Saturday, April 23, 2016

7QTs - Chicken Orzo, Cockroaches, and New Beginnings

I had about .001% free space on my phone for the first part of the week so my pics are few and far between.

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Sunday we had Lee's side of the family over for a cookout. It was great and the girls (plus boy) love seeing their cousins. 

That being said, out back sliding door/screen door was opened and closed many many many times - which means that many, many, many flies made their way into the house. I am quite sure between Sunday night and Tuesday afternoon I had killed close to 20 flies. Not kidding. 

Now I know why flies were one of the 10 plagues because man, they are annoying.


Speaking of bugs and plagues... 

Okay guess what R brought for show and tell. 

Take a look at the pic... really closely

Wait for it... wait for it...

Yes you are seeing that correctly. 

Yes she wanted to bring a cockroach in for show and tell.

Fortunately the thing was dead and had been dead for at least a day before we found it on Wednesday morning in our chapel. E and R found it and M almost stepped on it because she was oblivious to the gross factor. I played it cool - like it's dead. Who wants to bring it for show and tell this week? Okay now let's get it to the trash ASAP. 

Except, R said she was bringing it for show and tell. And I thought maybe she'd forget about it or be convinced that bringing a cockroach would be way gross. Maybe I should have had her put it in the container and then she wouldn't have taken it. 

Anyhow, she insisted. I was totally grossed out but glad she was being fearless about bugs. I felt a little bad for her teachers but they were given fair warning. And apparently there are worse things you can bring for show and tell than dead bugs... like articles of your mom's clothing. 


This week I was out of the van for a few days - except this time I was driving a brand new Odyssey. There was a recall on a cylinder and it was misfiring and it actually sounds like I know what the problem was but I don't other than the check engine light and the little light with the car and the tire tracks was on. And I was pretty sure my car was going to explode at any given moment because that's what cars do when the check engine light is on, right? 

They fixed the van up before there was an serious problemos but driving a different van when I live out of my mine is interesting. Check books? Diapers? Coats? Soccer cleats?

So I had to pick and choose what to take in the loaner. I packed up a nice box and took A and M's carseats and threw in backless boosters for E and R in the third row. 

Here is my observation. Even with backless boosters in the third row, it would be a tight squeeze to get three across because the seatbelt clips get covered by the booster. 

Not that'll be needing to seat another person in the van as far as I know but seriously, 'the next one' has already been mentioned to be at least 5 times this week. 

Stay tuned for any announcements in that regard because we've got nothing to announce as of now. 


This weather makes me want to let the kids stay out and play forever and ever. So I try and stretch their afternoon outside time as long as possible. Which means that I might just read stories at the dinner table before soccer practice.

Oh and I was feeding A bananas as this was going on too and Papa was mowing the grass and we made it through practice without much ado. Then Papa had to leave for a work appointment and then R face planted on the sideWALK while RUNNING to the water fountain. 

Surprisingly she wasn't too worse for the wear. She's a tough one for sure. 


Last week my #5 was dedicated to dinner so this week it will too...

I've been trying to get just a little bit better at meal prep because summertime is coming at us faster than a freight train. I was supposed to make Chicken Orzo on Tuesday BUT silly me forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer before work. 

Reason #458913429374213 - why I'm not the best dinner cooker

Wednesday was my day. I mean Dinner was cooked BEFORE 6 am. And I have 2 bags of cooked and pulled chicken in the freezer ready for a future two dinners. 


So why was Wednesday so productive?

Monday and Tuesday we were late for school. Not bad but still it stressed me and E out when we are late. So I decided I need to get up early again - now that A is 6 months old - and get myself with the program.

I was reading the Bible each morning and having some coffee time to myself. But recently I haven't been getting up early enough so mornings have been a frenzy of rush-rush-rush-rush-rush to go-go-go-go.

I started putting my phone in a spot where I would have to get up and turn it off and you know what - that makes a huge difference in waking up. Also I instituted a firm 6:30 wake up call for my people who take a leisurely 30 minutes to eat breakfast. Apparently my father-in-law was a slow eater so maybe that's where they get it from.

So by the time 6:30 rolls around I have had some 'me' time plus I've got a least a cup of coffee down and maybe even lunches packed. I still have not figured out how to get all the dishes in the dishwasher and the table wiped off because the rush between 7:10-7:20 is still intense just not as frantic. Plus E hasn't been able to find a CLEAN pair of socks since Tuesday so just added layers of stuff that pop up and make getting out the door just that more fun. 


So I'll leave you with some happy pics...

Happy weekend y'all!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

7QTs - Half marathons, Skinny fish and Mexican Soup

Same ole busy

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A longing to be outside with the bigs 

Next year little guy... next year. 



R and M were in a matching mood for much of the past two weeks. Which worked out well because I still haven't put away winter clothes and for whatever reason the weather decided to be insanely cold-ish in the mornings last week. 

This however did not sit well with E who deemed it UNFAIR that they got to dress as twins (a favorite past time of hers if you recall). But then we talked about R being twins with her in a mere 15 months and M could be triplets with them in 3 years. E still wasn't 100% convinced. 


R had some homework to be done...

They get to start using scissors in 3 yr old class so she was thrilled I let her go to town on cutting it out

She was so very proud of herself for cutting on the lines. 

E - I guess you just cut that a little skinny this time... 


I doctored the poor skinny fish back up and she was as good as new and R didn't even mind that I gave the fish it's lips, fin and tail back. 

R had a minor freak out session when I told her she wasn't doing her homework the same night it came home - 'but all her friends would have it done!' Right.... 

But we did end up doing it the following night because it was AHG night and E couldn't be jealous about the crafting and she wasn't there to put in her 25 millions cents on what she thought R should do and being EXTREMELY vocal about it. : ) 

I think the fish looks a bit like a blowfish with the feathers on top. I think I might have heard R refer to it as her zebra fish so maybe that's what it is. 


A's world is about to be rocked when pool season starts.

He's going to have to start loving being in the Beco carrier or else. Mutiny is not an option. 


I made this awesome Mexican chicken soup and used this recipe as a guide

I already has the chicken cooked but I think it would have been more flavorful had it been cooked in the soup like the recipe said. If you think I pulled the chicken and then poured the soup over it (like the recipe says) then you don't know me that well. The lime and cilantro were KEY as was the cumin I added that reviewers of the repine said was missing. Oh yeah and toasting tortillas? Can we say tortilla chips? 

I was pretty stinking proud of myself for cooking this because I followed the recipe and it worked. And everyone liked it and wanted seconds and thirds. The house smelled ha-mazing. I did this all while M had a potty accident. A was screaming like a crazy. Imagine what I could cook if I didn't have all those distractions.


Soccer season is in full swing. The (pink) Panthers are ready for action! We had our first game last Saturday. It was insanely windy and it was sleeting during a few minutes of the game - thank you NC weather for being completed crazy. 

E and R did pretty well. I think E tallied a goal and R actually ran around which was a vast improvement from last season. 

I think I failed to mention how we got to be the pink Panthers. I told them they could pick pink jerseys if there was a separate girls league again - which there was. Except the pink is more pinkish not a hot pink or pink-pink if you will so E decided no to pink. Then purple was taken and black was out of the question so there was teetering over white and silver and finally melon-ish pink won out. Seriously the amount of time and thought that went into the jersey color was excessive. 

Oh and then the numbers. R is generally amicable to whatever number she ends up with. E has started with 2 back in the day and has worked her way up to wanting to be 6 or 7. She had her heart set on 6 this season and because of jersey sizes 6 was not an option. 

Let's discuss the epic meltdown that occurred. Or let's not. Oh the overly emotional (and unacceptable) responses that my children have over the silliest things. Fortunately she didn't make good on her threat of not playing this season because she didn't get the number she wanted. 


I could blame my lack of posts on this...

I ran in the Rock and Roll Raleigh half marathon last Sunday. 

It was good. Not nearly as crowded as the inaugural race 2 years ago that I ran. I cannot decide if I want to squeak in another race before the summer heat. I pretty much need a race in mind in order to muster up the will power to go running. And while I knew that training for the R&R would help me kick all the baby weight - I am now within the single digits of getting to that pre-baby weight - which is kind of awesome. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

American Heritage Girls and a Few Reasons Why We've Committed to It

Last fall we asked E if she wanted to do scouts. She was super on board and excited for it to start. I was pretty surprised and impressed by her enthausium despite not having any friends involved in the program and knowing very little about it. I guess the thought of going camping and earning badges sealed the deal - even though there is, of course, way more to the program than that.

Before that conversation, however, Lee and I talked extensively about added another activity to our family 'plate'. He's got a Bible Study he leads plus other clergy time-demanding activities, we've been doing soccer or some other seasonal sporting activity, we had baby number 4 on the way, E was starting full day school... did we really need to take on another activity? Would it be wise and worthwhile to take on another activity?

These are questions that Lee and I mulled over for several weeks before the first troop meeting in September. I browsed the 6 frontiers of badges that American Heritage Girls (AHG) has girls work towards as well as the service hours and God-centered focus of the program. To me it seemed like an activity that would give our girls a chance to try a variety of new things, provide reasonable goals to work towards and be an organization that was worthy of committing to longterm.

We decided to give the first meeting a try. If E did not like it then we weren't going to push her. If there was something about it we did not like then we would not be committed anything yet.

Well after the first meeting, E was totally on board with it and couldn't wait to go camping and do all sorts of things. (We've yet to convince Papa that sleeping on the ground is an acceptable location, but E's working on him : )

Last year the troop went camping at a state park no too far from the house so Lee and E trekked up there for the day. E had a grande time learning about hibernation, going on a hike and cleaning up some camp sites.

E has come to expect to go to the weekly meetings even on the tough afternoons when she comes home from school totally wiped out, she wants to go to the meetings. She gets home past when she is normally in bed, so it can make for an interesting next morning. But we think it is worth it. It also means buckling down and knocking out the one page of homework. But SHE thinks it is worth it.

Her group is working on the Kitchen Scientist badge - even though I don't think can actually earn it because she's a Pathfinder (but don't tell her that because she's convinced she's a Tenderheart). Anyways, she came home with a small little experiment about plants taking up water. This past week they did something involving 'testing' the pH of different liquids - water, juice, shampoo - are a few I heard about. A few weeks before they baked cookies for nursing home residents that the group was visiting later in the week. All super great stuff right?

Well it wouldn't be fair to leave out there have been things that E hasn't wanted to do. But we have held her to her commitment. Example, there was an outing to a hockey game. E hadn't been to a hockey game before so she immediately decided she didn't want to go. Lee had already got tickets because HE wanted them to go. She hemmed and hawed for days over it. But you know what, she really enjoyed it.

In a few weeks the troop is having a SoapBox Derby and guess what, E doesn't want to go. Even though she has no idea what will happen or that she has to help build the car for it. Ten bucks says that she'll have an awesome time. She also got wind of a campout over the summer and decided she doesn't want to go. Papa told her about the zipline and a bunch of other fun things and I think she's changed her mind.

It is great to have new activities that are outside of her comfort zone that she thinks she's going to not like and then once she tries it she realizes she can actually form an opinion on it. I don't expect her to love every single thing she does, but I do hope that she experiences things for herself.

So not quite one year into American Heritage Girls, I hope that this will be something that our family will be participating in for years to come.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

7QTs - Chia, Diggers, & Teeth

Catching up from Holy Week and Bright Week (aka the week after Easter, aka Spring Break). But we went about our normal (boringness) for Spring Break so no fun vacation photos to report. 

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The digger left our yard Holy week... 

Which only means one thing... Summer is coming. Which means I'm already mentally preparing myself for Papa's afternoon (and evening) presence, or lack thereof. Trying, trying trying to remember we survived last year and fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed... we can do it again without A throwing us some major loops. 


I'm definitely in rehearsal mode for the summer because I continue to do crazy things like... 

Take 4 kids to the grocery store 7 minutes before a dentist appointment

Because I don't have all the ingredients for dinner!

Onward and upwards to the dentist. M went solo a few months ago because I was certain the 3rd child syndrome has struck her teeth and the brownish stains on them were cavities - but they weren't it is just something in her diet (probably). We still need to help her brush her teeth more though!

Last time M would barely open her mouth for the hygienist. This time - it wasn't even her appointment and nearly cried until she got her teeth polished. R has her teeth polished as well. As did E and basking in the glory of having lost 2 teeth. 


Silly A

He is so cute!

He loves playing with his toes

He loves to eat his toes

Covered by Olaf!

M is so so so crazy!


R is getting to be so big!

Hair a mess, t-shirt, skirt and light up rainboots

Gah! She is so cute! So determined to do things by herself and her own way


Oh so I jumped on the 'crunchy' - if you will - chia seed train this weekend

A co-worker drinks chia seed water almost everyday. I tried it and it tasted a bit grassy - if they soak for any extended period of time. I think I might do yogurt/fruit smoothies for lunch this week and throw some chia seeds in them. A definitely was pleased with the volumizing effects chia is known to have on nursing moms.. Well oatmeal cookies did the same thing but I think chia seeds will be good since I've got some pavement to pound next weekend and not pounds to gain. 


A was rooting on the Tarheels on Saturday...

And was quite happy to be cheering again tomorrow.

I think his tongue still has some residual indentation from when it was super attached (before it was clipped). It seems to me that within the past week or some he has really been moving it around more probably because he is getting all the good tastes out of the apples, bananas and sweet potatoes I've been giving him from the table. He is also HAPPILY using a sippy cup (Praise the Lord) and he is enjoying his 'gruel' - as Papa likes to call A's cereal.