Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Boy Scout Camp

Peter had a great time at Boy Scout camp last week. He loves Raven Knob!

Before camp, each scout picks up to six badges they want to work on.  Peter chose the following: Metal Work, Landscape Architecture, Fishing, Bird Study, Archaeology, and Forestry/Plant Science.  Each day, they attend a session for each badge and if they apply themselves, they can complete each badge before they leave camp at the end of the week.

He said he enjoyed each session  but that Metal Working was his favorite.  He made a wall hook and a pair of metal tongs and earned his badge.  He can tell you anything you want to know about metal working - just ask him! 

I think he enjoyed this one most of all because he got to walk around with pieces of hot metal saying "hot metal behind" and "hot metal coming through".  And his BFF Colton was in that class as well so that made it even better.

The only badge he wasn't able to complete was fishing because he never caught a fish.  In order to get that badge, we will need to go fishing this summer and hopefully he can catch something!

Dan was able to snap a few shots when he was there on Thursday and Friday.


Hammering hot metal.








Working together!

Colton working in the furnace.


Working on his tongs.

Playing games at camp in the evening.

Dan took a hike while the boys were in session and took this artsy photo.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

#Babble

It's been a crazy week but a good one so I thought it was time for a little #Babble.

Last Sunday, Peter left for Boy Scout camp.  He was so happy and excited to be heading off for another week long adventure that I didn't even have a chance to be sad. He'd picked lots of great merit badges to work on and his best friend, Colton, was going this year so he was even more excited than last year.

Dan headed up there on Wednesday night (he split the week with another dad) since he wasn't able to miss a whole week of work. 

Sarah and I had big plans for the week.  She had swim practice, a swim meet, and a swim party.  And in between all of that, we repainted her room. 

Two summers ago, she asked for an update to her room and we obliged. She choose a bright Pepto pink for three of the walls and even brighter purple for an accent wall.  She loved it (even though I had reservations about the brightness of the colors).

But she recently decided that the room was a little too babyish for an 11-year-old.  Dan typically does all the painting around here and told her that due to gardening, yard work, and business trips, it would most likely be fall until he could paint the room. So I told we would paint it while the boys were away.

And paint we did!  Luckily it's a small room but between getting the room cleared out, removing everything from the walls, putting putty on the holes, taping, and then fiiiiiinnnnnaly painting, it took over 2 days.  Thank goodness the room wasn't any larger. 



Yesterday morning we hit the stores to start decorating her room. She had a Hobby Lobby gift card burning a hole in her cute little purse and some birthday money as well. 

So we got a new comforter and some wall decorations but didn't find the "cute throw pillows" she was looking for - so she will be scouring the internet this weekend for those.  And once she has all of her accessories then she will officially decorate her room.  She wants to wait until she has everything before she puts it all together.

I can't wait to see how it turns out.  She chose a very pale pink paint (called Ballet Slipper) because she wants her "accessories to pop".  And she has chosen lots of bright things so I believe it's all definitely going to pop when she gets it all together.

And now, I'm working hard to get the house back in order after a week of crazy.  There's much laundry to do, groceries to purchase, and my boys will be home soon which means much more laundry! 

I can't wait to see them and Sarah is looking forward to showing off her new room to them.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Impromptu date night!

A couple of weeks ago, Dan travelled to Dubai and before he left my parents kept the kids so we could have a date night.  This past week he was in Ireland but he arrived home Thursday night.

Peter already had a sleep over scheduled with a friend from school and the day before, Cheyanne begged her mom to have Sarah sleepover on Thursday.  So the stars aligned and Dan and I were able to go out to dinner again with just the two of us.

Our first date night was at The Honey Pot.  If you live in the area and have never been, go!  It was delicious and we will definitely be going back.  However, on Thursday, I knew I didn't want to spend a ton of money on dinner but I also knew that I wanted to go downtown.  So we headed to 6th and Vine.  They've got pricey entrees but they also have a nice selection of appetizers and small plates.  And they've got wine (hence the name). 

I'm not a big wine person but I do love me a good craft beer and any restaurant worth it's salt will have a nice selection of those these days so we were good.

I ordered a cup of roasted red pepper and bacon soup to start.  It was wonderful.  I could have eaten a whole pot of it.  And then came my dinner which was really an appetizer/small plate.

I ordered this beautiful fried green tomato and goat cheese napoleon.  The menu description reads "Fried green tomatoes, roma tomato jam,brown sugar, pickled onions, and goat cheese stacked in a tower and topped with a balsamic reduction and basil."

And I had to snap a picture because it was so pretty.  I don't normally whip out my phone in a restaurant and snap a photo because it seems so dorky but I couldn't resist - much to Dan's chagrin.



We enjoyed our dinner and got caught up on what happened while he was out of the country. And then we weren't quite ready to head home so we walked over to The Small Batch Beer Company.

And just like the name implies, they serve beer that they brew in small batches.  I ordered a tasting flight with three different types of beer.  And once again, I thought it was so pretty that I had to take a picture and once again Dan was left shaking his head. 


I had a maple amber, a chocolate stout and a coconut stout.  They were all good but the coconut stout was my favorite.  

It was such a nice evening that when we got home, I wanted to snap a selfie of the two of us.  I knew there was no way Dan was going to agree to a selfie out in public because he loathes selfies.  But I did manage to convince him that we should take one at home. And I didn't really convince him so much as grab him around the neck and take it anyway. 


He's travelled ever since we've been married and I hate every minute he's gone. But boy am I happy when he gets home!  

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's swim meet time!

We had our first swim meet of the season on Tuesday.  The kids swam well and our team won!

And of course, I've got lots of pictures.

Freestyle



Backstroke



Butterfly

Breast Stroke

And here are all my kids (okay, my kids and Jennifer's kids but I feel like they are mine!) right before the swim meet.  


And this picture taken before Peter and Sarah's very first swim meet in June of 2010.  I swear this makes me want to weep just a little bit. And to really see the change over the years, check out this post.  Their strokes have definitely improved!  ;)


Friday, June 12, 2015

#Babble: 1st Week of Summer Vacay

The first week of summer vacation is coming to a close. 

The kids have gone to nightly swim practices (next week we start morning practices) and while they have been perfecting their strokes, Jennifer and I have been walking.  My plan was to get up early before Dan leaves for work to run but I just haven't been in the mood.  So Jennifer and I have been walking for an hour each evening. It's been enjoyable but so far has had zero impact on my muffin top or on the scale.  Have I mentioned before that being middle aged and trying to lose weight sucks?  I thought so.

My house has become a bit of a disaster zone throughout this past school year.  While it's always neat looking on the outside, I pity the fool that opens a cabinet or a closet because something is likely to fall out and land right on top of said fool's head!

I've made it my goal to try to straighten or clean at least one little area each day this summer.  This week I cleaned out Sarah's closet and dresser (clothes only, a lot of junk still remains), Peter's closet and dresser (clothes only, A LOT of junk still remains), two very messy kitchen cabinets, and the very messy closet/craft stash/school supply hoard in the guest bedroom.  

While that sounds like a lot on paper, when I look around at all the other places I stash/cram/shove things, I've got a lot more work to do.  But, there's still a lot of summer left so I'm going to soldier on.

The garden is finally starting to take shape.  Dan waters it and frets over it nightly thanks to our lack of rain but a huge water bill later and it's doing fine.  We've got some tiny little green tomatoes on the vines and I'm already mentally eating my first BLT.  And we've got some tiny cucumbers on the vines and the dill is going gangbusters so I'm mentally enjoying a side of those with my BLT as well!

Hello my little pretty!

The peppers are always so slow to start but hopefully they will catch up. The corn looks lovely growing in the garden but based on past experience, I'm pretty sure it's going to taste bad.  The peas started out gangbusters but they don't seem to be making much progress so I'm not sure what's going on there but there are lots of blooms, so fingers crossed that they actually do something.  And the basil and cilantro are growing quite nicely.  The chives other hand, never took so we we replanted that and are waiting patiently.

And that pretty much sums up our first week of vacation and this edition of #Babble is now closed!  Enjoy your weekend!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Another birthday!

Yesterday was Dad's 73rd birthday and we also celebrated Sarah's birthday yesterday as well. 





Sarah had a mound of presents, but don't worry, she's not spoiled!  Her tastes run in nail polish, curling irons and clothes from Target so it may look like a lot but in reality it was all quite affordable.  (Plus there's presents from the rest of the family in there as well.)

My dad is a little bit spoiled.  His tastes run in smokers!  Dan, my brother and I went in on this little beauty for him:

Dad is smoking ribs on Friday night so the gift givers will be benefiting from this gift!  We are sneaky that way! ;)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Seven Quick Takes

It's been a while since I've done a Seven Quick Takes and since today is Friday, let's do it!

1.  Dan has been in Dubai all week and returns today!  Here are some pictures he sent me while he was away.
The view from his hotel room.

This is a view from a restaurant where he had dinner.  The building is the Burg Kahlifa which at 2,716 feet is the tallest building in the world!

Random palm tree.

2. Today is the last day of school.  Here are my cuties on the first and last day!
Look at their faces!  Don't they look so much more mature?!  YIKES!  Where did the baby faces go???
3.  Tonight we are celebrating the last day of school,(as well as Dan's arrival home and Sarah's birthday) with dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  We started this tradition when the kids finished their 2nd and 3rd grade years at Our Lady of Mercy. (That was the end of their first years their as we started in public school.)  And we've done it ever since. It's our own little end of school tradition!

4.  I'm getting my hair done this morning and then school is only a half day and it's hello summer vacation!  I am just as excited as the kids this year.  It's been a good year but 5th and 6th grade are no joke and we are all just ready for a break!

5.  And speaking of hair, Sarah informed me a couple of days ago that she is going to let her bangs and her hair grow out.  And I was very proud of myself for not saying, "I told you so!".  I guess I'm growing up.  :)  She said she likes her hair short but she misses being able to do lots of different styles with it.  Luckily her hair grows pretty fast so we will let it grow all summer and get a trim right before school starts.  Hopefully her bangs will have grown out enough at that point that we can get it all trimmed to one length.

6.  Swim team is in full swing with evening practices.  Public schools are still in session next week so we won't switch to morning practices until the following week, which means that the kids can sleep in all next week!  They are so excited about that but I can guarantee you they will be up early and then the following week when it's time for swim practice and I need them up early they will fight it.  And how do I know this?  Because it happens every year!  :)

7.  And last Sunday was my beautiful mother's birthday and her are a couple of pictures. I love you Mom!


Head on over to Kelly's to see what all the other Quick Takers have been up to this week!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Eleven is....

Eleven is...

Kind
Creative
Friendly
Stylish
Sporty
Caring
Determined
Considerate
Helpful
Beautiful
Loving


Eleven loves to...

Do her hair
Paint her fingernails
Put on makeup
Watch YouTube DIY tutorials
Look at Pinterest for craft ideas
Swim
Play basketball
Play tag, dodge ball, and knockout at recess
Text her friends
Take selfies
Annoy her brother
Jump on the trampoline
Make grilled cheese sandwiches
Watch American Idol and America's Got Talent
 

Oh how I love my little eleven.
Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Well, it just all seems so awkward!


I had "The Talk" with Sarah when Peter was on his field trip a couple of weeks ago. 

With Peter, we had to have "The Talk" in Fourth Grade right before  he turned 10.  And I only did it then because he was asking me lots of questions and it was apparent that he had some friends from school were most likely having some in depth playground discussions.  You can read all about it in two parts, here, here, and  here.

Sarah will be eleven next week and she has yet to ask any questions so I never really felt like it was time.  However, in the 5th grade, at the end of the year, they do a Family Life section that discusses the sanctity of marriage.  It doesn't go into actual mechanics but in order for the study to be valuable, she needed to know all the details.  Plus, part of the homework are a bunch of discussion questions that the kids have to go over with their parents and it makes for a great jumping off point to go a little deeper into what we as Catholics believe in regards to sex, love, and marriage.

Since Peter was going to be away for a few days, I figured it was the perfect opportunity.  We came home after school and I gave her the same book I gave Peter and told her to read it and then we would talk.

She read it and then she asked questions.  A lot of questions.  I don't even really remember the specific questions.  It almost seemed like the whole topic made her nervous and that she would be okay if she could just keep talking.  So she asked, I answered, and then finally she said, "Well, it just all seems so awkward!"

And that made me laugh out loud.  I assured her that if you loved your husband (stress husband here!) it would not be at all awkward and that's why we wait (stress wait!) until we are married, otherwise it would be awkward.

I stressed that if she ever had any questions she should talk to me and not her friends and that she should let her friend's parents talk to them about this (although, I honestly believe Sarah is probably one of the last ones in her class to learn about this.)  She assured me that there was no way that she would be talking to her friends about this and that was the end of that.

Whew!  I did it!  Two "talks" and I'm still alive to tell the tale.  Although, now that that Peter is a little older, I think Dan needs to talk to him about some other, um, things.  And since I don't have that particular body part, it's his turn to get in on all of this parenting fun!