Posted in Holidays, Kids

Birthday Recap

Hello! Well, we’ve had a couple of twelve-year-olds in the house for a couple of days now, and not much has changed. When is it that they will start acting like they are 12? #askingforafriend

All kidding aside, they had a wonderful birthday full of fun with friends and lots of cake.

Here’s a recap of how we celebrated Hayden and Hadley turning the big 1-2!

On Friday, after school, I picked up a cookie cake for them from Great American Cookies. Their cookie cakes are the best and never disappoint.

Then, I picked the kids and a few of their friends up from school. We came home for a bit to wait for their other friends to arrive before heading to Sky Zone.

This was such an easy activity for them at this age, and a great way to burn some energy. We bought passes for them to jump for 1 and 1/2 hours which was the perfect amount of time.

While I’m sometimes sad at home quickly time seems to be flying by, I wasn’t sad about the fact that I got to just sit on the Sky Zone couch with Travis while the kids did their thing. I saw a few parents of little ones having to wear the orange Sky Zone socks and jump with their kids, and that’s a “no” for me at this point in my life 😉

Also, this age is so funny. These kids all pretty much know each other, but as soon as we arrived, the boys and girls split up. During the last thirty minutes or so, they started to all hang together. #tweenlife

After Sky Zone, we went to Grimaldis for pizza. This group of ten seemed to have so much fun. They talked, laughed, and acted silly. Hayden and Hadley opened their gifts while we waited on the pizza. Then, these kids crushed two huge pizzas!

Then, we sang Happy Birthday to them (actually, the entire restaurant ended up doing so), and they enjoyed the cookie cake.

Grimaldis is in a neat little shopping area, and even though it was 35 degrees outside, the kids wanted to go see the tree.

Of course, the girls couldn’t resist a good photo op…

or two…

before convincing the boys to join in for a group photo…

…or two!

(I really do love this group photo – great kids and a pretty back drop!)

Then, we divided and conquered with Travis taking the boys home while I dropped the girls off at their houses. We were home around 9:00, and it was a great evening filled with fun and friends!

November 20th:

The thing about having older kids whose birthday is on a Saturday is they sleep in which gave me a bit more time for set up. Travis went and got donuts while I put the finishing touches on their presents.

Then, it was time to celebrate them during breakfast.

They opened gifts and then went outside to see their birthday signs.

This sign gets me every time. This also means I’ve been a mom for 12 years, 144 months, and 4,382 days! Time is certainly flying by.

They obliged (barely) for the birthday balloon photo. They look so grown up!

Later in the evening, my brother and his family came over for cake! Cake with the cousins. What could be better?

One more “Happy Birthday to YOU!”

Then, they stayed for a bit to watch the MIZZOU game while Hayden, Travis, and cousin Wyatt went to Hayden’s basketball game. Hadley had a dear friend spend the night, so I took the girls to Target and then out for a quick dinner.

Mama was tired, and was counting the minutes until bedtime!

On Sunday, we met up with my brother-in-law’s family for hibachi. His son’s birthday was that day, so we had fun celebrating the cousins.

The kids had a great 24(+) hours filled with friends, fun and tons of cake! We’re certainly blessed that so many friends and family took the time to celebrate them with calls, texts, and attending their part(ies).

I have one more post this week, so I will see you back here tomorrow!

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#91}: The Twins Turn Twelve

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? We had a good, but hectic one. The kids had their activities, but they also had quite a few school assignments to complete like a science project proposal and essay. We just had to use our evening time very wisely to meet these deadlines in between activities.

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

Well, this post is all about two of my favorites. Today, I’m celebrating them as they turn TWELVE tomorrow. Where has the time gone?

A little stroll down memory lane…

B A B I E S

Tiny but mighty…

March 2010
Summer 2010

O N E

First time at the beach…

T W O

Ready to rock their roles and flower girl and ring bearer…

T H R E E

One of my favorite photos ever…

F O U R

Very patriotic…

F I V E

Hayden has to live his life in the shadow of Hadley 😉

Ahh…toothless smiles. My fave.

S I X

Go CATS!

S E V E N

Sweetness at the beach.

E I G H T

Big kids! One of my most favorite Christmas gifts. This sweet photo.

N I N E

Snow bunnies.

T E N

Easter cuteness.

E L E V E N

Big kids ready to be baptized.

And tomorrow they turn…

T W E L V E !

Hayden…

I’m not sure if it’s the five inches you’ve grown this year or the fact that you now wear contacts, but you’ve grown into quite the young man this year.

I cherish the “love you” text messages.

You are a quiet kid with a kind heart. You’re loyal to the bone whether it’s cheering for UK or being a great friend.

Your determination, competitive spirit, and quiet leadership are qualities that I admire in you.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year I know you’ll continue to grow, challenge yourself, and mature. Maybe you’ll figure out where to put those dirty clothes 😉

I hope you have the best year yet. Can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

Hadley…

You are blossoming into a young lady right before our very eyes. Your silly sense of humor and caring heart are such inspiring qualities.

You’ve made the transition to middle school seamlessly. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve made friends while holding on to your elementary friendships as well.

It’s a joy to watch you dance, and your grace is inspiring.

You care for others and have an innate ability to know just the moment that I need a hug.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year, I know you’ll continue to make friends, follow your heart, and have a positive attitude with everything that you do. Maybe you’ll figure out how to cut your morning routine time in half? Hayden would really appreciate it 😉

I hope you have the best year yet. Can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

In honor of Friday Favorites, here are…

12 of your favorites:

Hayden:

  • Favorite color: blue or purple
  • Favorite food: bacon burger
  • Favorite place to eat: Drakes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: basketball and cross country
  • Favorite TV show: Goldbergs
  • Favorite animal: dog (Homer)
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs, Royals, Kentucky, Oregon, Dodgers
  • Favorite movie: The Outsiders or Happy Gilmore
  • Favorite class: PE and art
  • Favorite book: The Hatchet

Hadley:

  • Favorite color: light blue
  • Favorite food: pork loin and mashed potatoes
  • Favorite place to eat: Raising Canes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: track and dance
  • Favorite TV show: Fuller House
  • Favorite animal: monkey
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Christmas
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs and UK
  • Favorite movie: Home Alone
  • Favorite class: math
  • Favorite song: Love Story by Taylor Swift

I thought about asking them their favorite thing about each other, but I’m sure I’d be pressing my luck!

Favorite Mom Meme (quote):

Sigh. Babies don’t keep.

Previous Birthday Posts:

Weekly Recap:

I’ve had a few posts this week:

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be celebrating with a bunch of tweens! Wish us luck!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#88}

Hello and Happy Friday! I spent all of yesterday thinking it was Friday, so I’m glad that Friday is actually, finally here!

I have so much to share this week! As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Favorite Picture:

I shared in yesterday’s post about our trip to the orchard to get our pumpkins to carve. We were only there for a short period of time, but I’m glad we made it work!

Favorite Moment:

Hadley was an acolyte for the first time last Sunday. It was sweet to see her take on this role.

Favorite Food(s):

Amy shared her Greek bowl recipe, and I had to try it. Y’all, this dish is so good. I’ve had it three times in the past week. When she says not to skip the homemade tzatziki sauce, she’s not kidding. Fun Fact: I hate yogurt, so I was worried that I wouldn’t like the sauce…it’s so good! So good. (I skipped the tomatoes and olives because I don’t like those. I’m kind of picky about some things 😉

And…these: 🤣 {hashtag: balance}

I shared about this Pinterest Pumpkin Sugar Cookie recipe earlier this week. I made these on Sunday, and they didn’t last long at our house!

Other Faves:

Last Friday was so rainy and cool that we had the first fire of the year. Friday night was so nice. I was in my pj’s early (after the pumpkin patch), we had pizza for dinner, and I watched tv while enjoying a glass of wine. I went to bed pretty early too!

We had our “Spooky” dinner and carved pumpkins on Wednesday which are both favorite Halloween traditions.

Another favorite is seeing the kids do what they love…

Hayden has been having a good time with his new basketball team, and is really growing as a player. Also, I think he really is growing! Hadley doesn’t seem to be a head taller than him anymore!

Hadley had her first performance with her school dance team during halftime of the girls basketball game on Monday. Their routine was so fun, and she had a great time!

My favorite front yard trees are starting to show off! We have some rain coming through today, and I hope the leaves don’t all fall off. I want to enjoy this view for as long as possible.

It’s been Red Ribbon (Say No to Drugs) Week. Hadley has fully embraced the dress up days, and Hayden joined her on Tuesday…”I’m too smart for drugs…” Dress up in your favorite college shirt or your favorite career clothes.

Hadley and friends were so cute on Wednesday…”Travel with your pack drug free.” You and your pack of friends dress alike. Doesn’t every tween girl have black leggings, a black t-shirt, and a colorful tutu on hand?!?

It’s been fun seeing her excited about all of these middle school activities.

Also, Hadley and a couple of friends went to the Fall Festival at her friend’s church on Wednesday. They had lots of fun, and she brought home some candy!

giraffe, elephant, and waffle!

Favorite Mom Meme:

I definitely used to be the mom who would bring the cute homemade treat, but I must have outdone myself during the primary years because once the kids hit intermediate grades, this was me:

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

I think I probably share these around Halloween every year, but I always get a kick out of looking back on what the kids were each year.

Seriously, Hayden still doesn’t know what he will be this year because I keep saying no to “killer clown!”

(Batman and Robin in 2013 are my favorite costumes for the kids!)

Weekly Recap:

I had a busy blogging week. Memes, all about my teaching career, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin fun!

I hope you have a great weekend and a very Happy Halloween.

Posted in Books and Shows, Kids

September: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! As this month wraps up, I’m sharing what I read this month.

Well this is probably my saddest post to date. I read one book. One. I thought about saving this book for my October book post, but I like to share as I go. To be honest, I just haven’t had much of a desire to read lately. There’s been too much going on, and I’ve been too tired at night to even think about reading. I find myself choosing an episode of The Golden Girls before bed rather than reading a few pages of a book.

So, without further adieu, here’s the one book that I read:

Yoga Pant Nation:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Summary:

Jen Dixon of Overland Park, Kansas—fearless mother of a fifth-grade boy and two thirty-something daughters—is used to juggling a lot, from her mission to become a spin instructor, to stepping in as the most acerbic class mom ever (again), to taking care of her two-year-old granddaughter. But when the PTA president throws her a mandate to raise $10,000 for the fifth-grade class, even unflappable Jen is going to need more than her regular spin class to get her through this final year at William Taft Elementary School.

In the midst of new complications—organizing the class overnight to Topeka, an unexpected spin class fan in the form of her husband’s crazy ex-wife, and trying to navigate her parents’ sudden descent into apparent delusions—Jen hardly has the patience to listen to yet another half-baked idea (come on, ladies, another wrapping paper sale?) from WeFUKCT (We Fundraise Until Kingdom Come Team), her fundraising committee. But if anyone can get elementary parents to pull off the impossible, it’s Jen Dixon.

With her always irreverent and laugh-out-loud humor—boldly holding forth on those things you’re thinking, but would never dare say out loud—Laurie Gelman shines a light on the indignities and hilarities of modern parenting.

Quick Thoughts:

This is the third book in the Class Mom series. (Book 1: Class Mom, Book 2: You’ve Been Volunteered), and I enjoyed it. The main character is Jen, a sarcastic mom from a suburb of Kansas City. I mean, she could be me. I am her.

Kind of like with most books in a series, the first book is the best and then it kind of tapers off from there. I enjoyed Class Mom so much! I loved it, and have recommended it to friends many times. I’d still recommend You’ve Been Volunteered and Yoga Pant Nation, but book one is definitely my favorite.

In this third book, it’s nice to get an update on all of the characters. Jen, her children, her husband, and even some of her friends. With her son being in the 5th grade, she’s wrapping up her time at the elementary school with the same funny and sarcastic class mom emails that she delivered in the other books. I like that there’s that common thread of the emails in all of the books, and it really shows her personality. By the end of the book, there seemed to be a sense of finality for the characters and the plot.

I wonder if there will be a spin off for her time as a parent of Max when he goes to middle school? 😉

Rating:

I’ve downloaded The Wrong Family to my Kindle, so I’m hoping to get into it soon.

Since I did very little reading this month, I thought I’d take the time to share some books that my kids have read lately. I’ve never done that before, and maybe I have a reader or two with a tween who needs some books ideas!

This summer, the kids chose two books from their school’s reading list. I’ve shared before that Hayden is my big reader, so this wasn’t much of a task for him. Hadley has always preferred shorter reads, graphic novels, and daily devotionals. Hayden loves to read before bed, and I think Hadley prefers something shorter to read because her attention span tends to be, well, short!

Also, new to them, is Accelerated Reader. They now have to read books and earn AR points by the end of each quarter in their Language Arts class. While the summer reading was a choice this year, I didn’t give them a choice. (Funny story: I didn’t tell Hadley it was optional and when they resent the list before school started, she said, “Moooom! It says the reading was optional!” 😂Well, she ended up thanking me because she was able to take two AR tests the first couple weeks of school and have all her points for the first quarter!

Also, the kids have a reading class this semester (math enrichment next semester), and they read The Hunger Games. Hayden loved the book so much, he asked me to check out book two, Catching Fire, for him from the public library.

Here’s what they’ve read lately:

Hayden

  • Summer Book 1: Fantasy League by Mike Lupica
  • Summer Book 2: Strong Inside about Perry Wallace.
  • The Hunger Games
  • Catching Fire
  • AR book: Lone Stars by Mike Lupica

Hadley:

  • Summer book 1: The Mother Daughter Book Club: Camp (She’s read other books in this series in 4th and 5th grades)
  • Summer book 2: Grace, Gold, and Glory by Gabby Douglas
  • The Hunger Games
  • AR book: Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger

What book suggestions do you have? …for me and for my middle schoolers? I clearly need some great reads to get me motivated again!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Kids

Girl Scouts Wrap Up

Well, a chapter of Hadley’s life has come to a close. We celebrated Troop 2299 on Sunday. It was a bittersweet evening with this amazing group of girls as this chapter of their lives closes. I’m not going to lie, I figured I’d be a bit emotional, and I was. (I waited until I got home to shed the tears) I feel like I blinked and the whole troop went from little chubby cheeked girls with toothless grins to young ladies with who’ve blossomed right before our eyes.

The girls were blessed with an amazing leader, and wonderful co-leaders throughout the years. Hadley and crew have camped, learned about nature, cleaned up local parks, baked treats for a local cancer center, attended COSI, sold cookies, gone on outdoor adventures, met with other troops, and so much more.

I will always remember going on a walk with Hadley as a kindergartener. She was home sick with a croupy cough, so we went for a walk to get some fresh air. She told me her friends were joining a Girl Scout troop and she was interested. I said, “Hadley I’m not sure if I can handle one more activity.” She said, “Well, mom, I can!” I should have known better than to try to talk Hadley out of doing something she had her mind set on. I’m so thankful for her decision to join her troop. She’s learned so much and made memories (and friendships to last a lifetime!)

I made friends too! Some of “my people” (AKA: the mom gang) I met because of Girl Scouts. Truly, our girls brought us together. We’ve had fun through the years helping, going on field trips, organizing cookie orders and more. I know these ladies will be in my life forever.

Bridging Ceremony:

On Sunday, we met at a nearby park which is where we’ve had a few activities through the years. The girls enjoyed pizza, drinks, and cupcakes while hanging out for a bit. We were able to get a few photos and the girls looked through the photo albums their leaders made for them.

It was such a thoughtful gift, and I plan on printing some more photos to add to it. That way, Hadley will have so many Girl Scout memories all in one place.

Each girl walked across the bridge one more time as their leader said their name. That tradition was a sweet way to close the Girl Scout chapter.

Memory Lane:

At the end of first grade, the girls bridged from Daisies to Brownies.

At the end of third grade, they bridged from Brownies to Juniors.

And then one more bridging ceremony to complete Junior scouts.

I can’t get over how the years have flown by and what wonderful young ladies they have become:

Here they are with their awesome leaders:

And this one is my favorite pic:

It’s from Breakfast with the Babes (baby animals) at Shaker Village in April 2017….you know, back when they’d let us make them match in cute shirts!

Through the years…

Here are some of their field trips and activities over the past six years.

Fun at the orchard:

These moms slept on the floor of a nature center for one night…haha

Have you ever tried to sleep with a stuffed wolf staring at you?!

Tea party time:

Every Girl Scout needs to master the bow and arrow…

The dads took them to the Girl Scout night baseball game (while the moms stayed home, drank some wine and watched Troop Beverly Hills!)

…and the girls were recognized at a volleyball game…

Ice skating and pizza to celebrate the holidays.

The girls dropped off gifts they’d collected for Shriner’s Children’s hospital.

They also learned about having a healthy mind and body while doing yoga.

The girls took over the capitol! (Frankfort, Ky)

…and attended COSI in March of 2020…right before the world shut down.

Cookie Time:

Cookie sales through the years have been so much fun. One mom volunteered to pick up cookie orders, organize the orders, and collect money. She’s a saint! We couldn’t have done it without her.

The girls had fun selling cookies at Kroger. The first year, they had the fun cookie costumes.

Hadley surpassed her cookie goal each year! We are so appreciative of all who supported her.

One final look:

from Daisies…

to Brownies…

…to Junior Girl Scouts

I did Girl Scouts until my troop leader moved in the 4th grade. I’ve told Hadley before that there aren’t very many who can say they were in the Girl Scouts for six years. I’m proud of her commitment to her troop and know that she will look back fondly on these years.

~Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful,

considerate and caring, courageous and strong,

and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others,

respect authority, use resources wisely,

make the world a better place,

and be a sister to every Girl Scout

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful.

These girls have done just that 💙🤎💚For six years, they’ve learned so much, shared amazing experiences, grown as individuals and impacted our community in such a special way. They will most certainly continue to make the world a better place.

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#81}

Happy Friday! We made it to the (three day) weekend! I’m ready for it. We had a great week, but I’m ready for some downtime, which I think we will have on Sunday and Monday.

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

Today, I’m sharing some favorites from the week, day by day.

Saturday:

On Saturday, Hayden had his second middle school cross country race of the season. He ran 1.8 miles in the 98 degree heat, and was the second 6th grader to cross the finish line. He’s finding his stride (literally and figuratively) with racing with the big boys. We’re always proud of his effort!

Saturday night, Hadley spent the night at a friend’s house, and Travis was out with friends. Hayden ended his evening reading in bed with his mama! I love that he loves to read, and that he wanted to hang out with me. #wildsaturdaynight

Sunday:

I mentioned in Monday’s post that we had a long Sunday afternoon and late night of baseball. The first game was at 3:30, and his team was down 0-3. They just looked flat. Finally, two kids walked, and it was Hayden’s turn at bat. He had a solid single to center field, and drove in two runs. His team ended up winning and moved on to the next game.

They won that game, and ended up in the championship.

…and they won! It made the hour and a half drive home worth it 😉

His team is comprised of a great group of boys and wonderful coaches. They pray before and after each game, cheer each other on, and have so much fun together. I think we have one more tournament left. This season has been quite the commitment, but Hayden has grown so much as a player, and has had so much fun.

Monday:

Hadley had dance team tryouts for school last week, and on Monday night she found out she made the dance team. We had ice cream on Monday night to celebrate all the middle school milestones and achievements so far this year. (I told her that even if she hadn’t made the team, we would have ice cream because she tried her best and gave 100% of herself in the audition.)

Tuesday:

Thanks to Hurricane Ida, we had tons of rain all day on Tuesday, so Hayden’s cross country meet was canceled. While I wasn’t celebrating the fact that he didn’t get to run that evening, unexpected canceled plans on a rainy evening is always a favorite for me.

Wednesday:

Hayden earned the “You are Special” red plate last week, and Wednesday night was Hadley’s turn to be celebrated for dance. We even had her favorite dinner: salmon and Bob Evans mashed potatoes.

Thursday:

You know I love the library, and I had three books to pick up yesterday. I’m excited to read Yoga Pant Nation, and a friend recommended The View was Exhausting. I’m hoping to have time to read this weekend.

The kids are reading the first Hunger Games book for their reading class at school. They both seem to enjoy it, and Hayden already finished it. He requested book two in the series, so I was able to pick that up as well. I enjoyed the series when I read it a few years ago.

We had breakfast for dinner last night which is always a family favorite.

Other Faves:

The kids both received surprise balloons from sweet friends on the porch recently. Hayden, before cross country tryouts at the beginning of August, and Hadley, before dance tryouts last week. Such a fun surprise!

This sweet pic of Homer is a favorite from the week. He was being such a good boy!

Favorite Kid Quote:

In preparation for the upcoming basketball season, Hayden apparently Googled “ways to quickly grow taller.” He found yoga to be an answer and asked if I knew of any stretches to make him taller.

Then…

On Saturday, when I found Hayden in my bed reading his book, Homer was all snuggled up with him. Hayden said, “Homer and I are in a two person book club…even though Homer can’t read.” 😂

I don’t know where he comes up with these things, but Hayden was on a roll this week!

Favorite Mom Meme:

I can definitely relate to this meme…

Favorite Fall Quotes:

With the calendar officially turned to September, here are a few of my favorite fall quotes:

Tis the season for cooler temps and all things pumpkin!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

How about this throwback from 2012 during one of the *many* times that Hadley was in timeout! Well, thankfully she doesn’t get in trouble very often now, but she can still roll those eyes…let me tell you!

Weekly Recap:

This week I shared some of the highlights from our weekend, the books I read in August, and a fun This or That post all about fall.

What do you have planned this weekend? Hayden has cross country and golf on Saturday, but we should have lots of downtime on Sunday and Monday.

I’m going to take Monday off from posting, so I will see you back here on Tuesday.

Take care,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#72}

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? We had a good one! We are definitely in the summer groove. The past couple of weeks have been full on summer mode, but this week was full with more summer activities than summer “down time.”

Of course, I’m linking up with Erika and Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites.

It was a light blogging week for me because I was at school three days, and my kids were very active this week.

Hayden went to basketball camp with a couple of friends.

Hadley has had swim practice, and then Wednesday night, she had her first swim meet of the season. This year, she’s old enough to swim 50’s, so she has had to learn to do the flip turn and work on the endurance it takes to swim down and back.

She swam in the freestyle, the backstroke, the breaststroke, and the freestyle relay. She always has fun with her teammates, and the coaches are awesome.

Hayden has had lots of summer baseball practice. Travis scheduled a hitting lesson, and cousin Wyatt joined them.

I know my kids are getting big, but seeing their little cousins in comparison, gets me every time!

The highlights of my week have been summer school, and I had a hair appointment.

It has been so great to see students this week! Summer school is typically for credit recovery, but our district has a program that includes activities, speakers, social/emotional wellness practices, credit recovery, enrichment, and electives. Some of the electives like creative writing and gardening sound so fun! Students are at school from 9:00-1:00, so it’s been a good mix of work and then being home early afternoon to enjoy my summer.

On Tuesday, I had a hair appointment, and it was much needed. Of course, I need to get my roots touched up (hello, grays!), but my favorite part is a fresh trim!

I shared some favorites on Instagram this week:

It’s been a year since we freshened up our sunroom, and I can say in the past year, we’ve used it more than we did the first five years we lived here. It didn’t get much use in January and February, but otherwise, we spend lots of time here:

Tuesday, was our “Homerversary.” We’ve had Homer for two years. Since we don’t know his actual birthday, we celebrate on June 8th which is the day we adopted him as a pup! To celebrate, he wore his festive bowtie, and we picked him up some vanilla ice cream to enjoy.

For fun: here’s a puppy pic of Homer on the second day we had him!

My Trader Joe’s flowers typically last a couple of weeks, and last weekend, I purchased some fresh ones and put them around our house. Trader Joe’s really does have the best (and most affordable!) flowers around.

Last Saturday, I picked up a couple of candles from Bath and Body Works. Watermelon Lemonade and Fresh Cut Lilacs are perfect for summer.

Travis and I have loved Mare of Easttown. We watched quite a few episodes last weekend, and hope to watch a few more this weekend.

Favorite Clothing Item:

This Amazon dress is a favorite! I saw it on a Facebook ad a few months ago, and purchased it recently knowing we’d have a few “dress up occasions” in May and June. I’ve worn it twice, with wedges and sandals, and it’s so comfy and easy to dress up or down.

It comes in a variety of colors. It is around $40, but I love to wear dresses because I know I will wear them to church, school, and other occasions. Also, I choose dresses I know I can wear on their own, with a cardigan, with tennis shoes or sandals, and this dress definitely fits that criteria.

Boho Midi Dress

Favorite Mom Meme:

I’m forever on a quest to get my kids to throw their wrappers and trash away as well as find their way to the kitchen sink and dishwasher with their dishes!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

I love this 2015 photo of the kids and cousin Wyatt. That summer, I had the flower pallet on our back patio which was a fave! (Hayden lost that top snaggle tooth the next day!)

Weekly Recap:

I only had a couple of posts this week, but they were fun ones. I shared all about Hadley’s dance recital and Hayden’s last spring baseball games. Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite Etsy purchases lately.

Monday is our Not Just a Mom link up. The topic is Quick Family Dinner. We hope you’ll join us!

This weekend, Hayden has a baseball tournament, and I think we will grill out and maybe have time to go to the pool for a bit.

I hope you have a great weekend. See you back here on Monday!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Kids, Weekend Top 5

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello! How was your weekend? I’m going to tell you all about ours while linking up with Heather at My Glittery Heart for Hello Monday! and…

my Weekend Wrap Up.

This weekend basically centered around dance, but we started Friday off with a day at the pool. It was a hot one. We went from cold, to rainy days, to finally lots of sunshine and heat on Friday. We spent about four hours at the pool after Hadley’s swim team practice, and I was able to start a new book and chat with my mom friends!

After the pool, Hadley was able to hang out with one of her friends (who used to be our neighbor), and she was so excited to reunited with her sweet friend for a couple of hours.

Friday evening, Hadley had recital practice while Hayden had a baseball game.

They lost is a close 6-7 semifinal game in the tournament for their spring season. His team grew so much this season. They went from losing the first three (maybe four?) games to winning seven straight and becoming a very competitive team for the rest of the season. They ended up second place in their division and played tough in the loss on Friday.

Summer ball continues this week.

After the game, we went out to dinner before an early bedtime. Hadley had recital practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening, so she was tired and needed to rest for her big day on Saturday.

Saturday was spent at Hadley’s three dance recitals. (Well, Travis and Hayden hit up the pool for a bit, but Hadley and I were at the recital auditorium for most of the day.)

She was in all three of her studio’s recitals. At the 10:00 recital, she was in the opening number and performed in her two competition dances. After the 10:00 recital, she and I went to the mall to tackle a couple of errands and eat lunch before returning for the 2:00 show. She was only in the opening number for the 2:00 performance. We stayed to watch a few dances because our neighbor was in that recital, but we were home by 3:00 for some rest.

We headed back for the 6:00 recital where Hadley was in six dances: the opening number, her two competition dances, and then ballet, tap, and jazz. We had everything all organized, but there were a couple of very quick changes that I helped her with before rushing back to my seat. I’ve seen the competition routines quite a few times, but I loved see the ballet, tap, and jazz performances as I hadn’t seen those yet. Her ballet performance brought tears to my eyes. I’m always so amazed by her grace and rhythm….and she certainly didn’t get those two things from me!

We had lots of family at the 6:00 performance. We took up all of row H. haha

She’s had an amazing year with amazing teachers, and she has really formed a tight bond with a wonderful group of girls! It’s been a blessed dancing season for sure.

One of her friends was in the 6:00 show, and I loved watching her perform too!

{Hadley with her friend and our sweet neighbor earlier in the day!}

Lots of flowers after the show for these lovely dancers…

Dad made a pit stop at our favorite flower place…Trader Joe’s before her last recital.

We were so proud of her. A few days of practices + 10 dances, makes for a busy few days.

Hayden loved every second of being there and really wanted me to take a family photo 😉

After the recital, Hadley went to a sleepover with a few of her dance friends while Travis and I joined some friends on their patio for a couple of drinks.

Sunday was the ultimate lazy day. The weather was dreary for most of the day. Travis and I watched two episodes of our new show we are watching: Mare of Easttown.

Then, I ran to the store while Hayden and Travis went to watch the championship game for Hayden’s baseball league. Then, Travis and I watched another! episode of M of E before dinner. The kids played outside after dinner, and then it was an early bedtime for all.

Swim practice picks up again this week for Hadley, Hayden is going to basketball camp, and I have three days of summer school.

So that’s what we were up to this weekend. What about you?

I hope to post again on Thursday and Friday this week, and I’m trying to share a few photos on Instagram this week as well.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!

Posted in Kids, School

So Much to Celebrate

Well, we’ve had a quite a week. On top of having family in town and celebrating my mom’s birthday, the kids also made the decision to be baptized and had their 5th grade promotion in a matter of a couple of days!

This week has been one full of excitement and wonderful memories have been made.

Baptism

On Sunday, the kids were baptized with other 5th and 6th graders at our church. We had a large class of students scheduled for baptism due to last year’s group not being able to be baptized due to Covid. My kids and seven others were baptized on Sunday.

Before our family came over, I had the kids take pic with the cake I got from a local bakery.

It was beautiful and tasted delicious! (Hadley joked that it looked like a gender reveal cake. 😆 )

Our friends and family enjoyed the cake before heading to the church.

We arrived about thirty minutes before their baptism.

We were so excited for them and their baptism class.

Each baptism candidate had a mentor that they met with over the past couple of months. Together, they read the book of Mark and completed a service project. My kids had terrific mentors and joined forces for their service project. Together, they baked desserts (brownies and cookies) and then delivered them to church members who are unable to attend church right now. It was so great seeing them work together and bring joy to others.

At the baptism, the mentors talked about their mentees and shared about the service projects. It’s always sweet, and a moment of pride, to hear great things about the kids. Believe me, they aren’t perfect, but it’s nice to know they can pull it together when it really matters!

The baptism was live streamed, so out of town family could watch as well.

Thanks to alphabetical order, Hadley was baptized first. Travis and I were able to join them on the stage as they each accepted Christ into their hearts.

I love this moment so much. Hayden waiting for his turn…while Hadley goes first.

The baptism was made even sweeter because they each had a great friend being baptized in their group.

Afterwards, we snapped a few family photos…

I hope they know how blessed they are to have such an amazing support system and family near and far who showed up for them on their big day.

Afterwards, family came back to our house to eat and enjoy one more cake! Since I knew we’d have plenty of people to eat all this cake, I went ahead and ordered them an ice cream cookie cake from Baskin Robbins to celebrate their upcoming 5th grade promotion.

It was so good!

I also had these fun cups on hand with the kids’ first day of kindergarten photo.

5th grade promotion:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the kids’ 5th grade promotion was virtual, so some families decided to get together to celebrate our grads afterwards. We are very blessed with a great group of families who have pretty much been together since kindergarten. We were missing a few families, but we had a wonderful afternoon.

Since I had hosted out of town family and then family after the baptism, I kept up my “hostess with the mostest” title and had the kids’ friends and families over on Tuesday afternoon after the promotion ceremonies.

We decided to grill out, and we all divvied up food, drinks, desserts, and decorations to make the afternoon a success.

One mom brought these fun balloons!

…that we then, of course, made our kids hold for a photo!

These sweet ladies have so much fun together.

These boys are tons of fun too!

I probably would have scheduled the lawn letters anyway, but I definitely went ahead with it knowing all the kids would enjoy them, and they provide a great photo op, obviously!

These years have been the best because of these ladies. I feel so blessed to do life with them!

After we grilled out, the kids ran around, ate delicious cupcakes, and then went up to school to silly string their younger siblings as they left the building on the last day of school. Many of us sat around and chatted late into the evening, and it was certainly a day that I will never forget.

Seeing the kids make one of the most important decisions of their lives and celebrate two major milestones in a matter of days makes me so proud, thankful, and…emotionally exhausted! We’ve had such a wonderful and blessed week.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites. My favorites from this week are pretty easy to share!

Posted in Kids, School

Last Day of 5th Grade

Well, they did it! The graduated from the fifth grade. (I mean, what choice did they have? 😆 , but, of course, I’m very proud of them!)

Here’s a little look at their last day of elementary school!

How it started…

August 2015

How it’s going…

Last Day Photos:

We were up and at ’em a few minutes early, so I could take their last day of school pics! We were going to walk to school, but it started to rain a bit, so we had one final car line drop off.

My friend is a teacher at their school, and she sent me these pics of them as they walked the halls and the little kids cheered for them! I was so happy this tradition was able to continue.

Travis and I settled in to watch each of the kid’s promotion ceremonies as the district said there could be no in person ceremony. I was definitely bummed with that decision, but tried to make the best of it.

Hayden’s class went first…

followed by Hadley’s class…

When their ceremonies were over, they could stay or be picked up early. A few families decided to get together to celebrate the kids, so we walked to check our kids out from school.

The weather had improved, so I took the opportunity to walk to get them like I did on their first day of school.

They were so excited to share about their morning, and show me their promotion certificates.

Both kids had straight A’s this quarter, Hadley also won the Positive Attitude Award for her class, and Hayden was recognized for being the only student in his class perfect attendance, virtually and in person, all year as well as a sportsmanship award.

Celebrating the Graduates:

Once we got home, they let me take a few more photos. I used a local yard sign company to decorate the yard to celebrate the occasion. #Ihavezerochill

Hadley loved the signs, and Hayden hated all the attention. 😂

On Sunday, we had some family over to celebrate another occasion, so we had a Baskin Robbins ice cream cookie cake to celebrate the upcoming graduation.

After we got home from school, the kids put up their backpacks, changed their clothes and got ready to celebrate with some friends!

How fun are these balloons? Another mom picked them up for our festivities.

We had a really great afternoon with friends celebrating these awesome kiddos! I hope to share more later in the week.

As I wrap up my end of the school year posts, I have to thank their teachers. We entrusted them with our children, and they thrived under their guidance. They cheered them on, helped them, taught them, championed them, and did so with grace under pressure. They adjusted their teaching style to an online platform to ensure that they were engaged in academic rigor over the past year. Through the years, they also provided them with fun activities and remembered they were kids who wanted to play in the snow and trade Valentine’s Day cards. Hadley wants to be a teacher because of them. Hayden’s confidence has grown because they provided him with tools to be success at school…and in life. I’m forever indebted to their teachers who have given their all to them over the past six years.

Through the years, the school admin and support staff outdid themselves with events like International Night, school performances, spring carnival, family night spaghetti dinner and so much more. They provided the kids with well-rounded, diverse opportunities. They provided a safe place for my kids to grow, learn, and take risks. Again, I’m forever grateful.

I treasured our time at this school. I know my kids have a wonderful foundation in which to start middle school and move on to the next chapter of their lives. I just wish it all hadn’t gone by so fast. As they say, “Don’t blink.”

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Thanks for indulging me with my reflective posts and trips down memory lane this week! I feel pretty emotionally drained but have a very grateful heart!

I’m headed to high school graduation today. I bet the parents of those graduating seniors also wonder where the time has gone.

Have a great day!