Challenger Sports Soccer Camp

Last Winter I had a really fun opportunity presented to me for a soccer camp during the summertime. Summer is 7 and she loves soccer! I knew this would be perfect for her and I jumped at the chance to do this for her! She loves being active and being around other people and the hot weather. I knew everything about this experience would put her in her element!

Originally scheduled the June session, for 1 week and chose half days. I wasn't sure if a full day would be too long for my 7 year old and just decided to stick with a three-hour session. Obviously, this darn pandemic had different plans for all of us and I didn't know how this would impact soccer camp, but a short time later we got an update that the first session was cancelled and we got switched to the August session. Luckily that worked for us as far as our schedule, because our schedule was pretty empty, other than going to the lake!

Before our session, Challenger Sports sent Summer this super cool jersey and she was excited to wear it the first day of camp! She also got a t-shirt and a ball on the first day when she met her coaches, Callie and Elise.

Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp company in North America is coming to a community near you and bringing over 30 years of coaching experience. Their international staff will work with your players to teach a fun, technical and tactical curriculum that's filled with training sessions from five of the world's leading soccer nations.

Challenger's International Soccer Camp offers instructional camp programs for all age and ability levels! The TinyTykes program, ages 2-5, provides fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories; designed to enhance technical skills along with physical and social development.

The Half-Day Camp, ages 5-16, is the most popular program and will provide 3 hours of skill development, games, challenges and competitions each day. The Full-Day Camp, ages 8-18, is a 6-hour program filled with developmental practices, games, competitions and challenges.

Register now for Challenger's International Soccer camp and get a free international soccer ball, t-shirt, poster, player evaluation and access to TopYa!'s Juggling Club sampler! Register 30 days before camp and qualify for a free International Game Jersey! #ChallengerSports #ChallengerSoccerCamps

They started the day by exercising, doing drills, games and had so much fun! It was a super hot week! They gave time for tons of water breaks to make sure the kids were well hydrated!

Because of the pandemic they had markers on the ground so the kids knew which area was theirs. That way they keep their distance from one another. They wore masks when they were in a closer range group. But mostly they were distanced and playing soccer and just having fun!

My girl loved her time with Challenger Internation soccer camp and will definitely do it again! She learned so much while having fun, which is the most important thing when you are 7!

And her coach, Elise, was awesome! She was so nice, knowledgable, and so easy for the kids to get along with! Summer just adored her! Elise had tons for drills and games for the kids to do to work on their soccer skills!

If you are in need of a soccer camp for your kiddos, check out Challenger International Soccer camps. I am so happy with how they managed everything and would definitely use them again!

The Graduate

I feel like just yesterday I was sharing your birth story. But now, here we are.  You've been preparing for this for the past 12 years. It's finally your year. So many fun things to come such as senior sunrise, homecoming, senior sunset, Prom, end of year bbq, signing the rock, the senior all-nighter, your Navy swear-in at MEPS, your 18th birthday and graduation. This is for you. You're the graduate.

We should have probably known that something was up last fall when you crawled out of bed at 5 am to go watch the sunrise with the rest of the class of 2020 and the clouds didn't let it happen. No senior sunrise? Bummer, but that's okay. So many more events to come.

I will never forget the day the governor announced that classes were cancelled. I was helping in Tyler's class, doing an art project, and his teacher pulled the press conference up on his laptop.  We listened as we were told that after Monday there would be no classes. I remember him and I looking at each other, and saying, What does this mean for all these kids? He also had a senior at the rivalry high school, and what will happen with graduation? What will happen with the Navy swear in? So many unanswered questions.

That next week we navigated into new unchartered waters. Thankfully you had a pretty laid back schedule your senior year, but if I never have to smell the smell of clay in your bedroom again, that will be okay with me. Watching you build your clay statue in your bedroom is something I never thought would happen. But here I am watching Freddy Kreuger come to life.

The day you left for MEPS was one of the longest days of my life. Not hearing from you for over 24 hours had happened before. You've stayed with friends and family plenty of times. But this time was different. Today a life-altering plan was being made and I was not there to see or hear what was happening.  When you came through the door it was such a relief and the moment you told me you got the rate you wanted made me so incredibly proud of you. I really don't know if I have had a prouder moment than that.

Two weeks after MEPS you turned 18. Of course, we had plans for a party that had already been long ago shot down, but that doesn't mean we aren't celebrating! It was just a little bit of a smaller celebration with Bailey and Grandpa.

Now we are down to the last month of the school year. What is going to happen with Graduation? Do we send out announcements? Do we plan a graduation party? Will we be able to celebrate at all? Thankfully we live in the school district that we do because they did everything they could to make sure you and your classmates felt celebrated. Which honestly, isn't easy with 400 students!

A sign was added to our front yard and you waited for 5 hours in line to get free Krispy Kreme donuts:

All the senior's names were added to the field:

You still got to sign the rock:

And have your senior alumni breakfast, sort of....

They made sure that not only did you have an in-person graduation: 

And your friends got to ride along as you did for theirs: 

But one that was broadcasted for friends and family to see as well: 

And if you'd like to watch graduation over again, find it HERE

Finally, after things hadn't really settled down, we decided to just do a graduation party. Because you need to be celebrated. Sure, fewer people came and it wasn't spent hugging and standing in close quarters. But we are thankful for those that came to show you they care and are proud of you.

After all, you are The Graduate.

A Spring to Remember

It's definitely been a Spring to Remember. I was actually at school helping with Tyler's painting project when our governor announced that school was going to shut down for the next 6 weeks. I sat there chatting with Tyler's teacher about how unbelievable this all felt. For someone like me that stays home, sure this could work. I might go crazy, but we can make it work. But what about all the people that don't have that option? What was going to happen? How was the last year going to wrap up with graduation for my senior? What was going to happen with his upcoming military plans? So many unknowns are scary, but now here we are, two and a half months later and things are still pretty unknown. 

Of course, some things regarding school have worked themselves out. Parents became "distance learning teachers". Our kids became proficient in typing and using computers and Kindles and Ipads for things they never had before.  Our in-class sessions were cancelled for the rest of the school year and Zoom became our new normal way to communicate with our classes and for Girl Scout meetings. 

Sometimes we liked school at home. Sometimes we didn't. 

We did our school work on mom and dad's bed. And sometimes at the park. 

Sometimes we cooked and baked. Tyler and Summer learned to crochet. We did tons of puzzles. And we did Honors Pottery right in the bedroom.  Sometimes we lounged and watched too much tv/video games.

Girl Scouts sold cookies virtually. And did projects via zoom, like art, bird feeders, learning about CyberSecurity, and Earth Day. We have virtual camp- in, made s'mores, shadow puppets on the wall, and did I mention sell cookies?

My senior finished his senior year through zoom calls and google hangouts. He turned 18 and swore into the United States Navy without us there to watch.

He graduated high school virtually, with his picture on a tv screen, without his friends by his side.  To say that this isn't how we saw the year wrapping up is quite the understatement. But thankfully, this chill kid of mine has taken it pretty well and of course, he is bummed. This isn't how he envisioned the year either. 

None of expected to spend our days entirely at home. Husband working from the kitchen table, cords plugged in in different directions. Doing schoolwork on the couch or the bed. Finding new ways to be creative, never leaving the backyard. But here we are, Killin' it! 

3rd Grade Art A Spring Path

It's been a little while since I have stopped by to say hi. You'd think right now I'd have all the time in the world to work on my blog when in reality, life is pretty busy.  So I wanted to finally share this project, 3rd Grade Art - A Spring Path, that I helped Tyler's class with.

It's bittersweet because this actually ended up being the last project I got to do with Tyler's class. I am really grateful that his teacher let me come into the class and do some paintings with them. We did some fun paintings this year and I hope the kids enjoyed it! And as always, DecoArt made it all possible as they supplied ALL of the paint I needed to do these projects with 23 kids!

I found this 3rd grade art A Spring Path on Pinterest. provides an easy breakdown to help kids (and adults!) make a beautiful picture. I did change up the colors a little bit so I didn't have quite so many shades, as that gets more complicated than we need it to be with 23 kids!

And as you can see from my picture below I still used quite a few colors. But the kids do great at following directions and then also making it there own.

I started with sketching out a small part for the sun, adding the bright background and creating the path. After I added one layer for the path I went over it with another shade of grey to add some dimension. Then I added green for grass. It isn't very easy to tell, but there is a second green that I added as well so it gives it a pop of color in the grass.

Next, I added the black for the trees. Once the trees were mostly dry I wanted to add some extra color. I decided to add brown into them to create some bark on the trees.

Last, I used three different pinks to create the leaves. I added leaves all over trees and then mixed some of the colors for fun to make additional colored flowers.

As you can see below the kids made it their own by added some birds and a tree stump.

I think they all did a great job!

This was some fun 3rd grade art! A Spring Path was a great way to end of year!

It really was a fun day and a fun project to work on with a group of 3rd graders! They are super fun and creative!

If you like these, check out a few of our other projects from the year! Winter's Night, Tree Ornaments, Fall Leaves

Perspective Landscape - 3rd grade Art

For February's 3rd grade art project I decided to change it up a little. This time I decided to skip the paint and use colored pencils, which just made the project a little quicker because we weren't waiting for any paint to dry. But the kids still all had a lot of fun and seemed to enjoy this perspective landscape.

Teaching kids perspective can be interesting because they get it, but getting them to actually put it onto paper is a little confusing. Why would we want the lines to be close together at the top but nowhere close at the bottom? Some kids struggled just a little to get it, But I think in the end it all came together.

One thing I do when I am preparing these art days is make a picture ahead of time. I like to take a finished picture with me that day because it gets them excited for the project. But then I also use a second piece of paper and walk through it with them step by step. I used the picture above to walk through step by step.

We started with making the line going across the paper from left to right. Then we made the road, drew the mountains, added trees and clouds.

You can see that the kids really make it their own by adding the sun, faces to their clouds, deer. Some even added birds and a river.

Several of the pictures I have done with the kids this year I found on Pinterest, yet they actually came from

They have a lot of really awesome projects that kids will love to do!

I think the kids all did a great job with their perspective landscape drawings!

If you want to see some of the other projects the kids have worked on, check out Winter's Night, Tree Ornaments, Fall Leaves and Witches Feet.

Laundry Scent Booster

I know that laundry is not everyone's chore of choice - at least, it sure isn't mine! But I do love to pull out a load of hot, fresh clothes that smell amazing and help my house to smell amazing as well. This laundry scent booster does just that- makes my laundry smell like fresh oranges.

This DIY laundry scent booster was so easy to make and it was literally, start to finish about 2 minutes!

And it only requires 3 ingredients! I wonder if you look at your current brand of laundry scent booster how many ingredients it has? (And how many of those can you pronounce?)

Not to mention how much cheaper it is to make your own versus buying it at the store.

This is simple, mixing the baking soda and the Epsom salt together until they are well blended. Add in your oils and mix until blended. That is all.

1 ½ cups Epsom Salt
½ cup baking soda
30 drops essential oil (I used Wild Orange)

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container
Add 2-3 Tbsp to your laundry load prior to adding clothes, along with your normal detergent.

The first time I made this I used 20 drops and when I used it, honestly, the scent just wasn't what I was expecting. Then the next time I made it I did an additional 10 drops, so 30 in total and it was definitely better!

You could easily do a different scent such a Wintergreen, Rosemary or Cedarwood. The options are endless for what smells you use to spruce up your laundry!

Have you ever added essential oils to your laundry? If not, what scent would you use?

If you need more Essential Oil DIY projects, check out this amazing Lip Balm, Foaming Hand Soap or Healing Salve.

Foaming Hand Soap

Currently, the world seems to be buying (or hoarding) every bit of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap, etc that they can find. Me? I have a normal amount of all of the above. And I also love that I can make my own hand soap to keep my families hands clean. So today I wanted to share this foaming hand soap that I made.

I already had some of the foaming pumps from dōTerra so I was able to make this foaming hand soap in just a matter of moments. And as you can imagine, it smells amazing and clean and fresh. Right now I just keep them in my kitchen and bathroom because my little kids think the foam is so fun to play with and blow through it - so they don't get it in their bathroom.

If you ever make any of your own things at home you might already have castile soap, but if not you can find it at Walmart, or Amazon.
Note: I used 10 drops of Peppermint oil and 10 drops of Melaleuca oil

  1. Put castile soap and Coconut Oil into the bottle.
  2. Add essential oils
  3. Add water into the bottle slowly, (make sure you leave room for the pump!)
  4. Put the lid on and shake
  5. Pump one to two times into hands when washing
You will love this soap as much as I do! It has an amazing smell that makes you feel so fresh and clean and it helps get rid of all those pesky germs you have on your hands!

Want to try and make some of your own shower melts? Lip Balm? Sanitizing Spray? Click the posts to read more. You can also follow along with my Instagram to see other things I am working on.

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