10 Oct 2020

Julie and Randy have been coming down every couple weeks to help out with the new twins, and so we’ve gotten more dates night in the past month than in the past six… Two! It’s been so nice though. And they’ve missed crawling over grandparents looking at pictures.

Ruthie and Annie have gotten into the routine of texting each other on our phones if one of them goes on an errand with a parent. One time Annie didn’t realize she was posting to Ryan’s friend group. “Resting in the cart, that’s what’s happening.” Salty.

We hopped over to Tulsa one weekend to visit The Gathering Place which is a really cool free park. Of course I don’t have any pics, we were running all over!

Lunch by the river.

A sample of their texts:


They made a tunnel of pillows and used Gertie’s new treadmill as the entrance.



Ruthie’s wild-haired birthday before getting ready for school. Ryan and I picked them up from school and we ate at her choice of restaurant: Jason’s Deli.



We also hooked up the old nintendo and it’s been so fun watching them learn these classics.

Ruthie’s list of what she wants in a husband. We prayed over her future husband together.

Their martial arts class is starting back with contact class which I hurriedly signed them up for. I’m glad they started off the summer “social-distanced” hitting their own bags and grappling with dummies, just so they get confident. Now they’ve lifted the social distancing and are learning how to hit and defend both standing up and on the ground with other kids. Uncle Matt, who is a BROWN belt (!) said that grappling is important because every fight starts standing up, but almost always ends up on the ground. I am IN LOVE with this for them. Last week was their most physical yet, sparring with partners, and Ruthie hopped in the car saying how much she liked it. It feels empowering to me especially since it’s up to them to earn their next belts.

We went to a park nearby that we hardly ever think of and there happened to be a nice bike park attached for Ruthie to practice on. Not too intense, so a good intro to it all. She loved it.

Gertie has been standing up checking out everything lately. These are tall for her, so it’s fun to see her little head pop up at the dinner table to check out what’s going on.

Before it got dark in the evenings, I was going on solo walks at Crystal Bridges and listening to an audio book. These are my favorite bits of the trails.

Before we went camping with the Wewers, the older girls and I went up a night early to visit Lisa who was sick. Joe watched them as I visited Lisa and thought he’d have to be their teacher. When I came back, they were all watching TV on the porch.

A great weekend camping with the family at Smithville Lake. The weather was almost perfect, a tiny warm, but the evenings were awesome. We had so much space, but always congregated at the parents’ campfire for everything. And we just love our camper, it’s been a game changer comfort-wise and packing up-wise.

Mornings camping. My favorite, with a hot cup of coffee.

On our first trip out with the camper, one of the (new) tires blew and it wrecked the cabinets next to the sink. So we took it all out and are just using these plastic drawers which I actually like better. Ruthie loves having her little bed and Annie ALWAYS wants a warm body to sleep next to, so it’s an ideal set up with her next to Gertie.




We played a game around the campfire one night where someone had to get us to guess an artist or song name. In the beginning it was mom gesticulating wildly with excitement, scott keeping his hand raised the entire time because he immediately knew all the answers and Ryan leaning back in his chair singing a song softly like a pompous professor. Then. Dad took over. And it turned into using clever tactics to figure out the answers. Example:

“Not smallie, but….”


“Yes, now begone!”

Thirty minutes of thinking and hearing dad say, “You’ve GOT to listen! BEGONE. BEGONE!”

Finally the answer: Iggy and the Stooges. (B…. Gone – get it.)

Another one of his, shortened bc it took us a long time to guess in between clues and him saying, “You’ve GOT to listen!”:





Celine Dion!

You had to be there, but it cracked us up and now BEGONE is our new camping slogan.




When mom burned her hand making bacon.

This cat is the most patient. 

We went on a new-to-us trail last weekend where we found huge holes in trees, small bridges, and leafy trails.

Annie’s first grade class had a field trip to a pumpkin patch. We basically had the whole farm to ourselves because they’re not letting public schools do tours this year and we’re considered “homeschool”. The girl in front of her with the pink bow is her best friend, also named Annie. They are connected at the hip and mail each other letters filled with rainbows and random stuff from around the house.

The owner cracked us up in the corn maze. He took a corn off the stalk, explained how they grow, then said, “Do you guys like Cheetos? Do you like Doritos? Corn syrup helps makes those!!!” The parents were laughing. One mom said the year before he got them hyped up for GMOs.

Feeding the cows. This perfectly embodies Annie’s zest for life.

Baby goats.

It was a great day. Ruthie went to a friend’s house and Ryan worked from home with Gertie, so I texted one of the mom’s beforehand that this was basically a girls night out for me. More outdoor fun coming this weekend!

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