Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Week In Pictures

A few visuals from our place this week:

Yes, the obsession with butt-enhanced foods lives on in our house.  Perhaps you recall reading here about some "almost butt" spread. . .I'm thrilled to report that many more items have shown up in our pantry with this all-hilarious secret ingredient:  cookies made with chunks of butt, crunchy butt, and butt flavored syrup. I have to admit, I crack up every time I take something out and find this child's handiwork.  

We went to Florida over Spring break with my in-laws, and my dad made this bag to send with us in the car.  It had a bag of gummy bears in it for each child.  This gift is just like my dad - thoughtful and creative and goofy! ❤️

I found this in the freezer.  I don't really know what to say about it. . . The master chef who created them called them cake pops.  
That is all.

This is the back of my beautiful 17-year-old daughter's head.  She went to her junior prom over the weekend with a big group of her friends.  She looked amazing and she and her friends had a great time.  I was so proud of her!

And this:  "If I could do something all by myself I would ride my bike around the big circle.  This would make me feel like a grownup".  Oh - the sweet dreams of a 7-year-old!  I love her so!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Not Fancy Part Two

Quite awhile ago, I blogged about not being fancy.  I talked about how I don't wear much makeup, and what I do wear is Cover Girl.  I'd prefer comfort over style if I really had to choose, and a ponytail is my hairstyle of choice.

Well. . .I'm not fancy in lots of other ways as well.

House/Decor:  My house is a modest two story.  We have enough rooms, square footage, furniture and family pictures to make it just right for me. We may not have an enormous en suite in the master bedroom, or a gourmet kitchen.  I'm not an interior decorator, and my house doesn't look like a spread in Better Homes and Gardens.  But it's comfortable, decorated well enough, and full of people I love.  So what if I don't have Joanna Gaines' touch?  It's just right for us.

Meals/Food:  I can't say I don't mind a fancy meal now and then, but I would prefer to cook simply.  Early on in our marriage, I remember having people over for get togethers and thinking I needed to cook some fabulous meal that was completely out of my repertoire (and comfort zone!), because the people we were inviting were foodies (well, that was before the word foodies was coined, but hey. . .).  Nowadays, if you come over, we might order pizza, or I might cook or grill a well-loved meal.  It might not have sixteen ingredients you've never heard of, but it will be cooked with TLC and love.

Cars/Phones/Possessions:  Let me start with this one by saying one of our cars is a 2004 Chevy Astro Van.  I could basically stop there, as that pretty much sums up this category, but I'll continue. A beautiful car in my book is one that holds all seven of us and is paid for.  The Astro passed both questions from the get-go and therefore was a winner.  We may not have the fanciest, flashiest cars on the block, but they get us from point A to Point B without breaking the bank, and that's what a vehicle is for, right?  In the same vein, we have 3-year-old iPhones that are still limping along.  We have to charge them a little more frequently now, but they're still working and they are freeee!

Vacations:  Dear reader, if you know me at all, you know we camp for most of our vacations.  The price is right, we make great family memories, and we see the country!  No, we don't have pristine hotel suites or zero-entry pools, we don't buy top-notch travel packages and we don't eat at all the best restaurants.  But we can still spend a lot of time together as a family without all that stuff, and that's what a vacation is for, right?

As I said in my original "I'm Not Fancy Post" (link above), the older I get, the more comfortable I am with who I am.  If someone else always has the latest iPhone and takes award-winning vacations, awesome!  But that isn't me, and that's okay too.  I'm happy being me: a pop-up-camping, iPhone 5-using, comfort-food-cooking mamma.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

National Sibling Day

Last week for Spring break, we went to Florida and stayed with my in-laws for the tail end of their snow bird season.  It was fabulous - Florida is my place!  We sat on the beach, laughed, shopped, played cards and just had a good time together.

Florida is no quick trip for us, so we spent many hours in the car on the way down and home.  Our kids are certainly no strangers to long road trips (our next adventure will be driving to the Pacific Northwest!), and they understand driving saves lots of money and enables us to see the country (that, coupled with camping!).  But still, being in the car for 12 or more hours a day isn't exactly anyone's idea of a great time.

Well, maybe that's not true.  My daughter's first grade teacher told me what my daughter shared yesterday at school.  The teacher was asking each student what his/her favorite part of Spring break was, and this was my daughter's response:  "The best part of Spring break was being in the car for 13 hours with my family.  We're usually so busy, that it was great to be together with nowhere else to go.  We laughed and sang songs and had a great time!"

Wow - we did laugh and sing and have fun!  There were also fights and complaining, but those things apparently didn't stick in her memory - just the good times with her family made an impression.

As we were driving home from school yesterday, we were talking about childhood friends.  One of the boys asked me if I was still close with any of my childhood friends, and I replied that I keep in touch with several on Facebook, but that we don't see one another regularly.  "Who is your best friend now?" one of the kids asked.  After I moment, I paused and said that my sister was my best friend.  After a moment I laughed and turned toward the back seat, knowing the kids would say that she didn't count - she's my sister!  And indeed, they were ready to tease me about it, but I took a moment to tell them it was true, and remind them once again, that their siblings are the ones who will stick by them through thick and thin, and that no one will know them longer than their siblings will.  They've heard these lectures before, but I pray they hear them.  Brothers and sisters are life long best friends!

As it turns out, Facebook reminded me yesterday that it was National Sibling Day.  I posted a picture of my kids, with a comment about their lifelong friendships blossoming.  And I also posted a picture of my sister and me, thanking God for giving me a lifelong best friend.

There is no shortage of negative behavior over here between my children.  But I pray that as the years pass, those memories fade and like my youngest daughter's road trip recollection, the sibling bond remains strongly at the forefront.  Best friends for life!