“Awwwe no. I’m stuck.” She’s Three

I think God should have installed a rewind button our kids.  But then again, I suppose he knows us mothers would keep them little babies FOREVER! (insert an up to no good laugh here)

If you haven’t guessed it yet, my youngest.  my baby.  my cute whittle girl. (I’ll stop I swear) Turned the big 3 in March.  *sniff *sniff.  She is turning into her own little person nowadays, full of sweetness and sass.  She is gorgeous too, but that’s just my opinion. 🙂  Out of the three kids, she has the most sweet, gentle, and quiet demeanor.  So caring too.  She’ll be a great mother one day.

When Bubba and I found out I was pregnant with Rori, we thought she was a sweet little accident.  Now we realize she is the best surprise gift God ever blessed us with.  We love her so much! Okay, I’m getting teary over here.  I’ll leave it at that.

(We LOVE you baby girl! Except when you’re moody.  Just kidding. Xoxo – Ma & Dad) 

And yes, she really calls me Ma when she is hollering for me.  haha! 

 

If any of you grandparents and friends want to reminisce, then here is the video I made on her first birthday.

Her reaction to the picture below…. “Gasp!  Awwwe no.  I’m stuck.”

A Tip For The Freshman In College

Over the years, my husband has noticed the freshmen college students not always take advantage of all the deals they can receive.  He sees them line up outside the bookstore paying marked up prices for books and supplies.  He gets it.  If no one has explained to them that there are other options, then of course they will spend all their money at the bookstore hoping they can at least score a used textbook. 

So here’s my tip.  Save your money and Rent your textbooks!

We’ve tried buying books from various online sites that are deeply discounted only for them to arrive late–weeks after his class began!!–or it would be the wrong book all together.  We decided that enough is enough.  So we went back to our tried and true method of renting.

Here is an example of a book that came from Campus Book Rentals.  It was Bubba’s Pre calculus book.  If we had purchased it from the campus bookstore, it would have cost us $190!  We paid, $49.

How does it work & what company do you use?

First, let me tell you the company name; Campus Book Rentals.

As for how it works…well…it works just as it sounds! Simply go to their website (link above), type in the book you need, and then how long you need it.  You pay on a secure server, then they ship it for FREE! 
Bing, Bam, Boom and you’re holding a textbook for a fraction of the cost.  Genius, I tell you.

….and because I know you’re wondering, here is a list of more perks that come with renting your textbook.

  • Save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • FREE Shipping (This includes returning your textbook!)
  • It’s OK to highlight in the textbooks
  • Flexible renting periods
  • A donation is made to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

So if you know someone in college, or you’re attending for the first time, then this is my friendly shove to save yourself the money and rent your textbooks.

Useful links for Campus Book Rentals

Campus Book Rentals

Operation Smile

Bubba uses Campus Book Rentals to rent his textbooks which is why I agreed to write this post.  In exchange we will receive a free book rental!  They are a dependable company with great customer service. 

Thank you for your support as I accept sponsors to help our family.  All opinions are mine.  

NC Transportation Museum

If you don’t want to read my rant of disappointment then please feel free to skip to the last paragraph!  Fair warning! 😀

Way back in December I purchased tickets from Living Social to visit a local transportation museum that included a train ride.  Since Scout’s obsession with trains is still going strong and the price was right: $24 for 5 people, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with this trip.  I mislead myself.  First, this place is in the boonies.  To get there, it took an hour and a half because you have to drive down every back road known to man.  The town itself is a rink-a-dink place with the dump site located just at the end of main street.  Secondly, they only allowed you to use the tickets right smack in the middle of January.  Not the worst scenario, but jeez, I should have read the fine print.  Then, on the only day Bubba was free before school started, we drove all the way out there to find it is closed.  Why?  Because their hours changed and we can only ride the train on Saturday.  So we triple checked the schedule, Bubba used a vacation day for work, and we made the long drive there for a second time.  Next up on my list of complaints was that the ride lasted a mere 15 minutes.  (Although you could technically ride 30 mins  by riding it back to the station.  Only if you wanted to skip the museum though.)  We had to walk the mile back to our car, while going through many closed, sectioned off, and uncompleted “museums”. 

This is getting ugly.  I need to switch gears before this post becomes a downer.  All that really matters is that the little kids loved the train ride and were thankful for the opportunity.  The kids equally enjoyed being able to chose a toy from their souvenir shop.  🙂  Our time wasn’t a total waste, but I don’t think we will ever go back.  Oh!  And another plus was being able to grab lunch at the local Cracker Barrel.  It was sooo good and it was pretty easy to eat vegetarian there.  (This was before going vegan.) 

The kids are easier to take out to restaurants now, making the lunch a pleasant experience.  No meltdowns! Woo hoo!

So Close We Can Taste It.

Today Bubba met with his engineering adviser to set up a tentative class schedule for his remaining semesters.  It was during this meeting that reality set in that we are finally in the last stages of his school.   Bubba started with 10 semesters and has a mere 3 left.  Time is about to move really fast for us and we’re both excited while simultaneously trying not to stress ourselves out.  In some ways I am panicking a little bit.  There are many thoughts racing around our heads, mainly pondering about things in the short term and future. 

We know we need to save a heaping amount of money for moving costs.  We don’t know where we will move, but it is nearly one hundred percent likely that we will be moving shortly after he graduates—as in probably weeks.  That’s another thing.  It is no easy feat to move a family of 5.  There is a lot to consider and a lot of planning involved.  Where do we want to live?  Which state? Big city or small city?  And there are a lot of factors to consider within those questions, such as, can he build a career in this or that area?  What about schools?  Affordability?  Safety? Salary?  Can he one day build his own business within that area?

You get the idea. 

Although many of those questions seem like you can think about later down the line; I cannot.  I’m a thinker.  A planner.  I must have an idea of where I’m heading at all times. 

But anyway…

He has 3 semesters left: Fall, Spring, and Fall.  Even though we have a few long talks around the table in our near future, right now, we are mostly thrilled that his school is coming to a close on time.  There is always potential for change, but right now, this is where we sit.  THREE semesters!!!!  That’s nothing!  We can finally see the light shining in this hellish tunnel.  Finally.

Here is what Bubba has left to take.  Each semester is broken into 16 hours. 

Fall 2015  Aug-Dec

  • intro to Environmental Engineering

  • IEE Lab

  • Hydrology

  • Geotechnical Engineering

  • Structural Analysis

Spring 2016 Jan-April

  • Design Lab

  • Transportation I

  • Transportation Lab

  • Construction Engineering

  • CEGR elective

Fall 2016 Aug-Dec

  • Design Elective
  • Professional Development
  • Senior Design
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • Elective

All Summer classes

  • Differential Equations
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Geotechnical Lab
  • Probability and Stats for Engineering
  • Elective
  • Elective
  • 40 hr. internship

 

 

 

 

 

What a day.

Today beat me up, shoved me to the ground and called me a w-e-e-n-i-e.  The day began at 7:50 this morning and is just now coming to a god blessed close.  At least I hope.  I’m pretty sure I could bet you one hundred dollars that I will be cleaning bodily fluids throughout the night and come out the winner.  I don’t even have a hundred bucks to bet and I would still bet you!

And that statement right there sets the tone over the last 13 hours of this cra-zy day.  In fact, I sent a text message to my friend Crystal around ten this morning:

Get this.  Rori’s diaper leaked on the couch so I took her to the kitchen to clean her up when Scout runs in screaming about his mouth and throat.  I pick him up but he is fighting me and screaming a fit so bad that it would make a two year old blush.  So anyway, I take him to the trash can where he starts to puke.  However, that freaked him out even worse–he tried to runaway which led to a huge puke scene all over the dang floor and himself.  So now I have a whole new mess to clean!  So I start with him, then the throw up.  Then I clean Rori and get her changed. Then I scrub the sofa.  Then I clean myself.  Bubba is so lucky he works on days like this.

Now put this scene on repeat, add a whole lot of diarrhea and you have my ENTIRE day.  I was fed up with it all by the time Bubba came home and I told him that for once I wish he would be stuck with sick kids by himself and do nothing but clean their mess.  I say this because Bubba is NEVER home when the kids are sick!  Ever!  (That’s a whole other whine fest)

Anyway, I left for the gym to blow off my day.  Forty minutes into my workout I receive this text from my husband:

Payback was sent.  I started to make dinner and Scout and Rori started fighting over the bathroom.  Scout was already in there and I told Rori to wait just a minute and I hear a huge fart.  Rori is like, “GROSS” and opens the door to find that Scout somehow exploded all over the toilet seat AND the side of the toilet, AND the floor AND the wall.  Not much on him though.  Almost like he blew right before sitting down.  Then I inadvertently clogged the toilet by using TP to clean the mess right away.  Wow.  It really blew up on me fast.

Anyway…

Poor kid repeated that episode two more times before finally falling asleep.  (Despite my day, my heart can’t help but ache for the little ones when they’re sick) I hope he feels better tomorrow.  He obviously has some sort of virus.  Hopefully I can keep it from spreading to anyone else in the house too! 

Clean, clean, clean.

I almost forgot to tell you the event that broke this camel’s back.  I bent over to pick up a bottle of shampoo and threw out my back.  I’ve been sitting here on the couch with a heating pad wondering if I will be able to walk when I try and get up.  Back pain is no joke! 

 

TAKING STOCK

The idea for this post came from Bridget and Anna.

Thanks for the idea ladies.

COOKING  nothing lately.  i’m in a ‘fend for yourself’ streak!  i’m slowly emerging out of the phase though.  in fact, i will be picking up a couple of vegan cookbooks I’ve had on hold at the library today.  who knows! perhaps i will even cook something nice tonight.

DRINKING  lemon water and tea pigs.  for the first time in my life I’m brewing something other than Luzianne iced tea!  after watching Essie Button’s video I let myself be suckered into purchasing a sample package from her beloved Tea Pigs.  I have to say that I’m not disappointed!  I really like the green and licorice with mint teas.    I’ve also filled a pitcher full of water with sliced lemon in it and it has become my goal to drink the whole thing everyday.  Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m getting there. 

WANTING  a new pair of shoes.  i’ll be going on vacation soon so i’m in the market for a stylish sandal that can offer comfort while trekking around the city.

WATCHING  ugh.  dumb and dumber.  bubba made me watch it. 

READING  i’ve picked my dragonfly in amber book back up and recently finished, yes please.

LISTENING TO  Illumination by Jennifer Thomas  if you need the perfect inspiring instrumental piece of music then look no further.  even if you don’t normally listen to this genre, you will still like it.  even bubba likes it! (and that’s saying something)  this song is bold as it is beautiful. 

EATING  a bunch of vegetables.  sort of goes hand in hand when you decide to live a vegan lifestyle.

WISHING  i was on vacation.  i’m so ready!  just two more months and we are driving to boston.  hopefully the city will have thawed out by then! the area has been setting new snow records for the past two months.  i don’t even think peeps will be able to talk about 2015 without someone mentioning boston blizzards.  it’s unreal! 

ENJOYING  getting back into my writing.  I went over a month without sitting down to journal, blog, or write letters and i missed it terribly.  i’m just not myself when I don’t sit down and write it all out.  so yeah… i’m happy to be documenting our happy memories again.  🙂

NEEDING  to get out more!  i’ve been feeling housebound this winter and i’m ready to venture out and have a few adventures.

FEELING  excited to see if i placed in an amateur photo contest.  i submitted a photo in december and the winners are supposed to be announced in February.  if i win i receive free admission to the botanical garden for one year. 

WEARING  my new sweat pants from old navy.  i’m obsessed with them.  i take them off long enough to throw them into the washer and dryer and then i pace around until i hear the buzzer.  then i slip those puppies back on.  bubba is the same way.  we both bought a pair and they are the softest–most comfortable–pair of sweats i think we have ever owned. 

BOOKMARKING  a ton of ‘must-do’s’ in boston from blogs and websites.  like checking out this gorgeous library.

LOVING  this little moment of peace and quiet i’ve been given to actually sit down and type without interruption.  do you know what that feels like?  —amaze-balls—  that’s how it feels.

I made a video! It’s about making almond butter.

Heeeeello!  I can’t believe I’ve let an entire month go by without a peep.  Awe well

My life has been on the move lately.  We’ve been having lifestyle changes which hasn’t left room for any type of creativity.  I wish I could say things are settling into place and we are on our way to a nice routine, but I would be blowing smoke up your rear end.  However, after making Rori her favorite almond butter I thought to myself; I should make a video over it.  My camera had been gathering dust on the shelf for over a month and I hadn’t made a video since Rori’s first birthday.  Plus, I wanted to create something.  Something that didn’t involve Popsicle sticks and crayons. 

Anyway.  I followed through in my thoughts and put together this video.  I really enjoyed the process!  It came out a little longer than I wanted so feel free to fast forward some of it!  (I’ll post everything you need to make your own below the video.)

….watch it or don’t.  whichever you prefer.

Almond Butter // Fills a 12oz jar

Food Processor
2 cups of almonds
Jar 12oz

In order to make almond butter yourself, you’ll need a full size food processor.  Pour the almonds into the food processor and blend until it is creamy.  Depending on your appliance it can take anywhere from 10-20 mins.  
*Optional: Add honey or oil for additional flavoring
*Storing: store in cabinet or refrigerator for one to two weeks. If it develops an odor, discard.  Make your almond butter in small batches to ensure freshness.

 

Gardening Goals

Much will be happening with my garden this season and I have compiled a little list of goals for the new year.  First, I need to finish the fencing.  I tore down the fence a couple weeks ago in order to expand the perimeter.  Yesterday Bubba set the fence up as much as could before running out of the wire fencing.  It’s a start!  So that mess is at the top of gardening goal list. 

Next up will be the compost.  I failed at my mine for the most part, so this year I am going to try composting in a tumbler.  I think I’m going to buy it premade instead of building it myself.  It’ll save me time and headache this way. 

I will also be raising all my garden beds.  Our soil is horrible and last year I raised a bed to see if it would work better.  It did!  So Bubba has been hard at work chopping down trees to use as the border around the beds.  I’m also adding a very large trellis.  I’ll have to show you once I have that up to give you a visual on it. 

There you have it.  Those are my major goals for the garden this year.  I won’t be doing much else since we will be moving after one more garden season.  (It feels weird to type that!)  There isn’t a need to invest so much money into something I will have to abandon, right?

|| As for the photos above, well, that’s the start of an avocado tree and the beginning process of sprouting my apple seeds.

 

 

Fortunate Brat

I made it through another Thanksgiving declaring my usual stance, “…I’m never, ever, ever, cooking again!” (total lie)  It was yummy and blessed though.  I’m a fortunate brat that has plenty to be thankful for, and I am.  We almost didn’t celebrate this year; Bubba had planned to work extra hours and we didn’t have family coming to visit.  But, at the last minute, (the day before) we decided to buy the ham and start cooking in honor of all that we have been blessed with this year. 

And it was good.  Our bellies were bloated.  Our hearts thankful.  And we had leftovers for a few days.

Life is joyful!

Weekly Menu || Vol. 003

Once in awhile I like to share what we eat.  It’s something we all have to do and sometimes, when we are trying to think of something to make for dinner, it’s nice to have ideas thrown out there for us to use. 

We live on a very tight grocery budget so our meals are usually simple and kid friendly.

Dinners:

Oven fried chicken w/ roasted brussel sprouts and steamed carrots

Chicken Fajitas w/ tex mex rice

Meatloaf w/ pan seared green beans and onions

Spaghetti w/ garlic bread and side salad

Turkey burgers on whole wheat buns w/ baked fries

Turkey BLT w/ baked pasta crackers

Breakfast & Lunch

Toast/oatmeal/waffles

Sandwiches/bean chili w/cornbread/chicken strips