Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday (and the "big one")

I'm linking up again this month for What's Up Wednesday.

Since Monday was Memorial Day, we had BBQ.  But the BBQ I grew up with is much different from the BBQ Seth grew up with.  I can remember that first summer I was here as a summer missionary.  It wasn't long after my arrival that his parents announced we were going to have BBQ.  I was excited.  Finally, something I recognized.  Or so I thought.  I was expecting pulled pork and, my favorite part about BBQ, brunswick stew.  It's no secret that I'm not a meat eater.  I've had my share of BBQ sandwiches, but I can eat a bowl of brunswick stew any day.  Top it off with a side of coleslaw and baked beans, and I'm a happy girl.  Oh, and sweet tea!  But on that day, there was no pulled pork.  And there was no brunswick stew.  Not only was there no brunswick stew, but no one had ever even heard of brunswick stew!  So I tried to explain what it was.  Heck, I didn't even know what it was.  We just always ordered it by the gallon from the BBQ place!  Needless to say, no one thought it sounded any good, especially my husband.  And when he finally had some on one of those early visits to Georgia, he wasn't impressed.  Whatever.  Okay, so back to the BBQ.  Their idea of BBQ is ribs and sausage and chicken on the grill.  Well, I don't do ribs or sausage.  And, as my father-in-law says, I only do meatless, skinless, boneless chicken.  So this week we compromised.  We had ribs, sausage and pulled pork.  I made slaw, baked beans, potato salad and macaroni and cheese.

Last night we tried a new recipe from the June issue of Southern Living magazine: Carolina Chicken Burgers with Ancho Slaw.  And it was even yummier than I thought it would be.  Everyone liked it, even Mason (okay, so he didn't have any of the Carolina sauce or slaw on his burger).  We had zucchini fries (one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini) and sautéed squash and onions.  I had just picked the squash from the garden the day before.  (And, yes, we ate on Christmas plates.  I don't know why.  I just didn't feel like getting the other ones.)

I  now have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader!  My 5th grader is about to be 10 years old, a whole decade!  And my littlest is about to be 3 years old.  So that's what I'm reminiscing about.  Many, many of the days are long.  But I'm aware more now than ever that the years are so short.  And I want to make the best of each moment each day.  I don't always do a good job with this, especially lately.  There are so many things I miss about Mason's little years, those first 2 1/2 years when it was just he and I.  I don't even know how in the world Hannah Kate is growing up so quickly and so independent.  Ellie is the "baby," but she isn't a baby anymore (even though all three of them will always be my babies, no matter how big and old they are!).

School is over.  DID I MENTION SCHOOL IS OVER?!  Because that's what I'm lovin!  And the lazy days of summer are officially here!  Well, I have to admit that our summer isn't going to be quite so lazy.  But SCHOOL IS OVER, and that's all that matters!

May was super busy with end-of-the-school-year activities and everything that goes along with it.

Hannah Kate danced her heart out at her recital.

Mason received the Silver Scholar award for maintaining a 3.00-3.74 GPA this school year.  He also received the President's Education Award.

Hannah Kate received the Platinum Scholar award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA this school year.  She also received the award for highest achieving student in 1st grade.

On Saturday we went for a bike ride along the Tammany Trace, Louisiana's rails to trails.  We weren't able to bike the whole thing, only about 10 miles.  There are some cute little towns and playgrounds along the way.  I hope to make this a regular activity.  I absolutely loved it!  Oh, and several people asked who rides Ellie.  Why, I do, of course!  But that's mainly because I ride with her during the week, and there's no way I'm going to move her seat to Seth's bike.  Way too much trouble!

And, of course, the only thing to do in the south in the summer time - pool time!  It's been raining.  A lot.  Everyday.  Mason had three baseball games last week.  All three were canceled because the field is under water.  He was supposed to have a game last night.  The field is still under water.  I think they played maybe half of their scheduled games this spring.  They were trying to make-up the others, but I don't think that's even going to be possible now.  So in between rain showers, we go to the pool.


Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I have so much to look forward to that I can't even think of a thing I'm dreading.

I've been spending a lot of time in my garden.  The very first garden I had five years ago was the most beautiful and the most productive.  But the last three years have been pretty miserable.  So I was determined to have a "good" garden this year.  After a lot of research and thought, I decided that my problem was the lack of pollinators.  So I planted a few flowers in my vegetable garden beds this year.  I also planted a row of sunflowers.  I had the most beautiful sunflowers that first year but hadn't planted them since.  I also found out last weekend that my husband poured gasoline on a bee hive that was in a tree at the front of our driveway.  When I proclaimed that to be the culprit of my garden woes, he responded that he did that, like, four years ago!  EXACTLY.  It's been that long since I had a good garden!  Anyway, I'm calling all bees this year!  My tomatoes are looking the best they've ever looked.  They're actually "bushy" this year and not spindly.  I've been concerned about the lack of flowers, though, but this week I'm noticing lots of flowers.  I picked my first few squash yesterday.  The zucchini, okra and eggplant are coming along.  I had to start all over with my peppers, watermelon and cucumbers.  I'm not sure what happened to them.  But I bought new plants yesterday and put them in the ground.  I also got all of my herbs planted, but they are in pots on the back porch.

School is over.  Oh, I already mentioned that.  But it's worth mentioning again.  Because that is EXCITING.  I'm excited about chaperoning kids' camp in a couple of weeks.  I'm excited about going to the beach in three weeks.  We're doing something this year that we've never done before.  We're going with some friends.  So I'm really excited about that.  Friends and the beach!  Doesn't get much better than that.

Well, as long as LSU is in the college baseball playoffs, that's what will be on my television.  And Mason and Hannah Kate love watching old reruns of Full House.  I've had some extra reading time today so I just finished The Hundred Foot Journey.  I'm planning to read a couple of more books during the next few days.  Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper came highly recommended by my BFF.  We share the same taste in books so I can't wait to read it.  I've had it for awhile and was saving it for the perfect time.  That time is this week.  I've also heard a lot about Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty so I'm hoping to try them out, too.

I'm about to start listening to this year's VBS music.  I plan to spend this month getting everything memorized.

It's summer time.  It's south Louisiana.  It's hot.  So I'm wearing whatever is cool.  I'm not a big fan of summer clothes.

This is one of the very rare weekends that I can say we don't have any plans.  And I absolutely love that!  I'll be in the kitchen awhile on Saturday preparing my dishes for dinner-on-the-grounds after church on Sunday.  And we'll probably go swimming if it doesn't rain.

Kids' camp.  The beach.  But I already mentioned that.

Here's the "big one."  Some of you will be surprised by this, and some of you will not be. And I'm sure all of you will have lots of questions.  But I'll go ahead and tell you that I definitely don't have the answers to all of your questions right now because I don't even know some of the answers myself!  The Lord has called us to homeschool Mason and Hannah Kate (and Ellie) next school year.  We made this decision a couple of months ago, March 16 to be exact, but we didn't tell anyone because we wanted to tell Mason and Hannah Kate first.  We've talked about it with them in general terms for the past several months, and we've prayed about it as a family.  But we didn't tell them until last week because we didn't want to distract them from finishing this school year well.  They've been asking for it for quite awhile and are excited about it.  I'm excited, too!  I'm nervous, but it's been quite an amazing journey the way the Lord brought us to this, and we know with absolute certainty that this is what He wants our family to do.  We are so thankful and are looking forward to it. I have no idea what to expect.  And it will be a huge change for us because we've been in public school for five years now.  Mason and Hannah Kate know what that's like.  I know what that's like!  So there will be quite the transition involved.  I have no doubt we will have some great days.  We will have some hard days.  Sometimes it will seem like the best thing ever.  And other times it will seem like the worst thing ever.  The only thing I know for certain is that this is what the Lord wants us to do.  And we are going to be obedient to Him!  We are looking forward to following Him in obedience through homeschool.

And that's what's up!  


Kori Page said...

Yay, Julie! I'm so excited to hear your homeschool announcement! We're just finishing our first year and while there have been challenges, I wouldn't trade a day of our time together. It's so encouraging to see her desire to learn grow more and more, and I love knowing the entire content of her curriculum. Call or message me with any questions you may have. Love y'all! :)

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Wow! Proud of you for making the decision to homeschool! That is very exciting!
And, your garden looks AMAZING!!!!! Isn't gardening the best?
Thanks for linking up with us:)

Harriette Connell said...

LOVE your blog posts but especially LOVE this one! Excited about your homeschooling!