The past month has flown by with all that we have been up to. I have been busy with my job at church and will continue to be through the rest of May when I will then be resigning from the position. With the baby coming in the fall I want to be able to stay home and enjoy the time that flies so quickly with a newborn. I am really looking forward to spending more time at home with the kids.
We were on the go a lot in April and although we took time off for a spring break from our book studies, we found plenty of things to do to continue learning. Sometimes the best kind of lessons are learned through new experiences.
The week after Easter we drove 11 hours to Bismarck, North Dakota to spend a long weekend with a cousin on Mark’s side and his family. We are God parents to his oldest son who was confirmed that weekend. Mark actually got to stand in as his sponsor because the original one was not able to attend. We had a great weekend exploring Bismarck. We spent a lot of time in the Cathedral with it being Divine Mercy Sunday when we were there so it ended up being quite a spiritual experience as well.
While there we also took time to wander around the Heritage Museum and learn about the very rich history of North Dakota.
We spent most of one day exploring an old Indian Village and Fort Lincoln State Park which is where Custer’s last home is located.
On the way back from there we stopped at the university where Mark’s cousin and his wife work. The kids especially enjoyed playing basketball, running around in the huge gym and getting to hang out and get to know their cousins which they had actually never met until this trip. They all hit it off so well and played like they had known each other all their lives. It was so nice to catch up with all of them and chat with the adults while the kids played.
When we returned we had a few days to get things in order and get back to some sort of a routine before we started watching our friends’ sweet little baby boy. We will be taking care of him full time through most of the summer and it has been such a great experience already. He is such a great baby and the kids just adore him. Having him here has made all of us so much more excited to have a baby of our own soon. The kids are proving to be amazing helpers and I have no doubts about how things will go when our baby arrives. I have tons of cute pictures of him and the kids but I don’t like to put pics of other people’s kids on here until I have permission.
This past Saturday we spent a day in West Bend, Iowa learning about and exploring the world’s largest man-made grotto, The Grotto of Redemption. It certainly was well worth the trip and an amazing site to see. I couldn’t begin to do justice in describing it. It is worth the drive. My good friend’s mom actually lives right across the street from the Grotto so we met my friend there for lunch with her and her mom before taking our tour. They spoiled us with a great snack too before we left town. We seriously are so blessed to know the most caring and wonderful people.
Being the rock collector that he is, Toby brought along his rocks and minerals field guide and absolutely loved seeing all of the rocks that make up the Grotto. He couldn’t get enough of the rock displays in the museum. I’m pretty sure he and Mark could have spent a lot more time there reading and studying rocks. Like father, like son! Notice the winter coats that made their way back on? It was a cold day!!
Finally, to start off this week we had some great family time on Monday. I had a doctor appointment and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again. All is well! Mark and the kids did our volunteer job while I was there. Then we met up and headed to the Science Center to see a couple of movies on the IMAX. The kids are doing reading challenges and had both earned a movie so this was just perfect. We all learned so much about the Arctic and Dinosaurs. We will definitely be going back for more of those.
Lilly and I have also been doing some gardening which is always a learning experience. The kids are always catching bugs and butterflies or seeing new birds or flowers to identify. Both continue to enjoy reading and spend a good part of each day engrossed in books.
We have all been learning so much and the funny thing is that hardly any of it came from books. Never underestimate the power of learning that comes in so many other ways.