7th Grade Protocol Dinner

Saturday night was Josie’s 7th grade protocol dinner, something she has been eagerly awaiting for weeks! At school, they have a specific mini course on “protocol,” learning manners and expectations for how to behave at a fancy event. Then they get to have a dinner to practice those manners.

She had such an awesome time! The person in charge asked me to come just at the beginning to take a few pics, and it was so fun to see all of them all dressed up!

April Camping

First camping trip of the year in the books! It was just a quick weekend trip to Defeated Creek, but it was a good one. The kids had fun playing with Katie Ann, Wyatt, Kinley, and Sadie and eating all of Grammy and Pappy’s junk food. Jake and I relaxed and soaked up the sunshine. I finished up one book and read a whole other one.

Greek and Roman Day

Jack has been eagerly counting down the days until Greek and Roman day at school. He has been super excited to dress up as a gladiator, complete with a wooden sword and daggers that Pappy turned on the lathe, and a shield I made from an old plastic party platter.

He had a great day! They had a Greek and Roman style lunch and even had a sword fight at playtime. 🙂 thankful for a school where our kiddos get to have fun while they are learning :).

April Happy Moments

Here are some more happy moments I want to remember from April:

Two awesome books I’ve been reading this month. Especially that second one-it is one of the best books I’ve ever read, hands down.

Sweet little turtle Jake spotted in our driveway.

I took all the slipcovers off the couch one day to wash them, and pulled the couch out to vacuum around it….and this is only a PORTION of what I found in, under, and around the couch, LOL. There is a definitely a little boy who lives here.

I’ve been clear coating some furniture for Mama Judy’s new house. Clear coating is very satisfying to me.

We celebrated Nana’s birthday!

And Everett’s, and Wyatt’s, and Andy’s. 🙂 Lots of April birthdays around here!

Jack has driven the lawn mower plenty, but never actually mowed. One day he was driving it around the yard, and Jake decided to turn on the blades for him. He was so proud of his work!

These kiddos had a blast at field day at their school!

We hosted our community group for dinner on Saturday night. All the little kids had such a blast playing in the tree house, and it was a beautiful night for a fire.

Saturday night Josie had a youth group bonfire to go to (while we hosted our community group at our house). Hannah went with her, and then came back to our house to spend the night. They were so excited to be able to go to a youth group gathering again, and they had a blast. They also came home STARVING apparently, and fixed themselves a junk food feast, LOL. Josie is growing like a WEED these days and is always, always, hungry.

Sunday we had a belated Easter dinner at Mama Judy’s, and we of course had to do our yearly epic egg hunt. Hannah got to join in on the fun, too this year. The kids had a blast. 🙂

Love this girl. Even when her raging middle school hormones are, well, raging. Love her to PIECES.

This April certainly looks different from last April, and for that I am so, so grateful. I am so grateful for the Covid vaccine making it safe to finally see family in groups and have small gatherings with our church family. What a relief!


Right before Easter, I got all of the great-grandbabies together to take a surprise picture for Nana. I wanted to get her a canvas made for her birthday, because the last one she had was missing sweet Cora! It is always a bit of a zoo when you get 9 kiddos together to take pictures, especially when most of them are under the age of 7….but they did great! And we got some great shots! I love all of these kiddos, so, so much.

And, as predicted, Nana loved her canvas. 🙂

Happy Moments

Just wanted to share some happy moments from the last week. There is a lot of sadness in our life right now, but we are treasuring these moments of joy.

Not pictured-I got to go on a pong walk with Josie one day, just me and her. It was a good time for talking and enjoying each other’s company. Trying to carve out some alone time with her here lately-it seems especially important as she gets older.

Also not pictured-a fun dinner night at the Roses. It was so good to hang out with them.

Took Jack to the skatepark Thursday morning. It was a cool morning, but he and I had the place completely to ourselves, which was awesome! He rode his scooter and skateboard to his heart’s content, and I rollerbladed. It was fun to have some alone time with my boy.

Discovered a new coffee place on my way home from Nashville. It was good!

Jake and I got to have fancy date night on Wednesday. Someone had given me a gift card to Chateau West, a French restaurant in Nashville. It was so delicious!

A good reminder.

The kiddos went with Shshr to run errands and help pick up sticks at Nana’s on Saturday. Jake and I decided to try out the Greenbrier Greek food truck. We ate on our porch since it was a beautiful day. It was delicious! And a TON of food. Enough for at least 2 full meals.


Compared to last year, this Easter was a complete 180 difference! It was sunny. We went to church in person. We got to go to Nana’s and be all together for the first time since Christmas 2019-praise the Lord for Covid vaccines! I sang at church today for the first time in over a year.

Easter treats-a calligraphy book and a fun ring for Jo, bath bombs and Legos for Jack, a sticker, special cookie, and puffs (yes, puffs-my kids are weird) for both. 🙂

Church was so good. He is risen indeed!

It was so good to get be at Nana’s with everyone! We had a delicious lunch and spent the whole day outside on the porch watching the kids play. We had a HUGE Easter egg hunt. We all brought some eggs to hide, and when we put them together it was over 400! The kids had a blast. Chad even hid some way up high to give Josie and Jack a challenge :).


Oops. I let the whole month go by without blogging. Didn’t mean to, but it is what it is, and so I’m going to do a catch-all March blog now. And not even pretending like I might do better next month, LOL.

It has been a very up and down month. My feelings have been high, low, and all over the place. But this blog is all about remembering the good moments, so that’s what I’m going to tell you about, mostly in picture form.

Things NOT pictured: I got to have several lunches/coffee dates with some good friends that were so good for my heart. Jake and I had several date nights thanks to my parents watching the kiddos, and those are also so good for both of us. Lots of antiquing at various places. Jake was able to get his first Covid vaccine! Mama Judy, Nana, and I all got our second vaccines! I officially accepted a job at my school for next year, teaching grammar school PE! That will be a new adventure, one that I am excited about.

And now here are some other highlights in pictures:

Jack bought a BIG Lego set with his birthday money, and worked diligently on it for a week, every day after school, and even some mornings before school to put it together. It had almost 300 steps! He was SO proud when he got it all together! It is fun watching him learn a new hobby that he enjoys. 🙂

I’ve been reading a lot, and trying to save and record truths that are good for me to remember and hear. And I’ve been doing some coloring, just because it is relaxing. And relaxing is good and needed for me these days.

Took Jack for his 10 year old well check. He’s still tiny. No surprise there!

I love dumplings. They are even better when you add Jake’s smoked chicken!

My therapy cat. 🙂

It was laundry detergent making time. I’ve used this recipe for years, and every time I’ve tried to switch back to store bought, I always go back to this. I just like it better.

Jake has been making good use of his new smoker and we all appreciate his efforts-yum! One night our good friends came over to enjoy his cooking with us. It was so good to see them and hang out with them. It had been a long time, thanks to Covid!

I love our school, so, so much. And the kids have the best art teacher ever. Josie has been so excited about the last project they have been working on-creating their own chess sets from clay. Her teacher sent me this picture of her getting to play with her set!

Just a pretty sunrise.

Spent a day clear coating some antiques we’d bought, and this bench Pop gave me long ago that resides on our porch. It needed a spruce. Clear coating is so relaxing for me.

Jake got our new sign hung on the barn! We love it so much. What are the odds we would find an antique sign that said “J & B”?!

One night Nana and Shshr came over for a fire and hot dogs and Nana brought a yummy dessert. It was so good to be okay being inside with them since Nana has had her vaccines!!

I got a small start on our garden- I planted lettuce and spinach and new lavender, and then transplanted the lavender we planted last year. I love lavender!

We officially started going back to church in person. It is good. Our church still has masked services that you have to register for, so we go to the early service. Josie was so excited to wear this skirt that she got for Christmas, that she hadn’t had a chance to wear! She looks way too old, though.

Hallelujah! Thank God for medicine and science.

Justin got to come over one night to play games with Jack and Jake. It was SOO good to see him!!

We FINALLY got this tractor fixed and back to the farm. It has been a looooonnnngg YEAR of trying to get this thing working!

We spent some time down at the creek at our farm one day. It is SO pretty down there, especially in beautiful spring weather.

Got to run some this month. Wearing this shirt and taking this horrible selfie in order to honor my good friend who is fighting a long, hard battle with pancreatic cancer. Love you, Ryan, so much! Praying for you every day.


The kiddos got to have a casual day at school the day before spring break. They were so excited!

My biggest art project of the month: painting a quilt square for Mama Judy to hang in her new house. I still need to clear coat it, but I am pleased with how it turned out! It was a challenge, but a fun challenge.

Sweet cousins 🙂

I always love this tree in Nana’s yard in the spring so much! My favorite!

Sunset walk with Jake at the park.

Jack got to go to a birthday sleepover for one of his good friends, and it is literally all he talked about for DAYS leading up to it. They planned to have a huge Nerf gun battle, and they did! And they enjoyed it so much! And stayed up until 1:30! He fell asleep in the car the next day, LOL.

This week the kiddos are on Spring Break, and Shshr asked me to take Asher to PetSmart for his grooming appointment, which I was more than happy to do, and the kids were so excited that they got to come along! It’s the little things, LOL.

LOL. I love how much these two love each other. Even when they also annoy the snot out of each other.