Friday, August 20, 2010

For the Love of Goop!

There are only a few things I miss about living in Utah:

I miss my boys (obviously).
And Chloe and Carter. :)
I miss everything being so family-friendly.
And I miss goop.

Goop, AKA fry-sauce, is available everywhere in Utah. It is even widely available at burger places in neighboring states, but once you get east of Rock Springs, WY, nobody even knows what it is. There are a few recipes for this delectable condiment, but the one I use is: 1 part mayo, 1 part ketchup, and a splash of pickle juice. Mix well. Serve with fries, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc. I love it with chicken strips and homemade fries the best.

Mr. C and Bren refuse to use it, but Katie and I love it. You can get a bottled version in the grocery stores (Some Dude’s Fry Sauce – yes, that is the actual name), but it has HFCS and doesn’t taste quite the same as the good old burger drive-in variety that I grew up on.

So, try making it one night when you are having fries!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jumping into the Deep...

Disclaimer: I wrote this post last week when I was hanging at the pool - before the (in)Courage blog posted a similar one.

I’m watching Katie jump into the deep end of the pool. This is a huge accomplishment for her. At the beginning of the summer, she wasn’t even comfortable getting her face wet. Now she jumps right in and swims around with her floaties.

When we began coming to the pool in June, she would only go in the baby pool. Then she saw all of her friends wearing those cute pink arm floaties and decided she wanted some, too. Once I bought them for her, she went into the big pool but refused to let go of the side. She was so frightened.

One day Mr. C was here with her and he took her out into the middle of the pool and held her. He showed her she could float and not go under the water. He showed her that she was safe. She slowly became more confident and began going a few feet from the edge, then swimming right back. Each day she would venture just a little bit further out. Each day she felt a little more secure. Now she just jumps right into the deep water because she knows her floaties will keep her from drowning.

Katie and her floaties remind me
of myself and my trust in God.

I know He will be there for me, but sometimes it is so hard to let go of the edge. When I test Him with the little things, I gain more confidence and swim a little further into the shallow. If I would only let Him take me in His arms and carry me out to the middle of the pool, I would gain the trust to know He will always be there to keep me above water. I am frightened. Yet, I know that it is only by letting go and venturing out into the deep, rough waters of life that I can truly find my faith and confidence in Him. I won’t find it by holding onto the edge. I must force myself to take that leap and jump, with both feet, into the deep.

Have you jumped in lately?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pool Days...

I brought my computer out to the pool yesterday. I’ve been thinking of doing it all summer long, but didn’t actually do it until then. Unfortunately, I have found there is no wireless access from my little poolside table. Rather than just sit there reading yet another book or magazine, I decided I’d write my blog post anyway, and then post it when I get home.

I registered the kidlets for school yesterday. There was some slight confusion as to which teacher Katie had been assigned, but in the end both of them got the teachers I had requested last spring. The gals in the school office thought Katie was do very well with a particular teacher because they apparently have similar personalities. Brendan’s 4th grade teacher told me which 5th grade teacher she thought would work best for Brendan. In all the years my kids have been in school, I had never requested a specific teacher until last year. There was an awesome teacher that I really wanted for Brendan so I asked the principal if he would put Bren her class…and he kindly obliged. Brendan’s year was the best one yet and I am so happy I spoke up.

As I mentioned above, we are hanging at the pool. With only two weeks left of summer, we don’t have many days left where we can come and swim all day long. The kids have enjoyed their time out here so much. I was really nervous in April when we signed up out here, but it has been one of the best things we’ve ever done for our children. They golf several times/week with Mr. C, they swim almost daily, we enjoy coming to breakfast here on Sunday mornings after church, and the extra activities have been so much fun. It has almost been like being on vacation every day.

A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mr. C that I haven’t been home at all this summer and that the house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. He replied that summer in Wyoming is so short and to just enjoy the time with the kids. I can worry about cleaning after school starts. I am so blessed to have such an understanding hubby. He is more concerned with the kids enjoying their summer rather than having the house cleaned and spotless. I love that. There are some days when I almost think hanging out at the pool is a waste of my time and that I could be accomplishing so much more if we’d only stayed home that day. But, then I look out and watch the happy smiles and hear the laughter coming from my children and I know I am doing the right thing. They are only this age once and this time in their lives is so fleeting. I need to remember that more often. This is the stuff they will remember when they are adults: summers spent at the pool with their friends, playing lots of golf and tennis, and all of the fun times.

Mr. C has been busy again this week. Not quite as busy as a couple of weeks ago, but busy. I am grateful he has such a good job and I am VERY grateful that he is appreciated there. I look back to February when we found out he was being laid off from his former job. We were nervous and afraid of what the future would hold. But, he had another job within a week, with a great firm, and with that came this opportunity to join the country club. Never, in our most crazy dreams, did we ever anticipate things would work out as well as they have. Things couldn’t have turned out better for us if we had planned it. Mr. C is really happy with his job. He works for (and with) some really wonderful people. I’ve always known that the plans I have for myself pale in comparison to the plans God has in store for us…and this is just another example of that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

School Registration

I have to go register the kidlets for school tomorrow.
Their first day is two weeks after that.
I am bummed.
I think I need 3 more months of summer
before I'm ready to relinquish my little cuties again.

I love summertime.
I love having my children with me all day (most of the time).
And I love not having to send them off to a building full of virtual strangers every day.

But Katie is very excited for Kindergarten.
Brendan is excited to be going back to school,
but not necessarily for the daily walk there with his sister.

Every school year I contemplate homeschooling my children.
I love the idea of homeschooling,
but don't think I'd do well with the reality of it.
I'd be great with the arts & crafts part of their education,
and the field trips,
but not so great at the actually "schooling" aspect of it.
I just don't do structure very well.

I am not overly disciplined about keeping strict schedules any longer.
I used to be.
I got up and worked out every single day at 5 am.
I came home and showered before waking the kids up for school.
I cooked them a hot breakfast each morning.
I always cleaned my house from top to bottom on Mondays.
I baked bread 3x/week!
(Long story)
I was a stickler for keeping my babies on schedule for naptime
(but that was mostly self-preservation, I think).

Well, not so much.
I clean when it needs to be done.
I rarely work out in the mornings
(heck, I rarely work out, and it shows).
If the kids want cereal for breakfast, I let them have it.
I buy bread at the store.

Maybe I should use this school year as an opportunity to get back on a schedule.
Maybe not as strict as I used to be.
But a happy medium between
where I was
and where I am now.

But I think I'll allow myself a week or two
to mourn the return of school first.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Crazy Life

Well, Days 6 & 7 of "Project: Week Without Kidlets" were a bust. I ran errands, cleaned, did laundry, etc. on Friday. Then, went to Santa Fe all by myself on Saturday. Mr. C had to work all weekend, in addition to his long hours all week long. I think he ended up with 89.5 hours total Monday-Sunday.

In a quicker version: it sucked.

I left here at 6:30 am so I could hit Trader Joe's in Santa Fe again. I had picked up a FAB shopping bag there when Houston and I went the week before, and I had several people ask if I would pick one up for them, as well. I went in, grabbed my lemon curd (Mr. C loves my lemon chicken made with lemon curd), some shampoo and conditioner for Houston (she fell in love with the Tea Tree Tingle), and went to grab 5 shopping bags....and they were sold out of them. Bummer. I then drove out to McYuck's to meet Jess & Joey with the kidlets. We made the switch, and hit the road. We stopped in Las Vegas, NM (which isn't nearly as exciting and cool as Las Vegas, NV, but I digress) for a quick late lunch/early dinner. The kidlets didn't even want to go in. They just requested I drive through so we could get home that much earlier. They were awesome little travelers. No fighting, whining, or complaining. They just hung out in the back seat, and watched the, um, uh, scenery (of which there isn't much in southern Colorado).  We arrived home around 10 pm.

Sunday was spent recuperating from the trip, and catching up on laundry (my souvenir from Arizona was a ginormous bag of dirty clothes!). I knew we had a busy week ahead, so I tried to get laundry/housework done.

Brendan had a golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday...
and he came in 3rd!!!!!
He was so excited. It was such an awesome day for him. Then, after his round on Tuesday, Mr. Miller (his swim coach) brought him his ribbons from the City-Wide Swim Meet held the day before he went to AZ. Bren came in 3rd in Butterfly and 5th in Freestyle! It was a great week for him. He needed some positive experiences after the baseball disaster in June. We had a banquet Tuesday night where he received a plaque.

Wednesday brought recital rehearsals for Katie. It was a dress-rehearsal even. Ugh.

Thursday (5th) was my birthday. I turned "29+13". Sean congratulated me on being in my "teens and twenties at the same time". I also received a package from Chris Hertel the day before, which helped me celebrate that much earlier! I had won a drawing on her blog last month. This is what she sent me!

What a wonderful birthday surprise!!!

Mr. C and I went out to dinner that night. I had pistachio-crusted halibut. It was wonderful! They brought out a slice of chocolate cheesecake with a pink candle in it for me. It was so thoughtful of them. I also liked that they did not sing to me. I hate being sung to...especially in a crowded room full of strangers. I also got another birthday surprise that day...Sean and Chloe called to say they were coming to see us that night and staying until Sunday!!! I think that way my favorite part of the day.

Friday was busy: Katie had ballet recital rehearsals at the Civic Center all afternoon, I went to work to catch up on things a little, then we had a luau to attend that night. We had a BLAST!!! They had a roast pig (which Katie, Brendan, and I were unable to eat because it was a whole pig...including the head and face...blech), coconut shrimp, crab legs, ahi tuna, etc. Katie refused to eat any of it so the sweet wait staff went and had the cook prepare chicken strips and fries for her. Then, one of the servers brought her this because she said it looked just like Katie that night:

After dinner we went outside and watched the kidlets swim, then the band kicked up and lots of people started dancing.

Including Katie and her friend Sabo. They danced all evening long. We couldn't drag her out of there until midnight. Bren had gone home with Sean and Chloe long before that, but Katie was having too much fun to leave.

Then is started to get really fun when people started getting tossed into the pool fully dressed. Luckily I was able to avoid that.

Saturday brought Katie's ballet recital. She was beautiful and danced so well. Mr. C and I had to endure got to enjoy 3-1/2 hours of variousl dance performances. We took pity on Sean, Chloe and Brendan and let them leave at intermission.

All in all, it was a wonderful, albeit busy, week.
A week packed with busyness and blessings.