This will be my last post for this blog.
I strongly feel this chapter in my life is over. (Navy life, transition, Civi life… and now moving on to just Civilian life with kids growing up too fast!)
You can visit my new blog at Another Revelation to see the continuation of my life story.
When God closes a window, He opens a door.
As I was running today, I was thinking about how much I’ve learned in the last two days. How humbling that not only has God used me as a lesson to myself, but my head feels so much clearer. Even my worries have lessened. I know, it sounds so cliché… Girl makes sacrifice, God speaks to girl, girl feels calm and see’s hope. Maybe it sounds cliché… but it speaks truth.
I was reflecting over why I started this blog, why it has the title that it does and wondering if it is time to move on. Originally, Half My Heart was intended as a means to write my husband while he was on deployment, vent my frustrations and document my children’s lives. I came up with the name because “half of my heart” was in Afghanistan. Now I’m pondering starting a new chapter in my life… a new blog with a fresh new name.
In other news, it snowed. Not as much as last year, but enough for the kids and I to build a semi-fort in the back yard. The kids reason for the fort was to hide from daddy when they have a snow ball fight… we shall see.
My kids are awesome. They love to help in the kitchen, especially when licking spoons is involved.
I’ve always been a bit hesitant about letting them help with any other cooking because most of my recipes are pretty involved. Lot’s of sautéing (that word looks weird, but spell check picked it), chopping and taking hot things out of the oven. Yesterday I made simple beef enchiladas. When I told the girls that I needed to assemble them, they both replied with, what does assemble mean? and can we help?
After realizing that my kids are in fact tall enough to stand at the counter and (b) old enough to comprehend directions, I put together an assembly line and put them to work. It was great… I got to supervise (read a book and have a glass of wine!).
Looks like I will be researching other easy kitchen suppers today…
Easy Beef Enchiladas Verde
1 lb (ish) of ground beef
1 28oz can of green enchilada sauce
4 cups of shredded cheese
12 small tortillas
Brown beef, add roughly 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce, let simmer for a few minutes. Transfer to bowl so that little hands can help assemble. Take one tortilla, add beef mixture, cheese and roll up. Place in 13×9 pan (which is prepped with a layer of sauce), repeat. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly on top, top with cheese. Bake covered 375* for 20 mins, uncovered for 10 mins for cheese to bubble. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, our own worries of what the future holds. It is easy to ignore or push aside other people because we don’t see them day to day. We tend to think that our minute problem is huge and trumps all.
Amazing what can happen when you take a moment to examine the people around you. I know a family that the dad is struggling with a debilitating health issue. They have to deal with this everyday for the rest of their lives. I know a cancer patient that so far has beat the odds, but the more the cancer spreads – the more it is eating away at her and her family. Why then do I linger on silly little issues in my own household?
Humbly, I come to the cross.
I let go.
I bow before the Creator.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I started a prayer journal at the suggestion of my pastor. Even though I talk to God in prayer, writing a letter to Him helps me with perspective. I can see on paper the desires of my heart and I am both humbled and at peace.
You Never Let Go – Matt Redman
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth
Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You
Most of my friends thought I was crazy that I didn’t check on my babies before I went to sleep each night. I figured they woke me up enough, why would I chance waking them up by going in their room? It is strange now though… they are 7 and 8 years old and probably at least once or twice a month I go up to their room to check on them before bed. I worry about if they are having a restless night because of their day at school. Or if the sleep walker is laying in the bath tub. Mostly it is because I miss them. I mean, I don’t want to miss them growing up. Each year seems to go faster. I know that the kids have to grow up and I’m sure we will have a good time when they are adults… but I like it how it is now. They are at a fun age – and still so full of adventure and what lies ahead.
I made a few simple new year resolutions. I know… nobody keeps them. Well here we are 14 days into the new year and I have kept ALL of them! My biggest resolution was to be a mom. Simple, right? I am a mom already, therefore – mission accomplished!
Really, my resolution was to BE a mom to my kids. Not their friend, not a space cadet, not lazy… but to BE there for them, DO things for/with them, Encourage them, Teach them, Lead them, Show them. One of the hardest balances is to let your kids grow up and yet still BE a mom. For instance… shower time. Seems simple enough… let kid shower and wash their hair, put on jammies and get in bed. When I first decided to let the girls start taking showers (instead of baths), I helped them – taught them how to get a good lather in their hair and make sure they were washing each and every nook and cranny. Then, after a month, I let them do it on their own. For about 4 or 5 months they have been completely on their own until one night I realized that I had become a lazy space cadet. I was enjoying my time reading or watching TV while they took turns with showers. I was letting myself off the hook because they were independent, instead of BEING a mom. What gave me this sudden realization? My older daughter, almost 9 years old, had smelly hair and armpits… AFTER taking a shower. I’ve come to the realization that long, thick hair on an 8 year old still needs moms help… and that a barely turned 7 year old still needs someone to talk to and guide her.
I have to say that by implementing this one simple resolution that life here in our little household is happier. Not only that, but since I am already upstairs helping them, we finish earlier (and I’m not yelling for them to “hurry up”) and we have more time for cuddling and reading stories before bedtime.
Well, December has turned out to be a very full and fast paced month! It seems that when your youngest child turns Seven, time starts to go even faster. When I started this blog Three years ago, I felt the urge to write all the time. Now it seems that with the addition of Facebook, I don’t have much to share anymore. Maybe, or maybe I’m just lazy.
Most of December was filled with activities for Girl Scouts, school or rehearsals for the Christmas Eve pageant. We also were taking the oldest child to the doctor for testing. She was very lethargic, fatigued and complained that her neck hurt all the time. Blood work revealed that everything was fine. This Holiday break has given her the opportunity to “heal”, if you will, from the stresses of being a 3rd grader and she has been the happiest I’ve seen her since this summer. I’m thinking that my new years resolution will be to take things slower. Not that we are over involved, she only does Girl Scouts and gymnastics… but then add in her sisters Girls Scouts which meets opposite weeks, our Bible study growth group and homework and all the sudden we have a full week.
We had a wonderful Christmas holiday. The girls were involved in the Christmas Eve service, as was I. Both girls were bell ringers during the first song and the 8 year old was a flag dancer at the end. All of those rehearsals paid off!
After the service, my parents came over to spend the night so that they could watch the girls open presents in the morning. Santa was generous this year and brought the kids (and daddy) a PS3. It came with one game and honestly, I don’t see any reason to buy another. Ever. This game has so many levels and the game system does so much more than just play the games.
We then headed over to my parents house for the night, along with my sisters family. We had a big Christmas dinner and played a few games of scrabble.
On the 27th, I celebrated my birthday. The day was very relaxing. I got to pick out a new phone (thanks M&D!), go house looking for fun and then have a low key dinner on the sofas by the fire at a local restaurant. The girls sat on the floor by the fire and ate their dinner under the coffee table. Their giggling reminded me of good times when I was their age… but I think I’m having more fun now.
Speaking of good times… this break has allowed us to not only have much needed family time, but also one-on-one time with the girls. The girly-girl and I painted toe nails and went grocery shopping together, while dad and the tom-boy built a lego house. We’ve also had time to snuggle and watch movies, read books and play games. The girls even made up their own version of charades the other night. Now the year is coming to an end. So many memories, a few of them sad… but all of them together make another chapter in our lives. Here’s to 2011!
Moving on is hard. Today was a special but tough day. My youngest child turned 7 years old today. I woke up and tried to concentrate on her the whole day. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, opened gifts, went to church, had a special paint your own pottery party with her friends, dinner with my parents and finally dessert at my sister’s house. Today was also the first birthday celebration that we’ve had with our Seven year old without our puppy. A wonderful, fun day… but bittersweet with memories.
Thursday was the hardest day I’ve ever had. My buddy Rusty spent his last day with us. When I wrote the last post, we had no idea things were as bad as they were. On Wednesday morning I took Rusty into the vet. She immediately told me that his spleen was enlarged. You barely had to touch his tummy to tell… which basically happened over night, because I know when I pet him on Tuesday it did not feel that way. She took some blood work and a few x-ray’s which came back concluding that Rusty indeed had an enlarged spleen which was bleeding and cancer in his lungs. Even with a spleen removal, 3 weeks healing time and a blood transfusion… the pup still had lung cancer which would spread fast and she only gave him around 3 weeks to 3 months to live. He would be in constant pain, even with meds. Our choice was difficult and the process was painful for us. Rusty, however, was very peaceful and passed away quietly in our arms.
As mentioned before, we got Rusty in 2001 when he was 8 weeks old. He chewed on my Birkenstocks and it was love at first sight. We brought him home and fed him ice cubes, which he had way more fun playing with in his paws, then actually licking.
Here is a stroll down memory lane. I asked the girls and my husband to give me some of their fondest memories of Rusty…
Rusty loved to chew sticks. It didn’t matter the size or shape… he would even drag a fallen branch over to a comfortable spot and begin to chew on it, most usually eating all of it. I guess he felt he needed extra fiber?
If you gave Rusty a ball… he would roll over and play with it in his paws and drop it into his mouth. I think he thought he was a cat, the way he always used his paws. He might also use it as a back scratcher and roll on top of it.
Rusty was a protector. He would follow the girls and I around all day. The funniest part about it was when the girls went outside. Rusty did not like to be alone, so as long as the girls were playing outside, he would be at their side protecting them. If they came inside, so would he. When you let him out to do his business, he would immediately come inside afterwards… even if it was a beautiful day out.
Rusty loved to be part of the action… especially if the action involved water. Rusty loved the sprinkler and he would chase the water around and try to drink it.
Rusty could be sitting completely still in the grass, enjoying the sights and the smells – only to suddenly get up and start running figure 8’s around the yard. Then he’d stop and lay back down like it never happened.
I think the funniest thing about Rusty was his daily routine quirks. Every morning around 5 am Rusty would get off the couch and come and lay by our bed. When my husband got up to shower, he would roll over for a belly rub and then go and lay on the couch until he was done. Even if I got up and went to the kitchen to make school lunches or coffee… he would stay on the couch. Then, when my husband got out his morning cereal, Rusty would come in to have 4 Mini-Wheats. My husband used to eat Mini-Wheats every day for breakfast for years. One morning he decided that he didn’t want them, but it was too hard to toss other cereals to Rusty… so, we kept giving him 4 Mini-Wheats. He would then go back to lay on the couch until the girls woke up. Finally when they came downstairs, I’d open up the back door for him to go outside… he never asked a minute before, he always waited on us.
I could go on and on with the stories, but will just close with a few more pictures… So long my dear friend. You were a great walking buddy, protector,cuddle buddy and deployment pal… but most of all, you were a family member – my hairy son.
I have a furry son named Rusty. We bought him on the spot when we were going in the pet shop to browse. He nibbled on my shoe and he stole my heart. I couldn’t imagine leaving the store and letting someone else take him home. As a puppy, Rusty got into quite a bit of trouble. From chewing on the kitchen table chairs to eating some mysterious mushroom and needing antibiotics. We decided to enroll him in puppy training and he was number one in his class. We even taught him how to sit with only a hand motion.
Fast forward 8 years…, Rusty has an issue with his eye, READ: How the cookie crumbles. After almost 18 months, we have had no issues with Rusty, until now. For the last week he has not wanted his regular dog food, nor been doing his deed as much as he used too. I am worried… and to make matters worse, he has a strange little knot in his tummy. I guess we are off to the vet, yet again…
But truly, Rusty is our Golden Child. As we deal with tweeny and pre-tween girl ordeals at home… the whining, fighting, complaining… having a son that complies with the rules is nice! I can deal with the homework, extra curricular schedules, etc… it is the moods that get me…
In other news, Thanksgiving was certainly a time of thanks! My husbands side of the family met together (minus one brother and family) and had a great time.
I have been writing hand written letters to my girls in a journal. Mostly I’ve been remembering the past because this blog is only 3 years old and there is no documentation of our lives before that. I hope to get the journals up to date soon so that I can write them a monthly letter. I just thought that it would be a neat gift to hand over to them on their wedding day… or when they have their first child.
I’ve also been meaning to scan in some of the girls recent art and class work. I figured that I can’t save everything… so why not scan it on the computer? It is fun to come across something old that the girls did that was long ago recycled. Here are a few of their recent pictures they made for halloween:
It is interesting to see their perspective on holidays. One that I haven’t scanned yet is a picture of the caterpillar from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle… only his head is a skeleton head with a witches hat.
I can’t wait to find out what they come up with for Thanksgiving!!! Speaking of Thanksgiving, it is only 19 days away. Not only do I love the traditional Thanksgiving meal… but I love family time. I think this year I will have the girls write out what they are thankful for in advance and then have them read it to us on Thanksgiving day. Hm… maybe I will get hubs and I to do it too!
Where have we been?
Life in this household has not slowed down. It seems that we go from event to event. Even when my calendar pages are empty, something comes up, like the 8 year old just started after school Enrichment in Chinese lessons. Monday we have Gymnastics. After the first session ended, the 6 year old has decided that it is not for her, so she is just going to take coloring and reading material with her. Every other Wed and every other Thursday we have either Brownies or Daisies (girl scouts). And of course the biggie… this is football season, so weekends are packed full. On top of the kids activities, I have taken up two jobs. I am substitute teaching again this year but since you normally don’t get a call everyday, I accepted a nanny job with my good friend. She works from home full time and needed someone to watch her younger two, so since I already know and get along with them – why not? It has been around 9 weeks with them and it is a dream job!
In other news, our HVAC just gave up and died, the fan has been on the fritz for about a year (producing hardly any heat and making an awful noise, then in the summer producing next to no cool air). So since we needed a new system, we converted from oil to electric. The new system is working great!
A pipe in our septic system broke. I don’t know how long it has been broken, but my guess would be that it froze sometime during our major snow storm last year and burst shortly thereafter resulting in the need to be “pumped out” before we had an overflow issue. Hopefully the broken part comes in soon and can be repaired.
Did I mention that there seems to be a problem with our water softener? A few months ago our water started tasting metallic and subsequently our tubs and sinks started to stain. The problem seems to be off and on though, so we are putting off a new system until it completely dies.
I’m not sure that anything else could possibly go wrong with this house. I think we are done. You see, we’ve also had the roof replaced after much leaking…. and a few other things that I’ve mentioned over the years.
On the positive side, we have done some fun things like a surprise mission to Mimi’s house for her birthday, a crab feast and my husbands class reunion. I’ll leave you with some pictures of our adventures…
This morning I heard something that I have never heard before. My fashion princess asked ME what to wear. This is the girl who has taken pride in dressing herself since she was four years old. This is the girl who I go to when I’m not sure what I have on matches. Not to worry, she was just having a lazy moment. She is already back to her girly girl self.
Speaking of girly things, both of the girls are in Girl Scouts. The 8 year old is in Brownies and the 6 year old is in Daisies. I’m worried that when my Daisy bridges to Brownies at the end of the year, she won’t think it is girly enough. I mean, come on… we go from super girly, bright colors with a huge daisy flower on front to… brown? We recently had out Investiture and Rededication ceremony. The Daisies worked on cute crafts and the Brownies worked on a self life time-line. Could the two BE anymore different?
She did it. My eight year old can now ride her bike without training wheels. I know, most kids do that around age 4. The problem is, you have to have commitment as the parent, to have the time and patience to run along with them, teach them balance and keep a positive attitude.
Two weeks ago we went to the park to try it out. After an hour of learning balance and riding with assistance, we went home. It was around 95* and she was starting to get frustrated. The six year old did not make it past 2 minutes without training wheels… that is a task for another day.
A few days ago we took the girls to the park again. Daddy worked with the 8 year old while I took the dog and the other child on a walk. After 40 minutes or so, we ran back into them and she was flying. He had her turning corners and braking without falling.
In other news, the girls started gymnastics. After much battle between what kind of sport/dance class to take… the girls finally picked gymnastics. The nice part is the beginning class is at the same time, but split up by age… so I only have to drive there once a week.
The girls continue to love school and their teachers. Last night was “back to school night”, where you get the low down on what the class will be learning, where they will go on field trips and how you can help your child succeed throughout the year. Once again I feel like the girls have teachers that fit their personalities. Amazing what a bit of prayer and patience can do…
School started today. My kids are in 1st and 3rd grade. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet… but talking to them last night about their first day started to make me wish I could be a fly a on the wall. I mean, I know that they will be okay and their first day will go great – but part of me wants to experience it and see what it is like to be a kid in their class. Cheesy, I know. I don’t remember much from my Elementary days… so, I want to see how it feels to have the jitters/excitement of the first day of school, just so I can identify with them.
The rest of my day will consist of cleaning. Sounds exciting, right? I want to have the house spotless when everyone gets home today. I think I might make the kids a welcome home sign. Last night my husband suggested that I make the kids a special breakfast today. They did not let me forget… so, french toast was served. I made the mistake of leaving a piece on the counter to cool before putting it in the fridge. When I got out of my shower, the toast was mysteriously gone and the one eyed puppy looked a little too happy.
In other news, I had a small basil cell carcinoma removed a few weeks ago. Apparently, these things grow really slow… in fact, mine has been present for around 7 years. I was born with a small bald spot on my head, known as a birthmark. About 7 years ago, it started to itch all the time. Even though it was annoying, I didn’t think much about it. Whenever I had my doctor look at it – they said it looked fine. So, I let this cancer grow on my skin because I wasn’t persistent about it. This year, I finally had enough. Having a spot on your head that itches all day long every day is very annoying. I told my doctor that I wanted it taken out. They sent me to a dermatologist and took a biopsy. The results came back saying that it could develop into basil cell carcinoma if it wasn’t removed. This was news to me, since my doctors had always said it looked fine… just a small bald spot, no big deal. After the spot was removed and sent to pathology, the results came back that it was indeed basil cell carcinoma.
Anyway, this is something in my life that is very private and I really didn’t want to share it with the world… but I feel the need, because left untreated… eventually the cancer would become a bigger problem. (Slow, yes… but progressing.) So… this now puts me at pretty high risk for skin cancers. I will never skip a day without sun screen anymore. I will also be that annoying itch that you have… telling you to get it checked out. The first sign is reoccurring itching. It doesn’t have to be all the time – but it is always in the same spot.
I’ve been trying to be more relaxed this summer. Usually I’m worried about jamming in enough trips to the library, swim lessons and things that I forget to just enjoy the fact that we don’t have to do anything. I am a family girl. I’m not a huge fan of time away from my husband or kids. However, I haven’t been to my grandparents house in 9 years. I know, my kids are younger than that… which means they have never been down to visit. Thank goodness travel works both ways, as my grandparents have visited us several times over the last 9 years. So, this past week the kids and I jumped in my parents RV for yet another road trip adventure. When we arrived at my grandparents house on Friday morning, my grandfather was a bit taken aback. At first it didn’t click who these two little girls were standing at the door (my parents and I were hiding), but he knew that he recognized them. When we popped around the corner, it all fell into place. We then repeated the hiding as we entered the house to find Gran knitting. It took her a good hour to get over her initial shock! I can’t say that the rest of the visit was fabulous. There is something about living that long that gives you the right to be cranky. We’ll just leave it at that.
Thankfully, my cousin only lives an hour away and came to my rescue! We took the kids to feed some ducks and then took them to the mall to put on a fashion show for us. I’ve never let my girls in a dressing room alone before – so this was a special treat. They tried on outfits and then came out and modeled them for us.
We left a day early and set out to a camp ground, where we stayed for 4 days. The campground was on a lake and since over half of the sites are owned by people who keep their 5th wheels there… it was quiet. I took runs along the lake and swam in the pool for hours with the kids. The most memorable moment though was when my dad and I took a 3.1 mile bike ride to a local winery, did a wine tasting, and then rode 3.1 miles back to the campground with our purchase!
In other news, this weekend the family and I took a last minute day trip. The girls love water fountains… so we seek them out whenever we can.
One word: Drama.
Anyone with more than one girl in the house can tell you that there is always drama. It doesn’t come it little spurts, but rather in large booms. Anything from screams, crying and growls to the Miss Prissy attitude… it is all there. You might have seen us out in public. We are the family with the two angels that never disrupt conversation or act rude. I mean it, no sarcasm there… but walk into my living room and another story develops.
I often wonder what life is like for my husband. Three moody girls and a dog. Lord help him the day the second kid hits puberty. I can imagine that the pinching, hitting and screaming episodes will calm down at each other… and the Mom is so not cool phase will start. I’m sure there will still be screaming, but maybe it won’t be as high pitched?
Obviously my girls can be sweet little angels at home too… but boy does it seem like they are at each others throats too often! Maybe because it is summer… maybe because the six year old finally has an opinion and wants to share it.
In the cooking world, I made three more appetizers to go over to a crab feast at our friends house.
All three are again from the cook book I am working through. I will post recipes over on my cooking blog. Tonight my sister-in-law is coming, so I am making a chicken and shrimp deal from the cookbook. Hopefully it turns out well!
As a family, we try to recycle as much as possible. Sure every once in awhile a paper towel will be thrown in the trash – but we try to be conscience of what we throw away. With the kids, I’ve started a statement with clean up time. We have our daily pick up of toys – which usually consists of them stashing things under furniture for the clean “look”. We also have our weekly mom sweep, which consist of me finding the proper place for a few things here and there…. and then we have the monthly toss out, which consists of my statement. “Girls, do you want to Recycle this, Reuse it (Something like construction paper that they rolled into a cone shape can be reused for a drawing.) or Retire it?” (which means, give away or throw away.) The monthly toss out takes about an hour and the girls have learned not to get frustrated or upset. I explain to them that old projects cause clutter and if they aren’t going to save it in their box, they need to recycle it. With toys, if it is no longer age appropriate, we decide if it can be given away or thrown away.
Another thing I’ve aways like to do is reconfigure furniture. I feel like it is easier to make a mess when things always stay the same. When you place your furniture in a different spot in the room, (or in a different room altogether) you can de-clutter and organize. When the girls started sharing a room a few months ago, their room became a tight space. However, the guest room stays clean and we only have one kids room to clean up now! Today I made the decision to move the reading chair out of the room and to the basement. The basement only has one overstuffed chair and a rocking chair, so it isn’t very family room friendly. We spend all of our family time up in the living room anyway, but now we have more options. Moving the chair out has made the girls room feel bigger – and taken away one more spot for things to get stuffed under.
In other news, I finished buying school supplies yesterday. I had some things left over from last year that the girls can use. They will also be re-using composition books. I will either tear out pages – or just leave it as is. The math journal had less than half used. I have two left over from last year too… in case she fills the whole thing up. Even with re-using, the supplies cost an arm and a leg. I’m gonna blame it on the pencils. Third grade asked for 8 boxes of 12 pencils, sharpened and First grade asked for 4 boxes of 12 pencils, sharpened. I know that my third grader will not use 96 pencils throughout the year. Maybe 30 – and I think that is pushing it.
Speaking of food… I made three new dishes for my dad’s birthday party on Monday night. It took me 3 hours to prep them before taking them over to my parents house to cook. We have bacon-wrapped stuffed dates, grilled asparagus and melon salad and last, roasted tomatoes with garlic and gorgonzola. The last two are from the Giada cookbook and the first one was Giada inspired, as she has a procuitto wrapped stuffed date which is not cooked. I wanted to have the goat cheese melted inside the dates – and I love the flavor of the bacon with it. Since I used procuitto in my asparagus salad, I did try one of the dates with it and I didn’t like it as much. You can find all of Giada’s recipes over on my cooking blog. I forgot to take the “after” pictures – but here is the raw product!
Around our house you will often hear one or both of my girls singing or playing some tunes up in their room. They both love music, especially the 6 year old… it is not surprising since I am a singer and am always humming a tune or singing a song. They love all types of music from 80’s, 90’s, Jazz, Christian and more… but you will usually hear kid pop of some sort coming from their room, Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato or something from High School Musical. The funny part is, I like all of the music. I mean, the artist are good and their tunes are catchy. I’m not embarrassed to say that I know all the lyrics to Ice Cream Freeze (Hannah) or HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUA’A (from HSM) but I’m not sure if my kids think I’m fun and cool – or maybe a bit crazy.
Today my 8 year old is writing another song. She most recently wrote, The Sea, the Ochan and the Shore (her spelling), which she added some more versus to today. Her new song is titled, Summer, so I’m excited to read the lyrics soon!
Speaking of summer… we only have four weeks left until school starts. I’m not ready to face the fact that my youngest child will be in 1st grade. Rumor has it that our school will have it’s only male teacher this year – and in 1st grade. I think it would be neat… but the 6 year old is not so sure. Wonder if the rumor is true? Our school waits until the week before school to give out teacher assignments. While I can understand why they do it, my stomach remains in knots until we find out. My kids have always been matched with the perfect teacher for them though… so I don’t know why I always worry.
Finally, what you’ve all been sitting on the tip of your seat for… the long awaited first recipe of my summer challenge! The reality of it is I would need to go shopping several times a week to keep up with the different recipes. So, we will have to take things a bit slower. For example, last night I made a new and improved lamb burger with roasted zucchini and yellow squash. Ground lamb was on sale and therefore I could not pass up the opportunity to make something with it. Basically I mixed the lamb with bread crumbs, one egg, kosher salt, pepper and fresh chopped garlic. We added our usual olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top, along with fresh tomatoes and arugula.
Anyway, my first recipe from the new Giada book was “Egg-white frittata with lox and arugula” which I completely over salted, since I don’t measure anything. I also used whole eggs because, come on… I’m not going to use egg yolks separately in anything any time soon… and I’m not going to waste them either. You can watch Giada perfect her frittata HERE on Food Network or copy her recipe from my cooking blog, HERE.
On the home front there is not much to report. The girls finished up their week of vacation Bible school and had a blast. We’ve been trying to make a craft a few times a week and have managed to get ourselves invited to a friends pool at least once a week.
In other news, it seems that something has happened to our water softener system. A few weeks ago we started having a metallic taste to the water and now our iron levels are so high that my tub and sinks are staining. We have never had a problem with this… sometimes when life hands you lemons, you don’t have any sugar to make lemonade.
I am one of those kind of people that gets really excited about doing something new. I get really fired up, go full force and then usually give up or slack off. If you’ve been following me, you will know that I’ve been jogging for the last 3 years on and off. (READ: Running in the rain from October 2007 when I was still struggling to make it around the block without stopping!) So here we are in the summer of 2010. I think my biggest battle is starting to feel tired and wanting to stop. However, the little angel on my right shoulder quickly jumps up and kicks the little devil on the left to the ground and I quickly keep in step to leave him behind. I don’t know what my fear of going farther is. My route is always the same… I don’t know what to do to motivate me to go the other, longer way around the neighborhood. I pat myself on the back because, “at least I went out and did it!”
Anyway, I decided to start an accountability chart. I joined dailymile.com where I can log my miles and time – but mostly just post that I went for a jog and other users will comment (err motivate me) on the great job I did. So hopefully this will work and keep me accountable and moving on the street.
Speaking of doing something new and then slacking – I realize that I haven’t started my cooking challenge. School ended and I kind of wanted to do nothing at all, but I am over slacking and ready to start! I will look through the cookbook tonight, go grocery shopping for ingredients tomorrow and voila, hopefully have a new recipe to share! I’ll keep you posted and you can help keep me accountable over on the daily mile! (or here!)
Amazing how a little children’s song can give such great advice. Two ways I’ve been trying to give God glory are by reading the Word and by exercising. I’m not very good about getting up early, but I get up when I hear my husbands shower turn off to make lunches, coffee and start stretches. My routine for the last few months has been to open my Bible and sit on the floor with coffee and start stretching. Now that I’ve accomplished this, my next goal is to get up when my husband exercises in the mornings and go jogging. So far I’ve only been going jogging when time allows and it is after 6:30 am… but usually my husband leaves by 7, so that would be pushing it with all the other morning things I do (listed above).
I’ve decided to use a few Bible verses to motivate me. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 which says, “24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Hebrews 12:11 which says, “11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Last, one of my favorite which I quoted on my very first blog post in 2007, 2 Timothy 4:7 which reads, “Fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith”. This one is true not only to keep your faith strong, but to believe in yourself.
Now, let me share some more sunshine:
So far I’ve never put the kids into summer camps. I’ve looked into the day camps each summer and for the amount of money they cost, plus the time they would be away from me is too much. I mean, call me crazy but I like to spend time with my kids. I think they are fun, well behaved most of the time and just pretty darn neat. Besides, they can always go to “camp” at grammy and grampy’s house – or in their RV somewhere…
This past weekend we took the RV to a very local campground and the kids had a blast. It was a family/kids weekend and it was loaded with fun activities for the girls. Not only did the campground have a pool, which we spent most of the time in, but they had bingo, face painting, moon bounces, etc… The girls did really well swimming, even trying new things like self-floatation!
One summer event that I do put the girls in every year is Vacation Bible School. That gives me one week of mornings to myself AND a fun, safe place for the kids to go learn more about the Bible and the events that go with them. We don’t have anything else planned for the summer except to relax, play, read and get together with friends and family.
I leave you with this… I was singing while sitting around this morning – “Summertime, and the living is easy…” and my 6 year old replies, “Well of course it is, mom.”
I used to think that adults were nuts when they said that time went by fast. In fact, I really feel that my first 24 years of life went pretty slow. Then I got married and had two kids by the time I was 27…my kids are now 8 and 6.5 years old. What is it about having kids that makes time go faster?
Today was the last day of school. A bitter sweet ending for me because for the last 5 and a half months I was a full time temporary employee. While I enjoyed my job for the most part, it was mentally draining. Since I was a temporary employee – my job has ended for good and I’m sad to say that I’d only consider a similar job again if it paid double. So, I will be going back to Substituting next school year. That is, of course, unless one of you has a stay at home job for me.
Yesterday my Kindergartener was turned into a magic first grader. Rewind two years and read: The Magic First Grader where my first born had this same celebration. The celebration was super cute. The teacher turned them all around slowly and then tapped a magic wand on their heads. Then she asked them if they felt any different, in which most kids replied with no. One child, however, replied with, “Well, I feel a bit tingly on my head.”
…and so the summer begins. Fun in the sun, at the pool, lots of crafts and games, lazy time and most importantly – extra family time!