Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Break 2016

The kids had Fall Break last week and after running ourselves ragged all fall with the girls playing on the 6th grade basketball team and AJ playing JV soccer, we made the unanimous decision to stay home for the week. Dad took a day off of work to do what the Kinnells like to do best - hiking!

We headed a bit south of our home and fueled up at the Bluebird Cafe in Stanford. Yum!!!

Next we went over to Shaker Village to do some hiking.  Shaker Village is only located about 20 minutes south of us, but none of us have ever hiked any of the trails around the village.

This trail lead down from Shaker Village to the river, a round-trip of 3 miles.

As we hiked, we could just make out High Bridge (at first)

Essie & Chloe can always find something to climb.

A much better view of High Bridge

Mom & Dad

Looking back up the Kentucky River at High Bridge

Kinnell Kids


Essie & AJ

The Dixie Belle riverboat, which docks at Shaker Landing

Heading back up to Shaker Village (we took the road this time)

Mom & her girls

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Girls' 11th birthday

Sunday was Essie and Chloe's 11th birthday.  We celebrated on Saturday night, though, with family.  The girls caught Olympic fever this summer and requested an Olympics cake.

New school shoes

The girls' favorite thing:  Adventures in Odyssey

Grandma Melanie gave them some Adventures in Odyssey devotional books for girls: Candid Conversations with Connie.

Double Dutch jump ropes from Meemaw

And handmade aprons from Meemaw.  These girls are good cooks!

New basketball shoes from Aunt Buffy, since our toes were coming out the end of our old ones

And something the girls have been wanting for a long time - Kindles!

Aaaaand we've lost them.

And the obligatory cute "first birthday party" picture to show you how much they've grown.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AJ's Gotcha Day-6 years later

Sunday was the 6th anniversary of A.J. landing in America to join our family. 
 We celebrated with Grandpa & Grandpa Kinnell and Chinese food (his choice).  
AJ with Grandpa & Grandma

He's grown up just a bit in the last 6 years!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Wild West Vacation: The Long Road Home

Our long road home began on Tuesday morning as we left from Colorado Springs to head for family in the Oklahoma City area.  We took a route that went through New Mexico and Texas (6 whole minutes longer than going interstates through Kansas, according to Google maps) so we could cross a couple more states off our list.

One last rest stop in Colorado

We were seeing signs for Capulin Volcano, and it looked like it was righ off the interstate, so we decided to stop and stretch our legs for a few minutes in New Mexico.  It was totally worth it! (And our Fourth Graders Get in Free National Parks pass saved us from paying the fee for going up!)

Capulin is an inactive volcano in Northeast New Mexico.

Deer at the Welcome Center

The crater


The rim of the volcano was about 8,000 feet elevation.  On this clear day, the rangers told us you could see 80 miles.

You can see another little extinct volcano crater out in the distance, just behind the tree.

Dad taking a panoramic photo

AJ giving Essie a lift around the rim.


Amy wanted a picture of this abandoned schoolhouse along the road.

And there was this abandoned homestead at the foot of the volcano.

Next state: Texas, where we stopped to eat lunch.

Granary in Dalhart, TX

Texas - just as flat as Kansas.

We stayed overnight in Oklahoma with Matt's Aunt Daphne and Uncle Doug.  We were so wiped out that we forgot to take any pictures with them!  Family vacation fail!

Next state - Arkansas.  Just a drive-through, but we had an interesting stop for lunch.  We stopped at Taco Bell, because everyone was tired of burgers.  The cashier said, "Your total is $31.58, but I'm going to give you a Senior Discount, because nobody should have to pay over $30 at Taco Bell."  We like that Taco Bell.

Crossing the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee

The Memphis Pyramid

And finally...back on hallowed ground.  We arrived home at about 11:30pm on Wednesday night. 

 3,650 miles, 12 states, and 10 days.

THE END. (Phew!)