Friday, February 26, 2016

God and President Reagan

My dad is a huge history buff and trivia guru. He knows all kinds of facts and figures. In fact, we've been telling him for years that he should try out for Jeopardy - he almost always wins when he plays along from home. 
My dad and my youngest daughter

When I was little, I used ask him lots of questions like most kids do and he always seemed to have an answer. When I would ask, "How do you know that?" he would joke and say, "Because I know everything!" Once, when he gave this reply, I apparently had a sassy reply of my own and told him, "Only God and President Reagan know everything!"

The innocence of a child, right??

Maybe God knows everything, but I'm pretty sure that neither my dad nor President Reagan really knew everything. (I'm very sure that NONE of the current presidential candidates know much of anything, but let's not go down that road!)

I'm not sure I ever assumed I would someday know everything, but I thought that by this time in life I would know a lot - after all, I'm almost 40. However, there are still plenty of things I cannot answer. 
I though that by now, I'd have it all figure out, but I have only figured out that I have nothing furred out at all. #FTSF @TheGoldenSpoons
I don't know why choosing a middle school has to be as stressful as choosing a college. We have spent this week in a stressed out tizzy over where our middle daughter will attend middle school next year. As I type this at 10:15pm on Thursday, we still have not fully reached a decision and the deadline is Friday - tomorrow. Once that's decided, we'll continue waiting for high school placement letters for our oldest daughter and start an all new stressed out tizzy. When did middle school and high school "options" even become a thing? 

I didn't realize that the hormonal teen years would start when my girls were 10. I mean, "teen years" implies that they would be at least 13, right? Sometimes, I don't know if I have enough patience to make it through these years and these days when it's like I live with three mini, female versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 

I don't know why, at almost 40, I am usually just as insecure as I was when I was 15. In my head, I know healthy is more important being able to wear a certain size of pants, but, apparently, I also don't know how to embrace that concept in my heart and soul. I know that my success is not determined by plagues on the wall or dollars in my pocket, so I don't know why those things still matter.

I don't know where writer's block comes from. Maybe stress or fatigue or lack of enthusiasm or all of the above. And, I don't know if just pouring out the dribble in this post will solve my case of it, but hopefully it will at least put a crack in the shell. 

So what do I know? I know that life is messy. I know that I love my family more than anything in this world. Some days are stressful and tough. Other days are joyous and carefree. It's the mixture of the two that keeps things interesting. 

I know that when I was younger I thought I would have it all figured out by now. Today, I know that was a crazy assumption and that I'll probably never have it all figured out at all. But, I also know that that's okay.

This post was written as part of the Finish The Sentence Friday Linkup hosted by Kristi of Finding Ninee. This week's prompt was, "I though by this time in life, I'd . . . . . "

Monday, February 22, 2016

Currently . . . February 2016

 I have decided to try creating a "currently" post once a month in 2016. I think of it as a bit of a journal entry - an online diary, if you will. If you want to join me, you are welcome. I haven't made it a linkup or anything , but you can just copy the words I have used and fill in your own thoughts. You don't have to use all same the words I have used and/or you can substitute any others you choose! (Here is a great list.) 

Currently (5:00pm on Sunday, February 21, I am . . . .) 
  • Enjoying - A few moments of quiet. I dropped my youngest off for an activity at our church (where I am also on staff part time). I had plans, but they were cancelled, so I am sitting in my office and there is no one around! 
  • Feeling - Blah. I'm not sure if I have a case of the winter blues or what, but I'm just feeling kind of "meh" lately. Lots of life's little annoyances have gotten under my skin more than they should and I can't seem to shake the little gray cloud over my head.
  • Reading - Before I Go To Sleep  by S.J. Watson. It was on my list of books to read in 2016. I've only read the first two chapters and I'm not fully "into it" yet, but it definitely has promise!
  • Listening - The last song I downloaded was Hearbeat by Carrie Underwood. Her performance of it at the Grammys with Sam Hunt was amazing.

  • Wearing - Jeans and a sweatshirt which is a little much considering it is almost 70 degrees here in NC today, but it's still winter and I'm not ready for short sleeves year! Plus, it's will be back in the 40s by Tuesday.
  • Thinking - About blogging. A lot. In the last two weeks, I have posted one recipe. That's it. In the last few weeks, I've had the worst case of writer's block I've ever had. I want to write, but, mostly, I just sit and stare at a blank screen. I'm hoping that this week I can find some time to just sit and free write or maybe even re-invent some of my older posts. Fingers crossed for breaking the block.
  • Wishing- A lot of things; a lot of unspoken wishes.
  • QuestioningWhy figuring out middle school and high school is like applying to college! Around here it is anyway. Last year, we made the difficult decision to move our two youngest daughters to a private school. (They are 3rd and 5th grade this year.) Now, we have to decide whether to leave our 5th grader there for middle school or send her to the same middle school our oldest has attended. Our oldest will be entering high school and has applied for a couple magnet programs. We are awaiting acceptance notifications (or not) and, then, will have to choose. It's insane! 
  • Eating - As little as possible! I'm kidding - kind of. Do you have a number you simply refuse to see on the scale? Or maybe I'm the only one who is that neurotic. Anyway, I have that number in my head and I saw it last week which means I have  gained a full 30 pounds in less than two years. I've joined a gym; I've had my thyroid tested twice; and I've had my hormone levels tested, too. Apparently I'm perfectly healthy - just fat. So, I'm officially on a diet. 
  • Worrying - About my kids and decisions. About myself and my blog. About taking my kids to the dentist on Monday afternoon. 
  • Wanting - To get out of this Blah rut I'm in. To make decisions confidently and move on. To write something amazing - or just something at all. To take a vacation. To laugh. To win the lottery. Or maybe to just go to bed (it's 9:00pm now).
  • Loving - My family. Sometimes, they are the source of my angst, but they are also the loves of my life and my whole heart. 

  • What's CURRENTLY happening in your life? What are you enjoying, thinking, and wishing? @TheGoldenSpoons #bloglife

    Sunday, February 14, 2016

    Creamy Chicken and Noodles {#SundaySupper}

    If you're a regular around here, you may have noticed that I didn't post anything last week. (Or maybe you didn't notice and that's o.k., too). The truth is, I haven't been feeling very inspired or enthusiastic about writing lately. I'm not sure why, really, but based on conversations with some blogger friends, it's a feeling that's been going around the blogosphere recently.

    You know what I have been excited about, though? Cooking. I've been scouring Pinterest for some new, family-frinedly, comfort food recipes. Maybe that's because it's been really cold here this week (as I type this, I'm watching it snow!). Maybe it's just because I've been in a rut with cooking lately and have finally gotten so bored that I just had to branch out a little. Perhaps, it's a bit of all of that. 

    Whatever it is, I have a whole menu of new recipes to try this week and if the first one is any indication of how they will go, it's going to be one super yummy week!

    After seeing a couple different versions of this on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it, so I combined two different recipes, made a few adjustments, and had one easy, delicious dinner! It takes a little prep to chop the chicken and veggies, but then, it is super easy and quick. It's also perfect for a cold winter evening!

    Creamy Chicken and Noodles

    -3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
    -3/4 cup carrots, chopped
    -3/4 cup celery, chopped
    -1 medium onion, chopped
    -1 TBSP minced garlic
    -1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
    -1 soup can of milk
    2 cups chicken broth
    -1/2 TBSP dried parsley
    -1/2 TBSP dried thyme
    -1/2 pound dry fettuccine noodles
    -1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

    Step 1: In a large pot (I used a 5 qt. non-stick), heat a little bit of olive oil. Sauté the vegetables and minced garlic for about 3-5 minutes.

    Step 2: Add the chicken and continue to sauté until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside. (It doesn't have to be cooked through because it will continue to cook.)

    Step 3: Add the soup, milk, broth, dry pasta, and seasonings. (Add salt and pepper to taste). 

    Step 4: Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Let it simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.

    Step 5: Just before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. 

    That's it! You will have a pot full of creamy deliciousness. 

    This one was a big hit with my family. My hubby took one bite and said, "This is good!" Even the picky kiddos ate it up! It's almost like a deconstructed chicken pot pie

    I hope your family will enjoy it, too!

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    I Asked, They Answered - Questions for my Kids

    Have you seen this thing going around Facebook? 

    "Without any prompting, ask your kids these questions . . . . "

    Then, of course, it is followed by a list of questions you are supposed to copy and paste into your status with your kids' answers. 

    It was blowing up my Facebook feed last week. I read several of them and scrolled past several others. I admit, I was curious how my own kids might answer the questions, but also a little terrified. Kids are brutally honest and you just never know what they will say. It might be warm and fuzzy; it might be funny; or it might be pretty hard to swallow! 

    Then, one night while we were snowed in, I sat on the couch reading a book and my hubby sat beside me scrolling through Facebook on his phone. As my oldest daughter walked through the room, he stopped her and started asking her the questions! Her answers for him were not too bad, so I decided to ask all three girls the questions myself!

    Me- asking Rachel, 13
    1. What is something I always say to you?  Relax
    2. What makes me happy? Us not fighting.
    3. What makes me sad? Us fighting.
    4. How do I make you laugh? When you yell at other drivers on the road.
    5. What was I like as a child? Cute, small, probably kinda girly.
    6. How old am I? 38
    7. How tall am I? 5'8" 
    8. What is my favorite thing to do?
    Write and blog
    9. What do I do when you're not around?
    Cook, clean, write, and work.
    10. What am I really good at? Writing and grammar and all that stuff.
    11. What am I not very good at? Math.
    12. What do I do for a job? Interim Associate of Children's Ministries
    13. What is my favorite food? Dessert
    14. What do you enjoy doing with me? Shopping (as long as my sisters don't go).

    Me asking Emily, age 8
    1. What is something I always say to you? I Love you
    2. What makes me happy? When Rachel, Megan, & me clean up and don't argue.
    3. What makes me sad? When I don't eat something for dinner (because she doesn't like what I cooked).
    4. How do I make you laugh? (Through uncontrollable giggles) Because you told Megan to tie up her boobs!"  (Explanation - While the girls and I were out shopping on our fourth snow day last week, I told Megan to tie up her BOOTS as we got out of the car. She misheard me and thought I said BOOBS! The girls thought it was hilarious!)
    5. What was I like as a child? You were happy and you had a brother.
    6. How old am I? 38
    7. How tall am I? I don't know! 
    8. What is my favorite thing to do? Probably write on your blog.
    9. What do I do when you're not around? If I'm not around, how do I know?  (Always has a wisecrack her sleeve!)
    10. What am I really good at? Taking care of Rachel, Megan, and me when Daddy's not home.
    11. What am I not very good at? I don't know. You're good at everything.
    12. What do I do for a job? You work part time at church.
    13. What is my favorite food? Probably chicken.
    14. What do you enjoy doing with me? I enjoy laughing with you!

    Me asking Megan, 11
    1. What is something I always say to you? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything.
    2. What makes me happy? Me and Rachel and Emily not fighting. And Daddy, and family, and the color purple.
    3. What makes me sad? Me and Rachel fighting. That time we thought Rachel was lost but she was really just down the road.
    4. How do I make you laugh?
    You say something weird like "Tie up your boobs," (see above for explanation) or tickling me.
    5. What was I like as a child? I have no clue. Probably goofy and fun.
    6. How old am I? 38
    7. How tall am I? 5'9"
    8. What is my favorite thing to do? Blog
    9. What do I do when you're not around? Blog, order groceries, do laundry, go to work at church.
    10. What am I really good at? Cooking and being a mom.
    11. What am I not very good at? Being a father! Ha! 
    12. What do I do for a job? Work at church and be a mom. 
    13. What is my favorite food? Shrimp? Oh yeah, that coconut shrimp!
    14. What do you enjoy doing with me? Shopping, cooking, joking around.

    Are you brave enough to ask your kids these 14 questions? #1Word @TheGoldenSpoons
    This really was a fun experiment! It made me realize that things I think go unnoticed really don't. It also made me laugh. None of them knew my correct height (5'7") and they were all very hesitant to name something I'm not very good at - I think they thought it would hurt my feelings. It's also funny to hear the things they remember that I had almost forgotten. For instance, Megan saying my favorite food is shrimp. I actually don't like seafood much at all - but, the last time we went to one of our favorite restaurants at the beach I was disappointed because their coconut shrimp that I do like had been removed from the menu. Out of all the meals we eat together, that's what she remembered! 

    Give it a try with your kids and see what they have to say about you! 


    This post was part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyaholic and me! This month, the word prompt choices were Honest, Perfect, and Curious. 

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    Just Laugh

    Sometimes, the only thing left to do is laugh.

    This is something my hubby taught me many years ago and is a mantra that has gotten me through many frustrating situations over the last 20-ish years. I was reminded of it Sunday afternoon as I sat on the couch with my computer in my lap struggling to come up with something to write for my February Tuesday Ten Post. I've done so many of these over the past two years, it seemed everything I thought of was something I had already written. Then I though about . . . . 

    10 Things I Despise About Valentine's Day . . . . . . 
    10 Things I Love About????? . . . . . .
    10 Reasons I Can't Think of Anything to Write Today . . . . . 
    10 Reasons my Husband's snoring is going to drive me insane . . . . 

    None of these seemed quite right. So, I started cruising Facebook instead hoping for some inspiration. That's when I saw a funny parenting meme that made me laugh out loud and that's when inspiration found me. 

    Sometimes, the only thing left to do is laugh, so I hope these will give all of you a good laugh (or two . . . or ten) to help get you through the week!!

    A very delicate balance, indeed.
    And lunch. And snacks. All. the. time.

    Seriously, they start asking me this before we even get home from school some days! 
    anyone else hear Carrie Underwood or Randy Travis singing "I Told You So . . ." in the background?
    I've said this prayer many times. Especially regarding anything related to math.
    "Not My Circus; Not My Monkeys" is recently a favorite saying of my hubby's . Saw this one and just HAD to include it for him! 
    I have thee kids, so I very certain this is just my face now. And, probably the reason I try to avoid mirrors.

    Almost spit coffee out my nose when I read this one. 

    I actually created one of these a few years ago to use in a post. Not sure if I can say the quote is all mine, but now, there are about twenty of these in all different colors.
    I actually have signed things with a green Crayola marker before. 

    **Ironically, the day I was putting this together (Monday) another blog post was all over my Facebook feed. It's title? Stop Stealing Memes. Right Now.  You see, many bloggers gain a lot of popularity by creating and sharing memes like these. Just as I would be livid if someone took one of my blog posts and tried to post it as their own, the people who create these little tidbits of funny (or advice, or wisdom) get upset when someone steals their words - rightfully so. It's plagiarism and it's wrong. That being said, I have re-shared these memes here leaving their watermarks in tact (the ones that had watermarks) and have, to the best of my knowledge, gotten them from their original sources. 

    What has made you laugh lately?

    TuesdayTen is Hosted by Rabia from The Liebers and Lisa from The Golden Spoons.

    In 2016, Tuesday Ten will happen monthly. If you would like to participate, just write you list (anything goes!) and link it up. You can also join our Facebook group for reminders and topic ideas.
    The Golden Spoons

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