Category: Family

Sep 17 2016

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First glimpse at our Home-Away-From-Home this week as we pulled into the Seward Port!

We made it to Port Seward and caught the first glimpse of our ship!  The kids were super excited (and Dad & Mom too)!  We arrived at a good time so were able to drop our luggage off, go through the check in process, drop items most of the backpack items off in our rooms, and head back out to tour the town of Seward.  Our visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center  took up the majority of the time we had in the town, but was a great activity for the whole family.  It was a cloudy and misty day in Seward, however, we still had a wonderful time.  It was a beautiful area, small town, and the local people we met were very nice.

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Beautiful views as we roll into the town of Seward

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 Someone crashed on the way to  the port!

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Sweet girls having fun in Seward and excited about going on our Alaska cruise

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Gorgeous area!

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Sep 12 2016

We had a nice long weekend this past weekend.  It was great having Labor Day off for the whole family.  We packed in a lot of fun family events as well as tackled a few projects around home too.  The girls had off Tuesday and Wednesday too because it was Professional Work Days for their teachers so they enjoyed more time with Jake and I.  I was able to take off Tuesday from work and hung out with the girls.  We rode bikes, played games, and many other good activities together!!!

Over the long weekend we started another fun adventure as a family.  We took a hike along the Appalachian trail and was able to get though a little chunk of it only 2,000 plus miles to go before we can say we did the whole trail, ha!  The girls (and their parents) were wondering if we would make it the first mile since it was a steep climb, but we pushed through and the trail was much easier once we got higher and could feel the breeze.  Thankful for the extra time with my family.

Looking forward to another great week.  We have a handful of new events coming up, the girls with some more of their school clubs and activities beginning as well as more learning and growing activities for me as well.  Here are my goals for this week:

Last week’s goals

Family Goals

  1. Read the book The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer to the kids –we are reading through the book together (maybe halfway now)
  2. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  3. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  4. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  5. Plan one special activity with the family – went for a family day hiking trip along the Appalachian trail
  6. Play a Game with the Kids – the longer weekend gave us more time to play  Yahtzee, Pet Detective, and Travel USA
  7. Create Memories with the Family
  8. Spend Quality time with each family member
  9. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this week – we went for a hike together along the the Appalachian Trial
  10. Spend extra time with the family over the Holiday Weekend

Kid Goals

  1. Do Homework Monday – Friday
  2. Pack Lunches and Prep for the next day
  3. Spend one-on-one time with kids each day – friday night I crashed on the couch before the kids went to bed and when I woke up they were already asleep

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day)
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week – did it some, but not quite 5 times

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization – Hang Up Girls Souvenir Necklaces – got the necklaces and labels on the necklace holders, but need Jake’s assistance to get them hung on the girls walls
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Work on yard projects – Picked up sticks, b0nfire, mowed lawn, and got some work done outside this weekend
  4. Speed clean & pick up the house 15 minutes a night – a couple of nights we didn’t get a chance to do it this week

Business Goals

  1. Update Work Notes – working on them
  2. Get caught up on blog posts – getting some of the summer trip adventures done
  3. Work on a few special projects – need to work on them more
  4. Update my LinkedIn Profile – working on getting the items together to update it
  5. Research a couple of items in regards to the blog – hoping to get more done this week
  6. Confirm the tasks my plate as I transition to a new team – work in progress
  7. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options – narrowing down my choices

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor – putting together a list
  2. Get our finances and budget back on track – doing better
  3. Pay down debt we owe – made an extra payment
  4. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home) – went a little bit over budget

My goals for the upcoming week

Family Goals

  1. Read the book The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer to the kids
  2. Go through 7 more Brain Quest Flash Cards with the kids.
  3. Read through 7 more pages of History Trivia with the kids.
  4. Reflect on our blessings and prayer time with kids every night.
  5. Plan one special activity with the family
  6. Play a Game with the Kids
  7. Create Memories with the Family
  8. Spend Quality time with each family member
  9. Do a new, unique, or different activity with the family this week
  10. Coordinate and review schedules at beginning of week to confirm all obligations, appointments, and other activities

Kid Goals

  1. Do Homework Monday – Friday
  2. Pack Lunches and Prep for the next day
  3. Spend one-on-one time with kids each day
  4. Attend Robotics Club and Other After School Activities
  5. Appointments – Pediatric Eye Doctor Re-check

Personal Goals

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water
  2. Wear FitBit (at least 10,000 steps and 10 sets of stairs every day)
  3. Do Yoga at least 5 times this week
  4. Sign up for Women’s Ministry Bible Study Class
  5. Date and Couples Massage with Jake! XOXO
  6. Appointments

Home (Yard & Pets) Management Goals

  1. Household Cleaning / Organization – Hang Up Girls Souvenir Necklaces
  2. Plan out the Menu for the Week
  3. Clean & Organize Storage Room
  4. Speed clean & pick up the house 15 minutes a night

Business Goals

  1. Update Work Notes
  2. Get caught up on blog posts
  3. Work on a few special projects
  4. Update my LinkedIn Profile
  5. Research a couple of items in regards to the blog
  6. Confirm the tasks my plate as I transition to a new team
  7. Pick from a couple of the “extra” activity and/or product options

Ministry Goals

  1. Go to breakfast or lunch with a family member or friend
  2. Counting my blessings journal

Financial Goals

  1. Schedule a meeting with the financial advisor
  2. Get our finances and budget back on track
  3. Pay down debt we owe
  4. Limit amount spent on Groceries, Household, and Other Items (use what we already have at home)

I think it is important to share and encourage each other as we seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.  I want to live intentionally not just hope all my dreams and goals come true.  When I focus on small steps of improvement I am able to see results as I get closer to my goals.  Some weeks I get closer to the goals I have in my life and other weeks a take a few steps back (life happens, emergencies occur, people get sick).  Once the goals are written down and shared it provides a guideline for what I aim to accomplish this week.

Why Share My Goals?

  • To keep me accountable
  • To share a piece of my life with you as I strive to be a better Child of God, Wife, Mom, Friend, Homemaker, Entrepreneur and the many other roles I have each week
  • To have my goals consistently written down so I can gauge progress more accurately
  • Create healthy habits in my life
  • To encourage you to share your goals with me as you continue to grown and learn

How did you do this week on your goals?  Feel free to share or link to your list of weekly goals.

The picture above is one that I created for my own purposes, however, The “SMART” acronym was originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results

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Sep 08 2016

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Gorgeous animal, not as elegant moving on land, but amazing swimmer in the water!

We were able to visit the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska before cruising out of the port.  The Alaska SeaLife Center is located at 301 Railway Avenue, Seward, AK 99664.  It is only a couple miles from the port terminal and the city bus comes by the terminal every 5 to 10 minutes will take you to a number of places around the city of Seward (with the Alaska SeaLife Center being one of those stops).  The Alaska SeaLife Center is part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums so if you are a member of one in your area you will be able to get into the center at a reduced rate.  We are part of our local Greenville Zoo which allowed us to have 50% per persons admission ticket which was a huge blessing and savings

The Alaska SeaLife Center was a lot of fun!  The kids loved seeing a variety of different marine life and the exhibits were very interactive and educational.  You could get fairly close to the animals and they even had a touch tank.  WARNING the  touch tank water is freezing cold so you won’t be able to keep you hand in it for very long. I thought my hands were going to go numb before I had a chance to touch each of the different marine critters in the tank.  They had several interactive talks with the animals.  We got to watch them feed, train, and care for several of the animals.  The animals were content and were showing off for the guests.

It was a cool and misty day when we arrived at Seward that day.  The Alaska SeaLife Center was a great task to do on a rainy day.  There are a couple of places you can go outside, but you can see the majority of the center from inside.  It is a wonderful place for anyone that enjoys animals, marine animals, and the opportunity to learn more about the native critters that can be found in Alaska.  Thankful for an opportunity to visit the SeaLife Center.  It was a hit with our kids.  There are also plenty of places for adults to sit down and relax as well.  It is a great activity for the whole family.  The girls loved personalities of the birds exhibits, the way the HUGE octopus spread out across the glass in front of them, the Artic Seals performed tricks for treats, that the touch tank was ice cold, that the fish and other animals were very active, and that the Sea Lion loved rubbing its belly on the glass window right in front of them.  It was a wonderful place to visit while we were in Seward.

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 Brina and Karlie in the boat at the Alaska SeaLife Center

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Beautifully colored starfish.  He was waving at us!  Even the starfish were active while we are the center!

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Small yet beautifully colored bird

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Taking a swim around the pool!

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Coming by to say “HELLO”!

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SeaLIfe workers checking the seals out and giving them treats.

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Performing tricks

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Enjoying the swim

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Playing around in the pool

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Doing a dance for us!

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Beautiful and fast!

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Watching him swim underwater from a viewing window at the bottom of his tank! Fascinating!

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Showing off and diving right in front of us

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He obviously was having a grand time!

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Loved watching them glide so smoothly through the water

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The Sea Lion rubbing his belly up against the glass in front of us.  He did it several times!  The kids thought it was hilarious!

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Huge male octopus!

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He was very active while we were there too

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He decided to spread himself out across the front glass of his tank!

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 He was very big, pretty sure I would not be excited about running into him in the ocean!  So neat to see!

Alaska, Wildlife Conservatory, SeaLife Center, Zaandam, New Holland Cruise, Cruise,

Relaxing in the water with his nose out and the rest of his body just floating in the water!

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Diving directly in front of us!  Really loved how the  animals were very interactive with their audience!

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Camouflaged ray….

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VERY COLD touch tank!!!

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The freezing water was not stopping our kids from checking out the animals in the touch tank!

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Beautiful and showing off for us!

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He hung out near us, watching us move around the bird exhibit!

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Karlie all smiles as Brina soaks in all the birds zooming around the exhibit

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Brina loving time with these beautiful Alaskan animals!

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Keeping one eye on us as he watches the other birds….just in case!

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Sep 02 2016

Anchorage, Alaska

Super neat and comfortable boulder chairs!

Our family recently had the opportunity to travel to Alaska for our family vacation.  We arrived in Anchorage in the middle of the night, slept a couple hours before getting up and heading out to explore Anchorage.  One of the first stops we made was the Anchorage Museum at Ramuson Center, 625 C. Street, Anchorage, AK.  The hotel driver dropped us off right outside the entrance of the museum.

The kids loved the opportunity to learn about Alaska – fFrom displays with the culture, life styles, people, and history of Alaska. The kids loved exploring the neat science and technology exhibits as well as watching the animal presentation! They had really cool boulder chairs and places for parents or grandparents to sit and relax in the common area which seemed popular for the adults! The kids loved it and it was entertaining for us as parents too.

If you have some extra time while in Anchorage and you’re traveling with your family you should check it out. If you want you can use a free locker to put your travel items in while going through the museum. Also, it is part of the Science Center Association so if you are a member of your local Science Center check to see if they are part of the Association and you will get into this museum for free! 🙂

We had a blast at this museum!  They were not into the “art” gallery as much as the history, science and more kid focused rooms.  They had a lot of neat history and culture regarding Alaska.  It’s a great place to visit if you have kids and some time while in Anchorage, Alaska!

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Karlie giggling as she tries to sneak up on me with her pillow boulder!

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That’s a big pebble Brina!!!

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Goof ball Karlie!

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 Brina and Jake checking out what will happen if an earthquake hits near a house….

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 Brina and Jake in the bubble ring

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Now that’s a pretty shoe for you to wear!  Brina loved it!  Karlie said it didn’t look comfortable at all! It’s beautiful, but not sure I could stay upright in them.

 Designer Paula Rasmus-Dede, Not Your Mama’s Mary Janes, 2003 (consists of glass beads, patent leather, and different colors of wire)

“I made this peice because I like Mary Janes.  My grandmother made me wear orthopedic shoes when I was a child.  I wasn’t allowed to wear black patent leather Mary Janes like all the popular schoolgirls.  When I started making shoes I decided to make my own Mary Janes” – Paula Rasmus-Dede

I think Paula’s shoes may be a little bit fancier than just the average Mary Jane.

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Brina and Karlie lifting Jake up.  Testing the different types of pulleys

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Karlie and Jake in a giant bubble!

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There’s a bear behind you!

The “Travel and Vacation” series is an insight into our trips together as a family, ways we relax, and tips on how to make trips more enjoyable.  Life is short and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to build memories with family and explore of of the most amazing places during our time away.  Explore with a good attitude, look for fun, and it will be an awesome trip jammed packed with positive memories.  It is refreshing having some time away from the regular routine.  Make it a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet new people and learn.  You just might see or try something new that takes your breath away!

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Aug 31 2016

WJC&B Work and Family Event at Lake Keowee

Karlie and Brina with their friend kayaking on Lake Keowee

This past weekend we had the opportunity to enjoy a Lake event with Bridgette’s co-workers at Lake Keowee!  We had a blast!  A huge thanks to Jeff and Sonya for their hospitality.  They graciously shared their home, boat, kayaks, paddle board, life jackets, floats, and many other fun items with everyone.  The girls had a grand time kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing, and splashing around off the dock!

Thankful for an opportunity to relax and have fun with people at work.  It was a great opportunity for Jake and the girls to meet some of the people I work alongside day to day.  The weather was gorgeous, food was delicious, and the company was great too.  Grateful for a chance to hang out at the Lake for a day – perfect way to spend a Saturday!  The kids slept well that night after a fun day at the Lake Keowee with their friends!!!

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The kids had a blast at Lake Keowee

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Karlie enjoying the paddle board

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Karlie and friends going for a ride on the tube!

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Their expressions crack me up!

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Go Faster!!!

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Brina and friends going for a spin on the tube!

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Cruising along!

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Look out for that wake!

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Karlie ready to get back in the water!

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Beautiful day and gorgeous view of the lake from the house

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