Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I thought it would be fun to link up with some friends today.

Well, usually I would love to share what we're eating this week.  I cook everyday except Sundays.  I love to cook meals for my family and really enjoy being in my kitchen.  But I've not had a lot of time for that lately.  This week is no exception.  We had a really bad storm on Monday morning that left us without power.  When Seth got home from work, he had to go back to town to get gas for the generator.  He picked up a pizza on the way home.  We have a gas stove so I can actually still cook even if we don't have power; however, it also emits a lot of heat into the kitchen, and I didn't want to do that since we weren't running the air conditioner.  It was cool enough that we didn't need it, but I still didn't want to do anything to make the house any warmer than it needed to be.  Power was finally restored yesterday.  I cooked Hannah Kate's favorite meal, my homemade spaghetti and a salad.  This morning I left the house around 7:30 and didn't get back home until 9:00.  After Bible study, Ellie and I went to eat lunch with friends.  And then I went to the book fair at school.  I picked up Mason and Hannah Kate, and we went to dance.  Mason had a baseball game, too.  So I didn't cook again today.  Ellie and I ate leftover pizza from Monday night.  The big kids had Sonic.  I'm not a fan of fast food so leftover pizza was fine with me.  Usually I have my whole week of meals all planned out, but I have no idea what we're going to have tomorrow night!  

Today was our last day of the study of Moses at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  I had to say goodbye to all of my 4 and 5 year olds.  I just can not believe another year of BSF has come to a close.  Every year we "start over" again.  We have a new group, new partners, a new class.  This has been an incredible year in BSF.  Next week is share day.  I can't wait to hear the many testimonies about how God has transformed lives through the study of His Word.  I also can't wait to share my own personal testimony of what God has done in my life through this particular study.  But it doesn't seem possible that it's the "end."  We've been walking with Moses for 30 weeks and what a journey it's been!  The lunch with friends that I mentioned earlier was because one of my dear friends is moving.  She was Hannah Kate's very first BSF leader.  She was also Ellie's very first BSF leader when Ellie started in the children's program as an infant.  Not only has she taught my girls, but I've also had the privilege and pleasure of serving with her in the children's program.  She's the momma of triplet boys (yes, you read that correctly), two of whom are graduating college next week.  She moved here 21 years ago from South Carolina because of her husband's job.  So, yes, we have A LOT in common.  And now her husband is being transferred back to South Carolina.  I am so excited that she gets to go home.  But I am sad for me because I am going to miss her so!  I can't even tell you how many friends I've made over the last 15 years who end up moving away.  It's never easy, and this one is no exception.

Ellie is officially completely potty trained!  We gave it a go last fall.  I thought it was going to be so easy with her, but it wasn't.  She had no problem going potty in her big girl panties.  As a matter of fact, I could tell what kind of day it was going to be because she had her panties separated into two categories: those she didn't like she would potty in and those she did like she would not potty in.  In December I finally got fed up and made her throw all of her beloved panties into the garbage.  We went back to pull-ups.  She kept begging for panties so I bought her some new ones around Valentine's Day.  That lasted about two days, and we were back in pull-ups again.  I decided it was just too hard to potty train when we couldn't stay at home.  We were too busy and on the road too much.  So I thought I'd just wait until summertime.  And then I looked at our calendar.  We have a lot on the calendar already.  It seemed useless to wait because it just isn't going to be much better.  So I decided to go all in.  Today is day 16 in a row, and she has been nearly perfect!

If you need me, I'm probably at the baseball field.
I'm going to be so honest.  We've missed 4 games and even more practices because of the rain the past couple of weeks.  And that doesn't make me sad one bit!  This weekend Mason is playing in another tournament.  The season will last into the first week of June.  So we still have a lot to go.  If I'm not at the baseball field, I'm at church or Bible study.

Honestly, there is so much I'm looking forward to that I can't think of a thing I'm dreading!

I'm hosting a baby shower on Saturday morning so that's the main thing I'm working on right now.  I'm also working on VBS.  I found some fabric that I absolutely loved for new window treatments for the breakfast area windows.  My goal was to have that finished by the end of April.  But tomorrow is the last day of the month, and the fabric is still sitting in the bag they put it in when I bought it.  So that's something I hope to be working on very soon.

The last day of school is May 20!  There are so many things I'm excited about!  Today the Lord answered a huge prayer for a friend.  We've been praying daily for two months, and the Lord granted our request today.  It was so exciting to receive that text today.  Next Friday I have a huge surprise for Hannah Kate and her little BFF.  I'm taking them to see Disney's Frozen on Ice.  But she has no. idea.  So please don't tell her!  And her dance recital is coming up in three weeks.  Today she received her trophy for four years of dancing.
And did I mention the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL IS MAY 20?  Because if I didn't, the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL IS MAY 20!

Well, I don't have time to watch television so there is no series, no nothing I'm currently watching (No, I did not see Derek die.  I didn't even know who Derek was until last week.  I've never seen not even one episode of Grey's.).  I'm still on season three of Downton Abbey.  There are a couple of shows I DVRed to watch, but that was last year, and they are still on there because I haven't watched even the first episode.  The book is read the most is my Bible.  I also read books to Ellie all the time.  Tomorrow we will be reading Pinkalicious Tutu-rrific and Audrey's Tree House because those are the two new books she picked out at the book fair.  I made a goal last year of reading one book a month.  Considering I used to read one book a weekend, it was still a lofty goal because I really haven't done any considerable reading in nine years.  I started out pretty good, but I didn't read any in the fall.  I tried to pick it back up in January.  Right now I'm supposed to be reading The Hundred Foot Journey.  I saw the movie and enjoyed it so I wanted to read the book.  Usually I read the book first.  I have to say, and this is one of the only times I've ever said this, that so far I've enjoyed the movie more than the book.  But I do hope that will change.

Lately I listened to a lot of patriotic music because I was selecting the music for our July 4 service at church.  But mostly I listen to the BSF hymn CD because that's the only thing Ellie wants to listen to.  And that's just fine with me!  Besides, it's hard to listen to anything anyway because someone is always talking so I feel like I'm constantly surrounded by noise.

I'm definitely not trendy or fashionable.  But I'm glad it's time for white jeans, sandals and wedges again!

Well, Mason's baseball tournament begins on Friday evening and lasts through the entire weekend.  And I'm hosting a baby shower on Saturday morning.  And church on Sunday morning.  So it will be busy.

I don't think I mentioned it, but the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL is May 20!

And for the answer to this, you'll have to wait until next month.  It's a big one.  (No, I'm not preggers.  And, no, we aren't moving.) 

a swing for my back porch!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easter (since it's almost Christmas)

I never posted Easter pictures.  And since it's almost Christmas, I figured I would go ahead and share a few.  Not really.  But really.  Christmas will be here before we know it!  I mean, May is NEXT WEEK.

I have to say I was not the Easter pinterest mom this year.  About as close as I got was the little "bird's nests" I made for breakfast on Saturday morning.  Thank you, Pioneer Woman.  I have to admit that Easter kind of snuck up on me this year.  I didn't at all feel prepared.  Of course, I don't know what I need to be "prepared" for.  This year I just felt like I didn't need to be all fancy with it.  Nothing extra.  I just wanted to let it sink in deep, the simple yet most profound truth throughout all the ages . . . Jesus died for me (for the whole entire WORLD), and Jesus is alive (because the grave COULD NOT contain Him)!  That is Easter.

The egg hunt was actually the weekend before Easter.  We spent about fifteen minutes there before running off to Mason's baseball tournament.
Because the kids hunt eggs in areas divided by age groups, all three children were in a different area this year.  So I went with Ellie.  She's the only one I have pictures of hunting for eggs.  When I first got out there with her, she just stopped.  She didn't do anything.  There were eggs everywhere.  She was standing right in the middle of a sea of eggs.  I know she doesn't remember it from last year, and I didn't "practice" with her beforehand, but I certainly didn't expect her to just stand there.  So I picked up an egg and put it in her basket and encouraged her to do the same.  She finally started picking up some eggs.
Right after I took that picture, she reached in and grabbed the blue egg that I'd put in there and threw it back on the grass!  She refused to pick up any eggs except pink ones.
After Ellie found all the pink eggs, I found Hannah Kate.  She was not as particular about the color of the eggs she put in her basket.
Ellie talks about her little friend CG all the time.  They are both so cute and so funny.  CG has been over to play a few times, and Ellie constantly begs for her to come over more.  But they're still at the age where they don't necessarily play together yet.  Regardless, I think these two will be good friends.  And you'll notice Ellie has three purple eggs in her basket.  That's because after she found all of the pink ones, I finally convinced her it would be okay to pick up some purple ones.
One of the things I learned this year is that Mason is getting to "that age."  I think he's over Easter egg hunts now.  So I actually don't have any pictures of him with his basket.
I asked Ellie to show me her eggs for another picture, and this is what she did.
A few days before Easter, the Georgia bunnies sent a couple of boxes of goodies.  The stuff just kept coming!  I honestly can't remember what all was in those boxes.  But what I do remember is the whoopi cushions.  I still say that whoopi cushions have NOTHING to do with Easter.  But Mason sure was excited.
Easter morning began very early.  We all got up and dressed and were at church by 7:00 for the Sonrise service.  And then we all ate breakfast afterwards and then we had Sunday School and then the regular worship service.  We finally left church around 12:15.  Nobody was in the mood for pictures at 6:30 in the morning.  And that's fine because we were running a little behind anyway.  This year their baskets were full of candy and books.  They took their baskets with them and had already gone through everything on our drive to church so I don't have any Easter morning basket pictures.  And by the time church was over, everyone was really tired and still not in the mood for pictures.  Except maybe Ellie.

And that was Easter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Break: 2 days. Does that even count as spring break?

I had several goals (not resolutions because there is a difference) for 2015.  One of those goals was to blog more often.  Not for you.  Not for me.  But for my children.  There are so many things I want them to remember, so many things I want to be sure to tell them.  And this blog is for them and their future spouses and my grandchildren one day, provided that's where the Lord takes us.  But I think I've blogged less this year than in all the nearly nine years I've been blogging.

It's frustrating.  All of the things I would love to be doing right now aren't getting done.  I'm not crossing anything off my to-do list.  It's only getting longer.  Our schedule this spring has been jam packed.  I feel like I'm running around in circles.  As hyper organized as I am, I can barely think straight to organize and prioritize my day so I end up just wasting a lot of time and then staying up way too late in my attempt to get caught up.  I am tired.  Tired.  It is obvious that something(s) has to change.  And will change.  Beginning today.

After eight consecutive days of rain, we had a beautiful weekend.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Especially yesterday.  Even though yesterday was Monday, I still consider it the weekend.  Mason and Hannah Kate are on spring break.  For two days.  Yes.  Two whole days.  Apparently twelve (12) days of standardized testing (no, I am not kidding or exaggerating) leaves little to no time for spring break.  So they go back to school tomorrow.  
On Friday I chaperoned Hannah Kate's final field trip.  There are field trips I love.  There are field trips I don't love.  This was one of those.  I do not like bowling, and I like the arcade even less.  This field trip was bowling and the arcade.  And considering I got hardly any sleep the night before because I was anxiously awaiting Seth to make it home (Seth was stuck in Dallas on a plane on the runway for several hours due to the severe weather across our area), I was not excited about bowling and the arcade with 106 first graders.  But I prayed that the day would pass quickly (yes, I did), and I went.

Hannah Kate had never been bowling before.  Did I mention I do not like bowling?  I have to admit I did enjoy it.  It was super organized, and all of the little first graders were so cute bowling.

Ellie went, too, and she definitely held her own.  She loves being around the big kids even if she can't actively participate in everything.  But they all dote on her, and she has no problem entertaining herself.  And everybody else for that matter.

After bowling we went to the arcade.  Have I mentioned I don't like arcades?  I really don't like arcades.  So that part of the day nearly made me crazy.  But the bumper cars were fun.
Hannah Kate loves her little BFF.  They aren't in the same class, but they ride the same bus.  Aren't they just the cutest, especially with those missing front teeth?!
And here's Hannah Kate with her other BFF.
On Saturday we dodged a few showers.  But the kids still enjoyed an afternoon swimming, and there was a crawfish boil.
For the first time ever, Mason finally ate a crawfish.  He actually ate three of them.  I was completely and totally shocked.  Mason doesn't eat anything.  He is the pickiest eater I know.  I can count on both hands the foods he'll eat.  Not only does he not eat anything, but he even refuses to try anything.  I don't know that he'll eat crawfish again. I certainly don't blame him there!
Yeah, Hannah Kate apparently has a little problem with her tongue.  It's also worth mentioning that she has a really long tongue, so long that she can touch her nose with it!  I kid you not.  Anyway, she also ate a few crawfish for the first time ever.  She eats anything and everything, including her vegetables.  Crawfish were not her favorite.  She may or may not eat them again.
Of course, Ellie refused to try one.  But she did play with one for a minute.
This wasn't the first swim of the season.  It's just one of MANY to come.
Yesterday I took the kids to the zoo.  I thought that was the best way to enjoy such a beautiful day.  I have to say I was really impressed with the zoo this time.  Ellie and I went a couple of weeks ago with some friends, and I noticed they've made a lot of improvements during the past year.  There was a lot of new landscaping, some new animals, some improved habitats.  It's a small zoo, but it really is a pretty zoo.  I can't even remember how many times we've been, but we always take a picture in the tiger cage.
The alligators were out of the pond and pretty close to the fence.  Mason wanted his picture made with the biggest one.  I took this and then looked at this big, handsome boy.  Really?!  How is this even possible?  He's almost as tall as I am.  He's almost in 5th grade.  He's almost a whole decade old.  But he's still my baby.
And I'm always a sucker for a picture in the beautiful bamboo.
This duck (because I'm sure it's in the duck family, but I get my birds mixed up) was just a talking to us.  We carried on with him for several minutes.  It really was quite funny.
And Hannah Kate always has to have her picture taken with the pink flamingos.  With the exception of only one of them, they were all sitting down in the grass.  And every time I took their picture, Ellie insisted on grabbing Hannah Kate and wrapping her arms around her.  So sweet these girls are!
One of my favorites is the giraffes.
Ellie refuses to stay in the stroller anymore so I don't even try.  She got tired and wanted me to carry her.  But I was too tired to carry her so Mason scooped her up.  
I love the colors on this stork so I asked Hannah Kate to stand with him.  Going to the zoo always reminds me how creative our God is.  (Although at one point I commented that one of the animals wasn't very pretty, and Hannah Kate said, "Mom, you know those signs everywhere say be nice to the animals.  That's not very nice.")  I also think a lot about Adam.  God told him to name all of the animals.  I mean, I know God helped him, but how in the world he came up with all these names is beyond me!
Before we leave, we always ride the train.
My favorite part of the ride is through the swamp.  It's just beautiful.

We ended the day at the ball park, which is where we spend most of our weeknights right now.  It was our first time back in over a week.  They missed three games and several practices because of the rain.  It was nice to be back.  I didn't take any pictures though.

Today Ellie and I had Bible study so Mason and Hannah Kate spent part of the day at a friend's house.  And just like that, spring break is over.  I have no idea how many days of school are left.  I think we have four weeks or something like that.  At this point, I am struggling to finish strong.  We haven't done homework in several weeks.  I don't know if that's because Mason hasn't had any or because we just haven't done it.  Of course, that's the first thing Hannah Kate does after school.  She's usually done before I even know she's started.  But I am determined to get with the program and see Mason through to the end of 4th grade, even if that means we have to do homework.  Because at this point in the year, he's doing great, but he needs a little push to make it all the way through.

Jen Hatmaker blogged a couple of years ago about the "worst end of school year mom ever."  While I laughed at the time, I totally could not identify with any of it.  But this year?  I am there.  I am so. there.

And that was spring break.  Two days.  I just don't even know how they can call that spring break!