A Peek Into Our Week: A train trip to Kansas City, Legoland, New Year’s Eve, snow, and sickness

By popular demand, I’m bringing back the A Peek Into Our Week feature on Saturdays — to give you a little behind-the-scenes look into what’s gone on in our household each week.

It snowed this week — and it stayed cold enough that the snow actually stayed on the ground a little! My kids were so excited to play in it, even if it was freezing cold.

Above, they found some tracks in the snow. So we spent some time that day researching various animal tracks on the internet and discussing the difference in the way animals leave tracks based upon whether they hop or walk on all fours. I then assigned Kathrynne the project of coming up with a hypothesis for what kind of animal it was, how it was walking (hopping or walking on all fours), and had her draw the tracks and her hypothesis.

This intertwining of our life with our learning is one of the parts of homeschooling that I just absolutely love — and the kids do, too! In addition, I’m pretty sure that they all end up getting a lot more out of it than if I were just reading textbooks alone.

Kaitlynn is turning into quite the little fashionista and I typically get a chuckle every morning when I see what she’s picked to wear. She’s definitely got her own style going and I don’t think she gets an iota of it from me. :) Here, I think she may be trying to color block.

Oh and don’t miss the high heels. She wears them also every single day!

Our family gift for Christmas was a train trip to Kansas City. We’ve never ridden a train before — outside of something like the train ride at Silver Dollar City — and our kids have been asking us if we could take a family trip via train. Convinced by this guest post on riding the train, we booked our tickets for a train trip to Kansas City and got up at 2 a.m. to get to the train station for the train to leave at 3:30 a.m.

I’m not sure that we fell in love with the whole train trip experience, but our kids had an absolutely blast… especially because we went to Legoland while in Kansas City.

Apparently, we weren’t the only people who had the idea of going to Legoland! ;)

But waiting in line was worth it because we all really enjoyed ourselves. It’s always wonderful when every single person in the family thinks the trip was a home run success!

They had a karaoke area at Legoland complete with live mics and a choice of songs. Kaitlynn, of course, made a bee line for this.

Kathrynne and I were laughing talking about how different Kaitlynn is than the two of us. For sure, Kathrynne and I would never volunteer or be excited about doing karaoke in front of all sorts of people we don’t know at Legoland! :)

After our long Legoland excursion, we spent some time walking around Crowne Center and then headed to A Street Car Named Desire for dinner. Here’s three of our very tuckered out party.

It was fun to eat in a streetcar, but our excitement was a little hampered by the couples at a table really close to us who were performing acupuncture at their table. I kid you not, two of the folks at the table had four long needles sticking out of each of their wrists! It was definitely something I’ve not quite ever seen in a restaurant before!

It didn’t take long before both Silas and Kaitlynn completely crashed at dinner! The train left Kansas City at midnight and we made it back home around 5 a.m. It was a little exhausting but so much fun!

We celebrated New Year’s Eve by going on a double date with Jesse’s sister and her husband while Grandma and Grandpa babysat (the double date at a nice restaurant was a Christmas present from Jesse’s parents). It was a wonderful way to close out the year!

2013 has had a bit of a rocky beginning, but that’s life sometimes. Silas came down with a high fever on Wednesday evening and I spent the next two days pretty near glued to his side trying to comfort him and nurse him back to health. He started showing signs of improvement on Friday just in time for me to come down with it.

And now I feel even more sorry for him because this flu is nasty! At the same time, though, I’m grateful that it’s just the flu… there are many worse things in life to be dealing with than a high fever and achy body.

How was your week? Did anything interesting or exciting happen at your house? Tell us about it!

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Comments

  1. says

    I do enjoy these peeks into your week. I just recently found out I’m pregnant with our 3rd and I’m taking notes from you on how to manage. ;)

      • Realistically over it! says

        That flu is nasty. My daughter got it the day after Christmas and it progressively went through the family over the next 2 weeks. We spent new years eve in bed sleeping with a mattress on our floor for the two kids who weren’t sick and old enough to stay up. They watched the gospel of John and mommy and daddy slept :) I am grateful we are rarely ever sick.

  2. Brandette W. says

    I missed these posts as well, thank you for sharing. I look forward to the new adventures this year!

  3. J says

    Wow, all that in one week! Whew. Glad the “little” is feeling better and hopefully you are too.

  4. sandy says

    Look’s like you had alot of fun this week. Sorry to hear about the illness, I hope your all feeling better soon.

  5. says

    Looks like it was fun- I love seeing how your week went. I hope you get better, we all had it in our family and it was YUCKY
    Take a lot of e-mergency vitamin drinks and hot baths help with Epsom salts.

  6. says

    Oh that flu!!!! I had it the week before Christmas and know how AWFUL IT IS!! Seriously, I never get sick but there was no avoiding this one. My mother and daughter also got it and agree….worst virus in years!
    Your week sounds awesome otherwise though!! Legoland must be a blast!

  7. says

    Sorry to hear you are sick, Crystal. Hope you feel better soon.

    What a wonderful week you had (besides the sickness).

    I love your daughter’s color-blocking. Very cool :) And the high heels are precious!

  8. Karen says

    First off…did you mean you got home at 5 am? ‘Cause, while I don’t know specifically where you live, I know it’s not that far from KC (that you’d leave at midnight and not get home till 5 the next night (or go backwards in time!)). Anyway, it looks like a fun time!

    My past week was lazy as I had off for 3 days. I was excited to return to “my” kids on Thursday and was greeted by a very enthusiastic toddler who’d obviously missed me. No better way to start a work morning than hearing, “Yeah! Miss Karen’s here!”

  9. Anna says

    Two kids in our family had RSV and I got it too! It presents more like bronchitis in adults but I have asthma as well so I got really sick. I have pneumonia, ear infections in both ears, RSV and asthma flare up. I also have to do breathing treatments every 3 hours so I can breathe. I have been sick since Xmas. I have read about a lot of people being sick from different viruses. I wonder if it is a bad flu season or cold season.

    Glad you are feeling better. I have moments of feeling a bit better but can only stay up so much before I have to head off to bed. Hard to take care of 4 kids when not feeling well myself. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery.

    • Kristine says

      I had what I thought was a cold, but it affected my breathing a lot more than colds usually do, so maybe it was something else. I don’t have asthma, but this was kind of like it at night when I was trying to sleep.

  10. Jen says

    I am interested in trying the train trip to KC, did you rent a car once you got there? How did you get around?

    • says

      No, the train pulls into Union Station which is within walking distance to hundreds of different places (there are heated walkways everywhere so you rarely have to go outside). So we just walked everywhere. We broke things up so that it wasn’t too exhausting… though we were grateful we had brought the stroller so that the kids could take turns riding in the stroller.

  11. Karen says

    Wow! What a week you had! Sounds like LegoLand was a lot of fun, someday I hope to take my kids there. My week has been pretty good. I have been slowly bringing my New Years Resolutions into our routine and so far it has been going great! My best so far is I stopped drinking diet Mountain Dew and I have lost 5 pounds!!! Weird, since it was diet, but hey I will take it! Knocks out two with one stone..heheh…(lose weight and quit the Dew). I hope to have all my resolutions in play by the end of the month. So far so good! Love this segment you are doing, I hope you continue it. Take care and feel better soon!

  12. says

    We moved most of our raised garden bed (about 20 feet of it), and I replanted everything that was in it back in, along with seeds for several things (turnips and lettuce, mostly).

    I pruned our grape vines.

    I learned how to make bias tape, which I then used on the hotpads that I made. I gave the hotpads as part of a gift to my soon-to-be new neice, whom I met at her bridal shower today!

  13. robyn says

    what a fun trip! we were in california the week before christmas and thought about going to legoland CA but tickets are WAY more expensive than KC tickets! we decided to go to the lego store instead and had a BLAST. spent over 3 hours playing, building and admiring the lego sculptures.

  14. Jo says

    While traveling this week we welcomed a new baby to our family! It was a very memorable event for everyone involved to say the least. She is our fifth child and we are blessed she is perfectly healthy! Unfortunately I am fighting for my own health and need to rest rest rest now!! So with my husband’s encouragement am hoping to get my first blog post up on Sunday – since I can’t otherwise move at the moment.

    We also fought that flu and it took 3 weeks to finally kick it out of our house. I was very thankful for it though as we were recovered and everyone is immune just a few weeks before I had my baby. We haven’t been to legoland but I think you will inspire a trip to a nearby Lego store we also haven’t visited. It will be something fun for DH and the kids to do while I recover. Love your weekly idea and will definitely include it on my own site!

  15. says

    That looks like such a wonderful family trip but boy did you pack it in for a 24 hour whirlwind of activity- typical MSM style :)

  16. Lisa says

    I love to see what your family does and how kids dress their self so precious memory for u to my daughter who now is 28 used to dress like that I love the memories beautiful crystal keep those pictures coming . I’m also sorry you guys had flu we also did its bad this year my 16 year old had it I’m so thankful for homeschool ing him. So he could take time to recover. Also I have been reading lots of books how to live simply and so on got a kindle for Christmas I love it .Would also love to see how you decorate home I also am a neat freak and trying to simplify don’t like clutter so when you have time snap up some pictures and post . Love you and your family may God bless you all.Lisa

  17. Susan in St. Louis says

    Fun times! That sounds like a whirlwind trip to Kansas City, though! Made me tired just reading about it! :)

    Praying you (and the rest of the fam!) feel 100% better soon!

    And just because it’s fun to share…my hubby and I spent New Year’s in Southern CA on a FREE TRIP I won! It was the longest (3 nights) we’ve been away from the kids together, and fabulous…even if we were up at an insane hour to get to our (fantastic) seats at the Rose Parade! The trip truly was a gift from God.

  18. Meredith says

    So sorry about your flu! We all got in at the end of the year and coughs and runny noses are still lingering. It’s been 11 days now! It’s been the worst one we have ever had! Hope you feel better!

  19. says

    We have seasons passes to Legoland….and love it! That’s early to wake up, but it sounds like a fun trip :)

    Sorry you are sick. We’ve been in isolation since my 7 month old son is scheduled to have surgery next month, but there are so many nasty viruses going around it’s hard to stay completely healthy! 2013 has started out very blessed for us. My son’s MRI came back clean, and he’s going to have a surgery that will help him to mainstream despite his disability. We are so grateful that God has given us this unique perspective. Most things I used to think mattered, just don’t matter anymore :)

  20. says

    wow! I didn’t know there was a Legoland in Kansas City too! We live very close to the CA one and we learned to avoid it during the Christmas season – SO busy! If the KC one is anything like ours it will be SUPER quite during Jan/Feb – we usually go then – they usually have a sweet discount at that time and the lines are short (if anything at all) – win win!
    Merry Christmas to your sweet family!

  21. Elizabeth Kane says

    Looks like you all were having fun this week, except for the icky flu. Hope he feels much better soon!

    The past week for me has been getting settled in a new place. We moved across the state (a two parter during the holidays). About drove me crazy, but I decided to be flexible and roll with it. The holidays were great despite feeling a little all over the place.

  22. says

    I posted about this on Facebook…
    On New Years Day, which is the last day of deer hunting season here, we had only managed to put 4 deer into our deep freezer. With 10 people still living here, we wanted to put away at least 7 this year. Last year, we put away 6 and ran out in June. So 7 was a minimum for us. But we had only gotten 4. I was already mentally preparing to start purchasing ground beef at the store in April.
    That afternoon, our 14 yr old son killed a small buck, and as my hubby was getting ready to take it to the processor, a local guy came by our house and gave us a good sized doe to take along as well. That was 6!!
    My hubs left to go to the processor, and on the way there, his cousin called him and said, “Man, I’ve got a deer for you.” So he went to pick it up also.
    We started the day with 4 deer, and needing 7. And by that night, we had 7 deer.
    We were amazed and thankful for God’s provision for our family!!It was a New Years Day we won’t soon forget!!

    • Sandy says

      How wonderufl! I too, am always amazed at God’s goodness, how He provides, always in unexpected ways.

  23. MJohnson says

    Hi Crystal -
    If you have time to answer, I was wondering…are you still using My Father’s World as your main curriculum? I am debating (and driving myself crazy) over using MFW K, Sonlight Core A, or Five in a Row. I love books/curriculum a bit too much. :/
    thank you!

  24. Kristine says

    My son and I had colds during the Christmas break, and my hubby came down with the flu on Christmas. It was a nasty case of flu that lasted for more than a week, and unfortunately he had to go to work anyway. Everyone in our house is well now, though, just in time for school tomorrow. And my hubby has the day off tomorrow, so we get to spend some time together without the kids. :)

  25. Erin says

    We took our 2 of our children to Legoland in Schaumburg, IL as their Christmas gift, this year also! It was fun giving them an experience rather than another toy or other material thing. It was crazy busy there too, but they loved it! So sorry to hear you are sick, get better soon.

  26. maggie says

    I know you’ve been practicing with your SLR, but it looks like you didn’t take it on vacation?

  27. Leanne says

    I loved hearing about Legoland! my boys would just go crazy for it!! our closest one is near Chicago, so we’ll need to check into it sometime!!!!!
    thanks for sharing!

  28. says

    Looks like so much fun! So sorry you were sick…I’ve got the flu too! It’s no fun…I’m just hoping no one else gets it in my family!

  29. shannon says

    What a fun and exciting week you all had. It’s too bad a darn sickness had to inhibit some of your fun week. The highlight of our week was New Years Eve after the little man got to sleep, we got to indulge in a few hours of watching the Twilight Zone Marathon.

  30. says

    Sounds fun! I’ve never been to Legoland or even a Lego store but it looks great!

    My interesting bit for the week was taking some musician/singing friends from my church orchestra into the recording studio (twice!), and recording spontaneous worship songs. Most of us (myself included) had never done any recording but found an affordable studio and thought we’d see what happened, just for fun! :) It was awesome! You can see what happened here if you like:
    http://www.fromhispresence.com/2013/01/02/free-soaking-music/ (free download)
    and
    http://www.fromhispresence.com/2013/01/05/awesome-new-song-by-heather-moorman-from-todays-worship-jam-session/

    I’ve never had any desire to record music before, but hey, the things we do to celebrate New Year’s … ;)

  31. Holly says

    At the beginning of November, our six year old had influenza b with a 105.2 fever at the highest. Fortunately, nobody else in my house got it. I completely agree with you though. Anytime you know your child has a temporary bug, you are blessed. I have a young cousin battling cancer. I cannot imagine the strength it takes to parent through that.

  32. says

    That looks like so much fun! I just looked up Legoland ticket prices and was so pleasantly surprised at how affordable they were. What a fun, memory-filled Christmas present.

    I’m thinking we might have to copy you one of these years since Kansas City isn’t that far away!

  33. Emily says

    Kaitlynn wearing high heels is adorable!! :) I was the same way…I loved heels! Still do. In fact, I wore them all day at work the day I went into labor. I know they’re awful for your feet, but I enjoy them so much. And this is the area I seriously splurge in….good shoes go a long way! :)