Very Punny! Gift Guide for the Pun Loving Person

Puns. Aren’t they grand?

I have so many friends who love puns so I thought I would share some of the gifts I’ve found for them.

Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers


7 Days Punny Tee

On Porpoise Puns Mug

Have a Little Pun Book

Turnip the Beet Dish Towel

Hope this round up helps you with your shopping for your punny friends!

Pavlov Lunch Bag

Our First Hike Back in Indiana!

Hello sweet friends!  

We are back in Indiana and today was the first day it's been sunny.  I woke up in just a horrid mood.  I couldn't shake it no matter what I did.  Don't you simply hate when that happens?  I decided to do what I could to try to get out of my funk but no amount of bubble baths, quiet times, or rests were helping me feel better.  After praying I realized that what I needed was to get out of the house.  

Have you ever hiked through Indiana?  We love to while we follow the Wild and Free Movement.

So that's just what we did.  We took our first hike of the year (here back home in Indiana) and it felt glorious!  It was pretty cold, not quite in the 40's yet but there was a gentle breeze with the sun.  It was invigorating!  

Have you ever hiked through Indiana?  We love to while we follow the Wild and Free Movement.

It is amazing how much serenity the outdoors offers, whether in the way of a desert as we were in last month or the woods where we found ourselves today.  The birds, the smells, the stillness, the peace, it all culminates in a quiet churning that finds a way into the depths of our souls.  

I would encourage you to get outdoors.  Force yourself.  As one who didn't used to consider herself "outdoorsy" I can attest that it does get easier and once over a certain precipice becomes addictive in an ethereal way.  

Today has gone much better since our time outdoors.  We all were able to come home and concentrate on our tasks at hand.  We buzzed through all of our schoolwork and chores for, what other reason, than to get back outside! 

To the outdoors, friends! 

Great American Road Trip: Day 3

Day 3 was a lot of driving.  Ten hours to be exact!  

I was so glad that we split up this trip.  First of all, I have no idea how anyone could drive 25 hours straight, but also, I think 10 hours in the car is pretty much our limit.  

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

We all were pretty crabby by the time we got to our destination, El Paso!   

Thankfully our hotel in Oklahoma City had breakfast so we all had a high protein breakfast before we the way if you are wondering, yes, the kids do sometimes hate that I make them eat so healthy.  'Tis life!  

We were planning on going to the Oklahoma Science museum but to our surprise the kids just wanted to hit the road.  Weird!  So that's what we did! 

On the outskirts of town we stopped at MACU, one of our churches colleges, and drove around.  We took a picture of Emma there.  You never know where she'll want to go to school! 

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

Then we drove on, and on and on.  So I guess it was okay it was dark the night before in OK because we got to see plenty of it on Day 3!  

When we got into Texas we started to see rockier soil and cactus which the kids were so thrilled to see!  So thrilled we got out at the side of the Interstate to take a picture.  Nick's saying "we're on the Interstate!" and when I was taking the kids photo the kids are telling me "um, dad's driving away" in Nicholas' typical I'm going to fake you out fashion.  

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home
Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

Oh how I love our little family!  After that we discussed the topography and how there's no line where the black soil ends and red begins and then red turns into dessert but it's more of a gradual process. I know I'm such a dork but I love that the kids can learn while we are traveling.  It's been such an experience to see them finally "get it".  Even in homeschooling where learning is more one on one, it still is not often times in real life.  That's just not practical.  But when it can be, amazing things happen!  

Anyway, we stopped in a small town where we stretched our legs and the kids played on the playground.  It felt good to soak in some sun and fresh air but it was still so cold!  

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

Then more driving.  Are you sensing a theme here?  It was super boring.  Emma and I both get carsick when reading otherwise I would have spent the whole time with my nose in a good book!

The kids entertained themselves with allotted DS time, writing in their travel journal, doodling, doing mad-libs, and one time we let them watch a movie.  I have been noticing that the less opportunities I give them to use DVD players or their game systems, the less they seem to care if they play them or not. Hallelujah!  

We arrived in El Paso about 10 our time, and 8 in El Paso time.  Our Apple maps pulled up a list of nearby restaurants so we chose Pei Wei.  The authentic welcome to El Paso meal is Chinese food, right?  We all were laughing about that but it sounded good to everyone and it hit the spot!  

Calvin got wonton soup which he kept describing as heavenly.  "You should try some Em.  The noodly part is just heavenly and the meat is heavenly.  The whole thing is heavenly."  

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

After the Chinese food we had about half an hour of driving through El Paso to get to our hotel.  El Paso by the way has a ton of people!  I would liken it to the citys of Philly or Indy.  That size.  The drive was really great because Nick, who has been here lots of times, pointed things out to us and we got to see the mountains. 

Great American Road Trip!  Homeschooling family out on the road to take on the wild west! via Super Busy at Home

When we got to the hotel, I think it took us three trips with the luggage trolley to bring everything in...there was a lot of stuff!  But for a family of four who is homeschooling and staying somewhere for three weeks, I guess a lot of stuff is required! 

It feels so good to be settled and to have everything in its right place!  

Now, onto Day 4! 

October Recap!

October came and went like a blur!  It was crazy!  

As a gentle recap, over the past 365 days I have taken on three new positions, I am now sitting on 2 boards of directors, and still homeschooling away.  It's crazy busy and most days I feel like I have lost my darn mind, but in a good fulfilling way.  And when I remember to lean into God's power and might (which I need to remember to do constantly...) I am reminded how much I can do when I do not rely on my strength but His.  

Anyway, October is my favorite month for the crispness of everything.  Do you know what I mean?  It's so great!  I was thinking of this the other's crazy, weird that NOVEMBER isn't my favorite month since that one holds gratitude, my birthday, Christmas decorating, and shopping, but no, October still holds to be my favorite month.  

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It started with this crazy brood!  We went to the pumpkin farm, picked the perfect guy, and came home to carve away!  It was so much fun.  I love our little family so much!  

And then blur, blur, blur, blur, blur and before I could fully blink we were to Halloween!  


This year Calvin was ninja (in New Balance Tennis shoes because that's how I roll) and Emma was Nancy Drew.  

Seriously how stinking cute are these two kids of ours?  Oh, and since we fast forwarded to Halloween from the Pumpkin Farm you can see that the majority of my pumpkins are now rotten.  Gross!  Guys, I need legit ways to keep these suckers alive.  Help!  Every year pumpkins fall victim to my pumpkin killing and the massacre just has to end.  Do I need to bleach them?  Talk to them?  Stop singing to them?  (Just asking that last one for a friend...promise!)

Anyway, now's where we talk about the no spend challenge and you wonder what happened to the girl who started out so gung-ho at the beginning of the year and now you haven't heard from about it in a million years.  So, we are still TRYING to do the no spend challenge.  Y'all it is so hard!  So, so hard.  So we'll use the kids' costumes as an example.  Emma totally went with the no spend idea and came up with something brilliant.  We didn't spend a dime on her costume and she kept getting so many compliments.  Calvin on the other hand had one specific thing in his mind...the kid wanted to be a ninja...again.  We tried making one at home for him, talking him through it, but alas, he was insisting on the costume.  So we compromised and we purchased him a less expensive costume than what he wanted.  No kid wants to have a costume that they hate and we didn't know what to do other than compromise.  We spend $20ish dollars on this versus the $75 costumes in previous years.  See?  We're making some progress!  

The pumpkins were another issue with our no-spend year.  I had to decorate my porch. Sorry, not sorry, that's just the case.  So I took a fence panel from my neighbors free pile at their garage sale, dragged out other things I already had but had to have some pumpkins.  Last year I spent over $60 on pumpkins.  You all!  That is crazy!  So this year we found a new place to get pumpkins and for all of them they were $20.  So I spent some but not nearly as much as I was in previous years!  

But back to Halloween...

We don't really "celebrate" Halloween but we trick or treat.  

For those of you just joining us, we live in a National Historic District and we just love it!  

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From the street lights to the brick paved streets, we love our neighborhood.  Trick or Treating always helps me to take time to pause and reflect on how beautiful our neighborhood is.  The kids trick or treating is like going through a 1950's neighborhood.  All of the historic homes and picket fences make it so cheerful and nice.  

And I have to show you this because it was hilarious...


When there's a construction project why not be silly? 

So there's our recap of October!  I hope you all are enjoying your November! I've missed having time to write...gah!  Hopefully I'll be writing more! 

Release the Red Balloon

What a whirlwind it has been lately around here! 

School is still going full steam ahead...well, I guess that's not completely true as we've had a couple of sputtering times but we are homeschooling year round this year and not ending until late-ish July so we have to be full steam ahead!

April was a time of such huge change for me personally! 

I went from not working to accepting three, count 'em three!, positions in April!  I am now helping to clean our church, I will be a Classical Conversations tutor next school year (super duper excited!) and starting this autumn I will be the director of a church camp! 

God has blessed us in immeasurable ways and I just have to share a bit of a back story with you about all of this...

Emma is getting ready to go into the 6th grade.  The parochial school in our area that we have been eying (for years!) starts when students are in the 7th grade.  Needless to say that we have been praying like crazy about this decision and whether to send her to school rather than continuing to homeschool her.  And we're still praying about that so prayers appreciated! However, with the talk of private school came the talk that if the kiddos are in school then I am going to have to go back to work. 

Nick said this.  I more or less just cried and threw things like a toddler. 

I really and truly feel in my spiritual gut that I was made to be a momma at home.  I am a traditional housewife all the way.  Bread making, clothes washing, bed making kind of momma.  And just the thought of taking myself out of that setting made me sick to my stomach.  Literally. 

But once I stopped crying and throwing things (not really, I'm not cool enough to do that) I was able to quiet myself to listen to the God voice that, of course, spoke some sense into me.

God was asking me, "why would I give you a desire to stay at home and not take care of your needs to make sure you're where I want you?" 

That was a total duh, smack me upside the head, kind of moment.  Of course God has this. 

There is no need to worry.

So at that moment (back in February) I gave it to God.  Red balloon out of my hand, wafting up to God, I didn't pull it back to worry more, I just sent it up to God. 

And then in a weeks time it was like lightening.  I got the camp job.  I had a job at Notre Dame offered to me full time.  I had a magazine writing job fall in my lap. A bank was interested in me freelancing for them.  The church was wondering if I'd like to clean.  We joined Classical Conversations and there was this opportunity to help out. 

It was unbelievable. 

There is nothing else I could say other than truly, jaw dropping unbelievable. 

And this isn't about me, this is about God and what He can do in your life, my life, anyone's life, when we just let it go to let Him.  Let Him. 

Friends, wherever you are in your life right now, whatever you are going through, I hope this can be an encouragement to you.  Please let go of the worry.  Of the doubt.  Of the feeling that you have to have control and have an end in sight and know where you are going.  Because you don't.  God's got this.  Truly he does. 

So open your hand and release your red balloon.  Imagine it flying up to God and you aren't going to even try to take that worry and that burden back.  Just give it to Him and trust him with it. 

I promise He has good in store for you.  More good than you'll be able to shake a stick at.

Love you.