Posted in Family, Traditions

Pumpkin Patch Recap

Today I’m recapping one of my favorite days of the year…our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

On Friday, Hayden’s baseball practice was canceled which gave us an afternoon after school off from activities. Travis even got home a bit early, so we were able to leave right when I finished my school day. We go to Evan’s Orchard in Georgetown, and have been going there for four or five years.

I love the mix of activities, pumpkins, photo ops, and apple cider everything 😊

Of course, upon arrival, I headed straight to the pumpkins…

while the kids headed straight to the apple cannon! I don’t remember them having this in the past, but the kids shot ten apples at the various targets (a truck, a ghost, etc), and we were all laughing at the hits and the misses.

I was impressed with how the orchard was set up. The area with most of the pumpkins, the apple cannon, and this corn stalk photo op is an area that typically isn’t used. So, this provided more space for people to spread out all over the orchard.

This cute pic of the kids is very 2020 with the masks around their necks, but I sure do miss the days where they let me dress them in a bright orange jack-o-lantern or boo shirt. At least they still like this tradition of going to pick out our carving pumpkins.

Family photo.

This little swing photo area was also new this year. Hadley couldn’t resist.

All the pumpkins you could ever ask for…

These are the pumpkins they picked for carving:

Mini pumpkins on the way inside the store…

where we also purchased two packs of apple cider donuts.

Hadley and Travis had ice cream as their treat while Hayden and I had apple cider slushies. It was the first time I’d had one, and it was so delish and refreshing.

I also picked up these mini wooden pumpkins to add to my ongoing collection.

We enjoyed our treats while sitting by the big pumpkins.

I swear they look 10 going on 16 in this pic!

Then, Hayden talked us into a bag of kettle corn for the road. We figured “why not?” since we all could share it. A medium bag is plenty big and lasted the rest of the weekend.

This is the second year we didn’t pay for the play area …1. because of lack of time and 2. because of Covid. That’s why I obliged on a few extra treats and pumpkins when it was all said and done.

Again, it was definitely a good outside outing with masks, social distancing, and protocols being followed.

The pumpkin patch and this front porch view are two of my favorite things about this season!

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s Let’s Look link up. It’s all about…pumpkins. My fave! I couldn’t miss out on that!

Happy pumpkin season, y’all!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, School

Friday Favorites

Hey, hey! We made it to Friday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this week has about done me in. Juggling my school life, the kids (and their activities), multiple appointments (doctor, ortho, etc) and more, I’m just drained. It always takes a couple of weeks to get into the “back to school groove,” and, at this point, I’m the only one actually back to school! 😳

I’m happy to see the weekend, and I hope to recharge a bit before Monday.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Favorite Pic:

Hayden’s baseball season will be over in the next couple of weeks. I love that Travis helps coach his team. I’m not sure Hayden knows how lucky he is to have a dad who wants to be involved as well as help him grow as a player. This pic is priceless to me. ❤️ (and, yes–they do bump heads sometimes like most father/son relationships…but I tell them to keep it on the field. 😉

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hadley asked Alexa to set a timer for 2:45. Alexa said, “A timer is set for 14:25.” Hadley looked at me and said, “She’s talking Army time.” 😂

Favorite Show:

I’m late to the Selling Sunset hype. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I’ve watched two seasons since last Thursday. I love this show. Just enough drama and friendship…plus they show (& sell) amazing homes!

Favorite Book:

Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to read lately, but I’m loving 28 Summers. Hopefully I will get it read in time to chat about it in my August book post.

Back to School Favorites:

Last Friday, we decided to get school supplies and back to school clothes. I always take the kids to pick out their supplies. It gets them excited about the school year, and it’s always funny to see Hayden pick things out in five minutes while Hadley spends seven minutes picking out the cutest folder.

Then, we headed across the street to Vineyard Vines. Hayden is pretty low maintenance with clothes, but he likes Vineyard Vines t-shirts and polos. I was going to take him anyway, but VV was having 50% off for teachers and students, so I let him pick out an extra shirt!

I took Hadley to Target this week where she picked out a couple of shirts and a jean skirt to wear on the first day.

I told Travis it was his turn to partake in the Back to School “fun”….so he took them for new shoes on Sunday. They were gone a couple of hours, Hadley called me twice and sent me 15 text messages from Trav’s phone. haha!! Hayden is apparently a high maintenance shoe shopper!

This year, the kids’ school had a drive thru “Meet the Teacher,” so we drove through, picked up supplies, and chatted with their teachers. I am bummed this is how they are starting their last year of elementary school, but the school is definitely making these events as special as possible.

Then, last night, they had a Zoom Open House where they were able to meet all the 5th grade teachers and chat with classmates.

There were a couple of treats in the bag…but mostly textbooks! 😂

Another favorite for me (and probably only me) this week has been getting organized. Hayden’s desk arrived, and Hadley already has a desk. My neighbor went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her to pick me up two of these rolling carts. They are perfect for holding their supplies for school, and can easily be rolled to the kitchen or office if the kids prefer to work there.

Favorite Purchase:

There’s a Bath and Body Works by Vineyard Vines, so after that shopping, we stopped in Bath and Body. I knew their three wick candles were on sale, so I picked up a fall scented one. It’s making me so happy!

Favorite Family Fun :

Cousin Wyatt turned 6 on Wednesday, and we got together for his birthday. For his party, he had a huge inflatable water slide. The kids had tons of fun and were worn out.

Happy Birthday, Wyatt!

I got them to pause for three seconds for a picture!

Hayden meant to wear his sports goggles, but insisted on keeping his regular glasses on while going down the water slide. Later, my brother sent me this pic saying Hayden looked like Squints from Sandlot. I’ve thought that since Hayden picked out those glasses, but it was funny to see the pic for comparison.

and here the cute cousins are in 2015 for Wyatt’s first birthday party. Time flies!

Favorite Food:

Last weekend, I made Andrea’s Peanut Butter Pretzel No Bake Bars. Hadley helped me make them; they were so delicious! They provided us dessert for a few nights.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Guilty as charged!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Hadley’s prepping for her dance recital. Her studio is going to video the routines next week while everyone is in costume and “dance ready.” This is Hadley at her first ballet class in 2015. So sweet!

2015

I love when this 2012 pic of Hayden pops up in my Facebook memories…PJ shirt, undies, shoes and a shovel. #pinchycheekcute He was helping dad in the backyard!

Weekly Recap:

Now, if you need me, I will be trying to keep my head above water and counting down the minutes to the weekend!

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Activities, Family

Summer Fun List Update

Well, the days of sleeping in and easing into the day are almost over. To be clear, they’ve been over for me since Monday 😉Today, I’m sharing an update on where we stand with our Summer 2020 Fun List.

When we wrote down our ideas for this list in mid-June, Hayden and Hadley each listed some thing they’d like to do, and we brainstormed a few ideas to complete as a family.

Here’s a breakdown on what we’ve accomplished this summer:

Hadley

  • Learn a (new) Tik Tok dance: Y’all, she seems to master a new dance daily! AND…we all get to be audience 😂
  • Tie Dye: Hadley did tie dye a shirt and socks with some friends.
  • Bake: We haven’t baked too much this summer because we have ZERO self-control when it comes to sweets in this house, but Hadley has made the Lemon Freezer Pie on her own a few times.
  • Cook dinner one night: Well, I’ve forgotten about this one, and need to hold her to it 😉She does help me dinner prep sometimes. #summerisntoveryet !!
  • Dance Workshop: She was able to take a couple Hip Hop workshops this summer, and is now back dancing full time to make up for April/May classes.
  • Try S’mores Frapp: She did try this frapp from Starbucks this summer and liked it!
  • Go to Bob Evans Restaurant: We haven’t made it there yet. I’m not sure if our local BE has dine in service right now? I guess we could get carry out one night.
  • Dog walking business: Yes! The kids have taken care of a few neighborhood pets this summer and regularly walked the neighbor’s dog.
  • Art Project: Hadley did complete an art project or two as well as some crafts (a hand scrub, a lava lamp, and she painted a Mason jar for her pens and pencils). She also completed some of the crafts from her camp box since camp was canceled this summer.

Hayden

  • Teach Homer some tricks : Yes! Hayden has been working with Homer some on “sit,” “down,” “come,” and “shake.” Most of those are commands rather than tricks, but he has fun with Homer. Seriously, I’ve never seen a kid love a dog more than Hayden loves Homer.
  • Take golf lessons: Well, once baseball started back, we didn’t have lots of time to schedule actual lessons, but Travis and Hayden went golfing a few times this summer just the two of them and then with friends this past Sunday. Maybe we can get him lessons once baseball is over. (Interestingly enough, he’s a left handed kid—but bats right handed and golfs left handed. So crazy to me!)
  • Get/play video games: I do not think we’ve bought any new games, but he’s certainly played on his Xbox this summer! Great way to cool off after playing outside.
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week: Unfortunately, for Hayden, Hadley’s camp was canceled this summer 😂
  • Baseball: Yes. All the baseball. Practices. Games. Backyard practices and games. Baseball lessons. On repeat.
1st base and pitcher
  • Go shoe shopping: With a delayed back to school start date, we haven’t bought new shoes just yet. BUT Travis did score a great deal on a pair of Air Max tennis shoes, but they were a bit too big. They will fit Hayden soon enough, I’m sure!
  • Play outside: We were just discussing with friends that this summer, for our kids, felt like our own childhood summers. Since we weren’t at the pool, there was more time for neighborhood kids to ride bikes and run around together. It’s been a pretty simple and sweet summer in that regard.
  • Draw things: Hayden loves to draw. Do you know when his most favorite time to draw is? BEDTIME! ugh!
  • Watch sports: Yes. He’s found the time to watch NBA games and Royals baseball!
  • Not get braces: Well, technically he hasn’t gotten his braces in yet…but he does have his Herbst appliance in for the foreseeable future. He’s definitely gotten used to it, and knows what to do if it gets stuck! haha

Family:

I will share some more for the family list details in tomorrow’s post but we were able to:

  • Go to the zoo, go on a couple of hikes, take a vacation to Florida, visit family in Kansas City, pick strawberries, and kayak/canoe with friends.

Other activities:

  • Lake: We never made it to a lake this summer which is a bummer because I do love the lake life.
  • Drive in movie: We had plans a couple of weekends ago to go to the drive in, but it rained all weekend. We haven’t re-scheduled just yet, but I’d love to take the kids sometime soon!

Overall, I’d say we did a pretty good job of using our list to guide our fun this summer. We were able to make memories and have fun together even if it was a quarantine/COVID kind of summer.

Posted in Family, Me

Memory Lane…

When we were in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, my Gma was cleaning out her pics and had given some to my mom to sort through and keep what she wanted. Then, it was my turn to choose some pics to keep. I brought home about 25 pics, but thought I’d share a few faves.

On my Shutterfly app, I have various albums, and one of them is for old pics. I chose a couple of those to sprinkle in as well.

My kids get the biggest kick out of seeing these older pics. I do what I can to entertain them 😉

Me:

I shared these two pics last week in my Friday Favorites post. I think the banana one is a fave pic of me for my Gma.

I’m assuming this is a pic of me around Christmastime. My love for Madeline ran deep. I carried that doll everywhere.

Listen. If you didn’t have your 5th birthday party at Show Biz Pizza, were you even a kid of the 80’s?

I clearly remember this Esprit shirt, how much I loved it, and how cool I felt in it. Also, let’s talk about the 80’s edition camcorder my mom is holding.

Brother & Sister:

There’s a three and a half year age difference between my brother and me. I used to pick on him, hit him, and pull his hair. I hated in the summer when he’d get a buzz cut to keep cool, and I could no longer get a good grip on his hair.

My parents always used to warn me that one day he’d be bigger than me…but I couldn’t really comprehend that as I figured I’d always be older than him. That being said, thankfully we started getting along once he did grow taller, bigger, and stronger than me!

My grandparents had a houseboat on the Lake of the Ozarks for most of my childhood. I have lots of great memories from the lake.

Pic on the left: we caught a fish!; Top right: I’m sure someone told us our face would freeze like that…and we were up for the challenge; Bottom right: tummy time..for the both of us, apparently.

Pic on the left: I’m guessing this is an Olan Mills photo from around 1984; Top right: tricycle fun at my grandparents’ house (and my brother with his binky!); Bottom right: Trip to DC in 2004. My mom had just retired and cashed in her sick days. She wanted to take a trip with my brother and me. I voted for the beach. I was outvoted, and we met up in DC.

Grandparents: ❤️

I had really wonderful grandparents. I’m blessed to still have my Gma, and it’s been an ever greater blessing that Hayden and Hadley have great memories with her too!

We spent lots of time on the swing set at my grandparents’ house.

My grandpa was lots of fun! and yes-I’m sporting a perm.

I spent lots of time at my dad’s parents’ house too. Most mornings they’d drop me off there, and my grandma (Lulu) would take me to school. They had a fun backyard with swings, a garden, and in the summer, a little pool for us to splash around in. We’d often have Sunday family dinners there too with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also, my grandpa worked for Pepsi, and they had a Pepsi pop machine out in their breezeway which was a dream come true for the grand kids. Lulu passed away when I was in the third grade, and my grandpa passed away when I was in the seventh grade. I’m very thankful to have great memories of them.

I would often spend sick days at my Gma’s house. My mom’s school was close to their house, and my mom would drop me off there if I needed to stay home. I remember watching I Love Lucy while eating cinnamon sugar toast and scrambled eggs on the couch during those sick days.

My grandpa was very funny. He’d always tell jokes and tickle us. We’d go to their country club and swim or hit golf balls. He always said, “I always knew I’d marry the right woman. I just didn’t know her first name would be always.” haha. He had tons of jokes like that. He passed away in 2004 right after I got engaged and right before my move to Kentucky. I’m very thankful he was able to meet Travis! Of course, I wish my three grandparents could have met Hayden and Hadley…what a gift that would have been.

Pic on left: Swinging with Lulu; Top right: Gma driving a boat at the lake; Bottom right: Grandpa was a Tigers fan…really, he was a fan of anything we did.

Other Faves:

Lake time with mom, my brother, and my Gma.

The house I grew up in had a huge front yard hill that was perfect for those Midwest winters. We’d sled down the hill, across the street, and into the neighbor’s yard.

Top pic: Sledding with my mom, brother, and dog Maggie.

Bottom pic: Classic leaving the hospital pic….my mom carrying my brother, my dad with his bell bottoms and pipe (probably telling me to get in the car!), and me with my boy haircut and Madeline doll.

This is probably Christmas 2002 or 2003. Whatever year it was, I think it was Trav’s first Christmas with my family. We always do Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family and Christmas evening with my mom’s side of the family. This pic is at my Gma’s house.

So, that’s a little trip down memory lane. I guess I get my love for taking pics honestly which is obviously easier to do in 2020 with an iPhone in my hand all of the time.

Time sure does fly by!

I hope you have a great day! See you back here tomorrow for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday post. (Also, how is July almost over?!?)

Posted in Family, Travel

Road trip to KC

Last week we hit the road to visit family in Kansas City. I’m from KC (hence part of my blog name…I’m from the “Show Me” state 😉 ), and try to get back there at least a couple times a year.

Obviously, with the world turned upside down, I hadn’t seen family in a while. I had to adjust our dates a few times and wanted to make sure to take as safe of a trip as possible, so we headed out last Wednesday and came back on Sunday.

With a few stops, KC is about a 9 hour drive from Lexington. We made great time on both legs of the trip, only stopping quickly for gas and restroom break if needed.

I mentioned this earlier in the week, but this trip reminded me that traveling with kids does get easier! I made a list for each kid for their suitcase and backpacks, and they packed themselves! I double checked a few things, but they had it all. Also, I felt less stressed packing this time (I just hate packing…and unpacking) because I knew we were just going to lounge around! Comfy clothes, workout clothes and pjs were all that I needed.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and stopped at my dad’s house first. The kids played outside, and my dad helped Hayden with his golf swing. 😉

Then, we made our way to my mom’s house. The kids were excited to continue their dog walking biz by walking her dog Gus. They walked him twice a day most days.

It’s summer. It’s July. It’s hot everywhere, but KC brings the heat. Travis and I were married in KC in June 2005…when the heat index was pushing 110. So this heat index of 106 was something I’m all too familiar with.

Two days of our trip, Travis took the kids to a nearby golf course so they could hit balls on the driving range…and “drive” the golf cart.

Look out!

Friday morning Travis and I went on a walk on a trail close to my mom’s house. We didn’t start our walk until after 10:00, and it was already so hot. We chose the trail, so we’d at least get a little shade!

Friday afternoon, one of my mom’s friends graciously let us cool off in his pool! It’s always good to see him and his wife…and the pool is a great way for the kids to cool off and burn some energy.

Gus got lots of snuggles.

I’ve mentioned before that Hayden has been reading the Harry Potter series. My mom has all the books, so she was saving them for when the kids would be interested in reading them. Hayden has read the first three books, so he started with the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, once GG gave him the set.

He even stayed up later than the rest of us on Wednesday night to start the book.

Sunday, on the drive home, Hayden read 90% of the time! He was really loving that book.

Throughout our stay, we played quite a few games. Monopoly Deal was a favorite. It took a couple of rounds to get used to, but we enjoyed it…and it’s definitely easier to pack and shorter to play than the Monopoly board game.

We also played Battleship that my mom had and then Dominoes at my grandma’s house.

Missouri has my favorite convenience store…Quik Trip. (It’s the little things that make you miss home, right? ;))They are always so clean and the employees are known for ringing you up as quickly as possible.

Sometimes we stop at QT on our way in or out of town, but Saturday, we picked up drinks for everyone as well as tacos from Taco John’s which are a fave of Trav’s when we visit.

When we are in KC, we usually hit up other local faves like Topsys for their popcorn and cherry limeade, Winsteads for a burger and shake, and of course, KC BBQ. This trip, we didn’t eat out as much just to be on the safe side.

On Saturday, we celebrated my Gma’s birthday. I ordered her a flower pot from the same Etsy shop that I purchased end of the school year gifts for the kids’ teachers.

Saturday night, we played more Dominoes before lasagna dinner and cookie cake at Gma’s house.

dinner at Gma’s

Then, it was time to pack up on Saturday night to head out Sunday morning.

It was a great visit, and we got to spend lots of time with our family.

Of course, it’s always sad to leave (and as the kids get older, they definitely do miss seeing family that’s far away), but it’s also good to get back home to Homer and sleep in our own beds.

Until next time, KC…

I hope you are having a great week.

Posted in Family, Kids

Summer Fun List

Hello and happy Tuesday!

Real talk: I’ve realized Monday is my least favorite day of the week…even in the summer. Mondays mean to do lists, grocery pick up, laundry, and more! During the school year, those are usually Sunday chores! Now, I just bump that business to Monday! I’m very happy to move on to Tuesday.

Anyway, before the summer slips away, I thought I’d have the kids write down some things they want to do this summer. Hadley’s list is on the left, Hayden’s on the right (more real talk: he was kind of grumpy when he made his list), and family items in the middle. A few of the items we’ve accomplished already, but I wanted to have a list for our entire summer.

Hadley:

  • Learn a new Tik Tok dance (Thankfully, this isn’t a family activity 😉
  • Tie Dye
  • Bake
  • Go to Bob Evans restaurant (She loves the microwave mashed potatoes I buy—she wants to see if they taste the same at the restaurant!)
  • Dance workshops
  • And more!

Hayden:

  • Teach Homer tricks
  • Take golf lessons
  • Baseball
  • Draw
  • Play outside
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week (I hate to burst his bubble, but camp has been cancelled!)
  • And more!

Family:

  • Vacation
  • Pick strawberries (maybe Travis can join us next time!)
  • Go visit family in KC
  • Go to the zoo
  • Kayak
  • Drive in movie
  • And more!

Our summer looks a bit different with less pool time this year, but we hope to make the most of it and plan some other activities.

The kids have even started a little dog walking business. They walked their first two clients yesterday.

I don’t know that anything too fun is happening today. Hayden will have to update his list because this morning he is, in fact, getting his phase 2 braces. Poor guy! Good news for him (and Hadley) is maybe we can stop for a root beer float at A&W after his appointment!

Take care,

Posted in Family, Holidays, Travel

Thanksgiving in KC

Well, the five day break certainly flew by…& now just three weeks of school until winter break!

We traveled to Kansas City to see my family for Thanksgiving.

We headed out after school on Tuesday, made a pit stop in St. Louis and finished the drive on Wednesday morning.

We decided to bring Homer with us. He was awesome in the car and in the hotel overnight. (I joked with the kids that Homer won “best behaved” between the three of them 😂)

The rest of the fam went to eat breakfast at the hotel. I turned my back for a minute and found Homer living his best life on the hotel bed #baddog

Wednesday, we just hung out with family and had pizza for dinner…followed by early bedtimes for all.

Thanksgiving morning, we slept in and lounged around until Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house.

Snuggles with my mom’s dog, Gus.

I’ve always loved watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning & now my kids do too.

Ready to go — & of course, thankful for these two…

Thanksgiving on my dad’s side of the family is always fun. My cousin’s house is so pretty and the tablescape was beautiful. I loved the chocolate turkeys with our names on them for place settings.

After dinner, we always watch the Plaza Lighting ceremony on tv (& then we recreated it as we flipped my cousin’s outside lights on 😂)…Then, we usually play a game…This year, we played Empire, and had a great time.

Friday consisted of some online shopping , card playing, a nap…or two and turkey soup for dinner. My mom’s been making the turkey soup for years on the Friday after Thanksgiving. My grandma came over to have dinner with us.

I do not Black Friday shop…at ALL. I’m more of a Cyber Monday girl. Fighting the masses for things I can buy online has always sounded like 0 fun. I saw this on Instagram, & my 5w6 ring true!

Uno and coffee. Low key Friday
Hadley and Gma worked on their selfie game!
Both are so cute, right? 🙂

Saturday morning, we packed up, had breakfast at a local place, picked up Homer at my dad’s house and headed home.

Homer was our backseat driver!

I’m always sad to leave after a good visit, but it’s also always good to get home, get situated and ready for the week ahead…plus, we had a Christmas tree to buy and a Santa to see!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a great week.

Thanks for reading,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea