzzy photo from the end of our early morning run today:


Photos From Georgia Trip



Ethan is in that top photo. Don’t miss that 🙂 Hee hee.


Kids Trip To Georgia!

Since I have not written for a bit, I hadn’t even mentioned (I don’t think) that the kids were getting ready to leave for a week in Georgia.

Well, they went and now we’re all back home re-entering into normal life 🙂

They had so much fun! We dropped them off a week ago Saturday. We met up with Kylene and Justin near Atlanta and gave them the kids and all their stuff. Lots of stuffed animals, clothes and bikes. It’s crazy how much three kids can pack. Strike that. It’s crazy how much one 9 year old girl can pack 🙂 hee hee.

We headed home to a quiet house and they entered a week of non-stop chatter. I could hear every time the central air turned off and on. I’m not used to that. It was really strange. Of course, we do what all parents with small children do when they are suddenly left without them: we talked about how strange it was that they were gone, a lot. We also went out to eat a lot and took in a movie. The week wasn’t as relaxing as I had hoped. That was my fault though. I had scheduled some things that tied up a lot of my time. Monday was July 4th and we ended up without electricity for a bit, Tuesday I spent the entire day preparing to teach Bible Study the next day. Wednesday I taught the Bible Study class and prepped for a meeting on Thursday. Then I had that Thursday meeting which was a pre-meeting for a meeting on Friday morning. I left the Friday morning meeting early to get on the road, with Nathan, to head to Georgia to meet up with K&J and the kids. The drive took a lot longer because of leaving after that meeting. Rush hour in Atlanta is no joke. Leaving later added over an hour of extra drive time. Yuck.

We left Franklin at 10:30 CST and arrived at Kylene and Justin’s at 9:20 EST. 10 hours on the road.

We got caught up on hugs and kisses and stories and spent Saturday at Hilton Head at the beach. We had so much fun riding the waves up and down as they came into the shore. We did our best to avoid the spots where the waves would actually crash on top of us. We were mostly successful. Yesterday morning, we packed up and drove back home. The kids were sad to leave, but I know they were happy to be in their own beds.

Today we have a quiet day planned. We’re reading books, grocery shopping and planning out our week. It’s nice to be reunited. I missed them!


Early Morning Running

For the last several years, I’ve toyed with the idea of joining a running group here in Spring Hill. I always talked myself out of it because I’m not able to go very fast and I need to take walk breaks.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the members of the running group decided to work a little harder at recruiting people. He had taken time off running and was coming back to it and said he was also slow and doing run/walk intervals. A friend of mine decided to join the group. She was also running intervals. So, I thought it over and figured it couldn’t hurt to try it out.

The drawback was that they did their running on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 4:45. Whoa! That’s a little earlier than I get up for the day. But, they go early to beat the heat and to get it done in time to get ready for people to head off to work. I joined them last week and had a good time! I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (we did 6:00 on Saturday). I missed Tuesday this week, but I did run today and I’m planning to run Saturday before we leave for Atlanta.

I’m slow, but I’m doing it!

6/21- 2.7 miles, 37:00

6/23 – 2.5 miles, 35:01

6/25- 4 miles, 54:49

6/28- 2.1 miles, 30:01

6/30- 2.7 miles, 34:59

Ethan Is At College This Week :-)

I dropped off Ethan at church Monday morning and sent him on his way to a middle school event at Johnson University near Knoxville. He’ll be back Friday afternoon. I don’t think he’s ever been away from us without family for this long. It felt strange driving away. Isaac and Audrey both were crying a little. I love that they love their brother so much!

I have not heard from him since he has no phone and it didn’t dawn on me to even give him one. This is a strange world we’re in 🙂 I never called home when I was away on trips with church. I guess my parents figured no news was good news. These days, kids have phones and tablets to call or text. Ethan has a tablet, but I told him to leave it home because I didn’t want him to lose it. I have seen a few glimpses of him in photos and videos the youth pastor has posted. It looks like the kids are having fun. I expect he’ll be full of stories when we see him.

We had an emotional day with having therapy on Monday afternoon for Audrey. It was pretty hard for her and she talked about some difficult things. I feel like I’m a crisis counselor most days. I’m still trying to figure out what is the best thing I can do to help her without reinforcing the OCD issues and becoming part of routines that need to be broken up.

I got an ocular migraine yesterday. That’s a really strange experience. It happened to me one time before so I knew what was happening this time. It hits pretty quickly and, all of a sudden, I just can’t focus when reading and then my face/eye start to hurt for a while. A headache in my eye.

How about I wrap this up with a photo from Ethan’s trip? (Ethan is in the bottom right picture and only has half of his face out of the shadow!)





Busy & Hot Week!

The kids had a week full of VBS and fun last week. They had a so much fun and I’m glad I signed them up even though it wasn’t with our own church. It was so miserably hot, it was great to have alternatives to fall back on.

On Saturday, we went to a birthday party for a friend. They rented a big, inflatable water slide.


We were worn out after a day outside in the hot sun, but the slide was so fun! I even went down it before we left (several times). Nathan has a video of it somewhere 🙂



We have no big plans for this week. I have a lot of laundry that needs to be folded and there are chores that are calling to me. Right now, I’m doing my best to ignore their calls 🙂