eight is great

July 13, 2016

well, well, well.  what a fabulous weekend we all had!

even leading up to it was fun.  and this year was as easy as

016, which jovie enjoyed decorating herself!

Jovie woke up on Saturday giddy & excited for the day ahead!! “I’m 8! I’m 8! I’m 8!” complete with bouncing up and down.

In lieu of a party, jovie wanted to bring one of her best friends, Anna, to the American Girl store in ATL for lunch.  so after a breakfast of 8 & J pancakes, we headed up & intended to  have Clarabelle’s (and Caroline’s) hair done and have lunch.  you should see all the silly fun things they do for the dolls!  The girls were very gracious in the fact that the salon was all booked up.  So they rode the carousel in the mall instead.

The American Girl Store was pretty cool!  We all had fun looking at all the girls’ collections.  And Jovie & Anna were quite impressed with how fancy lunch was!  Ruth Ann & I were impressed with the yummy food.  It was a really fun girls’ outing.  Jovie said she really enjoyed having that time with a friend; she didn’t want to get overwhelmed at a traditional party.  The Mr. enjoyed a quiet day at the pool after all his yard work.

We came home & Jovie read and imagined and played.  she did not want to swim because she knew we had tickets to a special performance that night….   we seem to get lucky that we keep finding awesome shows playing on July 9th!  this year it was Mary Poppins at a local theater.  That has been one of her favorite movies, so I was particularly excited for it!

Meanwhile, we ate a requested dinner of homemade/healthy mac n cheese with ham & peas (mixed in for her).  Then she opened our gifts.  Books, stationery, dollhouse items were in addition to the easel & palette she has been asking for since before xmas.  (gramma & grampa included a palette in their generosity, so now she has 2!!) and she really wanted my old phone.  Which is basically an app & photo machine.  She has shown some interest in taking pictures again, so she was excited to have a camera that wasn’t so babyish.  I am interested in being able to upload these easier!

She was and is thrilled with all of her gifts, and thanked us profusely.  She had quite a few packages & cards come and was so happy with the thoughtfulness of friends & family.

Sunday we didn’t see much of her.  The Mr. & I even went swimming without her.  We came home from (a stunning performance) Mary Poppins quite late, so she was feeling tired.  And when you have 4 new books you can’t really do anything else until they all get read.  I wish someone would invent something called a bookmark!  This is on top of the 4 new books she read on July 5th after gramma & grampa gave her their gifts!**

It really was a fun weekend, even if our pretty little baby did have to turn EIGHT.


**this year, since there was no party & we were gone all day on her birthday, we got to celebrate the 4th of july with gramma & grampa!  we don’t get to do that very often and we enjoyed our time in the pool, grilling out & playing with fire (and fireworks!).  jovie wore her lovely dress & pretty cupcake necklace from her cousins to the performance, read every book before bed the next day, and painted a gorgeous picture with her paint set.  that was a great weekend, too!!

happy birthday!!!!!!!

July 9, 2016

happy birthday, jovie.

keep following your arrow.

you are an amazing kid.  we love you so much!

3 state whirlwind

June 25, 2016

…so we took a quick vacation right after The Mr. turned 40.  we have read several of the American Girl books.  one was Felicity- who is a colonial girl.  jovie is interested in history so we thought the Virginia trip should include Colonial Williamsburg.

however, trying to knock off more states, we also added in Maryland & Delaware.  what to do, what to do?  we headed for the beaches.

we flew into VA & drove 3 hrs. to say in Ocean City, MD.  the next day we zipped to Rehoboth Beach, DE & sunday we went back to VA to enjoy Williamsburg.

it was a whirlwind, but we all enjoyed ourselves.  the drive over the Chesapeake was neat;  reminded me of the Lake Pontchartrain drive.

Ocean City was nice.  Rehoboth was massively crowded.  We wished we had had an extra day for Williamsburg.  Jamestown would have also been nice to explore.  We got there Sunday afternoon & enjoyed the hotel pool & splash pad.  We headed into Revolutionary City after supper to walk around and see what was there.  Monday morning we spent the day there doing the tourist thing before heading right back home again.

Lordy, Lordy

June 17, 2016

happy 40th to The Mr.

the next day we hopped on a plane for vacation #1.   to be continued……


Happiness is the World

June 6, 2016

a poem by Jovie Ruf   © June 6, 2016




Happiness is the world.



We should all be happy.

Happiness is the world.



Happiness is the world.

Happiness is the world.

Happiness is the world.



Happiness is the world.



Happiness is the world.

Happiness is the world.




*pic May 2013;  she picked this one because “it looks like I’m on top of the world”

2nd grade

May 20, 2016

is behind us.    !!

jovie is halfway through with elementary school.       !!!     and i have the pictures to prove it:

it was a bumpy start.  it wasn’t what i thought it would be.  she thrived in some areas.  she loved learning some areas.  she will improve in some areas.  she kept some friends, made some friends & overall just really enjoyed herself.  she was slow to warm up to the new class & expectations.  but once she did, she loved it.

we are both very proud of jovie this year.  she is growing to be such a very special (& smart) little girl!  she amazes us often.

Spring Break #3- MS,LA,AL

April 15, 2016

so, even though our spring break didn’t go exactly as planned, it was done almost completely, and jovie had a great time!

Sat & Sun– Biloxi, MS.

the intention was to take a ferry to an island and spend the day.  those were the only plans that got derailed.  but it all worked out fine.  spent the day at the beach anyway!   the wind was blowing; it wasn’t too hot.  gorgeous weather, but a cold Gulf!

b&j in h20

see that speck? it is between 2 barely visible lines. those are poles that say DANGER. i know this, because that speck is The Mr. & Jovie. they are standing up!



a la Galveston



not everyone gets snow!


we came back to the room & discovered National Pillowfight Day

Mon, Tue, & Wed– New Orleans, LA

one word: beignets.   The Mr. & I are now experts.  sadly, Jovie was not a fan.  The 3rd place (yep!) was my favorite place… and it also had other stuff so jovie could enjoy a brownie.  interestingly enough,  they got better at each attempt.  in order of visiting (and worst to best) Morning Call, Cafe du Monde, & Cafe Beignet.   (that one’s also the cutest name).

ok, ok…. you may want to know how the vacation part of it was.

we found lots of child-friendly things to do & we all had a great time doing it!

Monday, we went to City Park.  Unfortunately the amusement park portion was closed during the week, but we went to Storyland part.  that was cute.  jovie was over it.  then we checked into our hotel where we got upgraded to a 2BR suite.  to which i say: SWEET!  jovie loved loved that and was never over it.  if we weren’t trekking NOLA then we were either watching TV in her! very! own! room! or swimming in the pool.


Rapunzel, meet Rapunzel



that slide was FAST


IMG_1242 here, we pay homage to my first ever hotel room when I was 7. it also had an upstairs. (why, yes.  jovie is 7 and has been in a zillion hotels already)

Tuesday we bought an experience pass & spent the day at the aquarium, insectarium & butterfly garden.  we haven’t been to an aquarium since Tennessee!

the insectarium was perfectly done.  i skeeved the entire time i was there!  highly impressive.  no pictures of that though.  and the butterfly garden’s pictures didn’t have jovie in them.

Wednesday we took the trolley & went to the zoo as part of the experience package.  it was a really good zoo.  & you could not beat the weather.  still, i was surprised at how most of the animals were tired & not around.  [kinda reminded me of ATL zoo.  we used to have season passes to it;  we have gone several times.  i saw the lion 2ce.  once was only his ear.]

above you see jovie trying to be the photographer on the bridge.  she was really into her 4yo camera this trip!  also the merry-go-round was initiated and completed by herself entirely.  big girl!  (oh- this trip she also enjoyed riding the elevator alone!!)

our last night in NO:  ice cream. bed. cartoons.


Thur– Selma, AL via the Ponchartrain Causeway.

i was looking forward to this part because it’s neat showing jovie where i lived for 4 1/2 years.  (incidentally this summer she can see where The Mr. lived, too, when we go to Detroit!)

& also so so cool!!! i couldn’t wait to go over the longest continuous bridge over water!  Big Mac in Michigan is a paltry 5 miles long. (tho it looks like a bridge & not a road.  it’s awesome!) {and also jovie gets to do that this summer, too!}

also, they have been studying a lot about Martin Luther King, Jr. this year so I was excited to share The Bridge with her.  things in Selma were exactly the same & unexpectedly different & not at all where i remember them.  in fact, they moved the McDonald’s across the street (and i’m pretty sure they even re-named that street) so i was even more warped.  considering it was 29 years since i lived there; and 17 since i went back!  ( The Mr. & i got to go in ’99…. it will likely be my last time going back).

—that was about how long it took us to drive over the lake where all you see is lake. (and cars); and i actually have the sign that says 23.8 but this pic was prettier.

we came home friday & had the weekend to get out of the routine of no routine.  oh yeah! because also, the weekend before all this was easter.  & jovie was sick 3 of the 5 days before going.

getting back to the routine this week went very well!  ….except i miss them beignets!


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