Soap Booth Fun

Had such a great time this past weekend at the Athen’s Organic Open House!!


I loved that Stacie and my mom both got to come and help me!  Also loved having Jacob there to answer bee keeping questions as well as giving a presentation!!


Some of my soaps


Soap dishes (by Eli), cookbooks for ETBA and headbands!


Fruit infused water for customers!


Try to always have fresh flowers!  Love them!


More soap!

The weather was perfect spring sunshine!

Hoping to start selling my soap here at Athen’s Organic this week, too!!

Girl’s Weekend

So we do not do a girl’s weekend like some mothers and daughters.  No.  Ours looks like this:


We get some orange

Then we go somewhere gorgeous :



Play a litle pool

IMG_4372 IMG_4388

Ride out to a deer blind

Find a doe that needs to be harvested (in order to ensure the others can grow strong and healthy)


And woohoo – we are having fun!!

We thoroughly enjoyed a trip to Cerrito Prieto in Encinada (near Laredo)


We even rid the ranch of one coyote!


We enjoyed out time there with 9 other young ladies between 9-17 years old.


And I am proud that this girl helped process her doe with this amazing young woman (Linda)


We had a wonderful weekend – amazing sunsets and sunrises, birds I have never seen before, lots of sweet young ladies!  And just overall fun!

Look at that smile!!  She loved it!


Then she crashed – wore her out!!
IMG_4461On the way home, she caught up one some more sleep:


Day 5 {Maryland}

This was by far, our best day in Maryland!!  The kids were so excited to visit Ft McHenry!


My kids are huge history fans in general, but being able to walk around Ft McHenry and see so many great things!  We were even blessed to be able to see some re-enactors!  It was great to hear about the history of the fort, why this war (the War of 1812)  was started and how it was fought.  We loved watching them fire the cannon – and then we enjoyed walking around!!

the gang

After our trip out, we came home to an afternoon of playing and movie time. 

To close out time together we enjoyed some yummy dessert to celebrate 2 upcoming birthdays –  my boy P and their boy Trey.

birthday dessertP bday boyT bday boy

So, tomorrow we head out to Maine!! Yeah!!  It will take all day, but we will be sleeping at the Point tomorrow night and waking up on Monday to the sound of lobster boats!!

Day 3

I am hoping that not too many people see us as traitors after the day we had!! 

at annapolis

While West Point is the only REAL college (well in our small minds) I still jumped at the chance to expose my kids to another military academy.  I will admit I am not encouraging their attending Navy, but honestly I would be proud no matter where they go and how they serve!

So we did head to Annapolis today to see the Academy, to enjoy learning some history and to stop and crab while out there. 


alan shepherd fan

This kid is a HUGE Alan Shepherd fan – so this was cool!!

at bancroft hall

and I loved this shot of Bancroft hall

crypt of John Paul Jones

The crypt of John Paul Jones – my boys were pretty excited about this too, we have read a bit about him.

ED and cannonin a midshipman display room

A  {demo}midshipman’s room to tour.

stuff from USS Maine

artifacts from the USS Maine – just cool!

with the goat 2

While Robert did suggest kidnapping the goat, we thought a picture was a better idea.  However, what better cover than 2 moms taking 8 kids to show them the academy….  what fun that would have been!!

One of the coolest parts of our site seeing was in the museum they have a collection of Bone Ships – made by French prisoners of war with bones from their food – these were absolutely amazing!!

bone ship bone ship 2explanation of bone ship

I do not think any of my gang has changed their affiliation (nor Kristen’s) it was a very fun day!  The kids were thrilled with all the cool stuff to see and loved running around too! 

We enjoyed crabbing, but did not catch any big enough to keep and eat.  Maybe next time!

This was our “favorite” view from today

best view of navy

(not really)

Crabbing fun….

crabbingfirst crabmore crabbing

Day 2 {Maryland}

We had such a great day 2!!  We started out going on a hike at the state park nearby. 

raring to go

(excited and full of energy!!)

We trekked about a mile and a half through some hills, some water, across a bridge, and ending at a water fall!  It was great weather and lots of fun!!

by bridge the gangcole clan at waterfalllewcrew at water fallpretty riverworn out after a hike

(worn out and ready for lunch!)


After that, we grabbed some lunch before heading home for some down time.  We try to spread everyone out to allow enough personal space to do what you want, rest, read or relax.  This is important time for Kristen and I to have a few minutes of break too.

After that we enjoyed a yummy supper and then we grabbed the 8 older kids ands and headed out.  We do not do too many outings at night, with 8 kids why would we want to.  But this night was a treat!  Kristen’s son won 4 tickets to the Aquarium for this night, and the amazing librarian hooked her up with 4 more!! 

So we loaded everyone up and trekked out to the Baltimore/National Aquarium!!


AG and I were blessed to get to visit the same aquarium about a year ago on our trip to NYC – so she was delighted to share everything with her brothers!!


My favorite was the jellyfish room and we were not expecting it to be open, and were thrilled when it was! 

jelly 1jelly 4 stomachjelly 2more jelly fishred jelly

moon jelly fish


We were even pretty excited (well the kids were very excited) about the popsicles they were handing out as we left!  A great way to end a wonderful day!!