Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Chip off the old block...

Yes, there is no denying that Billy is Mickey's son....read on for proof:

We were at the mall yesterday bungee jumping (see previous post) and came across some elf on the shelves.....Billy told us that legend has it that if any kid touches the elves, they lose their powers. Then, he proceeds to threaten touching all the elves in stock, reliving them of any special powers for unsuspecting persons. A mental path similar to thinking that splashing a jogger is an act of random kindness!

But cooler heads (mine) prevailed, and we left all the Elf on the Shelves full of magic. We just hope that gets reported back to Santa.

Speaking of elves....have you ever seen a cuter one than JJ at his recent musical performance?

Yeah, it's Winter Break

And we are headed to Ohio....Whoo Hoo.

But, before we do, we must bungee jump at the mall and climb the worlds best climbing trees!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some recent doings....

We have been quite busy lately, so here are a few pictures to share. Both boys are have been enjoying lots of cub scout activities...JJ lost a tooth last week....we got our Christmas tree, and Billy's choir sang at the local Barnes and Noble! And, we need to include Billy posing with his $100 bill....before it is spent!

The Santa Train

Minnie and JJ went with some friends to Petersburg, WV to ride the Snowflake Express. We sang Christmas Carols, had hot chocolate and cookies, saw an awesome light display and talked to Santa! What a great way to put us in the holiday spirit. While traveling by the light display, JJ exclaimed...."I just can't look away!"

Happy Birthday Billy!

Billy turned 9 on Saturday, and we have been so busy celebrating, we forgot to post anything!

He had a fireman themed party with his friends at the WC, and was surprised by one friend (and his fireman dad) who brought a firetruck to the party.....and gave Billy and JJ a ride home in it afterwards! The best gift ever for a fireman-obsessed kid!

He got lots of presents from family and friends - including his first ever $100 bill from Mom Mom and Pa (Mickey thinks he should save it for college, Billy just wants to buy nerf guns) and Nana and Pop took him out for a special dinner at Texas Roadhouse, where he ate his two favorite foods all night....steak and peanuts!

Nine things about Billy at 9:

-He wants to be a fireman when he grows up
-The ipad sometimes appears to be permanently attached to his hands
-He is working hard at memorizing those pesky multiplication facts
-He just earned his whittling chip in Cub Scots...and has talked of pursuing his Eagle Scout rank as he gets older!
-He is very involved at school....in the Eagle Singers, Drama,SCA and Peers programs
-He is taking snowboarding lessons this winter
-He has recently expressed interest in piano lessons
-JJ thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread!
-He has asked Santa (who he is currently obsessed with) for some repelling gear to be a rock climber!

Friday, December 2, 2011

We are Thankful

Did you know we live in the Turkey Capital of the World? Pretty Cool. We took this picture on Thanksgiving day!

We spent the month of November listing one thing a day we are thankful for, and the list could continue on and on and on....but here are 30 things from each boy:

Books, Family, Trees, Weekends, Billy, Mom & Dad, Artwork, Candy, Ice Cream, Our Cats, Nature, Hikes, Rosie and Riley, Nana and Pop, Mom Mom and Pa, everyone else in our family, Our house, Leprechauns, Popsicles, Measuring Tape, Arthur TV Show, Bikes, Pie, Christmas, Santa, Rudolph, Warm blankets, Movie Night, dessert, Duct Tape

JJ, books, family, neighbors, our house, money, food, ipad, Pie, All Pro Dads, brownies, P.E., Bathtubs, Recuse Workers, Rosie and Riley, TV, cardboard boxes and tape, Leprechauns, history, pens, friends, Markers, paper, Santa, our cats, grandparents, birthdays, sweatpants, cub scouts, weekends, steak

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Billy's Speech at Cub Scouts

Billy had to give a speech last night at Cub Scouts on something he really likes. No surprise he chose fire fighters....since that is his current passion. He took in Mickey's REAL fire helmet and 'turnout gear'. Here is a copy of what he wrote:


I did my report on firefighters in Harrisonburg. There are a couple of fire stations in Harrisonburg, and they include #1, #2, #3, #4 and #41. Some of these are shared as county stations. Station #1 is the main fire station, but station #4 has the most calls and runs.

My dad and my grandpa were both firefighters at station #4. My dad at one point was an assistant Chief and my Grandpa was a chief for Hose Company #4.

Firefighters wear a special jacket that keeps them from overheating and getting burned. There are pants that do the same thing. Firefighters wear air masks to give them air in all the smoke. They also have a special helmet. It is shaped specially to shield your neck from ash and stuff like that. All the equipment is called turnout gear. There is another set of gear that is totally fireproof that firefighters would wear at an airport fire or a gas leak.

There are many kinds of fire trucks. These are some of them:

NOTE to ME: Talk about each!
Ladder truck
Foam Trucks
Brush Truck

These are the ranks of fireman from the smallest rank to the biggest rank:
Assistant Chief

Crazy Hair Day

JJ has been waiting and plotting for this day for weeks....and it is finally here...crazy hair day! You should have seen his chest puff out with pride when walking down the hall this morning, and two girls 'Wow! That is some crazy hair!"

Billy was not going to participate, until the very last moment. Look closely, Hokie fans....the top is a VT!!! I think he was glad he got in the spirit as people at school kept saying, "Yay! Hokies!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Very Handsome Cub Scout

In his brand new uniform.....

Aunt Rosie!

Nana and Pop got a new puppy from the SPCA last week, so that means Billy and JJ have a new Aunt.....Rosie!

From Billy: Roise is awesome, I am so glad Nana and Pop got her. It is so fun to play with Rosie. She is really cute and active and is a very good dog. I love her very much.

From JJ: Rosie is nice because she is a dog. I like to play with her. Rosie is Nana and Pop's puppy. I love her.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Billy and JJ readers know their beloved heroes both won the Reflections Art contest at their school. While we were there tonight for the music concert, I snapped these pictures in front of their creations.

A jam packed day....

JJ had a fun field trip to the Frontier Culture Museum today. We had a great time, despite blowing snow and cold weather. It is fun to see JJ in his world with his friends and teachers. It is a very different JJ than the one who is constantly climbing the walls naked at the house! I am proud of how good he is and how well-liked he is by his peers!

Then Billy had his 3rd grade choir concert tonight, complete with dancing and synchronized moves. They all did a great job! I am really proud of Billy too and how involved he is at school and all that he accomplishes.

Billy and JJ ....Overheard!

So, the backstory..... I was milling around the house picking up and gathering trash while the boys rambunctiously played in the family room. Billy, being the big brother usually controls what games are being played...and oftentimes they include bodily harm to JJ, the little brother.

As I walk into the kitchen, I hear Billy suggest another game to play because the one they had been playing had caused JJ to break out into a whining fit and/or tears at least 3 times that I know of just this afternoon. And, here is JJ's reply..."I want to play the YOU get out of this room right this instant and leave JJ alone game"

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 neat things to share.....

#1) Billy made the honor roll for the 1st 9 weeks of the first year he received letter grades...woo hoo!

#2)We have been attending a new church this fall that has been great for the kids. After the service yesterday, JJ asked for his own Bible...so I stopped on the way home and got one for him. The cynical Billy says that kids who bring their Bibles to the kids church get candy and that is why JJ so desperately wanted one. But, I chose to believe otherwise!!! And, last night, he was looking all through the new Bible, all on his own....without any candy incentive!

Yay for Billy and JJ!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hilltop Mountain Hike

We did what was probably our last hike of the season today....and it was a bit harder than we thought it would be. After Mickey and Minnie had run 13.4 miles yesterday....and Billy and JJ stayed up too late last night, none of us were at the top of his game (well, maybe Mickey was...but when is he not?) However, everyone soldiered on to the top of the mountain because #1) we had skittles in our trail mix and #2) that is just how we roll!

Despite JJ saying, "I am so tired, I keep imagining things" (Like rocks on the side of the hike being his bed) and Billy drinking all of our water in the first 10 minutes of the hike, it ended up being pretty enjoyable after all.

The reasons why....
#1) A random lady at the top of the mountain who recognized JJ's Kenyon sweatpants and declared out of the blue that..."Kenyon swimmers are the studs of the world" #2) Mickey made our trail mix for the first time ever and in his ever thoughtful way, included something for everyone....skittles for JJ, sunflower seeds for Billy, dried pineapple for Minnie, and a bunch of healthy stuff for himself #3) for our entertainment.....The Peeing Choir!!!! They are shown above as a trio....but we were also treated to a few solo performances as well all throughout the trip!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Billy's Life Motto

Billy informed me yesterday that he know has a life motto. (Apparently the book he is reading about Boy Scouts mentions the importance of a life cause.) From another book, he found and adapted this phrase as his life motto:

"I will offend no one without cause"

JJ is currently working on his life motto.....we will keep you posted:)

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.....

Billy and JJ are having a great week....great report cards and teacher conferences, followed by 2 winning tickets at the All Pro Dads raffle this morning. And then we heard some even better news.....

Both boys are winners in the Reflections Art Contest at school.

They both won the dance competition, and man can those boys cut a rug!

JJ was a double winner....Dance and Literature. He wrote a book about his menagerie (inspired by Pie). He drew a picture of about 10 of his stuffed animals and then wrote a page on each of them. JJ worked so hard on this project and we were so proud of his efforts...but then to hear that he also won shows that hard work does pay off!

This is what his artist statement said about his book:
This is a book about my menagerie. That is what Pie calls my stuffed animals that I take with me everywhere. Pie is my aunt. I did not know what that word was, so me and mom googled it! It is a group of animals. I do know what diversity is….it means different, and that is what my menagerie is….lots of different animals. My stuffed animals look different and I love them all for different reasons. But, I love them all the same. I am going to write a book about my menagerie, and call it My Menagerie, by JJ Harrison

Billy placed second for his picture. His was entitled 'Flags of SSES'. He thought of all of his friends and schoolmates that have origins from different countries. We researched the flags and he made his own version of them. It was a fun project and very informative. While working on it, we both agreed it would be a unique ability to be able to identify the flags of the world. Perhaps this will be a summer project of ours.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Valuable Lesson

So, Billy and JJ readers know that their EXPENSIVE costumes did not arrive in time for Halloween. So, Billy and JJ had to use their IMAGINATIONS to create a costume from what we already had in the house. We think they did a great job...we saved money and they looked better than they would have in a store-bought costume. But, then again, we are biased. And, oh...by the way..JJ is a Daredevil-Cowboy-Climber! I am sure you already knew taht!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Celebrations

Jack O' Lanterns.....Swam Juice and Mummy Dogs.....and that is all before Trick Or Treating. We are celebrating Halloween in style....

Billy's Class

I took in pumpkin snacks today for Billy's class. It was a good time meeting some of the kids I had never met before. Billy was mortified when I suggested to him a group picture....so this is the best I can do to update all the Billy and JJ fans out there. The Blue table!

Happy Snowtober!

Yes, that is right...we got around 5 inches of snow....2 days BEFORE Halloween! But we made the most of it, with our very own Jack o'Snowman!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

JJ's class

Minne was lucky enough to be able to visit JJ's class on dress up day, with a special pumpkin treat in hand. And, yes....he wore his shoulder pads all day....and his helmet....even eating and drinking through the holes the best he could. Talk about a dedicated football player!

Dress Up Day at School

The boys had to improvise on their costumes for school, since their new ones we ordered had a major glich in the system....and did not arrive:(

But they did not do too bad!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Week in Review

Whew...what a busy week we have had....

Monday started off with a surprise visit from Cousins D and J from Ohio. On their motorcycles. What a great surprise, and so funny when they 'revvved' their engines all the way out of the neighborhood:)

Wednesday had us early at school for the first All Pro Dad breakfast...and then back that night for Literacy Night, and a funny story teller! JJ was picked from the audience to help tell a Dr. Seuss story!

Thursday was a day off of school, so we spent it 'mountain biking' on the Rocktown Trails....through the mud!

Also of note this week, Billy and JJ are hard at work with the neighbor kids on a play about firefighters....written in part by Billy. And, for real....two leprechauns showed up in Billy's class this week. Weired things have been going on every since......

And lastly, a funny quote from JJ:
Driving in the car away from the mountain biking expedition, we were all tired and Billy was talking about something to which JJ replied, "I just need a few minutes without your voice right now!" Billy replied, "That is so rude. When I want you to shut up, I am nicer, I just say, 'Lets play the quiet game!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Virginia Beach....our faves....

From Mickey....
5)The big change in temperature...from summer to fall overnight!
4) The seagulls attacking us because Billy kept feeding them
3) The sunset at our picnic
2) The sandcastles at the Neptune Festival
1) Eating Chickeny at Carrabbas

From JJ:
5) Swimming in the ocean
4) Playing on the playground
3) Planet Pizza (it is as good as the picture says)
2) Pie
1) The Leprechauns moving all around

Frin Billy:
5) Big Gull
4) Making Yodas with Pie's class
3) Swimming in the Ocean
2) The Sandcastles
1) Keeping track of the Leprechauns

From Minnie:
5) Reading to Pie's class
4) The crafts at the Neptune Festival
3) The Sandcastles at the Neptune Festival
2) Running 10 miles with Mickey...in preparation for our marathon!
1) My birthday picnic!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pie's class!

While at Virginia Beach, we visited Pie at school. We read some of our favorite book to her class, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda....and even helped her class make Origami Yoda's. It was fun seeing Mrs. H in action and to check out a different elementary school. We were hoping her class would ask us funny questions about Pie, but they got stuck on her nickname and we did not get out any more juicy details!

The books are in at the library!

The books the Boys Book Club raised money for have arrived at the library, and they are on display! Each boy has two that have their names inscribed on them. We were able to check out both of Billy's....but someone already had checked out one of JJ's. No worries, it is a good thing their books are already being used!

Billy's books:
Spiked Scorpions & Walking Whales
Aliens from Earth

JJ's Books:
Bug Butts!
Spiders and other Invertebrates

Isn't it appropriate that JJ had one named Bug Butts?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Adventures of Billy and JJ....and the pulled tooth!

JJ finally lost is tooth!

And, here is a heart warming story as to how: His tooth has been quite loose for awhile. He came to me this morning and said it was ready to come out. I told him that was a 'daddy duty' and we could wait until tonight when Mickey got home from work. Two minutes later, Billy comes in, wearing latex gloves from our first aid kit, holding the bloody tooth. JJ follows....with a bloody napkin in his mouth. Billy, our budding EMT pulled JJ's tooth. What brotherly love:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yeah for Dutch!

Dutch got inducted into the HHS Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. At the football game on Friday night, JJ yelled (as Dutch was being introducted), "Hey Dutch, you are in the hall of fame....aren't ya happy!" I think that sums it up, pretty much.

The Mothman Fesitval, Rio and the 50th Wedding Anniversay

We took a quick trip to Rio Grande this past weekend to celebrate Uncle C and Aunt R's 50th wedding anniversary. And to coincidentally (brace yourselves)go to the MOTHMAN Festival in Point Pleasant, WV. It was a good time, a real whirlwind. There is much to say, but we will just sum it up with our top 5:


5) Setting off Fireworks
4) My face paint at the Mothman Festival
3) The Barn
2) Smalley, Tail and No Tail
1) Mothman Pancakes!

5) Playing corn hole at the party
4) Red bull on the drive to and from
3) Tail, no tail, Sophie, Rex
2) The Mothman Festival
1) Setting off fireworks in the barn with Smalley

I don't really have a full list....I just loved spending time with family, and having Billy and JJ spend time with family. I think it is fabulous that Mom Mom and Pa hit the 50th wedding anniversary mark last summer, and now Uncle C and Aunt A did it this summer. They are great role models for all of us! And, of course, I loved attending the Mothman Festival. It was all that I expected it to be:) I am not sure why that legend is of such interest to me - but every since Billy got interested in it a few years ago, it has really intrigued me. Attending the festival was a real hoot!