Friday, June 26, 2020

The weeks are flying! I know I keep saying that but I think we all feel that we are in some strange time and space continuum, right? I am happy to link up today with Andrea, etc. so go right here!

In addition to my favorites this week I will walk you through my week…

Monday my son Mason left for a few days at a cabin at a lake about 1.5 hours away. Tom and I decided to let him go as he was going to be with the mom, and aunt and uncle of his best friend along with three other boys. It’s a little scary because you can’t really control the other people they have been around but we knew this would be good for Mason and he really wanted to go. These days at the cabin were a graduation gift for his best friend from the aunt and uncle who own the cabin.

He did his laundry a couple of days before he left and he made a list of what he should pack and then he packed everything. I started having my boys pack their own stuff around 5th grade. I always gave them a list and then they had to lay everything out to be checked by me. I taught them to roll their stuff and always pack a trash bag for their dirty clothes. He went to Europe last fall and had to re-pack multiple times at all of the different hotels so I think he learned a thing or two about packing. Organization does not come naturally for either of my boys, unfortunately! But, he is super low maintenance and he did a good job.

On Tuesday I posted my home tour and you guys are so sweet. I realized I left out a photo of the front of my house so here it is.

Facebook has been showing me some Father’s Day photos. I love this picture of Tom and the boys at the zoo from when they were 10 years old. Jack is on the left and Mason is on the right. Both Tom and I are feeling so nostalgic about our little boys.

And, this one from a Reds game when they were 9 years old was bittersweet. We had to put our first chocolate lab Archie to sleep the day before. He was 12 years old and was in pain. Mason is on the left and Jack is on the right and you can see that all three of my boys have sad faces.

I heard about something cool that Panera is doing and I have a Panera really close so I signed up. Normally they have a 8.99 a month unlimited coffee, iced coffee, or tea plan. That would pay for itself with just a few coffees a month, right? Until September it is totally free. I had recently said that I don’t even think about going out for coffee anymore, but I thought this would be a nice treat for the summer. It isn’t really unlimited but you can get a new coffee every two hours. Come on now, you wouldn’t want unlimited – you would be up all night! So, I thought I would share this in case anyone is interested.

I got a hot hazelnut in the morning.

And an iced coffee in the afternoon on Tuesday.

I had extra dough so I made homemade pizza for Jack for lunch on Tuesday. I’m getting better at it!

I also made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – actually I only made a half of the recipe so we wouldn’t be tempted by too many.

One night we had a taco salad.

Jack was interested in shopping for new clothes for college while Mason was gone. He and I masked up and went to Steinmart and Kohl’s and he found some great bargains. He wanted button down shirts and pants mainly. I told Jack he was getting all of my attention while Mason was gone. He looked at me like that was a threat!

Almost everyone is wearing a mask. I think there were only 2 people without them and they looked silly. We have to normalize mask wearing in my opinion! What about in your area?

He also watched New Girl with me and we both just think it’s the best. If you have never watched it, give it a try. It’s just what I need right now.

So, I haven’t made any official announcements with college details on this space. I only told you that Mason made his decision at the beginning of quarantine and Jack made his a couple of weeks later.

They both made their decision independently without telling the other and Tom and I also didn’t say anything. We wanted them both to make the right decision for themselves without worrying about the other. It’s a very unique situation to be an identical twin. Tom and I will never understand it.

When we started the college search junior year we said they had to go somewhere they could use their state money (they get 2,500 a year for good grades and high ACT score) unless they got an amazing scholarship. So, they both applied to a big state school, two small liberal arts schools, and Jack also applied to one other school that Mason didn’t apply to. This may seem limiting but I am a firm believer that kids need guidelines or else it is overwhelming. Also, we don’t believe in letting our kids end up in major debt. We think that they need to have some skin in the game and pay for some of it themselves. I am not judging if you feel differently – just explaining how we feel as parents.

Tom and I were thrilled when they picked the same college – one of the small liberal arts schools that is only 30 minutes from home. Both boys were given super generous scholarships to make this education affordable. On top of that, they have a four year guarantee. If you don’t graduate in four years, they pay for the extra year or years.They are going to live on campus and they applied to be in different dorms with different roommates – but we don’t have dorm assignments yet.

We were so happy because it was our favorite as parents (we kept this quiet) and because we just felt it was the right fit for each of our sons (again we didn’t say this). We also knew that they may not know it now but they might like having the support of their brother if needed. We split them up K-5, never called them “twin”, and treated them very much as their own people, by the way. In middle school and high school it was rare that they had a class together, too. So, we really tried to help them have their own identity. They adore each other. They think the other one is so funny and they truly enjoy each other’s company and it’s a joy to listen to them having fun together. I honestly can’t remember a fight between them.

So, this is a weird time to be getting ready for college. This college, though, has jumped through hoops to make the kids and the parents feel connected. They have had all kinds of online programs, including online orientation. Wednesday night was a parent happy hour with incoming students’ parents and faculty. You were supposed to fix yourself a drink and log on. Tom and I participated on the patio complete with charcuterie.

We continue to be impressed by this school! They also sent socks to the boys with the school’s mascot this week with a card that said “one step closer”. Last month they sent them a bandana. They will also be sending face masks with the school logo. Even though I am so impressed, I hate that they have to start college this way. But, with it being close and having smaller class size, I think that will give them an advantage and make us feel more comfortable. Like many colleges, they are sending them home at Thanksgiving and there will be no breaks from August-then.

Our state published guidelines this week for K-12, also, and we can go back to school! I am waiting to see how my district, the largest in the state, interprets these, though. It’s going to be crazy but I really want to go back and I know our kids desperately NEED to be back in the classroom if we can do it safely.

Well, this week’s favorites turned out to be pretty serious!

What were your favorites from the week?

Thanks for reading!


28 thoughts on “Friday Favorites

  1. Love your house and the surroundings! Since I normally live in an apartment I LOVE to be able to take my coffee out on the patio here at the cabin. I love the birdsong! Do you have that?
    How nice that the boys ended up at the college that you prefer! But so sad that they are leaving the nest… My oldest daughter will be away for military service for nine months, that will be tough! But I’m quite sure she will live at home for university, that is normal nowadays since it’s so expensive with housing here.
    Favorites this week was of course 86 degrees and blazing sun! We swim in the sea everyday and chat with neighbors (30 families share boat docks). Even though I spent my summers here as a child, we don’t really know the people. But tonight we’re invited for drinks to a very nice couple, fun!


    1. Thank you! I knew you would especially like the photos. I’m still waiting on your photos! Lol! Do you mean do we have birds that sing? Yes! They are so noisy these days – in a good way! I can’t hear much else in my neighborhood and that’s why I love it. I like nature sounds! I am sad that they are moving out but this quarantine has helped make me more ready, if that makes sense. Also knowing they are close and I can take them to dinner if they want me to. Will you get to see her at all during the 9 months?
      Your cabin life sounds ideal! Was the cabin from your family? I bet the sea is cold but I love being near water. 86 is the same as here! Drinks will be fun! Enjoy!


      1. Yes, I mean birds that sing! Stupid question I realize now :-D. In Florida there’s only parrots chirping… Here in the woods the birds are singing like crazy!
        Nice idea that you can meet your boys for dinner! They will enjoy that! Yes, daughter will be home every second weekend and all big holidays.
        Water temperature is like 70, really nice in this hot weather! This cabin used to belong to my parents, it was really run down when we started coming here, so it’s a fun project to fix it.


      2. I never noticed in Florida? We have a lot but in the woods there would be more. That’s good that you will see your daughter but it will still be hard. Oh yes, I remember that it was your parents’. It’s quite rewarding to do the projects and then get to enjoy them!


  2. That’s awesome that the boys will be at the same school! Ours are both at UF and it is really nice having them in the same place. They don’t live together but they share a car. We don’t pay for any of their college – we have Bright Futures (sounds like what your stats has for grades and test scores) and we also did Florida Prepaid. There are still expenses they have and we told them they needed to figure it out. They have. One son worked and the other has taken small student loans. That works best for us, and I think it’s important for kids to have some ownership. They think very differently about spending money when it’s theirs!
    Have a great weekend!


    1. It made us happy! That is so smart that they share a car and that you are teaching them financial responsibility. I truly think it sets them up for a better start and we don’t help our kids enough at school with the practical nuts and bolts of life. I don’t think we had a prepaid option but maybe we did?
      You too! I’m so glad you took off Wednesday and had your great day of shopping!


  3. Love the picture of your home! Not everyone is wearing a mask here. The governor might make it mandatory in certain hot spots – Cincinnati and Dayton. I live an hour north of Dayton. I go to Trader Joe’s (in Dayton) on the weekend and everyone wears a mask. So excited for you and your boys starting college! My oldest son graduated with bachelor’s in Dec. My youngest son will be headed back for grad school in fall. Next week my oldest and I are headed to Cleveland clinic for pre-op tests. Trying to be positive! Have a great weekend!


    1. Thank you! I think masks are a good idea but I guess they can give a false sense of security. I may go to TJs today. I have to time it perfectly though! Congrats to your son and grad school is exciting, too. Prayers and well wishes for a good pre-op appointment. You are lucky to be close to the Cleveland Clinic. Happy weekend!


  4. You’re home is so beautiful! I love that you’ve been in that house since you first married! Your taste in decor is beautiful too. So glad the boys chose the same school and that they’re not far away. That should make it much easier on you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laura! Have you been getting out much? I did go to Versona at The Paddock shops this week. It was dead! So sad to see the parking lot so empty.
      I hope it is a good fit! I’m so nervous with them liking it as much as they would under normal conditions. Happy Friday!


      1. I’ve gone to a few thrift stores this past week and Walmart and Kroger. I’m wearing a mask. Also went back to church last Sunday. The chairs are spaced 6 ft apart. The regular stores that are so desolate make me too sad!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This post is jam packed with so much fun. I didn’t know Panera was having that deal. I need to check that out. Also, remember how I said how much I hate packing? That got worse once I had kids 😂three people to pack for! But this past year, I’ve had them basically pack themselves with a list and then I just double check! We did get to Florida and realized Hadley had 0 underwear 😂that’s a first! Thank goodness for target. You taco salad looks delish! Have a great weekend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you have a convenient Panera it might be a nice treat for you! Thank you! I actually love packing! I always say that where there is a Walmart there is a way – for anything forgotten. But I definitely prefer Target!That will be a funny memory! It’s hard to give up control but do it now so they will be equipped later!
      The taco salad was good but I like chicken better in mine. You too! Apparently the Sahara desert is coming to visit us and it’s supposed to make a pretty sunset.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We do have a Panera nearby, I love the idea of an iced coffee in the afternoon. I couldn’t believe we forgot underwear 😂when we got home, there they were in a pile on her bed haha

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I admire how you and your husband encouraged your sons to make their own college decisions. It will go far in supporting their success because they made the selection, not based on your wishes. Our state offers a similar scholarship for staying in state, but our daughter decided to forfeit that and go out of state. It ended up being the right decision for her, but we did pay higher tuition for a year until she had residency. With her scholarships, it came out in the wash. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. We hope they didn’t feel pressured but they both were very cognizant of the money factor. It’s just so expensive! We would’ve been ok if they had really wanted to go out of state and had gotten scholarships, but they are also not 18 until the 5th of September so we thought closer might be better. It’s so hard! Congrats to your daughter!


  7. Your house is beautiful, I love a brick home! I pretty much paid my own way through a state university by working part time and living at home and would have given anything to go to a small college and live in a dorm, but I came from a big family and it wasn’t possible. So glad your boys get that opportunity! This week both Phoenix and Scottsdale made masks mandatory for retail, restaurants offices, etc. Thank goodness they finally did that, so many times there were more without masks than those with. A few days later some boneheads protested at Scottsdale city hall, can you believe it?
    I had to pick up some dog food yesterday and stopped in a Pier One to see what they had since they are going out of business. There were only a few shoppers, maybe 5-6, so I felt comfortable in that setting. I’m still not interested in clothing stores since we are mostly staying at home although I have made a few online purchases.
    Have a great weekend!


    1. Awww thank you!
      You should be so proud of paying your own way.
      My boys each received enough money for this college to be way less than our state school. I am so proud of them. The private schools have to work harder for their students and have enormous alumni endowments from what I’ve learned. It’s a harsh reality to realize they will get to make own decisions from here.
      I am so glad you are starting to require masks. I am so sad about Pier 1. That used to be the go to! We have some of those protestors, too! I just can’t get into the clothing much either. I just want to be comfortable and it feels wasteful and weird to shop for myself right now? But maybe the next sale that comes along I will feel differently. Happy weekend to you Nancy!


  8. My 90 year old father is an identical twin, so I understand what you mean about not understanding how close they really are. My uncle just recently had a fall and was hospitalized/rehab for a couple weeks and Dad just got to go see him earlier this week, and my cousin commented on how they acted and were talking when Dad visited. We joke they have their own language that none of us can understand. But I am so glad they have that relationship because I think it has helped both of them do as well as they do and they are truly each other’s best friends!


    1. Awwww! I am oddly obsessed by older twins! I am so in awe of that bond. That is the cutest. I guess they live close by? I think their wives have to be special people to respect that bond.
      One of my friends told me they shouldn’t go to college together and it really made me mad. That is probably why I over-explained our thoughts. My cousin’s boy girl twins started out at different schools and ended up at same school after a year. It doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy or that they are co-dependent.
      Thanks for sharing. That made me happy!


  9. Hey there. Stopping by from Friday Favorites. That is so neat that they both picked the same school! And a blessing they’ve got scholarship money coming. I agree with ya. They need boundaries and no major debt! We’ve got a return to school date too. It’s gonna be chaos, but my kids are excited. Happy weekend to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Trista! It is a huge blessing. The price of college has gotten out of control. I’m trying to be optimistic about my high school classes but I’m nervous! Let’s pray for the best. Happy weekend!


  10. Thanks for the tip on Panera…what a great deal. You really handled the college decision process well. It is definitely challenging. It’s hard with mine just 18 months apart, and the sense of competition is real. It must be even more so with twins. That will be so nice to have them on the same campus. Our state does not have any program for good grades like you describe, and even our state/public universities are pretty pricey. I also really hope k-12 school resumes in the fall. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! Do you have one close by? I don’t know if we handled it well. They didn’t want to look or apply at many? I didn’t know yours were competitive. Mine aren’t at all! You do have expensive state schools there and many in the south are unbelievable!
      I hope so, too! You too! Maybe we will get that Sahara desert sand! Won’t that be fun?


  11. I don’t even know your kids but I was hoping you were going to say they were going to the same school! It would have been wonderful to have had a familiar face on campus; never mind a family member.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww you’re sweet to say that. It will just make life easier to be on same calendar. I’m going to be a wreck but knowing they have each other will help. I hope it’s the right fit for both. I’m so nervous but excited for them!

      Liked by 1 person

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