The Panama Canal, three trips by train, heart surgery, and foster care: 2015 in Review

Normally, I have an abundance of words. But this year I feel introspective and private. I haven’t posted as much lately. How did this gushing writer end up in this quiet place? Let’s review. (The links will take you to other stories/posts we’ve shared this year.) Photo from our talented friends at KLT Photography The start of 2015 […]

How to Use THE CURIOUS KID’S SCIENCE BOOK for Your Elementary Science Curriculum

Affiliate links included for your convenience. I was sent a book for the purpose of this review, but I will be buying additional copies on my own. This review is honest; my commendation is sincere. As I think about our schooling choices for next year, I feel underwhelmed by the homeschooling curriculum options I’ve found and overwhelmed by the […]

11 Things to Do at the Mall of America (that don’t require a car!)

A few months ago, we packed our suitcases, loaded up the kids, and bravely boarded a train with grandparents, cousins, an aunt, and an uncle for an 11 hour train trip to Minneapolis and the Mall of America. How did we end up on this train trip? Well, with four kids four and under, our group decided we didn’t want to […]

18 Reasons to Love the Terrible Twos

I’m writing this during nap time of my baby’s third birthday. I tried to get her to promise me that she would stay two forever; sadly, she refused. I know that age two is supposed to be terrible, but I’m going to miss it. And that’s saying something since, for the ten weeks our foster […]

9 Ways to Have an Awesome Neighborhood

Some people might say that our neighborhood is storybook quaint. We have wide sidewalks, old trees, a location that’s within biking distance from everything we need, a simple playground, and a huge group of kids who get together regularly for planned and impromptu play dates, bike rides, and snow shoveling parties. A lot of these things are happy accidents, […]

Riding the Rails: 25 Tips for Taking a Train Trip with Kids in the USA!

A few months ago, our little family unexpectedly ended up on a train from Spokane, Washington to Chicago, Illinois. Wait. Hit the brakes. Back up. We “unexpectedly” took this trip? How does someone (especially a planner like me) “unexpectedly” end up on a train across the country? I know it’s hard to believe, but this trip was spontaneous, last-minute, random, and completely […]