Friday, July 31, 2015

Store shopping on a Friday night is a poor choice

It is that time of the year where we need to be shopping for school supplies and clothes and shoes...and maybe a book from the summer reading list that had yet to be purchased. We knew that shopping would not be dull when we walked into the bookstore and were greeted by the Cat in the Hat and a man in a Cat in the Hat hat selling Nooks. He had a look like "Please just put me out of my misery now" on his 40+year old face. I can say that since I am 40+ myself. We found the necessary book and got out, just as a mob of preschoolers attack the Cat for a photo op. The mall wasn't much better, though we did manage to get her some Chucks from Journeys without too much craziness. I am so thankful that my oldest has a unique but tasteful style. The super duper short shorts where you can see the pockets hang lower than the bottom of the leg were the popular shopping wear tonight. The tighter the better. I'm just glad that the boy wasn't with us. We would have had to give him THE talk earlier than planned. There were also lots people in line for free samples at Williams-Sonoma. Someone just about cut a sister for some lemona and orange infused water. We saw a few familiar faces here and there. They all had our similar deer in the headlights look.

We are currently watching the premiere of "Descendants" on the Disney Channel because we need to watch some mindless stuff tonight. Night all.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spiral notebooks cost how much?

I took the girls back to school shopping for their supplies today. The boy escaped with his other two musketeers from school and went tumbling and wore himself out all afternoon. I have to think it was less intense than the school supply section at Target. "It says you need a 2 inch three ring this one okay?". Mom, that says 1.5inch. You cannot do that. Tensions were high. When I had the gaul to suggest a Target brand multi pack of highlighters vs a two pack of Sharpie brand highlighters for the same price, well, things got rough. Another mother was heard to say, " I don't ant to crush your school supply joy, but you need to dial it back. We want to have supper tonight." We looked at each other and did everything but hit our fists on our chests and flash peace symbols at each other whilst saying "Word." I knew it was time to leave and resume our search another day when digging through piles of spirals to find two 3 subject notebooks in a sea of 5 subject notebooks almost disintegrated into a fist fight...between two mothers(I was not one of them). I grabbed a couple quickly while words were being exchanged and ran. Hopefully when I take the boy, it will not be such a nightmare. Who am I fooling? With each passing day, it only gets worse. I remember last year saying out loud, when going to look for supplies on a Sunday, on tax free weekend, "I will bake soeone a cake if they will just find me a 24 pack of Crayolas. A 24 pack!". I was dead serious...ready to get an address and any food allergy information.

It is time for baths and relaxing at our house. I will try to soak and forget about the mean spiral notebook ladies and the receipt that will haunt my bank account for several months.

Night all.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Painted ladies

Tonight was paint night at church for the youth. S was really quite excited about it, because last year she was puking up somthing akin to black alien goo after having just had sinus surgery. It was pretty rough and even moreso when she saw all the pictures of her friends covered with mess. So this time she made sure she was there. They had water ballons filled with paint and squirt bottles filled with paint and a paint slip and slide. They were a disaster for sure. What I did like was the fact that there was a whole lot of laughter and friendship going on...nothing better for a parent to see or hear. Now the rest of the evening will consist of trying to clean their hair and clothes. That should be a joy.

My painted ladies. Nice!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My child's in a bubble

Today was a SLAM day at church which meant that the girls were going to do some sort of youth service project in the morning, have lunch and then play games of some sort in the afternoon. Depending on the day, lots of times it is a small group and today's was fairly small...but they get a lot done. This afternoon I went to get them an hour early because the boy was going to be dropped off by a friend and we needed to be there to receive him. When I got there, I heard screaming and laughter and the sound of a vacuum cleaner or something coming from the gym. This is not a picture of our youth, but this is what the kids were doing;

Bubble balls. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I could tell that G found an activity that she could legally bash on her sister and she used her strength to not only knock down boys three years older, but she almost gave her sister a concussion. She had quite the headache, but the whole scenario was wonderfully entertaining to watch. If you ver get the chance, put some friends or friends' kids in some of these and watch them bounce around. Excellent fun.

That's all I've got. Night all.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Can we go live in a compound?

My children get sick of hearing me say, "When you are a parent, you'll understand what I mean." I got sick of hearing that from my parents. When my text tone sounded for the fifty millionth time today about who got what teacher or team, I wanted to cry. One has none of their best friends in their class. One has no friends in their class. One doesn't even know if they were placed in the right classes. Pained expressions and wringing of hands and hurt stomachs make me think home schooling can't possibly be that bad. Just for the three middle school years and then right back out in the mix of things. I don't know. God has a hand in it all and will take care of all of them. I need to remember that.

Night all.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015


Worrying does me no good. I totally understand that, but I cannot help it. Schedules come out tomorrow for my soon to be middle schooler and I am scared about it. She is one extremely smart cookie and we know that and her fromer teacher knows that. But she is going to be in a place where no one knows her really and they are not really aware of her learning difference and how that makes her unique. Middle school is not usually a wonderfully happy time anyway and I just want her experience to be as tolerable as possible. Just say a little prayer for our sweet G. She has so much to offer and such an amazing mind and wit. I want her to be successful and to have every chance that any other child has.

Forgive my worries. Night all.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

My kid took me OUT

Tonight was a busy night in our house. Not only did we have community meal, but we also had the churchwide pool party. A spunky momsuggested we all play a game of sand volleyball. Two of the kids were the captains and we got to work. We were holding our own for a while and I even managed to show my children that I could indeed play in a volleyball game. Then a ball came my direction and, having not taught my child the concept of calling the vall, we both went at it at the same time. She took me out and we both fell down.. I think it was the comic relief of the night. Glad all of you got a chuckle. I will not be walking or raising my arm well. Funny mental picture.

Night all.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

They are all home!

Band camp is officially over and, now that the hub was a trooper and took half a day off to get G, all the kids are back in the nest as well. This is the first time I haven't gone to go get her at camp, but one parent needed to be here for band kid duty and one needed to go to camp. It all worked out well. They were all a bit ripe upon their return and there is much laundry to do, but we are grateful they are back safe and sound. G had a great time at camp and discovered a love for kayaking. We'll see what develops from that. She did introduced me to a new term. I always thought it was called "squatting" in the woods, but she said she learned the term "wilderpee". I cannot tell you how much I love that.

I haven't much more to share. After a day like today with the heartbeats all back in the fold, my heart is full. No need for many words. Night all.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Birthday boy in the house

The hub has official turned another year older today. We had really hoped he could take the day off, but unfortunately it was not to be. Because the children are in various states of camp and out of town, we will be stretching the celebration over the next few days so that all the children can be part of his celebration. The boy worked very hard to make a special treat that his dad would enjoy. He found a cherry coke jello treat. He did everything except boil the water...though we did have a lesson on superheating water in the microwave, but I digress. Here he is hard at work:

After it was properly chilled, he put the finishing touches on his masterpiece. It was mighty tasty:

I went against the recipe and got Cool Whip instead of Reddi-Whip. It tasted quite nice, but didn't have the fancy spray whipped cream look. We go for the rustic look around here. The hub enjoyed it along with lasagna, garlic pull aparts and fresh cuke and mater salad fresh from the garden. Afterwards, the boy wanted his presents opened up because the suspense was killing him. He insisted buying the gifts with his own money. This is what he got him:

The hub likes Twizzlers, so he received a package of Twizzlers for his own personal consumption and a FOUR POUND JAR of Red Vines to take the office and share with his "friends". So if you work with him, go to his office and get some candy. I think he may have enough.

Tomorrow we get G back from camp. I have a feeling she is going to be completely soaked from luggage to toes. She is gonna be one stinky, soggy girl, but I hope that she has pushed the limits of her comfort and has done some things that make her scared. She is awfully brave and I can't wait to hear all about it...after she wakes up from her post camp conk out.

If you live in our area and want to support te high school band, come to the school at 4 and watch the Bobcat Band show what they have learned so far at band camp. Those kids have worked so hard!

Speaking of band, I've got to go pick up my bass drummer. Have a great evening!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Basement Blitz 2015 is done...for now

I am tired of pitching and tossing, but am so pleased with the results. I hope some people in our scruffy city will be able to benefit from some of the stuff we donated. Someone is going to get some of my cherished stuffed animals...I'm trying no to think about it right now. Makes me a bit misty. The hub needs to work on his workshop and I need to pitch and toss in my craft supplies and organize what I do want to keep. But the majoy overhaul is complete. Tomorrow is the hub's birthday, so we have been readying for the occasion. The boy baked a cake and helped decorate it. The kids have helped in the purchasing and the deciding on what to purchase. Now if we can just get one more child home from camp, we'll be ready to celebrate...when she wakes up from her post camp crash.

Have a great evening all. I'm conking out.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

He's home!

I went to get our boy today at camp and found him, as I did last year, in a hoodies sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks and his water shoes. He claomed he did it as a joke since I made such a big deal about it last year, but the joke was on him. He was pouring sweat like a fiend.

He and his friends were still speaking and he was all smiles and very chatty. We even caught a glimpse of G as we drove by the swimming pool to get the boy's bags from the lodge. She seemed to be doing okay even with the thunder rolling as we left. It is nice to have him back and will be even nicer to have G back and have a full house again. We also stalked by the high school and watched the band practice for a little while. Brought back some fine memories for me. So glad she is a part of a group like that. She is making lots of friends and will hopefully see many familiar faces in the halls once the school year begins.

I am going to bed now. Basement cleaning day number, um, whatever and camp and band have made for a long day. I'm wiped.

Night all.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

One more sleep...

I have again labored in the basement and feel pretty accomplished. I filled two big rolling bins full of stuff for KARM, taken a full Sequoia load to the dump and have emptied at least 7 big Rubbernaid storage containers full of stuff. I'm kind of tired. I did find something that brought me great joy:

When the hub and I got married, someone gave this book to me to provide ideas as to what I should say in my thank you cards. I was getting kind of boring and routine, so this was going to help jazz things up. My brother came over in order to provide some comic relief while I conquered a mountain of notes and he started reading the sample notes out loud. All I can say is that lemonade came out of my nose from laughing so hard at the interpretive readings. One of my most cherished memories.

The hub is leaving soon to go get the girl from week two night 6 of band camp. They go until 9 these nights and I expect her to be worn out. She'll have a good night's rest I'm sure.

Tomorrow I go and retrieve the boy from camp...or as we say, one more sleep until I see my boy. I can't wait. I know he has had a great time and his sister is having a great time too. I just miss them so. Night all!
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Camp Basement...wait...

I am so tired at this point that I can't form a complete thought that makes any sense. Sunday started as it always does with an early alarm buzz and work. People are still on their summer vacations, so pickings are slim on my hallway. After church was over, I ran home to change clothes and go with the hub to to our two youngest to camp. The boy is in a group with his two best friends from church which is pretty cool. I pray they all get along and have a blast. They are living large, because they are in a lodge with A/C. On the other hand, G is in a screened in porch with tarps up to guard them while they change clothes and such. They are going to be able to hear every little thing that moves in the woods. It'll be good for her. She'll be worn out, but she'll have a blast i know. The hub and I left "The Woods" marinating in our own sweat and gratefully turned on the cool air in the van while lamenting the heat factor for G and her new friends. They'll be fine.

When we we returned, I changed my clothes and descended into the basement to get down to pitching and tossing. It has been painful, but my loss is KARM's gain once again. We have finally retired for the evening and I am praying that I can sleep tonight. I've had a total of about 6 hours i the past two days and I really need to just fall into a good ole log sawing state. S does too as week two of band camp is going to be a hot and exhausting one. Pray for her and her bandmates. It's a gonna be a doozy.

Night all. I am wiped.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Treasure filled Saturday

After a few housekeeping items this morning, I descended into the pit of despair and started the process of righting the wrongs of my neglect of the basement. By the time 1pm rolled around, I had dropped two boxes off to my brother's house, a trunk load to KARM and several boxes filled to go to a furniture ministry, a teacher and church. A flippin' drop in the bucket of disaster, but a full bucket starts with a single drop. I discovered several gems from yesteryear today. Here are a few for those of you who are not on Instagram or Twitter. I'm sure people think I'm even crazier than usual.

Here I was on the Drillfield at Virginia Tech with my next door neighbor in the dorm. My parents had dropped me off after a long weekend and brought our dog, Wendy, with them. My front teeth were still together, I was pretty slender and my hair was almost cool. Sigh.

Second grade was my first year in Tennessee. I had dark auburn hair the thickness of crab boat rope, couldn't understand anyone's accent and missed my friend Peggy...but now I couldn't think of a better place to have grown up. If only my hair had stayed that color. It lightened all by itself...and that is the sad truth.

The boy helped a lot during the day, and will get paid for his assistance. He found some treasures of his own. My favorite was a wig that he has pulled out every so often to entertain the family. It reemerged and his gain was ours as well. He kind of resembles an escaped mental patient, but we love him just the same.

To say that we lost our minds in hysterics is a grand understatement. I can't even. My friend ME said he was channeling his inner Harpo Marx. I get it.

We also found my Swatch watch collection from middle/highschool. I can remember saving every bit of my babysitting money to get these. The little black one was purchased on a family vacation to Europe. My parents saved for years for that trip and were so excited to give us the opportunity. That was my major purchase in Switzerland. I love the watch, but love my parents more and am so grateful for the opportunity they gave us that year. What a gift!

The next few days will be major pitching and tossing days for me. I covet your prayers as I remember that the memories are important and not necessarily the items that go with them. Here's hoping that this concept will make the process easier.

Night all.
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Not sure what to say

I'm just kind of blah this evening and am unsure as to what to talk about. My two youngest leave Sunday for camp. The oldest is starting week two of band camp. I feel bad for her. She loves it, but the long practices combined with camps and time spent away with family has left her kind of isolated from her friends. What comes off as not spending time with her friends is in reality trying to fit life in to a very small period of time. Teens are social beings for the most part and she craves time with her friends, but she also craves family time. We don't have the benefit of grandparents in town so she and her siblings have to take their opportunities to see them when they can. I hope life will return to the usual crazy kind of normal when school starts...but school can stay away for a little longer.

I am also dull and numb from the tragedy that occurred in our close neighbor, Chattanooga. Not only do we have Marines and other military in our circle of friends and family, but a family member's brother is a police detective there as well. Such a senseless act from such a young man. I'm not going to bring religion or terrorism or any of that into it at this point. A 24 year old man killed and wounded people and brought fear and shock throughout not just the city or the state, but the country. I pray for all involved and all who are now having to get involved because of the actions of a 24 year old. Just makes me want to hold my babies tighter.

Tomorrow's a new day. The sun will rise again and good things will happen and good people are out there. I will keep that in my mind and remember that good always wins in the end.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer crud

Well, we had a good run, but someone had to break it. The boy woke up this morning sounding like a muppet and feeling like crud. Ears hurting and nose and throat feeling sketchy. I had to work this morning so I drugged him up and left him, teary, with his bigger sister while I took his biggest sister to band camp and went to work. Parent of the year here, but I could find no one to take my place. I won't get started on that, but I was not happy. When I finally returned home, he was in a ball under several blankets looking pitiful. Luckily we hit the pediatrician's office on a good day and we got the first appointment of the afternoon. He hit the jackpot. One ear has swimmer's ear and hurts really bad and the other ear has just a full blown ear infection in it. Right in time to leave for camp on Sunday. He got antibiotics, ear drops and a milkshake out of it and then got a trip to his favorite place, Jerry's Barbershop. The rest of the afternoon was spent taking care of the patient. Poor guy. I know he will feel worlds better tomorrow, but it makes the rest of today long.

Off to go snuggle up with the boy and watch superheroes. Best job in the world. Night all.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

No A&E show for us

Friends, things have gotten real up in this house. I'm about to blow the basment up and start from scratch. I have started the process of pitching and tossing crap in the basement. I was going to have a yard sale, the kids wanted one, but it is not going to happen. A few extra bucks to add to the rainy day fund would be great and yard sale people watching is primo, but it would just prolong the process. I would transfer crap from one room to another and that isn't going to happen. I already have plans to make several runs to KARM in the next days and weeks(I hope not weeks). The books that I need to get rid of but can't bear to get rid of will go to a teacher friend of ours. My mom is taking all of the clothes to organize them for consignment or donation. And we may have to get a little dumpster delivered to shove the rest it is not that bad, but it feels like it. I sorted bags and duffles and suitcases today whilst watching or listening to "The Rifleman". If you've never seen this gem of a western, I weep for the hole in your TV viewing arsenal. Chuck Connors was the man:

Anyway, old western reruns and lots of music are going to get me through this process. Pray for me, friends. I really need this done. The mess is unbearable. The Cook family is no longer receiving donations from people who give things to us because they can't bear to give them to an organization. I need the basement back for the fall. WIth three children in three different schools and stages of life, i am going to be doing a lot of stress sewing. I need my space.

Night all.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The things he says...

As I have told you all before, our family loves to work our church's community meal as often as our schedule allows it. We tend to run the dishwasher and help with the serving when needed, but we'll do whatever they ask. Right after school got out, the boy decided he had to have a lemonade stand. As is the rule in our house, if you finance it yourself, you get to keep the profits. If you have mom finance your stand, the money goes to someone else. So he decided to have his profits go towards the community meal fund. Fast forward a month and a half, we had given his earnings to Mr. Richard who is in charge of coordinating the meal. As always, Richard was so grateful for the donation and so encouraging to the boy. Last Sunday, Mr. Richard gave the boy a thank you note and gift card. It was very kind and the boy was thrilled to receive it. After he opened it, looked at it and agreed to share some with his biggest sister(since she helped with the sale), the hub and I told him he needed to write Mr. Richard a thank you note for the gift card. He cocked his head to the side and thought a minute. "Sooo, I have to write him a thank you for his thank you to me?". "Yessir, you do. He didn't have to give you that treat," "I have to thank him for thanking me. Interesting. I just need to know...when does this cycle END?!?!". We laughed out loud and understood his frustration. But the cycle will not end with him. Sorry, buddy. I so admire his giving spirit and hope he never loses it. They broke the mold with that one for sure.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

It happened again

It has happened again. One of my children has decided to get a year older today. It is all happening so fast, I can't keep up. She had a nice start to the morning with some breakfast in bed:

She's totally going to kill me if she ever sees this post. I deserve it, but it is the family tradition. After dropping off sister at band camp, I took her to spend some birthday money on a new pair of Chacos...especially since her foot has grown at least a size and a half in a year. Good night. She enjoyed opening a gift early in the day. Watch out, the kids has a selfie stick:

Guess no Disney Parks or White House tours for her. She then had a nice dinner, opened up other wonderful gifts and then enjoyed her wonderful cake by our dear friend, Ms. Mary and her talented staff. She was thrilled with how it looked and tasted.

She is now in bed, tired from a good day, wearing her new necklace, thinking about where to spend gift cards and so very grateful for each and every gift and call she recieved. She still does plenty of silly kid things and I love it, but I am so proud of the young lady she is growing up to be. Such a gift she is.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Eve of a big day

Last year, I didn't take my daughter's journey into double digits well. Watching your child grow up is beautiful and painful at the same time. Tomorrow she will be 11. I just can't believe it. When we took her to the store to buy her some birthday tennis shoes that she wanted, the girl measured a women's size 10 shoe. Size TEN!?!?! My gracious sakes. I wear a size 10 or 11, depending on the shoe. Something else. I hope she gets as tall as the pediatrician predicted a few years ago. Again, I don't know how they come up with those predictions, but I would love for her to be tall. Right now she is curled up with her daddy watching a show about a veterinarian. It is a sweet sight to see.

I'm going downstairs to prepare the breakfast in bed tray for the girl. It is a family tradition to have a tray of breakfast, a loud happy birthday song and bright lights to wake you up on the day celebrating your birth. Lots of squinty eyed pictures of all of us growing up. My children will be no different.

Night all!

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Night all

It has been a long day. The inlaws have been here and we have spent time with them doing this and that all day. They are safely now returned to their hotel room and away from the crazy dog and even crazier kids. I am getting clothes and shoes out for tomorrow's work day. The bed is calling my name, but I first need to wash the funk and sweat of this day off as soon as I can. Forgive the short post, but you can stick a fork in me...I'm done.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more post worthy day. I have no brain right now. Night all!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Can't they take the sumer off?

I just have to know something, friends. Why can't mean girls take the summer off? I mean, really. We were having a pretty nice evening outside. The kids were playing; the adults were engaged in pleasant conversation. Then my phone rang with a Face Time call. I didn't recognize the number, but G did and asked if she could answer it. Sure. Her account is linked to mine, so occasionally I will get some of her little friends FaceTiming. She returned after about five minutes with wet eyes and a red face. She sat back down in her chair next to mine and sighed heavily. "Well, (Girl X) called and asked if I was having a birthday party. I told her I wasn't sure. So then she showed me that (Girl Y) was with her for swimming and a sleepover. They kept telling me how I was left out. Then they hung up." I would have been completely shocked if this had been the first time for this behavior, but it wasn't. If my child doesn't answer the FaceTime, they will send screen shots of themselves to let her know she is being left out. The hub is currently putting more restrictions and blocks on her device to prevent this crap from happening again. But I know it will. But why can't they just give her a little break? She tries so hard to be kind to others and never let anyone feel left out. The same courtesy does not apply. I long for the days when the wildest thing one tween could do was to prank call the bowling alley and ask if they had ten pound balls. "Well yes, of course we do, honey." "Well then how do you walk?". Hahahaha. Sorry, friends. Jenny just got a bit blue there, but that was as horrible as we got. We didn't have phones or Touches or iPads. We had to talk to people or just stay away from them if they were ugly. There's something to be said for that.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book envy

I say this tongue in cheek for sure, but I have book envy. My good friend has written and published a book on suviving divorce. This weekend is her launch party and I am so very excited for her. She survived a difficult divorce, but then I guess that is a repetitive statement. No divorce is a happy least not all the way. She has managed to take her faith and her humor and meld it into a book that is informative and to the point. It is called ""How to Get Divorced Without a Shovel" by Sabrina Jones. Check it out. Someday I hope to write a book of my own. It will most surely be located in the comic pamphlet section of your local Shoney's. I'll let you know when it gets there.

We were all quite scattered today. S had percussion training all day with a bunch of funny boys with interesting language. She was good and sweaty by the time I got her. G went swimming with the youth group. Upon our arrival to get her, she looked as though someone had boiled her face. She got sunscreen everywhere else, just not her face. Interesting. The boy was the drag along kid today. He got dragged along everywhere I had to go today. He did receive a reward of a Twister on this hot afternoon. Swirled soft serve and Reese's Pieces fuel him for days like this.

Currently we are in our usual spot: soccer practice. The kids are going to burn straight up. It's okay. Their friends are here, so it is social time too. I'm looking on Pinterest for craft room ideas. I'm a party animal.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

J-E-L-L-O night

Tonight was Jello Night at church for the youth. A night where the kids throw jello, slip and slide on jello, dive in it...whatever you can think to do with it outside among your peers. My girls were excited to go, well mostly. S had had major orthodontic work done today and, as anyone who has had braces knows, when those things get messed with and tightened, it hurts like nobody's business. I think it was also a night to get sibling aggression out by maybe washing someone's face in jello or dumping a bucket on their head. All's fair in love and gelatin fights. I watched for a little while and then ended up working childcare for our choir rehearsals. Since I don't have anymore of my own, I certainly did not complain when I got to hold a new little baby. He was cuddly and in a great mood. What a way to lower the BP on a somewhat stressful day.

I am glad that we have a church where the teens want to go hang out. I'm glad to have teens who want to go hang out at church. Win-win for us tonight.

I'm off to wash orange jello out of the tub. Night al.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Birthday Shopping

G's birthday is coming up this Monday and the boy has been chomping at the bit to go shopping for her present. After he waited so very patiently for me to be done at work, I got him some lunch and then went to his requested shopping destination: Target. Now for all you haters of weapons, I get it. We are not big gun people even though we both shoot skeet from time to time and own the proper hardware for such a venture. I do not bash those who are big gun people either. The gun people I know are very responsible and treat their property with the respect it needs and deserves. Different strokes, you know? So the boy decided to get his sister a Nerf rifle for her birthday. Now they can each be armed to shoot at targets in the yard. And, no, the targets are not each other. That calls for automatic "Bye bye Nerf" mode from the parents. It was so cute how he scrutinized each possibility on the shelf, counted his money and made his choice. He also wanted to get her a $111 Lego set and was a bit disappointed that he hadn't brought enough money to get that for her as well. Funny guy.

Soccer practice is a half hour away from being over. G is having a good time even though she protested going. She always moans a bit, but she ends practice smiling every time.

Have a good evening all.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

These squirrels are crazy

I realize I have talked ad nauseum about our garden and that many are probably sick of hearing about it. I totally get it. We have had fun watching it grow and seeing what all comes out of it. One day, when the hub and I retire and live out our dream, we will live in a big farmhouse with lots of acreage and a huge garden that will feed our family and friends all summer. During the past few weeks, we have noticed strange holes and activity around our garden. The dog has been very interested in certain areas around the yard and we have seen quite a few chipmunks(ground squirrels) around. Today was a sad day for the chipmunk family as one of theirs fell victim to something in the yard. As Jack the garden gnome looked on, little chipmunk must have taken his last breaths after snacking on a half rotten Roma tomato and finishing it off with some rogue volunteer dill that wound up in a non-veggie bed. At least he went out on a healthy meal. G went outside with me to pick some veggies for dinner and ended up doing the heebie geebie dance when she found the poor fly bitten carcas outside. After the hub did removal duty, we continued our harvesting. If you have ever hear the term "the silence was deafening", you'll understand what I felt all of a sudden. My sweet husband is not one who is light of foot and usually you can tell where he is depending on the volume of his footsteps. But, alas, there was no shuffling noise. I looked up to make sure he was okay and found him standing still looking at the playset. This is what I saw when I looked:

Now, I want you to look very close and see if there is anything that looks out of place. Or of a brighter color than the rest of the playset. See it yet? Let me give you a closer look:

We are not really tall people. About average, I would say. Let's just say that it would have taken a bit of doing for us to get a tomato up on the lofty perch where this one finds itself. The crazy squirrels carried that thing all the way up there. And those are Park's Whopper tomatoes. They aren't small. I guess I am going to have to invest in one of those battery powered owls with the red eyes and rotating head that you perch in your garden. My pie plate noisemaker/scarecrow has been overtaken by the crawling cukes and has been rendered mute and useless. Let's just say, it is never dull in our yard.

I can't wait to see how far that blasted squirrel gets with a habanero pepper before his mouth burns up en route. Should be interesting. Night all.
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rain rain, please go away for a bit

We are all in a bit of a funk over here at the ranch. One can take only so much time without the sun before it starts to get to them. I suppose if we lived in different parts of the country we would be used to this weather. In East Tennessee, we are used to lots of fluctuation but not long periods without sun. I will say that I have enjoyed sleeping while the rain is coming down. The soft pitter patter lulls me to sleep and helps me quickly go back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night. The children got to ride bikes between showers today. That was lovely. They got some much needed vitamin D, their heart rates up and worn out all at the same time.

We are currently watching the World Cup final. The US is up 2-0 against Japan in the first 6 minutes. Go, ladies, go! Show my children that hard work and team work pay off in whatever you do. Not just soccer. Night all.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th, everybody

Today was not your typical 4th of July for our family and many families. We have turned into the Pacific Northwest here in East Tennessee and have experienced just short of monsoon season around here. My once thirsty garden is now saying, "Enough already!" and the kids, desperate for outside time, are saying the same thing. We did a lot of cooking today for the holiday. Ice cream base that had to be cooked due to the eggs. Fudge pie and hot artichoke dip were made also. Some soccer was watched and some snoozes were snoozed. The ice cream never would set up completely...not even to soft serve consistency. The kids didn't care. They got the best homemade oreo milkshakes ever. No complaints from them. The late afternoon downpour ended in time for the picnic we attended to be a success. Now everyone is bathed and pajama'ed and relaxed for the evening.

Even if it wasn't ideal in the weather department, the freedom we celebrate this day still remained true. I am grateful to those who serve and have served...grateful to those who formed and created this land of of ours. I am grateful. Not to be a buzzkill, but I'd be the most grateful to our neighbors, who are shooting off black market fireworks, if they would stop. I fear for the safety of the neighborhood.

Happy 4th to all of you out there!

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Chef G is serving tonight

With the continuing bounty emergind from our garden, we need to use some this stuff before it gets too ripe and I feel bad for wasting. So G and I started scouring the internet to find some tasty ideas. Finally, after almost minutes of Pinterest investigation, we settled on Tomato Pie. I have made them before...I don't eat them due to my embarrassing impairment of being a cheese hater. G and the others like it, well maybe not S since she has an issue with leted cheese. We have weird food issues, but I digress. G picked the tomatoes and the cut the basil from the plant. She chopped herbs, crimped crust, sliced and salted the maters to draw some of the moisture out and filled the crusts with all the fruits of her labors:

The kitchen smelled heavenly and everybody had some rumbles in their stomachs. Soon the timer beeped and her creations emerged from the oven:

The stray crust is from the pie I crimped the crust on for her. I totally broke the pretty off as I pulled it out of the oven. Oh well. Tummies were satisfied and the chef is snuggling with her dog and watching the US Men's Nat'l Team play Guatemala on TV(they are in Nashville tonight).

Time for the chef's sous chef and dish washer to get a shower and relax. Night all.
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ear update

My teenager was given free reign in the sleep department this morning. Being so tired, paired with the dark sky and steadily pouring rain, she apparently slept until 10:30. I had to go to work for a couple hours this morning or I would have gotten her up sooner. Her siblings, fearing what would happen if they poked a sleeping teen, let her be. I figure she probably needed the sleep. To her credit, she got up and had already finished her laundry from her trip by the time I got home. When I left, I tried to look at her injured ear, but the flashlight on my iphone was not effective with a squirmy girl avoiding the light. So when I returned, she was awake and still. This is what it looks like today:

Poor kid! Thank goodness her hair is long and can cover it if she wants...although the hair brushing it is enough to cause great pain. So I got the honor of braiding the braiding prodigy's hair. Thank goodness I didn't touch that ear. She has the worst luck.

Night all. Going to try and get some sleep tonight. Last night's attempt was an epic fail.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our oldest is home again

We went to see a wonderful performance this evening from our youth choir. It was their last stop on their tour of the Southeast with a performance at one of the youth girl's grandfather's church that he pastors. They sounded lovely though they looked absolutely exhausted. Makes me teary every year because they look so grown up. Time flies and I wish it would slow down just a bit. There were a few yawns in the choir and some eye rubbing. I think S looked like she might topple over. The girl does not handle exhaustion well at all. When we got her home, it didn't help her situation that the dog, in her excitement of seeing her blonde human, loved her so hard that she rammed S's ear into the windowsill. Hard. I feel like ears have to take a lot of abuse in order to show a bruise. Well, S's ear threshold was met. She was reduced to a mass of tears and I had some myself when I saw her ear swollen two sizes bigger. Thirty minutes later, her ear had started to turn a lovely light shade of purple:

I hope she sleeps in until noon tomorrow.

I'm going to start some laundry and get an ice pack. I'll update you on the new color tomorrow. Ouch!

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