Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Weekend








Nothing too exciting to report just a nice weekend at home with my favorite people.

Friday: Pizza and ice-cream sundaes started off the weekend on a sweet note. Evie and Henry are really enjoying playing in the street with their scooters so we spent some time outside after dinner. Driveways in TN are not exactly smooth so the road is a much better surface for riding although I get a little nervous. Evie is exhausted after a week of school so bedtime came early. 

Saturday: Henry is always up bright and early between 6:30 and 7. As soon as his eyes open, he begins calling "Mama, Mama" - he does not like being alone in his crib. At night, he falls asleep as soon as I put him in the crib so he is not used to spending time hanging out in the crib like his sister used to do! We spent some time straightening up around the house and finishing some little projects. Nothing too crazy but it always feels good to cross things off the list that have been on there for four years! Henry was invited to a birthday party without Evie which thrilled him to pieces. We headed off to Elliot's pirate party. Henry had a blast with his little friends from school and I enjoyed meeting some new moms. Evie requested Chinese food for dinner. It was a great idea! Football and Chinese food made for a perfect night. Evie loves wonton soup and I love not cooking dinner!

Sunday: I gave up computers and phones for the day and it was a wonderful feeling. It bothers me how I am so hooked to a little piece of metal.  It felt so freeing to spend a day without the extra noise. We had a lazy day at home and made the resolution to get to church more this September. Early church after a week of waking up early might not work for us now that Evie is in kindergarten.  We went on a family run and then Carl grilled ribs for lunch -yummy! We watched a movie on the couch - Home Alone. Evie adores that movie!  After the movie, we went on a hike which was the perfect way to spend a nice afternoon and then stopped for a sweet treat of ice-cream. It's always fun to see all the treats the kids pile onto their frozen yogurt. Carl and I keep it simple with chocolate candies and chocolate sauce. Evie and Henry are a lot more creative! More football was next on the agenda along with our Sunday night popcorn tradition. I finished my Book Club book - In the Woods. It was a mystery and a good one at that. Everyone went to bed early!

Monday: Henry and I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Evie and Carl slept really late. After everyone was up and ready to go, we headed to the pool and spent most of the day there. It was a perfect last day of summer! We played outside, watched a movie and grilled some chicken to round out the day. Such a beautiful day with lots of sunshine! I can already feel that tiny hint of fall in the air. Love all the seasons and am thankful to enjoy all four. Summer is my favorite and it is always sad to see it end. 

What a wonderful weekend! Even three day weekends go by too quickly. I'll miss Evie and Carl tomorrow! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up!







Weekends have never felt that different for me since I have been with my kids every day. Now, that Evie is in Kindergarten, weekends are my very favorite time. I miss my kiddos while they are at school.

Friday: Carl got home in time to pick up Henry from school and Henry loved being an only child for a bit. Evie was thrilled to see her Daddy standing at the bus stop when she got off the bus. We had a low-key afternoon because after a week of Kindergarten someone was exhausted! Lots of moms had warned me and they were right - Friday afternoons are rough with a new Kindergarten girl! Carl grilled some pork tenderloin and Henry helped me in the kitchen a bit. He is such a little chef. Henry and Evie played and played. They miss each other so much!

Saturday: Henry woke up bright and early! Evie slept in a bit. We just hung around the house all morning trying to catch up from a busy week and then headed to the pool after lunch. I am going to miss our pool days since the pool closes soon for the season. Henry went to bed early and then Evie had a sitter. We are using a neighbor who is in 8th grade and I feel better when she only has one child to put to bed. Evie adores Erin and she is a super sitter. We went out to a 40th Birthday Bash! WOW, people sure have super fun parties here. Carl and I are going to have to host soon since we have been to so many fun parties this year.

Sunday: I woke up with a sinus infection and everyone else slept late. Carl took Henry for a jog and Evie and I went on a scooter ride. It was the perfect morning because I loved catching up with my BIG girl. She showed me all the places the bus stops and who lives where. Have I mentioned that I miss her so much? Carl grilled burgers for lunch and Evie had lots of compliments. She loves burgers! After lunch, we went to Bicentennial Mall in Nashville. We had a blast watching a vintage baseball game, checking out the huge globe, echoing in the compass and of course splashing in the fountains. We chose the hottest day of the year but it was still so much fun! Our ice-cream was extra yummy after our adventure! Everyone was exhausted so it was time for a movie and popcorn with lots of cuddles.

It was a super weekend with my favorite people. Looking forward to a LONG weekend in four days.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Evie is a Kindergartner!




It is still hard to believe that my sweet Evie has turned into a kindergartner this week! She woke up Monday morning about an hour before we needed to leave and was so excited to go to school.




We packed the backpack, put on the clothes, took the pictures and headed out the door. Carl went with us and it was so fun to walk Evie into her classroom. She felt like a pro after her half day on Friday. I will say it was easier to leave her on Monday than on Friday.

I went to the Boo Hoo Breakfast after dropping her off and Carl took Henry to preschool. The only one who was Boo Hooing was Henry. He wanted his sissy and mommy in his line of vision at all times.  Henry would go to kindergarten tomorrow if he could be with Evie. He has really missed her this week. 

I enjoyed the breakfast and had a chance to chat with a few moms that I knew and met some new ones too. Breakfast was delicious! I love Evie's school and feel great about her being there. It's still hard to leave your baby girl. I have been teary this week and really missing my best girl. It seems like everywhere we go there are little girls that remind me of Evie. Everyone has reassured me that I will get used to Evie being gone so much but eight hours in a super long day. 


Evie had a terrific first day and was all smiles getting off the bus. I sure was happy to see her bouncing off the bus! 

Evie loves to share with me about her day and she is thrilled to play with Henry. They are really missing each other. She gets excited about showing me her work and picking her snack after school. She has decided the bus ride is her favorite part of the school experience. It must be fun since she comes home with a new hair-do every afternoon and funny stories. She did tell me that she wished they could play at school -that made me so sad! Kindergarten sure has changed. 

It's been a terrific first week and I look forward to watching Evie grow this year. 





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up!



It's been a terrific weekend. Kids went to bed early tonight in anticipation of a BIG week with kindergarten. 


Saturday: We went to the Farmer's Market for okra and doughnuts. Left with lots more than we had intended to buy. Fresh tomatoes from the garden are one of our favorites. Evie and I headed to the Nashville Children's Theatre with some friend to see snippets of the upcoming season. Evie loves a good "act" as she calls it. Looks like an amazing season is coming our way. I am most excited about James and the Giant Peach. Carl and I made okra soup with Henry's help. Henry is such a good little cook. He really gets into it! After dinner, I headed to a Moms Night In - it was a blast! Delicious food, fun friends, wine and karaoke.  I was expecting just to go for a bit but did not make it home until 11:30.  We had so much fun and it was the perfect break before a busy week. Elizabeth and I sang Carolina Girls but none of our TN friends appreciated it since they are not Carolina Girls. Some of us really like getting our hands on a microphone!

Sunday: Carl got up with the children and I slept a bit more before leaving for church. It was pouring rain when we got out of church and our kids do not like being wet and cold. Starbucks seemed like the perfect treat. We came home and snuggled on the couch for a movie and then did some stuff around the house. Rainy afternoons are perfect for being lazy!

I have a feeling weekends are about to become much more precious with Evie in school five days a week! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kindergarten Countdown

It's been a Kindergarten Countdown kind of week at our house. I loved having one last week with Evie before school since Henry started preschool on Monday. This week has felt so long - lots of emotions and lots to accomplish. What a special week it has been! 



Monday: We dropped off Henry at school and then ran a few errands before kindergarten testing. I mentioned earlier this week that we went to Sky High with some friends and that was super fun. Evie loves jumping and I love all the energy she gets out at those places.


Tuesday: Both kids were a bit out of sorts today but it ended up being a wonderful day. We mostly hung out around the house being lazy and enjoying one of our last days of summer. Henry climbed out of his crib which was BIG news and then decided to take a nap. That was a rare treat! Evie and I enjoyed watching a movie together while Henry snoozed. We headed to get Evie's haircut after naps. She had an Elsa braid which thrilled her little heart! Unfortunately, it fell out within minutes of leaving the salon. We stopped by the school on the way home to find out Evie's teacher assignment. It was fun to see everyone! 


Wednesday: Evie and I dropped off Henry and then headed to brunch at First Watch. Evie enjoyed a HUGE pancake and bacon. She is a big fan of bacon just like her Mama! Next, we stopped at Barnes and Noble to get a new book. Of course, she chose book that came with Strawberry Shortcake figures which I do not count as "real" literature but that is just my preference. That book has entertained her all week so I should just let it go!  Evie wanted to invite a neighbor over that is going to Kindergarten too.  Callie and Evie played so well together and I was able to get lots of stuff accomplished. Callie is welcome anytime - what a perfect playmate for Evie! We picked up Henry and waited for Erin to come over to babysit. Carl and I went to a Kindergarten Orientation. It was really fun to see Evie's classroom and meet some of the parents. I thought about different things than most parents because my biggest concern is that her teacher loves her and sparks a lifetime of learning. Reading levels and math facts are not even on my radar yet. My prayer is that Evie's teacher loves her and inspires her because that is more important to me right now. 



Thursday: We were excited to have one more day together and headed to the park with some friends. It was so much fun to enjoy a beautiful morning outside. We headed to Chick Fil A for lunch and I started feeling teary it was our last weekday lunch until October. The poor hostess probably thought I was a crazy mom but my kids were gifted their own cows. Gotta love that customer service!!! We enjoyed the rest of the day playing outside with the boys and then began school preparations. I was a bit teary but excited for this new adventure too.







Friday: Evie woke up ready to go! It was a half day and she had her outfit planned for weeks. We were ready super early which will probably never happen again. I am used to 5.5 years of lazy mornings filled with cuddles, books, favorite shows and lots of coffee. It will take some time to get used to being out the door by 8.  Evie was beaming when we walked into the school. We found her classroom and went on a scavenger hunt to find all the essentials. What a fun idea! Evie quickly made friends with Addison and waved good-bye. I got choked up a few times but never cried - truly remarkable considering I have been pondering kindergarten since April. Henry was next to be dropped off and then it felt really weird to be alone! I came home and did a few things before going to a brunch. It was a last minute decision to go to the brunch but I decided it would be good to see some friends. After brunch, I headed home to straighten the house and wait for Carl. We went to pick Evie up and she had a terrific day! We are so proud of our kindergartner. First day down, 171 more to go until May. It's going to be an amazing year in Kindergarten. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Beach Food or Football Food?

Carl and I both quickly tire of boring sandwiches so I decided to use this amazing recipe while at the beach. Our friends Ben and Katherine made this when were at Pawleys in May and it was perfect beach food. I have decided it would be perfect football food too - tailgating or watching from home. 

Pulled Turkey:

1 turkey breast - I bought this at Fresh Market because they have tiny ones but Publix sells turkey breast quarters that work well too.
1/4 cup pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Apple Cider vinegar
1 bunch of parsley, chopped

Mix all the ingredients inside an oven roasting bag. Put turkey in bag and marinate overnight in refrigerator. 

Remove from refrigerator and poke 5-6 holes in the bag. Cook at 300 degrees for 4 hours.

Remove from oven. Cool and then pull meat off bones to shred.

Put about 1/4 cup of juice from bag and mix with meat. 

Yummy! Serve on Whitehouse Rolls or slider buns with sauce if desired. We use vinegar based sauce but we LOVE North Carolina BBQ. 

Since, you already have some parsley make this cheeseball while you are in the kitchen. My mom shared this recipe with me years ago and I make it all the time! You can use fresh or dried parsley. 

Cheeseball:

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
2 T. of Italian Dressing mix - a little more if you like
1 T. of butter
2 t. parsley

Roll this into a ball and then grind fresh peppercorns on top. The multi-color peppercorns make it look pretty. This is delicious on water crackers or wheat thins. My kids love this for a picnic lunch or dinner with some fruit. 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Henry's First Day of School - 2014







Henry was so excited to go to Panda school! That's what he calls his Panda class. 

Evie told him on the way that he would not be seeing her on the playground but she would blow him a kiss from the kindergarten playground. Preschool and our elementary school are only separeted by some woods. Henry did not seem at all concerned that Evie was not going to be there but he has decided that he is going to kindergarten and will ride the bus. 

It was fun to see all of our old friends when we got to school. Evie felt like the big kid! I got a little teary walking him in but that always happens to me at a school -I think because as a teacher first days are so emotional. What an honor and a privilege to teach these precious children. 

Henry walked right in, found his name, hung his lunchbox and washed his hands. He quickly located the cash register and started playing store. Henry is quite adaptable and told us good-bye while going about his business. 

Evie and I went grocery shopping, to kindergarten testing and to Sky Zone with some friends for a little jumping fun. I love days with my Evie and they are going to be few and far between. Henry and I will still have lots of time together. Evie asked me if I thought Henry was doing okay at school! Such a sweet girl to think of her brother.

Henry was happily eating vanilla wafers and drinking milk when we walked in to pick him up. He hugged us both and told us that he missed us and loved us. Ms. Brenda and Ms. Angie gave Henry an excellent report and told me he was a delightful storyteller. Henry had given Ms. Brenda the skinny on our vacation - she knew it all from Henry driving the boat, to canoeing and even our long trip in the car. 

We were all happy to be back together again! Henry and Evie have been playing nicely for nearly an hour. Absence makes the heart grow fonder! 

I'd call it a successful first day of school - only one more first day of school this week. That one might be a little trickier for us!