Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hitting the Pause Button

Before you think this a post about movies (because I used the term pause button in my title), let me just say you will not find anything about movies in this post. If you have been reading my recent posts, you will know that my family and I will eventually be moving (hopefully within the next month). My husband got a teaching job which requires a move. Currently my husband drives to where his school is located on Sunday evenings and comes home on Friday evenings (only 2 and 1/2 hours). We will need a home closer to his school so that we can all be together. Being apart during the week has not been good (we've only been doing this for 2 weeks). We are hoping we have a lead on a home (yay!).

I have been writing a lot more lately, which is very therapeutic for me. With everything that is going on with finding a place to live, beginning the packing process (packing things I know we won't need again until we move), and juggling life as being the only parent Monday through Friday, I am finding that keeping up with my blog is becoming slightly difficult. I may still post one post a week to keep my readers up to date. However, I won't be able to do 2-5 posts a week that I had been doing since coming back from my small break. In a way I am hitting the pause button on my blog. Also, if you have been keeping up, then you will know that I started a Q&A area on my blog. I will try to still answer one question a week and incorporate our moving update in that post. I know many of my readers can't wait to have their questions answered (I love that you all asked me so many questions here) and I know many of my readers are following our moving journey (check out the pictures below of some of our boxes that are packed). I will try to do my weekly post on Wednesdays. Check back every Thursday to see if I have posted. If I haven't, at least this post tells you why.

I hope my readers are doing well. I ask you all to send us good thoughts and prayers that we find a new home quickly and that everything with our move goes smoothly. I believe in the power of prayer. Prayer is why my husband finally has a teaching and why our lives are changing for the better. God is good! He has a plan that is far better than ours. As crazy as our life will be in the next month or so, we know it will all come together, because our God is in control! If you are going through anything like we are (check out the verses below that have been helping me), just remember blessings are amazing and to keep the faith, hope, and love through anything!


Using color duct tape to color code boxes.
A big black sharpie marker is very handy!







Monday, September 10, 2018

How Does Our Family Travel?

*This post contains affliiate links. 

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts recently, then you know that I have a post where my readers asked me questions. I am taking each question and turning it into a blog post. This question is the second question I am answering. You can find the post to comment a question here.

"How Does Our Family Travel?" 

We are a family of seven. My husband and I have five kids. Their ages are 8, 5, 4, 2, and 1. We, unfortuantely, do not travel often. We have traveled out of our state (Kentucky) as a family to others states: Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina. We have traveled within our own state as well. Before we had kids, my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Charleston, SC. We have not been out of our country (USA) as a family. Once our kids are grown up and we are able to afford a big trip like that, we hope to travel out of our country. We also hope to even travel further to other states in our country. We get around with our trusty 2011 Chrysler Town and Country van that seats seven. We just got our 2011 van this past year, it is a lot better than our 1998 Town and Country.

Let me write about a few of the places we have been as a family.

1. The Louisville Zoo/Louisville
I grew up in Louisville, KY and all my family are in Louisville. Going to Louisville to see my family is one place we travel to. There are many moments of traveling to Louisville as a family that I could share, but I will only share two. We do not really sight see when we visit family, but we did go to the zoo once when we visited my family.
- I used to go to The Louisville Zoo quite often as a kid. Going to any zoo is fun, because seeing all the different animals is a learning experince. I was so happy to go to the zoo as a family. We went when our oldest was a year old. We were just a family of three back then (September 2011). We only traveled 2 and 1/2 hours to go so it was a short trip, but a fun trip.
- In November 2011, my aunt got remarried and we traveled again to Louisville. We ate at Cracker Barrel during our trip that weekend. If you have not heard of Cracker Barrel, check out here. It is a very popular restaurant in the United States. They are known for their rocking chairs out front of their restaurants, their peg games at each other their tables,  their old country store shop, and their amazing breakfast foods.

Our family of 3 back in 2011.


Our oldest's first time on a merry-go-round.
At my aunt's wedding in Louisville in an old historic building called Old Taylorsville Place.
Eating at the Cracker Barrel in Louisville.
Our oldest and my grandfather outside the Cracker Barrel.

2. Ohio
My husband's family used to live in Ohio so we've been to Ohio several times. To get to Ohio we travel through West Virginia. I love traveling to the area where my husband's family used to live, because the country scenery is beautiful to travel through. Even though we did not sight see, below are some family photos at events that we went to in Ohio.
Another instance where we travel to Ohio, not always as a family, but definitely with one of our kids is when we go to Cincinnati every 9 months. Our second son has a medical conidition called Microtia. He sees doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. There is so much to do in Cincinnati, however, we have not had the opportunity to those activities (Cincinnai Zoo, Newport Aquarium, an array of Museums). We will be moving closer to Cincinnati so hopefully we will be able to visit all those places!
Thanksgiving 2011 at my husband's family's house. Still a family of three.
Our oldest at one of the local parks in Ohio.
Family of four photo in Ohio. We had this taken before going to church with my husband's family.


Our family of 4 before we became a family of 5 at my brother in law's graduation in Ohio.
Our family at my brother in law's and sister in law's wedding in Ohio at a place called Snode's Restored Country Barn.
Our first time to Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Our oldest playing with a super cool toy at the hospital while we waited to find out information about his brother.



3. Virginia
We went as a family to see my husband's parents in Virginia in April 2015. They moved from Ohio to Virginia so we got a different scenery to their house. When we went to Virginia we got to go into Washington D.C. Since we had three kids we thought the best kid friendly thing to do was going to a zoo. Not just any zoo, this was The National Zoo. It is a lot larger than the Louisville Zoo and we did not even get to see all of the exhibits. I enjoyed driving through Washington D.C. and seeing from afar some major sights, like The Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument (not pictured).

The Lincoln Memorial. We drove past it on the way to the zoo.
The National Zoo.
This elephant looked happy!
The best picture I have ever gotten of a lion. No, I was not that close to it.
My husband and I.
Our three kids.
Our family of five before we were a family of seven. This was Easter of 2015.

4. North Carolina
We went on our first trip as a family of seven in May of this year. We went to Elizabeth City, NC to see my brother-in-law graduate from college (in one of the above pictures we were at his high school graduation, time flew by fast). While on this trip we got to go to Nag's Head Beach, which is apart of the Outer Banks. We had a wonderful time with family on this trip. We also got to go on a private boat ride via a friend that my brother in law knows. It was really awesome to do a boat ride together as a family. I have shared pictures of this trip before in a previous post, but here they are again. 






Conclusion
As you can see, we don't really travel that much. We stay close by our home. Our last trip was to North Carolina. With us moving, we will have another trip coming soon. We do have five young kids, so traveling can be hard with five kids. I know there are families with young kids that travel a lot, but unfortunately, we don't really have the funds either to travel as much as we would like to. Now that my husband has a teaching job, it is possible we will be able to go to more places within our own state. 
For us, we like the outdoors, so sometimes just going outside for walks is all the travel we need. Thanks for reading about our small, but still amazing, travel adventures.




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Friday, September 7, 2018

The Outdoors At My Friend's House

Today I took 3 of my kids to my friend's house today. She lives out in the country and has some beautiful outdoor scenery in her backyard. I, of course, grabbed my camera before leaving our house so I could take pictures. If you have been reading, I am still a beginner photographer (click here) so any chance I get to practice I jump on in a heartbeat.



It was wonderful to catch up with my friend. We had just seen each other in August, sometimes a month or even a few weeks seems like forever. The reason why is was so great to see my friend is because my family and I will be moving soon (read my last blog post here to find out about our moving adventure). I also went to visit another friend yesterday so the past two days of seeing friends that I won't get to see as much once we move was really great. I'm so thankful for my friends. I will miss them for sure.

This is an old picture of the friend I went to visit today.

This is also an old picture of the friend I went to visit yesterday.
Back to the pictures I took today. I love where my friend lives. It is so peaceful and quiet. Just look at how peaceful these pictures look.







I seriously could have stayed and taken a lot of pictures, but did not want to over stay my welcome at my friend's house. Plus I had 3 of my 5 kids with me and they wanted to go home and eat lunch and take a nap.

My only kiddo that let me get a picture of her at my friend's house.
When I look all the beauty that nature has to offer, I can't help but think what a wonderful creator our God is. He created everything so majesticly and delicately. What a wonderful God we serve and I am so amazed at how He blesses me. Really makes me keep my faith, hope, and love!

*For more of my photography check out my photography page at www.facebook.com/jessical.martinphotography.