stories 2017 | we can do hard things


Things are almost back to normal, for us, after the storm, Hurricane Irma, past through to our west. We had time to prepare.

Thankfully, Jeff's company gave him the time he needed to tend to our home. We boarded up the house. Jeff and the boys hung the thick boards carefully, preparing the house, in case we have to do this again (and looking at long range forecast models we just might have to). The boys helped me inside too. We moved things we didn't want to get flooded to the second floor. We packed important papers, and scrapbooks, of course, in tubs ready for transport should we need to evacuate.

The plan was to evacuate. The storm was headed for us.

Then, the storm wasn't heading our way anymore.

We finally decided not to evacuate for two reasons: 1) we agreed the eyewall of the storm would be far enough west and it would be tropical storm strength as well, and 2) I was going to have to work (Monday) even as the storm was passing southwest through west at its strongest impact over us and evacuating would mean driving two and a half hours through tropical storm weather.

A cold front had recently passed through and we had such beautiful weather affording us the opportunity to get things done. Then, we road out the storm.

stories 2017 | shoot and splash


A simple design, 12 x 12 digital scrapbooking page to add to our Stories 2017 album. I used a mix of One Little Bird Designs and Ali Edwards Design, both are favorite product designers and scrapbookers.

When I knew my grandkids would be moving closer I began researching things for the boys, Ian and Wyatt, to do when they come to visit. So, I perused Pinterest (for the best ideas). I searched under Camp Grandma's and found a slew of ideas. There was a Shoot & Splash Backyard Target Practice which I translated to our front porch.

John and Jarrod, though 20 years old, still have an arsenal of nerf guns in every size, shape, and power. The boys ran the show setting up flimsy cups of water for targets on the porch railings ledge. Everyone had as many turns as they wanted to take aim, hitting the cups of water and watching them splash as they flew over the porch ledge.

Then they would refill the cups of water using the water hose, set them up along the ledge and do it all over again. Not sure how long they spent outside in the hot summer sun having target practice but both Ian and Wyatt and well, John and Jarrod too, had a great time.


stories 2017 | metro diner


Today I'm sharing a 12 x 12 clean and simple page using 4 x 4 squares as the places to tell the story and

share the photos of our recent breakfast we shared and enjoyed, immensely, at the Metro Diner in Pooler,

Georgia. Digitally, I used Ali Edwards Designs Story kit EAT and One Little Word Designs from her #Hangry

and Nosh digital collections. Love the way this turned out. Plus, it only took me about a half hour to throw


We enjoyed a great breakfast Saturday morning at Metro Diner in Pooler. Normally, our breakfasts out are just

Jeff and I but the boys were home, both with days off on the same day, and we so rarely get to enjoy a meal

with both of them at the same time we decided we needed to take them along. So glad we did.

It was neat listening to the boys interact with the waitress when she complimented them on their Percy

Jackson t-shirts, and then John proceeded to 'interrogate' her on her favorite character - and whatnot.

Breakfast was amazing as usual. Way to much food but that means take home and a second yummy


stories 2017 | I want to remember


I did a blog post back in July titled, "I want to remember  |  Hanging out with Mom". I wanted to make sure I put the story into our Stories 2017 album. It is something I want to remember after all. I kept the page super simple using 2 - 6 x 8 pages and an Ali Edwards brush from her Prompts collection. Because Mom is holding her youngest great grandSON I kept the colors blue. 


I copied and pasted the journaling from the blog post directly onto my the right page and into a text box. I 'stamped' (because it is digital, it's a digital stamp) the I want to remember before each paragraph of story to remember. Easy peasy and quick!

stories 2017 | story of this meal


The first time I visited Jeff in Augusta during a weekend he had to work I was still on Whole 30 so our meal options were limited. In fact, both nights for dinner we visited TBonz, a really tasty steak place. But, this past weekend when I visited - not on Whole 30 - I searched Trip Adviser for restaurants in Augusta. Some of the top choices didn't appeal to me but I kept hunting. Way down on the list was the Genghis Grill, a Mongolian BBQ restaurant. 

It was amazing! You are given a small bowl and go to a buffet where they fill it with the meats you want grilled. Moving down to the raw vegetable buffet you fill beyond the brim, packing as many vegetables as you can in your bowl such as mushrooms, cabbage, onions, (water chestnuts, and baby corn for Jeff), green onions, and more. In another small small bowl you add whatever sauces desired, such as teriyaki, garlic water, ginger water, mongolian bbq, etc.

Then, you head on over to the grill and select your starches. We both had fried rice and ubo noodles. Your food is grilled and brought to your table. 

This place. For the win. We asked for Yum Yum sauce but were reminded it was a Chinese grill not 'that other country across the border'. In fact, we didn't even need the coveted shrimp sauce we like so much. The flavors were divine without it.

Stories 2017 | Details Details


Saturday morning pancakes requested by Ashley and homemade by Grandpa. The deal: the kitchen would

close at 9 am so Ashley and her crew would get themselves out of bed as they are in the habit of sleeping in

just in time for lunch. The little guy, Samuel, wasn't feeling very well with an ear infection (although we didn't

know the specifics at the time) so he picked at his food. But, Ian and Wyatt appreciated the effort Grandpa

Jeff made. 


I had stopped by Cracker Barrel on my way home from work the day before for their maple syrup knowing Jeff

would be making pancakes and Cracker Barrel syrup is the only syrup I can eat that doesn't give me a foul

after taste.


Of course, Jeff made a double batch and of course there was a gallon- sized bag full of pancakes left that got

put away in the freezer for breakfasts for the rest of the week, more than likely.


Technically, the pancakes aren't a secret chef's recipe but Jeff beats the egg whites before folding them into

the pancake batter which makes the pancakes extra fluffy - and then there is the simple fact that her

(Ashley's) daddy makes the pancakes the best. And she wants her kids to experience their grandpa's special

pancakes and give them the same memories she enjoyed.

stories 2017 | what did that say


It has been 7 years since everyone gathered around Jeff for the reading of The Monster at the End of the Book, in Grover voice character, of course. Like then, first there was one snuggling in to listen. Then, everyone else settled in to hear Grandpa Jeff, in his infamous Grover voice, read the classic book - the first book I purchased for the bookshelf ledges Jeff put up in the hallway.

The Monster Book copy 1

Oh, the memories!

stories 2017 | the details


Not quite done. But, very close. A picture to hang here. Another to hang there. One for Jeff's bedside table. A few touches for the bookshelves. Then, I'll be done.

No - really.

That wall. The #3 above. I love it. Yet, I could add just a couple more if I wanted to. I have a picture ready to hang on the right side where the #3 is, actually. 

A couple paintings Elizabeth has done for us. Tigers. We both love them. They are our favorite. Indigo blue abstracts. 

And, there are those three Lord of the Rings trilogy posters I ordered from Etsy and had them framed. We hung them with the bookshelves. Fitting - as they are books we've read. In fact, I read the trilogy out loud to John and Jarrod so they have a very special place in my heart.

Beautiful lamps. Lovely blue and white quilts fill the ladder quilt rack and atop the cedar chest. My quilted lap blanket my mom made out of Dad's shirts after he passed away. It's my go to snuggle blanket when I need comforted. It remains draped over the back of the red leather accent chair (with ottoman) I always sit in when I need some peace, and quiet, and comfort.

Loving this room more everyday. When it's all clean. When the clothes are put away. When it is freshly dusted and vacuumed. When everything is in it's place. I love this room. It makes me smile just to enter in.

stories 2017 | yes


Ashley mentioned this past weekend that I haven't blogged in quite some time. In fact, she knew the specific

date I had blogged last. I'm trying to rectify the situation. Not just because she mentioned it, but also because

I missed scrapbooking and scrapbooking leads to blogging because I always share what I've created. 

I had a lot of photos from a recent bowling adventure, but not too to many, plus, I wanted to showcase the

photos plus words rather than scrapbooking product. I realize it is how I prefer to roll. Fairly clean pages,

simple product, photos, and words.

I think what I was trying to say, because I realized this this past weekend when Ash and crew were here;

spending time with them is finding it's new normal. Having them in our lives, regularly, is becoming normal for

us. I love this. Whether we go do something or just stay home. We are making memories out of normal.

My grandsons are getting to know us better and better and we will be normal in their lives, too. This makes

me happy and makes me smile - big.

stories 2017 | and so the adventure begins


For John and Jarrod's 20th birthday we gifted them each a Pistol Safety Course. And, we went along with

them to join in the fun. For three hours one Friday evening we learned pistol safety and then experience a

wonderful session of pistol shooting. We were hooked!

The boys tore up their targets, as well as Jeff. And me? I didn't do so bad myself! We decided before we even

left the shooting range that we would be back. This would be a new family hobby. We loved the experience! It

was a grand...and the adventure begins.