Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Billy and JJ are out of school for winter lucky for all their fans, they will now be writing posts for a few weeks!!!!!! Here is their take on Christmas:
From JJ:
This year, for Christmas, I got a knife, food for prepping and toys. I love Christmas, I think it is so fun. I think all people should celebrate Christmas. Do you like Christmas? We saw a Christmas Carol. Me and Billy got a phone! We also had an Elf on the Shelf
all before Christmas. His name was Harrison. He was pretty naughty. He fought with dad. He brought dad some coal and used dad's toothbrush in a funny way!
From Billy: This year, we had a great Christmas. We a lot of things. For instance, we saw the play, A Christmas Carol which was fun and had funny parts, even though I did'nt really like it. A good part about this year's Christmas is that is snowed. The presents were really awesome. I got a sling shot, and pocket binoculars, and
the kind of bug you spy with. As you can see, I had a pretty good Christmas....and JJ and I also got an iphone 4 to share. Which is the best present ever! NOTE FROM MINNIE: Actually the best present ever is the Disney Cruise we are going on in a few weeks with family. I will be sure to make them blog about it when we return!

Billy Rocks!

Billy turned 10 on December 10th! His golden birthday. And he is now a 'tween' or a 'tenager'. So, this calls for a great celebration that ROCKS! So, what to do?
Call together his 4 BFF's and head to Rocky Top, an indoor rock climbing gym in C-Ville. Here are the highlights:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Gulf of Mexico

We had a fun time rendezvousing in St. Pete Beach with Mom Mom and PA, and catching up with cousins and meeting new family.
Here is our favorite things: Billy: Shell Cay JJ: The Slide and paddle boats and seeing the Gulf of Mexico
Minnie: Yoga on the Beach, finding so many sand dollars Mickey: The dolphin Cruise and Shell Cay and the hammocks
A few picture highlights:
There were so many seashells.....all together, we found 26 sand dollars!
Billy even found a LIVE conch!
We had a great, but short trip....but our cruise is less than 1 month away!


We have a tradition to make a Thanksgiving Tree, listing all the things we are thankful for over the past year. The boys did a great job being specific on things this was our best tree yet, and of course we have so very much more we could have listed. A few of the highlights: J-Wow (of course) Hiking Extended Family...grandparents, aunt and uncles and cousins The Cupcake and Doughnut Trucks (guess who?) Henry Books The Bible The Foof Our house Wine (guess who, not the boys....) Friends Running Our House Warm blankets chewing gum Smalley's Ranch Family trips Not an extensive list....but again, some highlights

Catching Up

Lots happening in Billy and JJ land..but they have been so busy doing, there is not time for blogging: A few things to catch up on: Halloween:
Billy was a WW II soldier....JJ was the Kracken Fireman. If you can look really close, you will see J-Wow has on a costume....the Headless Horseman! She did not like that too much. Billy claimed up until about 2 hours before trick or treat that he was going to stay home this year and hand out candy. But, he ended up trick or treating 'for the last year'!
J-Wow turned 1 on November 7th. We had a fun little party for her...and she got some great treats and even an edible card. What a great addition she has been to our family.
Hard to believe she was ever that small

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scouting for Food

Proud of Billy and JJ for helping collect over 100 bags of food with the scouting for food program the rain. They are turning out to be great scouts.

Perfect Score

Billy took the SOL's for the first time last year (they start in 3rd grade) - and got a PERFECT SCORE! He was honored for that achievement last night at the football game during Academic Excellence night for the city schools!

Field Trips Gaolore

The boys had back to back field trips last week..... Jamestown for Billy and the 4th Graders....
Skyline Drive for the 2nd graders and JJ. Minnie was lucky enough to chaperone both!

Go tigers....Or Hokies....what about the Lords and Ladies?

A family battle is brewing over college loyalties. Will Billy and JJ be Tigers.....or Hokies?
Really what they need is a Kenyon Lords would trump them all!

good manners

The boys had their first pack meeting this week, and they earned a belt loop for good manners. Their guest speaker taught them everything from phone ettiquite to how to use a napkin at dinner, to how to set the table....and why you turn your knife in towards the plate, and not out....unless you want to start a fight!

Hiking across two states...

We did a great fall foliage hike last week....and posted all about it on our family blog:
Check it out here:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scenes from our house on Sunday Afternoon

Billy mowing.....
JJ Supervising....

Golden Running Shoe Trophy

Is again in the hands of SSES. For every year they have hosted the event, the boys have helped their school win the contest of all city schools. They have an option of running 1-4 laps around the track (with 4 being a full mile). They both chose to run the full mile! Good Job Billy and JJ!

The Election

The boys have both been really interested in the 2012 Presidential Election. The day after the first debate, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had a rally about 45 minutes from our house. Billy, JJ, Mom Mom (she was visiting) and Minnie all made the trip. It took over 3 hours because of all the traffic. I offered for us to escape the crowds and head home and watch it on TV...but the boys insisted we stay. What is really sticking in their minds is the debt they have already incurred because of our deficit, and what that means for our country's future but also theirs and their children.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scenes from the Homestead

We had lots of fun!

Fancy Pants

That is what we were when we celebrated Minnie's birthday at the Homestead!
Two funny quotes from the weekend: "I am glad we are not rich because I wouldnt want to do this every night" - Billy getting on his tie "I did not find a straw (for his chocolate milk), but I did find a doughnut" -JJ at breakfast buffet

Billy's Stew

The boys have shown a great interest in cooking lately. Here is a receipe for Billy's Stew, made up by you guessed it.....Billy! (And it was delicious!) Rice Milk Tomato Sauce 3 Cheese Mix Hot Sauce Turkey Pepperoni Chicken

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to School

Both Mickey and Minnie were invited into Billy's class this week to help with the STEM Science project they are doing all week. (It is a wonder that Billy is allow back into the school since he ate lunch with JJ last week, and got his class so riled up with his antics that they were told...."You can't go acting all silly like that just because JJ's grandpa is here"! Yes, you read that right, not only did he get them in trouble...but he also used a false identity in the process so he could not be blamed later!)
Anyway, I digress....Mickey helped Billy's group learn about Hurricanes, and all week they will be building their knowledge. Then, on Friday they have to take what they have learned, and build a structure that would withstand that storm. (Minnie worked with a group about Thunderstorms.) I am not sure if he was relived, or a bit disappointed, but later that evening, Billy commented, "Dad was no where near as obnoxious as I thought he would be!"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cool Hats

Thanks to Great Aunt D and Uncle D.....the boys are sporting new hats this morning for school. They were brought back from the Virginia Tech Football game this past weekend. The hats combine many of the Billy and JJ's favorite things....VT, Camo, Football....and the Wounded Warrior Fund (which the proceeds from the hats went to). We watched the game, and loved the uniforms from the team (also camo for the event) and thus it was such a treat for D&D to bring them one of their own. Billy and JJ were excited to show them off at school today.

The Plight of our Tooth Fairy.....

She has been worked hard lately....JJ has lost 4 teeth this month and Billy 1...that is a pretty heavy schedule for the T.F. Sometimes she neglects to show up on the expected night. The boys worry if she misses the mark that J-Wow has caught her in the middle of the night. But, thus far she has always made up for it the following night, usually leaving an extra dollar. Perhaps she should receive hazard pay for our house....all these lost teeth....the crazy watch dog!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Summer Bucket List...

As I am putting out fall decorations, I guess it is time to put away our Summer Bucket List. We were pretty ambitious with what we wanted to accomplish. I say we did pretty good, but left many fun things for 2013: DONE: -Go Camping -Plant a sunflower cave (did it but only two came up:( -Visit New Market Battlefield -Have a Phinneus & Ferb Marathon -Host Backyard Olympics -Make our own travel/mileage sign -Visit Rt. 11 Potato Chip Factory -Make J-Woww Homemade Dog Treats -Visit Luray Caverns -Do a Mud Run -Teach Jessie to Fetch (moderate success here) -Update Cub Scout Uniforms -Maintain Fairy Garden -Touch the bottom of the pool (JJ- w/ feet...Billy w/ hands) -Ride Bikes in the 4th of July Parade -Do the Color Fun as a Family -Work on Smalley's Ranch UNDONE: -Attend Drive-In Movie Theater -Visit Appomattox Court House -Run in G-Ville Firecracker 5 (the power outtage left us unmotivated!) -Visit 'Dad's Pool' in C-ville -Have the boys learn laundry (a DEFINITE must-do) -Start a YouTube Channel -Build a Dog House

Monday, September 17, 2012

Future AT Thru Hikers...

We have a wonderful family that we have been hiking a lot with lately. Billy and JJ just adore (and look up to) their son, WillieT! He is a budding outdoors man and has really influenced the boys to love hiking even more. We think it is entirely possible that three will hike the entire Appalachian Trail together one day. The parents have the plan to meet up with them every so often with food supply....hike a bit, then retire to a comfy hotel!

On the Campaign Trail

Paul Ryan came to the burg on Friday, and took Billy to check it out. It was a first political rally for either of them. Billy is really interested in current affairs and has been asking a lot of questions about the election. It is my hope that he grows up understanding the importance of both an amazing right, and a huge responsibility. Here are the two things Billy most remembers from his speech: ***"A government that is big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have" ***"It is our moral duty to not leave the country bankrupt for our children and grandchildren" Billy enjoyed looking out for the secret service the most (especially the 'sniper' on the roof at our exit!) and we both think it is neat that on the slight chance that Romney/Ryan win (although we hope so) - we have seen the next VP of the USA up close and personal!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Billy for Postmaster

Billy ran for Postmaster of his school this week. He did not win:( But, he did a great job - making his own posters and pasing out stickers and asking people for their vote. He also had to give a speech to the whole school! Here it is:
"My name is Billy H and I am running for postmaster. I am a 4th grader in Ms. K's class. I was in the S.C.A. last year and I made sure all of my duties were done and done good! Because it is a new position, I am excited to shape it well. I have some ideas to create a program with rewards to get everyone at SSES to write each other lots of letters this year. So, Vote Billy for Poster master.....and remember, 'I will deliver for you!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Mr. Principal

Backstory: JJ is a climber! He loves to climb everything. For the past year at recess, he and his friends either play Mario or climbing (Mario if Sir Lance a Lot wins out....climbing if it is JJ's say). So, imagine his displeasure at being told this year that only 4th graders are allowed to climb the highest climbing bar, as per the instruction of Mr. S, the Principal. A day or so later, they were practicing letter writing in class, and were tasked with writing a letter to the the principal of the school. Here is JJ's letter: Dear Mr. S- I want to climb the poles again. I climb the all the time. I will be safe. I am a good climber. From: JJ

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The butterfly experiment

Here is the whole process that each kid in JJ's class went through today as part of the science experiment: They broke out of their egg (swimming pool)as a caterpillar and got in their cocoon (t-shirt). From there they had to eat lettuce (yes, JJ just pretend to munch!) so they could grow bigger. Once they did they, they were wrapped in their chrysalis (streamers) which they broke out of to become a caterpillar and get wings. From there, they had to drink nectar (apple juice) out of their "proboscis" (straw). I learned this new word today along with JJ and his class!
I would say JJ is pretty blessed this year with a creative and fun teacher!