Life is more fun when you RAWR!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Giving this another go

A long break from blogging and I find that I miss it.  I realize my audience is mostly just me, but I like organizing my thoughts and chronicling my work at the house.  I've done a lot of projects recently and I'll try my best to do some posts.  I've got some amazing before and after pictures of my porch.

G is in Kindergarten and is blossoming.  He loves his teacher and recognizes his strengths and weaknesses.  In just a few short weeks he's developed a love and passion for reading and writing.  I'm amazed because I tried for five years to give him that spark.  He's reading so well and writing in all of his spare time.  He's also in a year-round swim program and I love the focus and structure it gives him.  He's finally figured out side-breathing and his form is at least 1000 times better now than it was at the beginning of the summer. 

The Bear is also going through lots of growth.  He's learned how to potty so we're all done with diapers.  I cannot believe he figured it out before he was three years old.    Seriously, I'm thrilled.  I can't say that his learning process was easier than when G did  - but A learned about four, almost five months earlier than G did so a few more accidents were to be expected I suppose.  But we're done with diapers and into a new phase of life.  With G being gone all day the Bear has also found his own voice and is so chatty.  He has the funniest things to say.

I'm just starting to come out from under the overwhelming exhaustion of the first month of school.  G's school starts at 7:20 so my days start at 6am.  Unlike in my 20s when if I needed to be up at 6am it just made more sense to stay up all night, now I have to function all day long with a very very active preschooler.  I'm still spinning and I've added yoga to my exercise routines.  I need to get back clean eating to give myself the energy I'm lacking.  Right now I'm getting through my days.  What I want is to excel every day, to spend every moment with a flourish.  Forget the extra mile, I want to go the extra marathon.  Grandiose, yes, but why not aim to get the most out of life?

And so, with that, I will get back to organization, to trying new things, to crafting and sewing, to doing the things that give me peace and joy and love.

I'll start with giving you the menu I've planned for the week.

Monday:  French Onion Soup, grilled cheese.  (I make the soup from scratch and it is so so delicious.  The pot huge and I'll have delicious hot lunches all week long)
Tuesday: Tacos, beans, beans, rice, salad
Wednesday: Out with a friend during D&D
Thursday: Spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread, salad
Friday: Steak, salad, grilled veggies
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: burgers and fries

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Have I really been this slack in blogging?

It's only because we're having such an awesome summer.  The boys are thriving on the swim team.  They both can dive in. Yep.  Both.  Grant finally got the backstroke down and Andy is swimming so well he may  be able to join G on the big-kids' swim team next year!  The meets are fun and G loves getting his ribbons.
We do live at the pool so our units are more like a couple of times a week rather than every day but they're going well too.  G is a lot more confident in his reading and Bear is able to write almost all of his letters and name their phonetic sounds.  I'm guessing he'll be reading by fall.

Drew & the kids also made a nature trail in the back woods of our property.  Now they have an awesome path they can walk in a wooded area, they can explore and hunt butterflies and moths.  I can hear them the whole time because it's just part of our backyard - so they can walk the trail while I water my garden.  Win-win.

So, yea, it's been a bit of a busy summer already!  I'm not going to lie... I love it.  I love being at the pool.  I love my kids being outside and active. 

I'm also loving summer food.  Tomatoes for lunch every day.  Yum.  The grill a big part of cooking.  The farmer's markets are stocked with yummy peaches.  Our blueberry plants will soon have hundreds of rip berries that we can just pick and eat.  It's just all so good!

Wonder what we're having for dinner this week:

Monday: Mongolian Beef, rice, broccoli
Tuesday: swim meet -- chick-fil-a caters (yay!)
Wednesday: Grilled chicken, grilled veggies, leftover rice
Thursday: swim meet - it's an away meet - hoping they have catering.  If not it will be take out on the way home.
Friday:  Pizza!  (mine will be a portabello pizza)
Saturday: Spaghetti bake  (I'll have salad instead)
Sunday: burgers and fries

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I-Spied it on Pinterest

This week I tried a new recipe spotted on Pinterest: grilled cabbage.
I'm not much of a cooked cabbage fan but this recipe had me at bacon.  It's low-carb and grilled so really, how could I miss?
I'm pretty happy that I gave this one a try.

The cabbage came out tender and the bacon, parm cheese and salt and pepper really made it lose some of that, well, soggy cabbage flavor.  It was absolutely delicious.

In the future I'll play around with different flavors of bacon and maybe even throw some apple slices in with an applewood-smoked bacon.  Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to play since cabbage is often 88 cents for a whole head, you'd struggle to find a side dish that is healthier or more economical.

I give the grilled cabbage 3 pins!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Summer is here!  Can you believe it? If you're reading this then we're probably at the pool.  No, really, we try to just live there all summer.  When we get home I thrown dinner on the grill, get the kids and myself changed, have dinner then play a bit before bed.  Last week though, a grill-tastrophie.  Our old, much-loved, oft-used grill has said adieu and has gone to the grill-maker in the sky.  That means I have to actually cook dinners inside until our new grill arrives Thursday.  First world problems, huh?

So here's what we're going to have:

M: "Fried" chicken (low carb, pinterest recipe), salad, fries, corn on the cob
T: Tacos, rice, salad
W: Spaghetti Bake (I'll have an omelette)
Th: breakfast for dinner
F: Kebabs!!!!!
S: Mongolian Beef, rice, salad
Su: Burgers and fries

Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I-Spied it on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of my favorite corners of the world wide web.  It's full of so many amazing ideas.  I may not come up with the ideas on my own but I sure can copy them!  Unfortunately there are many pins that aren't all they seem.  Sometimes a project looks easy when really it's a bear to do.  Or sometimes it's pinned as tasty when it's really nasty.  Or sometimes it's pinned as inexpensive but ends up only being cheap if you have a lot of expensive what-nots on hand.

I'm making it my mission to return and report on the ideas I've tried and rate them on a scale of:

1 Pin = don't bother
2 Pins = meh
3 Pins = Pretty cool project
4 Pins = How have I lived my life without this? 

While browsing this weekend I saw this cute idea.  On the last day of school take a picture of your kiddo holding a picture of themselves on the first day of school.

So now it's my turn to give it a go.
It took a few times but I'm pretty happy with what I came up with for the boys.

So clearly I am not a photographer.  There is a lot about both pictures that could be much much better.  What you can see is that my photography skills have improved since the first day of school, so progress is something I suppose.  I think I need to take one of those SLR classes or something.

I love seeing how much they've changed over 9 months.  It's especially evident in G's picture.  He's gone from preschooler to little boy so quickly.

This project is really easy to do and I'd say it's worth it.

I give it :

Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

This is G's last week of preschool.  And by week I mean he goes Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then he's done.  He's a kindergartener.  Please excuse the wild eye you might see in me, my kindergarten nightmares started weeks ago.  He is beside himself excited for school though, so forward we press.
Swim team is in full swing now and he loves it.  Of course, he can only swim about 20% of the way across the pool right now - but that's true for all of the kids in his group.  I told him that all I hope for is that he swims just an inch farther tomorrow.

Here's what I'm planning for our dinners this week:

M: grilled chicken, grilled cabbage (pinterest recipe, will report), rice
T: Mongolian Beef, rice, cabbage salad
W: Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad.  (I won't eat the potatoes)
Th: Spaghetti, garlic bread, corn, salad (I will eat salad with leftover chicken0
F: Breakfast for dinner
S: Carolyn kebabs, rice, salad,
Su: Burgers and fries.

What are you eating this week?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Units

My awesome cousin Kim did "summer units" last year and since she is about the coolest Mom I know I've made her idea my summer project.
The gist of it is pick one theme for the week and spent a little time every day learning about the theme.  The activities can be as small as coloring a picture on the topic or as big as a huge trip to a museum or even a beach vacation.  It keeps the kids in learning mode and more importantly it keeps me from falling into "summer mode" where we just go to the pool come home, watch TV and do laundry then go back to the pool, come home, have dinner and go to bed.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a "chill" summer like that but I really want to be more proactive and do something sort of special.

Here are the units I've picked out:

Week of 5/28:  Time/Calendar
Week of 6/3:  All about Dad (his birthday is this week)
Week of 6/10:  All about Mom (my birthday is this week)
6/17: Music
6/24 Dinosaurs (visit to the NC Museum of Natural Science one day this week)
7/1 USA
7/8 Plants/Life cycle (we should be ready to harvest some veggies from our garden by now)
7/15 Mexico (Drew will be at the Mexico dig site this week)
7/22 Money
7/29 The Beach (tentative week at the beach.  We'll see)
8/5 Weather
8/12 Bugs
8/19 Electricity
8/26 Back to school

If you have any unit suggestions or activity ideas or links please comment!  I need all the ideas I can get.