Josie’s Ballet Recital

Josie’s ballet recital was on Saturday. She was SO excited. She loves ballet so much, as well as her wonderful ballet instructor. Her teacher hired me to do the “photo shoot” of all the little ballerinas beforehand, which was a blast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I was able to take some extras of my prissy ballerina.

We got there early to get ready, and Lindsey’s sis did Jo’s makeup while I was fixing Hannah’s hair-it takes a village. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Then we went on down so I could start taking pictures. I used Josie as a guinea pig for my backdrop, and got a lot of pictures-she is a prissy, goofy, sweet girl. I love her so much, and I am still in disbelief that she has gotten so old!

And. She looks WAY too old in these pictures!!!

My friend Lindsey took one so I could have a pic with her, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

The whole recital was lovely. Jo’s teacher does a great job of always pointing the girls to Christ in all of their dance. All ย of the performances were set to music by Andrew Peterson that focused on the Resurrection. It was amazing to see how much the girls had improved in a year!

Josie, of course, is the tiniest dancer in all of these pictures.

Click here to watch the video!!

She also had quite a fan club to come see her!

 

She has really enjoyed all the sweet girls in her class this year-they have had a blast!

Happy Birthday, Nana!

Today is one of the most special days of the year-it’s my Nana’s birthday! And I don’t know about if you know her or not, but if you don’t…..you’re missing out. Because my Nana….she’s the best one. And she’s not justย my Nana. She is Nana to everyone she meets. There is no one in the world like her. She’s the reason I love Vandy sports (especially women’s basketball), camping at the lake, gravy on my biscuits, sweet tea, digging in the dirt, and long afternoons on the back porch. She’s the reason I can never say no to a snicker doodle. My Hello Kitty obsession in elementary school was fueled 100% by her. There is no one that gives hugs like my Nana. And, no one can make you feel more special on a holiday than her. She knows all my favorite foods (and the favorite foods of all 17 of the rest of us!) And will drop everything to cook them for me if I stop by unexpectedly. And her food? You NEVER say no to Nana’s cooking! Cooking is her love language, and we all love her love language! And the best part is, not only is sheย myย Nana. My kids have the greatest privilege in the world that she gets to beย their Nana, too! And you know how I said she is the BEST Nana in the world….well, it turns out she’s an even BETTER great-Nana! And I think my kids would agree. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nana, I love you so much- more than any words can express. Happy Birthday!!!!!!

Spring Break

We’ve had a great week of Spring Break. It was a BEAUTIFUL week, weather wise.

Last weekend was pretty low key. Jack had a soccer game on Saturday, and afterwards he and Josie went home with Grammy and Pappy to play. While they did that, Jake and I went to Mama Judy’s to help her clean out her attic. Sunday was a church day.

Monday Jake had off of work so we had a slow and lazy morning. Then he did some chores while the kids and I started working on cleaning out the garden.

The kids were a BIG help. We didn’t get it all done, but we got a big chunk done before it was time for Jack’s soccer practice.

Tuesday my friend Lindsey and I had a girls’ day. We went to brunch at Milk and Honey in Nashville. It was DELICIOUS. Everything looked good, so we just got two plates and split it so we could try more things. ๐Ÿ™‚

We forgot to get even one picture of the two of us, but we so enjoyed our day! After brunch we went shopping- Dirt Cheap (SO fun), Old Navy, Walmart, and she introduced me to this cool coffee shop near her house for iced coffees. ๐Ÿ™‚ Grateful God has placed her in my life!

While we were out, the kiddos had a fun day with Nana. They spent most of it outside, climbing trees and helping Nana with yard work.

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Tuesday night was an EXCITING one for Josie. She got to go to a Lucinda Williams concert at the Ryman with Shshr! She was so stoked to get to go, and they both had a blast.

Why does she look grown in these pictures?

While she was at the concert, Jack and I went to watch Jake’s soccer game. Jack’s favorite part is AFTER the game, so he can play on the field with his Daddy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wednesday the kids and I went to the zoo with our good friends. It was ย BEAUTIFUL day, and a great day at the zoo.

 

I had promised Jack that over Spring Break we would go back to the indoor skate park. So Thursday was the day. We went right when it opened at 12, and the kids literally had the place to themselves for the first hour. And then after that it was only a few other people. They had a blast! And even better, they do a free session if you can show them a report card with all As and Bs…so it was totally free for our kiddos! ๐Ÿ™‚

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After skate park, Jake had a soccer game. The kids and I completed the chore of switching out their clothes and trying on all the the things to see what still fit. Bleh. Long and laborious chore, but it gets easier each year as they get older.

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Friday Jake had another day off work, so we finished cleaning out the garden and got it all planted! We planted a little earlier than normal this year, but the weather has been warm, and is supposed to stay that way. So we decided to take the risk. We planted lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, hot peppers, okra, corn, squash, zucchini, and 2 whole beds of cutting flowers. Zinnias, marigolds, and mixed pack. I’m excited about those flowers! We also planted a whole row of lavender down the fence row that we are hoping takes off.

 

Saturday Jack had a soccer game. He scored 1 goal, and his team won 4-2. Ta, Nana, Shshr, Everett, and Mama Judy all came to watch him, so we all went to eat at Wendy’s afterwards.

We came home and then the kids and I headed to Casey’s to drop off some stuff and the kiddos all ended up playing in the creek. ๐Ÿ™‚

After we got back, we rested a bit, and then Josie and Jake headed over to the farm while Jack and I did a couple of things around the house, like getting a couple of flower beds squared away.

Then we headed over to the farm, too. And we spent the night!! We wanted to go camping over Spring Break, and we decided the farm would be quick, easy, and fun. We’ve been talking about camping at the farm since we bought it, and it was a perfect night to do so-the weather was just right. We went on a hike before supper down to the bottom. The woods were BEAUTIFUL in the spring.

Towards sunset, we headed back to the barn and set up our tents and Jake got a fire going. We roasted hot dogs and made Ramen and s’mores for dinner. The kids were SO excited about the Ramen, LOL.

It ended up raining/storming during the night, but our new tents did great! We didn’t get wet a bit.

It cleared off in the morning, and we had Pop Tarts and hot chocolate for breakfast (breakfast of champions right there!), and then hiked around some more, and started marking some more trails in the woods.

When it looked like it was going to start raining again, we packed it up and headed back home. We all took naps, and then did some cleaning and laundry to get ready for the week ahead. Jake fried some yummy chicken for dinner, and we let the kiddos finish watching a movie they had started. ย It was a great way to end spring break.

It was a great week. A good break from the normal, and now the kids and I are ready to hit it hard again to get through the rest of the school year.

Weekending

This was a fun weekend.

Friday evening Jake and I got together with some folks from my school to play some fun pick up games of basketball. It was a BLAST. We determined that we are all old and have lost any skills we once might have had, but we still had so much fun!

Afterwards some of us went out to eat Mexican.

Saturday was a busy day.

First up was Jack’s first soccer game of the season. I already blogged it, but worth mentioning again-he scored three goals!!

After his game, Jo and Jake rode home with Mee Maw, and Jack and I headed to Nashville so I could drop him off at a friend’s bday party.

Then I headed back home for a bit until time to get him.

On the way to get him that evening, I dropped Jo at a friend’s house to spend the night.

It was definitely a “momming it” sort of day!

Today we went to church, and this evening we had some of our favorite people over for dinner :). It was the perfect way to end a weekend!

Weekending

This was a fun weekend.

Friday evening Jake and I got together with some folks from my school to play some fun pick up games of basketball. It was a BLAST. We determined that we are all old and have lost any skills we once might have had, but we still had so much fun!

Afterwards some of us went out to eat Mexican.

Saturday was a busy day.

First up was Jack’s first soccer game of the season. I already blogged it, but worth mentioning again-he scored three goals!!

After his game, Jo and Jake rode home with Mee Maw, and Jack and I headed to Nashville so I could drop him off at a friend’s bday party.

Then I headed back home for a bit until time to get him.

On the way to get him that evening, I dropped Jo at a friend’s house to spend the night.

It was definitely a “momming it” sort of day!

Today we went to church, and this evening we had some of our favorite people over for dinner :). It was the perfect way to end a weekend!

Hiking trip

Last weekend I got to go on my very first overnight backpacking trip. I have hiked many, many trails, but never have had the chance to go overnight hiking. When one of the high school teachers at my school asked me to chaperone the 11th grade hiking trip, I jumped at the chance! And I am so glad I did. We had such an awesome trip. These 5 kids that went are the best kind- so respectful, polite, funny, sweet, hardworking, and just GOOD. They were a blast to hang out with- definitely a change from the normal fourth graders I am generally hanging with. (And, just for clarity, YES, I did take a lot of pictures of them from the front…but I’m only sharing the ones of them from the back for privacy purposes.)

We went to Virgin Falls in Sparta, TN. We left after school on Friday, got to the parking lot, and set up camp right near the parking lot for the night. We made a fire and cooked some dinner, and then it was about time for bed. That night we all FROZE. It got down to 30, and not a one of us was totally prepared for it (even though we thought we were). We made it through the night, though, and were definitely ready to get moving the next morning!

 

It was ย a BEAUTIFUL day to be hiking, and soon we were all shedding layers. We made a detour off the trail to go to a scenic overlook, and it did not disappoint!

 

We ate lunch at the first waterfall, “Laurel Falls.” It was so peaceful and pretty. A perfect place to sit outside and eat!

 

After lunch, we hiked on to our destination for the night, a hike in only campground on the Caney Fork. We hiked about 9 total miles. We set up camp, and then walked the short distance over to our main destination- Virgin Falls. It was an amazing waterfall! Even more amazing is that at the bottom of the falls, the water goes underground! No stream or river at the bottom!

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And at the top, the river comes out of a CAVE. So very cool. We explored around the falls for awhile, then headed back to camp to eat and light a fire. NONE of us were anxious for the cold again.

After staying by the fire until it died, we all crawled in our tents. However, we all got smarter for the second night and slept in more clothes, added blankets, etc. I slept in all my clothes- leggings, socks, pants, t-shirt, flannel shirt, jacket, and stocking cap. Plus I put hot hands in the bottom of my sleeping bag. It was still chilly, but more bearable for sure. We woke up the next morning with frost on our sleeping bags…..IN our tents!

Sunday morning it warmed up faster, luckily. We ate breakfast and had a devotional, then packed up camp. We headed back over to Virgin Falls for a bit before heading on.

It was another GORGEOUS day, and even warmer than Saturday.

After seeing Virgin Falls one more time, we hit the trail back, going a slightly different route so we could hit up our last attraction- Sheep Cave. It did not disappoint! Another beautiful waterfall, and this time a cave we could explore in! I took two of the students in with me, and we explored as far back in the cave as we dared! It was a blast. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

We took our time going back, letting the kids stop and just play and enjoy themselves. The trek back was pretty strenuous- about 7 miles of uphill, pretty much the whole way. By the time we made it back to the cars, we were all sweaty, stinky, and hungry messes. We stopped at Steak and Shake on the way home, and got back to school around 9. I don’t know that I have ever had a shower that felt as good as the one I had when I got home-hah!

It was a good trip. We all had a blast, and are already planning next years trip!

Soccer!

This dude had his first game of the season today, and scored THREE goals! One was a normal goal, another was a penalty shot, and the last was a corner kick that deflected off another player and went in! He was on fire, and pretty proud of himself. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were pretty proud of him, too! It’s amazing how much he has matured as a player in just a year!

Click this link to see a video of his penalty shot:

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Long Weekending

This past weekend was a long weekend for the kids and I. Friday was Grandparents’ Day at school.

The kiddos were so excited that Nana and Grammy and Pappy and Mee-Maw all came to see them.

Friday night I babysat a couple of kids who just happen to be friends with our kiddos, so it was a fun play date night for the kiddos :).

Saturday was a super rainy day (again). Jack went to a play with Ta and Everett and Jackie-The Hungry Caterpillar. It was his birthday present from Ta and Tommy :). He had a blast! They all went with Tommy and Josh to Rainforest Cafe for lunch before the play.

While he was there, Jake, Josie, and I went to Wal-Mart so I could get some supplies for the overnight backpacking trip I am helping chaperone this weekend for the 11th graders at my school. I practiced walking around with my loaded bag.

My backpack is as big as me.

Jake and I have used this hiking trip I’m going on as an excuse to do something we’ve wanted to do for awhile-buy all the stuff we need to go on some overnight backpacking trips as a family. (And this is a GREAT time of year to buy that type of stuff because it is all on clearance!) The kiddos are SUPER pumped. So Sunday after church we all four loaded up our packs and headed over to the farm for a practice run. We hiked to the bottom and tried out our new water filter in the creek. Casey and her family were out riding their Ranger, so they came by so we could give them a tour of our farm.

After they left, we hung around the farm til dark, trying out our new camp stove. I cooked Ramen noodles and oatmeal for a snack, just to try it out, LOL. Jake split some wood, just because. It was a beautiful, great day.

Monday and Tuesday the kids and I had off from school. Our headmaster just gifted us all with some “days of rest” since we never had any snow days! Monday I was supposed to go to lunch/shopping with a friend, but she ended up getting sick, so I just hung around the house doing chores and such. It was really nice to get to sleep late both days! The kids spent three nights in a row in their tent, set up in Jack’s room.

Monday night Jack has his first soccer practice of the season. Seems like he is going to have a great coach this year!

Tuesday was another chore day. Jack ran 2 miles with me-every step!! Then the kids and went and watched Jake’s soccer team because they had a home game.

Of course the kids’ favorite part is playing on the field afterwards. By the end of the night, Jack had TWENTY THOUSAND steps!!!

It was a good long weekend, and nice to have a short school week. Tomorrow after school I will leave for a two night hiking trip with the 11th graders….and it is going to be COLD, after all the warmer weather we’ve had this week, of course. TN weather ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ.