Sunday, January 2, 2022

Welcome, 2022!

 Ohhhh...a fresh new start! Anyone else love the beginning of things? I'm really awesome at STARTING lots of things, but not so great at the follow-through part. HA! The boys and I sat down and listed out some goals we have for ourselves this year. Eddie said he was still thinking about his, but I thought I'd share ours so that MAYBE we can follow up on them later!


Travel more! When the pandemic hit, it sort of shut me down. I've been really trying to take charge of my anxiety (illness/crowds/etc. are HUGE things for me and have been since before the C-word) and I want to get out and GO instead of being worried something will happen to us. (If you haven't experience anxiety, bless you. It can be debilitating!) I'm wanting to do a little moving and shaking in the near future!

1,000 hours outside! I am not outdoorsy. At. All. I know the benefits of spending time outside, though (see anxiety comments above! HA!) and I do want to get outside more often! I downloaded the 1,000 Hours Outside I just need to remember to use it. I was on minute 52 of a walk outside this morning before I remembered to push start!

Goal of 10K steps each day. I usually say I want to lose weight. Nope! Not this year. I just want to be more active. 10K is totally do-able! Move!

Drink more water. No explanation needed!

Read 100 books. I read 63 books last year and I could've done more! I need to put down my phone and turn off the TV and read. While sitting outside or walking with headphones. 

$10,000 in Usborne sales! Sharing reading is SUCH a huge part of my life. We read and read and read around here and I want to help others do the same. We just wrapped up a book drive and it was SO INCREDIBLE to give 1500 books to children that don't have their own. I want to keep that going! That was amazing!

Cook/eat at home more often. When we moved this year we fell into a rut that was already pretty deep. Cooking and eating at home haven't been priorities since I started working way more often and the boys got into busier schedules. I'm going to work hard on this one!

Blog more. I miss being in this space. I miss sharing. Mostly, I'm worried about all of the things I'm not documenting!


Get stronger! I need to measure and weigh them both today. He's made some gains in muscle since he started swim and he'd like to keep working at that!

Visit a new state. We think this might be Tennessee, but we haven't planned anything yet!

Eat healthy. HA! Hopefully I'll be able to assist with this. He DID discover yesterday that he loves cabbage!


Read the whole I Survived series. He'll be able to complete this goal in about a week. 

Improve in Jiu Jitsu - move up to a gray belt. We suggested this one. I think he will be able to do it! He's enjoyed this martial arts class SO MUCH. 

Happy New Year, y'all!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Halloween 2021

 I have been beyond terrible at keeping up with this space, but I sure would love to be able to look back on it for memories! We had a fun, but BUSY Halloween this year. Halloween is my favorite and it went by SO quickly! I was so sad! 

After last year, I thought we wouldn't get another costume duo so Will began trying to come up with a costume without James. A few months ago, Will recruited a friend and classmate to dress up with him. It was an EASY costume and we had all of the essential pieces, so I just let them roll with it. Then a few weeks ago I volunteered to do a trunk for our church's Trunk or Treat and wound up trying to figure out what theme I could pull together for that. BUT Will's costume for trick or treating wouldn't work for trunk or treat. James conceded to help IF and only if he got to pretty much control what we did. And thus, a trunk theme - rivalry football - was born!

Last Wednesday, we packed up our football gear and headed to the church parking lot for some fun! We had a great time handing out candy and visiting with our friends! James was Georgia's Kirby Smart, calling plays from the sidelines, and Will was Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. Clemson probably really wishes they had him this year! He's moved on to the NFL, but Will looks so much like him and loves Clemson so it was a natural choice!

Because Halloween fell on a Sunday this year, our town was conflicted about which night was preferential to Trick or Treating. It turned out that Grandmamma's neighborhood was one night, ours was another. Win, win for the boys! After Trunk or Treat, Will realized that the football pants he wore to Trunk or Treat were a one-and-done thing since we borrowed them and needed to return them to their owner. We started, again, brainstorming costumes for him and while Elliott from E.T. was the clear winner, nothing could easily be thrown together with 2-day shipping. Finally, we had a brainstorm and James actually agreed to be part of a duo costume AGAIN. This one wound up being HILARIOUS. Wayne's World came together quickly and easily and after watching pieces of the movie, the boys were excited, too. Will couldn't believe that several MOMS knew who they were while they were Trick or Treating! I assured him that the moms definitely knew, but the kids probably didn't! We handed out candy, went to a few houses, and went through the Haunted Trail near Grandmamma's before calling it a night!

Sunday was the night we had been waiting for, though! James got invited to a friend's house and resurrected the Kirby costume for that. Will and the friend that were dressing up together had, at this point, also recruited a third friend and everything was ready to go! They were so excited and had the best time Trick or Treating together! The boys were highly insulted that there was no General Lee for them to ride in so at the last minute, one family got their Ranger for them and the other family bought two General Lee flags to put on the sides. Those three had the BEST time being chauffeured around! 

I'm already brainstorming costumes for NEXT year. I may need to show some restraint!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Bucket List Update!

 We have been BUSY BEES around here this summer. It's already almost half over (HOW?!) and because we are currently trying to sell our house, we have stayed on the go as much as possible. Hence, we've done a lot of things! We still have a pretty long way to go, though. The boys are headed to Lake Oconee this weekend. The move is impending, but renovations are not finished yet. (We are SO hoping to be in there before the end of the summer so the boys have some playtime with friends!) We've been documenting a lot of our travels over on If you'd like to follow along there as well, please do!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Summer Bucket List

 Well, I am 16 days behind on this, but here it is! I have made a Summer Bucket List for close to a decade now. Sometimes we complete a lot of it and sometimes we don't, but it's fun to dream about things we can do and get ideas for days that we don't have much going on. The older the boys get, the more often that we don't have much downtime, but we are going to try to squeeze in as much as we can anyway. We have a BUSY summer ahead. We are already signed up for Baseball Camp, Tennis Camp, VBS, Pickleball Camp, and Church Camp. Goodness. That's five of our ten weeks already! We are also moving SOON and lots of the details on this list are getting that process wrapped up. The boys enjoy checking the items off each summer and I'll continue this tradition as long as they'll let me.

They'll finish school on Friday of this week and we could not be more ready. To say we are worn down, exhausted, and frustrated is an understatement. It's been a tough year for all of us. We are looking forward to a more relaxed pace of doing what we want to be doing! I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

How to Eat Fried Worms

I've shared a few times recently about our Boys' Book Club and the books we have read. You can see Stone Fox and Winnie the Pooh.  We also read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I didn't host those so I don't have pictures or activities to share. (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be EASY and fun! I know the mom that hosted used those candy buttons as the lickable wallpaper!)

Our next turn to host was after reading How to Eat Fried Worms. I learned a few lessons with this one. First, the kids that attend really NEED to have read the book beforehand for it to be fun (I know this should be common sense...). Second, there IS a limit to the number of boys you should have. HA! They were way less interested in this because they just wanted to go outside and we had enough that there were some arguments.

BUT...the book was fun and hosting was a lot of fun, too!

Snacks were the best part...

I had some ideas for looking at the parts of a worm and talking about the book, but we had a fair few that hadn't read and they were restless so we turned on the movie instead...

The boys thought this one was HILARIOUS. It's a good read for elementary kids who will be delighted by the disgusting topic!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


I've been doing recaps of our Boys' Book Clubs of the past because I'm not sure I ever shared them here. We've been doing a lot of reading together at home during our pandemic lives and it made me think about these...You can see our Stone Fox post HERE and our The One and Only Ivan post HERE.

Our second book for Boys' Book Club was Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne. An old classic, and one I wasn't sure 3rd graders would be interested in, but they actually liked it! This one was less labor-intensive with not so many activities (the snacks are always the best part and then they really want to play), but they loved it! 

We ate Honeycombs cereal and Teddy Grahams, "Tigger Tails" (puffy Cheetos) and "Pooh Sticks" (pretzel sticks). I can't remember if I had honey sticks or not, but for some reason I *THINK* we did.

After we fixed our snack plates, I read Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick. If you haven't read this, RUN out and get it right now. It is such a precious story of the details behind Winnie-the-Pooh. I love it and I almost cry every time I read it. (I read it last year to James' 4th grade class and even they loved it!)

I also bought "Pooh ears" for the occasion and thought they'd NEVER wear them. Well...

And finally, we purchased and watched The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which follows many of the stories in this first Pooh book.

Another successful Boys' Book Club was enjoyed by all!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is one of our FAVORITE read-alouds ever. It is just such a beautiful book! Based on a real-life gorilla that lived out his final days at Zoo Atlanta (I visited him many times growing up), Ivan is a "shopping mall gorilla," that is on display in a glass enclosure in Tacoma, Washington. A very fictionalized version of his real-life story, we meet Ivan and some of the animals he is friends with in his lonely existence. 

After reading our book, we invited a friend over for our first-ever Boys' Book Club experience. It was SO FUN. We had book-themed snacks...

(Chocolate donut holes are "Me Balls." Me Balls are Ivan's name for poop. As gross as that is, the boys thought it was HYSTERICAL.)

(Grapes and Trail Mix, which consisted of popcorn, Froot Loops, Circus Peanuts, and Animal Crackers.)

Will dressed for the occasion!

(One activity was to design Ivan's domain. There was a LOT of description of Ivan's shopping mall home and I asked the boys to draw what they thought it looked like. You can find this worksheet HERE. Will's TOTALLY impressed me. When we did this, he was only 6 years old. He is NOT my academic child, but he is super creative. I wish I'd labeled everything he added to the domain below, but you can see that he is on a tire swing, he has bars, there are banana peels, I think there's a red blanket, etc. I was SO PROUD and impressed! The big boys added one or two things and then moved on. LOL!)

We also did Ivan handprints. These turned out so cute! I love a cute piece of handprint art!

Finally, we showed the boys some documentaries I found on YouTube of the REAL Ivan. Similar stories HERE and HERE. This was before the movie was made, but you can also find Disney's version of this on their streaming service. Katherine Applegate has also written a sequel to the story called The One and Only Bob about Ivan's canine friend who lived with him in his domain.

If you haven't read this, it's an EXCELLENT one to add to your library and share with your children. It DOES have some sad moments, so be aware, but the story is just so beautiful.

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