Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

A Rough and Wonderful Weekend

This weekend was weird.

I spent a lot of time away from the kids and Nick. I was working at camp and was gone basically from Thursday until late Saturday night.

When I am at camp I love it and enjoy my time there, don’t get me wrong, but man I missed my family.

Not to mention that when I got home the house looked like it had exploded.

Not only was I busy and gone but the kids had lots of activities this weekend.

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Emma had the opportunity to perform in the ballet La Fille Mal Garde. She had 4 performances at Notre Dame. Thankfully I was able to get home to go watch the Sunday performance.

However at the same time Calvin had an awards ceremony for his ceramics work and I missed that.

The moral of this post is, it’s hard being a working mom.

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Everything is a juggle and sometimes, like this weekend, I feel that I am not so good at juggling.

But it is wonderful to know that Nick steps in to pick up the pieces when I need to be gone. And we were able to split the parenting so the kids had someone at their big moments. The house got cleaned Sunday morning (I think the Lord understands!).

Sunday evening when we all returned home we were in the mood for something different so we decided to hit the road.

We drove up into Michigan to St. Joe and had pizza at my favorite spot, Silver Beach Pizza.

We ordered my favorite, margherita pizza and the antipasto salad.

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After dinner we went down to the beach to play on the playground and to watch the sunset. It was so beautiful!

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It was a great end to the weekend.

It was a rough weekend.

But it was a wonderful weekend

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Here’s to this week!

How We Travel and Why Sometimes I Don't Post About It

I know that everyone loves to travel and get away. We do too! But for me, it is truly a fun time and a vacation if we can cross a new state off our list!

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We have been trying to get the kiddos to all 50 states. This trip of ours was out east and we were able to visit New York for the first time, making that our 29th State! Woo-hoo! We’re well on our way since we’ve passed the half way mark!

Our trip was already two weeks ago (I can’t believe it’s already been that long!) and we had such a relaxing time. We were able to visit New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Because we were traveling with Nick for work this wasn’t exactly an ideal route that we took that I would ever recommend it, but I’ll be posting individually about the places we went. I swear, sometimes it takes me the most time to come up with HOW to format telling everyone about our trips. Otherwise they can turn into these long-winded accounts of everywhere we went that get super confusing…nobody wants to read those and I certainly don’t want to document our wonders in that way.*

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So that is why it has taken me nearly two weeks to even mention that we were away, let alone where we went. The majority of our trip was spent in Pennsylvania. The kids and I ended Classical Conversations at the beginning of the month, hallelujah! I am feeling so burnt out with it all. I’ve been trying to pinpoint if it is with CC itself, the lack of time we have to study other things outside of CC, or something totally different. While I am still completely unsure about what it is that is troubling me I did know that I was ready for a break from CC and was ready to start something new. After a lot of research we decided to embark on a unit study. Knowing that we were going to be going on this trip and would be really close to Gettysburg is what made us decide to do a unit study on the Civil War. Emma loves history and Cal loves learning about the military so this helped them go hand in hand. A perfect pair for us!

I love when I can make our trips coincide with schooling. It’s a match made in heaven for me…after all like I always say, there is nothing more educational then walking in the footsteps of those who actually made the history you study in school. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! I love it so much. This is why we homeschool…well, that and I’m just about the nerdiest person ever but those two things, with their powers combined, are why we homeschool.

I also love when the places that we go allow us to explore more about our country or about our world in general. In case you’ve ever wondered how we pick the spots we visit, most of our travel has to align with where Nick is going on business. Then we get creative, spending weekends going around the area and discovering things that are a car ride away.

Friends, I’d love to know…how do you plan your travel? Do you look for unique adventures or do you relish going back to your favorite spots? Do you plan around your kiddos interests or around the destinations that you go to? Do you have any travel challenges (like all 50 states!) you are trying to accomplish? What do you love about traveling? I’d love to learn more about you and where you love to travel!

Comment below, kisses!

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California Day 3: King's Canyon & Sequoia National Parks

I’m just going to be brutally honest.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Day 3 was rough.

Going into King’s Canyon Emma and I became horribly, horribly carsick. However, it was worth it because King’s Canyon was gorgeous! We arrived first thing in the morning, I mean, the Visitor’s Center wasn’t even open yet. So we were able to walk through a loop that showed us the General Grant tree. It was magnificent. The air was cold and crisp and invigorating. It was an amazing sparkling day. It’s hard to describe the dazzle that was in the day there.

There were hardly any people around the walking loop and it was so nice to be able to take our time. We were able to study the bark, the foliage of the sequoias, and just really take in all of the details of God’s creation.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Part way around the walking loop we came to a hollowed out felled sequoia that had even been used as a worker cabin back in the day! Nick and Cal enjoyed exploring and walking through it while Emma and I continued walking and taking photos with our cameras. Emma is turning into quite the shutterbug which is so fun to watch and encourage.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

I should clarify that we walked and skated around the walking loop because half of the thing was downhill and complete ice. That’s always fun. Not. It was so icy we literally walked down it with Nick going before us and then saying “okay not put your foot there, now over there, now on top of that pile of snow and pivot to over there.” I’m sure years from now we’ll laugh at this. We made memories for sure.

After our near death experience on the ice (not really) we went to the visitor’s center where, you guys! The whole entire building was covered in snow. COVERED! It was a lot of snow. It made me feel like a wimp when I was back home complaining about 6 inches of snow back in Indiana. Yeesh.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Day 3 was slated for King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. They are connected and you can go from one park to another.

Except the road was closed due to snow.

This caused us to have to drive and hour and a half out of the way to get to Sequoia.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Then when we got to Sequoia we weren’t really AT Sequoia. Meaning that the Foothills Visitors Center is just that, in the foothills and then you drive for about an hour to the Giant Forest.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Once we hit about 4000 ft elevation it started to get foggy. Then about 5000 ft it got really foggy. And about 6000 ft it was scary foggy. We were driving on a one lane road around the mountain, winding and steeply rising. But we couldn’t see. Like at all. At all, at all. Zero visibility. It was the scariest thing ever. Couldn’t even see the hood of the car. Thankfully we crept on and saw a parking lot sign and dove into that area to wait out the fog. Or so I thought. Nick parked the car and said he thought it would be best if we just went back down the mountain since we couldn’t see the sequoias anyway.

I got out of that car.

There was no way I was going to be strapped back into that metal death trap to be dragged back down the mountain in zero visibility fog. Friends, your girl had a major anxiety attack. It was bad. I at one point told him he was going to have to just go back down without me, I would stay there and live on the mountain and wash my hair with rain water or something. I didn’t have a solid plan but at that moment I was legit serious, just leave me here, I am not going back down with y’all. Lord have mercy!

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

The trees looked so eerie and cool all at the same time with the fog.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

I love this girl. This is her look when you tell her to touch the tree and to be in awe of nature. So funny!

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

Thankfully there was a museum right there. I felt like Bilbo Baggins walking along the mountain and stumbling upon a door. We were able to go check it out and while we were talking to a park ranger the fog lifted a teeny bit. Enough that we decided that since we were that close we should continue to drive higher to go see General Sherman, the World’s Biggest Tree. Sure enough by the time we got up to it the fog had lifted completely and it was a gorgeous crystal clear blue sky. It was so much fun to walk through the trees.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

And then it was back down the mountain. It was getting lateish and we had to get going since Nick was to start working the next day…our fun days with him are done but it was so fun to have a little bit of time with him.

Side note here, the kids just love hanging out with him. I’m so proud of my guy. He works so hard to provide for his family and has the most integrity I’ve ever seen in, anyone! I just love him so much.

I did remember that on the way down the mountain we made a stop at Hospital Rock and saw the petroglyphs on the rocks. I barely remember this because I took a dramamine and felt like a tranquilized bear when we got to the rocks, ha.

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.
Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

On the way we came across a town called “Lindsay” and I was so excited that I made Nick get out and take a photo of me with the sign. My whole life I have had my name misspelled so it was so great to find a town with my name!!!

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.

We headed back to LA and then to Ranch Cucamongo where we are to stay for the rest of the trip. After we unloaded the car (or minivan rather, the kids think it is the coolest thing ever to be driving around in a van) we went to eat at Lazy Dog Restaurant which was just what the doctor ordered after a long day of driving and hiking and exploring and freaking out! I had a margherita pizza, everyone had fish. WHICH by the way is the weirdest thing ever that our kids now all eat fish. God is good, y’all! I never thought that would ever happen but here we are.

Our last stop of the night was to the grocery store to pick up some food for lunch the next day. Do you know what our kids love to eat more than anything? Rice and Beans!

It was a bad day. It was a great day. I guess it’s all about perspective…and not getting stuck on the top of a mountain.

Onto Day 4 and whatever exploring we are able to do!

You can read all about our trip to Yosemite and you can read all about our first day in California! I hope you’re enjoying reading about our journey. Travel with family is one of the most rewarding things we can do in life!

Exploring King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks as a family.