A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

It was Epic.

I tried snowboarding when I was about 16. It was something I always wanted to do. Unfortunately, my single snowboarding lesson didn’t go too well. I ended up riding the…

Snowboard Family Epic Mix

I tried snowboarding when I was about 16. It was something I always wanted to do. Unfortunately, my single snowboarding lesson didn’t go too well. I ended up riding the board like a sled down the mountain with tears freezing to my cheeks.

Being a believer in the power of positive thinking, I prepared my kids for the worst before we headed out to Colorado for the winter.

I told them that snowboarding was super SUPER hard and they would probable hate it for the first month.

Parenting at it’s finest.

We were wrong.

At best I thought one of them would love it. Never, NEVER, would I have imagined that both boys would ask to go to lessons and come home happy. Most of the time.

This was their last weekend of snowboard lessons. The season ended on a high note. They rode with one of their favorite instructors and were filmed going down double black diamonds for a Breck website promo.

Thing Two said, “It was Epic.”

Yes, little man this winter was most definitely “epic” and we have the pictures to remember it.

First Day Snowboarding

Our first day on the mountain heading to lessons.

Magic Carpet Thing One

First lesson.

Learning to Ride Thing One51

They went from this…

Thing One Jump Epic Mix

Thing Two Jump Epic Mix

 …to this.

Brent Jump

Brent got his groove back after 15 years off the slopes.

Jenn Jump Epic Mix

Even mama learned to jump.

Steve and the Boys Epic Mix

We are thankful for the Breck Ski and Ride school. The teachers and staff are amazing. They cared for and challenged the boys with enthusiasm.

Not only did our boys have a blast learning to snowboard at the ski and ride school…

Jump Epic Mix

…their lessons gave Brent and I the chance to play by ourselves

Lounging Snowboard Epic Mix

…and time to just chill.

Mama and Cubs Keystone

In March, the boys and I decided to snowboard for 6 days in a row. Some of the days were only a few hours long but we managed to get all our gear on (no small feat) and head to the mountain Monday through Saturday. In our homeschool, we used it as a lesson in “short term goal setting”.

Their commitment paid off and I could no longer keep up with them.  Just weeks before, I was riding slowly behind them offering words of encouragement and suddenly I was speeding along trying to keep them in sight.

Daddy Thing One Epic Mix

Daddy and Thing Two Epic Mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four months at the mountain also gave us plenty of time to spend some quality one on one time with each of the boys.

Like Legos Snowboarders Epic Mix

Dear Thing One and Thing Two,

We have had so much fun watching you go from the bunny hill to black diamonds. While we are so proud of your shredding skills, we are most proud of your willingness to try something new and the courage, patience, and perserverance it took to learn these new skills. Those thing are much more important than any spin or jump. We know at times the winter felt really long, the weather really cold and the rv really small but you guys stuck it out with (mostly) good attitudes. It’s been super fun riding with you and we hope this is only the first of many seasons we get to spend on the mountain together! You both are epic.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Worlds Apart (Lancaster and Hershey Pennsylvania)

Visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is like stepping back in time. Not only is it one of the oldest inland towns, it is also home to one the largest Amish populations of…

Visiting Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is like stepping back in time.

Not only is it one of the oldest inland towns, it is also home to one the largest Amish populations of the United States.

It was the Amish community that intrigued us the most.

Amish Field PA

The Amish is a people group known for their simple living.

Driving around, the reluctance to use modern conveniences was evident.

There were horses and plows, bicycles without peddles, buggies at the stoplights, straw hats, bonnets, and elaborate clothes lines strung from pulley systems marking the Amish homes.

Amish Country Draft Horses PA

You can’t see him but there was a boy not much older than 10 driving these 6 draft horses.

Amish Buggy Ride PA Family Amish Buggy Ride PA

We took a buggy ride to get an up close look at an Amish Farm.

Amish Dairy

We were surprised to see cows lined up to milking machines! They were diesel but still we were confused not to see people squatting on stools next to cows with buckets.

 After further research (and according to our understanding) we learned that the community decides to adopt or reject certain conveniences based upon a literal interpretation of the Bible and its (the convenience in question) affect upon relationships. For instance, electricity is rejected, not only because of its connection to the outside world (and the can of worms that would open), but because it doesn’t encourage closer family relationships. In other words as we understand it, if there is only one central light source in the evening then the family will most likely gather together instead of going off to do their own thing in other parts of the hous

Amish Buggy PA Amish Bike PAAmish Horse Buggy PA Amish Buggy on Road PA

Amish Farm PA

Shoofly Pie Amish PA

Admittedly, there is something appealing about the Amish life besides shoofly pie.

While the the stiff rejection of worldly ideals like cars and eletricty may sound crazy to most, it seems like a type of freedom to leave the distractions of modern life for a life focused on God and family. Hersheys Chocolate World Hershey PA

However, there is chocolate and we were lured from our dreams of a simple pious life by a quick whiff of sugar.

After all, we would need an awfully big team of horses to pull our RV.

Old Hershey Chocolate Factory PA

The old Hershey factory and more importantly Chocolate World is in nearby Hershey.

Hershey Kiss Street Light PA

Inside Hershey Chocolate World

Worlds Largest Chocolate Bar Thing Two PA Worlds Largest Chocotate Bar pA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s like a real life Wonka Factory, minus the creep factor, with chocolate bars the size of your head.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Our Backyard in Gettysburg, PA

We often dream of owning a farm. The next best thing to owning a farm is staying at a farm especially a farm with full RV hookups. I think this…

We often dream of owning a farm.

The next best thing to owning a farm is staying at a farm especially a farm with full RV hookups.

I think this has been my favorite campground. It’s right up there there Bahai Honda. (You know you’re crazy when it’s a toss up between white sand beaches and baby goats.)

The baby goats were the stars of the show but there were also horses, llamas (one spit on Thing Two), cows, ducks, and chickens.

The whole place was just…perfect. Yes, my idea of heaven has leaping goats and magical sunsets.

Not only were there animals but we connected with some friends who we had met in Florida and the kids had a blast!

So much to be thankful for…

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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A Memorable Memorial Weekend

Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia We began our  four day Memorial Day memorial tour on a Friday at Manassas National Battlefield Park. This was where the first major land battle…

Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia

We began our  four day Memorial Day memorial tour on a Friday at Manassas National Battlefield Park. This was where the first major land battle of the American Civil War, most commonly referred to as the First Battle of Bull Run, took place. On July 21, 1861 the two armies converged on the rolling hills near Centreville, Virginia. Spectators came from Washington expecting an easy victory for the North to bring a swift end to the Southern rebellion. The battle seesawed throughout the day but in the end it was a Southern Victory. It was also the place where the legendary Southern general “Stonewall Jackson” received his famous nickname. It was the beginning of a war that would almost destroy a nation and eventually claim more than 600,000 lives.

Harpers Ferry, National Historical Park, West Virginia

Saturday, we visited Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. A visit to Harper’s Ferry is like stepping into the past. Historical reenactors and musuems bring the history of Harpers Ferry to life! It has a multi-faceted history being the place of the first interchanable manufacture, location of John Brown’s raid against slavery (a catalyst for the Civil War), a civil war battleground, and home to one of the first integrated schools, Storer College, dedicated to educating former slaves in higher education.

If history isn’t your thing Harper’s Ferry is beautiful. It sits nestled between hills at the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature.” There is even a rock named after him, Jerfferson Rock, where he took in the view above lower Harper’s Ferry and said, “this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic”.

Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland

Sunday after a stopping in Shepherdstown West Virginia for a farmers market (Sheperherdstown is such a COOL little town), we headed over to Antietam National Battlefield. The Battle of Antietam is also know as the battle of Sharpsburg. The North tended to name battles after the closest creeks, rivers, or streams and the South often used names of towns or railroad junctions. Antietam was the bloodiest one day battle in American history with over 22,000 casualties.

This was our third battlefield in three days and, to be honest, Thing One was…Over. It. I kinda don’t blame him it was a sweltering hot weekend and after awhile all the battles start to run together with the same tragic theme. However, Thing Two couldn’t get enough if you can’t tell from the pictures! He loves history, war history in particular. This was his opportunity to wear his kepi in the correct time period. (God only knows how he feels about that!) After completing the Jr Ranger program, we took the self-guided tour through the battlefield and then ended our day at an old fashioned ice cream parlor, Nutter’s, for some crazy good ice cream. In fact, I’m still thinking about it!

Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania

It seemed fitting that we finished our Memorial Day memorial tour on Monday with a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park. While Anitiem was the bloodiest one day battle, Gettysburg was the bloodiest overall battle with over 51,000 casualties over a three day period. It was also a major turning point in the Civil War and the place where President Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln

It was an unforgettable Memorial Weekend and to any who serve or who have served and their loved ones, thank you.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Washington DC by Instagram

  Ten mostly marvelous, beautiful, and educational Days in DC And this, our friends, is our last Washington DC post. Finally. 😉 Love and Laughter Jenn If you enjoyed this…

 

Ten mostly marvelous, beautiful, and educational Days in DC

And this, our friends, is our last Washington DC post.

Finally. 😉

Love and Laughter
Jenn

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A Cathedral and a Cemetery

As we travel the United States we like to visit different churches to experience different styles of worship and teaching. We chose to end our last day in Washington DC…

As we travel the United States we like to visit different churches to experience different styles of worship and teaching.

We chose to end our last day in Washington DC by attending a Sunday morning Service at the National Cathedral.

The National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States (the largest is Saint John’s in NYC). It was finished 83 years to the day after it was started (Sept 29 1907-Sept 29 1990) and cost $65 million dollars which was all raised through private donations. More than 200 people are buried in the cathedral including Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller.

After the service at the National Cathedral, we met our friends at Arlington National Cemetery to watch The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and to remember the price of freedom. The day was breathtakingly beautiful. We walked under a blanket of storybook worthy clouds through acres upon acres of sacrifice.

Arlington has a rich history. It was originally owned by the adopted grandson of George Washington, George Washington Park Custis, who willed the property to his daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis and her husband Robert E. Lee. The Lee family vacated the property in 1861 during the onset of The Civil War and federal troops began using it as their headquarters and camp. Freedmon’s Village was established in 1863 as a way to help slaves transition into freedom. In 1864, after a tax dispute, the cemetery was purchased by the American government from Robert E. Lee and the first military burial took place on May 13th 1864. By the time the Civil War ended thousands more soldiers and former slaves would be laid to rest in the rolling hills of Arlington.

Love,
Jenn

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Zoooooom!!!!!!

After our visit to the Air and Space Museum Brent mentioned he would love to take the boys to an air show. As luck would have it Andrews Air Show…

Yeah Blue Angels Blue Angels Starburst Blue Angels The Things Airshow Blue Angels Blue Angels Andrews Airshow Blue Angels Airshow C71 Transport Plane Stealth Bomber Airshow F22 Raptor Airshow Red Bull Flying Team Andrews Airforce Airshow Thing 2 Inside Plane Airshow Andrews Airforce Base C71 Cargo Plane

After our visit to the Air and Space Museum Brent mentioned he would love to take the boys to an air show.

As luck would have it Andrews Air Show was being held the following weekend!

Yes!!!!!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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The Third Branch is a Charm

Too be honest I am a little DC-ed out. I am now. I was then. But there is so much to see and learn in Washington D.C. And what kind…

Too be honest I am a little DC-ed out. I am now. I was then.

But there is so much to see and learn in Washington D.C.

Outside Supreme Court DC

Supreme Court DC

And what kind of homeschooling parent would I be if I took the boys to see the legislative branch and the executive branch but skipped the judicial branch.

Inside Supreme Court DC

We couldn’t just miss the Supreme Court.

Library of CongressLibrary of Congress Statues Inside Library of Congress DC

Or the Library of Congress to see a copy of the Gutenberg Bible and the room where they filmed a scene for National Treasure 2. 😉

That’s it. This was our last day in the National Mall.

IMG_9964

Frozen Yogurt DC

And it ended with frozen yogurt.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Ford’s Theatre and Where a Great Man Died

Inside of Ford’s Theatre where we watched,One Destiny, a play about Lincoln’s assasination. Across the street from the theatre is the Petersen House, the house where Lincoln died. The boys…

Inside of Ford’s Theatre where we watched,One Destiny, a play about Lincoln’s assasination.

Across the street from the theatre is the Petersen House, the house where Lincoln died.



The boys added another Jr. Ranger badge to their growing collection.

This tower is made of about 6,800 books, a fraction of the estimated total of 15,000 books written about Lincoln.

Then another quick stop by the National Museum of American History. Thing Two wanted one last walk through the war section and we both though this uniform worn by George Washington was pretty cool

We continued on to the White House. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get tickets for a tour despite applying 6 months in advance.

After a long day of learning we headed home…

Dinner with the Weeds Washingto DC

where we ended a great day with a great dinner with great friends!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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DC We Miss You.

A visit to the National Archives. (I may or may not have cried when we saw the Constitution.) A stroll through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. An afternoon…

A visit to the National Archives. (I may or may not have cried when we saw the Constitution.)

A stroll through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

An afternoon at the National Museum of American History. Probably our favorite in DC.

An ominous but breathtaking sunset.

A chance to take in some local culture at Maine Avenue Fish Market, the the oldest continuously operated fish market in the US.

D.C., we miss you.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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