Day 2: Lubbock to Colorado Springs

We’re trying to see as many National Parks, National Monuments, etc. on our trip as possible.  So, when we left Lubbock on Saturday morning, we headed directly to the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument.  It is outside of Fritch, Texas, and before doing research for this trip, I had never heard of it. Continue reading

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Austin to Lubbock


We made it!  We are all happily in our beds in Lubbock, Texas.  We left Austin around 10 am, which was only 1 hour later than we had hoped. This might be a record for a Semple family departure.  Our first stop was in Llano, to get gas, and we let the boys get out to “help.”  Carter loves to wash the windows on the car.  Henry found a butterfly.  Teddy amused himself by pointing out colors, numbers and letters on the fuel pump. Continue reading

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We’re Off, Off and Away!!

We’re headed out!  Big Adventure 2016 has begun!  The boys are very excited about sleeping in a hotel tonight.  I’m very excited about the noise cancelling headphones Chas surprised me with as a road trip present!  Continue reading

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The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go…


The Famous Moulton Barn on Mormon Row with the Cathedral Group in the background

A famous John Muir quote says “The mountains are calling and I must go.”  Well, our family is headed out on a road trip leaving June 3.  Our ultimate destination, and the place we will spend 5 glorious nights – Jackson, WY, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  I cannot wait.

I am definitely not a person anyone would describe as “outdoorsy” but I am when I am in Wyoming. I first traveled to Wyoming many years ago with my sister, on our way to take her to a summer internship in Washington state.  I loved all of the trip:  we had fun escaping Texas and loved traveling through Colorado.  When we got to Wyoming though, I was just fascinated.  The colors seemed brighter, the sky taller, the spaces opener (ha).  When we got to Jackson, as we drove into town I told my sister, “we’re staying here for two nights.”


Elk Antler Arches on the Jackson Town Square

My sister and I created so many fun memories those couple days we spent in Jackson.  We took a totally touristy tour bus trip into Yellowstone. We still joke about our bus driver who had an odd obsession for all the bad things that could happen to you in Yellowstone.  “What’s the most dangerous animal in Yellowstone?” he asked.  “BEARS!”  “Wolves!”  “Bison!”  “No, he answered – MAN.”  (groan.)  Anyway, we loved it so much that we made sure to stop back through at the end of the summer when Katie was driving back from her internship and we followed that trip a couple years later with a trip to Jackson during the Elk Antler Auction.  (Adorable boy scouts selling off antlers they collected from the National Elk Refuge…the antlers frequently are bigger than the boy scouts selling them.)


I mean seriously, how cute is this?

Just before Henry was born, Chas and I took a trip to Jackson.  It was Chas’ first time in the area, and my 4th.  I hoped he would love it as much as I do.


A highlight of our trip – dinner at Jackson Lake Lodge, where it is completely acceptable to bring binoculars to look for wildlife while you enjoy your dinner.

Now I am going back for the 5th time, and taking my 3 excitable male children with me.  It is a trip I have been looking forward to for quite a while.  Showing the boys one of my favorite places, and hopefully sparking a joy for travel as well as a love of our National Parks.

More to come on how we’re preparing for a 2 week road trip and some of our plans for stops along the way.

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Welcome welcome little one.

We welcomed Henry Odell Semple on November 28, 2011 at 2:47 in the afternoon.

This beautiful boy weighed 9 lbs, 5 oz (!) and was 20 inches long.

When we were considering boy names we both loved Henry.  We both liked certain nick names too –  Chas was a fan of Hank, whereas, I really could picture a mischievous little boy called Harry running around our house.  AND, there’s always HOS – appropriate considering our little boy is not so little.  For now, I just call our little guy Henry, or if I’m really loving him, Henny.

We are so thankful that Henry is now a member of our family.  We can’t wait to see him grow up.

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Fall Fun!

It was a beautiful fall day and we decided to get up early and head out to Sweetberry Farms in Marble Falls.  Carter and I went last year and had a great time. In fact,  check it out – here are a couple pictures from our trip to Sweetberry last year.

I can't believe this was a year ago.

The goats were a hit last year.

Our punkin.

Flash forward a year.  WOW.

The goats were still a hit.


The pumpkins were biiiiiiiig!

But THIS year, Carter rode a horse!  (And loved it.)

What fun to ride a horse!

And THIS year, Daddy went with us.  We were a little excited.

Dad makes everything more fun!

And THIS year, there was a fire engine!!!  The firefighters from the Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Department were SO nice.

Not sure if Carter or Chas had more fun with the fire engine....

What a great day. Can’t wait for next year.  Imagine the pictures then – TWO kiddos.  I predict there will be much more wrangling involved….

Happy Fall Y'all!



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It’s Fall.

I know this because I have a calendar, not because there is any “crisp” fall air, or leaves falling (other than leaves that fell victim to the drought).  BUT, we pretend as best we can.  So, out come the Halloween decorations.  I bought a “Halloween tree” a few years ago.  Last year I forgot to get it out.  But this year, we made a point to get it from the attic.  I thought Carter would enjoy decorating it.  I was right!

Bonus of Halloween tree decorating - you get to stand on the table!

Carter caught on to the general concept quickly!

Soooooo not "wicked."

Almost finished!

I did it all by myself!

Close up. Owls on the tree were fun projects we picked up at Paper Source.

Looking forward to more fun fall festivities.  Very excited about the Halloween costume we are planning for this year!

Posted in Carter-y goodness, Cool decorating stuff, Daily Life, Holidays, Kid stuff! | Tagged , | Leave a comment