If you’re going to play in Texas…

Visiting cousins in Texas is always fun. The main activity this time was going to a shooting range. There were a LOT of happy kiddos at this activity!

My favorite part about this activity was the group of older men shooting next to us. I loved hearing them talk about what a great thing it was to bring all these children out to the shooting range and how we were giving them the best experiences.

*quick note…the most accurate shooter in the family was me

Adventure – Where we’ve been…

This is a fun post for me. I needed a photoshop + illustrator project just to remind me of a few skills. Plus, I have been wanting to put together a map like this for each of the kids for many years. Throughout my life, I tried to keep a list of all the places I visited. I have the goal to get to every state and I am SO close. I always wanted to get to every national park too. That gets more complicated every year as new parks and monuments are added frequently. My goal is still all the national parks but I don’t think I’ll get all the monuments, memorials and historic sites.

So, I made up these maps for the kids. I know I am forgetting some especially in the case of John because he doesn’t remember all the places he has been. Just in making them, I had to go back a number of times and add places I had forgotten. I hope to update them as we travel. We aren’t going to make it to as many parks this year I think. So far we only have Yellowstone planned and probably Craters of the Moon. But adventure is always waiting for us out here in the west so…

*John has been to Arkansas

Adventure – Bartlesville

We stopped on our way to Thanksgiving to visit family in Bartlesville. We got the royal treatment and tour of Bartlesville and enjoyed spending time with cousins…

Bartlesville has a Frank Lloyd Wright building which made a few of us very excited…

Bartlesville has painted bison “roaming” all around the town. Beps especially enjoyed seeing them as they are the closest to real bison she has gotten…

Brown vs. the Board of Education

On our way to Thanksgiving, we stopped in Topeka, KS. We wanted to take the kids to the Brown vs. the Board of Education National Historic Site. Our children will hopefully grow up in a world with less hate and more understanding. But it hasn’t been long enough. These issues aren still present, especially this year. I hope what they saw, heard and learned here will stay with them. That they will more fully understand the horrors of bigotry and racism.

The rangers at this historic site where absolutely wonderful. I feel like their attentiveness and desire to teach greatly enhanced our experience there.






Next we stopped at the Westboro Baptist Church. Here we added another lesson to the lessons of racism and hate…
Before coming to Topeka, we had learned a little more about the Westboro Baptist Church. What we began to understand is that the members did not form a church to promote hate. In fact, they as members truly believe that they hate no one. It is God who hates homosexuality not them. They are only delivering God’s message. Similar to the idea of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” They formed their church as a restoration to what the Bible taught. Their deepest desires are to be absolutely true to the word of God – the Bible. They are orthodox and fundamental Christians. They are attempting to follow the Bible literally and are successful in doing so. Their messages of hate are just messages they are repeating from the Bible. And so in turn, we learned to be understanding of the “haters” even thought we are appalled by the hate. We also better understand the complex and precarious nature of fundamentalism and orthodoxy.