Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's not broken.

One of Hannah Kate's vocabulary words this week is milestone.  We had the opportunity to experience that word this week but not in a way I would've ever wanted to.  As of Tuesday night, all of my children have now spent time in the emergency room.  

Hannah Kate was taken to the ER via ambulance when she was not even two years old because she fell off of a barstool and landed on her forehead on the ceramic tile floor.  She developed an immediate hematoma (which really was a good thing), but it was very scary.  At the end of a very long night, she was fine.  She's actually been to the ER twice since then, both times for a middle-of-the-night asthma flare-up that I couldn't control.  But I don't really count that.

Ellie was taken to the ER when she fell and broke her arm.  She was 20 months old.  (Yeah, we like to start 'em out young in the ER!)  Of course, at the time I really didn't think it was broken.  I certainly didn't think she'd require surgery.  We all know how that turned out.

This week was Mason's turn.  He took a baseball to the nose before his game even started.  I didn't see what happened.  The game was about to start, and his team was out in the field.  He'd taken his place at first base.  They were throwing the ball around, and it was almost time for the first batter.  I'd taken a picnic supper for us so I'd gotten the girls settled in their seats with their food.  Samantha and I were just chatting.  

I remember hearing this really horrible, unusual sound, but I didn't know what it was.  We were at the ballpark.  There's always some kind of noise going on.  But this sound seemed oddly out of place.  At that moment, I turn to look at the field, and I see several coaches running to first base.  Samantha's voice changed, and I heard her say yell, "JULIE, THAT'S MASON!"  I was still looking for him, but I couldn't see him because all of the coaches were in the way.  Why were they at first base?  I finally understood what I was hearing.  "MAAAAAMMMAAAAAAA!"  Just over and over.

It was Mason.  I was his mama.  But that's not how he calls my name.  That's not how I ever want to hear my name called ever again.  One of the other moms even told me last night how heartbreaking that yell was.  

And then one of the coaches moved to the side.  That's when I saw him.  That's when I saw his hands up in the air around his face.  His hands were covered in blood.  Why were his hands covered in blood?  WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS HANDS?  It takes me a second to realize it's not his hands but his face.  By this time (and keep in mind all this happened in about five seconds, but it seemed like FOREVER, and it seemed like everything was going in slow motion), Samantha is already out of her seat, and she is telling me to get up and go to the field.  I got up, but I couldn't remember how to get out onto the field!  I walked down the first base line to where I thought the gate was, but it wasn't.  And I was just standing there looking over the chain link fence at my son with blood running everywhere.  He's on the ground at this point, and a nurse is already out there helping him back up to his feet.

One of the coaches came running over and asked if I was the mom.  I said I was, and he showed me to the gate.  I came up behind Mason.  The nurse told him his Mama was there.  He looked at me and finally put his hands down.  I couldn't help my reaction.  My hands went up to my mouth, and I breathed in as deep as I could so I wouldn't lose it.  Mason didn't like my reaction at all and started screaming again.  By this time, Samantha is there with us, too.  Blood was everywhere and was still gushing out of his nose and down his face onto the dirt of the field.  It was so hard to tell what his injury really was, but one thing was obvious.  He had a huge knot on the left side of his nose.  My first thought and worst fear was that it was broken so badly that the knot I saw was his bone pushed over in the wrong spot.  The nurse is telling me that his nose is broken.  I mean, it's so obvious.  And I'm just reminding myself that doctors can fix this.  Ellie's arm was fixed, and Mason's nose can be fixed.  They do this all the time.

I don't remember walking off that field, but obviously I did.  I just didn't know what to do next.  Samantha had already made her way back to our chairs and the girls.  She's telling me he needs to go to the ER.  And I'm still just standing there.  Finally I decided to try to get him cleaned up a little bit before getting in the truck.  I didn't want him going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror yet so we just went to the water fountain.  Someone, I don't even know who, brought me a bunch of paper towels and helped me.  I cleaned his hands and his arms and his face as best I could.  He was still bleeding.  By the time I got back to our chairs, Samantha had already packed up my stuff and had the girls ready to go.

We drove the short distance to the local ER.  There was a wreck on the bridge so I didn't go to the pediatric ER in Baton Rouge because I knew we would be sitting in traffic a very long time, and I didn't want to do that.  I didn't even have time to complete all of the paperwork before they called us back and had us in a room.  Once we were settled in the room, we had to wait on the doctor to come by and then radiology.  It. took. forever.  Or, at least, it seemed like it.

Mason had calmed down.  He was still bleeding, but he wasn't really complaining of any pain.  The girls were sitting quietly playing on their Kindles.  At this point, I'm praying that his nose isn't broken.  That's really all I knew to pray.  But did I really believe his nose was broken?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  I mean, look at that.  

I'm not saying anything.  I don't want to say anything.  No one is saying anything.  I look over at Ellie, and I see a lone tear escape her eye and roll down her cheek.  I can't talk because my tears will leave my eyes, too, and I knew I couldn't let that happen.  So I took her face in my hands, wiped her tear away and looked as deep into her little eyes as I could to let her know her brother was going to be okay.

And we're still waiting.  Mason begins to complain that he can't breathe through his nose.  He wants to clean his nose out, but I tell him we have to wait for the doctor to do that.  And then he asks me if he'll be able to lay down and go to sleep that night because what if he's asleep, and he can't breathe, and he doesn't know it?  So I tell him that we'll pretend like he has a cold and a stuffy nose.  When your nose is stopped up, you breathe through your mouth, even when you're sleeping.  And that's what he'll do.  He's done that before, and he'll be fine.

That's when I look at Hannah Kate.  Her face is as red as a tomato, and her cheeks are all puffed out, and her lips are quivering.  The tears are rolling.  She's trying to stop them, but she can't.  So I did the same thing for her that I did for Ellie.  I took her face in my hands, wiped her tears and looked as far down into her heart as I could.  I kissed her on the nose.  But I couldn't say a word!

I love my girls' hearts for their big brother!  And his for them, too!

By this time, the bleeding is under control.  I asked him if he wanted to lay down, and he did.  The nurse brought an ice pack so we put that across his face.  Finally the doctor came back in.  He asked Mason how he was feeling.  And then he said, rather nonchalantly, "Well, you don't have a fracture."

It took me a minute to process what he said.  Wait.  What?  The doctor then looked at me and said, "There isn't a fracture."  I asked him if he was sure.  I asked him if there had been a mistake.  He said he understood exactly where I was coming from but that even radiology agreed after looking at the x-rays that there wasn't a fracture.  He said he was sure just by looking at it that Mason's nose was broken and that he couldn't explain it.  So when I pick myself up off the floor (not really), I looked at Mason and said, "Do you understand what he just said?  Your nose is not broken!"  And then I looked at the doctor and said, "Well, it's just the Lord.  The Lord kept Mason safe and protected his nose."  And, I kid you not, that doctor looked at me like I was a few fries short of a happy meal!

But that's the only explanation.  Mason's coach, the nurse, everyone was shocked when they found out it wasn't broken.  So the doctor sent the nurse back in to clean Mason's face and nose.  That took about ten minutes.  She was the sweetest, most patient little thing.  Mason had lots of questions for her.  I just let him talk.  And, finally, we were out of there.

After we were all loaded up in the truck, Hannah Kate said, "But, Mama, everybody said Mason's nose is broken."

"Well, I know Hannah Kate.  It sure does look like it.  But that's what God does.  He does things we can't even understand.  He takes care of us in ways we can't even imagine.  Just because something looks like it doesn't mean it is.  God just does that."

And then Mason said, "Mama, I prayed all the way here that my nose wasn't broken."

"I know, bubs.  Me, too."

We stopped by the pharmacy on the way home so I could get some Motrin and peroxide.  Because you know what cleaned up every drop of those blood-stained pants?  Peroxide!  The nurse told me to use peroxide, and it would come right out.  Who knew?!  Well, I'm sure Pinterest knew, but I didn't.  And, sure enough, it worked!  Coach asked me last night if we needed to get Mason a new pair of pants.  I told him there's not a drop of blood anywhere on those pants now!

On the way home, we were gifted with a rather unpleasant odor.  Hannah Kate said, "Phew!  That stinks!  There sure have been a lot of skunks lately."

Mason said, "I don't smell a skunk!"

I couldn't help it.  I responded, "Well, that's one good thing, I guess!"

And, for the first time all night, we all laughed.  Even Mason.

Of course, these things tend to happen when Seth is out of town.  After I sent him the first pictures I took (which I didn't post on here), he immediately left and came home.  It just looked so much worse than it actually was, and, at the time, we didn't know what we were dealing with.  He was only 2 1/2 hours away.  But he did have to wake up early yesterday morning and head right back.  Needless to say, it was just so good to have him home that night!

When he woke up yesterday morning, the bleeding had finally subsided.  He was really swollen across his entire face, especially his nose and underneath his left eye.  I took this picture last night after the swelling had gone down considerably.

The swelling has continued to subside today, and he now has a nice little shiner underneath that left eye.  He hasn't been a fan of me taking pictures.

When the coach called me later that night, he told me what happened or at least what he saw.  The ball came from third.  And our third baseman can sling that ball.  The ball didn't even tip Mason's glove.  It just hit him square in the nose.  I asked Mason if he knew the ball was coming, and he said he did.  I asked him if he saw the ball coming, and he said he did.  I asked him if he put his glove up to catch it, but he doesn't really know.  Based on what the coach said, I don't think his glove ever went up.  He said he got distracted because he thought for a split second he might miss the catch.  That's all it took.  A split second.

Everyone is just really shocked that Mason's nose isn't broken.  I mean, I'm shocked!  Yes, I prayed for his nose to not be broken.  I certainly meant that prayer, but I also knew it didn't look good at all.  It reminds me of that time in Acts when the lame man was healed and stood up walking and jumping around everywhere.  

The people were "filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him . . . all the people were astonished and came running . . ."  (Acts 3:10-11)

Peter's response?

"When Peter saw this, he said to them: 'Fellow Israelites, WHY DOES THIS SURPRISE YOU?  Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?  The GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus . . ."  (Acts 3:12-13)

And, so, why should I be surprised?  It's a God-thing!    

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday (lots of baseball and lots of dance)

It's Wednesday.  It's been a long week.  It's been one of those weeks that seems to add years to your life.  But here we go.

Monday night we had dance and baseball so I pulled some homemade spaghetti sauce out of the freezer for a super quick meal.  Last night we had baseball again so I packed a picnic for everyone.  We had baseball again tonight (do you notice a trend here?) so I picked up Subway.  I have no idea what's on the menu for tomorrow night.  But we don't have baseball!

Last night we had to make a little trip to the ER (I'll tell you all about that one tomorrow).  It brought back lots of memories of when Ellie broke her arm.  That's really not what I want to be reminiscing about, but that's what I've been thinking a lot about.

My husband.  I just really love my husband.

We've had lots of baseball and lots of dance!  Tomorrow Mason and Hannah Kate will both finish math for the entire year so we're coming to the end of our very first homeschool year.  Last week we had revival services at our church.  So, yes, it's been busy.  I'm really and truly ready for a little break.  I feel like I could sleep for days.

It looks like May is going to be the month of doctor's appointments.  We have check-ups and such scheduled with several different doctors.  I'm looking forward to going to the dentist, but that's about it!  And taking the kids to the doctor is not one of my favorite things to do.

If I have the energy, I hope to finish Ellie's room tomorrow.  I just haven't had time in between dance, baseball, homeschool and the revival.  But I really wanted to be finished by the end of April, which is Saturday, so hopefully tomorrow will be the day.  I started planting my garden last week.  I'm about halfway finished so I hope to complete that tomorrow or Friday.  And preparation for VBS is now in full swing so I have a lot going on with that, too.

I'm really looking forward to the girls' dance recital next weekend.  I'm also excited about finishing our first homeschool year.

Mason and I are currently reading Summer of the Monkeys.  Y'all.  That is a hilarious little book!  We're enjoying it.  I'm also finally reading Killing Lincoln.  It is so absolutely fascinating to me!  I know.  I'm weird.  But I'm almost done, and I can't wait to finish it.  I'm going to read Killing Kennedy next.  This year I'm also reading through the entire Bible again.  I read an Old Testament passage, a New Testament passage, a Psalm and a verse or two in Proverbs everyday.  Well, most everyday.  Sometimes I miss a day and then have to catch up a couple of days.

Right now, nothing.  And the silence is golden!

Well, Friday night I'm chaperoning a youth group trip to Area 51 again.  I don't plan on getting on the trapeze this time!  I mean, just watch the video from last time!  Hannah Kate has dance practice on Saturday.  We have a birthday party on Saturday.  And Sunday is the usual church day.

I've already mentioned this, but I'm looking forward to the dance recital and the end of our homeschool year.  I've been invited to the high school graduation for a special friend of mine so I'm looking forward to that.  And May is just one step away from our beach trip the first week in June!  So that's what I'm most looking forward to.

I mentioned earlier that we took a little trip to the ER last night.  We hit a milestone in our family but not one I'd necessarily like.  I can now say that all three of our children have required trips to the ER.  Believe it or not, Hannah Kate was the very first.  Even though she's been the most (three times), two of those times were in the middle of the night when her asthma flared up, and I couldn't do anything to help her at home.  So that really doesn't count.  The other time was when she fell off the barstool and landed on her head on the ceramic tile floor.  That was an ambulance ride, too.  She was not even two years old when that happened.  And, of course, there was the time Ellie broke her arm.  Last night it was Mason's turn.  But I'll tell you all about that tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Another Dance Year

Today was the last day of class for the 2015-16 dance year, our last Monday afternoon and evening at the dance studio.  Next week they'll practice on the big stage, and the big day is next Saturday.  Hannah Kate is very excited about the recital this year and can't wait to take the stage for her 5-year solo.  Ellie claims excitement.  But I still have no idea how her first year on stage is going to look.  I don't even think she knows!

Last week was parent observation and awards week.  Both of my girls received awards, Ellie for her first year of dance and Hannah Kate for her fifth year of dance.
We watched Ellie's class first.  This was the third time this year I had the opportunity to observe her class (parents are not allowed in class).  The first time was at parent observation week in November.  She stood on her number and DID NOT MOVE.  She didn't dance.  She didn't twirl.  She didn't do first position.  Nothing.  She managed to trot a little and do "sugars" (just don't ask) once she got her tap shoes on, but that was it.  Her teachers were so surprised.  They said she always danced in class and really wasn't shy about dancing.  I was surprised, too.  All she did was dance around the house, and she knew by heart all of her positions.  The second time I observed her was the day we tried on costumes.  That was at the end of January.  We got to watch the last few minutes of class.  That time she didn't even stand on her number.  Instead she ran to my lap and started crying!  Of all things!  Her teachers were shocked, and so was I.  

I mean, she had just been so excited to try on her costumes.  And she was always talking about dance, always dancing.  Her teachers said she always participates in class and knows all of the dance moves.  I never expected that to be her reaction.  She has definitely been the most outgoing out of all my children at the age of three.  Even from the first day, she walked into class all by herself and didn't "need" me to take her.  Hannah Kate cried the first three weeks of class because I wasn't in there with her, and no one expected her to dance on the big stage because she was so shy.  But she surprised us all, and she did it!  So Ellie would be the one I expected to totally DOMINATE that stage come recital day.  

But by February, I'd begun to doubt that and began preparing myself to be the parent of the child who either stands on stage crying or refuses to go out there in the first place!  Because picture day was in February.  And it was a near disaster!  We actually had to be at the studio three different times across a five-hour span to get all of our class and individual and family pictures made.  Ellie's class was first that morning.  We woke up, ate breakfast, and then she and I left to have her class picture taken.  I'd already decided I wasn't going to have her individual picture taken at that time but that we would do that when we went back later for Hannah Kate's pictures.  Ellie was so excited to get dressed up in her costume and wear make-up for the first time.  I dressed her when we got to the studio and put on a little make-up.  It came time for her class to line up and head upstairs for their picture.  The moms followed along behind her class.  I already knew it.  As soon as I got up there, she was already BAWLING.  She ran over to me, and I knew it was over.  I didn't even try.  I was walking out with her when one of the teachers came over, took her from me and told me to leave.  I have no idea what happened after that, but I was told that she was, indeed, in her class picture and did, indeed, smile.  I'll believe it when I see it.  Because this is what dance picture day was like:

We came home, and I pulled out all of our dance programs from the last four years worth of recitals.  I showed her all of Abbie's and Hannah Kate's dance pictures.  And then I told her that if she wanted her picture in the dance program like Abbie and Hannah Kate that she better stop crying and smile!  When we went back later that day for her individual picture, I took reinforcements with me.  I really should've gotten a "behind the scenes" picture because it was pretty priceless.  Hannah Kate, Abbie and Aunt Ashley were all behind the photographer cheering her on and making funny faces and being all kinds of crazy.  And we finally got our pictures!  But I NEVER in a million years expected that to happen on picture day either!

Needless to say, I didn't have my hopes up for last week's observation.  I was expecting more of the same.  We really tried to build her up for it, and her Daddy even came.  I love many things about dance, but one of them is this cute little bun.  She melts my heart.  

And . . . much to our surprise and delight, she danced!  Her tap dance is Stayin Alive.  I died!  It's just the cutest thing.  

After they danced, they got their awards.  In true Ellie fashion (meaning you just never know what you're going to get with her!), she CRAWLED (yes, on the floor) over to her teachers when they called her name.  And then she wouldn't even look up at them!

Miss Jade asked for a hug.  And this is what she got.
And here she is with Miss Victoria and Miss Jade, her dance teachers this year.  Aren't they just the most darling things?!
And then it was Hannah Kate's turn.  I know it's not her most favorite thing in the world, but I love watching Miss Katherine warm the girls up.  I'm really impressed with Hannah Kate's improvement this year.  Her balance has really come a long way, and she can also do a real split now!

Hannah Kate, of course, did a really great job!  Again this year she is expected to perform her dances on stage without the help of her teachers in the wings.  I think she's ready!  Here she is with Miss Katherine, her ballet teacher, and Miss Jade, her jazz teacher.
Miss Briana, her tap teacher, promised the girls they could dance with sunglasses at the end of class if they remembered their recital dance.  Needless to say, they must've really wanted to dance with those shades and enjoyed every minute of it!  Miss Briana is a lot of fun.  And, y'all, I promise she's still eight years old!

Here's Hannah Kate with Miss Briana.
And, just like that, we are now celebrating the end of another dance year and looking forward to another recital (two of them actually since Ellie and Hannah Kate aren't even in the same recital this year!).  I'm holding out hope that Ellie will dance.  I've also decided I probably won't make it through Hannah Kate's solo without a tear or two.  Or three or four.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Easter (a month later)

I had lots of goals at the beginning of the year.  Some were short-term projects and others were long-term resolutions.  Several of the short-term projects are already complete.  But the long-term resolutions quickly took a back seat.  One of those was to blog more often and more currently.  And here we are with Easter.  A month later.  Case in point.

Easter weekend was just a really nice, fun-filled family time.  We had our annual crawfish boil on Good Friday.  I still don't eat them.

This year the crawfish were the biggest I've ever seen.

The kids don't eat them either.  But they do enjoy playing with them.

After lunch the kids dyed eggs with MawMaw, mainly so she could make deviled eggs with the dyed eggs.

Most of them were really pretty.  But a couple of them ended up a bit on the grayscale because some children think they are color mixing scientists.

On Saturday we made crawfish bisque.  This is something I've been hearing about for the past 17 years.  Seth's MawMaw used to make it a lot, and it was one of his favorite dishes. His dad has been asking his mom to make it for about three years now, and it finally happened.  It's a rather labor intensive meal, but there were lots of us in the kitchen, and we did it over a couple of days.  The crawfish were boiled and peeled the first day, and the shells were soaked and cleaned really good.  I should mention here that the shells are actually called "heads."  But there's really nothing about this that looks like a head, even though I guess it's the head shell of the crawfish, so I'm going to stick with shells.  The next day we used to crawfish meat to make a stuffing and then stuffed the shells with it.  After the shells were stuffed, they were rolled in flour.

The stuffed shells were then browned in the skillet.  After that, they were added to the big pot.

Crawfish bisque is eaten over rice, much like gumbo.  It's as labor intensive to eat it as it is to make it because you have to scoop the stuffing out of each shell.  And then you line your bowl with the empty shells to see who eats the most.  Maybe that's a Bayham thing.  I think it's safe to say Avery liked it!

And, believe it or not, I ate it.  This was my bowl.  (No, I didn't eat the claw meat.  I just put those in there for the sake of the picture and then picked them out and gave them to Seth.)

And, just so you know, I ate it all.  It wasn't crawfish-y at all, mainly because we rinsed and cleaned everything really well and didn't put crawfish in the gravy.  There's a lot of seasoning in the stuffing, and the crawfish were ground up really fine so that masked the flavor, too.  But I decided that four was all I could do.  After that, I started tasting the crawfish, and I was done.  I would certainly make it again because my people enjoyed it so much.  I think I might would eat a little of it again.

And then we were up really early on Easter Sunday morning for the sonrise service.

Easter Sunday morning was also when Hannah Kate was baptized.

After church we ate lunch.  Here's the kids' table.  But do you notice what's wrong with the kids' table?  (Besides the fact that Ellie is complaining about her shoes, and Mason is being a goofball as usual . . . and I just don't even know WHO he gets it from!)  Avery is sitting over there at the adult table like a big dawg.  Now, I know he's 17 years old, and I understand he will be a high school senior in just a matter of weeks.  But, as far as I'm concerned, he will always be at the kids' table!

When we got home later that afternoon, we were all really tired from an early morning and a full weekend.  It was a good kind of tired though.  I'd prepared the kids' Easter baskets on Friday and already had them sitting out.  I was expecting them to ask to "open" them (I mean, they were in plain sight the entire weekend!), but they never did!  They didn't even really notice them.  So that's what we did when we got home.

And that was our Easter!  It was a really sweet time and, I think, one of my favorites!  Over the years we've been really diligent to teach the children and help them to understand why we celebrate Easter.  It's not about the bunny, the baskets, the hunts.  It's about Jesus.  

Monday, April 11, 2016

A First (and last) Time for Everything

The question I've been asked the most the past couple of days is, "How was your yard sale?"  And usually the question is followed by muffled laughter (or, in some cases, not so muffled).  And that's okay.  Because, honestly, I can't think about it or talk about it without laughing either.

Case in point . . .

My cousin called me last Friday.  She asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was just dropping off another load of stuff for my yard sale.  And then she started laughing.  Really laughing.  She said, "When I saw you were having a yard sale, I just died!  That is so NOT YOU at all.  I wish I was there to see it.  I'd even buy something from you for all the times we had yard sales when we were kids, and you'd come over and buy our junk!"  So, basically, she called me to LAUGH at me about my yard sale!  But that's okay.  She is so right.  I remember one yard sale they had . . . one of the items I bought was a large stuffed teddy bear that my uncle had given her for Valentine's Day!  I'm pretty sure I bought it for a quarter.  Thinking back on it now, that was quite hilarious!  That was also the last yard sale I went to!

My friend hosted the sale at her house because she lives in "town."  It took me three trips to get all of my stuff to her house.  And, let me just tell you, I felt like the Clampet's!  I realize some of you don't even know who the Clampet's are.  But that's what I felt like.

There were four families who participated in the sale.  We really did no planning whatsoever except put a date on the calendar back in February.  And then I tried not to think about it as much as possible.  I am just not a yard sale kind of girl.  And those who know me best know that!  I mean, I can't even shop at Marshall's or TJ Maxx or any of those places.  I totally can. not. do it.  I do not like to dig for what I'm looking for.  I am also not that girl who "lucks up" on the best finds.  Not me.  The only reason I even had this yard sale was because my friend insisted I needed to quit "donating" all of my stuff and instead make some money off of it.  Besides, she likes yard sales!  And she promised to help me.

We did absolutely no advertising.  I posted on Facebook a couple of days before the sale, and we put out a few signs the night before.  That was it.  So I was really thinking that people wouldn't come and that I wouldn't sell anything.  I kept telling that to my friend over and over, and she kept telling me I wouldn't bring anything back home except the Pottery Barn Kids bedding sets that I wasn't willing to negotiate price on.  She was right!

We put on our signs that the sale began at 7:00AM.  People began showing up right after 6:00!  It was absolutely crazy from about 6:45 until 7:15.  That's when we sold most of our stuff!  There were people everywhere.  All I could do really was sit back and watch my friend sell my stuff!  I really wish I'd taken pictures along the way, but I was so overwhelmed when we got there that I totally forgot.  I took only one picture.  This was shortly before 8:00.  A lot of our stuff had already sold.  And I didn't even get the entire sale in the picture.  The carport bay on the far left was full of furniture and clothes that you can't even see.
I still can't believe the stuff we sold!  Now, we also gave away a lot of stuff for free, too.  But still.  That big ole TV you see in the middle of this picture . . . that thing is a monster!  It is SO. HEAVY.  We got that TV when we bought our first house in 2003.  It was a flat screen, but it was still a box TV.  We had it upstairs in the playroom.  But when Mason got his Xbox, it wouldn't connect to this TV because the inputs on the back are obviously outdated.  We didn't expect anyone to buy it and had decided to just give it away if it came down to it.  But that thing sold for $20!  Seth was really glad it didn't come back home because he was tired of moving it everywhere.  I also sold the glass top table and chairs that Seth and I have had since we got married.  Many, many meals were eaten around that table and many conversations had.  But it's been in the attic for eight years now.  It's small and only seats four people.  So we really didn't have a use for it.  The cushions needed recovering, but the couple who bought it were so excited.  I sold one of my everyday china sets to a mom whose daughter had just moved into a new apartment and didn't have any dishes.

At the end of the day, I came home with $364!  I was very excited, particularly since my expectations were so low.  I'm going to sell my bedding sets online so that will be added to my profit, too.  My friend said we need to do this every year.  She hasn't seen my attic yet.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  It is clean!  I'm sure I can always find something to "donate," but I don't plan on having a need for a yard sale again!  My children are just relieved that they still have some toys left!  The best part of the whole thing was spending the day with my friends.  We had a good time and a lot of laughs.  There's a first, and sometimes a last, time for everything.  I'm quite certain this falls into both of those categories.  But I'd do a yard sale again if it meant I could spend the day with my friends!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

What's Up Wednesday (a week later)

Well.  This was supposed to be last Wednesday.  But I just didn't have time to put it together.  And since this is such an easy way to catch up on nearly a month of not blogging, I decided to do it today!

First of all, I just have to tell you what I ate my birthday weekend.  My birthday weekend really wasn't MY weekend.  It was full of dance and church stuff and a baseball tournament.  But that Friday night Seth took me out to our favorite restaurant.  There was a huge thunderstorm that evening, and the power went out as soon as we got there.  We were seated anyway and thought it wouldn't be out for long.  But, alas, it was.  And because Ruffino's is so awesome, they continued serving their customers anyway.  There were only a few menu items not available.  Most of their kitchen equipment is powered by gas.  We ate by candlelight.  So very literally!  It was still pretty dark, and I really couldn't see a whole lot of what I was eating.  But it didn't matter.  It was so. good!  I had a stuffed lobster tail, lobster cake and lobster spring rolls.

Saturday night Seth cooked supper for me.  We may not have been at Ruffino's that night, but we might as well have been!  This dish is most definitely Ruffino's worthy!  It was shrimp in a mushroom-prosciutto sauce served over fried eggplant medallions and pasta.  So. good!  He even used a garnish!  (Yes, we're still eating on Christmas china.  I have no excuse.)

And then Easter weekend I got a lesson in a south Louisiana favorite.  It took two days to prepare this meal.  Yes.  Two days.  That's a whole nother post in and of itself!  Crawfish bisque.

So.  This week.  Well, Monday night we had dance AND baseball.  So the kids were treated to the drive through, and I came home and ate leftovers.  Last night we had grilled chicken kabobs with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and pineapple.  Tonight we had grilled chicken burgers with Carolina sauce and slaw and homemade sweet potato chips.  Tomorrow night is a baseball game so I think we're going to have baked potatoes and a salad.  I went to the grocery store today and came home with Brussels sprouts, eggplant, asparagus and purple (yes!) cauliflower.  I love looking in my frig right now.  I feel a veggie night coming!

The thing most on my mind lately is vacation.  I'm ready.  I need one!  I was hoping to get out of town a few days last week during spring break, but that just didn't happen.

I've been thinking a lot lately about our Disney trip.  I want to go back so badly!  As a matter of fact, I even googled "how to become a Disney travel agent" the other day thinking I would try to earn some kind of discount on a trip.  The last time we went, Ellie was a baby, and she "didn't count."  But now we're a family of five, and that counts A LOT at Disney.  Hopefully soon we can go back.  The sooner the better, honestly!  That is, hands down, my favorite family vacation we've taken.

Looking back through all of our pictures, I'd forgotten just how much fun the kids had.  You can read about our adventures here:  Day 1 (Hollywood Studios), Day 2 (Epcot), Day 3 (Animal Kingdom), Day 4 (Magic Kingdom) and Day 5 (Magic Kingdom).

I've also thought a lot lately about mine and Seth's trip out west last summer.  We visited Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  I hope he takes me back one day!  I'd love to take the kids, too.

Hhhmmm.  The first thing that comes to mind right now is our BSF study in the book of Revelation.  We had spring break last week, and I was so excited to go back today.  We have only four weeks left!  I am going to miss it so when we break for summer.  I was sad today because I really miss serving as a Children's Leader.  I haven't been sad about that in awhile.  But today I was.  When I shared with a friend, she said it probably had more to do with us being so close to the end of the year.  I think she might be right.

We've also had some lovely weather this week!  It finally stopped raining.  I told Seth tonight that I really want to snag some patio furniture for our back porch so I can enjoy it more before the summer heat sets in.

I mentioned that last week was spring break.  We had a little unexpected surprise.  We had the privilege of babysitting this angel baby for a few days while her mommy was at work.  She is 9 months old.  I so enjoyed having a baby in the house again!  Of course, "Can I hold baby Kelly?" was on CONSTANT REPLAY all week!  And I'm quite certain we overwhelmed her.  But we really did have such a good time!

I managed to do some more painting last week, too.  The playroom side of our little renovation project is now finished (except for one last little electrical thing that Seth is responsible for).  It could probably use another coat of paint on the walls, but I just can't even.  I still have to paint Ellie's door and a wall of trim in her room.

Baseball will officially be in full swing tomorrow.  So we'll be spending a lot of time during the next couple of months at the ballpark.  I'm trying to get excited about that.

We're also finishing up our very first homeschool year.  My goal is just to finish well and finish with excellence.  We have one month left.

Well.  I'm having a yard sale this weekend.  My sweet friend actually agreed to host it.  She lives in a more populated area than I do so hopefully we'll have a good turn out.  I've never done this before, as it is totally not my thing.  I will just be so glad when it's over.  I'm excited to hopefully be getting rid of toys, bedding, furniture, that stupid pre-lit Christmas tree that is now 1/3 unlit, dishes, picture frames, pictures and other miscellaneous items.  I really do not want to bring any of it back home.  So whatever is left at the end of the day will hit the jackpot.  They can just take. it. all.  I would really just like to blink my eyes and it all be over with.

I think I've already mentioned that.  Yard sale . . . Ellie's room . . . homeschool.  But what I'm hoping to begin working on after those projects are completed is my garden!

Getting rid of stuff at my yard sale . . .

The end of our first homeschool year . . .

Lazy spring nights on my back porch . . .

The beach (That's not til June, but I'm still excited about it.) . . .

I'm currently not watching anything.  I just don't know how people have time for that.  I haven't watched a series of anything on television in several years (except DVDs of Downton Abbey, and I'm still two seasons behind!).  I'm currently reading Tom Sawyer (again) only because it's Mason's required reading this month.  We read it last summer.  And it was great.  But I really didn't plan on reading it again.  Sigh.  I have Kate Morton's The Lake House sitting on my night stand, but I just keep staring at it.  It's like I'm saving it for something.  I'm not sure what.  I really want to be reading it.  So I don't know why I'm not.  It's probably because it's the last of her books I haven't read, and I'll be sad when it's over.  But I think I've decided to go to the library on Friday to see if they have O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln or Killing Kennedy.  I know.  That is so random.  But I really want to read those books!  Hannah Kate and I just finished up studying a unit on President Lincoln and the Civil War.  So I guess I'm in a history state of mind.  There are also a few memoirs I'm interested in reading.  I love reading people's stories!

Right now, nothing (unless you consider the hum of my dishwasher).  And the silence is pure golden!

I told you last time we were skipping that from now on!

Yard sale.  The end.  What I would LIKE to be doing this weekend is fishing.  Yes.  Fishing. That's just an excuse to be out on the water.  It's been a long time.  And it's time.

So technically this is an April question.  April will be defined by dance lessons in preparation for the recital and baseball.  I love that my children are having fun.  And that's the part of it I look forward to.

I really think that's about it.