Sunday, January 10, 2021

This, That and Another


On January 9th when Michael was four years old, he asked Jesus to come into his heart.  We celebrated his spiritual "birthday" with Oreo ice cream cake.  

Daniel got his 9th place in the state of Tennessee scholastic chess tournament plaque in the mail.  

Michael created and designed a game "Dragon Quest".  He is in a constant state of updating it, so he and I played his updated version. 

I've been putting in the miles in the cold, rain and snow!  Since January 1st, I've walked 60.41 miles and logged 16 hours outside.  

Yummy black beans and rice recipes with lots of veggies!


 Michael and I have wanted to get into geocaching for a while, but because of various technological issues--we have not.  Then, I rediscovered--letterboxing.  

Letterboxing is geocaching but with written clues that lead you to the location.  A treasure hunt of sorts.  Inside the hidden letterbox, you should find a rubberstamp.  You stamp your log book with their stamp and if they have included a log book in the letterbox--stamp it with your own rubber stamp.  Michael and I found some really cool stamps for our joint letterbox account.  

You can find all the information and search for letterboxes in your local area at Atlas Quest.

Our first attempt was a bust.  We looked and looked and could not locate the letterbox.  So, we set out a different day with more than one clue in our hand to try again.  Two more unlocated boxes and over an hour walking downtown, but then we found the box that went with our last clue!  

He was so happy when we finally found it!  

We found another letterbox earlier this week!  Tomorrow, we go hunting again!  

Letterboxing is a great way to encourage older kids to get outdoors any time of the year.  It builds logic and directional skills as well as perseverance!  So glad we found a new hobby to share together!  

Urban Hike


Michael and I have started letterboxing.  Our first attempt was unsuccessful, so we went on an "urban hike"!  

Hike #7

2021 Books Read List


Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney

Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake by Sarah Graves

A Catered Murder by Isis Crawford

Murder at the Courthouse: A Hidden Springs Mystery by A. H. Gabhart

Murder Comes by Mail: A Hidden Springs Mystery by A. H. Gabhart

Dolled Up to Die by Lorena McCourtney

Murder is No Accident:  A Hidden Springs Mystery by A. H. Gabhart

A Sheetcake Named Desire:  Piece of Cake Mystery Book 1  by Jacklyn Brady

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets by Roald Dahl

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Books of the Bible:





Read Alouds: 

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

The Minpins by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Boxcar Children:  The Mystery of the Midnight Dog created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Friday, January 1, 2021

Reflections on 2020 and 2021 Goals

Accomplishments of 2020:

Total books read:  166 with 37 read alouds with Michael.

Miles clocked on my Fitbit:  1850.46

We have remained healthy so far throughout the pandemic.

More time to connect with family especially my two adult college students.

Weekly date nights with JP.

Remembering to bring a mask with us most of the time.

Joined a new in-person Bible study.

Met quite a few new people and had regular times together outdoors getting to know other people better.

High Points of the year: 

JP got a promotion at work and a new schedule AND got four backyard chickens.

Tera made the Dean's List twice, got certified as a group fitness instructor and started a young adult Bible study.

Daniel won first place at the regional chess tournament,  graduated, got his first job and won a full tuition music scholarship to attend Maryville College.

Michael spent a lot of time outdoors, placed 5th in 4-H Wildlife Judging, his Clover Bowl team made it to the semi-finals, won 1st place and 2nd place in the two Lego contests at the library,  and went monarch butterfly tagging.  

Lowest Points of the year:

Losing a dear friend to Covid in September.

Election and pandemic stress due to the oversaturation of social media and news.

Postponing Daniel's senior trip.

Missing Fred's 90th birthday due to Covid concerns.

My "word" for 2021 is "Healthy"--mind, body and soul.

2021 Goals:

Participate in the Tennessee 4-H 2021 miles in 2021 virtual race--I'm already signed up.  YAY!!!  (Almost 6.5 miles clocked today)

Complete the 52 Hike Challenge.  (I'm on hike #6 already) 

Log hours for the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge (I'm pretty sure I won't reach that goal, but I've enjoyed being outside so much during the pandemic--I want to encourage myself in that habit!) 

Reading challenge--Michael wants to up our read aloud total to 40 books.  I'm still looking for a personal reading challenge, but will log my "books read" anyway until I decide. 

Continue Bible studies--one-on-one and group studies, be consistent in my daily devotion times, start daily scripture writing again.  

Healthy habits--try to lower cholesterol, resting heart rate and weight.  Hoping my exercise challenges will help with these goals! 

I just really want to work on being healthy this year and doing things that help me be a better person for myself and those I love!  

New Year's Eve 2020

 The game Uncle John and Aunt Christy sent was a huge hit!!!

Let the record show that I had enough brain energy at the end of 2020 to win Clue!

Michael's new Minecraft game

Party punch and Christmas snacks...

JP went all out and made us chicken and pork kebabs.  They were delicious!  Veggie and fruit trays and Hawaiian rolls were my contribution to dinner.  

We ended the evening introducing the kids to a classic:  "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"  and prayed before going to bed!  We survived 2020 and look forward to how God will work in our lives in 2021!

New Year's Eve Hike

Jackson Bend Branch Trail

a little under 5 miles--in and out

Hike #6

After seeing a couple of hunters on a nearby trail, we decided that orange vests would be a good idea.  A nice fashion statement they are not.  Tera said, we looked like we were from a carnival.

Not our favorite trail.  When it started getting basically to a rock path, we turned around. People's backyards, boat docks, dogs and this great "waterfall" peppered this trail.  Not one we will hike again.  


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