“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Sunday, July 22, 2018

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Sunday, July 22, 2018

Andrew LOVES baseball! He reminisces about watching baseball with his Gran as a very young child, and has some sort of connection to the sport that I couldn’t possibly understand. I have become acquainted with baseball in the last ten years and have come to appreciate it. I will never be the avid fan that my husband is. I like actually going to the game and watching the sport “live”. However, I’m pretty much that way with all sports. Andrew grew up watching the Atlanta Braves and is a Braves fan. I grew up in Missouri, so anytime the Braves are playing the St. Louis Cardinals I like to aggravate him by cheering for the Cardinals. πŸ™‚ A little competition is healthy! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of baseball, we went to a minor league game on Saturday evening. The Memphis Redbirds were playing, and we decided it would be a good evening activity for our family. Andrew took this great picture of us at the game! It’s already floating around his facebook, but I decided to share it with you too.

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The kids had a great time, and loved sitting on the green space. There wasn’t a whole lot of sitting going on, but they had fun just the same. πŸ™‚

Since Emma was sick earlier this past week she has been eating like a bird. I don’t know if her taste buds still aren’t back to normal, or if she is going through some kind of phase, or if it is the one thing she knows she can control right now? It’s driving me crazy! I need my barely twenty-two poundΒ  baby to eat!!!! So I’ve been trying to make things I think she will like to eat. One of the things she loves is smoothies! She will inhale them. So I’ve been making smoothies and smoothie popsicles!

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This is a mango, pineapple, banana smoothie! The kids loved it! I ended up making it twice this week. I didn’t measure anything when putting it in the blender, but I can give you eyeball amounts, depending on how much smoothie you wish to make of course. Mine made approximately two full glasses shown in the picture above. Add about two cups ofΒ  mango, pineapple, two bananas, and a cup of shaved ice. That’s it! Blend it up. (Normally I add plain greek yogurt to my smoothies, but was out. The kids loved the smoothie so much though I don’t know if I would add it now or not.)

Here is our menu for the week!

Monday: Lunch, Tacos. Dinner, Meatloaf, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.

Tuesday: Lunch, Hot Dogs and chips. Dinner, Steak, Asparagus, (leftover) mashed potatoes.

Wednesday: Lunch, Polish sausage and navy beans with broccoli. Dinner, Pizza and Salad.

Thursday: Lunch, Chicken Nuggets, fries, and green peas. Dinner, Pot Roast, carrots, green beans.

Friday: Lunch, out. Dinner, Grilled Salmon, corn on the cob, and rice.Β 

Saturday: Lunch, Cheeseburgers and chips. Dinner, Oven fried chicken thighs, roasted carrots and cauliflower, fried potatoes.Β 

Sunday: Lunch, BBQ pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans. Dinner: BBQ nachos.Β 

 

Supermom, NOT! Friday, July 20, 2018

Supermom, NOT! Friday, July 20, 2018

This was one of those weeks where you try to take care of sick kids, and then you get sick yourself. The kids have no concept of course that mommy could possibly be sick herself! Us mothers just have to push through it, and basically be supermom. I couldn’t have made it through the day without my wonderful superhero husband! πŸ™‚ At the end of my last blog I mentioned that Emma had been sick. I thought she was doing better on Monday, but then early Tuesday morning she threw up again. She was very upset, and then literally was just laying on the couch. I was starting to get worried, so I took her to a local pediatrician. They tested her and found that it was indeed viral. This was technically good news. It meant that she should start feeling better in a day or two. However, bad for the rest of us! Let’s just say I’ve spent all the rest of the week washing and drying bedding, spraying lysol, being sick, and trying to de-germ everything!

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Emma and I at the doctor’s office. Poor baby! 😦

Monday night I made the pioneer woman’s chicken alfredo stuffed shells for dinner. Totally amazing, cheesy, and be warned that you should not make this recipe if on any kind of diet! However, it is totally worth blowing the diet for! We had it with a salad! πŸ™‚ There was enough for two meals, and so I refrigerated the leftovers and then popped it in the oven a couple nights later to heat it back up. You can find the recipe here:Β Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells20180716_185642

Here is a picture of the coconut cream pie I made too!

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This is one of my favorite desserts! Especially in the summertime! I consider this a family recipe because my mom has been making this pie for a very long time. I have no idea where she got the recipe from.

For the pie crust you can either make your own or use store bought. Be sure to bake the crust before putting the filling in it. For the pie filling: Heat 2 1/2 cups of milk in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Mix together 1 cup of sugar, 4 tbl spoons of cornstarch, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add sugar mixture to warm milk, and 5 beaten egg yolks (save the whites for the merangue). Stir constantly and wait for filling to thicken! When filling thickens add 1tsp of vanilla extract, 1tbl spoon of butter, and 1 cup of coconut. Poor into baked pie crust, and let cool completely.

For the merangue take the 5 egg whites and beat with 1/4 cup of powder sugar, 1tsp of baking powder, and 2 tbl spoons of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. You can then bake the merangue until brown tips form on the peaks of the merangue. I chose to use a blow torch over the top of my merangue. Refrigerate the pie for a few hours before serving. It is best cold!

I also tried two other recipes this week that I loved, but I was an air head and forgot to take pictures! I will have to share those with you another time! Sorry!

I started teaching David how to wash dishes this week. Let’s just say more water ended up on the floor than in the sink. πŸ™‚ I want our kids to learn necessary household tasks, and survival skills. It builds character. As a kid, one of our nightly chores was cleaning up and washing the dinner dishes. My brother and I had many a fight in the kitchen, some of which included the water sprayer and half wet towels. πŸ˜‰ I don’t even remember what the fights were about! Ahh, sibling rivalry. πŸ™‚

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Since we were all feeling better and on the mend today, we decided to get out of the house for a bit. We went to our favorite bookstore! We used to take David all the time when he was about Emma’s age. It’s great to live near a Barnes and Noble again! Emma was very possessive of the trains. She did not want to share at all, and was having a cry fit. We ended up having to do a time out at the bookstore. I believe the terrible twos may be starting early! Sigh…!

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Here is an extra picture of my cuties! πŸ™‚

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Love,

PK

Weekend Happenings. Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekend Happenings. Monday, July 16, 2018

This weekend Emma and I went to my parents house for a couple days. It is so great to live closer to them! We had a blast! Emma loved seeing the chickens and riding the mower with Papa. Every time she hears and sees some one mowing their lawn she stops, points, and says “mower”.Β  She is really fascinated by airplanes, trains, and moving vehicles right now.

 

Mom and I went shopping together too! My mother is a fabulous seamstress and can do pretty much anything that’s crafty. We picked out some fabric for reupholstering some recently obtained furniture. Mom is going to reupholster them for me! (Thanks mom! πŸ™‚ ) A lot of our furniture has been passed down to us from other family members. Recently we were blessed with the rod iron table and chair set for our porch that used to be Andrew’s gran and gramps’ and a bench/chair set that belonged to his great aunt Audry, among other items. I will share pictures with you once the reupholstery is finished!

Andrew and David had some father and son time while we were away. They finished up the last night of vacation Bible school! I am thankful to be married to a man that can cook and take care of the kids! I can leave and not have to worry about them, too much. πŸ™‚ I may have to do a little extra nudging when it comes to household chores, but I still love him! πŸ˜‰Β  My three loves, two cutie-patooties, and one handsome man!

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Yesterday, Sunday, was an interesting day.Β  I was happy to hear and see David sing his vacation Bible school songs at church. He was the life of the group. He had some great dance moves, and sang loudly on the words he could remember. πŸ™‚

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Andrew has been preaching some really great sermons! It is nice to be able to hear him preach for a change. However, I do really miss playing for worship! I am trying to give myself some time to adjust, but not sure if I will be able to, or if I’m even supposed to…. I’ll let you know what happens on that end. I’m also hoping to start back teaching soon. My plan is to start back after all the kiddos get back to school in August. In the meantime, I will be doing some planning, practicing, and trying to NOT go CRAZY. It’s hard to explain, but I feel as though piece(s) of me are missing when I’m not teaching or playing regularly.

I made some chocolate covered peanut butter crackers for a special treat yesterday afternoon! We love them! Ever since a friend shared some with us at Christmas one year, they have been a favorite. It’s like eating a homemade candy bar! I also got into a baking mood yesterday afternoon. I have a huge batch of pizza dough in the fridge for later this week, and I made a coconut cream pie (I still have to make the meringue to go on top though).

I would say that Emma liked her cracker, but she really just wanted to lick off the chocolate!

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Emma had a rough night last night! I don’t know if it was food poisoning or a stomach bug, but she threw up several times. 😦 I HATE when babies are sick! So far today she has been fine. She will not really eat anything yet, but she is drinking. We are all tired! (except David, who has enough energy to go around) Pray our sweet Emma feels better soon!

Here is our menu for this week!

Monday: Lunch, hot dogs and chips. Dinner, Chicken Alfredo shells and salad. (I did not make this yesterday as originally planned)

Tuesday: Lunch, Pizza. Dinner, Steaks, Rosemary garlic fried potatoes, and asparagus.

Wednesday: Lunch, Turkey Taco Skillet. Dinner, Chicken florentine melt.

Thursday: Lunch, Chicken and Cheese quesadillas. Dinner, Shrimp and tomato sheet pan supper.Β 

Friday: Lunch out. Dinner, Pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, and green beans.

Saturday: Lunch, Tomato, pesto and mozzarella grilled cheese with homemade chips. Dinner, Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and caesar salad.Β 

Sunday: Lunch, Pork sandwiches and potato salad. Dinner, Fish tacos.Β 

The Little Things. Wednesday, June 11, 2018

The Little Things. Wednesday, June 11, 2018

Let me just begin by saying how thankful I am for Google maps. πŸ™‚ What did people used to do before it? As a kid I remember my parents getting the giant paper map out when we would take trips to Florida, and highlighting the route in bright yellow. Now, with as much as we move around, I would spend half my time lost as a goose if I had to get around like that. Now all I have to do is a voice search for the nearest whatever I’m looking for. Push a button, and vwa-lah, it will take me right to it! (At least under most normal circumstances.) It’s the little things, that are actually big things if you ever had to do without them, that are important!

Lowe’s delivered our washer and dryer last week! Another thing I realized that I take for granted. As much as I complain about doing laundry, I am so thankful to have the luxury of not only the machine, but also the flexibility to do laundry here at the house on my own terms. I have actually done the laundry, folded and put it away the last couple times. Who knows if I can keep that up?

There was a rain shower yesterday! It lasted long enough to make some decent puddles in the driveway. Emma saw an opportunity to play. She first started stomping in the puddle, then she sat in it and began splashing. That was good entertainment for about fifteen minutes. πŸ™‚

 

Lately when I practice piano I have had an audience. David and Emma will be playing around the house, and when I finish a piece (or randomly stop for whatever reason) they will begin clapping and saying “yay”! It is so sweet and cute! πŸ™‚ Emma actually started doing it first, and then it became a thing for both of them. Emma has suddenly shown a renewed interest in the piano. She will climb up on the bench and “play” her songs.

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Emma’s personality is really flourishing right now. She is also suddenly talking a lot more. When you ask her her name she will say “Emma”, with a big old smile! When she spills something, whether by accident or on purpose, she will say “I made a mess”. πŸ™‚

This is Vacation Bible School week! Andrew and David have been at the church every evening, and so our dinner plans have been all awry. Emma and I have been having dinner together, while Andrew and David have been eating at the church. David is loving VBS though! He has been bringing home some of his art work, and telling me about all the songs he’s been singing. I love his dramatic coloring of Lazarus. πŸ™‚

PK

4th of July and Corn on the Cob! Friday, July 6, 2018

4th of July and Corn on the Cob! Friday, July 6, 2018

I love the fourth of July! I am thankful for my country, and the men and women who sacrifice in many different ways to serve our country and fight for our freedom. The fourth of July carries with it many great memories for me. As far back as I can remember until my late teen early twenty years , we always had family gatherings on the fourth of July. We had great times together playing games, having fish fries (and all the fixings!), eating home made ice cream, singing (or listening to music be sung or played), just hanging out with one another, shooting off/watching fire works (which usually meant being eaten by mosquitos). We would spend most of the day and into the night hours celebrating the fourth of July. I miss those days! Now us kids have grown up, have families of our own, and most live in other places. It is difficult to get together. We haven’t really done so in several years.Β  If you are related to me and reading this post I seriously think it is time for us to plan a family reunion!

This year for the fourth of July we were able to spend it with my parents, and some family. It is the first time in several years where we have lived close enough to drive, spend the day, and then drive back. It’s so awesome! We had a fourth of July lunch which consisted of ribs (which Andrew smoked the night before), hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and corn on the cob. Then we had my mom’s cheesecake! I love my mom’s cheesecake, and specially requested that she make it, which she happily did! πŸ™‚ (I’ll have to share the recipe with you soon.)Β  We loved visiting with everyone, and the kids had a great time at Papa and Nana’s. Emma loved riding the mower with Papa. It was the first time I’ve seen her do that. She also liked running in the house. She would say “set go” in a very high pitched voice, and then run. πŸ™‚ After lunch David was watching some cartoons, and my grandpa was attempting to take a nap in the chair. I believe David kind of woke him up, but it was so sweet to see them together. David loves papa Harvey!

 

After we returned home we sat on the porch and watched the fire works from our neighbors houses. Thank you neighbors for putting on such a great firework display! πŸ™‚

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Fourth of July and Corn on the cob go hand in hand in my mind for more than one reason. My dad was a farmer growing up and he always planted lots of sweet corn! So every year around the fourth of july we would freeze corn. Later in my teenage years I began to dread the coming of this task! We would put away tons of corn in the freezer. The whole process would sometimes take two or three days. It was exhausting! It was one of those things I was thankful not to have to do once I moved out. However, quite a few years later,Β  I am not only nostalgic, but understand the rewards of putting away fresh corn in the freezer! This week I did just that! My dad supplied me with a couple dozen ears, and I now have it bagged and in the freezer! I am excited about how awesome it will taste this fall and winter! πŸ™‚

I learned a few things working with my mom all those years putting away corn. She and my grandmother, who also used to put away mind blowing amounts of corn, simplified the process over the years. It is now quite simple really. All you need is time, pots of boiling water, ice, a sharp knife, and a cutting hand that never gets tired. πŸ™‚

The first step is to shuck the corn, and clean it of as many silk hairs as you can. Don’t knock yourself out too much trying to remove all the silk hairs, they mostly will come off in the boiling water.Β  Next put the corn in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Let boil for two to three minutes max. Your not cooking the corn, just blanching it.

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Take the corn out of the boiling water and put it in a sink filled with cold ice water.

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Let it stay in the cold water for a minute or two. Then lay aside on a towel or drying mat, and let cool completely. Walk away for an hour or so and go do something! It is extremely important that the corn be cooled and dry.

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Then you can cut the corn off the cob! (I guess you could also freeze it on the cob. I choose not to for two reasons. One, it takes up more room in the freezer, two, we like it better cut off.) I get a large bowl, and then put a smaller bowl upside down in the larger bowl. This raises the cob up so it is easier to cut off. It will save your wrist! Also, make sure you have a sharp knife!

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Then just bag it up in freezer bags! I bagged about seven quart size bags with two cups of corn in each bag. That’s enough for us at a meal. When I’m ready to take the corn out of the freezer and cook it. I will put it in a microwave safe dish, add a little butter, salt and pepper, and sometimes a touch of milk is needed. I will then heat it up until it’s hot and ready to serve!

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By the way, this is our kids on fourth of July morning before leaving the house. They are both sitting in time out together! I forget why exactly, but I learned that I need to buy another time out matt. Sitting together is just not going to work! πŸ™‚ It was all fun and games sitting together. It was so cute though that I tried to discreetly snap a picture. πŸ™‚

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PK

Birthday Celebrations! July 1, 2018

Birthday Celebrations! July 1, 2018

This has been the week of Birthdays. David and G-pa (Andrew’s Dad) both had birthdays on Monday, and Andrew’s birthday is today! We’ve been celebrating off and on all week! For his fifth birthday David wanted to visit the children’s museum in Memphis. He loves the museum. It is a really fun place for kids, and they even have an outdoor splash pad and park area.

 

 

 

I know it looks like Emma had a blast in the water, but actually she just wanted to play in the sand box area. David was the one who loved the splash pad!

After the museum we took David to eat his favorite food, pizza. I do have to say, it was an excellent pizza restaurant. Maybe my new favorite! The kids meal even came with a cannoli.Β 20180625_125317

Later that evening we finished David’s birthday celebration with presents and home made cupcakes. David had requested a bug theme, and so I made chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles and gummy worms. πŸ™‚Β  There was a sugar overload on Monday!

 

 

I know I said this in my last post, but I can’t believe my baby is five!! Where has time gone? This was my baby five years ago, and here he is today!

 

Yesterday my parents came and we celebrated again! (Andrew’s parents were going to come, but couldn’t due to a family emergency. We missed them!)Β  This time both Andrew and David’s birthday. I made another cake…this time a white cake with butter cream frosting. David opened presents again…. He got a bicycle helmet (to go with his new bike we bought him), some plastic bugs (David loves bugs!), an action figure dinosaur, and a giant water sprinkler dinosaur (yes, we have this six foot dinosaur in our back yard now!).

The best part of the day was just hanging out with Dad and Mom. The kids love being with them! David picked out his new Batman bicycle for his birthday πŸ™‚ He was so excited to show it to Papa! I took a picture of David and my dad riding bikes together. This is pretty special and brings back a lot of memories to me. We used to ride bicycles together all the time when I was a kid.

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The bicycle my dad is riding in the picture is my bike. Andrew bought it for me a few years back. I have decided I need to take up cycling again! It’s great exercise. πŸ™‚

This is them after riding bikes. I think they were a little hot and tired. πŸ™‚ Emma of course wanted to be part of the action. πŸ™‚Β 20180630_174022

Today is Andrew’s birthday! He wouldn’t want me to tell you that he is now thirty-five years old. I, of course, am only twenty nine. πŸ˜‰ Today was also his first day on the job. He did a fabulous job preaching his first sermon at his new appointed church today. I am so proud of him, and I have faith that his ministry there will be fruitful and blessed. Andrew is my love, my life, and I pray for many, many, many more years together.

I took some pictures of the kids this morning before church. Let me rephrase. I attempted to take pictures of the kids this morning before church. I managed to take some good pictures of them separately, but trying to get them together is impossible. πŸ™‚

The dress Emma is wearing is special because my mom saved it from when I was little. So I wanted to be sure to get some pictures of her wearing it too. I’ll have to track down a picture of me wearing it when I was around her age.

Here is our menu for the week!

Monday: Lunch, Pork sliders and chips. Dinner, Spaghetti carbonara and caesar salad.Β 

Tuesday: Lunch, Polish sausage, navy beans, and green peas. Dinner, Roast chicken, risotto, and green beans.

Wednesday: Fourth of july! (We are going to my parents!)

Thursday: Cheeseburgers and french fries. Dinner, Grilled pork steaks, baked potatoes, and broccoli.Β 

Friday: Lunch, out. Dinner, Steak, asparagus, and rosemary potatoes.

Saturday: Lunch, Chicken Spaghetti. Dinner, Roasted corn, green beans, pasta salad.Β 

Sunday: Lunch,Β  Pot roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans.Β Β 

 

 

New Adventures. Sunday June 24, 2018

New Adventures. Sunday June 24, 2018

I have pictures on the walls! It never feels like home until there are pictures on the walls and on table tops. The guest bedroom needs to be set up, the garage needs to be cleaned out and organized, and there are a few other little things in the house that need to be done, but it is starting to feel like home. In my last blog I talked about going through bins filled with books, music, and papers and deciding on whether to keep or depart with them. The next day I sat down and began that process. It went like this: I opened the lid of a bin looked inside and then put it back on. I did this for two or three different bins. I walked away. Sigh…! I guess we’ll be toting those bins around for another decade! πŸ™‚ I did clean out some very old papers that were hiding away, and Andrew departed with a few of his trivial books. So I guess we pared it down a little.

We are all adjusting to living in this house, and the kids have done great. Zoe, however, has had the most difficult time. She was hiding behind boxes and furniture, and it would be difficult to find her. She was just plain stressed out the first several days. She has finally started to calm down now that things are more settled, and the kids have been giving her plenty of attention. πŸ™‚ Poor sweet Zoe!

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We purchased a washer and dryer for this house a little over a week ago, but it will not be delivered until July second. Tuesday the kids and I went to a local laundromat. It was David and Emma’s first experience at a public laundromat. David was actually very excited. He loves the book Corduroy’s pocket. Corduroy gets left over night at the laundromat and has quite an adventurous time. πŸ™‚ David helped me put the quarters in the machine, and push the buttons. Emma was upset that her blanket had to be washed. I had to show it to her going around and around in the washer and dryer. πŸ™‚ I will be thankful when we have our own washer and dryer again! Then I can get back to not finishing the laundry. πŸ™‚

There is a little playground just a short walk from our house, and we have already walked over there a few times this past week. Emma enjoys the ride in her stroller, and David likes to ride his tricycle. There is also a pond, and there were these interesting looking birds the other day. I’m not sure what they are.

On the walk/ride back to the house from the park one day. A police man drove up beside us and told David he was doing a great job on his tricycle. He gave him a police badge sticker. David was so proud of that sticker! He wore it on his shirt, his pajamas, on his shirt the next day, and his pajamas the next night! He finally had to depart with the no longer sticky sticker. πŸ™‚

It has been a while since I posted any weekly meal plan. Things have been so crazy. I am starting back this week! So here it is.

Mmmm…Delicious!

Monday: Lunch, out. Dinner, Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans.

Tuesday: Lunch, chicken quesadillas. Dinner, Grilled pork tenderloin, carrots, and stewed apples.Β 

Wednesday: Lunch, Hot dogs and chips. Dinner, Chicken alfredo, garlic toast, and salad.

Thursday: Lunch, Spaghetti. Dinner, Fried catfish, baked beans and hushpuppies.Β 

Friday: Cheese burgers and fries. Dinner, Grilled steak and ceasar salad.

Saturday: Lunch: Sandwiches and chips. Dinner: Tacos.Β 

Sunday: Lunch: Pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and green beans. Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese with broccoli.Β 

We made home made popsicles this week. They are actually more like frozen smoothies on a stick. I blended blueberries, strawberries, bananas, yogurt and honey. Poured them into little popsicle molds and froze them. They turned out yummy!Β 

 

I also roasted a chicken for lunch time today. I have blogged about this recipe before, but forgot to take any pictures. Here is what it looks like.

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Isn’t it beautiful. πŸ™‚ It is very tasty too! All you do is soften a stick of butter, zest a couple lemons, add a teaspoon of dried rosemary (or fresh if you have it), add about two teaspoons of kosher salt, and a teaspoon of black pepper. Mix it all together and rub it all over and inside the chicken. Then put the lemon halves inside the chicken. It is so easy and tastes amazing!

We attended the church where Andrew is appointed today! Andrew doesn’t technically begin this new appointment until next Sunday, so we just visited today. The kids did really well and enjoyed Sunday school, and we loved meeting lots of great people. We are excited to begin this new phase of life and ministry with them.

David will be five years old tomorrow! My baby will be five! 😦 I don’t know how this is possible. He has had a couple of memorable moments this week that I want to share. One day at lunch I asked him to say the prayer. (We generally always try to pray before our meals.) I was expecting his usual prayer which goes something like this. “Thank you Jesus for this day, and for this food. Amen.” Instead he started his prayer by thanking God for all the planets. He then began trying to name them all specifically. He made it through Saturn, Mercury, Mars, and then started to mumble some things. It was so sweet and funny that I just let him go on. We eventually got to eat our lunch. πŸ™‚

One day this week David was having one of his days where he spends most of it getting in trouble and in time out it seems. That particular day he had just spent his time in time out, and I was feeling a little aggravated at him.Β  It was then time to get ready for nap time. He picked out a book to read. I was expecting to have to read a book about spiders or bugs or something. Instead he comes carrying the bookΒ I’ll Love You Forever for us to read before naptime. I love and hate this book! I can’t read it without crying! So I’m reading David his nap time story and fighting back tears the whole time! Of all days for him to pick this book! I don’t know why he did, but it was exactly what we both needed.Β I’ll love you forever, I’ll love you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.Β 

 

Getting Settled. Sunday, June 17, 2018

Getting Settled. Sunday, June 17, 2018

The move was chaotically successful! πŸ™‚ No matter how organized I think I am, when it comes right down to the actual moving day, I always wish I was more organized! The problem is we just have too much stuff! Even with having a yard sale and donating a lot, we still have too much! I don’t even know where some of it came from. I have things from my past and childhood, Andrew has things from his, and we both have a ton of books, papers, and music from our college careers. We are both very sentimental and have trouble parting with things from our past. After this last move though, I have decided it is time to make some tough decisions, and we are going to have to part with more things! With most books and sheet music being available digitally, there seems to be no real reason to keep a bunch of books and old music laying around. I would love some advice on this topic! I always feel terribly guilty about getting rid of any book or sheet music! If I decide to get rid of anything I can’t just throw it out, I have to donate it somewhere I know it will be used or recycled. However, I don’t really know where. Where is the best place to drop off books? What about CD’s? We have some of our own music on CD that I will never part with, but we also have a ton of CD’s that we never use. Everything is readily available for listening on youtube, or itunes, etc. I don’t feel the need to just keep lugging these things around. Not to mention I am tired of trying to figure out where to store things every time we move! Life shouldn’t be this difficult because of excess stuff!

It has been three days since we moved, and I have accomplished a lot in these three days! Here is what our house looked like when we first started.

 

Here is what it looks like now!

The kids love their playroom set up! I am not sure this is where it is going to stay, but it’s good for the moment. I am ecstatic about our new rug!! It looks amazing! The gray coffee table also looks great! I am going to repaint the end tables though. The aqua color clashes with the walls. I am just going to paint them the gray color to match the coffee table.

Anytime we make a move the first thing we always do is make sure our beds are set up. Then I make sure the bathrooms are organized and ready, and then the kitchen. If you can sleep, bathe, and eat, the rest of the house can be organized as time allows.

So far, the kids seem to have adjusted with no problem at all! They are sleeping good, and playing around as usual. It has been so terribly hot outside that it’s hard to enjoy the outdoors without water being involved!

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Andrew had to leave for the Arkansas United Methodist Church annual conference today. Yes, on Father’s Day! It has been this way every year that I can remember. However, Andrew assures me that next year it will not be on Father’s day! I hope so, because I always hate not being able to celebrate the day with him. This year it has been so busy that I failed in making a big deal out of it anyway! This is one of those years where a phone call, and an I love you had to suffice. I know the men in my life understand. That’s how great they are!

PK

Moving Day! Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Moving Day! Tuesday, June 12, 2018

We spent the first couple days after returning from London recuperating from jet lag, and catching up on laundry. Since then I have been packing like a crazy person, in between playing outside, cooking meals, doing dishes, and reading bedtime stories. I am so darn tired!!!! This is our last night in this house. It’s hard to believe, but when we first moved here two and a half years ago, David was only two and a half, and now he will be five in just a couple weeks! Emma wasn’t even born yet, and now she is nineteen months! A lot of life has happened in and out of these walls.

I kept a growth chart of David’s height on the bathroom door facing. He has grown approximately five and a quarter inches since we have been here!

 

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I forgot to share with you David’s last day at school. His going away party and school program both turned out really cute! They had a Pete the Cat theme for the end of the year program. They sang a few songs, and quoted a few character verses. It was a proud parent moment! πŸ™‚ David will miss his teacher and all his friends. I am happy though that he seems excited about moving to his new house and school, and making new friends.

We have been spending as much time outside as possible, since the inside of our house has been a disaster. We have been going to the park in the mornings before it gets too hot outside. Emma is getting so big! She can sit in the big kid swing! Also, the ducks from the pond have become like pets. They roam the neighborhood, and when they hear us outside they come waddling over wanting us to feed them. Of course we do, and the kids love it!

Yesterday we went to Sonic and got milkshakes, and took them to the park. We were sitting at a picnic table in the shade looking out over this lake. David asked me for a spoon, and I happened to have one in the car. As I was walking back to the picnic table with the spoon I looked, and there was the perfect picturesque moment! I didn’t have my phone so I will just have to describe it to you. David and Emma were sitting next to each other on the picnic table bench drinking their milkshakes. I thought, “They are so precious, beautiful, and this is the perfect picture of them together! One of those moments you look back on in years to come.” My goodness, why do I never have my phone when I really want it!

Next time I blog we will be “moved in” to our new house!! I will be so relieved to have the packing and moving part behind us!

 

 

 

 

 

London 2018

London 2018

Our tenth anniversary trip to London was amazing!!! We had a magnificent and wonderful time. I love traveling and seeing different places and meeting people from different parts of the world. London is a very multi cultural city, much like New York. There are many different places to eat and explore, plus it has rich history with many sites and museums to see.

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I have compiled a list of things to know if you ever travel to London.
1) Electrical adapters. Electrical outlets are different everywhere. Make sure to bring your own adapter to plug in chargers, hair dryers, etc. You may also want to make sure you pack your own hair dryer, especially if you have long hair! The hair dryer in our hotel blew minimally!
2) Currency. Be prepared to think in pounds. Also know that it is much easier to use a credit card. They do not charge an extra fee for the transactions. Be sure notify them that you are traveling out of country so that they don’t cut you off and think your card has been stolen. You can usually do this online. Andrew was able to download a PayPal touch app and use his debit card without the fee the bank wanted to charge to use the debit card.
3)Transportation. We purchased what is called an Oyster card upon our arrival in London. This allowed us to take the tube or the buses all week, without having to worry about the card expiring or running out of cash. With as much travelling as we did all over the city and the prices of tube and bus fares, it definitely is worth the money up front. When taking the tube, beware to “Mind the Gap”! This is what the automated voice says when people are getting on or departing the trains. The “gap” is more significant in some stations versus others. Another very important thing to be aware of is drivers drive on the opposite side of the road. When crossing the street you first have to look to the right, and then the left. To be on the safe side, use the crosswalks!
4) London Pass. We purchased what is called a London Pass. You can purchase the London Pass and the oyster card together, but we did the math and it is was cheaper to buy just the pass, and then the oyster card separately in London. We purchased the three day pass, and picked out all the sites we wanted to see that were on the pass and did those during the three days. The pass also allows you priority entrance on some of the sites, so you don’t have to wait in line as long. We actually was able to see everything we wanted that was on the pass in those three days with a couple exceptions, the London Zoo and Kew Gardens. We chose not to do these two mainly because they are farther out of the city, and because they are activities that would take pretty much all day. We had other things we wanted to see on the passes that were more important to us.
5) Time and Temperature. The time difference from Central time in the U.S. to London is six hours. We had an overnight flight going to London, and when we arrived it was about noon. We then had to manage to stay awake the rest of the day. We made it till twenty hundred hours and then crashed. Almost all the rest of the world uses the metric system of measurement. So when we arrived in our hotel room we had to do metric conversion to figure out what to set the thermostat to. Also, be sure and check the weather every day. Some days it was cool and cloudy with an occasional shower, other days it was warm and sunny.
6) Water. I guess because I am an American I am spoiled to the plentifullness of water that we have. In America when you ask for water, you get water! And it’s typically free! In Europe when you ask for water you get a question in return. What type of water? Still, or sparkling? I’m like, “Water, just plain water please!” You have to pay for your water too, no matter what type you order. It’s about the same price as a soft drink.

7) Communication. Check with your phone provider as I believe they are all different on international travel. We had free data and texting, but calls were twenty cents a minute. Thank heavens for video calling!! I was able to talk and see my babies!! I can’t imagine traveling in a time before video calling!
8) Restaurant protocal. If you go to a pub in London, you have to order your food and drinks at the bar and pay. Then they will bring it to your table. The pubs have amazing food by the way! In a restaurant the waiter will wait on you. When you are ready to pay your bill, ask for your bill. Don’t ask for your ticket or check because they will look at you like, “what?”.
9) Bathrooms. I found the public bathrooms to be overall very clean! Much more so than in the U.S., and their toilet paper is much better too! πŸ™‚ The flushing mechanisms are different, and you have to figure out each bathroom sink as they all seemed to have different soap dispensers and faucets. They all had automatic hand blowers.
10) Face cloths. I don’t know if this was just our hotel or if this was a London thing, but our bathroom did not have wash clothes. When we arrived we discovered that there were bath towels, hand towels, but no wash clothes in our bathroom. No wash clothes? Where are the wash clothes? How are you supposed to properly bathe without a wash clothe? I began reading the little hotel booklet that says if you forgot to bring tooth paste, tooth brush, or any such toiletry needs please let us know and we will be happy to provide them for you. On the list was face clothes. I took a wild guess that face clothe and wash clothe must be the same thing and called housekeeping to request face clothes. Sure enough, I was right! We then had to request face clothes every time we needed clean ones. So maybe next time we will pack luffas!

 

There are so many places to see and things to do in London! I recommend planning out each day and the transportation routes in-between each site before hand. It will save time, and sometimes phone data is very sketchy. We discovered this after day one and then planned it all out before each day. Here are some picture highlights of our trip. If I posted every picture we took there would be like a thousand! πŸ™‚