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2 and 4 turn 4 and 9

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 2 comments

2 and 4 turn 4 and 9

Well, Saturday was a big day around here – Owen had his 9th birthday, which to me is a big deal! Only 1 year until I have 2 boys in the double digits – then what!?!

 

This past year has been a sort of transition for the Clingerman family – we have shifted, subtly, to a family of KIDS, not babies or little ones, but like boys, that don’t need me to wipe their noses or put their shoes on.  Even Tennyson isn’t my baby anymore (besides the times when he pretends he’s a baby – which is a lot, Tennyson has an active imagination!).  Anyway, as I watched my #2 son, make the click over to “nine” I couldn’t help but feel the  reality of that soak in a bit more.

 

I do try every year  to take the boys for a little photoshoot – sort of a “capture them at this age” sort of thing – so yesterday I took him off to the park to get my shots (honestly it took a bit of arm twisting! birthday boy had several better things to do!) Since I was taking Owen, and because I’m trying to be better about taking those pictures, we decided to bring Tennyson along so I could take some belated-four-year-old pictures. He turned four in February and I neglected to get out my camera.

 

Here is a little peek at my favorites:

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Owen is so understated and mellow about showing his feelings, so it was really a big challenge to get him to relax and smile – I think we did pretty well though, these ones are especially fun:

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Tennyson has been more of a challenge to photograph lately – he is such an independent little man, and taking pictures has to be on his terms – lately I just keep missing the great moments because by the time I press the shutter button, he’s over whatever pose he’s in and moving on to some other idea – It took a LOT of takes to get these ones:

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You know, I have a hard time, most of the time seeing Tennyson as a four year old, I keep telling myself he doesn’t look nearly that old!  But seeing these pictures was an eye opener for me! I really have no doubt that he is totally looking his age here – I can’t believe how big he has gotten!!

 

One of the benefits of dragging them both to the park together was that I could get a few brother shots – it is painstaking though, to try to photograph more than one boy at a time, so I only got a few usable ones – but they were worth the work, check these out:

 

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Hee hee hee, are these guys cute or what!?  Happy birthday to you two, where has the time gone???

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It’s been a long time

Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s been a long time

Is it really April?? I’m so disappointed in myself that I haven’t gotten my blog on in like 4+ months! Goodness gracious Shawna! The thing that I’ve realized over the past year, is how much I treasure all the posts I have done over the past 6 years, it is amazing to be able to look up and recall some of the great important moments as the kids were itty bitty – and even more wonderful to read little stories that remind me what life was like when life was filled with babies/toddlers/preschoolers… but things are just so far removed from that now and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it means to be blogging/photographing and preserving memories we are making now in the school aged years.

 

Anyway, it isn’t for lack of things to tell that I’ve been un-bloggy!  Life is really filled to the brim, and the kids are doing loads of great things – heck, I’m doing some pretty great things too!  If you are wondering what I’ve been filling my time with, go check out my design blog – starting the new year I really committed myself to growing my business and prioritizing my designing a little more.  Since then I’ve released something new every week, and I’m really proud of my work! The boys have had their first “sports seasons” which keeps me hopping (or rather driving, driving and driving)… soccer mom indeed…

 

Add to that the everyday grind of homework/housework and taking care of our basic needs and my time is really feeling limited, but lately I’ve been feeling like I really need to make sure that I am working in more photographing/blogging/scrapping, so that these years don’t just slip away with out any thing tangible to hold on to and look back at.  So, in little gaps here and there over the past moth or so I’ve been squeezing in some scrapping, and I thought that blogging those would be a starting point at least for the whole goal of doing a bit more updating here.

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and just for kicks, throwing a few in here too that I did at some point toward the end of last year:

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There. Feels good to actually put these out there because I can see at least that I haven’t completely neglected doing some memory recording.  All of these layouts are in my gallery at ssd, and if you go there you can see full lists of my credits (here’s a hint though, every thing comes from the Sweet Shoppe)

 

Just like everything in life, blogging/not blogging is a matter of priorities/choices – and I know that I had my reasons for pushing this down my list, but I’m hoping I can actively remember to grab my camera, take some pictures, and make the blogging happen a bit more over the upcoming months, so wish me luck ok?!

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Some Holiday Cheer

Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Some Holiday Cheer

Can you smell that… I do believe that Christmas is in the air people!!!

 

G and I spent the weekend hitting those awesome Black Friday sales – and I’m more than just a little excited about Cyber Monday today!!!  But I took a little break from playing Santa to play along with some fellow designers at SSD on a little Christmas printable blog train!

 

I’ve got gifting on the brain, so I decided to put together a little list for you to print out and make your own list to check twice:

 

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Click on the image and to download it for yourself and enjoy!  Then go visit these links for some more awesome printables from some of my ssd-pals!!

 

Darcy Baldwin {fontography}
http://darcybaldwin.blogspot.com/
Libby Pritchett Designs
http://blog.libbyweifenbach.com/
lleilla designs
http://scrapgoo.lliella.com/
Heather Roselli Designs
http://heatherrosellidesigns.com/
Penny Springmann Designs
http://pennyspringmann.com/
Melissa Bennett Designs
http://melissabennettdesigns.blogspot.com/
Meghan Mullens
http://www.confessionsofadigijunkie.com/blog

 

Ok, now it’s time for me to do some cyber-shopping!!

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I’m a Professional Crafter!

Posted by on Nov 14, 2011 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 12 comments

I’m a Professional Crafter!

So, just incase you thought I’d been over here hiding under a bush and twiddling my thumbs – I have actually physical proof for you – I’ve been a busy busy lady!  In addition to school, and soccer and home life craziness, I’ve spent the past few months carefully preparing for our MOMS Club Holiday Bazaar.  Last year I participated, although I did not take near enough time to prepare so I ended up with just a handful of hand-made cards and a pile of recycled gift bows.  So as soon as the last year’s was over, I started looking forward to this year – and all of the awesome-ness that I would put up for sale LOL.  Well, in August I kept my word and started looking in to making our Bazaar happen again this year. Then I started carving out a day here and there, a down week in the designing department, a free evening, when ever I started to feel like I needed a little bit of craft therapy.  I slowly started piling things up, and then last week I went into high gear, and pulled it all together – and on Friday night (at 1 am!!) I had a respectable pile of crafts to fill my table at the bazaar.

 

Now I’m going to show off what I made:

 

The biggest project (and most time consuming!) were these:

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Last year, when I had a zillion paint chips left over from my living room painting project, I had this thought that it was such a waste to put all of those beautiful colors on that high quality paper into the trash – I’m not sure exactly what spurred the idea in my brain, but I started thinking that they would make beautiful rolled flowers -  after I piled them up, I realized they would be the perfect decoration for my living room, so I hot glued them to a simple little wreath, and I just LOVED what I ended up with.  This year, I started collecting paint samples, from around my house, from all my friends, and from the local hardware store just a few times.  Then i spent hour after hour, cutting them in to spirals and rolling them up – i brought piles of paint chips to soccer practice and cut my little heart out – then I became bff with my glue gun as I carefully glued them together – I should have counted how many roses I ended up with, but it was well into the hundreds I’m sure!

 

After they were made, I used some pretty wicker and grapevine wreaths that I picked up at the dollar store, and clustered my little roses to make some perfectly adorable little wreaths!

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When I ran out of paint chips I still couldn’t bear to stop, so I have one I made out of an old roll of wallpaper my mom gave me forever ago, and one from an Ikea catalog. I am planning to do one with a book of maps and a vintage book as soon as I can!  These are so addicting to me, if I could, I would cut up everything I can get my hands on and roll it up into a flower!

 

I also made some “kissing ball” ornaments with rolled scrapbooking paper:

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I adore these so much! I made some for gifts for Christmas last year, but wow are these time consuming!

 

I also had the urge to cut up a self magazine when I was at another practice – I turned it into these.

 

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I wanted to have a few teacher gift ideas – so I decided to make these:

 

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They Velcro closed and hold a gift card inside – they were a big hit – which is bitter sweet, since it means i have to make them again to give to the boys’ teachers ;)

 

I also wanted to make more pomander type ornaments, so I tried this idea – with cupcake papers, it was a little bit less time consuming and I adore the result – although you would be surprised, it takes a TON of liners!!

 

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Here are a few more pics of the ornaments:

 

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Oh! And i don’t want to forget these!  Inspired by Pinterest, I decided to buy a roll of jewelry wire and some assorted glass beads to try my hand at wire wrapping.  Those little birds nests are also incredibly addicting!  I am in love with these, and ended up with over 20 necklaces to sell, I only stopped because I kept running out of chains!

 

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To make them stand out in the crowd, I made a bunch of little tiny paper boxes and had the customer chose one so that i could put the necklace on some batting inside and tied it up with a little bow.

 

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I also made a few sets of handmade cards using some of my own designs:

 

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I was so proud when I set it all out at the bazaar on Saturday:

 

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It was an amazing time, sort of like a gallery show or something to me, it was a wonderful feeling to be sharing my “art” with the world.  I did pretty well too! People loved the wreaths and I almost sold them all, like I mentioned the post its were a hit, they sold out pretty quickly, and my necklaces found a few new homes too!

 

I’m completely hooked!  I am turning in an app for another bazaar at the elementary school this year, then I guess I start to get ready for next year!  I am just absolutely inspired after it all :) and I can’t wait to do it again!

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School Days

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

School Days

This summer, for the most part, was so nice.  I really actually enjoyed having the kid home a good bit of the time, and I think everyone enjoyed a break from having to be on the go. But man, ever since we came back from vacation, the craziness has been growing.  I know the boys were getting bored, and therefore restless – plus, the weather this summer has sucked!  We ended up spending a LOT of inside time, and even I (100% a rain lover and hater of the heat) missed the sun this year!  So, needless to say, the second half of August had me counting down the days till we could get back to “normal.”  I’ve always been a bit of a free-spirit when it comes to how I spend my time, but over the past 5 years I’ve really had to buckle down into a routine – otherwise my house, and my sanity suffered. And these past few weeks my sanity may have taken a bit of a beating – So yesterday, the first day of school was really something to celebrate! (too bad I was too busy getting everything ready to go to actually enjoy it!!)

 

Anyway, here we are and guess who is a middle-schooler now:

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My little man, is not so little anymore – apparently he has decided to continue getting older – and although he is certainly the best 6th grader in the universe, I am finding it a bit hard to wrap my mind around this next step of life!

 

Up until now, I’ve really excited right along with the boys as they get older and I mean, it is amazing to see them grow and change and become the person they were meant to be.  Gareth especially has always been so capable – I know he is totally 100% ready for this next chapter.  But goodness, mom can’t help but feeling a bit of anxiety!! MIDDLE SCHOOL!! What a crazy, chaotic and totally defining time in life!  Gareth was so happy to get on that new bus yesterday morning, absolutely zero nerves, and he had an awesome day, but I would be lying if I said my stomach wasn’t tied in a few knots! I know I will certainly get used to it, and I am SO proud of the kid that I am sending out the door each morning! It is exciting… really… now I’ve just gotta let it sink in.

 

Here he is with the littlest bro – who was adamant about being in every picture:

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Can’t you totally tell how excited he is???  He was totally cute and on the ball ready to go by 7am, and he walked to the bus with so much confidence.  I love Gareth for his solid, prepared self – he has this quiet self-assuredness that always puts my mind at ease, and yesterday morning was no exception.

 

The other two boys go to school later than Gareth now – so they didn’t have to get out the door until later.  Here they are, all ready for 2nd and 3rd grade (No idea what T is doing with the whole tongue thing here. We all have come to accept that Tennyson is often doing something in his own little world!):

 

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I loved seeing what they each picked out to wear on the first day, we haven’t gone formally “back to school” clothes shopping because I like to wait for labor day, but i did let them each pick one item out to wear for the first day.  Owen went with a classic striped polo (I love wearing stripes mom, the are just so me.)  Reece, never to be subtle, was completely uninspired by all the shirt choices, but he WAS beyond excited when we saw this hat!  Gotta love their little personalities shining through!!!  I’m really proud of the way my kids are all so uniquely them – it’s a good way to go through life I think.  They were both totally happy to be going back, probably they needed a break from me as much as I did from them LOL!!

 

I asked each boy to give me a photo that said how they feel about going back to school:

 

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Gareth’s excitement.

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Owen, not really a morning person, decided to go for tired (but he was really excited, you can tell).

 

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Reecey was rather reserved, I think he was actually a bit nervous, but he assured me he was excited too!

 

Then there is our poor Tennyson:

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He was sad to see everyone go – but he got over it quickly with some Sesame Street, followed by bringing out his toy drum and yelling, “it’s drumming time! Now you have to sing with me!”  After that I think he decided everything was going to be ok. :)

 

Aside from my middle-school nerves, it was ok, and it felt really indulgent to be able to sit down and design for while with out even one brother fight errupting! And although this week has been crazy stressful, I know it is all going to pay off when we get our routine back.  Now its day two, and I can sit down with my cup of coffee – and all is once again as it should be.

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HOME AGAIN!

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in Personal Blog, Uncategorized | 9 comments

HOME AGAIN!

Well, this post is sure to be a doozy, but these past few weeks have been a doozy so it can’t be helped!!

 

The Clingerman family has spent the last 14 days on the on the open road, really, we all loaded up all the boys, back packs filled with various supplies and hit the road from here in Washington all the way to see g’s family in Pennsylvania!

 

On the way there we took only 3 1/2 days to get there – it is a 2700 mile trip so we had to push through pretty much driving non stop! One night we found a late night hotel room but the other two we drove through the night.  You wouldn’t believe how great the kids were for us, two nights of sleeping in the car would make anyone grumpy and I can’t say no one got growly but those kids hung in there and didn’t completely lose it on us!

 

Here we are day 1 all ready to roll:

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We tried to be ready with loads of supplies to occupy their bored little brains. Each of them had a backpack loaded up with things to do – sketchbooks, notebooks, crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, post its, pretty much everything.  I also put together little books with maps for each state we were in and the route we would take – turns out this idea was much cooler to me than it was to the kids, but I used it a ton so it wasn’t all for naught!  The kids each had electronics too, gameboys/ds plus a zune for each of them that dad had loaded up with pokeymon videos to watch!  All of this + 800 million potty stops a day seemed to fill their time pretty well!

 

Here the kids are at day 2 (a rest stop somewhere in Utah I think):

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the night of day 2 we stopped for a late night rest at a hotel in somewhere in Nebraska, so here we are to start day three (yay for fresh clothes and clean teeth!):

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That night we drove all the way through the night and we rolled into our hotel in Pennsylvania the next afternoon.

 

Once we got there, we had loads of visiting to do!  G’s little sister was getting married that weekend, so there were loads of wedding-ish things to go to.  In addition to that, it G’s has a huge and warm family to visit.  It has been 7 years since we’ve been able to make the visit, and the kids had 3 new cousins to meet!

 

Cousin Derek (he’s 5):

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and 2 year old twin cousins: Kayla and Mason

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YES, these children all belong to the same parents, G’s sister and her husband are saints, what a challenge it is I’m sure to have TWO 2 year olds and a preschooler. They are amazing parents, and wonderful kids!

 

We squeezed as much cousin-bonding time as we could:

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There was even an impromptu cousin-concert put on for the parents:

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Tried to get a pic of them all together, this is the best we could do!

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We also spent an afternoon visiting g’s grandmother (aka “mom-mom”) and his dad’s side of the family- the whole family lives in the same little farm town so Sundays at mom-mom’s is a long-standing family tradition.  G’s grandmother is getting older, so the fact that we got to spend some time with her was pretty meaningful to him:

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Every time I get the chance to spend time with g’s family I’m reminded of what wonderful down to earth and fun people he comes from, this visit was no exception when g’s grown brother pulled out the water balloons and squirt guns! Grown siblings, cousins, uncles and the kids alike all got involved in a massive family water fight!

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The kids seriously had SO much fun!  G’s cousins were so great with them too, running, tickling, joking, wrestling – the kids all really enjoyed their time with this fun, big family:

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The main event of course was the wedding, here are the boys with Aunt Becky at the rehearsal dinner (bummed that it ended up being blurry!):

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And my boys all adorable and dressed for the dinner:

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G’s sister had not one, but THREE children that were part of the ceremony plus she was a brides’ maid, she did awesome juggling all the little ones that weekend and deserves a spa trip right about now!

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Wedding day everyone looked adorable! I’m so proud of my boys who actually took an active interest in shopping for fancy outfits – each of them picked out something that really fit their personalities I think.

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Funny story, Reecey picked out those black pants and that white shirt and REALLY didn’t approve of the choice, he basically had to BEG me to let him try it on, when he walked out of the dressing room though, I couldn’t deny it, he looked so snazzy!!

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Just further evidence of the fact that my Reece has more style than I ever will!

Some more shots:

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here they are with groomsmen daddy:

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I’m not gonna lie, having four squirmy boys dressed up and required to sit still in the first pew of a wedding was not exactly a stress free time, these photos are adorable but they didn’t come with out their cost!! G’s relatives all sitting behind us at the ceremony can certainly vouch for me that there was a certain level of chaos going on for us while we waited for it to start – here is a more “real” photo of how my children felt about me by the time we were about to start:

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and I guess we should add, here’s one of how mom was feeling:

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Add to that, this was an outdoor wedding, and apparently we brought a bit of the great northwest with us when it started to RAIN on everyone while we waited!

 

All in all though, it was a beautiful day with beautiful memories and Becky looked beautiful and the venue she chose (a boy scout camp) was one of the most beautiful wedding spots I’ve ever seen!

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I was too busy keeping the hooligans inline to take any more pictures, but thank goodness Tennyson had mercy on me and fell asleep on my lap! I do love this classic rainy wedding shot from a few minutes after the ceremony:

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A few days after the wedding, we had the chance to go visit g’s parents house, the farm he grew up on.  This was probably one of the biggest highlights for the kids, they were SO excited to go see a real life farm, and it did not disappoint with bales of hay, farm equipment, and wide open fields to wander!

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Pappy showed the boys around:

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They also got to ride in Pappy’s big rig AND took a ride to the end of the drive way in the back of his pickup – pretty much the everything a boy could want!

 

…besides catching bugs…

 

oh wait, they got to do that too!

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G also brought the boys by his old elementary school, still the school the kids in Clearville go to today:

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and here is a shot with a view from the school, it totally feels like a perfect “Pennsylvania” photo to me, totally captures the rolling hills and the trees, and that quintessential PA small town feel.

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After 5 short days it was time to head back towards home again – we tried to work out our timeline so that we could take a different route and make a few fun stops on the way home.

 

The boys were sad to go, and made us promise that we would visit more often! We really do hope to be able to!!  At least we had some exciting things planned on the way home so that they could be a little enthusiastic about loading back up to go.

 

Here we all ready to roll:

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Our first stop on the way home was the Mall of America in Minnesota – g and I are total mall lovers and so this stop seemed like a given!  It was in fact as wonderful as we’d imagined – the lego store being the obvious favorite:

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How cool is this?

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and THIS:

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The boys were very impressed too by the amusement park that is in the mall itself:

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We didn’t ride though, we were saving up our adventure planned at a later stop on the way home!

 

Our second stop on the route home was Mt. Rushmore! I’ve seen a lot of places in the US, but this monument is one I had yet to see.  It really was incredible, and astonishing to me that someone had the vision to create this HUGE work of art in the side of a mountain.

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South Dakota really impressed me as  a whole, I just had no idea that it was such a beautiful state! South Dakota and Montana both really took my breath away! I remember seeing the Rockies years ago when I drove across the country through Colorado with my dad – I was sure I’d never see anything so amazing.  But Montana definitely held its own when it came to the seeing the mountains, that whole state was just gorgeous, a terrain I’d never really experienced before. It felt like we were miles above the rest of the world. The drive home was an amazing drive!

 

Our final stop on the way back home was in Idaho. We took two days to enjoy some family time at a place called Silverwood theme park. It is a theme park and a water park in the same place, and we had no idea what to expect, but it totally exceeded any of our expectations!  I have zero pictures of our time at Silverwood so you’ll just have to imagine the boys helping me reach my goal of riding every roller coaster – all of us spinning around on the tilt-a-whirl;  Cotton candy, waffle cones, log rides and magic shows.  Imagine each of us floating along for hours on our own inner tubes through the “lazy river.” Frankly I was just having too much fun to be taking pictures! Plus, hauling a big camera around didn’t really fit into my agenda of spinning, speeding, swimming and running around!  It was an amazingly fun time, and it is just a really great feeling to be able to do something like that with my kids!

 

After one last night in idaho we started the 8 hour trek home, and yesterday afternoon we rolled in to our driveway again.  G and Gareth both were so happy to be back home where things were as they should be, and Owen and Tennyson posed for this picture for me:

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I think all of us are enjoying our own beds, clean clothes and getting to be back with our doggie guster.  But I’m not gonna lie, it was GREAT to get away and I’m a little sad we are back to the grindstone of everyday life.  After we got here Reece stayed in his seat in the car for like 15 minutes – he said his brain wasn’t ready to tell his body we were here! I know how you feel my little adventuresome son, I know how you feel.

 

In the end, it is practically a miracle that we made it there and back with out a hitch! Everyone is in one piece, the house is still standing, and I officially have a new love for my mini van that ticked over to the 99000 mark as we were getting home.  I love that we did this because it marks a whole new level of freedom and possibility for my family (and for me!) – and if I have anything to say about it we will definitely be setting out into the sunset some time again.

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