Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Hello, October!

I can not believe today is the last day of September!  Often times in mothering, I've felt like the days are long yet the years are so fast!  But lately the days have been so fast, too!  In years past, our school days and weeks just seemed to drag on forever.  But not anymore!  I can honestly say our days have been so, so good, and they're just flying right by.

Well, it's nothing spectacular, I can tell you.  When Seth is out of town, I cook my children's favorite meals.  That's not exactly my favorite kind of cooking.  With the pickiest eater ever in the whole wide world, there are very few meals that fall into this category that all three of them will eat.  But I also get tired of preparing, essentially, two separate meals so the picky eater will eat.  I know what you're thinking.  I used to think that way, too.  And then I had Mason.  And that all changed.  And I'll just leave that right there.  Because I'm okay with it.

Anyway, I have cooked for my children this week.  Monday night we had dogs in a blanket (hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls).  We don't get home until 7:00 on Mondays so it has to be something that's either already in the crockpot or that's really quick.  Dogs in a blanket are really quick.

Yesterday I cooked some chicken in my crockpot.  We had chicken tacos for supper last night.  Tacos are one of my kids' favorite meals, and they will all three eat tacos.  I like tacos.  But I'm a chips and salsa kind of girl.  And enchiladas.  So even though I get tired of tacos, they really are very versatile.  Last night the kids had their regulars, and I switched mine up a bit.  Usually I don't even eat meat on my tacos.  But I did, and I added shredded cabbage (I put cabbage on my fish tacos, too), diced green onions and chopped radishes (I'm telling you, I think I saw tacos or taco soup or taco SOMETHING somewhere one time that had radishes as a garnish) and then topped them with some verde crema (that's just real fancy for verde salsa mixed with sour cream).  And they were good!

Tonight I used the leftover chicken to make chicken tortilla soup.  No one ate this but me.  I've been craving soup lately.  So that's why I made soup with the chicken instead of the usual quesadillas or enchiladas.  Hannah Kate loves soup, too, and has been begging me to make baked potato soup.  I'm going to do that this weekend.  But none of my other people eat soup.  Seth says it's too much of the same thing.  My personal feeling is that gumbo would fall in that category, too, but he insists gumbo is "different."  Whatever.  The kids had homemade pizzas while I ate my soup.

I'm not sure yet what we're having tomorrow night.  It will either be meatballs and mashed potatoes or ham and provolone sliders.  But I'm leaning towards meatballs and mashed potatoes.  Again, everyone will eat that.

One of my goals for this football season is to make a new dip each game day.  The first weekend we had Carolina chicken burgers with ancho slaw (one of my favorite burger recipes), homemade sweet potato chips with blue cheese sauce and jalapeño popper dip.  That dip was one of the best I've ever tasted!  The second weekend we had cashew coconut crusted chicken fingers with mango honey dip and avocado egg rolls.  I enjoyed the chicken fingers.  They were different.  Seth didn't care for them so much because he doesn't like "sweet."  Last weekend we had a big thing at church, and I wasn't here to cook.  And I'm not sure what I'm going to do this weekend.  I'm a bit distracted regarding game day.  You'll understand why in a minute.

Seth is in Wyoming this week.  And I am so jealous.  I just loved our trip to Glacier National Park, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  And I'm just dying to go back!  Last Friday we went on a field trip with our homeschool group.  I met a mom who moved here last year from Wyoming and was born and raised just outside of Glacier.  I really enjoyed talking to her.  So I've been thinking a lot about our trip and really wishing we could go back!

I absolutely LOVE Mason's little school!  I am so thankful everyday that the Lord provided a way and led us there.  It really is the perfect fit for Mason, and he is doing so well!  He goes to school on Monday and Wednesday mornings.  He has three teachers.  There are seven kids in his class.  And he LOVES it!  Even without a 504 and "accommodations," he is maintaining all A's and B's.  And he's doing this on his own!  I am amazed at how far he has come during the past three years.  He's doing things now that I really didn't even know he would ever be able to do without a lot of help.  He's doing things now that I was concerned he might not be able to do.  There is a huge emphasis on writing well in his curriculum, and I anticipated struggles with that.  He still has some work to do, but he is, indeed, writing well.

I can't wait until Hannah Kate can be enrolled next year.  I think she's really going to love it, too.  I'm really enjoying what I'm doing with her, but I question myself all the time.  I worry that I'm not doing enough or that she's bored or that it's not challenging enough for her.  She's already through the end of her 2nd grade spelling curriculum so I'm going to go ahead and begin 3rd grade spelling with her.  And it looks like we might be done with 2nd grade math at Christmas so she might be starting 3rd grade math in January.  I worry that I picked the wrong curriculum or that I'm somehow missing something.  I think I'll feel much more confident once she's enrolled at Sequitur also.

We had a 75th anniversary celebration at our church last weekend so the majority of my September (besides homeschooling) was spent planning and coordinating that service.  It was a lot of work, which I knew it would be, but it really ended up being even more than I thought it would be.  But it really was a neat service to be a part of, and I enjoyed the planning and the research and the stories I heard from our oldest members, one of whom was a charter member 75 years ago.  I landed here in 1999 as a summer missionary. But I had no idea at the time that this would be the church I'd raise my children in, that this would be the church my husband was raised in.  So for those reasons, it meant a lot to me.

I also cleaned out the kids' closets.  I'm pretending that one day we will actually be able to wear long sleeves and long pants.  Mason has grown A LOT this summer.  I mean, I knew he had.  But I didn't realize just how much until I made him try on some clothes to see what fit and what didn't.  And NOTHING did.  He has no blue jeans from last year that fit, no church pants that fit, no church shirts that fit and no long sleeve shirts that fit.  Zip, zilch, nada, NONE.  He has three hoodies that fit, and THAT'S IT.  The same goes for Hannah Kate.  I couldn't believe it!  I wasn't surprised about Mason, but I was thinking we'd have a few things from last year that Hannah Kate could wear.  So now their closets and drawers are virtually empty, and I need to go shopping quickly.  I'm glad to have everything sorted and cleaned out, but it was a job.  I haven't gotten to Ellie yet.  I need to go in the attic and pull down the next tub of Hannah Kate's hand-me-downs to see what I have.  And, obviously, I need to go shopping!  Everyone needs new tennis shoes and church shoes, too.

Halloween.  It's my least favorite day of the year.  I'm glad it's on a Saturday this year.  And that I can watch football.

Oh, this just makes me laugh.  I bought supplies to make two new fall wreaths for the front doors.  I don't know why.  Because the supplies I bought TWO YEARS AGO for a new fall wreath are still in the same bag I bought them in because I've done nothing with them!  So I really want to be working on those three wreaths!  Maybe next week . . .

I'm making gift lists and hoping to have most of my Christmas gifts purchased by the end of October.  Okay.  Maybe November.

October, November and December . . . my absolute most favorite time of the year!

We also have a new candy store at the mall!  It's one of those vintage ones that I always wished we had here.  And now we do!  But I haven't been in there yet!  The only time since they've opened that I've been to the mall, I had the kids with me.  And I just couldn't bring myself to take them in there!  I knew they would want everything, and I would tell them "no," and they would be disappointed, and nobody would be happy.  I know.  That's terrible.  But I just can't tell you how excited I am . . . this summer I visited the ones at the mall in Dallas and in Denver.  And I drooled over everything and lamented to Seth how we don't have any good candy stores in our mall.  And now we do!  And, yes, I will take the children.  But only after I go first!  Tomorrow I get to go grocery shopping BY MYSELF for the first time in I don't even know how long!  But I'm taking a little detour first . . . 

I didn't get to read as much this month as I would've liked.  I had every intention of reading All the Light We Cannot See, but it basically just sat on my nightstand.  Instead I grabbed Bread & Wine one day to take to dance.  I knew it would be an easier read in the chaos that is dance days.  And I was right.  I read the first chapter, and I was hooked!  I love reading memoirs, and this is, I think, my favorite one I've ever read!  It's also got some really good recipes in it.  This book, well, I really did love it!  So since that's the only book I read this month, I guess that's okay.  I did begin reading All the Light We Cannot See last night.

Mason and I are currently reading The Eagle of the Ninth for school.  It's off to a slow start for me, but I think it's going to be an interesting read.

Oh, wait.  I'm just remembering that I also finished The Kitchen House this month, too!  It was a much heavier read, but I did enjoy it, and I'm glad I read it.  I don't think it's for everyone though.

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  And it's so nice!  My days are filled with endless chatter and laughter and questions and all kinds of crazy.  And I wouldn't change it for the world!  But right now I'm just enjoying the quiet.

Well.  What I wish I was wearing is leggings, boots and a scarf.  But it was 90 degrees today.  Ugh.  It's not 90 degrees in Wyoming though . . .

There's a little game this Saturday.  And I. CAN'T. WAIT.  Seth asked me on Monday night if I was ready.  And I told him I wasn't yet.  I mean, I can hardly think about Saturday except for THIS. GAME.  That's why I haven't planned my menu yet.  Really, that's all I can say about this weekend.  I don't think it really matters what's on the menu.  I do have a wedding rehearsal on Friday night.  But THIS. GAME.


October!  Maybe fall-ish weather is coming soon . . . and I'm so hopeful I'll be able to pull out my boots and leggings and tunics and scarves and sweaters.  Okay.  So maybe sweaters in October is pushing it a bit.  But still.  One can dream!  I also haven't had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season either.  It's time . . .

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I don't think . . .

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