On Sunday we made our annual trek to the Scott and Keith Tree Farm to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. In true DeNike style we walked the whole farm twice before deciding to take a tree from the owner’s yard. It is a beautiful tree that looks perfect in the living room.
If your playroom is anything like ours it can get easily disorganized and overwhelmed with old and broken toys. I try to go through it with the boys and reorganize it around Christmas. This gets rid of the broken and old toys they don’t play with and makes room for the influx of Christmas and birthday gifts.
Even though I have the playroom bins labeled with nice large labels with photos, it will inevitable get all mixed up. Then we spend time looking for toys that have been put in the wrong bins. Our playroom has needed to be reorganized for months. I took advantage of Jack being home for two days this week to sort the bins. Believe me I need Jack, because he knows what all the random pieces go to. I would never figure it out on my own.
We seem to accumulate every Happy Meal toy there is throughout the year. Although some are cool, like the transformer toys from a few years ago, others aren’t. Part of our project was to clean out all the random ones that we didn’t need or were broken.
I have been also been using these cleanouts as a way to move out toys that Will has outgrown. I still keep a bin or two of younger kid toys for when little guys visit, but they move to the top out of the way.
Three hours, one garbage bag of trash, a very full recycle bin, two bags of donations and the Wii dismantled we have a nice clean playroom. So nice. I was really proud of the boys; they chose to donate many toys that were in good shape, but they don’t play with anymore.
How often do you go through your playroom?
We are working hard on training and she tries really hard, but there are times the seven month old puppy brain takes over.
Islay’s Favorite Words
5. Fluffy (her toys)
7. Bus stop
8. Get in the car
These are the words I say the most to her
3. Leave it
4. No bite
5. Keep off
6. Trade (for something other than my shoe)
What are your favorite words right now?
The homemade gravy is
My favorite part of the meal
I know to many
It just does not appeal
You will be surprised
To see my plate so full
This brown elixir on top of all
Spooned out by the cupful
I am particular
About the kind I eat
It can’t be chunky or running
that is not a treat
So I make the gravy
Just like my mom taught me
You will find me at the stove
Then at dinner time
I fill my plate and return to the pot
To spoon out the gravy
Nice and hot
The only thing safe from
Swimming in it
Is the salad and roll
Because it will not fit
So when you sit to eat
And the gravy boat comes your way
Tip it up a second time
And think of me this day
With all the highs and lows of this year I am really thinking about what I am thankful for and what is important. It is always good to take a step back and remember how lucky we are, especially at this time of year. So here is my list for which I am most thankful at this moment.
- Two boys who love each other and get along. Listening to them play and laugh together can brighten even the hardest day.
- A husband who gets me a Starbucks latte on the weekends, knows just how to make me laugh and supports me through all of my transitions in life.
- Spending time with family. We are lucky to live not too far away and happy they make room for all of us when we come, even the crazy puppy. The boys still have all four grandparents that they can continue to make memories with and great aunts and uncles who enjoy them.
- Supportive friends, who know just what you need. Whether it is a phone call or a diet coke, they are always there for me.
- A puppy that already loves to sleep under my desk while I am working and will only get better with age.
- Neighbors who are like family and just walk over with a glass of wine to sit by the fire or watch football. You know you are welcome no matter what.
- Amazing teachers. Moving Will to this preschool was the best decision we ever made. He is happy and doing so well. Jack’s teacher is such a great supporter and knows that Mr. Chatty really has a good heart, even if he just can’t keep quiet.
- Football. What a fun time to be a Seahawks fan! I can only hope that we are still watching them in February. And the Huskies are improving despite what some cynics might be saying and can still get to nine wins this season.
- New opportunities to continue to grow my role as an advocate. I am hopeful that more connections and progress will come from my San Diego trip.
- Time. I am so thankful for the time together as a family, with friends, with extended family and being able to take the time to travel. Our trip this summer was such a blessing and created life long memories for all of us.
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and are able to enjoy all of what you are thankful for.
I was presented with the opportunity to read and review a new book series called Travels with Gannon and Wyatt written by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet. It is based on a web series that follows two boys on travels around the world. The books are written as journal entries that alternate between the boys. So far, two books have been published, Botswana in May 2013 and Great Bear Rainforest in October 2013, and another is due to be released in January 2014 called Egypt.
Jack, our eight year old son, has read with us the first book, Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Botswana. It is a little bit of a stretch book, but he has really enjoyed it. I interviewed him about the book and here is what he had to say.
Did you like the book?
Yes, I liked that it was an adventure and mystery combined together.
What else did you like about the book? I liked that kids are trying to solve the mystery and save the lioness in Botswana. It was fun that it was written as a journal and both boys tell the story from their point of view. I like that they use real photos instead of drawings to relate to the story.
Did you relate to anything in the book or the characters? I related to Gannon more, because he has more questions about the people he meets.
What do you think about characters that are real kids that travel to real locations? I like it more because it makes the store feel more real. You can tell the kids have been to these locations because of how they describe them. I like reading stories that use real locations as part of the story.
Would you recommend these books to your friends and what would you say?
Yes. It is an adventure and mystery book. Gannon and Wyatt are two boys that travel around the world to help solve mysteries and have adventures.
I loaned Travels with Gannon and Wyatt: Egypt to a friend’s son. He enjoys reality-based stories and nonfiction. He said
“The book was adventurous and exciting. Gannon and Wyatt are risk-taking and never give up. I can’t wait to read the next one!”
These books are a great beginning to what could become a fun series. I would recommend them to anyone with a child who loves adventure books, especially boys. I am happy to also give the opportunity to one of my readers to get copies of all three books in the Travels with Gannon and Wyatt series. You can enter the giveaway below. Be sure to do it today as the giveaway ends on Sunday November 25, 2013 at midnight Pacific. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.