Texts With My Sister

The kids and I are heading to my sister’s house in Atlanta tomorrow.  We are making a pit stop at my mom’s house today first, though, to help her harvest her second batch of honey from her bee hives.  We are going to help her collect and process the honey and then tomorrow morning, my mom, me, and the kids will load up in my van and head to Atlanta.  The plan is to be there by lunch. Pretty good plan, right?  Unfortunately, Ginny refuses to accept this pit stop.  She…

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Family Theme Nights

We try to have some kind of family-themed night just about every Friday in our house.  It’s a nice way to end the week and the kids really look forward to them.  They talk about them and plan them all week long.  After busy weeks (and lazy days during the summer), it’s nice to be able to connect with each other for a while as a whole family.  Usually, we have dinner at the kitchen table together and then we go down to the family room and let the games…

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Sushi, Scavenger Hunts, and Summer Night Shenanigans

This past holiday weekend, Chris was itching for a project.  Originally, I suggested that we paint the kitchen.  This, of course, led to an entire kitchen renovation, which is still ongoing.  More on that good time later… But Saturday night, we needed to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up one little thing for the kitchen project, so we decided to grab dinner at our favorite sushi place first and make a night of it.   We’ve taken the kids here before and they love the chicken teriyaki…

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Raising Stubborn Children (named Gracie…)

My mom gave Chris and I the very best piece of parenting advice ever when the kids were about two and three years old.  She said that she and my dad spent a whole lot of time teaching and disciplining when Ginny and I were really young so that they could enjoy the time with us when we were a little older.  Chris and I took that advice straight to heart and it became our mantra through the really tough ages and stages of having two little kids.  We were…

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Makin’ Waves and Catchin’ Rays

Our last day in the Keys we rented a pontoon boat for the day. We rented ours from Pontoon George and I have mixed reviews about it. I mean, technically it was a boat that floated. It wasn’t anything fancy or even completely dependable… but it did the job of getting us around the islands. So, if price is your concern, go with Pontoon George – $300 for a full day rental for 7-10 people, and that’s the cheapest deal we found. But if we had to do it again,…

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Visiting Key West and Bahai Honda State Park

Our second day in the Keys we headed down to Key West.  We stayed in Key Largo, so a trip down to the very end of the Keys was going to take us a little over two hours by car.  We decided to break up the trip by spending the morning at Bahai Honda State Park. Bahai Honda Beach is one of the ten most beautiful beaches in North America, according to several different polls and it really didn’t disappoint.  It is located on a little peninsula that sticks out…

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Day One: Exploring John Pennekamp State Park

One of my favorite parts of our vacation in the Keys was our time spent in John Pennekamp State Park.  Our rental house was right across Rt. 1 from the entrance to the park, so it was really accessible to us. On the morning of our first full day in Key Largo, we explored a few tourist shops along Rt. 1.  The giant lobster caught our attention first… as giant lobsters are prone to do, I suspect.  We stopped only to take a picture with this big fella, but ended…

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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Have you ever heard that saying?  Home again, home again, jiggity jig?  My parents used to say it all the time when we returned home from vacation or a trip away, and I found myself saying it to my own kids today as we pulled into our driveway from our vacation to the Florida Keys this past week.  It’s always nice to be away, but it is definitely jig-worthy to come home!  We had such a great time.  It was the perfect balance of relaxing and activities, and it is…

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Summer Schedules

A few years ago, I learned that the trick to enjoying my summer was to have a very loose, flexible daily schedule.  When I would wake up and just “see where the day took me,” it often didn’t take me anywhere.  The kids and I would stay in our jammies all day being lazy and driving each other crazy.  Don’t get me wrong.  We still have lazy days like that and they are awesome, but every day can’t be a jammie day.  And so I try to keep a general,…

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Happy 8th Birthday, Bean!

Yesterday Bean Man turned 8 years old.  He was lucky this year and his birthday happened to fall on the first day of summer vacation, which was a coincidence that definitely needed to be celebrated.  So, our family spent the afternoon at Disney and Bean set our entire itinerary. He just finished reading the first book of the “Kingdom Keepers” series, which is an adventure series that takes place in the parks of Disney World.  The first book is set in the Magic Kingdom, so that’s where Bean wanted to…

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