Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Smallest of Things

Oftentimes, it is the smallest of things that remind us we are loved and thought of.  
Knowing someone is thinking of you is powerful.
Day changing.
In some cases, I am sure, life changing.
Like when your son brings flowers to you one morning.
 Or when your best friend's young son brings you the bumpiest, wartiest, gnarliest pumpkin in the patch because they are your favorite.
 Even a passing touch or a quick text, note or phone call will do.
The smallest thing make a difference.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Band Parent Again

 The town in which we live has always had a very strong musical background and being in the high school marching band wasn't accompanied by the term "band geek".
 In my hey day, the football stands emptied out after the halftime show was complete.  
Fun stuff, I tell you.

In order to have such strong high school bands, the elementary and junior high bands had to be just as strong and they were.
 Chris and LPP were both in their small country school's band and LPP went on to play on high school for three years. 
Their sister is following suit, but I learned a lot with her siblings and did not allow to march in band as a 5th grader. 
 I made her wait until this year.  
My belief was that she needed to learn how to play music first. 
But this year. 
This year, she is a real band member. 
She was up, dressed, fed and at the school Saturday before the sun for her first competition.  
She was nervous but excited.
This is very small group of kiddos.
 Less that 50 including the flags and shields. 
 All of their practices but 2 occur during one class period. 
Hubby and I have not been involved this year at all until Saturday. 
As I was helping kids in the cafeteria before they left and as we walked alongside them as they were marching to the competition zone, we were reminded that in addition to the kids' hard work and practice, a good band is also made better by the village of parents helping and encouraging them along the way. Sympathizing with them when the drum they are carrying is nearly as big as they are...
 Reminding them which foot is left can be helpful as well.
 Remembering that some of these kidnicks are only 10 and 11 years old...mere babies, I tell you. 

 We also realized that we missed this part of being involved.  
The kids. 
They are pretty great.  
They are respectful. 
They do what they are asked to do.
They tried their hearts out.
 We'll keep calling out....left....left....left.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Truism

One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening.
~Franklin P. Jones

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Favorites

For anyone who knows me, they know that I am smitten with Fixer Upper because of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
 I mean, the homes they fix are tremendous, but even more than that, is their relationship.
 It is real and deep. 
 They disagree, but always in a way that seems to bring them closer.  
They respect each other.
They also don't have a TV in their home.
LOVE that.
And their businesses all refer to a Magnolia...did you know that the huge wreath my Mom made for our wedding reception had a magnolia blossom on it? 
It did.
I feel a certain connection to these strangers. 
Not in a stalker sort of way...I promise.
I was thrilled when Earl, our UPS driver arrived this week. 
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  I had forgotten that I pre-ordered their book months ago! 
I have been reading it each evening, savoring their story.
It really is interesting how they met and came to build what they have now.
I discovered this video earlier today.

 I have always enjoyed the "I am Second" videos and was not disappointed by this one.
They are the real deal.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Look Back

I have a 5 week calendar hanging on the wall, on which I use to keep track of our lives.  
As I filled it in yesterday, I realized we are in the midst of a busy time.  
But in preparing this post,  I remembered just how much more busy life was in recent years. 
 If you are a parent of younger children and feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated and exhausted, I am here to tell you that is gets easier. 
It might always be busy, but you will begin to feel like a less frazzled human again.
I promise.

October 21, 2015
Tomorrow these two will no longer be 18.
They are great people and I am blessed to have them call me Aunt Jen.

October 20, 2014
We are harvesting our walnuts this week. 
Since we are the last ones in the area to do so  and there is no rain in the forecast, I am going to wash off the outside plants this weekend.  
I think they all might sing my praises and soak up the sun into their ever loving leaves.
This orchard was harvested about 4 weeks ago as they are an earlier variety of walnut than us.
Look at the difference in the trees and the girl.
 Holy Schmoly!!!!!

October 18, 2013
I love that my mom took the time to craft this letter to the nurses after Dad's surgery.
I wonder how often that happens.
It amazes me that my Dad is still so active.
We do credit some of it to the fact that he is partly bionic.

October 23, 2012
Life is much less harried these days.

October 20, 2011
I am so glad we went to this.
We were just talking about this with my sister, who teaches on the base.
They don't see another one occurring there again.
It was fun.
It was loud and hot.
But amazing and patriotic and amazing and fun.
I loved it!
Can you tell?

October 21, 2010
Sure glad I survived this week and didn't lose and children!

October 23, 2009
And times have changed again.
I would rather be hung up by my toenails than be in the grocery store on a Friday night!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Good Meeting

I conducted the first 4-H Cooking Project meeting this week and I must say had a great time.  
I am a bit apprehensive before each meeting because I want the kids to learn AND have fun.
And I tend to fret over those things.  
This year, there were also several kidnicks that I did not know as well.  
I have three returning ones, a couple who have been with me for several years now and are among my favorites.
I try and think of things that those boys haven't done before as well as things that are age appropriate for all.  Can be challenging with ages from 10-16, but this one was good.
 Homemade corn bread and fresh butter.
May I just say that none of them knew what butter was made of?
I mean they knew it was from milk and cows... but not the cream from the milk.
So they had a lesson in how the cream was separated from the milk then beaten.  
I showed them the point that they would add sugar for whipped cream.
 I also shared the fact that if you are making whipped cream and have too many irons in the fire and walk away, you will end up with butter.
Not that I have ever done that or anything.
It was fun to watch them watch the white cream turn to yellow butter and learn how to use the buttermilk.
And that buttermilk is what the liquid is.
 I let them add a bit of honey to their fresh butter if they wanted.
Honey butter on hot corn bread.
Oh my!
Even the boy that stated he didn't like cornbread ate two slices.
It was devoured before I remembered to take photos.
This is all that remained and that makes me happy too.
 As they were eating, I had them begin on their meeting summary for their books.
Usually, they simply write down what they made.
This year, I wanted them to really think about what they learned as well.
I taped 4 questions on the wall for them to write about.
All in all, it was a good afternoon.
And as soon as the last one left, I made another batch of bread for us.
It's a bummer when your husband comes home to a yummy, bread scented home and there are only crumbs.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A DIY Project

We have an area that is set up for a fire pit, but don't use it as often as I would like.  
So...in an effort to make it more welcoming and workable, I set out to find an inexpensive solution. 
Pinterest was my source.
 A Pallet Bar.
It would be a permanent place we could set a wine bottle or food that is away from the dogs.  
The important things, dontcha know.
I put a request out on FB for a source of free pallets and immediately received a text from a friend offering all that I needed.  
SPF and I sanded the rough edges and then the painting began. 
 I used what I had...because this is supposed to be an inexpensive solution, remember. 
Now...painting a pallet is not for the faint of heart and it does cause arms, legs and hands to become streaked with paint.
All those nooks and crannies
Don't know how the legs got involved but they did.
 I still have a couple boards on the inside that I missed.
I then clamped the two pallets together and joined them permanently with wood screws.
 A trip to the hardware store for concrete pavers was the only money spent.  
I set the 4 pavers on top to fit properly and then used my handy dandy tube of Liquid Nails to complete the construction.
 A large cup-hook on one end to hang a small bucket for corks or bottle caps, some candles, a lighter and we are set.
There is even space in the center for bug spray and the like.  

 I'm thrilled!
 It is just what I wanted.