Adventure Update # 62: Cheap Paper Towels Galore!

Gracie is a Teenager….

I have talked before how I am really impressed with the transition that Gracie has made entering into middle school this past year. She is doing very well both academically and with sports! Phenomenally smooth – and she is adapting very well.

Not so much the same with the transition into the teen years. (She turned 13 in February) Oh – there has been some drama – and everyone tells me that that is to be expected. But, dang, when did she get to thinking that she got so much smarter than her parents? She is rapidly closing the gap in height with her mother and occasionally I see her walk by me in the corner of my eye – and I think for a split second that it is Melani. Oh – it going to get really fun as we have more enter the teenage years….

Gracie & Molly

Gracie Wins The Science Fair

We are so proud of Gracie – our budding scientist! Gracie and her friend won first prize for the Physical Sciences division of the Science Fair this year! They chose to do their project on the absorbency of paper towels with both water and oil. It involved them buying many different brands of paper towels – of which they only used a small amount for their actual project. Hence, we have an abundance of low quality paper towels, as well as a few rolls of some quality brands. It appears that you really get what you pay for! Click below if you want to see more details about Gracie’s Science Fair presentation & display.

Gracie’s Science Fair Project

Gracie S.A.I.N.T Awards

Gracie also received 2 SAINT Awards this past quarter. These are awards given to the students for demonstrating both academic strength and Christian qualities in the school environment. Way to go Gracie! We are so proud of you! (Now can we just bring some of those Christian qualities to your home-life…)

Sophie Reading

Someone else in the house is now reading! Sophie has taken off like a rocket these last few weeks with her reading skills. Since the New Year she has had some homework and part of that homework is reading books with her parents. Well the kid has fully embraced it! I really can’t believe how quickly she has progressed – and gone from 0 – 60 in no time flat! She has been reading a chapter book with me in the evenings – and her persistence & patience is just amazing. Yes – it helped that I am incentivizing her to read this book – and she is planning on using the money to buy a new outfit for her dollie.

Here is the book she picked as her first chapter book:

The Princess in Black & The Hungry Bunny Horde (Affiliate Link)

There were a lot of fun names in the book – and it was great to hear her pronounce them with her slight little lisp (The Unicorn Frimplepants and the Princess Sneezewort). She finished this first book in just a few days! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series with her!

Oh – and coincidentally this was the first book that Annie read when we started tracking the books that the kids read back in 2017. And Annie was almost the exact same age as Sophie is now (5 1/2)! We discovered this a few days after Sophie finished reading the book. The kids were asking about the lowest they had rated a book – and Annie noticed that the Princess in Black – & The Hungry Bunny Horde was the first book listed on her list.

Sophie – about to get her new “chrome”

Sophie – Dentist

The kids all went to the dentist recently. Unfortunately, Sophie had a cavity. They recommended, and we agreed to, a cap for her one molar on the left side of her mouth. Now she is the coolest little kid – since she has a little chrome in her mouth! She was a trooper!

Arts & Crafts


Dominick & I have been camping, camping & camping! Yes – I know it has been winter – but that hasn’t slowed us down. Just this past week we had another campout @ Camp Tuscarora. Dominick camped out in the lean-to the first night – and it was only high teens or so with regards to the temperature – and then the second night he slept in the cabin – since it was closer to 10°. His sleeping bag is only rated to 50° – so I think it was prudent he stayed in the cabin the second night. I have been very proud of him for participation in these campouts and learning to do more & more on his own. This last campout He and his friend Víctor were responsible for cooking breakfast the one morning and then cleaning everything up afterwards.

Every time we go camping – the girls give me some stuffed animals to take along with me. I make sure I put them on my pillow each night. Here you can see the last couple of “helpers” that have gone along with me! (See pictures above). Sometimes the other campers give me strange looks. I think they are just jealous of me!

Annie Bananie – The Baker!

Annie Baking

Annie has been baking up a storm! Annie actually helped Melani bake Gracie’s birthday cake this year (The winking chocolate Mousse Mouse). She is getting really proficient at whipping a dessert up in the evening! I was surprised the other day at how quickly she made a dessert – AND cleaned up after herself. She says she wants to open up a bakery some day – and I believe she will do it. I just hope she also runs a Baking YouTube channel – so she can make a little money….

Dominick & the SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer)

Science Experiments

The kids got a science kit before Advent with a science experiment for each day of Advent – before Christmas. We never got around to completing all of them – so we are now trying to do so for Lent! Here is Dominick doing an experiment with a Super Absorbent Polymer. This is the material that makes diapers so effective at preventing a mess! He has a mask on – since they say you REALLY don’t want to breath the stuff – as it could block your air passage. Great job Dominick!

Dominick Basketball

Dominick’s (#4) basketball season has come to an end. The team played most of their games up at the Binghamton Bull Dogs facility this year. Dominick did pretty well. There were a few games missed because of scouting events and COVID – so it was a really short season. Dominick progressed well and was getting a lot better at both shooting and dribbling. This is the first year I think he really ENJOYED basketball and had a lot of fun playing. He definitely likes when things get competitive – and he is getting tested & challenged! With the way the kid is jumping, I have no doubt he will be dunking soon!

Super Bowl – Williamson Style!

Yes – we had a Super Bowl – of snacks again this year – as is our yearly tradition on Super Bowl Sunday. I have no interest in professional sports – and certainly not football. So we usually make a big deal on Super Bowl Sunday – celebrating in our own unique way. This year the movie was My Cousin Vinnie and the snacks were outstanding!

We are all looking forward to Spring – and can’t wait to get outside a little more. We recently published posts on 111 Things to Do in the Adirondacks & Upstate New York! & 11 Best Small Towns to Visit in Central Upstate New York – so we are most likely going to be traveling for a good part of the spring & summer to hit some of the places and activities that the kids want to do. In- fact – I have asked them each to pick 5 places/things they want to do – so we are bound to be pretty busy!

Hope you can all get outside and enjoy some sunshine soon!


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Blessed father of 4 wonderful children & trophy husband to 1 lovely wife. Part-time blogger, full-time nerd & aspiring Renaissance man!

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One comment

All constructive comments are welcome!

  1. What a fun update! I loved reading about the adventures you have been undertaking and the different milestones everyone is reaching. The paper towel experiment sounds interesting; I know what you mean about those low grade ones where it feels like you have to use the WHOLE roll just to clean up one spill . . . ❤

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