Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We've been quacking even though I haven't posted a single picture yet!

This is our last week of the swim season.  I'm always a little sad at the end of it because that means we basically only have a month of summer vacation left.   Noooooooooooooo!

This swim season was a little odd because the first swim meet was rained out.  The next week, Peter was gone to Boy Scout camp and missed the meet that week.  The next week, we had a regular meet and the make-up meet for the rained out meet and Sarah and Cheyanne were in Florida with the Girl Scouts.  The next week was 4th of July week and we never have a meet that week.  Last week was our fourth and final regular season meet and Colton was at his high school doing testing so he got there late and alllllllllllllll of  this just to say, I finally (at a swim team party no less) got to take my annual photo of my swimmers together.



We started the swim team after Sarah's kindergarten year.  So this makes our EIGHTH year on the swim team. 

Here are pictures from the previous years:

2010 (all the kids)



2010 (just Peter and Sarah)

 
2011(not sure why I didn't get a group photo this year)

2012 (not sure where Cody is)
 2013
2014 (I can't find a group photo so I made this collage)
2015
 2016
 2017

I love these kids and I've enjoyed watching them swim through the years!  I hope they keep swimming for the Ducks until they go to college!

Friday night the big kids swim in the County Championship (the 10 and unders swim on Saturday morning).  I am keeping my fingers crossed that there are no storms, that these kiddos swim fast, but most of all, that they have fun!

GO DUCKS!!!!
 

Friday, July 7, 2017

7QT - What we've been doing.

Oh my!  It's been over a week since I've posted anything to this poor neglected blog.  So I'm going to catch everyone up in 7 Quick(ish) Takes.

1.  Sarah arrived home safe and sound and tired last Friday night after a week in Florida with her Girl Scout Troop.  We got her home around 9:45 and she spent the next hour and half telling us all about the trip.  Here's a quick pic of Sarah, Cheyanne, and Arden.  I think I'm going to do another post next week with more Florida pics.

2. On Saturday we headed to South Carolina to buy fireworks for the 4th of July.  Sarah stayed home to sleep, unpack, relax, etc. You can't buy fireworks in North Carolina.  It's not illegal to set them off, but you can't buy them.  Strange.....  So, we drove to Ft. Mill and picked some up. This was all Peter's idea but I think Dan was excited about it too or he would not have agreed to it. 

We got into the store (which was packed, obviously) and asked a worker for help. I told him I had no idea what to get.  He said something along the lines of , "Well, what do you want?  Do you want colorful, loud, high, bright,or  big (and I think he added a few other fireworks descriptors as well.)"  My response was, "Um...yes."

I mean, he described fireworks.  I wanted a firework that delivered all those in one.  But what he pointed us to was a big box of different times of fireworks that did all those different things individually.  But the we also got a box of 6 "things" you set off that were bigger. 

3.  When we got home, Sarah made a blueberry pie for Sunday lunch.

It was yummy. 

4.  Dan had to work on Monday,the kids had swim practice and I had a PTO meeting (my last one ever!).  So it was just a normal day.  But on Tuesday, we had a big cookout at my parent's house.  Jennifer's family came as well as some of my parent's friends.  We had hamburgers, hot dogs and wings.  Along with all baked beans, potato salad, watermelon, etc.  It was delicious and we had a great evening.

After dinner we set off the fireworks.  For the casual observer, they were kind of boring.  The box the guy had steered us towards was apparently a lot of fun for the boys because there were a lot of different things to set off and ignite but for those of us watching there wasn't much of a show.  The best were the 6 big "things".  Next year, Dan said we need to get mortars.  That sounds dangerous but I guess that's what we'll get.
The only picture I got was of the girls with sparklers.  I was enjoying the evening and wasn't thinking about pictures.

After everyone left, we headed inside and eventually made it up to bed around 10:45.  I turned on the tv in my bedroom to the NYC fireworks show and caught the last 10 minutes of that.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Now THAT was a fireworks show.  I got goosebumps just from watching it on tv.  I could only imagine seeing it in person.  I LOVE fireworks and that show looked awesome!  It was like 6 shows in one side by side:


Maybe they are like this every year.  And who knows, maybe the last 10 minutes were the best but it was really spectacular!

5. 
Our cucumbers are really coming in now and this is my favorite way to fix them.  Slice a bunch up, toss them in a jar,  slice a 1/2 an onion really thin and throw that on top.  Throw in a couple of garlic closes (peeled and pressed in a little) and then mix the following ingredients together:  1 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground, 2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp Splenda.  Pour the mixture of the top of the cucumbers.  Cover and put in fridge for at least 6 hours. 

These are really yummy.  They are a little sweet and a little tangy. Delicious. 

6.  We've had 3 swim meets so far this season.  The 4th and final regular season meet is this coming Tuesday and it will be the first one where both kids have been home at the same time.  I'm hoping to get some good pictures of them swimming on Tuesday.

7.  Our tomato bushes are huge!

That's three rows of bushes with 4 plants each.  12 plants and it's like a jungle in there.

The bushes have tons of tomatoes on them but they are not turning red.  None of them are evening starting to turn. (Well, I take that back. One tomato turned red and 2 cherry tomatoes turned red but the other 100 are all green.) 

I think its because June was very wet and cool (for here).  I think (I'm not gardener but it's my opinion) that the fruit needs the sun to turn red.  It is finally starting to get hot and sunny here.  Our normal hot June temps have just arrived in July.  I'm hoping that it will stay sunny and hot so these tomatoes will turn red.  I'm also wondering if the fact that the plants are so bushy (maybe due to the cool weather and lots of rain) they are further shading the fruit from the sun.

Anyway, like I said, I'm no gardener but our tomatoes have always started turning before now - typically by the end of June.  I'm just ready for a tomato sandwich and some mozzarella and tomato salad and some bruschetta! 

And that's pretty much it for us. Peter's mowing right now and later today I'm taking Sarah and Chey to the movies.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

You win some, you lose some!

3 years ago, for Father's Day, I had a travel coffee mug made for Dan with pictures of the kids on it and the words "We Love You,Daddy!"  And since it was right after Rebecca, I even put the only decent picture we have of her on there. 

Dan has faithfully carried that mug to work for the last three years and a couple of months ago mentioned that the pictures were starting to fade and chip off the mug.

Perfect timing!  Father's Day was right around the corner so I decided we would make him a new mug.  But the kids are now 13 and 14 and honestly, having a mug with their mugs on it seemed strange. I think they are a little too old to have (or even to want to have) their faces on a travel mug.

So, I got creative.  And made this:

The kids and I thought it was perfect!  And to make it even more perfect, the cat (like all cats) looks totally annoyed and like he does not agree that Dan is the best dad ever. 

We were so pleased with ourselves!  And then Dan opened it.

Okay....this photo is staged.  Regardless, this is how he felt about it.  He said that as a grown man, he can't be walking around his office holding a mug with a cat picture on it. 

So, he's carrying it for a week to be nice to us and then he's either going back to the faded mug or to this one:


Oh, well.  Maybe I'll start using the BEST DAD EVER mug.  I can always Sharpie over the Dad part and write in MOM.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Camp. The highlights.

Peter and Dan arrived home from Raven Knob on Saturday morning around 10:30 or so.  I pulled in from the grocery store to they site of them mowing the yard!  It rained a lot while they were gone and it needed it!

After Peter got done mowing he unpacked all of his gear and I got to work on the first of three very smell loads of laundry.

Dan and I did a little bit of gardening and then I helped Sarah pack her bags for her trip with the Girl Scouts.  (It will be so nice when she returns home at the end of this week and I will hopefully have all of my family members home for at least a week.  Dan was gone before the Boy Scout trip so this is week three of revolving family members at home.)

While at camp this year, Peter worked on the following merit badges: Personal Fitness, EmergencyPreparedness, Search and Rescue and Cooking.  That left one period free and Peter decided to do Advanced Woodcarving (which isn't a badge but just for fun) since he earned that badge last summer.

Here are the pictures that Dan and Peter texted me during the week.

 Inside Peter's tent.

This spider had to be removed from Peter's tent!



 View from the top of Raven Knob looking down on part of the camp.

Peter working hard during advanced woodworking.




Peter carved this! I think it looks great!


Peter working on his cooking merit badge.





Peter made crepes with bananas and honey one class.
 

Peter ran a mile (in hiking boots) in 8 minutes and 30 seconds during his Personal Fitness class.    He said he finished 13th out of 30!  Not bad for someone who hates to run!











 Peter got tapped out for Order of the Arrow!
Peter had a good week at camp but he was happy to be home!  And I was happy to have him home!

He spent some time on the computer this morning but then asked to go to the library so he could check out a book!.  I think spending a week in nature did him some good!  ;)

Friday, June 23, 2017

7 Quick Ones!

Is it Friday already?  This week went by fast!

Dan and Peter left on Sunday morning for Boy Scout camp and Sarah and I have been keeping busy.

1.  Sarah made this delicious coconut cream pie for Sunday dessert.  It was so good!  My dad loves coconut cream pie so since it was Father's Day, Sarah decided to make this for him.



Sarah made homemade  coconut whipped cream and it was good on the top of this pie!

2. Even though it's been a fairly rainy/cloudy week, we were able to get in our swim meet on Tuesday evening!  Sarah did great and our team won!  And I have no pictures.  Whoops!

3. Wednesday night at Boy Scout camp is special for the boys because it's family night!  All the troops are allowed to have their family members come in, bring a potluck meal to share with the boys and then go to the Wednesday night campfire.  Peter was very excited to see me (and even Sarah) and both he and Dan were excited for all the non-mess hall food! 


After dinner we attended the campfire together.  Peter was tapped our for Order of the Arrow. If he chooses to pursue this, he will need to attend an Ordeal in the fall back at Camp Raven Knob to officially become a member of the Order of the Arrow.

4.  We didn't get backhome from Raven Knob until 11:30 on Wednesday night which meant I missed my normal 10:00 PM bedtime by 2 hours.  And I felt it yesterday.  I needed to take a 3rd cup of coffee to 9:30 swim practice just to cope!


5.  It's raining this morning (shock!) and it would have been the perfect morning to sleep in but I accidentally set my alarm for 6:00 instead of 7:00.  What is wrong with me??  

6.  I have a hair appointment which is the only reason I even set an alarm!  After the hair appointment, Sarah and I will be running errands to get her ready for her trip to Florida with her Girl Scout troop.

7.  I ordered this new bible study from Take Up and Read and I am really enjoying it.  The readings and the devotions are short so you have enough time to think about the scripture and reflect on it.  Elizabeth Foss and her team did a great job.  

It's called Consider the Lilies and her is my not so successful attempt and showing it with some lilies I just happened to have in my kitchen on the day I received it.


Enjoy your weekend! Don't forget to visit Kelly for more Quick Takes!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Quick Takes

It may be summer but the weeks still feel like they are flying by.  So, in an attempt to catch up, let's do some Quick Takes.

1.  TWO weeks ago, school ended and we had our annual end-of-school celebratory dinner at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse.  And apparently, I never mentioned it on the blog and certainly didn't post pictures.  And that begs the question, if it didn't get posted on the blog, did it even happen??


My brother joined us!




Both Peter and Dan doing their I'm-posing-for-a-heavy-metal-album-cover face.

Peter and Brad wore matching shirts accidentally.  A guy at the restaurant asked what the meaning was behind the matching shirts.  Ha!  No meaning at all!
2.  We have lots of tomatoes on our bushes!

So very excited about the prospect of a tomato sandwich!

3. One of Peter's latest drawings:

Pretty good, I think!

4. We were supposed to have our first swim meet on Tuesday.  Before I could even snap a picture of the kids in their suits, a clap of thunder came and it was eventually cancelled.  The makeup meet is the week Sarah will be on her Girl Scout trip.  I'm so sad that she will miss two meets this season! :(

5. After our non-swim meet, we went to dinner with Jennfier and her family and I looked up and saw Peter taking a picture of Caity taking a picture of Cheyanne.  This is what Peter captured:
I thought it was neat!

6. So last Saturday we had lime chicken soft tacos for lunch when Cathy arrived.  I took this recipe(which I normally make on the stove top) and doubled everything but the chicken and the topping ingredients and threw it all in the crock pot on Friday.  After 7 hours on low, I shredded the chicken and put it in the fridge.

Then when Cathy arrived, all I had to do was reheat the meat and we had delicious soft tacos.  We added cilantro and some lime creama.  I took regular creama and added lime juice and lime zest and it was so good.  Everyone loved all the lime flavor except Peter.  He said it was too much lime.  You can't please all the people all the time!

7.  Dan's been in Arizona all week and gets home tonight!  Then he and Peter are headed to Boy Scout camp on Sunday for a week.  I already miss them and they haven't even left yet

Have a great weekend everyone!