Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Irma Aftermath!

We made it through with NO DAMAGE. That is the biggest praise. No one in our family suffered any damage at all either.

We spent Monday and Tuesday without power. Ours went out around 12pm Monday and came back on around 8:30 Tuesday. Mom's went out early in the morning (4AM?) on Monday and is still out as of Wednesday at noon. They're hoping it will be soon, but who knows.

A gas water heater is a good thing. Warm showers the whole time.

My house is a DISASTER. Literally, every toy is pulled out. I ran the dishwasher this morning and will unload and reload it and clean the kitchen up later today.

I have to go to the grocery store. Our fridge was completely emptied last night. Our freezer suffered minor injury. The meat remained frozen. Things like waffles did not.

I'm planning to spend the afternoon (sans children) cleaning and grocery shopping.

We are supposed to head back to school tomorrow.

We are praying that Irma is our only hit this year. Anna is tired of being here and not at her own home. The other evacuees are ready to leave the shelters and head back home. Some people will be rebuilding after destruction. It's just a mess. 

I don't have any place to complain at all about what we went through for sure. It was easy and mild compared to many who lost their homes. Pray for the people of Florida and Georgia while we clean up from this storm.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Prep!

Well, for the first time in the 27 years I've lived in South Georgia, we faced a hurricane this week. Tropical storms? Yes. We've had those. But in my memory, I don't think we've ever had a hurricane hit. And yesterday they were predicting that it might hit us at Category THREE. Pack me up! Let's get out of here!

But we've stayed. We're here, riding it out. I jokingly told Eddie we needed to add "ride out a hurricane" to our bucket lists over the weekend, but it looks like we won't be able to mark it off now. The news I'm seeing says that we've been downgraded to a Tropical Storm and at most a Cat 1. We shall see!!!

We've been prepping and prepping and praying and praying. I have a few things packed in case we need to jump in the car and head to Eddie's office where they have a basement. I have water in the freezer. We have snacks. I've filled two bathtubs with water in case ours goes out (I've heard mixed stories about whether we'll lose water or not after the power goes out). We're charging electronics. We've all taken "one last shower." 

BEST case scenario will be strong winds and rain and two days off from school. Of course, losing power would make things harder. I am not a happy person without power, but I'll make do. 

Update:

We are in the midst of Irma right now. Several trees and lots of limbs down, but so far our power remains! We are safe and stir-crazy already! Ha! It feels a little like Christmas morning (getting up early, exhausted, and not going anywhere because nothing is open!) without the presents. So far, our swing set and sandbox remain, although we sort of expect one or both to bite the dust.

Eddie Cantore keeps opening the doors and walking outside. I've threatened him a number of times, but he's ignoring me. I've posted a few times on Insta Stories so if you want to see the storm, follow me there!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Weekend!

So the lack of pictures around here and on Instagram is due entirely to the fact that my camera will no longer take photos or video. The only way I've been posting on IG at all is through InstaStories (which my phone will do because it doesn't save anything) and with Eddie's phone. My phone has too many pictures on it and the obvious answer is to DELETE THEM, but the phone won't allow me to do that either. SO. No pictures. But the new iPhone is set to drop on the 12th and then we have our fingers crossed that the LAST iPhone will drop in price (wishful thinking???) and I can actually afford it then. Last time I called Verizon they quoted me $800 and I think that's ABSURD. But whatever. I have to have one.

Anyway, all that to say that this Labor Day post is a POST an actual, real POST from me (three in a weekend, thankyouverymuch), but will lack pictures. You'll have to use your imagination.

We all had a four-day weekend this year (Saturday-Tuesday) and we STAYED AT HOME. It was wonderful. We typically go somewhere for Labor Day (and we thought about it), but we decided to stay put this year and celebrate Mom's birthday in town and it was fabulous.

On Friday, I worked until it was time to go and pick up the boys and then when I got to the school I realized that Grandmama had told me she would pick them up since she was working at their school that day. Doh. What's a girl to do except go straight back to work and continue working? NOT. I went home, ate leftover hibachi, and took. a. nap. Glory! Eddie woke me up when he got home so that I could get ready for the football game. (Football games are not my thing, but I'm 2/2 this year so far! The second one was HOT and I left during halftime, but Will wanted to go with me and told me on the way to the car that he would rather football games only last two quarters, so he and I may be buddies this year and only stay for part. Ha!) He got showered and then we watched a little Harry Potter when we got home. Very nice evening! The big boys got dropped off later and were excited that our team won their second game. Woohooo!

On Saturday, Anna and Merritt were in town for Mom's birthday so they dropped by to play for a while. She thinks James and Will are hilarious and loves to boss them around. She does NOT understand wrestling, and fusses at them to stop when they start rolling around on the floor. As soon as they left, we all got ready for Cacky's birthday party at John and Kayla's house! We ordered pizza, Kayla had apps out and there was a lemon cheese cake (not a cheesecake, apparently) and ice cream for dessert! We had a fun time celebrating!

Sunday morning, we were lazy, lazy. I had to keep our church's nursery, but Eddie woke up with a sore throat so he and the boys decided to stay home. After I got done at church, I came home and we had lunch and then the boys and I headed to Cacky's to play with Merritt and Liam a little more. Everything else on Sunday was low-key!

Monday morning we got up and got going a little later than normal. (Holidays are nice for sleeping in!) Eddie and the boys ran an errand and I got started on Pumpkin Muffins! These are our favorite fall treat! Soooo yummy. Eddie got a little yard work done and I read and read and read and read. (Holidays are nice for reading!) We just had an overall nice day! Will is signed up for a new gymnastics class and we all went to that yesterday afternoon. It. was. awesome. Because it was a holiday weekend, NO ONE ELSE was in his group so he got a private first lesson (and it was a trial so it was free!). Will has INCREDIBLE upper body strength and we've thought for a long time that he would excel at gymnastics. He also needs something that is HIS, not James', and this fits the bill. If James wants to do it, too, he can't until spring (because we have rules about how many activities you can participate in and James has met his max). Will loved every minute of gymnastics yesterday. They pretty much did everything they could - stretches, uneven bars, parallel bars, rings, vault, horizontal bar, rope climbing, and jumping into the foam pit. He smiled the whole time and we were so proud of him!

Last night after the boys went to bed, Eddie and I put together four freezer meals in 20 minutes. It was awesome! I have felt WAY out of sync since starting to work so much more often, and we are eating out about 4-5 nights a week. PROBLEM. So I gathered up four crockpot recipes on Monday and we shopped and put those together last night. Now we can just pull one out the night before and throw it in the crockpot for supper. I'm going to try to do 4-5 more each week in the coming weeks. Then we won't have any excuse NOT to eat at home. Hallelujah! I'll share the recipes here soon.

Today, we have lazed around and/or worked around the house once again. I had my barre class and James is headed to tennis later. Tomorrow, we all head back to work and school, but it's just a three-day week! We can handle that!

We are praying that Irma isn't as bad as she looks right now, but we are also bracing ourselves for a ton of rain/storms next week. Praying for those of you in the path of that storm.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Black Bean Soup

I am a soup girl. Once we hit September, I am ready for all soup, all the time. The men in my life don't love it as much as I do, but they do let me throw it in our line up from time-to-time and I often make it when I'm the only one eating.

Tonight, I was nursing a major headache during real suppertime, so I missed out on the sandwiches the boys had (it's Sunday night...we don't get fancy around here on Sunday night). I decided it was the perfect opportunity for black bean soup. I'm always forgetting where I found a recipe, so I thought I'd post it here so I can find it later!

Original recipe HERE.

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tbsp. cumin (I was out so I subbed taco seasoning! Lol!)
1 can chicken broth
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (you could leave this out...the Rotel was enough heat!)
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
salt to taste
shredded cheddar for garnish
sour cream for garnish

1. Add oil to a large pot. Once hot, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cumin and sauté for one minute. Add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
2.  Add beans and Rotel. Using an immersion blender, blend beans until half of them are well blended. Add worcestershire and red pepper flakes. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
3. Top with cheese and sour cream and serve with bread for dipping! Enjoy!

Solar Eclipse Shenanigans!

When the solar eclipse buzz began a few weeks ago, I immediately knew that if my kiddos weren't doing anything for it at school, I would check them out so that we could see it at home. When I was growing up, anytime there was a lunar eclipse or a comet or a meteor shower, we watched. I can remember watching a lunar eclipse with my dad when I was LITTLE and many, many comets and meteor showers on the trampoline under sleeping bags with my mom. I loved space from an early age! It's fascinating to me!


When the day finally rolled around, our school system released at noon so that there was no liability for ruined eyes kids could watch and experience it with their families. We made a PARTY out of it at our house! Cacky joined in the fun and we had an awesome afternoon. We started brainstorming snacks about a week beforehand and we had a table full of junk food! Star Crunch, Moon Pies, Starburst, Orbit gum, Eclipse gum, Milky Ways, Sun Chips, and Capri Sun. Yummmmmmy. Ha! I bought a few books about space, we had our eclipse glasses, we had the decor, the ingredients for "galaxy slime" and Cacky brought a solar system kit to paint.





The eclipse itself was neat, but definitely not what we expected. We really thought it would get dark and it definitely didn't. It was eerie, though. We stepped outside during as much partiality as we were going to get and it was sunny but looked like there was a filter over the world. Sort of weird.




Overall, it was a fun afternoon and I hope the boys remember it!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Back to School!

I just realized I've never written ANYTHING about the boys going back to school! What?! Y'all. Work is insane. My job is really only 3/4 time, but I've been working from the minute the boys go to school until the minute I pick them up each day. I came home yesterday at 1pm and that was the earliest I'd been home in WEEKS. I am hoping that when school starts on Monday it will calm down some and I will have time to EAT. Someone told me the other day I looked like I'd lost weight. It is simply because I am down to one meal a day at this point. Lol!



The boys went back to school on August 1st (ridiculous) and we have pretty much gotten into the swing of things. Will started KINDERGARTEN this year, so the boys are together at the same school and will be for the four years. We are being re-zoned next year, but elementary school will go through 5th grade, so I'm happy with that. James started 2nd grade and I just can't even believe it. 2nd grade was probably my favorite year EVER and I hope he loves it, too.



Will is in Mrs. J's class this year. I'm not sure how much I posted this summer about our sweet babysitter, but Will's teacher is her mama. We had our fingers crossed that we'd either get her or James' kindergarten teacher, so we are happy, happy, happy! He has a class full of kids he knows really well. He hasn't had a single moment of being upset at drop-off, although he is VERY tired when I pick him up in the afternoons, so our time spent at home has been a little volatile. He's our child with a temper and he will erupt like a volcano. He is also our more laid-back kiddo. I'm not sure how that works out, but it did. He will be PERFECTLY happy and content and then explode. Lol! So we've been working on that.



James has Mrs. W this year. He has a few kids in her class that he knows, but not many. Most importantly, his bff JM is in there with him. He and John Michael have been together in the same class for five years now. I'm not sure what they'll do without each other if JM doesn't move to our new school next year. (His mama is a teacher so he could stay with her or re-zone. We will see!) James is also still going to his gifted class every day with Mrs. H. They are reading Charlotte's Web right now, and I am THRILLED about that! What an awesome book! (Remember when James and I read it when he was three and I made him do a book review on it? HERE)

My school year begins on Monday. I've stepped into the position of director at our preschool and while I have loved most of it, it isn't without it's challenges. Keeping parents happy and keeping 22 female teachers happy are the biggest challenges so far. Lol! I'm hoping that our school year is amazing!

School is pretty much the only thing going on here. James and Eddie started Cub Scouts back up this week. We are hoping he continues to love that. He is taking the fall off of sports and I'm THRILLED with that. Will is considering doing a gymnastics class starting in September. He thinks it will help in his goal of one day becoming an American Ninja Warrior (or War-yer - rhymes with hair - as he calls it!). Both are doing church activities and choir, too. 

Sorry the updates aren't coming as frequently these days as they did years ago. Sometimes I miss the days where James went to school two days a week and we stayed home more than we were out. Now, we're pretty much home when we fall into bed at night. I am not a fan of busy-ness, so that is unfortunate to me. I know it won't slow down for a LONG time, so on the days where we DON'T have things planned, I pretty much pretend we aren't here and just shut down.

This morning the boys are gone to church with Eddie and I got up, enjoyed drinking my coffee and watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and talking to YOU!

Y'all have an awesome weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rockin'

A few months ago, a friend of mine contacted me and said she wanted me to start a rock painting and hiding group for our town. She lives in Jesup, but she thought our little town (and her hometown) would like it, too. She got the Facebook page all set up for us and then several of us added local friends to get it going. And then, I stopped participating. Ha! It was right at the end of the school year and I just didn't have the time to do anything with it. Well. It has TAKEN OFF in our town. We have almost 1500 members and people are hiding and seeking like crazy!


In case you aren't familiar, the premise is a lot like Easter Eggs. I paint rocks, hide them and post pictures with clues about where they're hidden, and someone else comes along and finds its, posts a picture, and re-hides my rock. Does that make sense? Think Easter Egg hunt meets geocaching.


The boys have LOVED it. We've painted and hidden and found a lot! 


If you're interested in getting it started for your area, just create a Facebook page with some guidelines and ideas so people "get" it and then add a bunch of your local friends. We hashtag all of our rocks so that if someone isn't part of the group, they'll be able to find us if they find a rock.


We have had so much fun doing this! I love the painting the most, but the boys LOVE finding them and they LOVE people finding (and posting) theirs!


Anyone else doing this in your own town?


Friday, June 30, 2017

VBS!

We just wrapped up another week of Bible School. The boys LOVE this every single year. I am not the biggest VBS fan (Scrooge over here!), but the boys love it. James was awake until 11pm on Sunday night and up at 6:30am on Monday because he was so excited.

I worked in the adult snack room for the second year in a row. It's where I'm happy. I'm able to see my kiddos, it's easy, and it is low on the stimulation. Everything is so LOUD at VBS!

We had a fun week learning about God and making new friends! We're always exhausted after it's over, but it is 11pm and my boys aren't HOME. *Gasp* They went with their cousins to Wild Adventures today and didn't leave the park until an hour ago. Oh my word, they are going to be SO TIRED tomorrow. Fingers crossed they will take a good, long nap or sleep late!