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Friday, September 02, 2016

What's Up on a Friday

I know it's not Wednesday.  But I just never got this one finished.  Until now.  So here we go.

WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK
Monday night we had hamburgers.  Seth once told me that if he could eat only one thing everyday of the rest of his life, it would be a burger.  That wasn't the answer I expected.  But Monday night I reminded myself that I sure could make meal prep a whole lot easier and less time consuming if I remembered this one little tip and took its advice!  Tuesday night we had grilled chili lime chicken fajitas.  I also made homemade guacamole.  Really and truly, I can't think of much better than that!  Last night we had the kids' favorite poppyseed chicken casserole.  I rather enjoyed the speckled butter beans and roasted cauliflower.  Tonight we had fried fish.  But what I was most excited about this week was my chicken and dumplings.  For the first time ever in my entire life, I made chicken and dumplings.

In Louisiana, folks talk about food all. the. time.  I used to not understand it, but I guess I've gotten used to it now.  I never could figure out why, at lunch time, we'd be talking about what was to eat for supper!  I mean, we weren't even finished eating lunch!  The kids, especially Mason, are always asking what we're going to have to eat.  It usually never fails that, during supper time, Mason will ask what's for supper the FOLLOWING night.

Anyway, we've had lots of conversations during the past year about chicken and dumplings.  Seth's dad has mentioned on more that one occasion that he sure would love some chicken and dumplings.  But, apparently, just like everything else, there's more than one way to make chicken and dumplings.  And, it's my understanding that here it's eaten over rice.  I just can't imagine that.  I'm pretty sure it's starchy and hearty enough without rice.  But whatever.  So before he had open heart surgery, I promised him I'd make chicken and dumplings after he got home from the hospital.  Seth suggested I wait a few weeks so he could actually enjoy it.  That day was today.  I even used bone-in, skin-on chicken that I boiled to make the stock.  This is a huge deal for me.  My father-in-law is always poking fun at my boneless, skinless chicken.  Anyway, I also made the dumplings from scratch, too.  It really wasn't difficult at all and not as time consuming as I thought it would be.  I guess it tastes like it's supposed to.  Hannah Kate really enjoyed it.  Ellie ate it, too.  So I might do it again.

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT
Goodness.  I'm really not sure!  My mind and my time has been so full of homeschooling and the flood that I really haven't thought about much else or even had time to think about anything else.

WHAT I'M LOVING
Oh my goodness!  I don't think I have anything for this one either!  I guess I can say I'm loving that today is September 2.  That means, according to the calendar at least, that summer time is gone.  And, let me tell you.  I'm glad for that.  Really glad.  This was definitely not my favorite summer.  It also means that fall is on the way.  At least in theory.  We won't really enjoy a fall in south Louisiana, but the day is coming when it won't feel like 105 degrees outside.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO
We are finally back into the routine of homeschool and dance.  I say that.  It's taken awhile to get here.  We started school and then had a week of due to the flood.  So now we've been back at it for two weeks.  Mason and Hannah Kate both LOVE Sequitur (the classical Christian "school" they attend two mornings a week).  Mason is so excited to see his friends again.  He's also really enjoying history this year.  The main focus is US history with Bible and world history intertwined.  I have to admit that I'm really enjoying it, too.  Hannah Kate said the only thing she doesn't like is that she goes to Sequitur only two mornings a week and not everyday!  She is thriving, and I knew she would.  I'm so excited for her!  

We missed the first week of dance because we were volunteering for disaster relief.  Needless to say, both girls couldn't wait to put on their dancing shoes again.  Hannah Kate has dance on Wednesdays.  She's taking jazz, ballet and lyrical this year.  She's been waiting two years to take lyrical, and she says that's her favorite right now.


Unfortunately, the girls do not have dance on the same night this year.  So we have to go back to the studio on Thursday for Ellie's class.  She has been ready since the recital!  As a matter of fact, she was so ready for her first day back in class that she wouldn't put her dance bag down, not even while she was doing her school work!  

Ellie didn't quite understand why Miss Jade isn't her teacher again this year, but she quickly fell in love with Miss Jillian.  I told her that Miss Jillian was the teacher's assistant in Hannah Kate's class her very first year of dance six years ago, and Miss Jillian is Miss Jade's sister.  But it made all the difference in the world when Miss Jillian told her class of little ballerinas last week that they were princesses when they dance and that they needed to dance with good posture so their crowns don't fall off.  Well.  That did it for Ellie.  She's reminded me MORE THAN ONCE now that she's a princess when she dances.

Seth and I spent the last two weekends mudding out a couple of houses.  I've washed laundry for four families now.  Seth asked me when I first got started how many loads I'd done.  I told him I wasn't keeping count.  And I didn't.  So I have no idea.  But I can tell you I've used over a jug of laundry detergent that says 103 loads, and I've used three bottles of pinesol.  But, really, it doesn't matter.  I've never enjoyed doing laundry so much in my life!  And that's a fact!

WHAT I'M DREADING
Well, I don't really have anything here either.  Traffic has been really bad lately so I guess you could say I pretty much dread it every time I have to drive to Baton Rouge.  And that's four days a week, twice a day.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I don't really have any ongoing projects right now.  I did start my Christmas shopping in July and have made pretty good progress.  I would love to finish that up by the end of the month, but it might not be until October.  We're going to Disney in just over a month so I've been making reservations and working on our fast passes and such.  We're about to start rehearsing for the Christmas musical at church so that will be a pretty big project this fall.  Maybe I DO have ongoing projects!

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words?  Well, here you go!

I have to be honest though.  I haven't thought about college football at. all.  Until today.  Seth asked me Monday night at supper who Georgia plays this weekend, and I didn't even know!  I've been so distracted, mostly by the flooding, that I haven't read anything, watched anything, thought about anything football.  So here's where I am.  I'm not sure about this year for my team.  Usually, I'm cautiously optimistic.  But right now I'm neutral.  I'm hoping all of that will change come tomorrow and that I'll officially be in the "football mood."  

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING
I just read Lysa TerKeurst's new book, Uninvited.  It is, hands down, one of my favorite books of the year!  I highlighted pretty much the whole thing!  It spoke to places and spaces that needed speaking to and really encouraged me.  Seth brought in a whole stack of mail tonight.  I didn't even realize that we hadn't checked the mailbox since last week! Well, there were several unexpected happies, including Lysa's The Best Yes that my mom sent me.  I've been wanting to read that book for many, many reasons, and now I can see it's time.  I'm sure I'll devour it quickly, and I'm excited about what the Lord has for me through that book.  Mason and I are currently reading Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.  I'm enjoying it thus far, and I think it has a great lesson to teach.  And, for a biography of sorts that my 6th grades is required to read, it's pretty interesting, too.

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO
My dishwasher.  Yes.  My dishwasher.  It's really noisy.  I'm not sure if that's because it's in the kitchen island or because it's just a noisy dishwasher.

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND
Football.  

We could probably just leave it at that.  But Troy, April and the boys are coming into town tomorrow for the long weekend so we'll be spending time with them.  The kids and I made some little mini key lime pies today.  Tomorrow morning I have to go to the grocery store (which I NEVER do on the weekend, but traffic was so bad this week that the two times I tried to go, I couldn't get there), but I'm also planning to whip up a couple more of my pinterest recipes, including dark chocolate coconut blondies (these sound SO GOOD to me) and salted caramel pretzel mini cheesecakes (cheesecake and caramel and sea salt . . . yes, please!).  I'm not sure why I'm on such a baking frenzy.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH
Well, that would technically be this month now.  I think I've already covered that.  But just in case you forgot . . .

WHAT ELSE IS NEW
As difficult as these past couple of months have been in and around the Baton Rouge area, there is no doubt that I see the hand of God working mightily here!  It's discouraging.  It really has been.  But times like these open the door for God to do something big.  That's what I'm looking for, that's what I'm praying for.  I mostly pray that hearts will be changed and lives will be saved, that people who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior will indeed come to know Him and enter into relationship with Him.  He's doing that.  He's calling people to Himself!  This flood has been absolutely horrible and devastating and truly catastrophic and unbelievable, but in the midst of it all, there has been so much GOOD.  

You know what God did this week?  He called one of my college roommates, whom I haven't seen in ELEVEN YEARS, to come to Denham Springs with her church in North Carolina to serve in disaster relief.  Never, ever saw that coming!  So Wednesday night I picked her up and we ate Mexican and spent four hours catching up.
 
Y'all.  It was such a sweet time, such a NEEDED time for me!  We saw each other a handful of times during the five years after we graduated, but it was always at a wedding or baby shower or funeral.  Of course, I moved away right after we graduated.  She and her husband, Gerald, eventually moved away from Georgia, too.  Gerald is a full-time worship minister.  They were called to Florida for several years and then to North Carolina.  So it's been difficult for our paths to cross because our trips "home" to Georgia never coincided.  We made the most of our four hours and caught up as much as we possibly could.  It was so exciting to hear how the Lord has worked in her life and in Gerald's life following the years we graduated.  It was so exciting to hear about their ministry now and their children and their home in North Carolina.  It was so nice to just catch up and simply be with a friend who was such a big part of my life during one of the most favorite times of my life.  We both agreed that there was still so much more we wanted to talk about and that we would do a much better job of keeping in touch.  I am just so grateful that the Lord sent her here this week, not only for me but for the families whose homes she mudded out, who she gave Bibles to, who she shared the love of Christ with.  Because who would've thought that it would be here in south Louisiana that I would catch up with my roommate and friend who now lives in North Carolina?!    

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