Saturday, December 24, 2011


We are knee deep in last minute Christmas preparations. I just finished wrapping the last present. Supper is about to be prepared. House has got to get cleaned (or at least cleaner than it is right now). We have managed to accomplish all of our "traditional things" up til Christmas Eve night. Tonight, we will eat steak, baked potatoes, and bread -- one of our favorite meals, EVER! After supper and cleanup, we plan on family time that consists of movie watching, game playing, or a combination of the two. Then we try to get the kids to bed at a decent hour (they do not sleep much the night before Christmas). After they are in bed, we get all the gifts out of their hiding spots and put them under the tree -- we never have presents under the tree early, it adds to the excitement of Christmas morning. Then we try to sleep a little until the kids wake us up. They are not allowed to come downstairs or wake us up until at least 4:30. We are lobbying for a more reasonable time this year, like 5:00 or even 6:00. I know they are excited and I still remember that excitement, so we may let them wake us up at 4:30.
After presents are opened and breakfast is eaten, we will begin to get ready for church. We are looking forward to worshipping our Lord on Christmas morning. Every worship time is special and I am sure that the Lord will richly bless us tomorrow as well.
We will celebrate Christmas at my mother's house tomorrow evening with presents and a traditional Christmas dinner. We will be so full, but it will all taste so good.
We want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a JOYFUL NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum

After the homeschool nationals race was over, Lisa and her kids and my kids and I drove to Mansfield to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. The girls especially enjoyed stopping here.
Standing in front of the sign leading to Laura and Almanzo's house.
This is the house that Almanzo built for Laura. We were excited to go inside and look around, but were disappointed that we couldn't take pictures while inside. It was very strange to look at the kitchen that Almanzo installed for Laura, including the cabinets he built and the sink he installed for her. Kids were excited to go inside the house.
After viewing the interior, we were able to take pictures of the exterior of the house.
This part of the house was an addition to the original house. They added on to the house two different times in the course of their life.
Kirsten was fascinated to look around at the trees while imagining that Almanzo probably planted some of them.
We were able to look at many things inside the museum, including Pa's fiddle. Everything was so fascinating and I was wishing that I could photograph everything, but that was not allowed. It was a surreal experience to see many of the items that Laura wrote about in her books. We wish we could have stayed a little longer to fully absorb all the things at the museum, but we had a long trip home.


One of the highlights to the Cross Country season is our annual shaving cream war.
The kids are all trying to be patient while listening to instructions before the war begins.
At the beginning of the war, they played tag and then Chinese tag before the free-for-all started.
Kirsten trying hard to avoid being tagged.
Ready to go in the free-for-all.
Time to get shaving creamed!!
The kids all love this part.
The messier the better, as far as Kirsten is concerned.
Alec loves to be covered in shaving cream.
Team picture!
My two "lovely" children.
Coaches Sheri and Heather got in on the fun too. Although Coach Sheri didn't get involved in the fight.


October 21, a caravan of Spartans and their families left on a road trip to the Homeschool Nationals Cross Country Meet in Springfield, Missouri. We all had fun on the way to the course. We ate at Cici's Pizza for lunch and then drove straight to the course, so the kids could run it before the race the next day. Then we all went to the Springfield Mall to eat at the food court before heading to the hotel to spend the night. There was a mix-up at the hotel about the runners rooms, so once we got that all figured out, Coach Heather held a team meeting and then went to bed.
The next morning we all got up early to eat and then get to the course to be ready for the big race.
Alec was not too happy to have his picture taken.
Mr. Jimmy and I usually end up with a picture like this. He takes pictures of me, while I take pictures of him.
Some of the girls visiting while trying to settle their nerves.
My sister, Lisa, my first cousin, Amanda, and me before the races began.
All of our girls, varsity and junior varsity, started at the same time. They huddled to pray for a good and safe race before the start.
Nervously waiting the start.
There they go!!
Kirsten makes her first lap of a very difficult course.
Coming into the finish. So proud of you, Kirsten!
The junior varsity boys before their race began.
On their way!
Alec only had to run one lap and he ran as fast as he could.
Almost there!! What a great race, Alec!!
All the girls got participant medals and long sleeve t-shirts.
The boys got medals and t-shirts too.
Listening to Coach!

The Walnut Firehouse 5K

On a cool October morning, we drove to Walnut to run in the Walnut Firehouse 5K. This race is always a good one to run and has a lot of community support.
Alec did not run his PR at this course, but he was very close. Kirsten ran a good race also and really enjoyed herself.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spartan Team Pictures 2011

Team Picture (Tupelo)Varsity and Junior Varsity
Team Picture (New Albany) -- not everyone can make it to both practices, so we took pictures at two different locations.

Tallahatchie Riverfest 5K -- September

The Tallahatchie 5K is a great favorite race for my children. The course is extremely hilly in sections, but the race is always a big one and lots of fun. Alec did not run his fastest race on this day, but he still finished with a good time.
Kirsten also enjoyed running on this day. She got to run the whole way with her friend Sophia.