Friday, October 7, 2011

The Apple Orchard and the Pumpkin Patch

A friend of mine told me about a great little orchard just north of one of our neighboring towns and so we packed up the kids and went. We had such a great time feeding the catfish in the pond, picking a half bushel of apples, and I even ended up with some of their honey as well!

We also took our yearly trek to one of the other neighboring towns to pick out pumpkins. We won't be here to enjoy jack-o-lanterns this year, but I still needed to get a few pie pumpkins to put up for the year and we let Max choose whatever "pumpkin" he would like. In true boy fashion he picked out one of the long green gourds because he said that it looked like a snake.

Also the last picture is now what happens when I try to take a cute Christmas card photo... (no worries, he didn't actually drop it on her head)

Disney August 2011

Way back in August we spent a few days at Disney World just the four of us. We normally travel there with members of our family, so it was a different experience for us.
We are Disney Vacation Club members and so Disney to us is a home away from home and we LOVE it there :) However, every time we think we've got the Disney routine down there's always something different. I suppose once the kids are older we'll be in a great routine, but this was Penny's first time outside my body to be there (last time we went I was pregnant with her). She did great, Max did great, Adam had a wonderful time and I was just exhausted by the end of the week. Sounds like a successful family vacation to me.

I'm finally getting around to this because our next Disney Vacation is lovingly looming over me as I print off our packing list. We will be in Tampa for a few days and then be taking a short Disney Cruise here in a few weeks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

31 before 30 Check In

I've been thinking a lot about this challenge since my birthday in July and I've been wondering how I've been doing on it.... So here goes...
You can read my previous update and original goal too.
1. Run at least a half marathon if not a full one
I've been training and training and I'm NOT a good runner. I'm not one of those people who get on and get 5 or 10 miles done and smile as they hop off the treadmill to go about their day... I"m one of those coughing, wheezing types that is totally wet by the end of half walking mile 2 and will instead be icing their extremities the rest of the day. That being said, I was kicking butt in my own personal best times and then I sprained my ankle when I fell down some stairs. I'm working back up but two months later I'm still slower than I was. So frustrating.
2. Clean out my closet to things that I only actually wear (not wish I could wear or might wear someday)
This was awesome to get accomplished, but then I lost quite a bit of weight over the summer and was sad I hadn't kept a few of my favorite pieces that would fit again. But then again, I used it as an excuse to do a little birthday shopping. Now I need to go back through again and get rid of the things that are too big.
3. See the pacific ocean
4. Decide whether or not (and have if we are) any more children
I don't know if this discussion is ever done. Now that Penny is past the frustrating baby stage, I'm ogling babies again...
5. Weekend in Chicago (this was on my list last night as I was thinking of things, and that's what my gift from Adam is for my birthday! He must have read my mind)
We've been to Chicago a few times, and Max was just asking the other day if we could go again. I'd like to take the train up there sometime this fall.
6. Learn to quilt
Well not traditionally, but I did complete a quilt. It's just about twin sized and Penny sleeps with it every night.
7. Complete another full sized afghan (either knit or crochet)
I'm working on one. It started out as a baby blanket for a baby that's now crawling. Eeps.
8. Decide on a career
I take tests next weekend to finish my license to teach English here in Illinois. I'm not planning on going back to teaching until the kids go to school though
9. Join a CSA for a summer
10. Get Adam to eat the veggies from the CSA
11. Take Max and Penny to a real live farm to see animals and/or harvest
We went to go see the harvest and Max and Adam rode the combine
12. Visit the PNW
13. Find a little black dress I actually like
This is like the hardest thing to do EVER! But I do have a pretty turquoise one I've been wearing all the time... Maybe I'm just meant for color?
14. Finish reading the whole Bible (I've started this one so many times, but always go back to my favorites instead of reading it all)
15. knit myself a sweater
I have a fear of commitment. I couldn't decide on a pattern and then freaked about committing to a yarn. So I knitted Penny a really pretty sweater instead. I just finished it last night.
16. Feel comfortable in my own skin, no matter what it looks like, or who I'm with
I've hit some crazy crazy strides with this over the summer. I don't know when it happened, but it was all in God's timing. I love it!
17. Clean out everything we collect and make it into everything we use/need/love
This is like a never ending cycle. I'm actually on my second round through this weekend. But since I've finished one round, I'm gonna call it completed!
18. Catch up on Max and Penny's scrapbooks
I said to Adam a few days ago "I give up on scrapbooking. I'm just gonna finish each kid's first year and call it quits"
19. Have a "handmade Christmas" where everything I give has been handmade by myself or someone I know
I'm not in a position to do any better this year than last because of me opening my Etsy shop and doing a few craft fairs. So I'm calling this one completed since I'm pretty satisfied with last year.
20. Vacation without the kids (I think the overnight in Chicago might count for this one too...)
I'm totally counting it.
21. Go to Disneyland
22. Learn to use our camera in manual mode a little better
I shoot in manual quite a bit now. And I'm getting better all the time.
23. Have professional (really professional) family pictures taken
We tried. The kids were awful that morning. It's like they KNEW I wanted a nice picture. We'll have to try again.
24. Visit Dallas again
25. Spend some time alone on a beach and just read a book or magazine or knit

I'm hoping to get a little of this in October when we visit the gulf with Adam's parents and then end our time with a Disney Cruise with the whole family.
26. See MOPS (or any other ministry I might be involved in) flourish
Our second year of MOPS starts on Friday and the response this year has been a little overwhelming if those interested do choose to participate! I love all the relationships I've built out of this and I love seeing the Lord glorified through them!
27. Play my cello again
Bahaha still taking up space in the back of the spare room closet.
28. Read all the books I've bought and never read
Ok so I haven't bought a book.... that is a real hold in your hands book. Unfortunately, Adam got me a Kindle for my birthday. So now I collect unread books on there too.
29. Use trifle dish that I bought years ago but have only used to hold ice
I used it for fruit salad- I was also reminded that I totally have used it already- December 2008- 
30. Have a garage sale
It was awesome! And I loved getting rid of stuff. I might have collected enough to do another one this fall.
31. So I've been wanting to do something for a while I've never had the courage to do. It's something kinda silly, and I was thinking I was too old to, but I realized I'm not and I've been hemming and hawing about it for a few weeks now. So mystery item number 31 is going on the list and will be revealed when I do it.
I'm not gonna do it. At least now anyway. Maybe in different circumstances I would just go for it, but not right now.

Oh wow! That's really sad that I've only completed 13 out of 30 (31). But I also realize that a few of these might just be dreams (like the pacific ocean, visiting PNW, Disneyland group - all these would be completed with one trip that we might not get to take in the next year) Some are in the works and have some promise and others I at least knew weren't going to happen realistically... Adam eating veggies... who am I kidding? :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back in the Saddle

We've been busy squeezing every single bit out of this summer. I've been purposefully spending time away from the blog. It's not really been something that was deemed "most important" for the summer. I've missed it and after years of doing it, often thought "I should blog about that!" and then we would keep swinging or eating popsicles or swimming at the pool, and I would forget. At the end of my day I would fall into bed exhausted, having not blogged, and IT WAS GOOD. The most important of all of our friends and family knew the most important things about us, we all survived. I was freed up in time to do a little more knitting, a little more Bible study, a little more life. But I've also been a little better about keeping up with friends' blogs and I realized I missed having a document of our daily life, what the kids were doing, where I was as a mom and a person. So here's to the beginning of school and new schedules and new routines. We'll see if I find time to pop in here a little more. I've continued to take pictures of the kids the 13th of every month... Here's July and August.
Swinging in Cody, NE on our work trip to the Sandhills Church of Hope there. It was a fantastic time!

On our front porch after a rain shower

Max's favorite thing to do right now is play pretend, sometimes he's an animal but most the time he's a robot
My friend Denna (the pastor's wife in NE) and her youngest (of 5!) Miriam

I scooped out watermelon and Adam said "hey that looks like a hat" and then everyone tried it on (except Mama)

One of our adventures of Max accidentally locking himself in his room. It's an antique door that we didn't even know could lock. So out through the window onto the roof it was.

We did lots of swinging and swimming this summer

One of us learned how to walk

We chased hot air balloons across the countryside

We visited new (to us) parks

We had lots of picnics

Helping to make granola bars. Max pretty much helps cook at least once a day and we have recently started having him set the table as well. He's getting so big!

Max is such a little man. He is a fountain of quirkiness and laughter and spunk. He starts back to (pre)school next week and also starts as a Cubbie in our church's AWANA program. He remembers EVERYTHING you tell him and will constantly remind you. Everyday we start our day with Max asking where we are going to go today? Who are we going to visit? Which friends are we going to see? Can we go to the park? Can we go to the library? Can we play outside? Can we play Legos? on and on and on.

Penny is a little spitfire has definitely changed from a baby to a toddler over the past couple of weeks. It's like one day she decided she was done being a baby and started walking and talking and being a teenager. She's a bit more moody than I ever remember Max being, and it's so funny to see her be shy (that's not really a trait we have in our family) and so sweet. She's definitely a Mama's girl and a bit of a homebody as well.

Well this is just an inaugural post. I'm hoping to pop back in soon to talk a little bit about our recent trip to Disney World and also check in on my 30 before 30 list I started last year.
I really have missed all of you.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I know that you've been missing me. I've taken a step back from my internet time recently and this poor blog has been severely neglected. But never fear the Kipp family has been growing quickly. Since I last posted we've celebrated birthdays and births of babies, friends who are leaving, friends visiting from all over, and new friends taking new places in our hearts (because the old places are taken, you know). We've been to the zoo and the pool as much as humanly possible. We're planning trips to Nebraska next week, Florida at the end of summer, and again at the end of October. We are laughing a lot and eating popsicles. We are amazed how Penny learns something new LITERALLY every day. And how Max is suddenly like 8 years old instead of 3. It's been an awesome summer so far folks.

I don't anticipate blogging regularly here in the next few weeks. Maybe an update here or there when I get the chance.

A few funny things.
This morning in the car Max told me he had sprinkles on his arm. I asked him how they got there (he didn't really have sprinkles) and he told me it was because he eats donuts (note that he doesn't even like donuts with sprinkles, he's strictly a cream filled fan).

Also today in the car he was playing with an old cell phone and told me to hold on a minute because he was busy texting Pop Pop. And calling him. Both. At the same time.

May 13

June 13

taken today

Thursday, May 12, 2011

just a pop in

Just a few things that are floating around that I wanted to say.

First I can't believe Max turns three tomorrow. Like literally can't believe it. I'm in denial.
Second, I did the Race for the Cure last weekend in honor of Barb. It's always so much fun and so inspirational!
Third, I am a busy little beaver putting together things for a craft fair in June. I've never done one and I have no idea what I'm doing and I just keep making things. We'll see how it goes. I'm at least sharing a table with a friend so I won't be alone all day. But whatever doesn't sell is going up in my quiet little etsy shop I've been plotting and planning. I even got my super talented cousin Brittany to make me a logo. She made me a few to choose from and so I might use some similar ones for different things, but here's my main one. She's the coolest and is letting me pay her in yarn goodies.... sounds great to me!
click on it to go to my shop (which is empty right now)
Fourth, we had Penny dedicated during service last week. There were four other little ones dedicated and three baptisms. What an awesome testimony for our church and all the families present! It was so awesome.
(excuse the blurry picture, the lighting in our sanctuary is a photographer's NIGHTMARE)
Fifth, I know my hair is really long in the picture above. The longest it's been in years. I can put it in a pony tail. I've got a hair appointment today and am contemplating a much shorter 'do. We'll see if I have the guts to do it. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thirteen- 35 and 10

I remembered to take a picture on the 13th (January, February, March) this month, but then forgot to blog. I've been forgetting to blog a lot... We'll do something or I'll think of something and say to myself, "Don't forget to blog that," and then I promptly forget.

Here's the pictures....

Here's some things that are important to our family right now.
1. Penny's first word: A-da (for Daddy)
I swear she also says Yesh (for Yes)

2. Penny also waves, gives kisses, crawls, climbs, stands up, cruises the furniture, and climbs the stairs. And she dances. A LOT.

3. Max turns 3 in 3 weeks. I don't know how I'm going to handle that.

4. I'm signed up to participate in a local craft fair, sharing a table with a friend who makes jewelry.

5. Adam just started softball practice and Max is very proud to say that his Daddy plays baseball.

6. When I ask Max about things (like how he got so cute, or so big) he tells me it happens while he's sleeping.

7. He also tells us that his stuffed animals are being loud and talking to him when he gets in trouble for not going to bed.

8. He loves his sister so much that he wants to hug her all the time and she keeps trying to get away from him.

9. He also pushed her down the other day. I didn't see it happen, but he told me he did.

10. Max likes to stay in church service long enough to sing the songs. But he always sings the theme songs to his favorite television shows instead, even if he knows the songs.

11. Penny has picked up signing just like her brother did, and now tells us "more" and "all done" for various activities (mostly eating).

12. Max has started to recognize letters and shown an interest in learning letter sounds. But he still does not consistently know his colors. But can count to 20 or so. I'm guessing he's leaning more toward and engineer than an artist.

13. We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

 What a difference a year makes... this was taken last week... (also note the new ring sling I made, Penny and Max both love to ride in it)
This was taken April 13, 2010 (exactly two months before Penny was born)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A trip to the ZOO

 First, cute pictures of my kids... Today was a free day at the zoo and Adam took a little time off work to go with us. I promise that camel is not dead. I made sure it was breathing before I made Max stand in front of it to take a picture. I guess I didn't know that camels laid down like that to sleep. I assumed they either stood or laid down like a horse or cow. Man that camel looked dead.

Oh my word, it was one of those weeks. We kept getting pummeled by one thing or another. It's kind of ongoing so we aren't out of the clear yet, but our God is good. All the time. Yes, ALL THE TIME.

I've had a really great chance to hear some women speakers in the past few weeks. It started with the Hearts @ Home conference a few weeks ago but has continued and this past week I've heard two women speak and they've used the same verses. These are also verses that keep popping up in Adam's sermons, in my Bible study, in encouragement from friends, in song lyrics, just about everywhere. Apparently they are verses I need to be paying attention to. Here are the three that keep smacking me upside the head.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Ephesians 3:17-19
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I've begun to notice a theme. I'm working on the things God is starting a change on in me. It's not always what we want to hear, but listening is better than not. Just as I always tell Max, it's always better if we obey the first time, I just need to be obedient.