A Wedding and A Wine

Yesterday we attended the wedding of a girl we’ve known for several years through homeschooling. Actually, we don’t keep in touch with her so much as her parents. It was an outdoor wedding. It’s been raining for days…weeks. They rented a tent and had the ceremony in there. It was beautiful. The dinner and dance were to be outdoors too, but the parents had the foresight to rent another venue. It was a good thing because in between the wedding and the dinner it just poured.

The dad has a vineyard and had a special wine made for the occasion. I thought this Instagram by Leah was just beautiful:

Special wine for a special couple. As wine gets older the value becomes higher, may your marriage become more valuable through the years.
Special wine for a special couple. As wine gets older the value becomes higher, may your marriage become more valuable through the years.

Need I say more, other than the girl has a gift with words.

A Rainy Saturday

I hope everyone realizes that the Wichita Art Museum is FREE on Saturdays. Yes, every Saturday! Leah had been wanting to go and we decided to go when Erin was home. It was raining and then pouring on Saturday, so it was the perfect day to go to WAM. We had a friend who was staying by herself this weekend and is always commenting on the fun stuff we do, so we invited her to go with us. We all had a very enjoyable time.

I failed to get pictures but here are just a couple that Leah took:




Go and enjoy!


Soap Box Ranting

The poor and literacy. I know there are all these statistics about “disadvantaged” children having low test scores, etc. I get it, I see it, BUT it doesn’t have to be that way. There are resources, and free ones, too. Let’s start with the public library!! FREE. Books, media, even art work to check out. Libraries schedule special programs that are often pretty cool, so take advantage! Summer reading programs are a perfect example of what kids can participate in that’s free; they often win prizes, and have fun programs. Plus it’s a good way to keep their mind engaged over summer, and to keep those reading skills.

Kids & library

I have always been on the lookout for things to do with my girls that are free or inexpensive and we’ve done some pretty cool things. I pick up free publications for listings and read posters about events. Not that I get to do that many things but it’s nice to know there are things to do. I usually pick up the Friday edition of the Wichita Eagle for their GO! section. For some people, it may be your Sunday papers.


Erin was surprised recently when she went on a trip to Dallas with her studio class and the professor asked how many had ever been to an opera. She was one of the few students who had been. I know I have never paid an exorbitant price to go to the opera, but we’ve gone. Same with the symphony.

I could go on, but I think you probably get it. Poor does not have to equal illiterate or disadvantaged. Granted, one may not have all the opportunities afforded someone with more money, BUT you can still have a full, rich, cultured life. Children can excel, too, if parents make sure there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

** I originally started this post to share about a program I found out about recently called, Imagination Station. It’s FREE. All you have to do is sign-up and a book is sent to your home every few weeks (about once a month) for your child. How fun to get something in the mail and be able to read to your child for years to come. Way to go, Dolly!!!


Field Trip Day

Wednesday was field trip day for Kindergarten. I never really look forward to these days because I often have to manage the more difficult children, but that goes with my job. I did get the most difficult child in class but amazingly he was engaged in the museum and did a great job. Thankfully the rain held off and we were able to have a picnic lunch and play on their playground for quite awhile. I was exhausted afterwards, and I bet the kids slept well that night, too.

Exploration Place

We went to Exploration Place. It has been years since I’ve gone there because my girls are older. There are new exhibits and still some of the old ones. It was a little disappointing that some of the exhibits were broken or had missing pieces. I always enjoy looking at Kansas in Miniature, and if I remember correctly, the train use to go around the exhibit, but it didn’t run while we were there. Exploration Place is still definitely worth a visit. We were there for four hours and didn’t really get through the whole museum. Granted, we had an hour and fifteen minute lunch and play time, but their playground is lots of fun. We also had a 45 minute “lab” since we went as a school group. The kindergarten age seems to be the perfect age to thoroughly enjoy the museum.

One of the cool exhibits they had was a room with structures made from KEVA Planks. How cool were these structures? I was telling Erin since she is an architect student how much she would enjoy this exhibit. (I almost felt like I was in one of her studios when I walked in there.) Plus there were work stations for the kids to build their own structures. Kids that have a hard time focusing were thoroughly engaged in building with these planks, and for quite some time, too. Each KEVA plank piece is the same size: 1/4 inch thick, 3/4 inch wide and 4 1/2 inches long. You do not use glue or connectors to build with them. Oh what fun we had!! We could have stayed there all day. If you have the resources to invest in these, by all means do so! Check out their website to see the amazing structures.white new to KEVA .jpg

Overall, it was a good day. I even went in the tornado simulator and gave the kids a good laugh with my hair standing straight up.

I invite you to explore Wichita and Exploration Place.

Mother’s Day … A Day Some Would Rather Skip

Today I am thinking of my friends for whom this is a hard day. This last year has been extremely tough for several friends who have lost their mothers. I’m especially thinking of my friend, Linda, whose mother was taken much too soon. I know Linda grieves everyday for her and days like this are almost unbearable. Another friend whose background was rough would rather skip today. Friends, I’m thinking of you, praying for you, and maybe even texted you. I still have my mother, but in some ways I’ve already lost her. She is here physically, but her mind has been in a confused state for a couple of years now, and her recent fall hasn’t helped the situation. I can’t just call her up to discuss something with her. I still call her but…

Friends, I hope you have a wonderful day remembering the good times.


K-State and Rambling Thoughts


Thursday Leah and I took a day trip to Manhattan, KS. As we are driving, I realized how much I miss traveling, whether it’s by car, plane or train. Oh, to have a job to travel and investigate new sights and sounds. I need another job. Hint, hint, anyone? 🙂

Our purpose for the trip was two-fold. First, I needed to go to K-State and help Erin figure out some financial aid. It was so much easier to take care of things in person than over the phone, especially since we were going back and forth between two buildings. Second, it was a college visit for Leah. We had a department visit and are at least eliminating areas of study she’s NOT interested in. College tours are always interesting and especially even more so for me now. As many times as Leah’s been on the K-State campus, she’d never had a tour until Thursday. Admissions people were great, too. Overall, I’ve been very impressed with K-State. It would be fun to have another Wildcat, but we’ll have to see what direction she decides to go.

It was fun to be on campus during the school week, especially since we are usually there on the weekends when students are out of class. There’s just something invigorating about being around young minds and an intellectual community. It makes me miss being in school or at least working in a college environment.

(The t-shirt was a freebie given to prospective students. I think we’ll tie-die it purple. 🙂 )

… And Another Bag

I told you I loved handbags and totes. Here is another goody I found recently at Goodwill. It is a Banana Republic brand. I always look at the brand names; after all, I’m looking for a deal. I realize brand names don’t matter to some people, but I think it’s fun to see what you can find and not pay retail for a good brand. I had no idea what a Banana Republic bag sells for so I checked out their website. Evidently, they are between $100 and $200, so even though I spent a little more than I care to (marked $6.99, -10% discount, $6.29), I definitely got a great deal.

I’m thinking the color is from last spring’s collection, but I still love it. This was in excellent shape, as well. The picture makes it look gray, but it is actually a very light blue/green color. It even smells like leather. (Alan suggested I sell it on Ebay, but I think I’ll keep it for myself. 😉 )



Some days you just need an escape and mine some days mine is dish soap. Yep, you read that right. Some days you just need a little something to get you through and having a scented dish soap can help take you away for a little bit. Instead of “Calgon, take me away”, I use “Dawn, take me away.” This is a scent I hadn’t seen until recently. Just waiting to use it. Since I have no dishwasher and hand wash everything, I might as well enjoy the time. Actually, I don’t mind washing dishes, especially in the winter when it helps me warm up. With the following dish washing I’ll be escaping to … New Zealand. 🙂


I. Love. Bags.

I’ll admit, I have a problem when it comes to purses or tote bags (and shoes and paper). Here is a goodie that I picked up recently at … where else? Goodwill for $1.79.

Orange tote

When Leah saw it she asked if it was a Vera Bradley. I doubt that it is but the same thought had gone through my mind. It is actually vinyl, not cloth and the lining was in excellent shape. I’m loving the colors. I’ll be using it a lot. Love a good deal (and bag)!