Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My week: band camp, meals, light fixture

No, those things aren't really related...except in my world.
 8 a.m. is early for teenagers in the summer, ya'll. 
And Bubbie is a grump in the mornings.
But things worth having are worth working hard for.
 
He asked me this morning: "So, how long does this band camp go?"  It was painful to tell him, that basically, it lasts the rest of his summer.  I feel for him.  It's darn hot out on that pavement.  The humidity is high.  It's a lot of hard work.  The horn is heavy and you will grow some muscles.  See you at 5 p.m.!
I made freezer meals this morning, in preparation for (I hope) adding 8 more hours to my work week, making me a 40 hour employee.  If I can fix those regularly, we can have nice dinners with little to no effort on the days I'm there 7:30-4.  Because aforementioned band practice will be a zero hour class M-F, and 6-8 p.m. on Monday nights.  Not to mention, a football game once a week until mid October.  Pictured above is Curry Chicken, Honey Garlic Chicken, and Mediterranean Pork Chops.
And lastly, the view in the kitchen after I made those meals.  To show you  the distance between the top of the island cabinet and the ceiling. 
Last night I faced down a fear of heights to change out the bulb in this one.  It's socket had come loose so I had to put a step stool on the counter, climb up there, and re-clamp it before I could change the bulb.  I was alone in the house, so thank GOD I didn't fall, shaking and sweaty as I was.
So...what's your week been like?







Monday, July 29, 2013

Mealplan Monday #69

Today marks the start of Bubbie's marching  band experience.  Band camp begins!
It's when all the years of middle school band start to make sense in preparation for the more serious world of high school band.
It's something he's enjoyed, so I hope that will continue to be the case, even though it will be challenging and require a lot more focus and practice.  It's a positive peer group, and he will learn how to manage his time better, with all the demands of a zero hour class and practice 6 times a week...
But look how far you've come already, Bubbie...
  ******
Monday - Mexican pork for tacos, pico, cheese
Tuesday - Spaghetti and roasted garlic meat sauce, salad
Wednesday - Scalloped potatoes and ham in the crock pot with carrots
Thursday - Cheesey Bacon Bean Quesadillas*, melon or pinapple chinks
Friday - Chicken Scaloppine with orzo, green beans
Saturday - Dad grills
Sunday - Freezer meal - Chicken  shells with creamy bechamel, salad
*recipe coming soon!
******
Band practice means a lot more time out in the heat of central Texas.  
(And siblings to cheer you on.)
 It brings back a flood of memories for me when Scout was in band.
 It was a lot of hard work, and while I think it was a good experience for him, I wish it had been more enjoyable and successful for him.  He eventually dropped band in favor of the guitar - more his speed.
 But those Friday night games sure were a blast. 
And we all look forward to seeing Bubbie march!
Because, as always, I am my kids' most enthusiastic fan!







Friday, July 26, 2013

Memories to save

The time for The Girl to move on to her own space is drawing near...it's been a long process as you can see here and here and here, and in numerous other places on this blog as it's been a twice yearly thing since high school graduation.  All this time, I've been the caretaker of her toys and mementos.  And that's been a struggle in this already too-packed house of ours.  Here's just the stuff that was stored under Scout's bed in her old room:
 But now since Firstborn has moved on, there will be extra closet space in here.  And hopefully, I have learned not to hang on too tight to childhood toys, etc.  But someone forgot to send that memo to The Girl...and she found the pile of boxes.
 Yes, she had to assemble all of the Barbie stuff.  I never realized how much she really played with it all.  She said she mostly did on the weekends while I was at work and the boys were occupied doing boy things.  There are many happy Christmases, Easters, birthdays, and end-of-the-school year sussies in there.
 I think she had a bit of fun, reminiscing and digging through it all.  She'd had a stressful day moving the rest of her stuff from her apartment in Waco - call this "play therapy".
She carefully picked out what to save, and the rest went into a giveaway pile, which I will take to work.  Not shown are the dozen or so Beanie Babies, some Polly Pockets, a couple of Sky Dancers, some Harry Potter Legos, and a baby doll in a 60's Tourister makeup case complete with handmade clothes by Grandma.
 It makes me smile that she has happy memories, and I'm glad we can save out so much of it.  I don't remember being so fortunate as to choose - my mother unceremoniously gave all of my Barbie's and Dawn Dolls all to my nieces.  ):
But this treasure?  This is Future Grandma's gold - a way to re-connect to The Girl's happy childhood through my Granchildren-to-be.  I'm seeing lots more happy hours of pretend play ahead...




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm not a photographer...

I'm really no kind of photographer at all...and my kids seem to especially hate me pointing the camera at them while they are eating.
 I can't say I blame them - it's awkward.  It's just that they are usually in motion and I catch them when I can.  It makes for amusing photo ops.  I end up deleting most of them, but some of them I keep for giggles and grins.
 And they aren't going to cooperate anyway, especially Bubbie.
Too bad, because they really are my favorite subject, but you'd never know it with my lack of camera skills...
 





Monday, July 22, 2013

Mealplan Monday #68 and a beach trip

What makes sharing a meal with your family so enjoyable?
 Is it eating it outside?
 
Around a patio table with a sheet as a fancy tablecloth? 
Because I'm thinking...it wasn't the cuisine...
 ******
Monday - Creamy Chipotle Chicken over rice, green beans
Tuesday - Grilled cheese and soup
Wednesday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad
Thursday - Ground turkey and pasta skillet, zucchini
Friday - Chicken with apples, onions, and butternut squash, ciabatta rolls
Saturday - Dad grills
Sunday - Pizza, salad
 ******
Clearly, it's more about the company that you share!
And for the most part, mine were forgiving about the food, since it meant more time on the sand.  We had a fabulous seafood feast our second night in Port Aransas,  so it all balanced out.  
Because the trade off was ocean breezes and time together.  Even so, this week I'm determined to slash our grocery bill, so there will be much less convenience food. And very little eating out...





Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rainy Port Aransas days...

It rained there. And we made the best of it for two days,
and actually had a lot of fun together...



Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not




Monday, July 15, 2013

Mealplan Monday #67 and beachy dreams

I cannot stand it anymore.  We have got to go to the beach! 
 
I planned a pretty much spur-of-the-moment trip for my peeps and I to Port Aransas next week.  Just two days.  We are taking food, but it's really simple stuff:  freezer dinners, stuff for sammies, fruit, milk, OJ, snacks, sodas.  We will eat out a bit, too.  Even so, I still put together a plan...
 ******
Monday - Crock pot roast, masheds, green beans
Tuesday - Big salad with chicken strips 
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Beanie Weinie, corn
Friday - Leftover pulled pork on baked potatoes with green onions and monterrey jack cheese
Saturday - Dad grills
Sunday - Enchiladas, guacamole salad
******
 
 We will stay here - a block from the beach.  Nothing fancy, but it has clean, cool beds, a small pool to play in, TV and cable, and hot showers with fluffy towels.  Plus a kitchen with a fridge so we can make our own snacks and easy meals.
 We will eat breakfast on our patio and head down early in the morning to hunt for shells.  Play on the beach all day.  Then visit the tacky gift shops and candy store.  Eat some seafood out, then relax in the hot tub.  I don't even care if it rains, which is in the forecast...
The driving isn't my favorite part, but spending some time with my kiddoes away from home is!  And maybe we can plan a big vacay for next summer for the six of us, since we won't be sending anyone to Philmont...




Friday, July 12, 2013

A simple Summer afternoon

Scout and I had three hours of free time to ourselves on Tuesday after dropping Bubbie off at band sectionals.
 We chose to head downtown and hang out at the capitol, admiring the beautiful, antique inside and the lush, green outside.  It's such a gorgeous building.  Made entirely of pink granite.  With so many giant trees - I just love it - and we can go there whenever we want. It wasn't crowded at all, and peaceful.  Just very hot outside!
We live in such a beautiful city - I truly appreciate the beauty of central Texas.
Scout gets really jazzed about photographing nature.  Yesterday, someone at Krause Springs asked him what he was taking pictures of.  Nature, duh.  He was more polite than that.  But really...stop messing with my photographer people. 
We stopped at another unique Austin spot, Upper Crust Bakery, for some fabulous cinnamon rolls and iced coffee.  Scout has been a coffee lover since forever.
A simple outing that was relaxing and fun.  I could sure use another one of those...





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