Jeep Adventure Part 1

We recently took a trip out west to Colorado and Utah. From start to finish we drove over 2700 miles in our Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. It was a fascinating trip and we wanted to share some photos with you! This post is mainly of pictures!

We stopped and ate twice in Vail, Colorado. I took a few pictures of the area.
We stopped and ate twice in Vail, Colorado. I took a few pictures of the area on our way back through. It  had snowed the night before!

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I was amazed to see how pretty the mountains were. This was our first time visiting Colorado and to drive through it was such an adventure.
I was amazed to see how pretty the mountains were. This was our first time visiting Colorado and to drive through it was such an adventure.
During our stay in Colorado we were able to hike with Ricky's sister and her family. We hiked in the Pike National Forest. Just look at me trying to be legit in my borrowed snow suit and walking stick!! Don't be fooled! This was the beginning of the hike. I thought I was going to have a heart attack trying to hike up one of the hills.
During our stay in Colorado we were able to hike with Ricky’s sister and her family. We hiked in the Pike National Forest. Just look at me trying to be legit in my borrowed snow suit and walking stick!! Don’t be fooled! This was the beginning of the hike. I thought I was going to have a heart attack trying to hike up one of the hills.
As I was struggling to get myself up the hills in the snow, this was Ricky's 39 pound challenge. Yes, he carried Holden on his shoulders the majority of the hike.
As I was struggling to get myself up the hills in the snow, this was Ricky’s 39 pound challenge. Yes, he carried Holden on his shoulders the majority of the hike.

Here comes Moab, Utah!!

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Ricky wanted to travel to Moab, Utah because he had heard about the trails and scenery. He felt like since we had traveled this far, why not drive another 6.5 hours and see Moab, Utah! So, we did!
Ricky wanted to travel to Moab, Utah because he had heard about the trails and scenery. He felt like since we had traveled this far, why not drive another 6.5 hours and see Moab, Utah! So, we did!
So, here we go. Ricky found one of the off-road trails he had seen on a show. Since we were in Utah during the off season, we mainly had these trails to ourselves! In the background iare the La Sal Mountains.
So, here we go. Ricky found one of the off-road trails he had seen on a show. Since we were in Utah during the off season, we mainly had these trails to ourselves! In the background are the La Sal Mountains.
It maybe hard to tell, but this was the first steep climb we did in the jeep. We thought this was a really great view so I had Ricky get out and get his picture taken. He reluctantly agreed.
It maybe hard to tell, but this was the first steep climb we did in the jeep. We thought this was a really great view so I had Ricky get out and get his picture taken. He reluctantly agreed.
Picture of the jeep.
Picture of the jeep. The trail was called Gemini Bridges. We were actually supposed to hike to see Gemini Bridges, but we just drove the trail. We did however, get out of the car a few times to stretch our legs and take selfies.
I love that our phone has the timer so I set it for ten seconds then run to get beside my family. My parents loved and still do love to take pictures during every holiday. Years ago when I was younger and digital cameras weren't the "thing'" my dad would get out the tripod and camera and he would take our family picture. Since it was film and you couldn't just delete accidental photos each holiday we got at least 3 pictures of dad not in the picture because he would forget to set the timer. Or, we wouldn't space ourselves correctly and dad would squeeze in on the end.
I love that our phone has the timer so I set it for ten seconds then run to get beside my family. My parents loved and still do love to take pictures during every holiday. Years ago when I was younger and digital cameras weren’t the “thing,” my dad would get out the tripod and 35 millimeter camera and take our family picture of us sitting on a couch. Since it was film and you couldn’t just delete accidental photos, each holiday we got at least 3 pictures of dad not in the picture because he would forget to set the timer or my mom, sister, and I wouldn’t space ourselves correctly and dad would have to squeeze in on the end of the couch making the picture turn out funny because we’re all hysterically laughing. My family still laughs at those original selfies. Do you remember taking those types of pictures or was that just our family?
Uuhhh? Ricky? Seriously? We were supposed to travel down this narrow path for a short cut back to the main road. After Ricky walked down to see if we could make it, he saw tire tracks in the snow of people who may have added a few dents to their vehicle. We decided to go back the way we came, this was the second trail we took called Long Canyon.
Uuhhh? Ricky? Seriously? We were supposed to travel down this narrow path for a short cut back to the main road. After Ricky walked down to see if we could make it, he saw tire tracks in the snow of people who may have added a few dents to their vehicle. We decided to go back the way we came. This was the second trail we took called Long Canyon.

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Holden wanted to run around on the red dirt on the Gemini Bridges Trail.
Holden wanted to run around on the red dirt on the Gemini Bridges Trail.
Part 2 of my blog post which will be uploaded soon shows more pictures from our trip that includes our visit to Arches National Park. It cost $25 to drive through it but it was worth it! We took some stunning pictures and several visitors were more than happy to stop and take our picture for us. Visitors and the people of Moab, at least the ones we came in contact with, were all very friendly.
Part 2 of my blog post which will be uploaded soon shows more pictures from our trip that includes our visit to Arches National Park. It cost $25 to drive through it but it was worth it! We took some stunning pictures and several visitors were more than happy to stop and take our picture for us. Visitors and the people of Moab, at least the ones we came in contact with, were all very friendly. We would definitely like to plan another trip, but travel in the spring or summer.

 

Family Photo Ideas

This year, our family had pictures taken at the Allen Christmas Tree Farm in Buncombe, Illinois. It was such as beautiful location and the weather was perfect. We actually had pictures taken on Halloween Day, but by the looks of the farm you would never know it. I had looked at several pictures and researched what clothing colors would look best outdoors. I ended up asking all of my family to wear beige, brown, and cream. They agreed and went along with my craziness. It didn’t overpower the colors at the farm. Take a look at these pictures and hopefully you will be able to get some ideas for your family pictures! By the way, Holden had a few meltdowns but you would never know it. Our fabulous photographer was patient and energetic. I thought these were some of our best family photos taken by Hilary Ford at Wildflower Photography in Harrisburg, Illinois.

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Family Photo Ideas for Small and Large Groups. Photo Credit: Hilary Ford at Wildflower Photography, Harrisburg, IL

 

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The grandparents always love photos with the grandchildren. This turned out great!

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My sister, Tiffany, and her family.

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Nobody Nose Until Now…

Two plus years ago when we found out we were having our son, everyone seemed to say similar comments as a sort of congrats and get ready for the unknown. “Boys are fun!” “They’re wayyy different than girls!” “Boys get into everything!” “Oh! You’re going to have your hands full!” I never really realized fully what they meant until this week. Holden LOVES macaroni and cheese. If we fed it to him for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he’d be perfectly content. It was one of those easy to make items that you could add anything to and he’d eat it. But, after this week, we are not going to eat it quite as often or as Ricky said, “We are never making macaroni and cheese again!” Ok, well I wouldn’t go that far, but maybe a week off will do.

On Wednesday, we had a friend over for dinner. Steak, salad, baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a veggie blend. Holden sat between us in his high chair. He was excited to have company and was acting silly at dinner. If you’ve ever eaten with us, you know Holden will eat primarily with his hands. He CAN use a fork or spoon, but usually after a few bites using his utensils, he drops them and uses his hands. So Wednesday night was no different. He’s shoveling food in with both hands. I noticed he put his finger near his nose and I pulled it away and told him the obvious- don’t put your fingers near your nose. After dinner, we sat in the family room and we (including my friend who ate with us) started to notice Holden acting different. He’s talking funny, sneezing a lot, and keeps putting his fingers in his mouth. His voice sounded almost as if he was underwater. I told Ricky- “He’s put something up his nose. He’s acting funny.” We lay him on Ricky’s lap and look in his nose. Sure enough, he had a macaroni noodle in his nose! Yuck!

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Honestly, I’m not going to look at a box of Mac n cheese the same again…

Ricky got tweezers, our friend held the flashlight and I held Holden’s hands and as Ricky touched Holden’s nose with the tweezers it tickled and made Holden sneezed. Luckily, Ricky thought fast and held Holden’s mouth closed forcing air out of his nose causing the noodle to fly out in a Kleenex. What!? That was too easy, but we definitely we’re glad and enjoyed the rest of the night. Our friend leaves sometime later and we get ready for bed. Holden sleeps in our bed so we lay him down and it gets really quiet… Except for an odd whistling / congested sound. I sat up in bed, used my phone flashlight and look in Holden’s nose. Ugggghhh! He put a noodle in each nostril and we only had extracted one of them. How did three adults NOT see him put 2 noodles up his nose!?! I have no idea. All I know is that he must have been fast. Seriously. We were all watching him. We get the tweezers again, but this one was much farther up. We tried everything to get it out. We tried to blow his nose, suction it out with the nose syringe, bath time to get his nose to drain, sneeze it out. Nothing. Stuck. I’m a worrier so I was panicking. I wanted to take him to the ER, but he’d fallen asleep and he was breathing fine. I didn’t sleep much at all that night. I kept making sure he was breathing. Not only do I worry but I don’t like unresolved issues. And, a noodle in my child’s nose falls in that category. So, we decided to take him to his pediatrician first thing in the morning. Fortunately for us, we have an amazing doctor that I texted and he was able to see us minutes after we get to his office. Since the doctor couldn’t get a good look at the noodle, (imagine 40lbs of wiggling, kicking, shaking head, and flailing arms) he called an ENT doctor to refer us.

"On my way to see the doctor with a macaroni noodle stuck in my nose. I hope none of my friends notice!"
“On my way to see the doctor with a macaroni noodle stuck in my nose. I hope none of my friends notice!”

What a relief! So Thursday afternoon 2 nurses, Ricky and myself are all holding down Holden so the ENT doctor using little forceps, tweezers, and forced air from a machine blasted the macaroni noodle out of Holden’s nose. He actually sneezed this one out too. It was traumatic! But, the ordeal was over with after almost 24 hours. If the doctor was unable to remove it, Holden would have been put to sleep in order to surgically remove it! AAAHHH! I’m so glad it came out. Although, during the 24 hours of the noodle crisis I was not in the mood for jokes, those came anyway.image Cost of Macaroni and cheese: 69 cents

Trip to ENT doctor to remove noodle: $150

Aunt Tiffany reminding Holden of this on his wedding day: priceless!

-My sister Tiffany

 

Nobody Nose macaroni like Holden does!

-Holden’s Papa (my dad, Don)

 

The noodle is out! We want to go home!!
The noodle is out! We want to go home!!

If you wonder what a noodle lodged in a child’s nose looks like, keep scrolling down. (WARNING: it maybe gross to some people. Mom, if you’re reading this, do not scroll down.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the almost white looking sliver in his pink colored nostril. That's the noodle. It was way up in his little nose.
Notice the almost white looking sliver in his pink colored nostril. That’s the noodle. It was way up in his little nose.

 

Superheroes and Santa

A few weeks ago, I saw an event pop up on FB that caught my attention.  An event planning company called Tale of Two Sisters was hosting a Superhero and Princess breakfast featuring Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Snow White, Cinderella, and Belle. I ordered tickets and was so excited! They mentioned you could dress your child up as a character which I was really excited about.  We don’t dress Holden up for Halloween so this was a perfect opportunity for him to still be able to dress as a character and for me to take lots of pictures of him in a costume! I went out the day after Halloween and got the costume 50% off!imageimageSo, this morning Holden and I got up early- 6 AM to be exact- and got ready for the Superhero and Princess breakfast. Holden decided 6 AM was a perfect time to wake up and look for Daddy. Except Daddy went hunting and was gone before we woke up so Holden couldn’t find him. But, as a two year old little brain works, Holden found a cereal bar in the pantry and wanted to eat it so looking for Daddy was a distant memory. We played with cars and monster trucks and ate a second cereal bar. Then, we started getting ready closer to time and headed to Harrisburg. As always with a two year old things can go really well or really wrong. He only had one minor meltdown, but he recovered nicely. Although at Disney World, Holden ran up to every character, he was a little apprehensive today. We had a lot of fun and hope there are more activities like this locally!imageimageimageHave I mentioned I love pictures? Recently, my mom and I  were in the Evansville mall and noticed how festive Christmas decorations were at the Santa meet and greet. We had already taken Christmas pictures as a family from a professional photographer, but I thought it would be nice for us to have a few pictures of Holden by himself. Santa was taking a break so I asked the lady if we could take pictures WITHOUT Santa.  She looked at me funny, but responded, “Sure!” Talk about a great way to get pictures fast!  Yes, $30ish, and you get the digital copies and she printed some for us at the booth! The digital copies were on the website that night for me to download. I thought that was great! Holden had a blast riding the tricycle and rocking horse. The photographer was really good with him and moved her camera to wherever Holden wanted to go. From the pictures, you can clearly tell he didn’t want to stay in one spot. I’m sure we are the first people to NOT want Santa in the picture, but they turned out great!imageimage image imageimage

Birthdays, Bonfires, Flea Markets, and Fall!

It seems like October has been filled with tons of activities. We’ve attended everything from a wedding,  friend’s birthday party, campfire, to a  flea market! I really like this time of year. My family and I have tried to start a few traditions in fall.blues 1

First, we love going to flea markets or any type of junk buying venues! The Fall Gathering in Creal Springs, Illinois is just that! They sell rusty, chippy, shabby, metal stuff!  Blue’s Junk & Primitives puts together this event every Spring and Fall. We try to make it to both! I love finding quirky, fun things. This year I found a shabby white wooden arrow and a plaque with a saying on it. They will look nice on mblues 3y gallery wall… that I haven’t made yet! I have noticed for awhile people were posting these awesome pictures of their gallery wall and I WANTED ONE TOO! So, I’m finding different pieces to make my very own gallery wall. I hope it turns out cute! But, that will be for another blog post because my wall isn’t finished! Going to the Fall Gathering gives me good ideas for decorating for my home and other good ideas for repurposing old junk! Some items I like to make myself but other things (like the wooden arrow) was so affordable, I bought it immediately! The arrow came from Totally Vintage and my saying came from Perfect Rooneys. Perfect Rooney’s has a cute little shop in Harrisburg, Illinois for those that like to shop local. The Fall Gathering had everything from metal signs, to repurposed pieces, to holiday décor. momMy mom found a tall wooden pumpkin that she has propped up in her front yard. It goes great with the rest of her fall décor, except my son likes redecorating her porch. He just can’t leave the pumpkins alone!
Our little guy does similar things with his toys. He lines them all uH rearrangingp and counts them! And, they have to be lined up in a particular order! Sometimes I move one and he puts it back where HE wants it. You’ll notice in the pictures the modes of transportation go from largest to smallest….. and no one tells him to do that… he just does… Our little guy gets that from his Papa!count cars

The past two years, we have taken our son to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. Last year, we went to Eckerts in Belleville and Milstadt, IL. They have two locations- one with the apple orchard, petting zoo, and wagon ride and one with a restaurant and store. We were able to pick our own apples, go on a wagon ride through the apple orchard, and take our son to feed the animals. Gee! How time flies! It seems like we just were there, but it’s been a whole year!  This year, we went with our good friends to Rendleman’s Orchard in Alto Pass, IL.
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We were able to pick our ofound onewn pumpkin, purchase a ½ peck of apples and browse their cute country store. Is it just me or when I’m in a store where everything is home-made I just want to buy everything!?! I don’t know why that happens? While we were in the area, we went to Bald Knob Cross. What a beautiful place to be for many reasons.girls on cliff 2 Being able to see the cross up close and whbald knobat it means for Christians and looking at God’s creation on the gorgeous day made it a wonderful day! As I think about all the things we have done so far, it wouldn’t be near as fun and memorable if it weren’t for our family and friends sharing in the fun. We love going places with people and spending time with them. It’s so important to share your life with people and talk with them about REAL things, not surface issues. Yes, rusty junk, gallery walls, and pumpkins are enjoyable things, but not nearly as important as spending quality time with the people that are important to you.  Don’t forget to take time and cherish the ones you love, even if you can only reach them by phone or facebook! It’s important to let them know you still care.family 1

 

 

 

25 Classroom Items to Buy With Grant Money!

25 Items to Buy With Classroom Grant Money!

Now that you’ve found a grant that you want to write, what do you buy with the money? On your proposal, make sure your budget is clear and specific! I always make an excel spread sheet and include: item- quantity- cost. Example: Apple Ipads, 2, $800

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With that being said, the first one on my list is…..

  1. Ipads or Tablets
  2. TV
  3. Interactive White Board and Projector
  4. Elmo Paper Projector
  5. Camera- I love my Go Pro Camera and its easy to use!
  6. Printer
  7. Laminator
  8. Lap top- (I desperately need a new one!)
  9. Professional Development Opportunity (Look for a conference that benefits you long term)
  10. Field Trip
  11. Science Kits
  12. DVD’s
  13. Software
  14. Kids Education Magazines
  15. Books for your classroom library
  16. New Furniture for the classroom
  17. A large rug for elementary
  18. Math manipulatives/ games
  19. Bulletin Board Materials
  20. Bookshelves (for your new books!)
  21. Organization bins or tubs
  22. Headphones
  23. Subscriptions for online newspapers
  24. Dry erase boards
  25. Flashcards or Word Cards

Obviously, this is not a complete list, but it’s a start for those of you wanting to write a grant! Good Luck! Are there any other items that you have asked to purchase with your grant? Comment Below!

 

 

 

Top 10 Secrets for Grant Writers!

TEACHERS! Top 10 Things to Include for Your Grant to Get Noticed!

Writing grants has been hard, but rewarding! I have taught for 7 years, starting my eighth and over time have written several classroom grants to help my second graders, but have also written and received some for the entire elementary! You need to make sure you have done these ten things before submitting your grant. I have some really exciting grant news coming up but I have to keep it quiet for now! Hopefully, I won’t keep you waiting too long!

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  1. Create A Fun Project Title- Examples I have used in the past. Books Build Brainpower, Swine, Soybeans, and Second Grade, and Flat Stanley and the Super Savers

2. Use creativity and excitement when writing your proposal. Show your personality and enthusiasm or else they won’t feel that you are excited about starting something new.

 

  1. Be specific- How many students benefit? How will the funds be used? What is the timeline of your project? How you will assess your students at the end of your project?

 

  1. Repeat info to make sure you are clear and concise. If you read your proposal to someone else and they have questions, write those questions down and make sure you answer them in your proposal.

 

  1. Your proposal has to be realistic. If you CAN’T do something, then don’t suggest that you will.

 

  1. Try securing funds before asking for grant money. Sometimes companies or places offering classroom grants will be more likely to fund your idea if another company believes in you too! Sometimes finding a business that will match or donate funds toward the project makes your proposal stand out. Writing, “The project has received $100 in donations” is exciting because your proposal is being followed through by others not just yourself!

 

  1. Spell check and have someone proof read! Your most critical co-worker will be your best friend when you need someone to proof read your work. Ask them if they understand the proposal and what needs to be added or taken away.

 

  1. Get Social! How are you going to make the announcement that you received a classroom or school grant? By putting this in your proposal, companies will see that they may get free advertisement!

 

  1. Always write in a positive manner! No one wants to hear you complaining!

 

  1. Use your school statistics to your advantage regardless of what they may be. For example, if your student population is primarily free-reduced lunch, then capitalize on the fact that students may not have the advantages that others may have and the grant would offer opportunities for students they might not get if it weren’t for the grant.

BONUS: 11. Ask for items that can used multiple years. Don’t ask for one time items such as workbooks, paper items, or crayons that get thrown away after the first year. Have you read my blog on what items to ask for in a grant?? Jump on over to 25 Items to Buy With  A Grant!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things We Do In Cape!

We love taking mini trips to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It’s a neat city with a fun downtown area. It never fails that my husband, Ricky, and I always end up doing some of the same things when we are there, but we have fun each time we go! When you visit, don’t forget these places!

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  1. Visit the Antique Stores! Even if you don’t collect anything, walk through each store because most of the vendors carry practical items such as dressers, chairs, baskets, and dishes. They’re located downtown by the river so you can park your car and walk from place to place. I look for vintage pyrex dishes when I go! I didn’t find the particular ones I was looking for so I didn’t buy any this time!

2. We always eat at Broussards! ALWAYS! Cajun/ creole style food and it is good! Below is a picture Ricky took of his food. Jambalaya, alligator etouffee, gumbo, and red beans and rice! My catfish fillets are in the background. He didn’t think my food was nearly as exciting as his. FullSizeRender

3. See the river, boats, and barges. Especially with a toddler, this is a must! My husband, Ricky, takes our little guy to watch the boats and see the water. This gives me a chance to run in some of the stores again and look around while not having to worry if my son is grabbing any expensive antiques!

4.   Renaissance- It’s a beautiful store filled with faith filled treasures. I walked in over the weekend and noticed they had cream, blue, beige and gray tones. They know how to keep it current! The owner actually makes the artwork that is sold in the store plus they have other knick knacks and a children’s section! I bought my son two books this time.photo (1)

5. The Pavilion – I mean, who needs Disney when you have “Tow Mater” in Cape? (Except that I love going to Disney World!) It seems like many nice weekends we go to Cape there are always “old” cars parked here! Since my husband and son LOVE cars, we always walk around and see what is there. After seeing this, we had  to look for Lightning McQueen or as my son photo 3 (1)says, “Lighty Keen!”

Yes, there is much more to do in Cape than these 5 things, but if you have a few hours, spend it downtown by the water and enjoy walking around! We love it and I know you will too!

Have you been to Cape Girardeau, Missouri recently? Tell me what your you love to do when you’re there!

 

Exciting News! We’re…..

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We’re……….

Starting a blog! Yes, BLOG. Not baby! I say WE because my husband is helping me figure out the technical part of it! Welcome to the scherlife.com blog! It seems like life is so busy and our family does so many things, that we forget to share our stories with you! We are constantly trying to keep up and share life with others and what better way to share our stories than on a blog! That is where the blog name, scherlife, came from. Since you pronounce our last name as SHARE, it seemed pretty natural for scherlife to be the name! I hope you enjoy reading about my life as a wife, mom, and teacher. Also, I’ll be keeping you updated on our jeep adventures, traveling, DIY projects, the crazy vintage things I collect, and all things fun! You won’t want to miss the blog where I received a letter and $5000! Not a scam. Like for real, $5000. I’m also figuring out this whole “blog writing” thing and I will share with you what I have learned and what I am having to figure out on my own. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to write a blog too or just have fun reading about my mistakes! Either way, I’m glad you stopped by to read my first blog post!