May 20, 2023

Celebrating My Son

Twenty-one years ago. Someone should warn you when you snuggle your newborn baby that time passes in the blink of an eye. Oh, wait. Many people did. And I heard them, but in the moment, I could not imagine the sweet-smelling little bundle being anything other than a brand new addition to our little family. This time wrapped up in blue.

This is his first birthday party. He and Peyton celebrated together as she turned three a few days later. I remember this day so clearly! I remember it was a Bear in the Big Blue House party, and Peyton liked to plop the plastic Bear into different places on the cake. I remember also it was that night that I truly realized we had a little boy in our family! He always played with the baby toys we had. But he received lots of bright yellow Tonka trucks, Old Navy baseball hats, and Dump Truck Dave videos for his birthday, which now fit into our family room right next to the Barbie houses and dolls.

Rhett turns twenty-one today, and I could not be happier that my one and only little boy grew to be the fantastic young man he is today. Rhett is funny, sensitive, hardworking, caring, a wonderful son, and the best brother ever. Rhett organizes family movie nights, calls to thank me for his lunch, takes Flynn to Taco Bell, and brings joy to all our days. He works very hard. He makes us all laugh. He likes professional basketball, selling cars, good food, and spending time with his family and friends. He also has the most lovely, kind, fun girlfriend, Kyrstin, whom our whole family loves. 

Rhett has grown from that adorable little guy who looked to me for guidance, help, comfort, and love to a wonderful young man whom I turn to for those very same things. I couldn't have known that day twenty-one years ago when my doctor surprised us all by saying, " Oh! It is a boy!" that my little baby boy would become one of my very best friends. Who just so happens to look so very much like my dear father.

We are leaving today on vacation to celebrate Rhett, so I will be absent from blogland this week, but I will be back next week to catch up with you all! Have a wonderful week, my friends. Enjoy!

Billie Jo


May 19, 2023

Photos On A Friday

Hello, my friends. Is it me, or did this week pass in a blur? May is like that. One day we wake up, everything is green, and we realize that summer is just about here! Add to that all the activities that May brings, and it seems like a whirlwind of finishing up some things while preparing for so many others. Flynn and I are finishing up homeschooling for the year, and we will miss it! Some years click more than others, and this year clicked! 

My confidence in choosing a curriculum has evolved over the years to the point that I feel very comfortable teaching the required subjects in a way I know will allow her to truly understand the information as opposed to memorizing it for the sheer purpose of passing a test, and forgetting it as we move on. One of the most wonderful moments of teaching and parenting is seeing your child's eyes light up with understanding and comprehension. We have some great discussions at the kitchen table, and I am already hard at work planning our days for next year. 

Flynn has undoubtedly enjoyed seventh grade partly because she has a classmate. One that seems to make it to class before she does and is always waiting for her to begin.

In other news, I found this little guy this week, 

 which brought back memories of these...

If you have read here for a while, you may remember Flynn's love of these yellow flowers. If not, I wrote a post about it, and you can find it right HERE. And HERE. And HERE. And she brought me one this year too!

Madison took this beautiful shot from our deck last week.

As I was posting it here, this came up on my phone from an app I have, and it fits perfectly. 

(Motivation app)

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo


May 17, 2023

Sometimes I Wonder...

...why I scrub and set out the front porch furniture before the pollen covers it in yellow every single year.

...why my cup of coffee at the little old coffee shop tastes significantly better than the one I make at home.

...why my same set of flannel sheets is considered cozy in November but unbearably stifling in May.

...why none of my prescriptions need to be refilled from the pharmacy at the same time.

I can get frustrated. I can be confused. But I can also choose to be thankful because, compared to some, these are trivial things to ponder. That thought is not lost on me. But...still. The pollen! Ugh!

On a lighter note, this little guy turned 15 yesterday!!!! Kirby is our first pup, is referred to as King, and has been in our family longer than Flynn! He is a good dog who loves his life, and although he is a bit slower than he used to be, he still can run and jump with the best of them. He worships Steve, adores Peyton, and defers to me when they aren't available. Peyton made him some pumpkin muffins for his special day like she does every year. And he knew exactly what to do!

Fifteen years ago!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends! 
Thanks for visiting!
Leaving you with two thoughts today...

(Google knows me well.)

(Motivation app)

Billie Jo

May 15, 2023

Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Good Monday morning, my friends! I hope your weekend was lovely and cozy, exciting and fun, or a bit of all that rolled into one! As you can see from the above pictures, spring arrived here in Pennsylvania. As if by magic, green and blue appeared, promising beautiful summer days to follow. Helped along with the tremendous amount of pollen floating around, no doubt. That will pass, I remind myself!

Our weekend was blissfully busy! Friday night, some of the kids and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It was so good! It was refreshingly free of politically correct themes and scenes that many movies insist on including these days. It was what a movie should be. Entertaining. It offered an escape from all the current noise of the world, rather than forcibly including things just for the sake of inclusion. And movie theatre popcorn? Come on!

Saturday afternoon, we went to mass and then dinner at one of our favorite cozy places. It is old, comfortable, unpretentious, and has the best old-fashioned food. I got the turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy and enjoyed it immensely. We had planned on a campfire after dinner, but the party girl that I am, I chose instead to come home, wash my face, and put on my pajamas for some comfy time on the couch. 

Sunday was Mother's Day! I was blessed to spend the afternoon with my own beautiful mother and the evening with all my awesome kids. Steve, Flynn, and I took lunch to my mom at her assisted living home and were able to sit outside and visit with her. She is the most special person I will ever know, and spending time with her is something I cherish. Her memory of current events and people is fading and being replaced with more detailed memories of her childhood and youth. As hard as that is for me, I see how happy it makes her to talk about her mom, dad, and siblings, so that is what we do! My mom loves music and singing, so I played some songs for her that I knew she loved. She sang along to Elvis Presley's  Love Me Tender, as well as one of her very favorites, Yankee Doodle Dandy! We had a beautiful visit sitting outside in her beautiful backyard.

Later in the evening, Madison and Nicolas, Peyton and Chris, Rhett and Kyrstin, and Flynn and Steve prepared the most yummy dinner for me. They had asked me earlier what I wanted, and I chose hotdogs on the grill, Peyton's deviled eggs, and Madison's macaroni and cheese! Peyton made my favorite chocolate chip cookie skillet for dessert. We took no pictures because we were too busy having fun! It was a beautiful day celebrating the blessing that is my vocation in life: motherhood. Today I have laundry, schooling with Flynn, some random things to clear off my counter, and some phone calls to make. I hope you have a cozy day with your people, whatever your plans may be! Thanks for visiting!

Mocha is happy to see you too!

Billie Jo

May 12, 2023

Really Random Friday Photos


Good Friday morning! I hope you had a good week and are ready for an even better weekend. I have some random photos on my camera roll, so let's get started! I made some coffee cake this week to put in Rhett's lunch, and then I inexplicably cut it and put it on this pretty cake stand because I thought it would be nice if anyone stopped by. In the old tv shows, doesn't the woman always have cake displayed just in case her neighbor drops in for a visit? It looks so nice, doesn't it? The hilarious thing is that no one would just pop in here for a visit! Everyone knows I require a phone call or text first! 

I was back in the kitchen this week. I made a delicious beef and broccoli recipe I found online. Madison was here, and I was so glad for her help. This was a hands-on recipe of chopping, stirring, mixing, and seasoning simultaneously, so I was glad she was here! We even put Steve to work! 

We have a regular visitor these days. He comes around a couple of times a day to check in. I call him Bill, after my dad. And I am always happy to see him!

I got nothing for this one. Maybe, as Flynn says, it's just "Vibe."

Our weekend looks lovely and full of family and fun. Tonight some of us are going to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I need to get caught up on the first two. Either I have yet to see them, or I completely forget what they are about. Both are possibilities. The non-Marvel-movie people, Madison, Nicolas, and Steve, are going to have a lasagna dinner cooked by Nicolas and a nice evening walk. Me? I'll be watching a movie with popcorn and a large Dr. Pepper. Saturday, we have mass, and then, weather permitting, our first fire of the season, complete with s'mores. Sunday is Mother's Day, and I hope to visit my beautiful Mom in the early afternoon. Then we will have dinner here, my choice! What have I chosen for Mother's Day dinner? Hor Dogs on the grill! Yep! Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and deviled eggs! Peyton is making dessert too!

I told the kids I needed nothing on a Sunday in May to honor me as a mother. Every day I am reminded of how blessed I am to be their Mom. Several moments occurred that solidified this feeling, and I would like to share some of them with you here.

Flynn was due for a hair trim; Madison took her and made a day of it. They got their hair done, went for an iced coffee, and went shopping for shoes for summer. Flynn spent the night with Madison and Nicolas too! How amazing is this love between siblings? It isn't new, either.

Peyton sent me these texts yesterday as she was going through some things in her house.

Did I tear up? You betcha! I remember thinking that the precious little one who worked all afternoon on that sticker picture couldn't possibly grow up. But she did. And she is amazing.

Rhett sent me this yesterday. I have been making him lunch lately, and he took the time to thank me. That little cutie who used to eat the lunch I made him in his room with watching The Sandlot on a portable DVD player is all grown up. But he still appreciates his Mom.

Here are my people...minus Kyrstin, who was at work but was there in spirit right next to Rhett. These are the ones who bless me every single day and allow me to be what I always dreamed of being. Mom.

Speaking of Mom. Here is mine. She is the absolute best person I will ever know. She taught me everything I know about love, patience, joy, grief, vocation, and home. She taught me how to be the very best me I can be. She is selfless, caring, kind, and beautiful. She has lived her life caring for the people she loves. And I get to call her Mom. 


Finally, to all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, those waiting to be, and those praying to be, Happy Mother's Day.

The Sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.

William Goldsmith Brown

Billie Jo