Lynn Meadows Discovery Center (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

We decided to take the kids to the Lynn Meadows Discover Center because we heard so many good things about it.  And it did not disappoint.  When we got there, it was pouring rain so we were glad that Biloxi has SO MUCH TO DO!

This Discovery Center is two stories and lots of interactive areas for the kids.  It quickly filled up since I'm sure everyone wanted their kids to have some fun inside while the storms were passing through.  Between the two stories was a climbing maze that we couldn't get Jax and Julie out of!

Fisherwoman Jules!

Playing vet.

Jungle safari!

This was by far the most popular thing-the TV Game show and Talk Show.  You could present to put on a show, have an audience, and work the lighting.

Julie on the green screen.

What's the weather today, Julie?

Jaxson and Julie tried their hand at wheel chair basketball.  They were pretty terrible at it. It was fun to watch.

Afterwards, we headed to Gulfport for the Shrimp Basket.  It is so yummy!  This was the shrimp basket with cheesy grits.  So not healthy-but totally worth it.

After lunch we asked the kids if they wanted to the beach or to the splash park.  They chose the splash park.  And it was really nice.  It was up by the beach and had a really nice playground.  They had fun jumping around and getting wet!

The Beach (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

Biloxi was having some "Splash and Dash" showers.  So we opted to go to the beach in the afternoon.  And while it was overcast, it was really nice and cool.  The kids had a blast!

But first-we had to take pictures!

We took these at a fun little hot-pink tourist shop on the beach.  Jaxson really wanted a shark necklace so we had to check this out!

Julie takes the best pictures.  We know if we give the phone to her, she will get a pretty decent shot of Justin and I.

This is Jaxson's handiwork.  He thinks he's pretty funny pranking us by telling us he has taken the picture, but really hasn't.  And then snaps one of us afterwards.  We are onto him!

The kids had so much fun on the beach.  And we ended up taking ½ the sand back with us in the van!  That stuff gets everywhere!

Jaxson worked really hard on his sand castle.  I think it turned out great!

Julie has Justin wrapped around her finger.  She had him hunting for shells and helping her build a sandcastle.

She was pretty proud of her finished product.

It was a lot of fun to relax and unwind on the beach!

Beauvoir (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

We woke up and our first stop was Beauvoir!  This is the house that Jefferson Davis stayed at/lived in after the Civil War and in his later years.

This house was considered a mansion back in the day.  But it really only has 5 rooms.  This is the entrance into the house.  It was absolutely beautiful.  A lot of the pieces inside the house were original, only a couple were replicas.  (Due to Hurricane Katrina.  More about that later.)

The ladies parlour.

The bedroom of Winnie.  (His daughter.)

The "man cave."

The hutch was also original to the house.  And if you look at the bottom you can see how high the ocean was when Hurricane Katrina came through.  Remember-the house is already high off the ground.  The water was crazy deep.  

After the house, we we walked around the grounds and it was really pretty.  Although there were signs to watch out for "snake crossings!"

This was a fun place to visit and had lots to look at.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina really did a number on Biloxi.  Lots of things were flooded and ruined.  The Presidents Museum with a lot of artifacts was destroyed.  They have since built a new one and you can see they put everything on the 2nd story-just in case.  The house was boarded up during the storm, but the winds blew the door open and lots of things were flooded and even moved out of the house.  Somethings went missing and still haven't turned up.  A piano was even found in a tree! Justin asked our tour guide why they didn't move the furniture out of the house and she said that they really didn't think the hurricane was going to be that bad.  They were really lucky more things weren't destroyed.  We noticed that even though Hurricane Katrina came through over 10 years ago, Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are still rebuilding from it.  

Now onto the beach!

Vicksburg Seige (#RossSummerKickOff2017)

With a week off of work and school just getting out, it was time for us to take a road trip!  We decided to go somewhere close by-Biloxi, Mississippi.  We wanted to go to a beach and explore a city we haven't been to before.

Once we crossed the Mississippi River, we had to stop at the Visitor's Center and take our obligatory state sign picture.  One day we will have all 50 states!  (Goals to strive for!)

The Visitor's Center even had a cannon! 

We went to the Vicksburg National Military Park.  This is where the Vicksburg Campaign and Siege happened in March-July 1863.  The Union Army wanted control of the Mississippi River and knew that controlling Vicksburg was the way to go.  The park is 16 mile drive around to the different areas of where battles happened.  

Entrance to the park.

Cannons ready to go!

This is the USS Cairo Gun Boat that was sunk in the Mississippi River during one of the battles.  They brought it back up almost 100 years later and displayed it out in the park.   

The Shirley House is another stop on the tour.  Can you imagine that this house was on the battlefield?  The occupants hid in this house for a couple of days before they waved a white flag.  The Union Army took them out and put them in a cave so they were safe.  

Each state that fought in Vicksburg had a memorial.  We had to get a picture of Arkansas!

Can you believe that tour took us about 2 hours to drive through?!  Crazy. It was real interesting but the kids weren't too impressed.  (Sorry kids!) 

After that activity, we drove straight to the beach.  After we ate dinner our first stop was the sand and water!

Last Week


Scrappy Caps.  This thing about did me in.  But apparently, Jaxson's class is reading a book and they need to make a scrappy cap to use their "imagination" when they are reading the story.  Which really means that the parents have to be crafty and come up with something-quick!  Jaxson decided on a Star Wars theme (shocker!) and chose Dagobah which is Yoda's swampy home.  I stapled some leaves to the hat and some figures of the characters.  And for good measure-Luke's X-Wing that was stuck in the swamp. Add couple of lightsabers that were really glow sticks and....voila!  Done.  And Jax was very happy!


Justin had to go to Little Rock to deal with the car business.  While there he went to Starbucks and found out this deal was happening.  Yes!  I miss having my Apple Music so this will kinda be the same thing.  Especially when Julie will request songs from the radio and I have to explain to her over and over again that the radio just plays the songs.  I can't chose them.


There is a lot of germs going around the preschool.  Which makes me thankful for it being the second to last week of having to be there.  I ended up with an old fashioned cold.  Man, I felt terrible.  I stayed home from Wednesday night church to take care of myself.


Muffins for Mom at the preschool!  This was our photo booth picture.


I was still recovering from my cold.  Which makes me sound like a baby.  But it really got me good. I ran a couple of errands and parked myself on the couch and enjoyed my day off.


The Compassion Experience was in our town and I really wanted to see it. (It's basically a recreation of what a child's life is like in extreme poverty.  Compassion helps get those children sponsors so they have adequate medical care, food, and education.)  I also wanted to take Jaxson so he could see how other kids lived in other countries.  We ended up all going and Julie wanted to see it too.  Well, we went to the first child's story (An actual true story of a real child!) and it was based in Africa and the little boy had to go to jail for stealing.  Poor Julie started crying because she got scared.  It really wasn't scary, but to her it was.  So Justin held her and the boy's story did get much brighter-once he was sponsored. Afterwards, Jaxson and I went to the little girl's story while Justin and Julie went to the car.  We really enjoyed it and it helped open Jaxson's eyes to see that these children didn't have much and lived in very tiny homes.  His bedroom is bigger than the homes these children lived in with their families!  Jaxson asked a lot of questions about that afterwards.  Julie wouldn't talk about her.  She may need therapy after all that.  (Sheesh.)


Happy Mother's Day!  Also, stomach bugs are the worst.

Mother's Day

On Thursday, the preschool had a Muffins for Mom for Mother's Day.  I got to go in Julie's class and see that she made a cute card and painted a nice flower pot.  It was pretty cute.  She was happy to have me in her classroom, but she really hurried to eat her muffin so she could play with her friends.  Luckily, since I work there, I just slipped back into my classroom and visited with my student's moms instead.  It's funny how she wants me to be there-but only on her timing.

On Friday, Jaxson came home with a cake and pretty cute card.  He decorated the cake by himself.  He's done this every year at school and this is the best he has ever done!  Usually, there is about a million sprinkles and six inches of icing on it.  Either way, I've always enjoyed them though!  Just funny to see how he's growing up-even in his cake decorating skills.

Inside the card he had filled out questions about me.  That seriously was the most entertaining part!  I like how he put that I loved to see Star Wars with him a bajillion times.  (We do share that in common!)  And I like the quote of me saying to him, "That he's my favorite boy."  That's totally true!  I always tell him that.  And he always rolls his eyes at me when I say it.  But apparently, it must of stuck with him and he actually does appreciate it.

I also like that he put that if I could go anywhere in the world it would be Shell Ross.  That's a local nursery store around here and I love looking at all the plants and flowers they have.  But I do have to say that if I could go anywhere in the WORLD, I'd probably venture out of state.  Or country even.  But it's sweet that he remembers I like that store!

So on actual Mother's Day, Julie woke up not feeling the greatest.  Not bad.  But just not herself.  She was fine at church but later on in the day she was sick with the stomach bug.  Yuck.  I just counted my lucky stars that she is old enough to tell me when she was going to be sick and I could help her.  Poor girl. 

Happy Mother's Day!


Today we went on our Preschool Field trip to the Wonderplace.  Only Julie was calling it Wonderland which I guess is about right since it was pretty fun for her age.  It's basically a place to play with water tables, sand, dress up, art, and lots of climbing structures.

I didn't get hardly any pictures because she was too busy playing with her friends.  And she kinda acted like she didn't know me-maybe I'm embarrassing her already at the tender age of 5?

I think the water table and sand area were her favorites.  When she did grant me permission to check in on her (ha!) she was always at those places.  She had a blast with her friends and didn't want to leave.  However, I was hungry and had a lot to do so we left as soon as her bestie had to go.

Julianne has been wanting a pretzel for days now from Sam's Club.  But I didn't want to go there just for a pretzel so I was glad they had them at Target too!  She was so happy with her pretzel and coke.  I never heard a word out of her while I was shopping and getting everything I needed.  I need to do that more often!

See?  She is happy as a clam while I check out the clearance aisle real fast!

Winning and Losing

Jaxson had his awards assembly today.  And he was very proud of his awards!  He got the Super Star award (no tickets) and the Silver Award for all A's and B's. 

Unfortunately, he did not get his Perfect Attendance award.  He woke up with the stomach bug one day this past quarter and threw up right before school.  He was very upset that I still wouldn't send him to school in his condition that morning!  

Shocking, I know. 

Tonight, while Julie was supposed to be in bed sleeping, she was actually playing a memory card game with Pink Panda.  (Pink Panda is one of her very nearest and dearest stuffed animals.)  And Julie was losing to her panda!  After I caught her playing instead of sleeping, she told me that Pink Panda was winning and that "Pink Panda is just beating me up!" 

It was too cute not to correct her!  I just had to laugh.  And sadly, Julie lost to Pink Panda two times in a row.  She just couldn't believe it and neither could I!

Gone Fishin'

This past weekend was so gorgeous out!  We decided to take the kids fishing and see if we had any luck. 

Even Julie wanted to try it out!

Just waiting, and waiting, and waiting.......

While we were waiting, a bunch of ducks came over to us and were extremely friendly.  They quacked and ducked in and out of the water.  Julie was in awe over them.  I wish we would have brought some bread for them.  I'm sure they were a little disappointed in us.

And finally the kids' patience was done with fishing and we headed to the playground.  Jaxson was very proud of himself for climbing to the top of the rocket ship.  It is pretty tall.  Poor Julie tried to keep up but got a little scared.  She tried the first level and got a little freaked out.  She climbed back down.  Then she mustered up the courage and tried again and made it to the second level.  But then she had to get down again.  She tried one last time and she made it to the third level.  There, she was convinced she was stuck so I had to coach her back down.  After she was on the ground (and safe!) she told me that she will wait until she is 6 years old until she tries that again. 

It was a fun little morning adventure.  We did not catch any fish and I was secretly glad because I didn't want to deal with the whole mess of cleaning them up!

Pinewood Derby

It's that time in Cub Scouts-the Pinewood Derby!  This is the first year that Jaxson has participated in it and he was pretty excited. Of course we pulled up some youtube videos to see any tricks to making the car fast. Btw-there are, but some people get really serious and we just weren't ready for that kind of investment!  Yikes!

So Justin and Jaxson put the car together and they probably put a total of 40-60 minutes. Jaxson painted the car in a Star Wars theme and it was ready to race.

At the Pack Pinewood Derby, Jaxson's car held up great!  It actually beat some cars and much to my surprise he got second place!  He was so happy and we were too, just because there were some fancy cars. But it seemed the fancier the car the slower it would go. 

Yesterday we went to the District Pinewood Derby. Now, we warned Jaxson that there will be a lot of cars there and not to expect a trophy. And again, his little car won some rounds! 

 He ended up racing several rounds, but didn't end up placing. But he had fun and was happy with a participant's ribbon. 

Then last night Jaxson showed me that he made a Pinewood Derby track in his room and he was racing cars. It's actually pretty smart because he modeled it off the track they used yesterday. So he's been racing cars all night and getting Julie involved. Funny how in his pretend derby he always wins first place.....