Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On a Tuesday

  • The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning.
  • Jeff went to a Rotary Club meeting at 7:00.
  • The kids and I arrived at our CC campus at 8:20, for the first day back.
  • Jeff met us there at 8:30, so he could help me unload the van and stick around for the first family presentation of the semester, featuring the Watts family.
  • Our opening assembly began at 9:00.
  • At 9:30, I took my first full breathe of the day (or possibly the entire summer), as I sent all the CC kids to their classrooms and our semester officially began. 
  • From 1:00-3:00, I stood up in front of a class of 4th-6th graders and introduced Grammar, Math and Writing concepts. 
  • At 3:45, the kids and I pulled out of the parking lot and picked up snacks and drinks at Sonic. 
  • We then had 15 minutes to run to the library for this week's books.
  • Ruth had to be at piano lessons at 4:30.
  • During the lesson, I went to 2 different banks.
  • I picked Ruth up at 5:00.
  • We met Jeff at a local restaurant for dinner at 5:15.
  • Jeff had a Toastmasters meeting at 6:00.
  • And Weston had football practice at 6:30. 
  • We finally got home around 8:30.
  • And got the kids in bed at 10 'til 9:00. 
  • Now, I think it's my turn to hit the hay!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Amazing Anniversary Getaway

Jeff and I dropped the kids off with my parents on Thursday afternoon, and then headed north to Grapevine, where we had what may be our favorite getaway so far. We stayed at the Gaylord Texan, which is the perfect mix of elegant and fun. And, by pure chance, ended up with probably the most spectacular room in the place: a HUGE room on the ninth floor, overlooking Lake Grapevine. After checking in and settling into our room, we decided to explore the resort, which is just beautiful. At 6:30 that evening we had reservations for a 3-hour sailboat dinner cruise on Lake Grapevine aboard the Black Watch. Capt. Dave and Mother Nature took great care of us, as we wined, dined and got to unwind. We were the only passengers aboard, and we were treated like royalty. The food was wonderful, the sunset was spectacular, and the company was perfect! It definitely gets a top spot among our very favorite dates of all time!

On Friday morning, we slept in, which was delightful! Then, we made our way down to the replica Riverwalk in the resort for a late, but yummy, Mexican food breakfast. After breakfast, we had a short nap, before heading to Grapevine Mills for some shopping and a movie. We saw The Bourne Legacy at the fancy theatre, with the recliners and real food menu and waitstaff. We have seen a movie there before and, once again, enjoyed the experience. Plus, we thought this Bourne movie was the best one yet. After the movie, we headed back to the hotel, where we hung out in our super-nice room for a while, before getting ready for dinner and having a drink in the Silver Bar, down in the lobby. We had dinner inside the resort, at Old Hickory Steakhouse, which was delicious and romantic. After dinner, we did a little people watching inside the resort, before heading out with the rest of the crowd to the top of the parking garage to see a beautiful fireworks show on the lake.

Yesterday morning we got up and grudgingly checked out of the hotel. We were consoled by breakfast at Main Street Bistro and Bakery and shopping at the Farmer's Market and the neat shops in historic downtown Grapevine. Our favorite shop was the Grapevine Olive Oil Company, where we tried so many delicious oils and balsamic vinegars and spent way too much money! Finally, it was time to say goodbye to our amazing anniversary getaway, pick up the kids and make our way home, with wonderful memories and hopes for another getaway in the not-too-distant future.

A room with a view

The Gaylord Vineyard--inside the resort

Dining aboard the Black Watch

Sunset sailing

Dressed for dinner

A special treat

A long, tall Texan

The calaboose in downtown Grapevine

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fabulous Fourteen

It's our anniversary! Our fourteenth anniversary! And, I can honestly say it's more fun now than it's ever been--and, it's been pretty darn fun! I love that I get to share my life with someone who can make me laugh when I want to cry, who can whip up a gourmet meal when I think we have nothing in the house to eat, who plays football with the kids in the driveway, who would literally go with me to the end of the earth, who still surprises me and who continually makes me feel loved, honored and cherished! We're off to Grapevine tomorrow to celebrate: two nights at the Gaylord Texan, a sailboat dinner cruise, fireworks, dinner at a fancy steakhouse, a lazy river, shopping and no kids. Should be a perfect little get-away!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A little mousy

Our house has been invaded. While watching a movie a couple of Friday nights ago, I saw some movement from the corner of my eye. A turn of my head revealed a brash little rodent, trying to make a not-so-stealthy relocation. I reacted as any mature adult, who doesn't want to wake her sleeping children would, by saying, "Mouse. Mouse. Mouse," increasingly louder and with a higher pitch, until I roused Jeff from his nightly pre-bed nap. (And, it goes without saying that I simultaneously pulled my feet up onto the chair!) I most certainly DID want to wake him up! As it was after 11, and there was nothing that could be done about it at that time, we went to bed, with me feeling certain I would be eaten in my sleep or that we would all die of the plague before morning. After allowing myself a moment to just be completely grossed out, I declared war on the disgusting little creature, not yet knowing about his other little friends lurking in the nooks and crannies. Now, if you are all green and animal rightsy, you may want to just stop reading now, because the first thing I did the next morning was to march my disgusted self down to the hardware store for some mouse poison. I am happy for mice to live long and peaceful lives in their natural environment, but I am not the least bit happy to have them do so in mine! I strategically and cautiously place child-resistant poison traps all around the lower floor of the house, making sure little people could not get them. And then, I waited for the death count to begin. Instead, I saw (and heard!) two--and Max saw one--more that were very much alive. I assumed they weren't eating the poison because they were still able to gain access to the pantry somehow. So, off we went to the hardware store again--for a different kind of poison and some steel wool. And, yesterday afternoon, the kids and I emptied the entire pantry, finding LOTS of evidence of our unwelcome little visitors. I thought I was going to puke. The good news is: my pantry has probably never been so clean. Every surface has been disinfected and every package of anything that even might have been open was tossed. We found a couple of places in there where we thought they might be getting in, so we plugged up those holes with the steel wool. Jeff's thought was that if a child couldn't get in to the poison, that it might be hard for a mouse to get into it, too, so we stopped playing around and put out something that should tell any mouse in the vicinity that we mean business. (And, of course, we put these in child-unfriendly locations). (I am secretly loving how clean and organized my pantry is now, but don't you dare tell any of the mice that)! Finally, we blocked the bottom of the pantry door with a towel, just to make sure there was no entering or exiting of the premises. I didn't see or hear anything from the mouse population last night, so I'm not sure if they have given up and decided to leave the house the way they came or if they are gathering the troops for a more serious attack. But, trust me, I will not rest (seriously!) until they are eradicated.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's catching

Weston:  Was Grandpa strong?

Me:  He still is strong.

Weston:  What about his dad - was he strong?

Me:  I'm sure he was, since he was a rancher and did a lot of hard work on his ranch.

Weston:  Well, it's pretty catchy then.  He was strong, Grandpa is strong, Daddy is strong, and now I'm strong.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Since we've been home...

We've had:

  • 1 roll down a gravelly hill
  • 1 pedicure
  • 2 birthday parties
  • 1 scorpion sighting (inside the house!)
  • 2 CC meetings
  • 1 pan of cream cheese chicken enchiladas
  • 1 cardiologist appointment
  • 2 mouse sightings (inside the house!)
  • 1 new pair of football cleats 
  • 1 pickle making party, resulting in
  • 14 quarts (for us, plus about that many for my in-laws) of homemade bread-n-butter pickles
  • 1 batch of sour cream chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 back-to-school pool party
  • 2 flag football practices
  • 1 gigantic homemade lasagna
  • 1 new pair of cowgirl boots
  • 5 days of school
  • 1 day out with a BFF
  • 1 fox sighting (outside the house)
  • 40 loads of laundry (there couldn't possibly have been fewer than that!)
Anyway, the last week has been busy and crazy and fun, just like we like it! Hope your week has been wonderful!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And, just like that, summer is over

Watts Homeschool will, unbelievably, resume classes tomorrow! We have three eager students ready to take on the new challenges of the school year. So, here's the class line-up:

Max will be working on Reading, Writing, and Math. He will also be working on some calendar skills and the CC memory work, when those classes start up in a couple of weeks.

Weston's schedule contains Math, Grammar, Reading, Writing, History, Spanish and Spelling, along with the upcoming CC memory work.

And Ruth will study Math, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, History/Geography, Latin, Biology, Spanish, Logic and Music, in addition to CC work.

We are all looking forward to jumping back in to the routine, even if that means I do have to set my alarm for 6:00!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Day

Today, I turned 35. It was a very happy day. I got a pedicure and did a little shopping in the morning, and then met up with my sweet family at lunchtime for some wonderful Asian cuisine. Jeff and the kids worked on cleaning up the house and putting away all the laundry while I was out, which was a real treat. My parents came over for dinner, and Jeff prepared the most awesome meal I think I've ever had: mango Mojitos, coconut shrimp with orange marmalade sauce, cilantro rice, Jeff's special Waldorf salad and bread pudding with mango rum sauce and whipped cream. My taste buds are still smiling! I felt so loved today, with all the well-wishes. I am truly blessed beyond words! Happy Birthday, indeed!

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's all downhill from there

We are home from our two-week tour of Texas, and we had a wonderful trip! Lots of dirt, delicious food, game playing and visiting with friends and family. Today, it was back to reality, in so many ways. One of the fun things about coming home from vacation is that there is always a day or so of behavior issues to deal with--just so the kids can find out if the rules have changed while we were away. The rules never do change, but the kids insist on checking anyway. At one point today, Weston was sitting on the stone bench right outside the kitchen, that will one day surround our yet-to-be-purchased hot tub. For now, this area is strictly off-limits to the kids, as it is quite a safety hazard. There is a precarious pile of dirt and gravel just beyond the bench and a fairly deep drop-off to the slab for the future hot tub. So, Weston was sitting there, specifically to see if we still had rules about that. Well, we do. So, I opened the kitchen door to tell him to go play somewhere else. He took that opportunity to see if we still have rules in place about back-talking. Well, we do. So, I took a step toward him and took hold of his arm to get his attention. The next thing I knew we were both rolling down the gravel hill. It was maybe the biggest parenting fail of all time! Weston was scared stiff, and he scraped up his elbow and neck a little. But, I came out far worse than he did. I scraped my ankle, my knee, my hip, my hand and my elbow, and was in no position to issue punishments. And, worse than that, my pride was wounded something serious. I mean, I don't even remember the last time I scraped up my knee in the gravel! It was the most ridiculous thing ever! But, at least I didn't rip my pants or something on the way down! The last few weeks of 34 have certainly been interesting. I hope it's not telling of what 35 is going to look like.