Halloween 2019

Our Halloween… over at my parents house on Woodhaven, of course. 🙂 We had a pretty good turnout, but still had one whole bag of candy leftover at the end of the night. We watched HalloweenTown, but not HocusPocus because my children have decided to rebel and say they “hate” HocusPocus. Ah well, at least we had the traditional Taco Soup.

Chaperoning, finally

Chaperoning, finally. First rainy game in a long time.

TJC Game Today

Ree and I spent this afternoon working the concession stand at the TJC game to raise money for the REL Band. I had a great vantage point to watch the TJC band in the stands from my nacho & hot dog station. Then I ducked out at halftime to watch our David march with the TJC band. 🙂

Another Exciting Friday Night

Chronic illness style fun: My exciting night has been spent stalking my middle child at the football game via friends posts & videos, listening to top 10 lists on watch mojo with Nick, and generally resting so I can be ready to train new PTA leaders first thing in the morning. 🙂

Protein Enriched Muffins of Joy

You know me and my muffin experiments. Today I was trying to make healthier ones that tasted good and were a bit more fiber and protein filled (no one ate veggies yesterday because we were away from home and the food choices were not ours and today is a LONG day). The kids ate these super fast and raved about them.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Dry:
1 1/2 cup generic white flour
1/2 cup chocolate flavored protein powder
1 serving scoop orange flavored fiber powder
1 TBL ground flaxseed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBL aluminum free baking powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wet:
1/2 tsp orange flavoring
1 cup 2% milk
1 large egg
2 TBL expellier pressed canola oil

Mix the dry and wet separately, then combine, scoop into greased muffin tins, and bake for 12 minutes or until nicely browned on top. These get pretty brown and slightly shiny, unlike my regular muffins.

I Put on Real Clothes for THIS?!

Put on real clothes and makeup and was all ready to go out and buy the college kid his textbooks. He pulled out his laptop, typed in the bookstore name, entered his class names, then 5 minutes and $300 later we were done. Guess I could’ve stayed in my comfy clothes this morning.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

I’m reading this book called “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie” because my dyslexic kid read it this summer for Pre-AP homework and loved it so much he’s on his 3rd re-reading and man, reading this book as a former band nerd immediately after a summer band banquet for my kid… I have all the feels. Y’all that love band should read it.

Hello again!

I have let this blog flounder for far too long and today is my first day back at it.  We have had a wacky, crazy year. I’m not even sure that I should try to summarize it, but find myself wanting to. Let’s start where I left off… oh my. Okay. That’s a rough place to start.

December 5th, 2018 my mom left the nursing home to go home for my dad’s birthday. She lasted at home until December 7th, when she had to be rushed to the emergency room. I went down on the 9th because it was clear that she was on her way out of this world. She passed away on December 12th. I spent the month in College Station or Wisconsin. We had two funerals for her, one in each of her hometowns. They were lovely, both of them attended by family and friends and filled with beautiful reminiscences of her full, mostly happy life. (Please note that this is short, not because I am being in any way flippant about it, but because I’m crying too much to say more.)

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In January we tried to be humans. We had our annual board game extravaganza on January 1st at my dad’s Tyler house so he wouldn’t have to be alone yet and could be a little distracted from all the sadness. April is with him all the time, but we come and go and try to bring a little joy to them with our visits.

February and March went by kind of in a blur. We visited College Station every couple or three weeks and spent half of spring break with my dad and sister. David and Nick were each gone a week in April and then it was birthdays and Easter all at once. We celebrated in the Tyler house, trying to avoid sadness, but failing. Easter was one of my mom’s favorite times of the year.

In May everything ramped up. The six month anniversary of my mom’s death was literally Mother’s Day. How’s that for irony for you? April and Dad ignored the day completely, while Nick, the kids, and I went to Scarborough Faire for the day (something I’ve been wanting to take the kids to for years. They were, naturally, underwhelmed because we’d waited too long).  All the end-of-year “lasts” were heightened because it was David’s last high school everything. We had a graduation party for him the day before graduation, we all attended graduation night outside at the stadium, and then the very next day he left for his band’s spring trip. And because we’re crazy, we had a family BBQ the following Monday with Nick’s family.

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June was even crazier, though. Nick and David left the first weekend, Nick for work in the Czech Republic and David for Tennessee for working a pre-teen camp. Then I left for China the same day Nick came back from his trip (and no, we didn’t even get to see each other at the airport). Greg spent weekdays at his Nana & Pa’s house while the other two boys came and went. David had college orientation for a few days in there. Nick and all the kids went to the Houston Aquarium for Father’s Day while I spent Father’s Day with my dad in Tianjin. Then kids all spent the last few days I was gone working the pre-teen camp at Camp Piney Woods while Nick was in Tennessee for work. We all were supposed to get home Wednesday, June 26th, but my flight got delayed by several hours and I ended up getting home at 4 in the morning on the 27th. Then on the 29th, Greg and David got in a van with other church kids and left for Teen Camp at Camp Pinecrest in Missouri. (I will most likely blog about my China trip in some upcoming posts.)

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Today is first day I’ve felt human and somewhat put together in a really long time. I’m getting back onto somewhat of a schedule. I’ll be spending weekday mornings at the gym and afternoons writing. Ree has this whole month free, so we’ll be starting parent-led driving lessons for him this week as well, probably in the mornings after I’m back from the gym. 🙂 Greg will be in day camps most of this month and who knows what David will be up to? I sure don’t! He was looking for a job last time I checked, but no one would hire him because he was out of town so much this summer (he has one more camp he’s working at the end of the month).

So there you have it. We are crazy and we know it. 🙂 See you tomorrow.

 

Working life is full of fullness!

I was talking to a friend today over “coffee” (I had chai tea and she had lemonade, actually, but we will still call it “coffee” because I can’t think of anything better right now) about the challenges of working a non-specific schedule.  I had had all these plans to organize the whole house this week, but got called in to substitute three half days this week in Kindergarten-land (which is more tiring than a whole day of other grades, let me tell you).  It was good to get back to work, as I didn’t work at all in December, but it was still hard because I’d had all these mental plans and didn’t get to most of them.

Here’s what I did get done, though.  David’s room, before:

Drawers of randomness, part one

Drawers of randomness, part one

Drawers full of randomness, part two

Drawers full of randomness, part two

This is the desk after D "cleaned it off" for me.  Hahahah

This is the desk after D “cleaned it off” for me. Hahahah

Bed area (which sadly looks the same today)

Bed area (which sadly looks the same today)

Bookshelves of messiness (I wish you could see the bottom shelf better, it was scary!)

Bookshelves of messiness (I wish you could see the bottom shelf better, it was scary!)

The closet of doom.  I don't know if those clothes down there at the bottom are dirty or clean.

The closet of doom. I don’t know if those clothes down there at the bottom are dirty or clean.

During:

I sorted everything into categories: Rocks, Office, Ships game, Lego instructions, Nerf Darts, Things Which Do Not Belong To Me, etc.

I sorted everything into categories: Rocks, Office, Ships game, Lego instructions, Nerf Darts, Things Which Do Not Belong To Me, etc.

Again with the Flylady process.  I filled everything  at least once and took it out.  The trash went out three times.

Again with the Flylady process. I filled everything at least once and took it out. The trash went out three times.

Currently, I’m still not done, but we’re getting there:

The bookshelves now hold books!  They're not organized yet, but they are all on there now.  :)  And no, I have no idea why he's collecting root beer & cream soda bottles.  None.

The bookshelves now hold books! They’re not organized yet, but they are all on there now. 🙂 And no, I have no idea why he’s collecting root beer & cream soda bottles. None.

I put up the art he brought home from Art Camp (his teacher sketched these).  They've lived in a pile on the floor since July.

I put up the art he brought home from Art Camp (his teacher sketched these). They’ve lived in a pile on the floor since July.

I found school work in EVERY SINGLE DRAWER.  No wonder he never can find anything.  I bought him an expanding file, sorted his work into classes, and have sent him off to make labels and shove things into the sections.  Now he has no excuse not to be organized.

I found school work in EVERY SINGLE DRAWER. No wonder he never can find anything. I bought him an expanding file, sorted his work into classes, and have sent him off to make labels and shove things into the sections. Now that he has been taught to use it he has no excuse not to be organized.

Drawers labeled: Small Toys, Lego Instructions, Memory Stuff, Organized bits of Lego, Office supplies, School stuff, Art supplies.

Drawers labeled: Small Toys, Lego Instructions, Memory Stuff, Organized bits of Lego, Office supplies, School stuff, Art supplies.

A place for everything and everything in its place, part one

A place for everything and everything in its place, part one

A place for everything and everything in its place, part  two.

A place for everything and everything in its place, part two.

I also got some more things organized elsewhere in the house, but that’s a post for tomorrow!  🙂

January Projects

As you know, I go crazy in January and start cleaning and organizing everything in sight.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the cold, rainy weather.

 

Yesterday I tackled my hallway bathroom closet, which I guess could also be called my linen closet.

 

Before:

Okay, so it doesn't look quite so bad as my brain says it does, but it was making me crazy.

Okay, so it doesn’t look quite so bad as my brain says it does, but it was making me crazy.

 

During:

There's a method to the madness. One box is labeled "Another Room," one is "Keep," one is "Donate," and one is "Toss." The "Keep" box is the giant pile in the middle.

There’s a method to the madness. One box is labeled “Another Room,” one is “Keep,” one is “Donate,” and one is “Toss.” The “Keep” box is the giant pile in the middle.

After several hours and possibly a billion interruptions (Next time I’m putting a Do Not Enter if You Value Your Life sign up.):

 

Done!  I filled one of each other above labeled boxes (except "Keep" which was the stuff that went back in).

Done! I filled one of each other above labeled boxes (except “Keep” which was the stuff that went back in). I took this photo before I labeled the shelves, but they are labeled by what’s in each bin.

Secret surprise if you look in my linen closet: preschool graduation photos of each of my kids!

Secret surprise if you look in my linen closet: preschool graduation photos of each of my kids!

 

Today I’m tackling David’s room as part of my Flylady plan.  It won’t be done in 15 minutes for sure, but today the desk is getting organized.  I’ve been at it an hour now and it’s finally empty. I’ve filled one trash can, one keep box, and one another-room box already.  Now I can see why he can’t ever find his school papers.  There were a few papers in each messy drawer.  AIE!