Friday, July 31, 2009

Runnin' on Empty

We're all pretty worn out around here. ^J^ has his last week of CPE next week and he's beyond ready to be done, I'm tired of the montony of our daily routine (and the rain does not help!), the kids are fine I think, they seem to thrive on the routine I'm tired of, but I've suddenly realized next week is the last week before school starts for *A* and I'm having mixed feelings.

She's only attending a half-day preschool this year because I couldn't really bear the thought of her in public school, all-day, Pre-K yet, but I'm still in disbelief our summer is over. The preschool starts back at the same time as public school so it's more convienent for parents, but my summer isn't over yet and I don't really want hers to be over yet either. It's gone by really fast and we haven't done nearly what I thought we'd do. Such is life I suppose.

On the other hand, a new schedule will be a welcome change and I know she's excited to meet new friends and be in school. We're contemplating sending (H) to the preschool for 3 days a week as well, but again, I wish I could start them in a few weeks instead when ^J^ and I go back to the seminary school routine.

I'm really looking forward to things starting up at the seminary this year. The new families are great and there are so many new young kids. I'm the director for the Parent's Morning Out program this year, so I'm getting excited about planning for that as well. ^J^ is partially in charge of Orientation for the new students so he's been working on that this summer as well. It's been really nice to be one of the welcoming, more "seasoned" families for the new people. I so vividly remember being in their shoes last year and it's interesting to see the similarities of people's questions/concerns. I much prefer being "in the know" but it's such a hard thing to explain to people, you really just have to live this experience to fully appreciate it and understand it.

We're having a whirlwind trip to Michigan (again, but not as far north) next weekend for ^J^'s cousin's wedding, and then the next day after we get back, Orientation will start and preschool will start. That's going to be pretty crazy and we'll all be running on more than empty for the next few days after that. Soooo, I'm going to try really hard to focus on the now and on our last week of summer because in a few short weeks, the hectic pace of school starting up again is going to take over, and I know I'll miss these lazy summer days.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Camp Mommy

Yesterday we went to Atlanta to drop the kiddos off with ^J^'s parents for 2 days. It's been a really long time since they've spent the night somewhere and I think this might be the first time for a 3 day/2 night trip. I'm telling people they are at Camp Gram&Papa.
I miss them terribly but I'm also getting a LOT accomplished. We went on a double-date last night to see Harry Potter at the drive-in. It was very fun (until we saw the rat-like creature wandering around between the cars, but then found out it was a raccoon) and quite cold! Today ^J^ is gone all morning at a meeting so I'm lounging, and cleaning, and watching the food network while drinking coffee and eating leftover junior mints from last night. I'm hoping to get the kids' closets cleaned out and clothes ready for a consignment sale in Nashville next week. But first I think I'll go lay on the couch and watch Giada make some yummy Italian food. Isn't Camp Mommy great?!

Monday, July 20, 2009


That's the sound of the week flying by. I honestly thought I had just written that previous blog post and now see it was a week ago. Yikes!

It been one of those summer weeks where the days all run together and I really can't remember much of anything that happened. We've been hanging out a good bit with some of the new families and helping them move-in/letting the kids play. I do remember this weekend though. It was so beautiful and unseasonably cool. Friday we had a nice visit from my parents complete with a lazy afternoon fishing and the Friday night cookout at the park. Saturday we visited the farmer's market for squash, onion, tomaotes(yay, finally!), and blueberries. We are loving the blueberries right now. blueberry cobbler, blueberry pancakes, and just plain ol' blueberries for an afternoon snack. Saturday night we hosted 3 families and their children (we were out numbered 10 kids to 8 adults!) for dinner and a rousing game of celebrity. Good times.
Sunday was church, a quick lunch, and then a mommy afternoon date with my new friend to see Harry Potter!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Creative

Well, since we are pretty much unemployed this summer, we've had to get really creative about money/eating/entertainment. We've been pretty proud of the meals we've managed to pull together and it really helps that many of our graduating Senior friends gave us the contents of their freezer before they left. Here are some of the meals we've had to eat this week using up the contents of the pantry, freezer, and a few choice items from the farmer's market:

Black beans and yellow rice with chicken and homemade zuchini bread
Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches, mixed veggies, and homemade blueberry crisp for dessert.
Beef tips over brown rice with peas and smoothies for dessert.

I'd venture to say we're eating better than when we had more choices, and I know we're making things that we wouldn't usually think of to make. We're using the crock-pot more and having to plan meals ahead since we're having to pull things out of the freezer in time. It's a nice realization of why we resort to fast food/going out at times, because we simply didn't plan ahead.

As far as entertainment, we loved the FREE festival last weekend and we were able to bring in our own food in which was awesome. We did splurge a bit on some festival food because who can resist homemade peach cobbler cooked in a dutch oven over a fire served with homemade, hand-churned vanilla ice cream? Yum.

We're also doing lots of trips to storytimes at local libraries and a lot of playing outside: long walks with all 3 dogs (they do much better than I thought!), exploring (we borrowed a GPS and tried our 1st experience with was fun but only semi-successful), and daily trips to a nearby park.

Now we're off to naps so we can help another new family move in this afternoon. *A*'s found a new buddy already from one of the new families who arrived Monday, and pretty soon all her old buddies will be returning from their summer breaks. Before we know it, we'll have too much on our plates, but for now we're enjoying making our own fun (and food).

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Final Installment

Here are some last pictures of Michigan. I can only re-live it for so long I guess.

A rockin' band at the Polka Fest in Cedar, MI

Nana and *A* dancing their version of the polka

Going to the Fireworks in our Red, White, and Blue jammies!


(H) pretending to surf at the little beach by our house.

Cherry Picking

Swimming at Lake Michigan

The water there is freezing!

My obsession while we're at the beach, rock-collecting.

Some worn out kids

New Seminary families are starting to move to the mountain next week so I'm busy preparing welcome-buckets as part of my job with the spouses of the seminary board. The kids and I shopped at Wal-Mart for the supplies today and we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with our overflowing cart. They were so good at helping though which was great because otherwise I probably would have had to leave and not be able to get all that I needed. We're headed to the Friday night cookout tonight, and then ^J^ is entering a banjo contest tomorrow at the old-time music festival Uncle Dave Macon Days . I'm looking forward to watching the buck dancing (like funky clogging) and seeing if the kids try to dance along. Have a old-timey fun weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Scenes from Michigan

Here are some more of our adventures:

::Enjoying cherry ginger ale at Cherry Republic::

::Getting ready to Hike the Dunes at Sleeping Bear National Monument::

::She left us all in the dust!::

::Trailing behind but working hard!::

::We made it! *A* at the top::

::Picnic at the Dunes, we worked up an appetite!::



::Distant Cousins, but good friends::

::Riding in Gramps' Boat::

::Listening to a story at the Cherry Festival::

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Home Recovering

We're home from our whirlwind, wonderful trip Up North. The weather was cool and rainy most of the first half, but we welcomed it gladly after no rain and 90s here; and we just ran outside to play and explore in between showers. The 2nd half was perfectly warm and sunny just in time for a few days at the beach, the 4th, and the beginnning of the Cherry Festival. It really went by too fast, as it always does, but it's good to be home too. To sweep dog hair, do laundry, tend the garden, open piles of mail, and play with toys we haven't seen in a while. Today was beautiful in Sewanee so that helped with the transition, and being in the car for 14 hours made us ready for the comforts of home too.
Here are some pictures of our adventures. More tomorrow.

They finally fell asleep about 8 hours in.
Gramps introduced "fresh air time" when we'd put our sunglasses on and windows down at 85mph. The kids loved it of course!

One of those cooler rainy days, but still beautiful.

Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse, it sits on the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the north pole.

Kids at the lighthouse, *A* was mad at me in this picture because I wouldn't let her follow this one family (with 2 girls to play with) around the whole day.