1000 Hours Outside Challenge

We love to be outdoors – we always did, but since we had Wyatt, we have increased the amount of time that we are outside. We learned that it is so good for your brain and vision and just your whole health and body and healing to be in nature, and we were determined to take every available route to aid him in his journey. Sometime last year I learned about the 1000 hours outside challenge, but it was too late for us to attempt to make the 1000 hours. So, this year we are trying. I don’t think we will get there – we have our own challenges that we have workarounds for. But, I am curious as to how much time we WILL spend outdoors. I think just by trying we will achieve more outdoor time than if we hadn’t attempted this challenge.

The 1000 Hours Outside Challenge was the brainchild of a couple, Josh and Ginny, from the state of Michigan, actually even my own part of the state. We love the outdoors here in Michigan! They had read that the average child spends 1200 hours a year on a screen, which is crazy when you think about it. They hope to balance some of that screen time with time outside, and aim for about twenty hours a week. Right now, we are nowhere near that, but we hope to increase our time as the weather improves.

So this January, we were off and running, and have done three different hikes, and a small little walk in the snow. Our time spent isn’t much added all up, but the time spent meant more than just the minutes themselves – we had all that time together, soaking up the fresh air, the snow, the birds and trees, and all the goodness that lives outside. And all that family time!

We hiked through a lonely, cold marsh, where we were the only humans. When we stood silently, we could hear the wind rattling the bones of these marsh grasses and trees, and the din of the waterbirds, which lined the rails of the decking and dotted the gray waters. We were surprised to see no real ice, it was all open water pretty much still – it’s been such a mild winter!

We took a quick snowy walk around our neighborhood, and then another short jaunt through another marshy area. The pond here was just starting to gain a skim of ice, but it was utterly silent there, except for the lapping of the water onto the shoreline. This is where I found my turtle shell!

Then this past weekend we visited yet another more marshy type spot, which was weirdly snowy, icy, and muddy. We tried to be more observant of the small things we could spot here, and I found some air-breathing freshwater snails, while Billy spotted some bits of green and icy swirls. There is something to be said for being the only people in a cold woods – everything feels different, the quiet is just so big!

So, while we have not racked up lots of actual time on the clock, we have had many family adventures already. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes us! And, it looks like my son is ready for whatever it brings!

Last week in photos

We had such a busy week last week! Honestly, parts of it were pretty rough. Wyatt had some arm spasm that we had never seen before and that scared us; then later in the week hit his head which further sent me into my own anxiety. Then we had a heavy duty weather storm warning that caused me to worry about my mom, alone in her house 10 miles away. I did not want her to be stranded without power because I knew it would upset her so my husband went and picked her up to have her stay with us, just in case. The weather never actually got bad but we had fun all of us anyway, munching on giant family size nachos, having a dance party, and finding our animal personas. I wrote a bunch of animals on popsicle sticks, and some fun qualities like joyful, curious, strong, etc and then we pulled to see what we were. I was Quick Owl, whatever that means lol, Wyatt is my little Bold Badger, Billy is a Strong Wolf, and my mom is a Fearless Rabbit. It was fun! So aside from my worries, we did have our fun times.

So this old turtle shell. On Tuesday after therapy where we asked Wyatt’s PT about his arm spasm, we took a little hike, and spotted this turtle shell. I couldn’t get it out of my mind after seeing it, and knew I couldn’t leave it there in case someone found it and destroyed it, dishonoring this turtle’s life. So, Wyatt and I took a trip back on Thursday and retrieved it, bringing it here to keep safe. I don’t know what to do with it exactly, but I know it is safe at least.

Then on Thursday night, I actually got out of the woods and mud and dressed up, did my hair, and went somewhere that served adult drinks with my best friends! We reserved these cool igloos at a restaurant near us, and it was so neat to be in them. It would have been prettier had it been snowing, as it should be in Michigan in the winter, but it was raining. Not as pretty, but the gentle rain sounds on the igloo were enjoyable. It was a seriously much needed time with my tribe, we laughed so much our faces hurt, ate so much food, and exchanged our Christmas gifts for each other. I had made everyone hand painted by me ring dishes (made the dish too!), Chrissy made everyone lavender soap that smells amazing, Mary bought everyone the softest plaid blankets, Kelly gifted us all the cutest cat shaped cheese boards, and Jill bought us all wine based on our personalities/likes. Mine is called The Woodlands, so very perfect- and I am drinking a glass right now!

On Friday we celebrated the Full Wolf Moon, with wolf paw cookies, and chili. Lol. Wolves might eat chili right? My hungry wolves did at least. My mom made these delicious butter wolf paw cookies, which we ate the heck out of. Then we had a collective “howl” at 7:30, where my mom went to the window at her house and we went to ours and howled, which Wyatt of course thought was awesome. His favorite song is Howl by the Okee Dokee Brothers, so we followed our howl up with the song version. We calmed things down by turning off the lights and reading picture books in the tent by lantern light. My dad bought us that battery powered lantern and Wyatt loves it.

So although my week had its anxiety ridden moments, it also had some pretty darn good ones.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was back to school! I have to admit it was hard for me to even get up and moving – I had gotten used to our slow starts again. But we managed, although I did keep him home one day as he had hit his head the night before and I wanted to keep an eye on him. We ended up having an impromptu adventure that day so it worked out! I also had a few gatherings that were just for me! On Monday I met with my sister-in-law and we did some garden planning, and then Thursday my friends and I had dinner and drinks in an “igloo” at a local restaurant for our holiday book club. We had such a fantastic time! I laughed so much that night.

Read Last Week:

I have been reading an old favorite, Stitches in Time, here and there for two weeks now and finished it again the other night. And then I spotted The Bookshop on the Shore at the library and snatched it up- I love Jenny Colgan!! And this book might be my very favorite by her to date. I simply could not stop reading it, even reading way past my bedtime last night. I loved it. I was supposed to read Robin Carr’s new book but couldn’t get into it for some reason! I will try again soon, because I do love her books.

Reading This Week:

The Cozy Minimalist Home – I am so excited about this one because I like both cozy and minimalist – so it will be interesting to see how to combine these seemingly different styles! And then I have The Dilemma, which is a totally different read. I loved Paris’ book The Breakdown and I am looking forward to this one as well.

Posted Last Week:

Planning a Garden

Book Review: Alone in the Wild


We finished up Lost in Space and have started His Dark Materials, which I am loving. We are also watching Season 3 of Anne with an E, which I also adore.

What about you all? What is going on in your neighborhood?

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Phew, it was a a busy two weeks! I had a good time but I am so ready to finally get totally back into our normal routine. I love the holidays but they are also exhausting lol. I am not a go-go-go person and I had a very go-go-go two weeks. We did get a hike in Saturday morning, which was very chilly after the warm weather we have been having but it was great to get outside together. New Year’s Eve my brother’s family came over for a low key celebration and it was so nice – we had soup and bread and cake, the kids played, we listened to music and chatted. It was a good time. The in between days we had little get togethers with people which were fun as well. But tomorrow, we go back to our normal lives – school, work, chores, etc. However, I am getting together with my sister-in-law Chrissy to have coffee and strudel and look at seed catalogs together. I am very excited to get planning!

Read Last Week:

I didn’t manage to finish anything! I did start three books though – I was a bit scattered and all over the place. I am halfway through both of these though, and will be done with The Secret Life of the Owl today, and probably will finish Winterwood tomorrow. So I am counting them in last week, since I won’t really be reading them this week.

Reading This Week:

I am keeping it light and easy this week, just what I need.


We were in a funk after finishing Shetland, but thank goodness Netflix came through! We have been watching Lost in Space Season 2 and starting last night, Anne with an E.

Posted Last Week:


Hello, January!

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

How about you guys? What is going on in your world?

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge

I am so excited to be signing up with Book’d Out’s Nonfiction Reading Challenge! Last year I started to read a bit more nonfiction and this year I would like to read more. I struggled with which level to choose though, but in the end I have decided to try for the Nonfiction Nibbler level, which is 6 books from any category, Since one of the categories is Nature, and I am joining a nature reading book club this month, I hope to more than reach that goal, although I am aiming to read from more than just that one particular category. I am also going to begin tracking my nonfiction reading for the year, and this will be a big help!

If you are interested, here are the details!

Select, read and review a book from the categories listed below during the year for a total of up to 12 books. A book may be in print, electronic or audio format.

Choose a goal:

Nonfiction Nipper : Read 3 books, from any category

Nonfiction Nibbler : Read 6 books, from any category

Nonfiction Know-It-All : Read 12 books, one for each category

* You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance. You may combine this challenge with others if you wish. Use your best good faith judgement as to whether a book fits the category or not.

* Where a book is identified by more than one category, it may only count for one, not both.

* You can read your chosen titles in any order, at any pace, just complete the challenge by December 31st 2020


1. Memoir

2. Disaster Event

3. Social Science

4. Related to an Occupation

5. History

6. Feminism

7. Psychology

8. Medical Issue

9. Nature

10. True Crime

11. Science

12. Published in 2020

Each time you read and review a book as part of this challenge, make sure you identify it by adding either a direct statement and/or the challenge image badge to the post. Use the hashtag #2020ReadNonFic and/or tweet @bookdout

Share your review with other challenge participants by posting your name/blog name and title of the book with a direct link to your review in the monthly Linky, which will be posted on the first Saturday of every month. Please take the time to visit a few links and leave a comment after adding yours!

Hello, January!

Hello everyone!! It’s a new year, with lots of adventures and experiences around the corner for us! However, I read something today that said to not forget about the old you, and to celebrate that you as well – you have survived terrible days, hard things, heartbreak, and that you is a fighter and not to leave that you behind. So while we look ahead and make changes let’s not leave that part of us behind.

And speaking of changes, Billy and I do so much planning in January! I get out my planner and make lists and set dates; I plan ahead using the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum, and the Kids Moon Club for different things we might want to do as a family. I also reserved a vacation home in Holland, MI for March for Wyatt’s birthday, and we are looking ahead and planning for that. Our pie project in November didn’t go too far, so we are going to get back to that a little bit as well, just baking in general. We have some different fun things in store for the month as well that we are looking forward to.

A big change for me this year – I have been a vegetarian for twenty some years, and I have decided I am going to eat meat occasionally this winter. I don’t think I am going to crazy overboard and eat meat constantly, but I do want to incorporate it more into my diet. I have really low iron and Vitamin D and as it is winter, I am hoping that adding in eating meat will help. I do want to try to eat meat that I know is humanely raised, and minus all the antibiotics if possible though, so I am placing an order with a local farm later today. We will see how this goes!

I am also really excited about another project we are working on this month – my home office! This room has basically been ignored for the last five years and it needs some love and a new purpose. We are going to do the works, repaint, redesign its function and style, and really make that room work for us. We live in a small home, like we could probably be on a tiny home living show, but honestly, we kind of like living small. We are outdoors a lot, and as we examine our life and lifestyle, we are making changes that make the house more functional for us. Last year at this time we flip-flopped our dining room and living and seriously, it was the best move ever. Our living room, which we call the den, is a small space, the smallest in the house, but we downsized our furniture, hung our tv on the wall, pared away what we didn’t need, and it works perfectly for us. Our old living room is a dining room/play room that we call the family room, and it is a great space now too. We oddly can fit more people in our house now than we could before! Sometimes you just need to be creative and rethink a spot. So – that is what we are doing with my office. It is going to be an office with a spot for a day bed or guest area, in case my mom needs to ever stay the night, or we just need the extra bed. I am really excited about this change; I just need to decide on the paint color!

So, we have some things in the works this month! I am also very much looking forward to down time at home too, now that the holidays are over. Curling up on the couch, with a tea and a book sounds like heaven. So good in fact, I think I will go do that right now!


Currently..is a meme hosted by Anne in Residence. I missed December but today we are sharing what we are currently….. reading, resolving, cleaning, creating, and planning.

Happy New Year everyone!

Reading: A mix of nonfiction books and fiction this month on a variety of topics, mostly nature and cozy feeling books. Some books on my list for the month include Gathering Moss, The Secret Life of the Owl, the Cozy Minimalist Home and Winterwood. I did get a gift card for Barnes and Noble for Christmas though that I am excited to use!

Resolving: This year I am hoping to get back to practicing yoga again. I have been saying that for four years so hopefully it sticks this year!

Cleaning: Everything! At least that is how I am feeling right now. Lol. We are overhauling my office though this year, to make it more functional for our family. I am looking forward to the changes – I just need to commit to a paint color! We are also getting organized – I started labeling and boxing up different crafting and art supplies the other day and that part of the closet looks great. I love being able to just go in and get what we need so easily.

Creating: I am working on little gnome people for my son and his cousins, and I am making clay ring dishes for my friends as well. My stepmom and I love to try all the different crafts out there – we recently went to a wet felting class which was fun but..well, wet. I don’t think it is my craft medium, although I had a blast doing it. My stepmom did fantastic though, and I think her piece was the best in the class! That is it pictured above, she did a poinsettia themed runner which graced the table over the holidays.

Planning: So much!! January is such a big planning month for our family! We are planning our garden, something I love to do in the depths of the cold winter. I am getting together with my sister-in-law to go through the catalogs and see what we are both ordering, and where we can combine forces. I am also planning out what we are going to do with the Kids Moon Club, and with the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum. Wyatt goes to preschool but I like to supplement at home and I love the nature/science/art focus of this homeschool curriculum. I have a Passion Planner, which I absolutely love. In fact, I am planning on curling up with it right after I finish here! Yeah, I am a nerd.