Thursday, July 11, 2024

What's Working for Me

 I've seen this here and there and thought it would be a fun one to share.

1. A membership to the car wash. I've had this for over a year now and it's amazing. I will drive through just to wash at least 1-2 times a week. About every other week I'll also stop and vacuum out the car and through all the trash out. It's kept the car feeling SO MUCH CLEANER. We practically live in it, so this is so nice.

2. Listening to audiobooks on my headphones. Last year I read ONE HUNDRED BOOKS. And I'd say probably 75% of those were straight into my ears. I TOTALLY think that we all need to read with our eyes, but if you want to read ALL THE BOOKS, this is the way to do it.

3. Having a cleaning crew come every other week. Shew buddy. Here's the thing about having these ladies come in and clean my house - it requires that we REALLY pick it up every other week. I know that seems crazy, but it really keeps us a little more disciplined and I love it! I SO appreciate everything they do to scrub our house down!

4. Reworking my work life. As middle school took off for us a few years ago and James joined every single thing he could, my life suddenly became busier than ever. The crazy thing is that it made me less social than before, but kept me a lot more tied up. I've learned as a parent of pre-teens and teens that you spend about 90% of your time in a sitting-and-waiting state (see #2 above about all the books I listened to last year!). I've also learned that there's a lot more emotional need for pre-teens and teens than we had with toddlers and elementary students. Don't get me wrong, the baby years were physically demanding, but this is a whole new world of hormones and learning to be a person and all the challenges that go along with that. Over the past two years, I've found myself missing out on a WHOLE LOT of things that my family was involved in because of my job. And it's weird, because my job is just 3/4 time so I'm really only there when the boys are in school. BUT last year the school system readjusted the start times and I couldn't drop my kids off before I had to go to work so I wasn't ever able to take them to school, which has been a really happy part of my mothering. If anything occurred during 8-12, I really had a hard time leaving my work to go to it, because I felt sort of tied to the hours when we were open. Finally, after some adjustments at the church and a few things just falling exactly into place, I decided that where I needed to be was not where I was and on a leap of faith I resigned from my position way back in November of last year. I remained there through the end of May, let them hire my replacement, and helped her get her feet under her and then I've slowly faded into the background over the summer! I've been asked a LOT if I'm enjoyed my "retirement," and I really don't know yet because my summer is almost exactly the same (except right NOW in July I'd be driving the boys AND working at a desk a lot of the day). Come August, I'm sure it will feel a LOT different!

5. Listing out my goals. I am a list maker! I looooove to strike things off of a to-do list! Earlier this summer, I listed out a lot of goals for the summer (and if we're honest, it's always overkill) and I've been working on checking it off. I check it every day or every few days and slooooowly but surely I'm making strides toward completing it!

So that's what's working for me right now. What's working for you?

Monday, July 1, 2024

Vidalia Invitational

On Saturday morning, we were up at at 'em by 5AM to hit the road for our last summer swim meet. I have lots of updating to do about summer since this is my first update in a while, but James hurt his arm at church camp and was out of swim about two weeks and missed his first two meets. We have one more coming up in July, but both boys will be on a mission trip. So it was either make the trek to Vidalia or James didn't have a summer meet at all! (And meets are the fun part of swim!) It was a HOT one, but both boys dropped a little time and had a great day!

James' relay team was SO excited going into the week because one of the teams they swim against during the school year was coming and we really enjoy watching them compete! Sadly, that team didn't have enough for a 13-14 boys' relay team and no one else brought any 13-14 boys either so as long as they didn't DQ their two relays, they got automatic 1st place points! We'll take it!

Will didn't have enough his age for a relay team, but he swam 5 individual events and got two 4th places, two 3rd places, and one 2nd place! He beat another kid on his team that has been swimming for a while and he was SO tickled with that - a win for him!

Sharing a blurry picture of James' dive because it has come SO FAR. I'll include his dive two years ago below (he's closest to the camera - this is from 1.5 years ago). He's made SO much progress. He is pretty bored with the monotony of swim right now, but does really enjoy school meets so I'm ready for that season - his first HIGH SCHOOL SEASON - to get rolling.

James wound up taking Points Runner Up in his age group and we think will get a medal. We didn't realize they had awards and left before they were distributed. Whoops!

The boys have a few more practices this week and next week and then will have a few weeks off. James will continue to swim in August and September, but Will has a break until October. They're ready for a little break!

Monday, May 13, 2024

Your Reading Guide

 I have always LOVED a reading guide. I love a list of books to try to read through and mark off. I love the goal of reading a pile of books in a certain amount of time. Y'all know I just love books.

It was time to vote in some new books for Book Club and I got fancy this year and made a Google Doc for everyone to vote on and THEN I made this gorgeous Reading Guide (if I do say so myself). I may get fancy and make myself a Summer Reading Guide as well and if I do, I'll share it here!


Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Summer Bucket List

Well, hello there! Should I re-introduce myself? I'm back (however briefly) to share our Annual Summer Bucket List. Not surprisingly, I was met with a fair bit of complaining and gnashing of teeth when I suggested we make this list, but we powered through it anyway. James assured me he is "not three years old" when we started and I told him if he didn't suggest things I'd add zoo trips and berry picking to the list so he'd better get it together and help me!

Also not surprisingly, our list is FULL of ALL THE SPORTS. That's pretty much what life revolves around these days! Here at the beginning of May, we are full steam ahead with summer swim (which really has become year-round swim, minus about 2 months, for James). Will is going to join him at the end of the month. Will is also very interested in tennis this summer. And James has signed himself up for a variety of golf tournaments as well as the coveted Drive Chip Putt competition, where he hopes to pass the first round and I hope he is just able to compete against the kids who are also there and probably all eat, sleep, and breathe golf (we don't at this point...).

In addition to all of the sports, we threw a few foods to try, a few fun things to do on a rainy day, a few church items, movies, and trips. It's already shaping up to be a VERY busy summer! I hope to share it all with you!


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Hurricane Idalia

 Well, one month into school and we've had our first hurricane of the year! Hurricane Idalia came through a little south of us on Wednesday morning/afternoon. It wound up being a very ok day for us! We never lost power and didn't have ANY damage, trees down, etc. There were several trees down in our neighborhood, but nothing terrible. We had some friends who were without power for about 24 hours and there are still LOTS in our community without power, but overall we were spared anything terrible. A town about 45 minutes south of us was hit much harder! I've enjoyed two days off of school with lots of reading, some cleaning, and plenty of laying around time!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Middle School!

 Well, shockingly, we have been in school for almost a month now! Our county went back on July 28th (the earliest we've EVER gone...but I've heard it will be July 27th next year). We do get out mid-May, but it still feels really rude to begin in July.

Yes, James is actually that much taller than Will. He's HUGE. He is right at 5'8" and Will is around 5'2" currently. James grew a TON the summer after 6th grade so Will will catch him in about a year! :) 

Both boys are in MIDDLE SCHOOL this year. James has always really liked the independence that came with middle school, but Will is THRIVING so far. He wants to sign up for ALL THE THINGS (James came home really excited about clubs in 6th grade as well) and his social life has taken flight. He got a phone over the summer and he's constantly making plans with neighborhood friends. Last night at around 7:45 he came in and asked to go ride golf carts with some friends. It's been a fun transition!

Both boys have been on swim team all summer and will roll into school swim in October. Will likes it, but I think is a little intimidated by it. Will is also joining Robotics on Monday and a club called Skills on Tuesday. He's pumped about both.

James is taking an online construction class this year. He has to finish 23 modules by mid-May and he has already finished 6. It sounds like he will need something else to keep him busy after he finishes that!

We've already had back-t0-school germs hit our house. Will and I have both had congestion and a cough and sore throats. James woke up this morning with a fever and a headache. He also has a weirdo skin infection happening. We will see if they're related. Woof!

We've been working on plans for a fun Fall Break trip and James has enjoyed helping plan the itinerary. He completed an itinerary for Pigeon Forge and it was not approved by Granddaddy so he's back to the drawing board with a few other cities to pitch. It's been really fun to watch him research!

My school year kicked off on August 9th and it has been wide open so far. This is my 7th year as director and each year seems to come with brand new challenges! It has kicked my butt so far since the end of July. I'm hoping for smooth sailing from here on out!!!!

Eddie changed positions at his company earlier this year and that has also created a little learning curve for him. He was working from home several days each week, but he hasn't since the beginning of the summer. He's been pretty busy!

Overall, we are doing well! The pre-teen and teenage years have had their share of ups and downs thus far. It's hard to remember to slow down and enjoy them sometimes because it seems like there are so many things crammed in!