Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Our Staycation

Jimmy was off work last Thursday through yesterday (Monday). We have known about this little block of time off for a year (he has to request his days off one year in advance), but we had changed our plans for this vacation time more than once. As it finally turned out, we chose to stay home, but still treat the time as a vacation. We called it a staycation. We would stay at home, but we would not do school or go to any activities, and purpose to make it fun and different from our regular days.

Our local church congregation hosted Wilson Adams as the guest speaker for a Gospel Meeting all last week, so we had something on our calendars for the Thursday and Friday night of our staycation. (By the way, the series of lessons he presented was excellent!--I was convicted, encouraged, and motivated each night.) We decided to pick one fun/different-than-normal activity to do each day.

On Thursday, Jimmy took Sam fishing that morning. Then they came home for a quick lunch and also to get Leah and our tiny house pop-up camper. Spontaneous camping trip! They spent the early afternoon setting up the camper while I ran to the grocery store for camping groceries. We went to the 4:00 showing of A Wrinkle in Time (a theater movie is a rare treat for us....we go to the movies about once or maybe twice a year). A Wrinkle in Time was very weird and strange, and I loved it! I have read the book aloud to the children, and we listened to it a second time on Audible. Jimmy has not read the book, so he had no idea of the story line (and he may have napped on and off during the movie). After the movie we ate at the food court of the mall and then went on to our evening church service. Later we went to our camper, cooked smores over the campfire that Sam built, and turned in for the night.

On Friday, we spent most of the day at our campsite. Leah painted scenery, Sam fished, and they both explored the campground. I read a new cookbook (100 Days of Real Food) and made a weekly grocery list. It was relaxing to be outside (or inside the camper when it got too windy/chilly for me) and away from my home and my regular housework and chores. We ended our day by attending the last night of our Gospel Meeting.

On Saturday, I bought groceries at both Sam's and Kroger (in the rain!), and then we went to Corinth to work on Jimmy's parents' house. This was not exactly a fun staycation activity, but the day was pleasant--getting to spend time with Jimmy's siblings and their spouses. We got a lot of work done, and then we all enjoyed a meal together at Pepper's.

On Sunday afternoon, Sam attended a play with a friend, and Leah and I had the privilege of babysitting a sweet, precious 20 month old! She is our preacher and his wife's little girl, and we had a delightful time playing with her. (I can't wait to be a grandmother!)

And yesterday, we ended our staycation by going to Memphis for the day. Our first stop was Air Memphis, which is a trampoline/jumping kind of place. Leah and Sam jumped for a solid hour, while Jimmy and I watched them and did some reading. Next we ate lunch at the Whole Foods buffet, then we went to the Pink Palace Museum. We toured the museum and watched an IMAX movie (except it's not called IMAX anymore, and I can't remember the new name) about engineering.

We arrived home in time to eat a supper of whatever you kind find in the refrigerator or pantry, tidy up the house, and get ready for bed. I read a chapter of Little Women to Leah and Sam, Jimmy read a chapter of Proverbs to them, and we were ready for bed!

We start back to school today along with a week full of activities. The break was nice!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Our Tiny House Pop-Up Camper

We just got home for a spontaneous one night camping trip, and I realized that I don't think I have ever shared pictures of our cute little tiny house pop-up camper! I really like it! We bought it over a year ago, and it was decorated in brown and beige. Those colors do not make me happy, so I did a little online research on how to personalize and redecorate a camper. Of course, I found all kinds of ideas, so I got busy!

I have been camping in this little camper a total of four times since we bought it. (Including last night.) While it seems like it would be so easy to just take off for a night or two, as with everything else, it's just not that simple...due to Jimmy's work schedule and our activities. I am not sure where all our time goes! But when we do find the time to camp for a night or two, I am ready! I bought all kinds of things to keep in the camper so really all I have to plan for and pack is food. 

I am not completely done with my sewing for the camper, but I will share what I have done. These pictures are not in chronological order......so I will just comment on them in the order that they uploaded.

 I took this picture this morning. This is the side where Leah slept. She has her American Girl doll all set up!
This is the only bed or window curtain that I have made so far. I have the other five cut out, but I have to finish them. I cut the part that slides on the track off the original curtains, and I am sewing it to the back of the turquoise band at the top of each curtain panel. Then the entire curtain just slides on the tracks that go around the top of the camper.

 I did get the valances made for both sides of the camper. 
I also recovered the seat cushions for the dinette.

 Leah's bed again. 
I bought navy bedspreads, sheets, and pillow shams for both beds. I found these outdoor pillows at Sam's last year--they are the perfect color!

 This is what the dinette cushions looked like before I recovered them.

 The blank slate

 This is the old valance.

 Here is the tiny house all folded up and ready to be pulled.

 Another view of the other side of the camper.

 This picture was taken last spring before I sewed the valances or the one curtain.

 The other side...before cute curtains.

Here it is all popped up and ready for fun.

When I ever finish all the curtains, I will take some final pictures.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spring Fever

The weather here in north Mississippi can't seem to make up its mind.  One day we need to run the air conditioner, the next the heat. In fact, when Leanna and I met at 6:15 this morning to run, it was 38 degrees. Typical. I don't think it has been above 40 degrees in months when we have met in the mornings to run. I am ready for some consistently warmer weather! We have actually had some days here and there where the temperatures were in the upper 60s-70s, so everything is blooming and is so pretty! Our dogwoods and azaleas are just lovely.

We are in track season, so that means getting to sit outside for hours and hours while the kids run and run! I am hoping for beautiful weather for our state homeschool track meet next Friday.

As the days warm up, I long to be outside reading a book instead of inside doing school! I plan to do what I always do as soon as it is warm enough--move our read aloud time to the backyard. I also eat my lunch outside when the weather is nice. We don't have too many pleasant days before it is super hot.

We are slowing winding down our school year. Since we have a 18 day trip (total travel time) to Romania next month, we will not finish all our school subjects before we leave. I plan to keep on keeping on until we have finished--even if it takes on into June to do so! I also plan on beginning our next school year at the very end of July, so that does not give us too long of a summer break. But that's ok! I reminded the kids that most of May is a vacation, so that is part of our summer. The reason I am starting us in late July is so that when Julie's baby is born in early September we can take some time off for that! I. cannot. wait.

I have so many cleaning out projects that I am itching to do! They include the rest of my kitchen (I've done over half my drawers and cabinets), the "secret room" which is an unfinished area upstairs where I have stored many, many toys and lots of Olivia's and Julie's things, and Sam's room and mostly his walk-in closet that has become a catch-all for, well, everything.  I would love to have a TV show come do the secret room and Sam's room and closet for me! Both of those rooms are going to be major projects that require big chunks of time. I'm really too embarrassed to post before pictures, but I may get brave and do that.

As you can see, yard work is not on my list. Thankfully, when Clay and his roommate were home for spring break, they did almost all of our spring yard work! All we really have to do is maintain now. I am so grateful for all the hours they spent putting out mulch.

I hope you are enjoying your spring too.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Wedding #2: Olivia and Brian

The time between the two weddings just flew by! I spent a good deal of that time washing and carefully folding and hanging many, many white tablecloths. (I bought them so I could use them for both weddings.) After Julie and Big Sam's honeymoon trip, they stayed with us until Olivia and Brian's wedding. This past summer, when all my children were at home, were some of the very best times of my life!

Olivia's wedding took place at First Baptist Church in Corinth, Mississippi. We hosted the reception there too. It is a beautiful building, and my florist and The Wedding Planners (aka Lynn and Leanna) did an absolutely fabulous job of decorating!

 Joy, Brian's mother, helping him get ready

 the handsome groom

 the men having fun!

 sweet Tracy, styling Olivia's hair. 
Tracy used to babysit Olivia....now she is all grown up, married, and has four children of her own.

 I guess I am fluffing the dress?

 pinning on the veil.

 the beautiful (inside and out) bride


 so pretty!


 Olivia with her sister, Julie

 Olivia with her other sister, Leah

 the pretty bridesmaids.
I love the pink!

the handsome groomsmen

 our family before the wedding

 Olivia with Mims and Pops

 These sweet flowers girls are twins! They are Brian's nieces.

 Everything was so pretty.

 The Wedding Planners making one more final adjustment before the big moment!

 All married now!

 This is my parents' family--all their children and grandchildren.

 Mims and Pops with the bride and groom

 My grandmother, Momo, with Olivia and Brian

 Our whole family with Grandmomma, Jimmy's mother.

 Brian's entire family--his parents, his siblings (standing), and all his siblings' children (seated)

 Tom and Joy with Olivia and Brian

 the happy couple

the entire wedding party

 This is one of my favorite pictures.

 The food display turned out to be so pretty! I had the same caterer for both weddings, and she did an amazing job!

 Elle made Olivia's wedding cake too, and it was delicious!

 Tom, Brian's father, made cheesecake for the groom's table. His cheesecake is delicious too!

 Olivia requested to be showered with fresh rose petals as she and Brian made their getaway.

And they're off!

And I survived.....barely!