Passing Time… Monday, April 16, 2018

Passing Time… Monday, April 16, 2018

When Andrew is out of town I always fill like we are just passing time until he returns. We always miss him and our activities, especially meal time, doesn’t feel the same without him. This week Andrew is on a trip to D.C.! He is part of a scholarship group that has taken three or four trips throughout the year. (He has been to Kansas city, Miami, D.C., and I think I’m forgetting one…) On each trip they have visited about three different churches, talked to the pastors about their congregations and the different types of ministry each church is involved in. He seems to have enjoyed each experience. I am a little jealous this time. I have never been to D.C., and I would love to visit all the national monuments some day. (We miss you honey-bunches! 😉 )

Emma and I went grocery shopping this morning, and I have some pretty good meals planned for this week. Since Andrew is not going to be here to cook dinner on the days I teach, we have a lot of make ahead/slow cooker, and leftovers on the menu this week.

Here it is!

Mmm…delicious!

Monday: Lunch, Enchiladas (I had several leftover from Saturday night.) Dinner, Pot Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, and Green beans.

Tuesday: Lunch, Sesame Chicken wraps. (leftover from Sunday Lunch…see below!) Dinner, Sloppy Joes and French Fries (I’m going to make the sloppy joe meat early in the day and just put it in the crock pot to keep it warm.)

Wednesday: Lunch, Polish Sausage and Navy Beans. Dinner, (We are going to eat at Slim’s Chicken before choir practice!)

Thursday: Lunch, Roast Beef Sandwiches and Chips. Dinner, Baked Spaghetti (It’s in the freezer!)

Friday: Lunch, Patty Melts and french fries. Dinner, Surf and Turf Cajun Pasta. 

Saturday: Lunch, Pizza. Dinner Roast Chicken, potatoes, and asparagus. 

Sunday: Lunch, Chicken Spaghetti. Dinner, Steak Fajitas.

Yesterday for lunch I tried a slow cooker sesame chicken recipe. I was a bit skeptical, but it actually turned out very good! Even David liked it! 🙂 He usually doesn’t go for anything that looks like it has a sauce on it. Which is funny considering he dips everything in ketchup!  Click here for the recipe! I put it all in the crockpot before church, and it was ready and smelling amazing when we walked in the door! I fixed some rice and edamame to go with it!

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Sunday Lunch!

Yesterday afternoon the kids were playing in water. I filled two big stock pots with about a quarter of water in the bottom, (yes, I knew it would end up all over the floor) and let them play with cups and toys. Emma found it fun to drink the water. David likes to pour, measure and weigh with his toy set. The water was everywhere, and Emma was soaked by the time she was done! It was funny. 🙂 My floor also got cleaned!20180415_171033_HDR

Yesterday evening a tried a baked spaghetti recipe. It also turned out good. I used a meatless recipe because I was out of a LOT of ingredients. I happened to find a recipe that I had ingredients for, and it’s not much! Spaghetti noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese, one egg and a half cup of milk. That’s it! This recipe was also a big hit. Emma liked it more than David, but they both ate really good. I loved it, but then I love anything with a lot of cheese! 🙂 I forgot to take a picture before digging into it! I was starving, and so was Emma! As you can see from the photo, we had enough left over for another meal or two!

Here is the recipe!

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Here is my sweet picture of the week!

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You can’t really tell from the picture, but it’s David (and his stuffed pet snake) giving Emma a kiss! 🙂 The cutest thing ever was when they both gave each other a kiss on the lips!!! I didn’t have my camera ready for that one, and there was no way I could get them to recreate it! 🙂 Moments like that are rare! So I try to treasure them! 🙂

 

 

Home Owners! Friday, April 13, 2018

Home Owners! Friday, April 13, 2018

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We Bought A HOUSE!!!! We bought a house? We Bought A HOUSE!!!!!!! Isn’t it beautiful!! What color should I paint the front door? That’s a magnolia tree in the front yard! I am super excited!!! It’s the house I had to do a little sweet talkin’ and nudging to get Andrew to come around to. 😉 We put an offer in on Tuesday evening, we came to an agreement, and the house inspection was today. The inspection came back good with only a couple minor things to fix! The seller is going to replace carpets in the bedrooms and do the painting for us. We just have to pick out the materials! I have ordered a new area rug for the living room that I’m going to use as a color palette. I’m so happy to be getting a new area rug for the living room! I was thankful for our current one, but I am getting pretty sick of it now! 🙂 I want to refurbish our coffee and end tables, and David’s chest of drawers. There are also a few other projects I will want to do in the future to help spruce up the kitchen and the bathrooms! I can’t believe we are going to be home owners! Since when did we get so old? I hope we can handle it! We’re not very good diy’ers! I’ll have to watch a lot of “how to” videos on youtube!

Other than buying a house, it has been a pretty normal week around here. We are still waiting for our appliances to be fixed, so I have had to deviate from our meal plan slightly. Oh well, it keeps things exciting. Emma and I have come down with a terrible cold! ICK! I thought this sort of thing was supposed to be over and done with for the spring and summer!

Yesterday evening I was doing the dinner dishes. David and Emma were playing around in the house, and I couldn’t see or hear Emma. I asked David, “Where is Emma?” He comes back into the kitchen and exclaims, “Emma thinks Zoe’s litter box is a sand box.” You cannot imagine the horror of hearing this phrase!! I immediately went and picked Emma up off the floor (yes, she was playing in cat —-!), took her to the bathroom and scrubbed her with soap and water! I was mortified! She has never bothered the litter box before, and I don’t know why, but she was getting into everything yesterday evening!

The weather was beautiful yesterday, and I put a sweet little dress on Emma. She was playing outside, and I decided to take a picture. I couldn’t get her to pose, she was too busy!

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The other day after I came home from teaching I took the kids out on the back porch to play. Zoe went outside too as she usually does. We had not been out very long, and Zoe went crazy! She was hissing and MEOWing at all of us. This is the same reaction she has had before when spotting another cat outside, but this time I didn’t see anything! I don’t know if she thought she saw a snake or what. It was insane! Emma just stood there staring, and David was crying it scared him so badly. I had to take the kids back inside, and we left Zoe outside. I explained to David that Zoe was just scared and trying to protect us. He eventually calmed down and agreed. Zoe was on edge the rest of the evening though. I don’t know what it was! Cat craziness!

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David has had this thing lately where he finds it funny, or it’s his way of getting attention…I’m not sure. He will say “poop” or phrases similar. (No actual bad words, yet. I dread that stage!) I know this sounds almost funny as I write it, but it’s not! It’s annoying!  I don’t know where he is getting it! Maybe it’s because he is a boy? When he starts talking like this I send him to the bathroom…I am trying to get him to realize we don’t talk like this. That these are potty words, but it’s not working! SIGH! HELP!

 

Appliance Malfunction! Sunday, April 8, 2018

Appliance Malfunction! Sunday, April 8, 2018

Last night I was prepping dinner. I decided to make my own version of a super moist baked chicken recipe. I mixed together a half cup of mayonnaise, two teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, two teaspoons of paprika, teaspoon of thyme, and the zest of a lemon. I smothered the chicken breasts in the mixture, placed them in the baking pan and put them in the oven to bake. I started peeling my potatoes to go in the pot of almost boiling water I had on the stove. I looked over at the stove and realized something was not quite right. I forgot to turn the oven on! So I took out the chicken, (Silly, scatter brained me! You would think that I would have noticed that it wasn’t hot when I put the chicken in! Sigh!) turned the oven on to 425 degrees, and waited for it to heat up. I then noticed the oven making a clicking sound. (Our stove/oven is gas.) Anytime anything makes a clicking sound it is generally not a good thing! I checked to see if it was heating up, it was not. I turned it off and tried it again. This time it seemed to work. I waited a while and put the chicken in the oven. It never reached the 425 degrees, and it took forever for my chicken to bake. At one point I think it even stopped heating because it didn’t feel hot enough when I opened the oven door to check the chicken. About an hour and a half later we took the chicken out of the oven and finished cooking it on the stove top! Was I ever frustrated!!!  Despite all that went wrong the chicken actually turned out really good! We will have to have a repair man come and check out our oven this week! (Our dryer is also making a funny knocking sound. However, it is still drying. We’ll probably need to have that looked at too!)

The kids had fun playing in shaving cream yesterday afternoon! Emma was like, what am I supposed to do with this? I don’t think she really liked how it felt on her hands.:) David had all kinds of fun with it! He had it smeared all over the table, himself, and we eventually ended up in the bathtub where he continued to smear it everywhere! At least he was very clean by the end of it! 🙂

 

This afternoon David and I made brownies! He did pretty much all of it by himself today. I just had to help him measure the ingredients, and make sure the batter was completely mixed up. Yes he had ingredients everywhere, and chocolate all over him! Everyone knows the best part of baking is licking the batter!:)

I usually bake my brownies in the oven, but since our oven is on the fritz, I cooked them in our iron skillet. I had never done this before, and was very skeptical that they would turn out to be edible. They are wonderful! I was very surprised! I use Rachel Rays fudgy one pot brownie recipe. I fell in love with this recipe the first time I tried it! It is so easy, and the brownies are incredible!

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A funny David story: At lunch today David was having a difficult time eating his food. I asked if he had had a lot of snacks at church. Come to find out they had breakfast in between services this morning, and David had a donut. The funny part is the way David started talking about his donut. He said with a serious and sort of breathlessness, “That donut was very sweet. It was so good. You have no idea how good that donut was.”

Andrew and I had to turn our heads and crack up under our breaths! 🙂 It was so funny! If only I had it on video!

Here is our menu for the week! Assuming our oven is fixed soon!

Mmm…delicious!

Monday: Lunch, Ham and Cheese paninis with chips. Dinner: Steak, baked potatoes, spinach salad.

Tuesday: Lunch, Polish sausage and navy beans. Dinner, Chicken celery bake.

Wednesday: Lunch, Sloppy joes and french fries. Dinner, Chicken piccata

Thursday: Lunch, Beef noodle stir fry. Dinner, Curried rice, grilled fish and asparagus.

Friday: Lunch, Grilled chicken fajitas. Dinner: Pizza and salad.

Saturday: Lunch, eat out. Dinner, Beef enchiladas.

Sunday: Lunch, Crockpot sesame chicken, with steamed rice and broccoli. Dinner, Baked Spaghetti 

House Hunting! Saturday, April 7, 2018

House Hunting! Saturday, April 7, 2018

We have spent the last couple of days house hunting! It is an interesting experience looking at homes. I suddenly feel like an episode of house hunters. (I watch too much HGTV!) Andrew and I have had some differing opinions on what we want in a home. Andrew likes the brand new homes where everything is shiny and new. I’m not afraid of a little fixer upper as long as it has the square footage. Also, I like more yard space between houses. When the houses are all squished up together in a neighbor hood I feel claustrophobic. Andrew doesn’t care if a house is in a neighbors yard. We looked at several houses, and I think we have found one that I talked him into! 🙂 It has the square footage we are looking for, but it does need a little tlc. We are still a long way from being able to say we bought a house, but I’m hopeful.

I am thinking about wall colors, carpets (I believe we prefer carpet in the bedrooms), and refurbishing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I have no experience with do it yourself projects like this. I could use some painting advice, color palette ideas, etc. Are there any websites or apps that are great for this?

David and Emma went house hunting with us. They were real troopers considering the long drive and everything! We did find time for a little fun too. Yesterday morning we went to the Memphis children’s museum. It was really awesome! I took a few pictures of the kids. Emma was mesmerized by the carousel! This was her first time on a carousel where she was able to sit on the moving horse.

Both David and Emma loved the water tables. David tried very hard to catch a fish. He became frustrated because he couldn’t catch one and threw his pole into the water. (A little like Papa?) Another kid came up and grabbed the pole. David went into melt down mode because he wanted his pole back. We had to have a lesson in sharing and waiting patiently for another fishing pole. He finally got another pole and caught a fish. 🙂

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We are all spending this cold spring day inside, recuperating from driving and house hunting.

 

 

“Faith Of A Child” Monday, April 2, 2018

“Faith Of A Child” Monday, April 2, 2018

We had a very busy, but wonderful Easter weekend! Good Friday is always a peculiar feeling day to me. It is the day we recognize Jesus’ death on the cross. The first part of the day is really no different than any other, but I have those thoughts of making sure I’m prepared for the service which is recognition/re-enactment of Jesus’ death. By the evening I’m feeling somber, sorrowful, awe, and thankful that Jesus loved me enough to suffer through such torture and death. David learned about the Easter story at school last week, and we have been talking about it at home too. It is easy to explain the birth of Jesus at Christmas because baby’s being born is something that is fairly familiar and understandable. It is something that is celebrated. However, I find Easter to be much more difficult. As parents we want to shield and protect our children from terrible things.  The torture and death of Jesus is just that, terrible, however much necessary for the salvation of sinners. Plus the resurrection is miraculous! How many people do you know that have risen from the grave?  Even though it may have been difficult for me to talk about to David, he was eager to listen and believe! (I know there is a faith lesson here somewhere!) The resurrection is the whole reason we celebrate Easter.  It takes the faith of a child to believe in such a fairy tale like story.

These pictures were sent to me by our dear nursery workers. Friday evening during the service they were playing dress up, and making food crafts. Emma appears to be eating her craft! 🙂 David had a great time playing swords!

 

My parents were able to come and spend Easter weekend with us! This was so exciting!! I was thrilled to have them come, and the kids loved it! Saturday, while the weather was nice, David and Emma played outside with Papa and Nana.

Emma found a mud puddle in the back yard and started playing in it. It was HILARIOUS!  (I have video of David when he was Emma’s age doing the same thing!) She was stomping in the puddle, feeling of it with her hands, and then shaking them off! David of course was playing in it too! Emma had to have a bath immediately when she was finished! Nana didn’t mind giving her a bath. 😉

 

I made a batch of yeast dough and used half of it to make cinnamon rolls for breakfasts and the other half as yeast rolls for Sunday lunch! We also had ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffed eggs, and angel food cake for Easter lunch. I had never made an angel food cake before, but I have great memories of eating it at church potlucks where either my grandmother or my mom would make it. I have to brag on myself and the recipe I used. My cake turned out every bit as good as what I remembered! 20180331_174430_HDR

Andrew made some whipped cream and I made some strawberry glaze to go over the cake! It was heavenly! 🙂 Here is the recipe! Emma enjoyed the strawberries and cream!

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Everyone has been posting their beautiful, amazingly posed easter pictures on social media. I have to say I’m a bit jealous because all our pictures looked something like this! 🙂

Andrew had a sunrise service, a nine and eleven o’clock. I only had our regular worship service, but for some reason the kids were all tired and cranky by the time we were together to take any pictures!

I did manage to get a decent pose with me, the kids, and dad and mom. My parents are a gorgeous couple!

 

The weather was icky on Sunday, so we had an indoor egg hunt. David hunted eggs while Emma was taking her afternoon nap, and then Emma hunted eggs when she woke up. It was so sweet! David hid the eggs, and we helped her go around and find them. When Emma would spot an egg, she would set her basket down, pick up the egg, and place it in the basket. She would then get so excited about it! Cutie pa-tootie!!!

The kids had a wonderful time hanging out with Papa and Nana!

Emma loves bubbles!! She gets excited, claps her hands, and exclaims “BUBBLES!”. Nana brought Emma bubbles in her easter basket. So we were blowing bubbles indoors yesterday! 20180401_171742_HDR

 

I am thankful for Jesus’ death and resurrection. The victory over death, and love we share because of Him. He is Risen!

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Here is our menu for this week! (Sorry it’s a little late! I was enjoying family fun yesterday!)

Mmm…Delicious! 

Monday: Lunch, We ate out with my parents! Dinner, Pretty Penne Ham Skillet. (This was amazing! A great way to use up some leftover ham too! Here is the recipe!)

Tuesday: Lunch, Penne pasta (left over) Dinner, Cheeseburgers and french fries.

Wednesday: Lunch, Steak Sandwiches and chips. Dinner, Chicken Strips, carrots, and green beans.

(Thursday and Friday we are going out of town.)

Saturday: Lunch, Spaghetti and Meatballs. Dinner, Roast BBQ Chicken, cheesy potatoes, and spinach salad. 

Sunday: Lunch, Pot Roast, carrots, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Dinner: Pizza and salad. 

 

It Has Been Appointed! Thursday, March 29, 2018

It Has Been Appointed! Thursday, March 29, 2018

I have previously stated in certain blog posts and in my introductory blog that Andrew is a Methodist minister. I have never gone into any real detail about Andrew’s role as a minister, and what it means for us as a family. Mainly because I have focused on other things, like cute kids, delicious food, and wonderful music.  However, the Methodist church plays a huge role in our lively hood, and it effects us on a very personal level. When I first met Andrew, I knew nothing about Methodism. I grew up in a general Baptist church. Even after ten years of marriage there is still some things I don’t completely understand about the Methodist church, but I am married to a walking Methodist encyclopedia so I don’t really feel the need to know EVERY thing! 🙂

A few weeks ago Andrew received a phone call from his district superintendent. This rarely happens and when it does it usually means one or two things. One, you are fixing to be asked to move, two, you are in trouble. It was the first! Andrew has been appointed to another church in the state of Arkansas and we will be moving in the month of June. New appointments always begin July first.

We have moved several times since Andrew has been in ministry here in Arkansas. We are asked the same questions each time by people. Such as, “Why do you have to move?”, “Do you have a choice on whether to move or not?”, “How long will you be here/there this time?”.  I can answer the first question of why, at least in a nut shell. When Methodist ministers are ordained, one of the things they vow to is itinerancy. This is the willingness of the minister to go wherever appointed by the bishop. The bishop and his cabinet make appointments based on the performance strengths and weaknesses of a pastor, combined with the need and circumstances of the local churches. We trust that after much prayer, thought and consideration to those involved, the best appointments will be made.

As to whether ministers have a choice to accept a move or not is a little more complicated. Appointments are made yearly, and each year a minister is asked to do a consultation with their district superintendent and fill out paper work stating whether they think they should stay, move, or are open to either. This does not mean that you will necessarily get your wish, but everything is taken into consideration. There are a lot of politics that come into play here. (Yes, the church has politics. For better or worse.) If a minister receives a phone call asking whether or not you would be interested in a certain move, that gives a lot more liberty to the situation. If a minister receives a phone call stating they will be appointed to — church. It’s best to say, “yes sir”!

How long will a minister be appointed to any given church? As I previously stated, appointments are visited annually. There is no definite answer to this question. I only have personal experience to speak of. We have been at our locations for generally two to three years. We are praying that this next appointment will be much longer!

MOVING! YUK! I really dread all the work involved in this, even though I am pretty much a professional at this point. As a mom my goal is to make it as seamless and stress free for our kids as possible. I don’t want them to feel too stressed about all the change. For me it is difficult because I always go through this season of loss and the grief about leaving people I have come to know and my students. It is tiring, always having to start over. I try to keep in mind all the positives, such as the new community of people we will meet, a chance to experience yet another place, and this time specifically we will be closer to our families.

On occasion a church will have a parsonage that we live in, as we are now. However, more often than not, they have housing allowances. The rental market at the new location is basically zilch, so we are looking to buy our first house! While this is exciting on some level, it is also stressful. I have quickly learned that I have expensive taste and should probably be on an episode of Property Brothers! 🙂 I just pray we can find the house that is best for us and pretty quickly.

Peace,

PK

 

 

“There’s No Place Like Home!” Sunday, March 25, 2018

“There’s No Place Like Home!” Sunday, March 25, 2018

Andrew and I arrived home late Wednesday night from our trip to Orlando. It felt so good to sleep on our bed, with our pillows, and in our heat/air conditioning! Anytime we would go on vacation when I was a kid, I can remember my parents exclaiming how good it was to be back home. My mom would say, “There’s no place like home!”. This is of course a saying from the most beloved movie, The Wizard of Oz! This saying held true except for one thing. The kids were still at Jim and Alesia’s house. Zoe greeted us at the door, starved for attention, but the precious sounds of our babies were absent.

We arrived at Jim and Alesia’s house Thursday afternoon. I was so excited and happy to see the kids!! They were equally excited, and neither David or Emma has wanted to let me out of their sight since. They have also been seeking constant attention from me. Poor Andrew claims he might as well not exist. We all know this is not true. The kids missed him too! 🙂

On our way home we stopped to eat at David’s Burgers. It’s David’s favorite burger restaurant! 🙂 Yes, David is as ornery as he looks! Emma is enjoying her ice cream sample! 🙂

We miraculously fit all the souvenirs in our luggage! One of the gifts we brought back were light savers from the Star Wars movies. Andrew made them at a souvenir store at Epcot. David loves them! He now wants to sword fight all the time! I took a picture of the action!20180324_112646_HDR

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and it was great to enjoy it together. We had a picnic at the park! I made sandwiches, cut up some fruit and veggies, packed some chips and beverages. The kids had a good time! Emma wanted to play instead of eat, but that was okay. She had a “snack” when we returned home.

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Today is Palm Sunday! Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem. People thought Jesus was going to defeat the Roman empire and be their king. They waved branches and laid down their coats for him. Today at church, members of the congregation and choir processed in with their palm branches. Emma processed too, at least until she spotted me at the organ! She then made a detour. 🙂 She was so cute! I wish I had a video of it, but at least I have a couple pictures that the nursery worker took for me.

It is great to be home and cook our own food again too! I love eating out and experiencing new foods, but I start feeling bloated and like I’ve gained twenty pounds after a while! I’m not sure what the difference is because we eat plenty here at home too! It’s probably just the routine of the day more than anything. We love cooking our own food. Andrew made biscuits, and whipped cream, and cut up fresh strawberries. We had strawberry shortcake for dessert today!

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Here is our menu for the week!

Mmm…delicious!

Monday: Lunch, Roast Beef sandwiches. Dinner, Roasted BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli.

Tuesday: Lunch, Super Buttered Egg Noodles and salad. Dinner, Roasted Chicken, rice, roasted vegetables. 

Wednesday: Lunch, Chicken and cheese quesadillas. Dinner, Chicken Spaghetti.

Thursday: Lunch, Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup. Dinner, Meat Loaf, Roasted potatoes, green beans. 

Friday: Lunch, Steak Sandwiches and chips. Dinner, Mexican chicken with rice and black beans. 

Saturday: Lunch, (EAT OUT) Dinner, Cheeseburgers and french fries.

Sunday: Lunch, Ham Steak, Asparagus, Creamy mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, stuffed eggs, and Angel food cake. Dinner, Hawaiian Pizza and salad. 

Epcot! Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Epcot! Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The MTNA conference has been great! Sunday and Monday I went to a lot of sessions ranging from how musicians brains are affected by music study to teaching the post millennial generation, and much more! I’ve browsed through lots of music, made several acquaintances both old and new, and attended presidential meetings. Tonight we are attending a concert by the amazing Jeremy Denk. He is a famous classical pianist! I can’t wait to hear him play! A dear piano teacher, Suzanne Guy, has published a book, Wit and Wisdom from the Piano Bench, it is a great and funny book about her teaching experiences. There are quotes from her students and things she shared with them. This is one of the slides they showed us from the book. 🙂

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Monday afternoon Andrew and I went to the pool together. The pool area is really beautiful, and there is a water slide. We had a relaxing time. I soaked up a little too much sun, and my pasty white skin is now a light shade of red. 🙂

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Today Andrew and I went to Epcot! I had never been before. It was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed visiting the countries of the world from a Disney perspective! We ate breakfast in Germany, Lunch in Japan, and dessert in France! The food was really good! Especially the pastries from France! The flowers were stunningly beautiful, and I love the topiaries! Anytime I visit a Disney store or theme park I am like a little kid all over again! I love it! Andrew has to keep me in check! 🙂 We rode the Space training simulator ride too! We were both regretting it about two thirds of the way through the ride! 🙂

 

 

I did some shopping and I don’t know how I am going to fit everything in our bags to take back home! I’m going to have a work a little magic of my own! 🙂

The other night Andrew and I went to dinner at STK in Disney Springs. It was like eating food directly from Heaven! I’m not even kidding! It was spectacular! Below is a picture of the sour dough bread they make fresh every day. I love bread!

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I miss David and Emma! Seeing all the cute little ones today at the park was hard. It made me want to grab them up and give them hugs and kisses. Andrew and I fly back home tomorrow and will get to see the kids on Thursday. I will be so happy to see my babies!

Spring Break! Saturday, March 17, 2018

Spring Break! Saturday, March 17, 2018

Emma discovered the sand box at the park this week. She loved feeling the sand on her feet and through her toes. It made me want to take the kids to the beach this summer! She also discovered the mud under the swing!

She’s so sweet! Her hair is getting so thick and long. I love how it curls up at the bottom!

Andrew and I met with David’s pre-k teacher about his kindergarten readiness this week. She bragged about how well he is doing, and how brilliant he is. I already knew this of course. 🙂 She also noted that David doesn’t really have an interest in coloring (His creativity comes more through building things!), and the muscles in his hands are still weak causing his little hands to tire after coloring or writing for several minutes. This is obvious because he switches hands when coloring or writing. This of course can be worked on. The real concern is his maturity. He has a summer birthday, and is a little younger than some of the others. The bottom line is we are not sure whether he is going to kindergarten this fall or not. We don’t need to make a decision about this for a few months, and kids can change a lot over a few months.

 

This week has been so busy! Maybe not any more than any other week, but with preparing to go out of town it felt like it. I cleaned house all week, did LOADS and LOADS of laundry, cooked, washed dishes, taught lessons, practiced, and packed clothes for the kids and myself for this weekend/week. The time flew by!

Andrew dropped me off at the airport this morning, and here I am in Orlando! I am here attending the Music Teacher’s National Association Conference. It is one of the best things about being an MTNA member! There are so many benefits to attending this conference I can’t even begin to name them all! The concerts, sessions, networking, and exposure to composers and new publications is phenomenal!

I arrived early afternoon, so I had some time to take a walk around the resort. It is stunningly beautiful here! (I so want to retire to a beach front home one of these years! One of my life dreams is to buy beach front property somewhere.) I also spent some time soaking up some sun at the pool!

Flying makes me think about Heaven, the many miraculous creations of the earth, sky and space, and how powerful God must be and how little we actually are. I don’t think our minds can ever fully comprehend how beautiful Heaven must be.

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Speaking of Heaven, David has been asking questions about God and Heaven recently. He asked me, “Where is Heaven?”. I had to think for a minute, and then responded with my once childhood belief of “It’s way up in the sky, above the clouds and space. Somewhere where nobody knows”. I probably should have answered “I don’t know, but God tells us there is a Heaven and we have to have faith that it exists”. I have watched too much Star Trek with Andrew about space fluctuations, time travel, supspace, etc….  I think God is so powerfully creative, He exists in all time and space, and therefore there are many possibilities as to the “whereabouts” of Heaven.

Andrew is going to join me tomorrow here in Orlando and we are making it a mini vacation for both of us. The kids are staying with grand mama and g-pa this week! I will be google duoing them all week! I MISS  my babies, and hope I can survive this trip emotionally. I know they are having a great time with Jim and Alesia, and that makes it a little easier. I am looking forward to some much needed down time though! I believe every mom NEEDS a vacation and some “me” time once in a while. It helps renew your mind and spirit.

Happy Spring!

 

Sister, Sister! Monday, March 12, 2018

Sister, Sister! Monday, March 12, 2018

This weekend was filled with fun and family! I loved having my sister, Leah, and brother in law, Brandon, visit us this weekend! We had a great time hanging out together. We ate lots of good food and played lots of games! I don’t mean to brag, but I am a Sorry! champion twice, and a UNO champion! 🙂 (Leah and Brandon might tell this story a little differently. 😉 )

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Saturday evening Andrew smoked some ribs, and I made cheesy potato casserole and spinach salad. Yum! The ribs were amazing!

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The cheesy potato casserole is a favorite! The ingredients include a bag of frozen hash brown potatoes, one can of cream of chicken, one stick of butter melted, one small carton of sour cream, and a bag of grated cheddar cheese. Just mix it all together and press it down into a baking dish. Top with more cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. It’s totally delicious!

We also have spinach salad regularly. The only way I like spinach is leafy, and uncooked. Growing up I remember my mom heating up a can of spinach. She is the only one who liked it and every once in while she would cook some for herself. I can still imagine the smell of that canned spinach!  UGH!!! (Sorry mom! It’s the truth!:) ) I season the fresh spinach with a little salt, pepper, lemon zest and parmesan cheese. It tastes great! You could also put a little balsamic dressing on it too!

Saturday morning I baked a cherry pie! We had some fresh cherries in our freezer. Last summer when cherries were in season and on sale, Andrew bought several bags. He pitted them (I hate cherry pitting!), and then put them in the freezer.

I made a pie crust, and then made the cherry filling. The filling consists of a large bag of cherries, about one and half cups of sugar, teaspoon of almond extract, and four tablespoons of cornstarch. The pie was fantastic! It was consumed after two meals!

The kids loved having Auntie Leah and Uncle B around! David was so excited that he couldn’t stay out of trouble! Sigh!! Emma was just happy for extra attention. Leah got to do bath time with the kids. They love bath time, especially when Aunt Leah plays with them in the tub! I was in the other room when aunt Leah was giving David a bath, and I could hear him laughing so hard. He was having a blast! Eventually I had to be the bad guy and tell him it was time to get out!

I have pictures of Leah giving David a bath at this age too! So sweet!

I was told by David that I had lost story time privileges! I would only get them back once Aunt Leah was gone. 🙂

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Brandon and Leah came to church with me on Sunday. I asked Brandon to play a couple songs with me on his Saxophone. He is a fantastic musician! We had a lot of fun playing together at church! He was so generous and awesome to do that! Everyone loved hearing him play. We played an arrangement of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, and I Want Jesus to Walk with Me. You can listen to it by clicking on my Worship Music Archives page!

I love my sister! Sisters are awesome! Thank you for coming to visit us!! Please come back!!!!

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Sorry my menu for this week is late! It is going to be a shorter menu anyway, because we are going out of town this weekend. I am so ready for MTNA conference and spring break!

Tonight we had chicken parmesan. Andrew cooked, and it was amazing! He is really good cook y’all!

Here is the rest of the weeks menu.

Mmm…Delicious!

Tuesday: Lunch, Leftover ribs and casserole. Dinner, Chicken and Dressing sheet pan supper.

Wednesday: Lunch, Ramen Stir fry. Dinner, Tacos.

Thursday: Lunch, Polish Sausage and navy beans. Dinner, Chicken strips, french fries, and carrots. 

Friday: Lunch, Grilled Tomato, pesto, and mozzarella sandwiches. Dinner, Pizza and salad.