Halfway through June

How did it get to be the middle of June? And also, it’s only the middle of June?

Random things….

Soccer started up again! Rec league from here on out, which is nice because it’s low key and only on weeknights. My weekends are mine again! They’ve had two games so far, and the first was dominated by boys – Miles got three and Linus got one. Woot! In the second game, Miles got one, and they lost, but, you know, whatever.

Of course I took pics… (Miles was on the white side for the first half of the game.)

And this video of one of the goals from the first game. I love the display of brotherly love at the end.

We also took a trip to Baton Rouge for a few days to spend some time with Grandee and Larry. We went swimming, and my mom tried to get me drunk on vodka slushies (best pool snack bar ever, right?), and we had steak for dinner one night and homemade pizza the other night, and Grandee took the boys to a movie while I worked, and I brought my sewing machine to work on some linen shirts I’m making for the boys, and overall it was pretty relaxing.

Oh, and I saw this dress hanging in the closet.

I loved that dress so much when I was a kid. I feel like I should re-make it. I don’t know why, it’s not like it’d be flattering. Maybe I can be Pam 35 Years Ago for Halloween. Hm. I can’t find any pictures of me wearing it, though. But I did find a bunch of other “cute” ones.

Classic.

We have a couple of exciting weeks coming up…some TV background filming for Miles and Oliver (Linus wasn’t interested) and other fun things like that. Terry’s older daughter’s quinceañera is a week from tomorrow (and the reason I’m sewing linen shirts like crazy.) And boys have their one week of camp in about 10 days (YAY), and then a couple of weeks after that, Kiki flies down and we are heading on our road trip! So excited!

What else?

I have a new NOMB post out today – it’s like the other “meme” posts I’ve done. (Mom problems, kid problems, dad problems, Mardi Gras problems…)

Check it out – NOLA Summer Problems

One of my favorites is this one:

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Summer so far

Okay, well, it’s only been a few days, but so far it’s going better than expected.

Between them, they boys can now cook fried and scrambled eggs and ramen, so I don’t have to think about feeding them too much.

Oliver about to enjoy the fried egg he made.

Speaking of food, I made smoothies and they finally drank them! So now I just have to slowly work towards adding some spinach or something to them.

Friday I worked while the boys played Laser Tag…

And afterwards, I took them to Five Guys for lunch. Miles and Linus had never been, and it was a hit. 😀

We’ve also been playing board games, including an entire game of Monopoly. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to finally go bankrupt.

We also played Life, and while Linus ended up with a singleton, two sets of twins, and triplets, Miles was genuinely sad not to get any kids at all. (I got one girl, FINALLY!) Again, Oliver won. Hmm.

The boys are also feeding the neighbor’s cats for some money, and I got a lot of sewing done, including a dress that I’ll post about later. Tomorrow they start soccer (just low-key rec soccer, thank goodness) and until the end of the month when they have one week of camp, we don’t have a lot going on other than board games and teaching them how to cook more things.

Fingers crossed things continue to go well and they don’t drive me insane with their fake British accents!

Last day of elementary school!

Can you believe it? Today is the boys’ last day of elementary school. Sniff, sniff. Not that they’ll be changing schools or anything, but they’ll be in sixth grade, and things will change a little bit. They’ll be switching classes (though staying with the same classmates all day.) They’ll have lockers. They’ll start learning Spanish (along with continuing French, of course.) They’ll be able to join clubs! Pretty cool.

As usual, I’m gonna get all nostalgic and stuff. And I’m going to post this picture from the first day they started at their school, in August 2011.

And a picture from this morning, the last day of fifth grade:

To compare, a picture from the first day of fifth grade:

Geez, it looks like they were more excited about starting school than it ending. Hmm. Maybe I should look into summer school?

It’s been too long

What’s up? Why haven’t I been blogging? Is it that life is boring? Maybe a little. I mean, not that that’s a bad thing. Or maybe it’s been busy? Or maybe I just don’t want to sit in front of my computer when I’m not working? Maybe all of those things all at once?

(I started this post two days ago. What is wrong with me?)

Okay, here’s some random stuff we’ve been doing:

I chaperoned a field trip to the swamp and we saw lots of gators! Yay! Finally!

I finally sent Kiki the skirt we bought the fabric for in January. Egads. Look at the frogs and the flies!

The boys and I did a 5K! Oliver and Linus ran the whole thing (!) and finished in about 34 minutes. Miles and I walked with Jen and Ethan and took about twice that. It was fun. Oh, and it was the Pink Bra Run to raise money for breast cancer research, hence the…bra on the outside of my clothes.

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The boys had an end-of-season soccer party. It was kind of sad, but also cemented all of the reasons in my head we decided not to do competitive soccer again next year. I mean, we may go back one day, but probably not to the same club. Anyway, the coach had shirts made for all the boys, which was so sweet.

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George and Rob celebrated their birthday and I made them a cake. (Chocolate stout.) Aren’t they cute?

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For Mother’s Day, I got cards from the boys (and breakfast from Chef Ollie!). Later I had poke for lunch (yum) and went to see a movie with Steph and Terry (our Mother’s Day tradition.) It was pretty nice.

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Look at this beauty! My aunt passed on to me my grandmother’s old sewing machine! Isn’t she beautiful? I’m still working on getting it sewing, but I am stuck on bobbins. I’ll figure it out. I also need a table to put it in. I found the one its sitting on, but it was made for a different machine, so I need the table to be modified so this machine will fit in it. Anyway. Soon, I hope to be sewing with it! It’s pretty incredible. It’s from 1950.

As far as Me Made May goes, it’s been a success in some ways, and a fail in others. A success in that I have worn something I’ve sewn every day. A fail because I haven’t taken pictures every day. But just picture this cardigan, which I absolutely adore, worn over everything, all the time, every day. It’s the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan in this lemon knit I got at Joann’s. I’m obsessed. (Need to get a better pic, though.)

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A visit to LSMSA

I honestly can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted. I’m ashamed. I have no excuse. I really need to post about the trip we made to Natchitoches because it was pretty great. So I’ll start there.

Well, my last post was about being in Alexandria, which ended up being fine. We spent most of it in the hotel because the weather was horrific. We were in IHOP having lunch when a tornado warning went off on everyone’s phone, and I thought, “we’re not dying in an IHOP,” so after checking the radar and being reassured there was no tornado near us, we drove the five minutes down the road back to the hotel. (And there wasn’t a tornado anywhere near the town, thank goodness.)

So we got to Natchitoches the next morning, and went to the hotel, but couldn’t check in yet. We sat in the lobby so the boys could watch a Premier League soccer game (you know, British soccer) and funnily enough, the guy at the front desk was also watching it. After that, we walked around downtown a little bit and got some lunch at Merci Beaucoup. The boys had meat pies for the first time. They liked them. Yay!

Since it was Sunday, not much was open, so we didn’t get to go to Lasyone’s, so had to settle for mini meat pies, but better than nothing!

After lunch, we headed to the school campus to wander around. I couldn’t wait to show the boys around! First, we went to Texaco (where we used to spend hours eating fried food, but now the fried food and food booths are gone – probably for the best), and then I made them take a picture in front of the high school building.

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Then we narrowly escaped a pack of kids doing an Easter Egg hunt (you can see some of the eggs in the picture above) and just wandered around the buildings, then onto the Northwestern State University campus (which Louisiana School is on). They really wanted to see the football stadium for some reason. I may have mentioned that we sneaked into the stadium once or twice. 😇

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Afterwards, we went to a park off campus so they could, what else, kick a soccer ball around. Later, we grabbed some pizza for dinner and I introduced them to yet another bit of Natchitoches culture, Maggio’s drive-through liquor (just a daiquiri for me, obvs.)

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Bright and early the next morning, we met up with a student at the high school for a tour! It was pretty great. The boys got bags of swag, and I got a nice walk down memory lane. So much of the school hasn’t changed (the high school building is largely the same), and so much is vastly improved (the other new buildings like the art/music building, the cafeteria and new student center.) I want to go back! Can I go back? I wish I’d taken more pictures. They can even play soccer, whew!

The boys were pretty fascinated, and dare I say, maybe a little excited about the possibility of attending? The tricky part is keeping them interested for the next few years until they can apply for 10th grade. Fortunately, next summer (in a year), they can attend a week-long residential camp, so I’m hopeful we can send them to that.

Before we left, we wandered around the general store on Front Street, which was my dad’s favorite place. I got Larry an Easter present there, and then we headed home.

And I now know I haven’t really blogged about Louisiana School, and I’m going to have to do that. (Not now, don’t worry.)

 

 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor…

…well you know the thing they say about the USPS. The same could be said of the boys and soccer.

Their tournament this weekend in Alexandria (a smallish town 3 hours from NOLA) was cancelled at the last minute, but me being the cheapo that I am, booked our hotel room via hotels.com instead of the team travel agency. And of course it was non refundable. So we decided to make a road trip of it!

And so I find myself sitting in the car while the boys play in the rain (only a mist right now, but it had better get worse later since they ended the season early for this, breaking little hearts all over the state) at a park that Ren found for us. THANKS RENNY!

The exciting part of the trip for me comes tomorrow when we head an hour north to Natchitoches, the small town where I went to boarding school for nerds (LSMSA) for two years. I am hoping it will spark an interest in the boys, like when my sixth grade science teacher told me about it. (Thanks Mrs. Schucker!)

We’ll be getting a tour of the school on Monday morning but tomorrow we’ll wander around town and I’ll tell them about all some of the hijinks we got up to. And we’ll eat meat pies and get drive through daiquiris, just like the old days. Well, maybe Sonic slushes for the boys.

Well that was a weekend

Lots of things going on.

Let’s see, Saturday started out early with an hour plus drive in dense fog to Houma, a small town with a vicious soccer team. The boys played well, but alas, their team lost. It was only their third loss (the first was a friendly, so that doesn’t really count, right? and the second was in a tournament that they ultimately won so I don’t count that either, heh.) Anyway, whatever. Onward!

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Once we got home, I got to rest for about half an hour before I had to head across town to the girls’ tournament to be a field marshall, to fulfil my volunteer requirement since we get financial aid. And I got a sunburn. Ugh.

Sunday was better. We went to the World War II museum for the first time (well, it was George’s and my first time. The boys had been with camp a few years ago.) I probably should be somewhat ashamed to admit how much I learned – it helped me understand a lot about the different parts of the war and how it all happened in various parts of the world.

And I got to launch some torpedos, which is always fun.

We didn’t get to see it all, but hopefully we can go back before too long. We got a free pass from the library, which was invaluable – the tickets for everything we saw would have cost us nearly $200 if we’d had to pay. Yikes.

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After that, Terry and I took the kids to get crawfish. Yum! We somehow missed eating crawfish last year completely, which is a travesty, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. We took them to a restaurant that was lined with taxidermied animals. And not just any animals. There was a lion. And a monkey. It was creepy and weird and I won’t be going back there, that’s for sure. Eeek. But the crawfish was good, at least.

Yesterday was also the 15th anniversary of owning our house, which is crazy! 15 years! I know I complain about it being too small (I mean, to be fair, we weren’t expecting to stuff it with boys when we bought it.) but I hope we stay in it long enough for the boys to bring their kids one day. 😀

It’s times like this I’m glad I’ve been blogging forever. Here’s my post about our super fun closing!

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Ziggy, meanwhile, is obsessed with this squeaky ball that lights up that we caught at Mardi Gras. He very carefully carries it around in his mouth, and GOD FORBID it squeaks. And don’t try to take it from him. If you even go near it when he doesn’t have it, he’ll grab it so you can’t get it. It definitely seems like a love/hate relationship. It’s the cutest thing.

 

Back to reality

I’ve been at work for a week now, and I’m starting to remember how to do it. Ha! Things changed a lot while I was gone, and also I’m very forgetful so yeah. It took me the whole first week just to get reacclimated. Thankfully I have very kind teammates who have already taken their sabbaticals so they know what it’s like.

And then, of course, soccer has filled in all the gaps. The boys had their first tournament of the spring season this weekend, and it was in Gulfport, Mississippi. ROAD TRIP! I mean, tiny road trip. It’s only a little over an hour away. Closer than Baton Rouge, even. But it sure was nice to take in the new car! Even though she got muddy on the outside and dirty on the inside. Sniff, sniff. (Don’t worry, she’s all clean now.)

They had a game late Saturday morning, so we left bright and early. It was chilly. I took pictures. They won the first game, hurrah!

The second game should have been an easy win – the team they played had lost their previous game something like 8-1. But alas, they must have been tired and sluggish from lunch because it was a 1-1 tie.

We went to the hotel after that and rested for a bit, then met up with their friend Joseph and his family for dinner at a restaurant on the water. After that, even though I was exhausted (and surely so were they) I let them run around a park nearby for a little while.

Then we slept and woke up early, ate breakfast, met up with Joseph and his mom and sister at a school playground and they kicked a ball around for a little while, then headed to game #3. If they won this game, they’d win the tournament.

And they did! It was a nail-biter, but our goalie kicked the ball all the way across the field and scored a goal in the final minutes of the game. That was exciting!

I got a bit artsy with the pics from this game.

On the way home, we listened to a podcast about soccer, and I think I finally understand offsides now. Though I probably still won’t be able to identify it during a game. We’ll see.

This week should be fairly quiet. A couple of soccer practices, followed by a game this weekend and finally a visit to the World War II museum (scored a pass from the library!)

Wrapping up my sabbatical

The last time I wrote about what I was up to was in late January, at the mid-point of my sabbatical. Oops. Today is actually a bonus day off – I have thought for the entire three months that I was going back to work today, but I’m actually going back tomorrow. My last day off is today. Score! I sure was smart way back when I requested my time off. I was pretty bummed when I realized I was going to be going back to work right after Mardi Gras break, with no down time from the boys being home from school for a week and a half. So it’s nice to have some quiet time today to straighten up the house and get some things done and just to chill.

SO. What have we been up to?

A lot, actually.

Let’s see if I can remember it all.

First, I want to say that I really thought my sabbatical would fly by. I guess to everyone else it has, but to me, it really hasn’t. It felt like three months. It felt like a nice long stretch of time. Mid-December feels like a long time ago. I think maybe it’s because I didn’t try to fill it with too much stuff. I really did relax and laze around a bunch. 😀 Continue reading