New and Improved Calendar!

RaptorDad decided that if I was going to keep taping calendars to the wall, he was going to find a way to jazz them up a little.  And boy oh boy, he did not disappoint!  I can’t get into the specifics of how he made it other than *he’s magic*!  He used some leftover flooring that we’ve had sitting around for years and I absolutely love how it looks.


Instead of taping the paper squares to the wall, I attached them to the board with ticky tack.  My plan is to move the weeks up every Sunday so that the current week stays on the top as opposed to doing a season at a time like I was doing before.  Hopefully I can keep up with it!  Like I said before, I mainly use it for Kate’s activities because she likes to know what’s coming up.

With that, we are 1 week away from our big eclipse road trip!  I am so excited I almost can’t stand it.  :)  I guess it’s about time to stop obsessively pinning road trip stuff and actually start making some of it.  lol.

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August Goals

I can’t believe it’s already August!  This summer has flown by!  It seems like Kate just got out of school and now we have Meet the Teacher night tomorrow.  :/  Before I get all weepy on you, let’s take a look at how we did with July’s goals.

  1.  Scrap August of 2016.  Done!  Yay!
  2. 10 current layouts.  I got 5 done which is nothing to sneeze at.  😉
  3. Print September.  Done!
  4. Scrap September.  Also done!  Man, I was on a roll for a while.  :)
  5. January Project Life.  Yeah, here’s where the momentum stopped.  I didn’t even look at PL.
  6. Name vinyl.  Still nada.
  7. Print stickers.  I had mixed results with this.  I was able to print and cut some stickers (which is amazing!) but I haven’t been able to design my own.  I need to get better at photoshop…
  8. Finish crosses in cross stitch.  Done!!!  And I’m making some serious progress on the back stitch.
  9. Stockings.  I focused on the cross stitch, but I’m hoping to pull out the stocking this month.
  10. Steps and water.  This was a giant fail.  Oh well, on to the next month!

Time for August Goals!

  1.  January Project Life.  I have so many gorgeous kits that I want to be using!  Need to buckle down and print pics.  Maybe I’ll send off a big batch of them…  Something to ponder.
  2. February Project Life.  Why not shoot for the moon.  lol.
  3. Cull/ print pics for October 2016.
  4. Scrap October 2016.
  5. Edit/ print pics from San Antonio.
  6. Scrap San Antonio pics!  I’d like to do this while the trip is still fresh in my mind.  :)
  7. Finish Cross Stitch!  That’s right, I’m going to push through and finish this dang thing.
  8. Cut out hexagon templates.  I’m making a quilt y’all.  Or at least that’s the plan!  I was supposed to finish all of my unfinished projects first, but then more projects (stockings ::cough cough::) kept getting added.  lol.  I might throw caution to the wind and let myself start even if the stockings aren’t finished.  My grandmother got me some gorgeous fabric to play with and I can’t wait!
  9. Revamp our lunches!  Kate packs her lunches every day and I’d like to come up with a plan to make them both healthier and more fun.  That goes for the babies and I as well.  I’m afraid Xander’s going to turn in to a peanut butter and honey sandwich if I don’t do something soon.  lol.
  10. Steps/ water.  Time to get back on the bandwagon!
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July Goals

On to a new month!  Let’s see how June went, shall we?

  1.  Scrap April 2016.  Done!
  2. Scrap May 2016.  Done!  And can I just add that this means that I finished up 6 months of scrapbooking in 2 months?  And that I’m no longer more than a year behind?  Because, AWESOME!
  3. Project Life.  I finished November and December!
  4. Camp Half-Blood.  We’ve decided that a theme every 2 or 3 weeks is more our style.  :)  We’ve been having loads of fun with Medusa week though.  :)
  5. Camp Half-Blood shirts.  Yeah, this still hasn’t happened.  Whoops.
  6. Name Vinyl.  Need to do this too.
  7. Order pics.  I blew all of my spending money on planner goodies.  lol.  Soon though.  :)
  8. School Scrapbook.  See above re ordering prints.  😉
  9. DAD pics.  Still need to do these.
  10. 10k steps a day.  I kind of fell off the wagon here.  Hoping to do better next month.


  1.  I want to finish scrapping August of 2016.  I only have 2 layouts to go!
  2. I want to do 10 current layouts.  Summer layouts are always my favorite.  :)
  3. I’d like to cull the massive list for September down to a more reasonable level and get the pics printed.
  4. I’d really love to get September scrapped as well.
  5. I need to get at least January’s Project Life done.  February would be an awesome bonus.  I did already buy a new album for it and I have enough page protectors to keep me going for a while.
  6. Name vinyl.  This is just getting embarrassing.  lol.
  7. Figure out making my own stickers!  I got some printable sticker paper so I could make my own planner stickers.  To say there’s a steep learning curve would be a massive understatement.  lol.
  8. It’s Christmas in July!  Not really, but I do need to start thinking about craft projects that I’d like done by Christmas.  First up, I want to finish the crosses in my cross stitch.  There’s still a ton of back stitching to go as well, but I’ve got to get back on the horse with this one.
  9. Stockings…  Oh my.  I need to work on my brother-in-law’s stocking.  I also need to get my sister to order a kit for my nephew.
  10. Steps and water.  I ordered stickers for my planner to track these, so hopefully that’s enough motivation.  lol.

July’s going to be busy!  In addition to our regular Camp Half-Blood activities, Kate’s going to go to sailing camp for a week, and my friend and I are taking our kids to San Antonio for a few days without our hubbies.  Should be fun!

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I got a Planner!!!

You guys.  I have fallen down the planner rabbit hole.  It started off innocently enough.  I was having a hard time keeping track of all of our appointments and the calendar on my phone wasn’t really working for me.  So on a whim I thought I’d check out the Erin Condren planners.  Um, wow.  I <3 them all!  So after thinking about it for about 2 seconds, I decided that I had to have one.  Especially because the timing was perfect since she had just released her new ones which started today.  :)  No lie, they’re pricey, but the quality seems very high.  While I was going crazy waiting I started watching youtube planner videos.  If you haven’t seen them, these people use tons of stickers to basically cover every blank space in the planner using kits from Etsy.  My response went something like this:

  1.  These people are crazy!  Who has that much time to spend on a planner every week.  Not to mention it must be so expensive!  Plus there’s almost no space to write down your actual appointments.
  2. Well, they are awfully cute and I do have a lot of washi tape.  Maybe I’ll just add in a bit of tape across the bottom.  But no need for stickers.
  3. Maybe I could use some of my stamps instead of stickers?
  4. Must buy all the stickers!  And follow all of these people on instagram!

So…  My stickers should be arriving soon.  lol.  I’m not going to be buying a kit every week (unless some etsy shop wants to sponsor me!  lol.)  but I am going to be adding in a few stickers here and there for fun.  Mainly to help me track my water intake as that’s one of my big goals for July.

planner july 2

You get to pick your cover from a bunch of gorgeous options and then you can personalize it with your name.  I added a picture to the back of mine too!  Maybe next time I’ll remember to take a pic of it so you guys can see.

planner july 1

I was having a little bit of hard time getting a pic as Mia was very interested in it.  lol.

planner july

I’ve decided to use the top box for appointments, the middle box for day time stuff that’s not an appointment, and the bottom box for important dates and/or stuff that happens after Michael is home from work.  I’m toying with the idea of making the top box stuff during the school day, the middle box after school stuff, and the bottom box important dates/ post bedtime stuff, but that won’t happen until after school starts back up.  I’m also toying with the idea of making the bottom box a daily to do list.  I’ll jut have to see what makes more sense as I’m using it.

Bottom line, the planner is super fun!  I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and ordered it.  :)


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Cardiology and Neurosurgery Updates

We went to see the cardiologist yesterday for Mia’s annual check up and everything looks great!  She has a bicuspid aortic valve, but we’ve known about that for a long time.  The important thing is that her heart is functioning 100% normally!  Yay!


We also visited the neurosurgeon this week and received more excellent news!  Mia’s brain MRI showed that her ventricles are stable and have been stable since birth.  What does that mean?  Still no need for a shunt!  We were hoping to be dismissed from neurosurgery (not that I don’t love them, but I’d just as soon not have to see them again.  lol.) but it looks like they want us to come back for one more check up in 2 years.  I can handle that.  My iPhone calendar, not so much.  lol.

In other exciting Mia updates, she is starting to take forward steps if she has something to hold on to!  Her favorite handhold being Daddy’s fingers, but she makes do with mine and Kate’s.  In a pinch, she’ll even use a push toy.  :)  We’re hopeful that she’ll be taking her first steps by the end of the summer!

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Camp Half-Blood Week 1 Wrap Up and Plans for Week 1.5

Um, longest title ever?  Sorry about that.  So, first up, how did week 1 go???  Did anyone play along?  It went amazingly well here.  Kate loves the workbook and it’s been great at giving her something to do when she’s bored/ we’re in the car.  She had a harder time than expected with the word scramble, but an easier time than expected with the math so it all worked out.

For our food, we’re grilling hamburgers and s’mores tonight as long as the weather cooperates.  We’ve also been eating lots of grapes because Dionysus.  For our craft, I got some lanyard lacing stuff and that’s been a big hit.  It’s challenging for her, but she’s still having fun and is able to work on it independently.  I’m hoping she plays with it all summer.

For our field trip, we went to the Zilker Nature and Science Center and completed one of the Texas Nature Challenges.  You guys!  These are so fun.  And loads of them are free!  I highly recommend them if you live in Texas.  This particular one was a scavenger hunt which was nice since it gave some structure to our visit.  When Kate completed it, she turned it in to the front desk and got to pick a little prize.

nature 3

Next time we come out, I’ll try to bring my real camera and take some decent pics.  Still, if you’re in the area I highly recommend this place.

nature 1

They have a giant sand pit with “dinosaur bones.”  Mia thought that the sand was delicious.  They also have a few rescue animals that you can check out and a cool little stream you can explore if one of your children isn’t an insane wild child.  ::cough cough::   Xander  ::cough cough::

nature 2

And we found that the scenic overlook is the perfect place for a picnic!  Super easy to keep them contained, plus shade.

Wow.  These pics are really terrible.  lol.  I need to up my game for sure.  I kind of can’t believe that I’m posting them.

Next week is Vacation Bible School so I was planning to skip Camp Half-Blood.  However, Kate decided she wanted to do a Make Your Own badge for Girl Scouts on Greek Mythology.  The requirements she came up with are basically to create a week of camp for us.  :)  She’s going to research a god (I think she’s decided on Zeus.)  Plan our cooking lesson.  (She wants to do whipped cream since it looks like clouds.  I might have us make some merengue cookies as well.)  Plan our field trip and plan our craft.  (She’s still working on the field trip, but I think she’s leaning towards some kind of art project with cotton balls.)  And then make a little presentation about the god she’s chosen.  I’m bummed that the Make Your Own badge program is ending!  She’s had a lot of fun coming up with the requirements for the 2 she’s doing.  (The other one she’s doing is about sailing since she’s going to sailing camp this summer.)

Are you attending Camp Half-Blood too?  I’d love to hear about what everyone else is doing.  :)

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May Wrap Up and June Goals

I got so much scrapping done this month!  I guess that’s what happens when you get a whooooooole lot of happy mail!

scrap stuff

Seriously though, I finished January 2016, February 2016, March 2016, June 2016, and July 2016.  Also made progress on April, May, and August.  Whoo Hoo!  I need to keep this momentum going.  I hate being more than a year behind, but I think it’s possible I can close that gap this month.  Fingers crossed!

That said, lets see how I did on all of my other May goals…

  1.  Camp Half Blood Shirts.  Nada.  I’m having fits trying to digitally trace the pegasus I want to use.
  2.  Sell Stroller.  I actually had a bite on this one, but it fell through.
  3. Camp Half Blood plans.  I’ve got weeks 1 and 2 totally done, and I’m almost done with week 3.  :)
  4. Pro Pics,  These turned out amazing!!!  I love them soooooo much.  :)
  5. Finish January 2016.  Done!
  6. Finish February 2016.  Done!
  7. Project Life.  Well, I got October done so at least I’m not getting more behind.
  8. Plan Girl Scout camp fire day.  This went well and the girls had a great time.  :)
  9. Cut out name vinyl.  Ugh.  I still need to do this.
  10. Get 10k steps a day.  I did 21 days out of 31 which is nothing to sneeze at considering how much of a sloth I am.  I’m for sure keeping this goal.

June Goals?

  1.  Scrap April 2016.  I only have 4 more layouts to go and the pics are already printed!
  2. Scrap May 2016.  I’m not sure offhand how many layouts I need to do, but it’s less than 10.  And the pics are already printed and ready to go.  :)
  3. Project Life.  I’m focusing on traditional scrapping this month, but I don’t want to get more behind with Project Life.  I’d like to get 4 layouts done, either November or something more current.  I need to ponder this.
  4. Camp Half-Blood.  I need to finish week 3 and create weeks 4-7.  It’s going really well so far though!  I’m going to try to post an update about how our first week went tomorrow.
  5. Camp Half-Blood shirts.  Need to ask RaptorDad for help with the digital trace.  Or just have him draw me a pegasus.
  6. Name Vinyl.  Need to figure out how to cut vinyl without the mat and just do it.
  7. Order pics.  I need to figure out which of our pro pics I want to order prints of (all of them!!!).
  8. School Scrapbook.  I need to catch up on Kate’s school scrapbook.  (Mainly I just need to order the 8×8 prints since I can’t print that size at home.)
  9. DAD pics.  I do these every year.  They’re super cheesy and I love them.
  10. 10k steps a day.

And because I feel like this post needs another pic…


I have a habit of taking pics of the babies at the grocery store.  I think it’s because they’re contained.  lol.  At any rate, RaptorDad suggested that I take one in the same spot every week this summer.  Love that idea.  Here’s week 1.

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Camp Half-Blood Week 1

It’s Kate’s last week of school!!!  I can’t wait for summer.  :)  She’s not as enthused which is how I got roped into creating this whole Camp Half-Blood thing.  I can’t lie though, I have been having a blast coming up with the plans.  :)

Basically, my plans boil down to:

  1.  Location: Camp Half-Blood
  2. God of the Week: Dionysus
  3. Field Trip: Zilker Science and Nature Center
  4. Craft: Lanyard lacing
  5. Food: BBQ and s’mores (and wine for mama!)

Our first week is going to be at Camp Half-Blood itself, so we’ll be doing some “campy” things.  Since we live on the surface of the sun in Texas, I wanted to do this week early in the summer so we could still go outside.  Also, it made the most sense as an intro week since the camp is their home base.  Our god of the week is Dionysus since, in the books at least, he’s been banished to the camp and is being forced to be the camp director.  I didn’t do a ton with him, but I did include a coloring sheet with some fun facts about him and our constellation of the week is the crown that he placed in the skies after he got married.

I figured that the nature center totally went along with the camp thing, so we’re going to go on a hike.  They also have done “dino bones” buried in the sand pit that I might make out to be monsters.  It’s also one of the locations for this cool outdoor adventure thing I found that I’ll try to blog more about later.  Lanyard lacing and s’mores just screamed summer camp to me.  Kate apparently tried the lacing thing at day camp last year and was unsuccessful, but I think she’s old enough now to love it.  If not, I’m going to play with it!  lol.

I’m not uploading the files for the book because about 1/2 of it is just drag and drop worksheets I found for free on the internet.  I talked a lot with Kate about what kinds of things she wanted included, and I think there’s a good mix of fun stuff and more academic stuff.  There’s a coloring sheet, a maze, a scramble, several writing prompts, some math problems, a logic puzzle, some information about the constellation of the week, mad libs, a word search and more.  Here are a few pics of some of the pages that I created.

cover pic

Here’s the cover.  I laminated it because I’m a huge dork.  :)

img 3      img 2

I can’t wait to start!  Maybe I’ll even take pictures of our adventures and post a recap next Friday.  I mean, I wouldn’t hold your breath, but anything is possible, right?  😉

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We’re Going to Camp Half-Blood!

You guys.  Do I ever have a treat for y’all!  I’ve been racking my brain trying to find ways to keep Kate amused this summer during our daily therapy rounds, and then it hit me.  She’s absolutely obsessed with the Percy Jackson books.  The first one is The Lightening Thief and if you haven’t read it you should!  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

You guys may remember from my Letter of the Week posts, but I love themes.  We only got through about letter “I” and we spent more like a month on each letter, but Kate and I had so much fun with them.  In fact, I’m considering pulling some of them out and reworking them for the babies.  :)  But I digress.  Kate got me to read The Lightening Thief and I was forced to admit that she had found an actual, honest to goodness, good book series.  The books are set in the modern day, but the characters are “half-bloods”, which is to say they are the offspring of Greek gods/ goddesses and mortals.  And they go to summer camp.  SHUT UP AND TAKE MY  MONEY!  I bought them all for Kate and they’re all fabulous.  lol.

She regularly begs me to homeschool her for breaks and summer because she’s a weirdo  she loves school.  I typically tell her just to go play outside, but I do love me some Greek mythology.  Plus, the former teacher in me doesn’t want her to go all summer without doing any writing or math so I needed to come up with something.  Then I had the brilliant idea that we would spend each week in a different location from the book.  Metaphorically speaking of course.  (Although if someone wants to sponsor a RaptorMama trip to Greece, I’m all for it!)

A bit of background.  Last summer, I tried to get Kate to do one of those summer bridge books.  Despite her claims that she looooooooved school and haaaaaaaated summer and reaaaaaaally wanted to do worksheets everyday, she wasn’t really all that into it.    And I wasn’t all that into making her do boring worksheets every day.  Mia also has therapy 4 mornings a week, so I wanted something fun for Kate that she could do fairly independently.  Then it hit me.  Remember the road trip book I made Kate?  (Um, it just occurred to me that I probably never blogged about that.  Whoops.)  Well, anyway, I thought I could make her a little weekly workbook to go along with our location.  Win win.

I’ve decided to give our weeks a bit of structure.  Generally speaking, Mia has therapy from about 8-9 on Monday and Wednesday so there’s still a whole full day ahead of us.  On Tuesdays, she has therapy from 8-9 and then we go to an open gym class at Gymboree from 10-11 that’s about 30 minutes away.  And on Thursdays we have therapy from about 10-11:30.  Given that, I’ve decided that Mondays will be swimming with my mom at her neighborhood pool.  Wednesdays will be field trips related to the theme.  And Fridays we will “visit the oracle” AKA take the babies to story time at the library and check out some books.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be craft days and cooking days.  This is all subject to change because we also have a ton of dr’s appointments in the summer.  Oh, and in the books they get a bead for each year that they’re at camp, but Kate and I are going to do a bead for each week because we’re awesome like that.  I ordered some plain wooden beads on Amazon and she’s going to choose how to paint them to reflect our adventures that week.

Oh!  And this also ties into my screen time plan.  Remember the summer boredom buster that I trialed over Spring Break?  (Maybe not because I only mentioned it in a goals post and never blogged about it?  Basically, she earned points for doing outside challenges, desk challenges, or badge work.)  It worked pretty well, but Kate informed me today that, while she still loves Girl Scouts, she doesn’t want to earn any more badges by herself because it wasn’t that fun without other girls.  After I stopped sobbing in the corner, I pulled myself together to come up with a new screen time plan.  My goal with the first one was two fold.  One, I didn’t want her begging me for screen time incessantly because I knew it would drive me crazy.  Two, I wanted to make sure she was spending time outside and time being creative before she got screen time.  (In case y’all don’t remember, I’m a mean mommy and Kate really only gets screen time on the weekends for about 30 minutes a day or so unless we’re having a family  movie night.)  I think the boredom buster reminded her of how much fun she can have outside, because now, 85%  of the time, she chooses to play in the backyard or practice volleyball instead of asking for screen time.  #winning  But, as a motivator to finish her booklets every week, she will earn 5 drachmas (fake gold coins I had from a St Patrick’s Day theme) for each 5 pages she completes.  (Each booklet has 20 pages.)  She can also earn drachmas for doing extra chores, being helpful with her siblings, or just being delightful in general.  I’m thinking 30 drachmas + a clean room will equal 3o minutes of screen time.  I’m also thinking that I’m waaaaaay overusing parenthesis in this blog post.

Check back on Friday and I’ll share what we’re doing for the first week of summer.  I can’t wait!!!

This post contains affiliate links.  I think.  😉

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April Wrap Up/ March Goals

Le sigh.  It appears that I have become a once a month blogger at best.  Oh well.  Let’s see how I did with goals in April.

  1.  Finish cruise t-shirts.  Done!  I don’t think I’ll ever be a full time shirt maker, but I learned a lot and I think I could handle selling a few shirts on the side for some fun money.
  2. Finish blanket.  I had to knit like a crazy person, but I finished!  And she loved it.  :)
  3. Onesie.  Done!  Again, super cute and my sister was so happy with it.
  4. Camp Half Blood shirts.  Haven’t done this yet, but I did get the Camp Jupiter one done and the shirts ordered.
  5. Finish scrapbooking December 2015. Done!  Yay!  I also got half of January 2016 done.  Look at me go!
  6. Project Life.  lol.  Well, the productivity had to come to an end sometime.  Maybe this month I’ll get some Project Life layouts done.
  7. Edit Pics.  I pulled them off my camera, but still haven’t edited them.  Did I mention that my children hate naps?
  8. Scrap 4 current layouts.  I did 2 from December 2016 so halfway there.
  9. Donate cookies.  Done!  And we lucked out and got to give the cookies to the same awesome guys who gave us our tour.  I <3 Girl Scouts.
  10. Sell Stroller.  Haven’t gotten this one done yet.

Holy crap!  How is it May???  Need some goals…

  1.  Camp Half Blood Shirts.  I need to design, cut, iron, and deliver these.
  2.  Sell Stroller.  Need to photograph this and put it on craigslist.
  3. Camp Half Blood plans.  Oh my.  Kate is now obsessed with Percy Jackson and thus Greek mythology so she has requested that we “homeschool” Greek mythology this summer.  After talking to her further, we’ve decided to spend each week focusing on a different location from the book.  Fingers crossed I can get this together because it has the potential to be awesome.
  4. I took my birthday money and t-shirt money and actually booked some professional pics for our family!  It’s with  photographer who’s work I adore and I am excited beyond words.  Now I just need to figure out outfits!
  5. Finish January 2016.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
  6. Finish February 2016.  Pics are already printed so I just need to find some time to scrap.  :)  I really really really want to get to a place where I’m only a year behind.  More than that and I start getting confused.
  7. Project Life.  I’d like to finish October and November 2016.  There’s no way I’m getting this one done so I’m not quite sure why I’m putting it down.  lol.
  8. Plan Girl Scout camp fire day.  Y’all.  This seemed like such a good idea at the time.  😉  It’s this Saturday so I need to buckle down and get this figured out.  Probably tonight.
  9. Cut out name vinyl.  My neighbor asked me to cut out some vinyl for her kids’ room and even bought the vinyl.  I just need to get it done.
  10. Get 10k steps a day.  RaptorDad surprised me with an apple watch!  Squeee!!!  I’ve been doing pretty good on getting my steps so far, but I need to keep this trend going.  :)


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