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Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Quick Takes

It's Friday so let's do some Quick Takes!

1.  We've got lots of tomatoes so here's what I've been doing with them:
I made this yummy chicken caprese. 

Tomato sandwiches and of course, BLTs!  I could eat my weight in BLTs!

I made a very large pot of tomato soup for Dan.  It's really good and a great way to use up a lot of tomatoes.
I made 4 pints of salsa.  It's really good (I use the Mrs. Wegmans' mix from Walmart) and also uses a lot of tomatoes.
I've also given away quite a few tomatoes and there's still plenty more on the vine.  The only problem is that it's been so hot the last week an a half that there are absoltely no new blooms on the plants.  No blooms equals no new tomatoes.  That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing because once it cools a bit (and it has towards the end of this week) new blooms will form BUT our bushes are looking bad.  They are getting  the blight which is a disease that kills the plants.  :(

2.  Next week, Peter starts driver's ed classes.  I'm glad he's able to get this done in the summer but y'all - MY BABY!!!  He's ready though.  He's already asking if he can drive to school as soon as he turns 16.  How about we turn 15 before we start making plans to drive to school by ourselves, okay??

3.  Sarah has a long summer reading list.  She has to read The Outsiders, Little Women and Treasure Island.  She loved The Outsiders which I knew she would.  I read that book in 7th or 8th grade and the movie came out right around then as well and well, what's not to love about a poignant story and a bunch of soon to be heart-throbs?! 

She has been plodding through Little Women for almost the entire month of July.  And let me tell you, she has complained every step of the way.  She hates, hates, hates, hates this book.  But, she's doing it.  She said that its a little better now that she is at the end of it but it's still two thumbs down form her.  She hopes to finish it today or tomorrow.  At one point a couple of weeks ago she exclaimed in disgust, "This book is so horrible I think I could have written it!" 

She is expecting to hate Treasure Island as well but on the plus side - it's very short!


I got a humming bird feeder a couple of weeks ago and we are slowly but surely starting to get visitors to it.  Although honestly, I think it's only two and the same two. One of them is this little one here.  It's all one color and very small.  There is a bigger one that comes as well and it has a red band around it's neck.

I was in Target shopping for a new swim suit for Dan and came across this one.  I sent him a text with this picture as a joke to see if he wanted me to get it for him.  His response, "Are you in the women's department?" 

6.  During swim season, I would walk with Jennifer while the kids were at night practice.  Now that that's over, I've been walking after Dan leaves for work.  I really need to drop a few pounds and tone up this old lady body. Sarah keeps wanting me to do Jillian Michaels DVDs with her.  UGH!  I got in really good shape doing those DVDs but I did them for so long that I had every word she said memorized and go to the point that I wanted to throw the remote control at her.  I'm currently looking for something that is just exercises with minimal talking from the instructor.  Ads for BodyBoss keep showing up in all my feeds and I'm curious if anyone has done this or knows of anyone that has. 

And when your tomato has a nose on it, you have to draw eyes and mouth!  (I love my husband!)

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Swim Meet Photos

I never got around to taking my real camera to one of the swim meets this year and was highly disappointed with the shots I got with my phone. 

So, I was very excited when they announced that a professional photographer was at the county meet and his shots would be available to purchase! 

Yes, I had to pay for them but I'm glad to have them  Next year, I will remember to actually take my real camera and get my own shots but these will have to do for this year!

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)
2014 (I can't find a group photo so I made this collage)

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!


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!

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!