Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Traditions


Thanksgiving is just a few days away which means we're getting ready for our annual Thanksgiving family trip. This year, the DH and I are taking Stinky and Blinky to Busch Gardens Tampa for thrilling holiday enjoyment. Christmas Town will be in fun swing which means live shows, character meet and greets, and millions of holiday lights. Can't hardly wait!

When we get back, I'll write daily recaps and highlight the best parts of our trip. Stay tuned.

With that, I wish you all safe travels and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Posture Matters

For the past few weeks, I've had excruciating pain in my right wrist and elbow, which peaks when I'm sitting at my computer working. I thought I might have to make an appointment with my doctor, but decided to talk it over with the DH instead. He suggested I improve my posture; sitting upright with a 90 degree angle at the elbows and knees. Not hunched over reaching for a keyboard like I've been doing.


I made the necessary changes just this morning and have already noticed a remarkable difference. I thought having an ergonomic keyboard and mouse pad were sufficient, but its not. Overall posture matters as well.

Here's another graphic with a few more tips:

Please make sure you are following these guidelines. Don't risk surgery and/or therapy for something that is entirely preventable. Do a little research, make a few changes, and save yourself a lot of pain. Literally!

Hope you guys enjoy the rest of the week!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

4-H Photo Competition: Chewacla State Park

We spent Veteran's Day exploring Chewacla State Park, near Auburn, AL. I've wanted to visit for some time, but we were spurred into action due to Stinky's 4-H photo projects The World I See and The World I Imagine. The former required him to take an unfiltered photo, while the latter required him to take a photo to be edited, submitting both versions side by side.

With the dog in tow, we hiked trail #25, which was quite challenging, to the waterfall. The air was crisp but the sunshine was glorious. We encountered several families on our trail, and heard a few more on some of the other trails. We also took a little time to enjoy the scenery.

It took a little over an hour to reach the waterfall. While not as majestic as Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains, it was still quite beautiful. And the sound of the water was re-energizing.

There were actually quite a few people at the falls. Some were exploring further downstream, others were sitting on rocks chatting. We were lucky to be able to snap these photos without random strangers.

It was here that Stinky choose is The World I Imagine photo:


The DH and I gave him a brief tutorial about filters and let him play with options. He ultimately decided on this. He overexposed the top right hand corner but in printing, we choose an 8x8 which cropped a lot of that out. I like how he sharpened the look of the falling water and brightened the surrounding stones. Not bad for a first try.

After a little exploring of our own as well as a midpoint snack, we decided to hike back. It was on the return that Stinky found his photo op for The World I See:

I love this tiny, woodland flower. It was the sun hitting the lavender amidst a sea of brown that caught our eye. Beauty in simplicity.

We should have headed home after that, but it was too pretty to leave. We let the kids frolic at a playground on the grounds, near a lake for much too long. We had to drag them away.

I'm so pleased we did the hike and Stinky was able to get his photos. And I'm thankful for the men and women who bravely defend this country thus allowing us to do so.

Happy Veteran's Day weekend!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When the clock strikes midnight Halloween will be over then BAM! Christmas everywhere!!

Didn't take me too long to transition from Fall to Christmas eh. LOL! I am not ignoring Thanksgiving I promise, but a recent discussion made me think about Christmas presents.

Stinky and Blinky's friends' parents seem to go all out on Christmas presents. I'm not judging, but it made me think about how differently the DH and I Santa shops for Christmas presents for our kids. A few years ago we adopted the something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read notion of gift giving and this has worked out really well for our family. Stinky and Blinky put a lot of thought into how they fill their boxes, specifically the want box. This way they end up with something that keeps their interest all year long.

I find the lists by just doing a Google image search and settled on this one for 2017.

Typically I hand them out around this time and let the kids mull over them for a few weeks.

Another Christmas tradition is to do something nice for someone else. Tis the season of giving after all. In the past we've donated non-perishable items at a local food bank, made a monetary donation to a family in need, participated in the Angel Tree program at church, and rang the bell for the Salvation Army. Thanks to a special guest at church last month, Stinky and Blinky have their hearts set on doing something with the United Methodist Children's Home.

What are some Christmas traditions in your home?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Days of Fall

While it won't be up for long, I thought we'd enjoy a little fall decor before I immerse the house in red and green.

 Removing a few items from my Halloween mantle left it ready for fall. #lazy decorator

Warm weather has lingered so there are still a few blooms and bounty to enjoy: azaleas, lantantas, zinnias, and bell peppers.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today! I did a little yard work, the kids rode their bikes and played in the backyard, and the DH took multiple naps. It was a perfect fall day!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Halloween!!

I could not have had more fun last night if I were a little kid again, dressed up like my favorite character, with a bin full of candy. And I have the next-day-tummy-ache-from-too-much-candy to prove it!

The DH, myself, Stinky and Blinky, errr Maverick and Moana did a little neighborhood trick-or-treating to get the festivities started. As there are no other school-aged kids on our street to go door-to-door, the elderly couples look forward to Stinky and Blinky making an appearance.

Then we headed over to local library for their epic Halloween event. They saw several of their friends, another Top Gun character - Goose, and several Moanas, one of whom was kind enough to take this photo.


But the highlight of the evening was upstairs in the nerf target area. Apparently kids had been missing the target all night. Well, along comes Stinky who hits three in a row, blowing the Library's Director's mind. In good fun, he bets Stinky that if he can do it one more time, he'll let Stinky have the nerf rifle with scope at the end of the night. Guess who won...

We closed the event down then headed over to a friend's house where Stinky showed off his new toy, the kids loaded up on more candy, and the grown ups chatted. So much so that we completely forgot to take photos.

We got home way past bedtime, let the kids skip baths, and all went to bed smiling. My heart is full.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Eve

Homework, dinner, and baths are done so its Hotel Transylvania with the kiddos on Halloween Eve!

#schoolnight #coldfeet #makingmemories