One Adventurous Family

Big Blue Bus Tour from Amy Earle on Vimeo.

Oh my goodness.  THIS IS SO COOL!

Look at what my friend and her family are doing. “Our family is on an adventure! We’re spending the next six months living and traveling on an old school bus!”

I found Amy on Vimeo back in January 2012.  You can see that initial post I wrote about her and video here.   I fell in love with her family.   The above video has made me do that all over again.

Since meeting her online, I’ve had the opportunity of taking one of her photography classes online.  Not only is Amy a great photographer, but she is a great teacher as well.  I am not surprised she is offering free photography workshops…she is a sweetheart!  If you live in the west area where Amy and her family are traveling, I highly recommend you take one of her FREE photography workshops.  Go visit this amazing family and feel of their warmth and strength.  You can find out more about Amy’s Big Blue Bus Tour by clicking here.

Amy Earle"s big blue bus tour

Disclaimer: I was not paid by Amy Earle to write this post.

Happy Tuesday,

Family Time Capsule Video

You all know how much I adore family.

Not just MY family.

All families!

It makes me smile to see other families having joy.

This morning I did a little blog hopping and came across this wonderful video made by Amy Earle of SimplyB Photos.

I am seeing more and more of these… what I might consider “time capsule” videos capturing a day in the life of your family.


I’ve featured Stephanie Nielson’s family videos in the past and gushed.  However, she is somewhat famous now and has her own personal photographer/videographer who does her shoots.

Amy is also a videographer and here she does an amazing job of capturing their family’s life in their home with their 4 kids.

I am so impressed that I am featuring it here today.  It is WORTH your time to watch and will brighten your day, I promise. 😀

Good Life from Amy Earle on Vimeo.

THIS is the kind of video you would pull out and watch on special occasions like holidays or when the oldest child goes to college.  Really anytime, but when the kids have all moved out of the house, as a Mom, it would be great to pull out, watch and remember the good life.

Well done, Amy!  {Now can you come & do one for me, please?}

Disclaimer: No compensation was given by Amy.  She was completely surprised to find this today. 😀


Hug your family today,

Weekend Wrapup

Saturday ended up being this Super Saturday of sorts. Our family participated in it’s first 5K {all of us together.}  It was muggy, overcast & warm.  Despite the weather, we enjoyed our morning of running.

Age Group awards were the highlight:

First Place in her age group

My oldest daughter

Second Place in our perspective age groups

My Son, My youngest daughter and me 😉

DH should have placed Third in his age group, but someone was placed in the wrong age bracket and he didn’t want to make a fuss.  It’s not all about the winning, though. 🙂

I won’t mention how we ended up running 4 miles instead of 3 because the race was not marked properly.

Next was a carnival style birthday party for a friend followed by PROM…the movie, of course.

No rest for the weary, Hubby mowed the yard while I went grocery shopping for Sunday meals.

Grateful for smiles, hugs, high fives, physical fitness, friends, movies, music and priceless memories made together.

This is not an ordinary Saturday.  I probably can only take about one of these every few months.  Passed out in bed about ten till nine…that says it all!

What did you do this weekend?

A Family that plays together stays together,

Answer: Robbers Cave

So only one person here and one person on Facebook guessed the answer for our riddle.  Both were right.  I don’t think I have written a riddle since grade school.  We had fun putting it together.

Robbers Cave State Park‘s name derives from it being a former hideout for infamous outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr.  DH {Dearest Husband} and I have been wanting to take the kids there for a long time now.  So after spending the week gardening, we packed up a picnic and spent the day at the park.  The caves there are breathtaking!  We had so much fun climbing on all the rocks.  Our Son is working on his Second Class rank advancement for Boy Scouts and needed to go on a 5 mile hike.  The trail sign said, “allow 2 and a half hours for this hike.”  We were thinking it couldn’t be that bad.  Oh. My.  It was the most challenging hike I have ever been on filled with climbing millions of rocks up and down hills.  While our Son ran ahead of us because we “were slowing him down,” our youngest daughter plugged along and only had to stop for a few water breaks.  She said as long as she was able to ride the paddle boats when we were done, she would continue walking.  That’s my girl…goal in mind to keep her motivated.  I enjoyed listening to my oldest daughter keep me updated with the latest in’s and out’s of ‘teendom.’  It took us an hour and a half.  {I was so glad to work off all the calories I ate the night before at Red Lobster!}

This was a wonderful day together!  The State Park was completely FREE except for the paddle boats.  We are looking forward to going back again in the future.

Family, it’s about TIME,

Dinner Time is Golden Time for your Family

I am about to give you some great tips on how to manage your family dinner time.

First of all, family dinner time should be a priority in your home.  I used to have a home based business where I would teach about the power of traditions.  At the beginning of the workshop I would ask everyone to tell me what their most cherished childhood memory was.

Go ahead…stop and think about your most cherished childhood memory.

What do you think the majority of participants said?
The majority of participants said their most cherished and favorite childhood memories were sitting around the table eating a meal.  Sometimes it was a special holiday meal, but most were just memories of spending time with their family.
In our home we plan on having dinner together at least 5 nights a week, if not more.  Schedules usually average out to about 5 nights eating dinner together.  Before I begin to get on my ‘soap box’ box about how important this is…I want to give you some tips on how our family manages dinner time.  It has taken us a while to figure this system out.  However, it has worked longer than anything else we have done.

This is what we do:

Each person in our family of 5 has a night they plan & prepare a meal.

Monday – My husband
Tuesday – My oldest daughter (15 yrs.)
Wednesday – My Son (12 yrs.)
Thursday – My youngest daughter (7 yrs.)
Friday – Me or out to dinner

Sunday night everyone is responsible for writing down or entering the information on our cool computer application (I’ll have to write about it in the future) the ingredients needed for their meal.  The kids usually ask can I make such & such and we discuss whether it is appropriate or not.  For example, if we know 2 out of 5 don’t like fettucini alfredo then we say, “Why don’t you think of something the majority of us will eat.”

Monday I go to the store and shop for the week.  If someone has not given me their meal ingredients then they have to figure out something to make from what we have at home.  That is not always an easy task and usually motivates them to remember to let me know their ingredients before Monday.

When it’s the family member’s day to cook, they are responsible for cooking the entire meal.  Sometimes I will help do something, but most of the time my two oldest children will do it all by themselves. {score!}  They LOVE to cook and look at this activity as a privilege.  Plus, they pick something they like to eat and know they will like what they will have for dinner that night.  Either my husband or I usually help, teach and supervise my youngest daughter on Thursdays.

So some of you who have younger children might be thinking, “Well, my kids are not old enough to cook.”

If they are not old enough to cook, but old enough to talk let them help you with the menu plan for the week.  Adapt it to where the child has a night to plan the meal.  At least this helps take off the load of you having to decide what you will make every night.

I think when kids are about 5 (maybe younger depending on the child) they can start helping you in the kitchen with certain tasks.  It may not necessarily be cooking on the stove or oven, but helping with pouring or mixing or even having them go to the pantry & getting all the ingredients.  I firmly believe our job as parents is to prepare & teach our children to be self sufficient.  This way when they leave our home, they know how to {in this case} cook.  Doing things this way also teaches them responsibility, time management and organizational skills.

How do you manage your meal time?

Are you sitting down at the table
(not in front of the TV or separately)
to eat a meal together on a regular basis?

Let me hear from you.  If you try something similar to this plan please come back and let me know how it goes.  I want to know 🙂

The dinner hour is GOLDEN time with your family.

You can learn so much from your children at meal time.

Bon Apetite,

Burning Up!

Last Saturday we took the kids to see the Jonas Brothers Concert Movie. My oldest had it all worked out before she asked me to go. “Mom, it would be so much cheaper for you to take me to see them at the movie theater than it would be to take me to see them LIVE in concert.” She is right. “Besides, Mom, you know we would never be able to get tickets to their concert anyway.” She is right about that also.
As a parent, I like the Jonas Brothers. They have good, clean, fun, upbeat songs that I like to listen to along with my kids. Shhhh, don’t tell them, but I listen to the CD’s sometimes when they are at school. 🙂 (Yes, kids, I know you read this too!) Anyway, I have to say I was not really looking forward to seeing this movie. I think it is because I didn’t think it would be very good watching them at the movie theater versus seeing them live. I have been to many concerts over the years, being a music connoisseur myself. There is nothing like watching a band play live. However, I was pleasantly surprised! The 3 dimensional quality to the movie made it as if you were really there at the concert. It was filmed in NY city and titled, “Burning Up Tour.”
I got a kick out of looking over at the kids and seeing them sitting so still and quiet. The only song I saw my son (who loves the Jonas Brothers) singing to out loud was “Burning Up.” I never once saw either of my daughters singing along. I could never go to a concert without singing, dancing and clapping…including this one. The only difference was that I didn’t stand up to dance…just wiggled around in my chair. I am sure my kids thought I was so crazy, who knows, they might have been a tad bit embarrassed that their mom was scootin around, singing out loud. One time, my youngest asked me to stop singing. I didn’t care, I was having fun and enjoying the music. It was dark and our family was the only people on our row of seats (that surprised me!). I really don’t think anyone was watching.
I finally can now tell you which Jonas Brother is which. Before the movie, I couldn’t tell you which one was Joe, Kevin or Nick. I would always ask the girls, “Now which one is that?” I’m glad we went and would recommend your family to see it.
Enjoy the pics,