familyjust for fun

Happy Birthday Charlie!

It is unbelievable to look back at my first Dear Charlie post and know that we were celebrating her 10th birthday when that post went live and now she is 14. FOURTEEN!! How does time go so quickly?

To be 14, Charlie remains fairly active and healthy! Arthritis is definitely starting to set in so there are some days she is more stiff than others so we may need to help her up the back steps. Her vision is starting to get a little cloudy but her hearing is sharp. She doesn’t play with toys like she used to but she still wrestles and plays with Chloe on a daily basis. She is still very much my shadow and follows me from room to room. She is still very much a big part of our family and still our very special girl!

Since 14 is a pretty big milestone is dog years, Abby wanted to make sure that we threw her a birthday party. Not just any birthday party, it had to be a Frozen birthday party so we went to work planning. Since Abby had a Frozen theme party this year, decorating was easy and I was able to pull out of of the leftover party supplies.

There was, however, one special item we needed to shop for online. I was trying to decide if I wanted to get something like a doggy t-shirt or something along those lines for the party and then I discovered the adorable doggy tutus made by Sweet Cheeks on Etsy. She made a custom Frozen-inspired tutu for Charlie and I almost died from the cuteness when it came in. I highly recommend checking this shop out.

Once we had the decorations and attire ready to go, I took Abby shopping at PetSmart to find her a special gift. Since Charlie really isn’t into playing with toys anymore, she decided she wanted to get her a new collar and some special treats. It didn’t take long to pick out a collar after she found one that was had a bow on it and was named the Abby collar.

Friday was finally party night! We made Charlie’s favorite meal (hot dogs), donned party hats, and sang “Happy Birthday.” Charlie has always gotten excited over new collars or bandanas so she was happy to model her new collar. Charlie and Chloe enjoyed Frosty Paws while we munched on decorated sugar cookies.

Happy Birthday Charlie

Happy Birthday Charlie

 

It was a very, very fun family night and hopefully we will be enjoying #15 next year!

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out and enter my beauty favorites giveaway! Winner will be drawn Friday, November 28, 2014!

familyjust for fun

Fall Family Fun!

Welcome back y’all! Hopefully you guys made it through yesterday’s video post without any ill side effects! If you made it through the entire video, I am sending you a virtual cookie and a hug!

Thankfully in the midst of a Fall full of migraines, we had a couple chances to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! Some of my favorite things about fall are beautiful days and a drop in sweet Southern humidity! Can I get an amen on that?!

My family lives five hours away so whenever we get a chance to all get together, we try to soak up every minute we can get! My parents along with my sister and three sweet nieces came down for a visit so we took advantage of a beautiful Saturday and headed down to Hollywild Animal Park! We love going to Hollywild as its a smaller zoo so its child (and spoonie!) friendly! It also helps that the terrain is almost entirely flat so that adds bonus points in the child and spoonie department. If you notice Hollywild sounds a lot like “Hollywood” as many of its animal residents are animal actors and have stared in movies or commercials! The resident rhino is the star of the Zycam “rhino virus” commercial as well as the Land Rover commercial from a few year’s back!

Here are some of my favorite shots:

Fall Family Fun at Hollywild Animal Park

I melt every time I look at the picture of Abby and Dorothy holding hands (be still my beating heart!) and I laugh every time I look at the picture of Happy Jack (the zonkey in the middle!). One of our other favorite things about Hollywild is the safari ride where you get to feed the animals! Be careful as you might get licked!

 

One of our other fall adventures was to our local corn maze! It is seriously one of the coolest places to visit! This year’s maze was in the shape of Charlie Brown & The Great Pumpkin! In addition to the maze, they had a hayride to a pumpkin patch, a zipline for kids, a cow train ride, a corn canon, and a host of other redneck  fun:

Fall Family Fun At The Shelby Corn Maze

I thought Abby would be a little hesitant to try out the zipline but I was way wrong! She loved it and probably rode it five times! We made it through the maze by luck as somehow our directions weren’t lining up and we seemed to bypass some markers! I thought only Thomasville had big chairs but we learned that Shelby has one too! I could not help but take a picture with the giant metal chicken! If you have ever read The Bloggess, you will know exactly why!

These were definitely two highlights of fall so far! Have you had any fun fall adventures with your family and friends? Do you have anything that is on your “must do” list every fall?

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Ready For Kindergarten

I have a hard time believing that Abby is already old enough to start school and ready for kindergarten! It seems like yesterday I was announcing that I was finally a mom and shared the good news about finally becoming a family of three! Now I am spending my afternoons in the car rider pickup line waiting on a head full of curls to come bouncing out the front door of the school!

Our school system does a stagger start for the kindergarteners to help them adjust to the new schedule and new environment which I think is great. Her teacher was able to focus on 7 kids at a time and show them where everything goes and how everything works. God bless kindergarten teachers (and all teachers for that matter) for being able to handle the moods and drama of five year olds. I have one and I want to pull my hair out sometimes so I cannot begin to imagine dealing with 20. Especially 20 over-stimulated, over-tired five year olds the first couple weeks. When I did my student teaching (K-5 music), I had two classes of kindergarteners at a time (meaning 40-50 kids at a time) and I have no idea how I survived. I was much younger then. And a lot more healthy. Makes a difference.

Even with the migraines that have been plaguing me the last 4-6 weeks, I was determined to make the first day of school a special day. I am not an overly crafty person (creative but not crafty) so I took to Pinterest for some fun but simple ideas.

Is it just me or do you think the Pinterest era has created unrealistic expectations? That is another post for another day.

One of the things that I loved about Abby’s school is that they sent home a special card that had a poem and a little bag of confetti. The poem was about the first day of school and said that if you placed the confetti under your pillow you would have sweet dreams and great sleep to kick off the new year.

I think it worked:

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

 

Her first day started nice and early but once we got her fully awake, she was really excited about the day to come (none of the Millers are morning people). I printed off a First Day of Kindergarten chalkboard print and probably took a bazillion pictures on the front porch. I loved having the First & Last Day pictures from PreK to see how much she had grown! She picked out her first day of school outfit and chose a sparkly Twilight Sparkle skirt. The girl loves her sparkles and her Ponies (her cousin got her hooked). I also snuck out balloons to put in the backseat for her ride to school (that may have been her favorite part of the morning). John’s family had the tradition of going out for breakfast the first day of school every year so we were excited to do the same. When we got to school, she walked in like she owned the place:

Ready for Kindergarten

 

After school I had a little surprise waiting at home. We had a little “you survived the first day of kindergarten” party (maybe more like your mom and dad survived the first day of kindergarten).  I used the same picture frame from the morning pictures as the centerpiece and put a note, flashcards, and glitter on the table and attached a few streamers to the world’s most ugly chandelier (one day we will get around to replacing that horrid thing!).

Ready for Kindergarten

 

It was an absolutely memorable day and while there are tears with watching my baby girl grow up, I am also excited to see her grow into her own little person and to see what God has in store for her! Her first full week is next week so hopefully the excitement continues!

Do you have any special traditions with your children for the start of the year or did you have any special traditions growing up? Would love to hear about them!