I am hoping... that we aren't completely broke after so much travel recently!
I am hearing... the TV show Violetta. It is a Spanish Disney show dubbed in English. Nina loves it. I have no idea why.
Around the house... things are finally getting put back together after being in such disarray while the hardwoods were being refinished.
One of my favorite things... my crockpot.
A few plans for the rest of the week... the usual - lots of jump rope, volleyball, and Girl Scouts. Friday is an early release day from school.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... doing the tourist thing with my bestie. She and I have been friends since about 2nd grade. I'm shocked any time I think about how many years that is, so I'll spare you the number!
Outside my window... it is so cool and fall-like here! It is a nice refreshing change from the crazy heat we had all week in California.
I am thinking... about work... and trying to catch up after being gone over a week.
I am thankful... for a fun family vacation.
From the kitchen... our new fridge just got delivered a few minutes ago! I haven't even gone down to look at it yet.
I am creating... a vacation photo book and vacation blog posts.
I amgoing... to take kids to doctor, PT, dentist, and orthodontist appointments this week. Darn kids and their health needs!
I am reading...After Ever Afterby Jordan Sonnenblick. It is the sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie and so far seems like a lovely second book. I finished Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer which I really did not like. The idea was clever. The writing was bad. I also finished Addition by Toni Jordan. It was pretty good... funny and sweet.
I am hoping... that surgeries go well tomorrow for the sons of the woman who sat next me on the plane back from California. She has one son donating a kidney to the other tomorrow. I feel for her... can't imagine having two kids in surgery at the same time.
I am hearing... J.C. whistling.
Around the house... newly refinished hardwood floors all downstairs, and brand new hardwood floor in the living room. It looks fantastic except for the place where the poor bug died a tragic death by polyurethane. He has been forever fossilized into our floor (until tomorrow when the hardwood guys come back to extract him).
One of my favorite things... the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Is that weird?
A few plans for the rest of the week... kids start back to school on Thursday!
Outside my window... the weather seems to be getting just a little bit nicer and a little less humid each day.
I am thinking... about our busy week. Every week is busy, but this one seems moreso somehow even though the kids are out of school. As much as I have loved the year-round school calendar all these years, I am quickly learning that it is not so great when you have a child playing a school sport. You are expected to have your child at school every day for practice whether they are attending school or not. It is tough for two working parents to get a kid to school at 2:15 every day!
I am thankful... for the Make-A-Wish foundation granting a wish to a dear sweet friend of ours who desperately deserves one!
From the kitchen... not much besides peanut butter and jelly today.
I am creating... piles... piles for Goodwill, piles to go to California, piles to be sorted, piles to sell...
I amgoing... to be the one person with Girl Scout Outdoor Training Certification at our camp-out this weekend. I hope I can remember everything I was taught.
I am reading... Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. I am not a fan. I'm attempting to finish it though. I finished Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick which was absolutely wonderful... one of the best books I've read this year. It is a middle grade book, but a great read for anyone. I love that Elise's school chooses such excellent books for their required reading. One of my least favorite memories of middle school was trying to get through Great Expectations. I would have loved a book like Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. While I was reading at the pool this weekend, an 8th grade boy came up and said, "That is a great book!!!" Love that.
I am hoping... that Elise's sprained ankle recovers quickly.
I am hearing... someone in the house coughing.
Around the house... more empty floor space. We spent another weekend decluttering and moving things from downstairs up in anticipation of the hardwoods being refinished. It is all good, but tiring. We even managed to consolidate our kitchen fridge and our garage fridge into one so that the kitchen fridge can just stay unplugged during the refinishing.
One of my favorite things... listening to Addie sing to herself in bed after I've tucked her in.
A few plans for the rest of the week... crazy scheduling with trying to get Nina to school every afternoon for volleyball practice even though we are tracked out of school, Elise's first jump rope practice with her new team, and Addie and I going on a camp-out with her Girl Scout troop.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... pool fun at Elise's birthday party Friday afternoon.
Outside my window... the weather is getting nice in the mornings and evenings. Addison's Girl Scout parent meeting was outside tonight, and it was so pleasant.
I am thinking... about Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte. It should be here soon.
I am thankful... for kids' sports try-outs with desired results this week. Nina is now an official volleyball manager at her school, and Elise has a jump rope home now with a brand new team that is forming this year. Not everyone on her team has found a new team that works for them. I feel sad for those who haven't found a new jump rope home yet. This has been a stressful month for all involved.
From the kitchen... coconut citrus tilapia, slaw, steamed asparagus, and crescent rolls.
I am creating... organized plans for our upcoming California trip... trying to make sure things are paid for, ordered, reserved, arranged, etc.
I amgoing... to eat ice cream when I finish writing this.
I am reading... Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. I am so turned off by the writing. It reads like it is written by a high school kid attempting to write a novel. There are inconsistencies in the characters, dialog that makes no sense for the time period, and other annoying bits. It is a book for book club though, so I'm attempting to slog through it and finish it. I also started Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick. It was Elise's whole school read for middle school last year. The title intrigued me, and Elise said it was good. I've only read a couple chapters but can already tell it is going to be a tear jerker. So far, it is much better than Off to be the Wizard.
I am hoping... that Elise's new jump rope team turns out to be as great as my gut is telling me it will be. I have a good feeling about it.
I am hearing... J.C., Elise, Nina, and Addison scooping ice cream while J.C. is singing the Witch's Guards chant from the Wizard of Oz.
Around the house... empty floor space! We spent all weekend decluttering the dining room and playroom in anticipation of refinishing the hardwood floors. All the furniture has been moved upstairs or to the garage, and a whole SUV load of stuff was taken to Goodwill.
One of my favorite things... the app Logic Games on my iPhone. It challenges my brain.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball parent meeting, first parent meeting for the new jump rope team, and I'm volunteering at the elementary school collecting money for "kiss the pig". Kids cast votes for a quarter for which teacher they want to have kiss a pig at the fall festival. Sometimes the pig is a cute little pink piglet. Other years it is a giant grey boar. Ick.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... the final "blast-off" of Elise's now defunct jump rope team (or at least the half of the team that attended the party). We have been with these people 3-5 days per week for 11 months of the year for the past four years.While the faces may look happy in this picture, for the hour that preceded this, there was not a dry eye in the room. Goodbyes are hard.
I am thinking... about jump rope teams... because my brain is too fried to stop thinking about them.
I am thankful... for Nina's good report at the dentist this morning.
From the kitchen... burritos from Salsa Fresh.
I am creating... awards for the athletes on Elise's jump rope team who attended the most performances this year. The awards will be presented at the team party this Friday. Sadly, there were a lot of hurt feelings, anger, and bitterness when the team imploded, so only about half the team is attending the party. I wish they would all come to say good-byes and bring closure to the season, but that just isn't going to happen.
I amgoing... to buy stamps tomorrow. Really. I am. I have been telling myself this every day for a week while checks sit in envelopes waiting to be mailed. Maybe if I write it here, I will commit to it. Stamps. Tomorrow. Yes.
I am reading... Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer. So far, I'm not too impressed, but I'm not very far into it yet. Maybe it will get better. I finished One Plus One by JoJo Moyes which was a fun, sweet story. I love her writing style.
I am hoping... that things work out for my kids for their sports try-outs this week. Nina is trying out to be a volleyball manager. Sixth graders aren't allowed to play, but they can be managers. She has try-outs Tuesday and Thursday. Elise tried out for a jump rope team last night. She was happy with how she did, but there were about 50 kids there for maybe 15 spots. There was a USA Jump Rope All-Star there trying out. There were three Grand Nationals champions trying out. There was one Grand Worlds champion trying out. Needless to say, it was highly competitive. We do have one other jump rope team possibility that feels more hopeful if everything falls in place just right. I just want all these try-outs to be behind us. This has been way too stressful. I don't have the stomach for it. Elise just needs a team. At this point, I don't even care which one.
I am hearing... J.C., Elise, and Nina watching Stargate.
Around the house... ants.
One of my favorite things... sitting in Starbuck's on a weekend morning with a latte and a good book to read.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball try-outs, Elise's exercise study with the pulmonologist, jump rope team try-out results being announced, defunct jump rope team end of year party, and volleyball practices and games for Nina's current league.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Nina at a fun volleyball clinic over the weekend at Cameron Indoor Stadium, run by the Duke women's volleyball team.
Outside my window... overgrown shrubs that needs some attention from some shears.
I am thinking... about jump rope teams. With Elise's team dissolving, it is difficult to figure out where to go next. Try-outs are going to be extremely competitive at every team with all the kids from our team trying out. It is a very frustrating situation. I've devoted way too many brain cycles to this over the past few weeks.
I am thankful... that Elise's exercise study could be rescheduled for next week. It was supposed to happen last Friday, but the cardiologist called in sick. I was worried it would be weeks before she could get on the schedule again. Thankfully, they opened up some appointment times next week for all the people who had to be rescheduled.
From the kitchen... sticky pork chops, mac&cheese, and salad.
I am creating... just blog posts, not much else.
I amgoing... to take a shower shortly. I worked out this morning and am sitting here all sweaty.
I am reading... One Plus One by JoJo Moyes... good book so far.
I am hoping... that Elise can find a new jump rope home that is a good fit for her. There are four teams in our area. Two are a longer drive than I really want to tackle 4 days per week. One team doesn't compete. The fourth is our first choice, but it will likely have the most competitive try-outs. The coach has already said that it will be very hard to make the team. Given the team's current numbers, if I were the coach, I would only want two more athletes in Elise's age group. I know there are at least 10 in that age group from Elise's old team trying out.
I am hearing... J.C. playing a video game. He has hurt his back and could only tolerate sitting at a computer to work for about half a day.
Around the house... clean laundry that needs to be put away.
One of my favorite things... Magic Shell.
A few plans for the rest of the week... volleyball, TKD, tumbling, and Elise trying out for a jump rope team on Sunday (fingers crossed).
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... maybe this explains why J.C. is having back problems?
Outside my window... it is really pleasant and cool tonight. I took Addie to the pool after dinner this evening, and it was so comfortable just sitting there. Maybe fall is approaching.
I am thinking... about kids and sports. This has been a rough summer for us with athletic teams. I hope things go better in the fall. Nina has her first practice Friday in a different volleyball league.
I am thankful... for the $431 check I got in the mail this week from the state Treasury Department. I claimed it on their "unclaimed money" website. All I knew at the time of the claim was that it was "more than $50", so I was thrilled when a check for over $400 arrived! It is going straight into our vacation fund.
From the kitchen... burgers tonight from Burger 21 for a school fundraiser.
I am creating... a photobook with Elise from her Costa Rica trip.
I amgoing... to blog more. July was a whirlwind with school starting, JC's 10 day trip to Canada, and Elise's and my 5 day trip to Junior Olympics. The entire month just blew past me. I still haven't quite recovered.
I am hoping... that Elise's exercise study this week with the cardiologist and pulmonologist goes well, and that we get some answers about her breathing issues.
I am hearing... the dryer. Laundry is never ending around here.
Around the house... we are working on clearing out the dining room and playroom to get the hardwood floors refinished.
One of my favorite things... hydrangeas.
A few plans for the rest of the week... early release from school on Friday, tumbling and volleyball in the evenings.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... fun memories from Junior Olympics in Hampton Roads, Virginia last month. This is Elise with some of the kids on her jump rope team. There were circumstances within the team that made it a difficult week for everyone, but they all jumped their hearts out! I hope to share more pictures and video soon.
I am thinking... about the first day of school tomorrow! This track-out has flown by.
I am thankful... for Elise arriving home safe and happy from her big trip to Costa Rica. She had such a wonderful time.
From the kitchen... salmon and corn on the cob on the grill with a marinated pea and bean salad... a nice summer time meal.
I am creating... I'm hoping to help Elise create a guest blog post about her Costa Rica trip.
I amgoing... to bed shortly. Tomorrow will be an early morning.
I am reading... The Girl on the Trainby Paula Hawkins for book club. I really don't like it so far. I know it is a popular book though, so I'm hoping it gets better. I finished Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews and Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella. Both were fun fluff for summer.
I am hoping... that the girls all have a great first day of school tomorrow. It is Nina's first day of middle school, and Addison's first time going to school (and riding the bus) without sisters.
I am hearing... the dryer... drying Addie's clothes for tomorrow.
Around the house... after five trips to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, we finally have new towels for our bathroom. Yea!
One of my favorite things... cherries.
A few plans for the rest of the week... first day of school! (Hopefully we won't have to run out to buy any more school supplies. I am beyond DONE with that task.) Nina has four volleyball matches over two days.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Elise was horribly embarrassed by our sign at the airport. I suppose that means we are doing our job well as parents of a 13 year old.
Outside my window... the lower 90's we are having right now feels downright chilly after the heat of the last couple of weeks.
I am thinking... about a cookie I had recently. I'd love to find the recipe. It was like a sugar cookie made with lots of lemon juice and lemon zest with big white chocolate chunks. Heavenly, I tell ya!
I am thankful... for Elise's feet being on solid ground tonight. Today was their big zip lining day on a mile long zip line through the rain forest. She was understandably nervous about it. I haven't heard from her yet as to whether or not she braved it, but at least I know the zip line part of the trip is behind us.
From the kitchen... a little cherry cobbler this evening from a local BBQ place. Yum.
I am creating... not much.
I amgoing... to take the girls school supply shopping this weekend... one of my least favorite days of the year.
I am reading... Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews... fun book so far.
I am hoping... that we see some change on Nina's volleyball team. I'm starting to realize how people turn into crazed dance moms, hockey dads, and screaming idiots on the side lines. I am so fed up with Nina's coaches. If you see something on the news about a mom getting hauled away from a municipal recreational league youth volleyball game, it might just be me.
I am hearing... Orange is the New Black on TV.
Around the house... we are still trying to finish up the last details of our bathroom renovations... hooks, knobs, towel racks, and towels.
One of my favorite things... the Supreme Court right now.
A few plans for the rest of the week... Addie and Nina at camp where we work (easy-peasy drop-off and pick-up!), Elise continuing her Costa Rica fun, a week off of volleyball and jump rope (Thank you 4th of July!), and one of my best college friends coming to visit on Friday.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... Elise and friends planting trees in Costa Rica today. They also visited a school where they donated school supplies and jump ropes. I love that they are giving back to the community while enjoying their Costa Rica adventures.
Outside my window... Holy heat wave, Batman! It was 101 this afternoon when I picked up Addie and Elise from Girl Scout day camp... day camp that is outdoors only. Ouch. Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.
I am thinking... that I wish we were still up in the mountains. The weather was so lovely up there.
I am thankful... for Elise and Nina coming home from camp safely. One family lost their child at camp last week. I'm still having trouble wrapping my brain around that. My heart and prayers are with her family. It was so difficult going to pick-up knowing that family didn't get to do the same. (Elise and Nina were at Camp Cheerio last week where a twelve year old girl died in a tragic zip line accident.)
From the kitchen... chicken with stuffing, sauteed local summer squash, and sourdough bread.
I am creating... a few blog posts in my head.
I amgoing... to try to remember to put the wash in the dryer before I go to bed. Elise and Addie are required to wear the same T-shirt every single day to day camp which means laundry every night this week.
I am hoping... that the counselors and staff at Camp Cheerio can begin to recover and heal from the accident. They only had about 24 hours between sessions to break down, fall apart, support each other, and prepare for the next group of campers.
I am hearing... Orange is the New Black.
Around the house... camp clothes and equipment needing to be put away.
One of my favorite things... air conditioning.
A few plans for the rest of the week... fashion design camp for Nina, Girl Scout day camp for Elise and Addie, the usual evenings of jump rope, Taekwondo, and volleyball.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... all of us together at Blowing Rock after picking up the girls at camp. Together.