Friday, November 11, 2016

Cub Scouts!

James earned us a SECOND day off this week, this time because of some middle-of-the-night vomiting. Ugh. Thankfully he was one-and-done but he and I spent the night camped out on the sofas in the den. He felt 100% better after he got sick and proceeded to stay awake until at least 2AM watching Duck Dynasty. My only wish is that it had happened on election night so I wouldn't have had two nights in a row that I was up so incredibly late. He's napping this afternoon because he slept almost none, but he feels great so that's awesome.

Since I had a little time, I thought I'd update about James' current favorite thing. Of all the sports we've played and activities we've participated in, Cub Scouts may be his very favorite.



The day that Scouts came to school to advertise the start of their "season," James came home THRILLED to tell me about it. Eddie had been counting down the days {to his doom...not because he was excited} and knew that first grade was the year. We suspected this would be right up Mr. James' alley, and he agreed. He came in waving the flyer in my face and asked me how long it would be before he could go camping and shoot a gun. {Where is my BABY?!}



Scout handbook in the mail? PUMPED. Scout uniform? PUMPED. Learning his Scout Oath, Handshake, and Law? PUMPED. First badge? Check. First campout? Check.

This past weekend was the weekend. We borrowed some supplies and Eddie prepared himself to sleep ON THE GROUND and off they went on Friday afternoon with some of James' school buddies.



To say they camped is a stretch. I grew up wilderness camping and this camping was REALLY not that. At all. They had a tv and internet access for crying out loud. But they had a great time camping, shooting, grilling out, and playing. Someone will be getting MOSTLY camping stuff for Christmas.

For sure our first experience with Scouts has been pretty great. James loves it. The meeting nights are CHAOTIC because there are SO MANY little boys participating this year, but we've been told that some of that will fall off AND that it's great to have a lot because you want plenty of friends in it to make it more fun.

James is already starting work on his second badge {he has his Bobcat...the next is Tiger, I think} and has started talking about his Eagle already. LOL! The kid has goals!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Happy Halloween!

We had the best Monday morning! James had a fever for about twelve hours Sunday so he earned himself a day off from school yesterday which is much appreciated after a weekend of BIG fun at our house. I'll share more about that later. The boys spent the morning eating cinnamon rolls and watching Christmas movies. While it's not quite time for decorations (I still have Halloween out!), I am not anti-movie!



Halloween was a hit around here, but it sure went by too fast! Our fall festival at church fell on my birthday this year (which made me a little grumpy, to be honest!) and we loaded up the boys and had a big time there and then eating dinner with some friends afterwards. 



{Please note here that he's riding the train in character...you'll see what I mean in a minute if you don't already.}

On Halloween, James had Cub Scouts and he had to go because he earned his first badge! He was so excited (but nervous to go up in front of everyone to get it!). He earned his Bobcat badge. (I'll share more about Cub Scouts later, too, because he has LOVED being involved in it.) Will and I stayed home and handed out candy to a few trick-or-treaters while we waited on James and Daddy to get home. When they did arrive, we trick-or-treated our cul-de-sac, the "spooky house" in our neighborhood, and Grandmama's house. I think we hit 11 houses total, had two bags full of candy, and called it a night!



The boys have planned their costumes for MONTHS. Will has been obsessed with the movie Rookie of the Year for about a year now. He watched it laaaaate one night when he couldn't fall asleep. I recorded it and he has watched it over and over and over and over since. Back in February, we gave him a Cubs hat for Valentine's Day. (Rookie of the Year is about a little boy who hurts his arm and when it heals the tendons in his shoulder are tight and he can pitch like no one ever. The Cubs recruit him and he goes on to help change the direction of their franchise.) Anyway, he has planned to be Henry Rowengartner since at least February and never wavered. It wound up being a pretty timely costume since the Cubs won the World Series last week, too! It's been a few days of Cubs celebrations at our house. I hope he always remembers it. I think they might be "his" team. :)



The day after the World Series I promised him he could wear his Cubs shirt. {I washed it AFTER the game ended at 1:30AM!!!!} He had pictures that morning but wore it after and he was a happy boy!

As for James, he wanted to be a character from The Sandlot. I decided that was a perfect plan since I love a themed Halloween. We just went with a baseball movie theme this year. (I tried to get Eddie to dress up as Jimmy Dugan and I wanted to be a Rockford Peach from A League of Their Own, but it was a no-go. Oh well.) James decided to be Squints since he had the perfect glasses. His costume was the easiest thing EVER to put together. We bought the shoes for it from Target (knock-off Converse) and they have been the best shoes ever! Both boys got a pair and they LOVE them. I bought his shirt for a whopping $5 from WalMart and had a friend put "Squints" on the back of it for me. I may never have an easier costume for either child!




I've thrown out a few suggestions for next year including various 80s movie characters, cartoon characters, etc. I hope that they always want to go as a duo, but I also think that my time for that is pretty limited. We shall see. Here's a look back at all of our Halloweens-past! Aren't they PRECIOUS?! Where did my babies go?




Happy Halloween, y'all! (I've already moved on...I bought not one, not two, but EIGHT Christmas gifts just this morning. I'm awaiting a call from our credit card company about all the recent charges! LoL!)


My co-teacher and I even dressed up. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Singles Day - Jen!

It is SINGLES DAY over at Kelly's Korner! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Kelly Stamps writes a "mom blog" that I have read for at least 7 years. Each year, she does a link up called Singles Day and so far she has had ELEVEN couples meet and get married through it! The world is such a crazy place.


I have never participated in Singles Day before, but this year I am so excited that I get to introduce you to one of my favorite people in the world! Everyone say hello to Jennifer! Hi, Jen!

Jen and I have been friends practically forever. We took dance classes together as far back as 3rd grade, but we don't remember meeting until 5th grade. We went to middle and high school together and then reconnected in a college class at the University of Georgia waaaaay back in 2003. We became even better friends about 3 years ago when I moved back to South Georgia where Jen lives and started a book club that Jen has been a huge part of.


So...about Jennifer. First, she is one of my favorite people in the world. Seriously. She's HILARIOUS and makes me laugh all the time. What you see is what you get with her. Doesn't everyone need a friend like that? She's very honest and opinionated and I love that I can go to her and know I'm getting someone's REAL opinion about things.

Jen is amazing with kiddos. She loves my boys and talks to them like they're real people. I love listening to their conversations with "Miss Jen" because she wants to really know about them and thinks they're fun and worth talking to! And not just my kids! All of her friends' kids feel special when she's around!


Jen is a second-year middle school English teacher, she's 33 years old, and she lives in South Georgia. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family and friends, watch Georgia football, and craft. She's always up for going on an adventure - whether it's to a movie and out to eat or on a trip somewhere. She's seriously the most fun!

I would love to help you connect with her! If you're interested, feel free to comment here or email me at fresh.lauren@gmail.com and I'll send you her way!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Farm Field Trip!

Recently, James' class went on a field trip to a local farm. We went for the pumpkins, but there were a TON of really fun things to do as well! The weather was PERFECT because it was a little cool when we left to go. I love fall weather!

For James, the fun began the minute the day started because he got to ride a SCHOOL BUS for the first time ever! He's a car rider (we live about 2.5 minutes from his school) and he missed his field trip last year because we were at Disney World. So this was his first trip. I got so tickled at him the morning of. I mentioned that he needed to please stay sitting down the whole time because school buses don't have seat belts and he was just FLOORED. When we arrived at the farm the first thing he said to me was, "MOM. I didn't have a seat belt and we WENT ON THE INTERSTATE!" Ha! I do enjoy him being so safe.

I had a HARD time with photos on this trip. I accidentally left my cell phone at Mom's house that morning, my big camera was on the fritz (someone had just messed with the dial at the viewfinder so it was blurry but at the time I wasn't sure what the problem was...), and Mom's phone was dying so we have very few pictures. Will and I are going to the same place this week so I hope to get some fun pictures of him.

First up for James' class was the wagon ride. This was my favorite part of the day. It was about 30 minutes and we saw all kinds of animals. LOTS of alligators, catfish, turtles, various horses and ponies, goats and sheep, buffalo, cows, longhorn. It was so neat!







Those teeth crack me up! Let's all pray that they straighten up a little bit.


After the hay ride I gave up on my camera, but we had plenty more to do. We watched a pig race, went into their barn, played corn hole, went through a corn maze, learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin and picked pumpkins out, drank lemonade, ate lunch, and played on the playground. It was just a super fun field trip! I can't wait to go back with Will!

I throughly enjoyed my day with my big boy and wound up checking him out and taking him on home with me because it was already 1pm by the time we were done. I love a good field trip and this one was a great one!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seven!


Dear James,

Seven years old. SEVEN. How is that even possible? I feel like the years are just FLYING BY. Especially since you've started school.

This morning you requested a PopTart for breakfast and I obliged because it's your birthday. You are excited that it's your big day.


You've done some major growing and changing over the past year. You seem to have grown about a foot. Your feet have grown two sizes. You got glasses. You're reading on a  3rd grade reading level. You played your last season of t-ball and started Cub Scouts (which you LOVE). You are the. smartest. kid. And you still LOVE to talk. Holy cow. You don't ever stop talking! You are bold and confident and I hope you keep that forever. You dance like everyone is watching and you don't even care!

Your favorite thing right now is football. Playing football. Watching football. Tossing that darn football up in the air over and over and over again. I even saw you yesterday lay back on a chair in the den and toss an invisible football. Seriously. It's your favorite.



You LOVE the cafeteria food. I cannot wrap my mind around this. I only ate on pizza days when I was in elementary school. You'll eat almost every day.

We had a parent-teacher conference yesterday and your teacher sang your praises. We've experienced some growing pains with you since you started first grade. Your teacher isn't seeing ANY of the things we're seeing with you. Thank goodness! She said you're a motivated learner, you love working hard, you're kind and generous and HUMBLE. (You're not so humble around us! Ha!) 


We have partied with you all morning at school and will have a birthday dinner for you tonight. Saturday you're having a real party. We skipped partying last year and to say that I was NOT in party mode is an understatement. I have been VERY late getting this one planned. I kept hoping you'd decide to GO somewhere instead of having a party. Disney World again? Sign me up! But no. A camping/hunting/fishing party it is!


We are so proud of the young man you are growing to be. We love almost every single minute of parenting you (but please stop drawing on your clothes at school...). Here's to another year with you! We love you big!

Love,
Mama

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Playdough!

Back in Ye Olden Days when I didn't work and was a real stay-at-home mom I did really cool, fun things with my kids and we basically had homeschool time every day. Nowadays, poor Will doesn't get any "schooling" at home, but every once in a while I'll pull something fun out of my back pocket that is just the coolest for my boys.

Enter Pumpkin Pie Playdough!

We made this YEARS ago when James was little and it was a hit then, so I thought it was time to make it with Will. I'm not sure where I got the original recipe, but I have posted it before. It smells delicious and I had everything I needed on hand. After I made it, I let them play to their hearts' content and then we stored it in plastic bowls with lids so that we can play again later!



Ingredients:

5.5 c flour
2 c salt
8 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 c oil
1.5 oz pumpkin pie spice (I didn't put this much...)
2 tsp cinnamon
orange food coloring (2 parts yellow to 1 part red)
4 c water

Mix over medium-high heat until lumps disappear and it has a play dough consistency. Turn out on parchment paper and kneed until smooth. Store up to two weeks in an airtight container.
*** This makes a LOT of play dough. Both boys had a huge bowl full. I may half it next time! ***



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Around the House.

Come on inside! I mentioned that I have quite the collection of Halloween decorations. Every year I say that I'm not getting anything else and then I do. I don't feel like I put everything out this year, but I did contain it mostly to the porch, den, and dining room. Today, I'll share the dining room and den with you!

I need to take pictures of our home more often. I can see alllll kinds of things I need to do!


The birdhouse was one that I had from my old Willow House days. It was cream and green and while it was pretty, it wasn't really my style. I painted it black the other day and my plan is to sand it down and rough it up a little and then head to the dollhouse section at Hobby Lobby to turn it into a Haunted House! I'm really excited! I'll share the step-by-steps when I'm done. Stay tuned.

My buffalo check table cloth is one of my favorites. I bought it on Amazon and I use it fairly often! My table has seen better days.


I need to replace the apples in my containers with pumpkins but I completely forgot! 


My Trick-or-Treaters are my VERY FAVORITE THINGS. They're the best of all my Halloween decorations. Dad and Laura gave me a few and I've bought a few in the past few years. I can find them on Zulily every once in a while.


That's our den and dining room for this year. Have a great weekend!