Lego My Binder Paper


Little K: “Mom, I’m out of paper in my binder for homework! I need more!!”

Me: “Did you use up all of your paper drawing Lego men?”

LK: “. . . AND women.”

Post To Read>>> Katie Garrett’s Post “Unsolicited Advice About Shoeboxes”


Are you familiar with Operation Christmas Child? In short, it’s a program where you can fill a shoebox (or shoebox-sized box) with items for a child (you pick gender and age range that you’re packing for), and they are distributed to impoverished children around the world. We’re talking more than 10 MILLION gifts last year alone.

Or, Samaritan’s Purse probably puts it better:

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world.

– Operation Christmas Child Fact Sheet

Deciding what to pack in the boxes is a lot of fun – the kids love thinking about their mystery child that will receive their package – but is also a little daunting.

In our quest to pack well, I’ve seen a lot of lists of things you can put in your shoebox; I’ve seen a lot of lists of things that are good to put in your shoebox; but today I read an article by a missionary to Senegal that is probably the best I’ve read, because it challenges some of the ideas of things that can go in a shoebox.

For example, I never thought about a stuffed animal being terrifying! And I really appreciate the “culture check” about other games/toys.

The author draws from her own personal experiences in Senegal, but I really think the advice can go a long way for filling any box for any child.

My Cell-Phone Free Life (Day 1 of 2)

The quote that encapsulates my morning: dripping equal parts sarcasm and adorable 7-year-old lisp “You mean you have to pay for coffee with money? Well, that just sounds like a pain in the butt” (followed by awkward moment where I have to chastise my daughter for… being just like me)

It is 10:05 am in my “day 1 until replacement phone” comes. The day when I realize it’s not so much Continue reading

Remembering My Grandmama ~ 20 Years Later


Today marks 20 years since my grandmother – the only grandparent who lived long enough for me to know them – passed away.

This morning at breakfast the little Ks and I were looking at some pictures and talking about Grandmama, and I was telling them (again, because I come from storytelling stock; stories are meant to be shared) some Grandmama stories.

Grandmama would have gotten a kick out of them.

Last year on  Mother’s Day, I posted the above picture with the below caption:

I would never be able to reflect on my mom and her impact on my life without thinking about what I know about her mom’s impact on her life, but the two are all the more intertwined at Mother’s Day. My grandmama died the day before Mother’s Day 19 years ago – I can’t believe it’s been almost 20 years.

My grandmother taught my mother how to sew, who taught me how to sew (even if once that included sewing over my own fingers). My grandmother taught my mother how to cook, who taught me how to cook (although it was Grandmama herself that taught me molasses cookies). My grandmother grew a beautiful snowball bush from clippings and…my mom got a black thumb from somewhere and passed that on to me. Hey, not all skills can be legacied.

The top picture is one of the only ones I had with my dad’s mom, who died when I was a few months old. I never really got to know her, but I’m glad I got to meet her.



When Hikers Leave Love Notes

11061984_10206892725255259_2489945500142692694_nAnother beautiful day in the Virginia spring; another day where my husband leaves before the sun rises to hike in the amazing Shenandoah mountains.

When I come down to fix breakfast/lunches and get the kids ready for school, papers like this on the table are my love note. OK, the pink is not drawing a heart, and there aren’t even any written words. But Keith printed out the maps of the areas of his planned hikes, and charted his planned path. With him hiking solo – outside of cell coverage more than 3 hours from home – this is what gives me a little peace of mind.

I hope to never need these to try to track him down, but I sure feel better having them!

Check out some of Keith’s hiking posts on Facebook at Gettin’ High with Keith or some past hikes on this blog in the Daytripping>>Hikes category.


They Love Vincent

Café Terrace at Night, also known as The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum

Café Terrace at Night, also known as The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum

Over the course of the past week both of my girls have independently come to me telling me how much they love this painting by a guy named Vincent, and we should buy it because it would look good in our house and they think it would be cool.

I did clarify; they don’t want a poster/print, but want “the REAL one that he REALLY painted”.

So, we’re just skipping over the phase where you ask for a pony and going straight to pleading for 19th century post-impressionism art? OK, cool.

In related news, if you hear about a Dutch art heist, that was NOT me. However, if you see two kids on Antiques Roadshow in 50 years who seem to think they have the original Cafe Terrace at Night because they asked for it and their mom gave them a framed piece of art and they just assumed it was real and they comically find out it was a Michael’s print? Yeah, that’s probably my kids.

11150411_10206841428452871_1032776749088643659_nI love my husband and his weird phone. Is it telling that he apparently uses “contusions” more often than “congratulations”?

In related news, if you haven’t checked out my Etsy shop – TotallyAdorkable, you totally should!
Or visit me on Facebook.


My little artist with her piece on display at the Chesterfield Fine Arts Festival. She loved showing it off, and checking out her friends’ pieces there, too.


Remember D.A.R.Y.L.?

11178224_10206788699534681_581503305301380518_nD.A.R.Y.L. (Data Analyzing Robotic Youth Lifeform )- one of those movies that my dad taped from the Wonderful World of Disney Sunday Night Movie series (gosh, we loved that growing up!). And in a family without cable, VHSs from WWD-SNM were gold.

So when I found out on the same day that D.A.R.Y.L. was streaming on Netflix AND that my disc for Flight of the Navigator (“Compliance”) had finally come in (seriously, top of the queue for like a year and a half) it was like my 80s childhood was having a reunion on the screen in my Totally Adorkable studio. As I said on Instagram:

Thanks to the joys of social media, I could wax nostalgic with my brother. We did both decide the movie didn’t hold up as well as other childhood favorites and VHS gems.

  • I think a lot of my nostalgia about that movie comes solely from seeing shots of an SR-71
  • And that it may or may not be set in North Carolina.

    You know, I don’t remember knowing what a hooker was in 1987-ish. So I am sure – since it was never answered – that I asked mom and dad. And I really wish I remember how they explained that one.

    I bet Mr. Boogety would hold up even worse.

  •  oh my god
  •  have definitely not thought of that movie since i moved out of the house

Kaitlyn and Kourey’s Spring Break Wish List

21160_10206624851358579_332733130733620584_nSpring break is here! The first thing the girls and I did was make a Spring Break WISH List. I emphasised many, many, many times this was a WISH list, not a “Kaitlyn and Kourey’s Charmed Life We Will Do It” list. They…. kinda got it.

In case you can’t read our writing, here’s what the girls included on their list:

  1. Science Museum [SMV-Science Museum of Virginia]
  2. Sweet Frog
  3. Bonfire/Firepit (w/marshmallows)
  4. Cinderella/Frozen Fever
  5. Bownce (sic) place/jumpy place (I think she meant the Playroom)
  6. Mini Golf
  7. Chuck E. Cheese
  8. Family Movie Time (Tinkerbelle & the Legend of the Neverbeast and Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
  9. Picnic at Dodd Park
  10. Family Board Game Time

Family board game was first on the agenda – Daddy was impressive with his Disney trivia knowledge to take the win.

11110201_10206240716274012_6171571864813347553_nMy friend Heather at BiCoastal Mama shared that they do a daily theme for summer, and she brought that into Spring Break. Make It Mondays, Take a Trip Tuesday and more. I love this idea, and had a less-well-defined version of it going last summer. I definitely will be stealing a bit from her idea for our summer plans.