Bucket Lists

I have seen the bucket lists on Pinterest for years and they scared me.  Maybe it was having little(r) ones and being intimidated – like if I make a list I have to be able to check everything off.  It is a type-A thing, I think.

However, a friend told me that she lets her kids make a small list (5 things) they want to go this summer.  And most have to be free.  SO I handed out 3×5 cards to my kids, asked for 5 things and 3 have to be free.  In no way was I committing to doing them all, but just wanted their input.

I was pretty surprised at their responses.  Geocaching (a favorite we kind of forgot about), state park visit (another goal I was failing with), and hiking (free) – anyway it was the start of a fun bucket list.  Then I saw a few other lists on Pinterests and came up with our own.  I am pretty tickled to have a sort of To Do list to steer our summer, but not bind us to it.

2017 summer bucketlist_0001

We’ve already done a bunch : fireworks, roller skating, geocache through 8 counties, and a few others.  So far this has been a fun list and not a “must do” list.  There are a few things I should have added (but it is done) – tye dye (happening tomorrow), Steel City Pops (we really need to try these), but oh well – it is done, saved and printed.  So off to do more fun things this summer……

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving {AKA Redneck Thanksgiving}

Yes, you read that right.  We enjoyed a Non-Traditional Thanksgiving this year – Redneck Style.

Since we did the turkey and sides on Tuesday with the whole family, we were thrilled to accept the invitation for Taco Salad and Guns for today!!  Robert was working, so he did not join us.  Jacob was dropped at the airport earlier this morning on his way to DC.

So the rest of us headed to the Cook Corral for some fun!


I admit, dropping my boy off at the airport, to go with 28 strangers to DC was kind of hard.  He was extremely anxious about going with people he has never met, flying without any family, and the whole idea of this trip.  His anxiety caused me to almost lose it as I was already anxious about his going too!  But I kept things under wraps, dropped him off, and headed to Larue for some food, friends and guns.

You know you are at the Redneck Thanksgiving when you spy this:


You had your pick of rifle or pistol depending on which range was open



There was lots of fun had!!  The guys shot skeet, pistols and a few other rifles.  Daddies helped the younger ones.


This was Peter’s pistol shooting – 100%


Can you see all the shells on the ground?  This is when the younger men arrived (aka teenagers) they sure had some fun!  The clays had no chance against these guys!img_0626

So much to be thankful for, friends, their family, and then a gorgeous sunset.


It was a good day!

{I cannot believe I did not take a single picture of food! We loved our easy Build Your Own Taco Salad bar}

Easter Devotions and Activities for Your Whole Family


We’re down to the final two weeks before we celebrate Easter and Jesus’ resurrection. Do your children understand and grasp the full meaning of why we celebrate the holiday? Adventures in Odyssey and Odyssey Adventure Club want to provide your family with a week of meaningful, fun Easter activities to help make the holiday come alive this year. Simply head to this page and sign up to download your free PDF full of family devotions, egg wraps, recipes, crafts, and cards. Oh, and as a bonus, here’s a free activity sheet from Focus on the Family!


If you’re looking to dig into the Easter holiday more and want to build your kids’ faith, consider signing your family up for the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter. and Pinterest.

Fun with Friends/Family

When I tell people the Lewis Family is coming to visit, Mom with 5 kids – I get a look of really?  “In your 3 bedroom house, you are going to have 9 kids and 3 adults?”


And we had a blast!  The kids played so well together, with legos, outside animals, boardgames, walks with the dog and a few afternoon movies!

We have tested some theoretical allergies and verified one certainly needs to be casin free, that another does not, just lactose issues.  We managed to stay off gluten for my ED, and still ate well and enough!  It helps at breakfast time when we can gather about 15 eggs the day before!

Tomorrow they head out, we stay here and look forward to seeing them again in about 2 months at their house!

I love that our families do so well together – not perfect, there are still fights, arguments, and hurt feelings, but with that comes a great chance to practice forgiveness, humility and kindness!!

Christmas Traditions {2012}

Each year we tweak a bit here and there.  I feel like a tradition junkie at times, I want to make sure we have the best memories from these years as my four kiddos go out and start their own families.  I want them to want to come back and re-live some of the things we do, and I hope they take some ideas into their own homes.

our tree

This year we are doing our normal thing, we decorated the tree right after Thanksgiving – I cannot seem to help it, I cannot wait!!  I love our treasure boxes that the kids store their own ornaments in.  They each have a box, with all their homemade ones and the gifts they get each year.  They get those out first and they get to don all their gifts onto our tree. 

treasure boxes

We love these boxes because they “own” them.  They love to see all the fun things they made when they were “little” – and they talk about where each one came from and when they got it as they pull them out.  I love that!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Jesse Tree devotion from Ann Voskamp – if you have not checked it out YOU MUST!!  We love this.  I love this.  My kids could probably teach it to others.  This is something I hope we never give up.  The past three years I have been making a few of the ornaments each year, not sure how many I have left, but this has been a labor of love.  Now to start making 4 sets of ornaments to send off with my kids – that is the next project!

This year we are going to count down the last twelve days of Christmas a bit different.  I read how someone was going to have little gifts for the kids to open each day.  With 4 kids – 12 days – that is TOO many gifts – honestly, too much junk!!

So, I am tweaking it.  I will have 4 things each morning to open (I am thinking cloth gift sack to reuse every day) – inside will be an item to use to make something.  For instance : Cardstock, stamps, ink & markers = Cards.  White Chocolate chips, cherries, recipe card & gift sacks = Hootycreeks (our favorite Christmas cookies).  And after we get to assemble the gift, we are going to go deliver to someone. 

homemade ornament

Did I mention that I am giving the kids things we already have (for the most part) except for a few perishable ingredients.  So this really will not add much to our Christmas Budget – just for things I would already make and give away – instead the kids will be really doing most of the work!! 

I am so excited about this new project!!  They will love the craft/baking part – and they will also love the giving away part.  I do plan to make enough to keep a bit for us too, but the focus will be on the giving.  I cannot wait to start this, but still lots of planning!!

And I will confess, we may take 2 of our 12 days for stay in a watch a movie day – but if we can have 10 days of giving I will be thrilled!  I think this {possibly new tradition} idea may be just the thing to help us remember that it is not about the gifts we get, but the gifts we give!!

Here is my list so far for

12 Days of Christmas Giving:

1.  Cookies

2.  Homemade cards

3.  Hot cocoa gift basket

4.  Chocolate nut clusters

5. Carmel Popcorn

6.  Gift tags

7. Felt Ornaments

8. Felt Nativity

9. Games & Cards (maybe take to play at Nursing Home?)

10.Homemade bread

11.  Movie Day

12. Nativity Craft with terracotta pots

One more thing to add, this year I am going to wrap our Christmas books – so that I can be sure we read them all and build the anticipation each night as we unwrap one.  I plan to use left over past paper – maybe even newspaper – just the idea to get it wrapped.  I think the kids will like this.  We will start that as soon as I count our books and count back from the 25th – should be fun!!

Here’s to hoping it goes well, the kids enjoy it and that they “get” it!!

katie under the tree

Hope you are enjoying many happy traditions in your home!!