Back-to-School Shopping 2014

It’s tax-free weekend in Alabama, and we’re going to try to take advantage. The big kids could use some new threads for the school year.

Before we ever left the house, the two younger kids were whining about having to go. I can’t blame them; they come by it honest because their mother has set a terrible example for them. I loathe the shopping experience. I can walk for miles through the woods before my feet start to feel sore. Put me in a mall or, God-forbid, a Wal-Mart, and all of my body parts will revolt. I am happy to report that my younger two and I made it back home without injury.

But this child
back to school shopping
is having a good day at the mall.

Our kids thoroughly enjoyed reading the new t-shirts at the mall this season. We didn’t come home with any of these. With the exception of the paper-rock-scissors shirt, they’re just rude, in my opinion.

Instead, we came home with shirts featuring their favorite superheroes and villains, mostly Star Wars and Dr. Who themes. We got some great deals from the sales and clearance racks, too.

I couldn’t convince Benjamin that it’d be awesome if he dressed like Steve from The Outsiders.steverandall

And speaking of all the denim: I have some real concerns about where the denim trend may be going in the near future. The denim jacket is one thing, and I am happy to see it again. But stone-washed tapered bloomer-like pants with an elastic waistband? Y’all. There is neither a time nor a place in which those should be considered fashionable. I should have snapped a pic, but I was being rushed to the next thing. Trust me, they were hideous. My MOM and I wore those pants. With JELLIES! (Leave a comment if you remember jelly shoes!) I’m clinging to the fashion adage that if you’re old enough to remember the trend when it first appeared, then you’re too old to wear it again.

Summer Favorites

What’s up, Internet (and family & friends)?!

Today is the last Friday of our summer vacation. School starts next week, and, to be totally honest, I’m not happy about it. Of all the summers for school to begin the first week of August,  they had to choose the mildest summer in recent memory. This past week, daily temperatures didn’t get above 85!! The temperature Wednesday morning was 53. (I’m talking degrees Fahrenheit for those of you who live in places where the letter C is used to denote a temperature).

Hello, The South? Would you like a polar vortex during late July/early August when it’s normally 99 degrees? Yes, please!

That’s not to say that June wasn’t hot. Have mercy, was it hot and humid in June! It was hot as an oven. Every Wednesday we experienced a thunderstorm, which turned the oven into a steam room. I can remember a few miserable afternoons.

But the last couple of weeks have been very mild which has helped lift our moods around here.

Now that you understand my frustration with starting school so early, I’m going to share my Top 5 Summer 2014 Memories:

#5 — 16th Anniversary Trip

Karl and I got away for a few days to celebrate our marriage. We decided to go camping at Gulf State Park. I highly recommend it if you enjoy camping and visiting the coast.

Lakeside campsiteThis was the view from our campsite.

Warning sign
We didn’t see any gators during the day. But we did go on a little night-time hike and saw a few gators’ eyes shining in the swamp.

Blackberries along a trailThese beautiful blackberry bushes are all over the campground and trails. I snacked while we hiked.

Another highlight was watching the family of osprey.Mama Osprey
I assume this is the mother fetching food and bringing it back to the nest.

Papa OspreyPapa Osprey kept an eye on me the entire time.

#4 — Summer Camp & OA Weekend

I spent the week with my boys and their scout troop. I’m so proud of them. They worked hard and accomplished so much in one week. Their troop even won Best Overall Troop for that week of camp. It was hot and humid all week; I sweat buckets. But it was lots of fun.

flag ceremony_Leslie WigginsThis is a morning flag ceremony picture. (Sorry, I’m only going to post this one because I don’t have parental consent for their kids’ faces to be published on my blog).

A couple of weeks after summer camp, the boys and I went back to camp for an Order of the Arrow weekend. I’d love to share more about that, but it’s kind of secret.

Hannah worked on staff at camp this summer. She had the best summer of her life! At least, that what she tells us. She taught two merit badge classes, Fishing and Reptiles & Amphibian Study. Those two classes were perfect for her to teach. She made great friendships. And there’s so much more I could tell you, but it was her summer staff experience to share. (If you want to know all about it, just ask her). But one of the funniest things I’ve seen is all the photos she bombed. Here are a few:

Hannah photobombs1 Hannah photobombs2 Hannah photobombs3
Many thanks to the folks who posted those on facebook.

It’s getting late; I can hear Karl snoring. This post will be continued….

Mom and Me (photography session)

In April, before the craziness of summer 2014, I had the privilege of photographing this wonderful family again. They are just precious. Abi is beautiful, and her daughter is such a sweetheart. I just love the way this session turned out. The weather was perfect, and Hadassah loved swinging.




OK, the above photo is not in focus, but it’s one of my favs.


LeslieWigginsPhotography_Mom&Me_4So sweet.

Please share! If you like it, then you oughta put a pin in it. 🙂

Weekend Recap

Friday was a fun day. Karl took the day off, and we just piddled around the house. We met up with our geocaching friends for lunch at a local Chinese food restaurant. After lunch, we piddled around some more before it was time to pick Hannah up from school.

Wow, this is riveting. Are you on the edge of your seat?

Friday evening, we dropped Hannah off at camp for her second staff weekend. She received a promotion from Counselor-in-Training to full-fledged counselor because one staffer resigned because he couldn’t juggle camp responsibilities and football team responsibilities. Hannah is THRILLED! She started working Saturday morning in Ecology. She and the rest of the Ecology staff searched camp for various critters to use for their classes. She said they found a salamander, a newt, a crawfish habitat, a frog, a tadpole, a scorpion, and some other creepy crawlies. She said they were hoping to find a snake. This position is a great fit for her. From the time she could toddle around on her own she has been catching animals and learning about them.

Saturday was mostly spent doing laundry and other things around the house. That afternoon, I took the boys to camp so that they could take their swimming test. Campers have to demonstrate swimming proficiency in order to have some freedom to swim in the pool and in the lake during summer camp. They passed their tests. Now all we have left to do to prepare for summer camp is pack.

Saturday night, we watched a movie. Thor, I think. It was quite late before I fell asleep.

Sunday (Mother’s Day), we picked up my mom so that she could join us for worship at our church. After church, we met up with Karl’s side of the family for a celebratory lunch at Schlotsky’s. I had my usual — Chicken Pesto Pizza. They put more cheese on it than normal, so it was a little different.

THEN, we went to visit Karl’s dad’s parents. We had a nice visit at their house. We also had some good laughs over the recent essential oils craze that is going on around us. Several months ago, a sweet friend gave me samples of Thieves, Di-Gize, and Peppermint (these are Young Living EOs). The first time I put Thieves on my body, Karl wanted to know why I smelled like a brined turkey. Anyway, I did a little research (and by “little” I mean I utilized the google) on the company and their opportunity. I found several articles which cast their founder and his dubious past in a very negative light. Plus, there’s a lawsuit going on about their harvesting & guarantee. While I don’t doubt the benefits of essential oils, I don’t enjoy MLMs and monthly purchasing requirements. So, I decided to simply purchase my oils directly from other companies. I’ve ordered from Rocky Mountain Oils/Native American Nutritionals and have been pleased so far.

This evening, I’m winding down with a little blogging and candy crush. Lord help me, I started playing candy crush saga for the first time Saturday night. It is ridiculously fun.

I’m a little excited

For the first decade of our marriage, my dear husband refused to agree to take our family camping. In fact, this conversation became a running joke between us:

Me: Hey! You know what would be fun?

Karl: Let me guess…CAMPING?

Me: Yes!

Karl: NO.

I grew up with many wonderful camping experiences with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. I remember one time, prior to my parents’ divorce, that our little family of four packed up and camped in Gulf Shores. My rheumatoid arthritic mom enjoyed camping until our final campout when she took a bite from a brown recluse.

Anyway, I wanted to recreate those memories with my own children. Karl, however, only had negative camping memories; therefore, he was very much against taking four children to live in a tent for any length of time. I can understand his lack of enthusiasm. After all, every single camping experience he had while growing up included flooding and/or freezing temperatures. (His family vacation tales always cause my sides to hurt from laughing so hard. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve heard them; he’s a fantastic storyteller, and they’re hilarious!)

You may recall our first family camping trip: Lake Lurleen, 2009. I am so happy that I blogged about that little excursion. Who knew blogs could be memory-keepers?! I had to mine my archives to find it, though. (Side note: I REALLY need to label & tag my posts in a more logical manner).

Since that initial campout, our camping experiences have increased and improved. SO much so that Karl decided we needed another (smaller) tent for when just the two of us (or a few of us) want to go somewhere. Isn’t that amazing? He has gone from “I don’t care to ever sleep in a tent” to “I realize this is something you REALLY enjoy, and I like spending time with you anywhere.” As a surprise for my birthday, he sent this to me:

new tent

This tent fulfills his two basic camping requirements: he can stand up in it and the floor space is large enough for our air mattress.

I put it up immediately. Unlike our big cabin tent, I threw this one up in about 10 minutes all by myself. Then, I went ahead and treated the seams. It is ready to go!

Karl’s even talking about camping this summer (the nerve!) now that he’s discovered how to build his own portable air conditioner.

*That’s 2 posts in 1 week. Yay, me!