Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Hi! My name is Priscilla. I am the wife of a Methodist minister, mom of three, a piano teacher and musician. I feel inspired to share with you stories of our family, especially our cute kids! I also want to include pedagogical thoughts, resources and theories about my piano teaching career. I hope you love the stories, enjoy the tips, and find some things useful.20171001_104215_hdr.jpg

 

Lucy (Fred?), Ethel, and Squirt! August 12, 2020

Lucy (Fred?), Ethel, and Squirt! August 12, 2020

If you recall, a few months ago our cat, Zoe, disappeared. It has been really difficult explaining this to the kids. As much as it pains me to say it, it would probably have been easier if we had actually found her dead. At least we wouldn’t be left with this lingering hope that she might come back some day. The kids held out hope for several weeks! Emma still thinks she might come back. That hope has waned over the recent weeks, and while we still love and miss Zoe, we are excited to accept some new pet loves into our life! Who knows, Zoe might just show back up some day! In the mean time, I would like to introduce you to our new pets! I’m going to start with our pet turtle, Squirt. He was found on the drive way of my parents house by Emma. He is a baby slider, or pond turtle. Emma has loved and cared for this turtle for a couple months now. At first we were just keeping him on our screened in porch in a well kept box. After a couple months of Emma waking up every morning to go outside and feed and care for squirt (without me having to remind her), I decided it would break her heart to turn him loose this fall. So soft hearted me bought squirt an aquarium, and he now takes up permanent residence in our home.

Sorry, Squirts a little shy! πŸ™‚

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Our most recent addition is two adorable kittens! We named them Lucy and Ethel!:) However, after having them a couple days, we have decided that Lucy is actually a Fred!! HaHa πŸ™‚

We LOVE them!!! Kittens are so darn cute!! Fred and Ethel are about seven to eight weeks old, but they are really small. They have their bed, food, and litter box in the laundry room. We put the baby gate up in front of the doorway, not to keep the kittens in, but to keep the kids out! πŸ™‚ I’m very glad we did. The kids have been really good with them, but sometimes the kittens need a break! They run in the room to hide, or to take a nap without being disturbed by little hands.

David and Emma are old enough to know how to treat animals, but Samuel is still learning. I’ve had to discipline him a couple times about his behavior towards the kittens. This morning Samuel left his blankets on the floor and the kittens laid down to nap. He came in the kitchen and decided to “nap” with them. πŸ™‚

Out of all of us, I’m pretty sure Andrew is the one who loves the kittens the most! Yes, Andrew! πŸ™‚

In other news, it has been a fairly busy week!! We went to visit G-pa and Grand-mama for a day. We love getting away for the day, and just having a great time! It helps morale! πŸ™‚

We then traveled to visit my sister and brother in law in Tennessee! It was a fun road trip, and we had a great visit with them! It was the first time the kids had been to Auntie Leah and Uncle B’s house in TN! They loved spending the night! I can’t take credit for these gorgeous photos! My sister took them and sent them to me. David was all about seeing Uncle B’s Pokemon collection and playing video games! We were blessed with beautiful weather, so we were able to enjoy being outside too.

Then my parents came for a visit! I don’t know if my parents can come for a visit without fixing, cleaning, or doing some project for us! I am by no means complaining about this, it’s just a fact. πŸ™‚ Dad had a few things to repair on the kids playhouse, and he also put up a shelf for us in David’s room. My mom thinks she has to clean the entire house and do all our laundry while she is here. Our house is never as clean all at once as it is when my parents have just left. πŸ™‚ They can come as often as they want! πŸ™‚ We had a great visit, some delicious meals, and some fun times too!

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Love,

PK

Making Lists! July 30, 2020

Making Lists! July 30, 2020

 

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Date Night!

David and Emma went to spend a few days with Papa and Nana, and Samuel spent a couple days with G-pa and Grand-mama this past week! I was in much need of some alone time! Andrew and I had a date night! Andrew cooked steaks, with roasted potatoes and broccoli! We even ate off our china plates! πŸ™‚ It was nice to have some time together. It was VERY quiet! At first I enjoyed the quiet, and then I decided that quiet is over rated, and so we went to pick up the kids. πŸ˜‰ Not exactly true, but you know! πŸ™‚

I have been in a clean out, get organized, and planning mode in the past month. While I haven’t accomplished all I would like, I have done quite a bit in the way of cleaning out closets and getting rid of some things. I have also been making lists of things I need to do to help get ready for school. I know some people just go with the flow and don’t seem to need to make plans, or lists, or anything, but that is not how I roll. I am very much a list person! I make lists about everything, it’s how I keep my brain from exploding. πŸ™‚ I can guarantee you that by the time school starts I will have a daily schedule written down, and probably a whole list of activities and things we can do at home. My brain is swirling with possibilities and ideas as I type!

I was at the dollar tree the other day, I found a whole bunch of work books for David and Emma! So if you are looking for something to help your kid brush up on their letters, writing, etc, or something to help supplement what they are already learning.Β  I recommend going to the dollar tree! I found several prek-k books about shapes, colors, letters and numbers for Emma, and several first and second grade books with math, phonics, and handwriting! I was also on a search for art supplies, and found several things at the dollar general store! (It beats going in Wal-mart right now)

I have been thinking about making a list of books that I can tie in different activities with for the kids. Whether it be a craft, music, baking, etc. I would love to hear some of your ideas! I can think of several off the top of my head, but you may know a book or activity that I’m not familiar with!Β  I’ll share my list with you when I get it put together!

Both David and Emma were in extreme need of some new shoes! They both literally walked out of their summer sandals, and David keeps outgrowing his tennis shoes. So I ordered them both a new pair of tennis shoes for this fall. I’m telling you this because when looking for David a pair of shoes, I came across a pair of boys light up shoes, not too expensive, and easy to find. However, when looking for Emma a pair of shoes I found it to be much more difficult! I knew if I bought David a pair of light up shoes, I had better find Emma a pair of light up shoes as well. (Yes, there is that much jealousy in our house!:) ) Emma loves Paw Patrol and PJ Masks, and so I went searching for her a pair of shoes. I found a pair of paw patrol girl shoes, but they were really expensive! Double the amount of what I was going to pay for David’s shoes. I figured it was because they were the “paw patrol” shoes. I became curious and searched for paw patrol and pj masks shoes in boys, they were a lot cheaper!! In fact they were the same price as what I was going to pay for David’s non-character shoes. WHY?? So I showed them to Emma and she chose the PJ MaskΒ shoes.Β  I bought my daughter a pair of boy, PJ Mask shoes! Is this crazy? Am I the only one to do this? I don’t know, but Emma loves them! Oh yeah, they light up too! So double win!

 

Our little garden has done exceptionally well this summer! Our cucumber and tomato plants have out done themselves! I have put away about eight to ten bags of whole tomatoes in the freezer this past week! I had never done this before, but I watched my mom do it practically every summer as a kid! So I had a good idea about how to do it! If you have a surplus of tomatoes and don’t want to go to all the trouble of canning, I recommend doing it this way! All you do is bring a big stock pot of water to a boil, drop the tomatoes in and let them sit for about a minute, take them out and cool them down in some ice water. Then make a small slit in the bottom of the tomato with a knife. The tomato skin will peel off very easily. Then core the tomato. Put the peeled and cored tomatoes in freezer bags! I put about five or six tomatoes in each freezer bag, but you could put more if you want. They will be great to use in chili’s, soups, and sauces this winter!

My favorite picture of the week!

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Love,

PK

Decisions, Decisions! July 18, 2020

Decisions, Decisions! July 18, 2020

I don’t know how every one else is feeling right now, but I am feeling super stressed! In the late evenings we generally take a walk. My sweet four year old Emma is a deep thinker. She sometimes says to me on these walks, “Momma, I wish the virus would go away!”. My response, “Me too!!!!”. She says, “I miss my friends”. My response, “I know you do.”Β  It makes me sad to think that she is thinking about a virus! David doesn’t really talk about it much, but he does occasionally say that he misses his friends. Andrew and I (as many of you) are faced with the decision of whether to send the kids to school this fall! This is a terribly difficult decision! Ordinarily, David would be starting first grade at his local school, Emma would be starting preschool, and Samuel would be attending a parents day out program a couple days a week. However, because of the state we are in due to Covid-19, our future is possibly looking quite different. We have made the decision to take the online option for school this fall. It is a huge step for us, because we would not ordinarily consider homeschooling. David has loved school, and done very well in school. So I worry how this year will go. Emma still has a couple years left before she can start kindergarten so I’m not worried about the academic aspect of keeping her home. We will have a lot of fun doing ABC mouse! I pray we are making the right choices. I also pray for everyone else having to make these type of decisions right now. Everyone is doing what they feel is the right thing for their family, and we all need a lot of prayer and support right now.

I will miss the personal down time that sending the kids to school and PDO generally gives me. I hope to settle into a routine that will still allow me to have some respite. On the other hand, I love having the kids home and I look forward to spending more quality time with each of them. We have been having a great time at home this summer! We do miss doing our usual outings to the zoo, and splash pads etc., but we are thankful to still be able to visit grandparents!

We went for an overnight stay this week, and the kids loved riding the mower. David is almost big enough to drive it by himself. They also had fun picking wild blackberries, feeding the bunnies, and celebrating Nana’s birthday!

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The kids have been beating the heat by playing in their little pool in the back yard. David is almost too big for it, but he loves splashing around in it and shooting water guns. I love the picture of them sitting on our reading bench, reading. Samuel is enjoying his snack. πŸ™‚ David is actually reading very well. He has started a series of chapter books called, Kids of the Polk Street School. It’s a series Andrew remembers reading as a kid. He really likes them, and reads a few chapters of a book every night before going to bed! He is already on book three!

One thing that I am thankful for during this time is that the kids have each other to play with. While they don’t always get along, and there is a lot of fussing at times, they also have times where they are really sweet to one another.

Emma Selfie! How does she look so grown up! I think it’s the hat! πŸ’–

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I pray that you will find peace and assurance in these times of uncertainty and decision making.

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Love,

PK

Celebrations of Life. July 10, 2020

Celebrations of Life. July 10, 2020

The past week has been filled with happy and sad times. Celebrations of both life and death. Last week we celebrated Andrew’s birthday! He couldn’t decide on what type of cake he wanted for his birthday. He likes citrus, and so I talked him into a lemon cake with a cream cheese butter cream frosting. It turned out to be the perfect choice too, if I must say so! πŸ˜‰ I generally do not like citrus desserts, but I actually loved this cake! The lemon is fresh and not overpowering. I will definitely be making this cake again! You can find the recipeΒ  of this delicious Lemon Layer Cake at Sally’s Baking Addiction site. I love her cake recipes!

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We also celebrated the Birthday of our Country, and our freedom! With as many problems as we have as a country, I am still very proud to be an American! I love my home land, and I know we can all work together to make it an even greater place. Do you see the shirt and shorts Samuel is wearing in the picture below? That outfit used to be David’s!!! Sniff, Sniff! I’m pretty sure I have a picture of David wearing it somewhere, and now I have one of Samuel too! We had a great fourth, with in-laws and friends. We had Bbq and all the fixins’! We also had home made ice cream! For me, home made ice cream is a must for the fourth of July. Some of my fondest memories growing up are of our fourth of July celebrations we had as a family, and the home made ice cream. It was churned by hand then, but I happen to have an electric ice cream machine now. I recommend it! The last several times I have made ice cream I have used a recipe that uses cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. It’s from food network called Old Time Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe. It’s super easy. While it taste great (I mean, come on, it’s ice cream!), it’s not the ice cream I remember from my childhood. I asked my mom about it, and while she doesn’t remember the recipe, she does recall that it had an egg base. While the egg base recipes are much more complex, I might have to break down and give it a whirl. It may be worth it to find that ice cream taste I remember.

We stayed up late watching fire works. Our neighbors put on such an amazing display! It’s nice to be able to sit on the back porch and watch! This year, when it got really loud, Emma watched from inside going from window to window, David sat on the porch and watched with Andrew’s sound muting headphones on, and Samuel sat on my lap in amazement and as content as could be! πŸ™‚

 

In the midst of these celebrations was the passing of my Aunt Pam. (She was my Dad’s older sister.) She left this world all too soon due to cancer. She was an amazing person! Growing up I remember thinking how I wanted to be like her. I still do! Not only was she my aunt, she was my Sunday school teacher for a few years, and my piano teacher for a short period. She loved teaching, and she loved the Bible. Aunt Pam’s passion and excitement for the stories of the Bible was contagious! I learned so much from her!

Aunt Pam was fun to be around. I remember spending the night with my cousins, (what amazingly fun times we used to have!) and playing games and watching movies. She was so much fun to watch a movie with! Anyone who knows my aunt knows what I mean! πŸ™‚

Aunt Pam had so much faith! She lived that faith everyday. Because of her faith she had an internal happiness. A joy which was evident to everyone she met. She will be missed!

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Love and Peace,

PK

Summertime and Birthdays! June 28, 2020

Summertime and Birthdays! June 28, 2020

David and Emma have completed their swimming lessons for this summer! The last couple of weeks have been busy taking them to and from swim classes. Emma had her first year of swim class. It was similar to David’s first year in that we had to get her over the hurdle of putting her head in the water. After the first day of swim class Andrew and I practiced with her in the bath tub. After several minutes of severe protest and tears, we finally coaxed her into sticking her head in the water. They call it “catching a bubble” in swim class. Honestly, I had to force her to lay on her stomach, counted to three, and then pushed her head under. Leading her to think she did it on her own, after a couple of times she was ready to show her swim teacher what she could do. After that first terrible evening, she did great, and had fun. She doesn’t really “swim” yet, but I’m confident that she will by next year if David is any proof.

David had a great year of swim lessons, completely different from last year. It’s amazing how kids change in a years time! He did so good the first day of swim class that I got a call saying they were going to move him up to the next class! What?!?! He now swims just about as good as myself.

David also turned seven on Thursday!!! WHAT?!?! Sniffle, Sniffle, How did my baby get so big?!?! We spent his birthDay swimming. A friend of ours has invited us to use their pool whenever this summer, and we are very grateful for their generosity and happy to oblige! πŸ™‚ The kids had fun swimming, and a McDonald’s picnic lunch was a special treat!

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We had David’s birthday party Saturday. David wanted a Pokemon party.Β  Surprise, surprise! I did my best to throw him a memorable Pokemon birthday party! πŸ™‚

Here are a few pictures of our Pokemon party! We had Jigglypuff Puffs, Bulbasaur beans, Tehpig berries, Charmander Chips, Pikachu pizza (not pictured, sorry), and Squirtle Punch for our menu. I also made a Pokemon Birthday cake! David requested a confetti cake, and so I went searching for a confetti cake recipe. I ended up using Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe for confetti cake.It turned out really good!! Super easy to make, just remember if you want a double layer cake to double the recipe! A few weeks back I ordered the Pokemon applique, and applied it to the top of the cake after frosting. It was the first time for me to use one of these, and I loved how easy it was to use and it looked great!

We had two party games that I prepared. Pin the pokeball on the chart, and a scavenger hunt. The pokeball game was easy enough! πŸ™‚ The scavenger hunt took a little Pinterest research, and putting together, but totally worth it! It was a hit and everyone had a great time! We made a Pokedex card, and then hid the poke characters around the yard. The kids then marked off the characters on their chart as they found them! So Fun!!

We had a family party with grandparents, cousins, and Aunts and Uncles, and Chris and Laura our adopted family.πŸ˜‰ We had a great time visiting with everyone! Here are a few pictures!

 

We decided to have a drive in service at church today! This is a big deal!! We have really missed physically going to church. While this is still not as good as gathering in the sanctuary, it felt a little more normal in that it made us get around and out the door this morning. I stole this picture from a friend on facebook, but I couldn’t help it. I love this picture, this man! He did such a great job this morning, and I’m very proud of him and all his hard work. This social distancing has been especially hard for him. Not being able to hold worship, visit the sick, etc. has been very tough on him. He sure is good looking! I’m allowed to say that about the preacher. πŸ˜‰ His birthday is this Wednesday! I look forward to making another cake! πŸ™‚

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Our garden is doing fantastic! We have cucumbers everywhere! Our peppers and tomatoes are also doing great!Β  We had these with our lunch today! Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes and cucumbers!

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Happy summer!

Love,

PK

Face-to-Face! June 13, 2020

Face-to-Face! June 13, 2020

We resumed our weekly routine after last week’s vacation. I resumed teaching in person piano lessons this past week! I am so happy about it, I can’t even tell you. No matter how much we all try to stay “connected” online, it is just not the same! Physical presence is so important! Student’s are more engaged when there is physical presence, and there are so many things that are better physically demonstrated on piano. Also, and I’m sure there have been studies done, there is a very real difference between a face-to-face relationship and a virtual relationship! One of the many things I love about teaching piano is the relationship I build with my students! I know from experience that the influence a teacher can have on a student can be very powerful. I hope to have a positive influence on the lives of my students by teaching them a skill and a love for music they will always have!

David also had his first piano lesson this week! Talk about a proud mom moment! No, I’m not his teacher! I decided years ago that it would be better if I did not teach my own children. Once again, there is definitely a different type of relationship between a teacher/student and a parent/child! Some people can do both successfully. I’m not sure if I could, and I’m not willing to find out just yet! πŸ™‚ David was nervous at first, but once he met his teacher and was successful at his first lesson, he loved it! I hope he continues to love it!

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The kids were playing outside and Zoe, our cat, was watching from the window! πŸ™‚ We call Zoe our “watch cat”, because she is very protective and always keeps an eye on the kids. She doesn’t really like them messing with her too much, but she always wants to keep an eye on them from a distance. πŸ™‚ They LOVE Zoe though! They were playing in the water, so it’s a good thing the cat was inside! πŸ™‚

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The kids went to spend the weekend at their Grand-mama and G-pa’s house! It’s the first time in MONTHS that I have been in this house alone! It is so quiet, too quiet! Last night Andrew and I sat on the couch, looked at each other and asked the question, “What did we used to do before the kids?” πŸ˜‚ We ended up ordering Chinese food for dinner, and watching tv! This was our first date night since Valentine’s day! Yes, we spent it just sitting on the couch! 🀣

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Have a great week!

Love,

PK

A Week at the Beach. June 7, 2020

A Week at the Beach. June 7, 2020

Any one who knows me very well knows that I love the ocean! It’s other worldly, mysterious, always changing, serene yet turbulent. It’s vastness carries with it the knowledge that there is more to this world than we can possibly know.Β  I would love to live on the beach some day! It’s a dream of mine. However, I currently settle for vacations to the beach. With the turbulent state of the world right now, we needed a little beach serenity! We were blessed with beautiful weather overall, and a week of great memories.

This was the day we arrived. I took pictures of the kids on the balcony of our condo. The kids did REALLY well on the drive to the beach! They played kindle games, ate snacks, took naps, and watched movies. We stopped mid-way and grabbed some lunch. We did our best to maintain social distancing, and took our lunch to this great park we found. The kids were able to eat and then run and play, wearing off some energy, before returning to the car for the remainder of the trip. We did a similar thing on the way back home too.

Some very good friends of ours, Chris and Laura, spent the week at the beach with us. We’re still great friends after this past week!😜  It was great to have them along on this trip with us! We had a great time!

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I’m going to overload you with pictures on this post. I can’t help it! I love beach pictures! I love the kids first reaction to going down to the beach! They are all different! Samuel LOVES the water, and loved splashing in the ocean, swimming in the pool, and digging in the sand. After the first day Samuel was a little too brave, and would get knocked over by the ocean waves, but he took it like a champ and didn’t cry at all. I love the picture of Andrew and Samuel from behind. πŸ’• Emma LOVES the sand, and played in the sand more than the others. She was, however, brave about getting into the water this time. She played in the ocean, and got down into the pool! She was proud of herself for doing this. πŸ™‚ David has overcome a lot of his fears about the water too! If you remember from last summer, we put him in swimming lessons because he was afraid of even washing his hair in the bathtub!! No joke! Well it paid off! This time he was jumping and playing in the ocean! He even learned to swim underwater in the pool this past week! Yes, underwater!!

Truth be told, the kids loved the pool probably more than the beach. Every time we would walk past it to go to the beach, they would want to get into the pool first. I would force them to keep walking with the promise that we would return to the pool after the beach. πŸ™‚ They had so much fun!

We had a few beach activities up our sleeves for this trip. David wanted to bring his Godzilla. Apparently in every Godzilla movie he comes up out of the ocean. So we took some pictures of Godzilla on the beach. πŸ˜‚ Emma wanted to bring her Paw Patrol “Ryder” figure toy.Β  However, he didn’t fare well on the beach. She was in mid play when she comes up crying because she has lost Ryder. Ryder was lost at sea! We had to comfort her for quite a while, and Andrew immediately ordered a new Ryder from Amazon with the promise that he would be waiting for her when she got home! We also made a volcano! We made a big sand mountain, stuck a little cup in the top of it. Poured in baking soda and vinegar to cause the eruption. It was pretty cool!

We buried the kids in the sand, or David and Emma anyway. Samuel did not take well to having sand put on him. Emma wanted to be a mermaid. πŸ™‚

The kids and I love scouring the beach to see what we can find. We found LOTS of sea shells. One day David found a shrimp, and what we think is a baby lobster. We also went crab hunting a couple nights. We caught several smaller crabs, and a couple larger ones that would not stay in our bucket!

 

Here are a few more pictures! πŸ™‚ I love baby toes in the sand!

When we arrived home I found that my garden has grown exponentially over the week! I found this big cucumber and banana pepper ready to pick, with several more on the way. My tomatoes are also looking great, and I can’t wait for them to change color!

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I have been trying to cook recipes that use our fresh garden ingredients! I have a couple to share with you! This is super easy! It’s just pasta tossed in a basil pesto sauce. I harvested several stalks of basil from our garden, and blended it with two cloves of garlic, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. A lot of pesto recipes call for pine nuts, but I couldn’t find any at our store. Just toss with the cooked and drained pasta!

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This dish is grilled salmon, grilled vegetables, and rice! I love grilling in the summer! The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper and then grilled. I made a sauce to go over it after it finished grilling. Here is the sauce recipe! Four tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of honey, two garlic cloves minced, and about two tablespoons of chopped cilantro (add the cilantro at the end after the butter and everything is melted together).Β  Pour it over the fish when it’s done grilling! I also made the vegetable medley to cook over the grill in a foil pouch. It includes a couple zucchini, half a red onion, a banana pepper, salt and pepper. Toss it all together with a little olive oil, and put it in the foil pouch. Grill until zucchini are fork tender.

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Hope y’all are staying safe and well!

Love,

PK

Family Reunions! May 22, 2020

Family Reunions! May 22, 2020

We went to my parents house this past weekend. For the first time in months the kids were able to be with Papa and Nana! My sister and brother in law came too! It was great to see and visit with everyone. In person!! A change in scenery and routine for a few days was welcome too. It’s hard to explain, but my mentality has changed dramatically this month. It’s like my brain said “Okay, enough. I’m going on vacation.”.Β  My students sent me their recital videos for their virtual recital. My own recital program is underway. David is officially finished with kindergarten. (What??!!! How is this possible?!?! Tissues Please!!) Summer vacation is at hand, and my brain is already there!!

We sat on my parents beautiful porch surrounded by a forest of trees, birds, and nature of all sorts! It’s really peaceful, except for when we are there! Haha! πŸ™‚ The kids loved riding on the back of the mower in the little trailer. Those pictures are so sweet! David of course had to watch a GodzillaΒ movie with his Papa.

David and Emma LOVE sleeping over at their grandparents houses! The funny thing is, and I just thought about this the other day… At home they always sleep in their own beds, and in their own room. However, when sleeping anywhere else, whether my parents or my in laws, they always sleep in the same room, and at my parents house in the same bed even. Maybe this is a situation that needs to be remedied? I don’t know if either one of them would be able to sleep anywhere else without the other. In one respect I love that they have bonded so, and despite their occasional arguments, they play and converse together all the time.

This is my mom and sister. Aren’t they lovely! Emma is so cute sitting in the middle on the porch swing. She didn’t really want her picture taken, and so this is what I got from her. Leah and Emma are kindred spirits. πŸ™‚ Leah was slicing strawberries, and Emma was eating… I mean helping. πŸ™‚

I made hair appointments for the kids and myself this week! I never could stomach up enough nerve to cut anyone’s hair, no matter how many youtube tutorials I watched. The salon’s around here have opened back up, by appointment only of course. I LOVE the kids haircuts. Cuteness overload!!

Today we had a family reunion with Andrew’s family! It was the first time since Christmas for us all to be together! The kids love playing with their cousins! They are all around the same ages, and so when they get together it is a lot of fun! It’s hard to get good pictures because they are running around, playing in different rooms, and doing their best to avoid pictures. πŸ™‚ The older ones especially! That’s why you don’t see David in these pictures. He is busy playing with his cousin Robbie. I barely saw him at all while we were there. Emma loves playing with cousins Henry and Oliver which are about the same age, and Samuel and Patrick are close in age too. Yes, that’s them kissing!! πŸ˜‚ They are kissing cousins I guess. 🀣 It’s so sweet!

My garden is doing really well so far this year! My cilantro bush has grown so big that I had to cut it back! So with all the cilantro I’ve been trying to cook some recipes that use cilantro! πŸ™‚ This is a Mahi Mahi with Mango-cucumber salsa. I love fish! Especially in the summer. It is very light and refreshing with this salsa! Just season the fish with salt and pepper, and grill on an oiled grill pan or skillet over high heat. For the salsa combine mango (peaches could also be used), cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nothing speaks summer time like strawberry pie! I don’t know about light, but it’s definitely cool and refreshing! πŸ™‚ I found this great strawberry pie recipe from Amy. I like it because it uses all fresh ingredients, no jello. I made my own pie crusts and baked them. After the crusts cool completely, then add the strawberry filling. It’s best to let it refrigerate for a couple hours before serving with a delicious dollop of whipped cream.

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Love,

PK

 

Mothers and Things. May 9, 2020

Mothers and Things. May 9, 2020

Happy Mom’s Day!!! I wish all mom’s everywhere the best, most relaxing day ever! Here is a picture of my mom and I! This was taken a couple years ago I think…in a time when I had a haircut, and we were able to go places. πŸ™‚ Since becoming a mom I’ve gained a new appreciation for my mom! She made this mom thing look easy, like a piece of cake! I hope I do half as good a job! Love you MOM!!! πŸ’•

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I took this picture of Emma last Sunday. Every morning she dresses herself. She goes into her room, pics out her clothes, and comes out seeking my approval. A majority of the time she does really well! I praise her for it! I can’t take credit, picking out stylish clothes is something I still struggle with! It must come from her Auntie Leah! I think Emma and Leah share a lot of the same genes. πŸ™‚ However, sometimes she comes out wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the weather or something that just doesn’t quite match. It depends on the day/occasion whether or not I let it go. πŸ™‚ Emma is three and a half. Sometimes I forget that because she is so smart. She is definitely growing up so fast!

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Early in the week we had a very warm day. I decided to break out the sprinkler! David loves playing in the water. I don’t know how much Emma really remembers playing in the water from last summer, but she loved it. This was Samuel’s first time to play in the sprinkler. The reaction from all of them was priceless when I turned on the water! After a few seconds of realizing what was happening, Samuel became ecstatic and did a happy dance! David went crazy and ran right in it. Emma turned, ran to me and requested to go put on her swim clothes. After changing into the appropriate attire, she had the best time too! It was so funny, their different responses! They played in the water for quite a long time. We kept moving the sprinkler around the yard so as to avoid one huge mud puddle. It was a great day!

After that day the temperature dropped, and we were back to long sleeves or jackets. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ David decided he was going to have a “shop”. He found a few items he no longer wanted, or that mom no longer wanted, and set them up at the end of the driveway. I made him a “for sale” sign. A couple generous souls came by and bought a few things from him. It was really cute! He sat out there for a long time before getting tired.

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We have been finding ways to entertain ourselves at home. The kids have been playing outside as much as possible, and being really creative about it! They have been playing with their toy cars outside the last couple days. They made roads and garages with chalk! A few games of tic tac toe have even taken place. πŸ™‚

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I hope everyone is well, and giving their loved ones extra huggs!

Love,

PK

Carefully Venturing Out! May 1, 2020

Carefully Venturing Out! May 1, 2020

I went to my parents house this week! It’s not exactly what you think, I didn’t go completely rogue and break a whole bunch of social distancing rules. My mom had a foot surgery on Wednesday, and I wanted to go help out for a couple days. I know, technically I did break social distancing rules, but since we have both been quarantined for approximately seven weeks, we decided it was probably okay. My mom’s surgery went well, and she is on the path to recovery. It was wonderful seeing my parents again! It was almost a little awkward at first meeting. I was cautious about hugging them due to some kind of mental, social distancing hangover, but then it came to me how crazy I was being, and we hugged away! πŸ™‚ While I went to help her out, it also helped me out. I REALLY needed a break and change of scenery, even if just for forty-eight hours! It was refreshing for me, and I have the best husband in the world for taking over parent duty full time! πŸ™‚ The kids want to go see Nana and Papa so terribly, and so we are planning to go back next weekend and visit with the kids. I’m thankful that we are starting to carefully visit loved ones again! While it may be a while before we venture out into public places, I can handle that! It’s not being able to come into contact with those we love, that made this so hard anyway.

Other than my little adventure to MO, the last couple weeks have been pretty routine. We have been enjoying the weather and spending as much time outside as possible. We planted these flowers in our flower beds last week. Like with everything I plant, I worry and fret about their well being, growth, and ultimate survival. Please pray with me.

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The kids have been enjoying their sandbox. I’m afraid our whole back porch and yard is starting to look like a sandy beach. It even finds its way into our house, reminding me of our times on vacation at a condo on the beach. In this sense I don’t mind the sand! Crazy huh! πŸ™‚

The kids decided to make their own miniature golf course in our back yard this past week too! They were pretty creative! David retrieved items from our garage and made a five hole course, using buckets, jump ropes, storage bins, and other toys. They had a lot of fun! Last year on our beach vacation we went mini-golfing, and the kids loved it! There is also a Curious George book where George creates his own golf course. David wanted to try building his own miniature golf course like George did. πŸ™‚ I hope we get to go to the beach again soon!

One of the foods we have been missing around here is Chinese food! So we decided to make our own! We made general Tso’s chicken, rice, steamed broccoli, and cream cheese wantons! Andrew cooked the chicken, and I cooked the wantons. This is a pretty labor intensive meal, but totally worth it to satisfy the craving! I’m thankful my husband is a good cook. He likes this cooking vlog show called Binging with Babbish, and so we used the recipe for General Tso’s Chicken from this blog. The chicken turned out amazing! I totally recommend using the arbol chiles in the sauce to add spice! We used a few, but were afraid of it being too spice. We should have listened to the recipe and used at least six.Β  I made the cream cheese wantons. I watched Ree Drummond make these on her cooking show quite some time ago, and wanted to try her recipe. They are super easy to make, however, it takes time to individually wrap each wanton. I believe one could make the wantons ahead of time and keep them covered in the refrigerator with a damp tea towel. Then you wouldn’t have to spend all that time trying to wrap wantons while preparing the rest of the meal! If you are having that Chinese craving, I totally recommend these recipes!

Samuel saw me using chop sticks, and wanted to give them a try. He is pretty smart, and after a while started stabbing his food onto the stick! πŸ™‚

Love,

PK

P.S. Did you notice how long everyone’s hair is?! It’s starting to get pretty serious! I may need some major help in the hair cutting department soon! Any suggestions or recommended tutorials? My other option is to just let everyone have long hair! That’s what I’m starting to lean towards! πŸ™‚