End of Summer 2019 Recap!

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It’s really hard to think about summer being over, but it is. I’ve gone back to work, Emorie is back in school and we are settling back into our routines. I’m not going to share every single thing that we did, but I’m definitely going to share the highlight reel.

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This little cutie turned eight and celebrated her fourth recital and did a fantastic job. She was by far the busiest member of our family this summer: she went to tennis camp, volleyball camp, acrobatics camp, swim lessons, art camp and Vacation Bible School. Thank goodness these camps were all half day camps, or I’d have never seen her!

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Aubrey finally, actually let me take some pretty cute pictures of her! She also attended acrobatics camp and swim lessons.

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I took a break from blogging to spend more time with my family, and I also discovered a new love- weightlifting. I worked with a personal trainer and have lost almost 35 pounds. Here’s a pic of me in April, at the heaviest I’ve ever been.

 And here I am after working with a nutritionist and personal trainer for two months.

We also adopted a sweet little kitten this summer and Emorie named her Daisy. She is a sweet cuddler and loves to play. We are truly enjoying her.

We also took our first vacation as a foursome in two years.

And lastly, my precious big girl went to third grade.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I cannot wait to show you some of the really cool things I’ve been working on lately!

Visit on Thursday for a super cute wreath tutorial!

 

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

Summer is quickly approaching, and for most of us, summer means pool and beach trips. Those of us with more than one child have a pretty good idea about what your tiny tot will need for a trip to the pool, but if you aren’t sure, I decided to share what’s in our pool bag.

We are a family of four, so our pool bag is this giant monogrammed Land’s End tote with a zipper top. It holds everything we need for some fun in the sun and I love it!

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For our toddler, we always pack the following items:

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  1. A snack (not pictured). We try to always bring a healthy snack for both kids no matter where we go. Dry cereal works well, as do small fruits (grapes) or veggies (carrot sticks), and things like granola bars or Belvita biscuits.
  2. A swimsuit, a cover up (a hooded towel will work well for a small child), and sunglasses
  3. A sunscreen for sensitive skin
  4. Swim diapers and wipes (if your toddler isn’t quite potty trained. Ours is not).
  5. Diaper ointment and lotion. Some kids’ skin is sensitive to chlorine, so it’s a good idea to have some lotion on hand to replenish their skin’s moisture
  6. Pool shoes and goggles
  7. Something to drink in a plastic, lidded cup
  8. Detangler and a hairbrush (not pictured)

I always feel the most organized and prepared for anything when I create a checklist beforehand, run down my list, and physically check it off. I decided to share that list with you as well. To download it, simply right click on the picture below, save it to your device, and then print it. For best results, do not print larger than 8X10 inches.

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Enjoy your pool and beach trips this summer!

 

In Memoriam

Today, we remember our military who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live in a country where we are free to live, worship and speak as we choose. We hope your Memorial Day is peaceful, reflective and a day of observance and gratitude.

God bless America and her Armed Forces.

Favorite things Friday: Ways to Observe Memorial Day

 

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Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

For many people, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. While many of us use the three day weekend to go on vacation, have cookouts, and visit family members, this is not the true reason for the holiday.

Memorial Day is a day to observe the fallen military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. While all of those things are nice, we need to make sure that we and our children understand why we celebrate Memorial Day. There are many ways we can do this.

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Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

1. Put out flags at Veteran’s cemeteries

I used to live near a huge military cemetery. Every Veteran’s and Memorial Day, the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion would put flags in front of the graves of each veteran. They also did this at the graves of veterans in other cemeteries. You can imagine this is quite a time consuming task, and occasionally they look for volunteers to help with this. What better way to observe our country’s fallen soldiers than displaying flags at their graves?

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2. By visiting religious services of your choosing

Many churches across the country will observe Memorial Day with a special service or special music. Many towns and local governments also conduct interfaith services for the holiday.

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

3. Flying the flag half-staff until noon

If you have a flag pole, it is customary to fly your flag at half-staff until noon. If you do not have a flag pole, you may choose to fly a banner or flag simply in support of our military.

Another way to observe Memorial Day is to simply stop what youre doing at 3 P.M. local time and pause to reflect upon Memorial Day and what it means.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

May we never forget the sacrifices these brave men and women made so that we could continue to live free.

Lumber in My Minivan will resume regular schedule next Tuesday. Have a safe, wonderful and reflective Memorial weekend.

Summer 2018: a recap

Goodness gracious, what a short summer! While our summer wasn’t super busy, we did do a lot and we made some pretty awesome memories to show for it.

Our summer got off to a late start, due to all the snow days and having to add teacher workdays to the end of our school year.

We went on vacation to the mountains…twice.

We visited my grandmother and rode the train at the park.

We enjoyed my aunt and uncle’s fire pit and roasted some marshmallows.

Both girls enrolled in a six week gymnastics class…Emorie began her fourth year of gymnastics, and Aubrey began her first.

Both girls went to Vacation Bible School at our church and loved it!!

Emorie celebrated her seventh birthday and went to cheer camp at our local high school.

We spent tons of time at the playground.

And even more time in the pool.

We spent time at the local YMCA splash pad, too

Emorie began to learn to play the piano, prompting us to add a piano to our home.

Our garden flourished for most of the summer, and we enjoyed many delicious veggies from it.

We traveled to WV for the day to celebrate my grandpa’s cousin’s 90th birthday AND 70th wedding anniversary.

Aubrey engaged in a lot of mischief…

We remodeled one of our bathrooms.

And lastly, we sent this newly minted second grader off to school, and I took some of my favorite pictures EVER of my girls.

I will be returning to school next week. Stay tuned: changes are on the horizon for Organized and Simplified.

Have a wonderful,blessed school year.