Friday, September 17, 2021

Work at work, walking, and work to do at home

Happy Friday night! 

All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS IT IS FRIDAY!!! This past week I subbed 3 days at a school where there is a lot of drama going on with an employee and the head cook is caught in the crosshairs and is getting the short end of the stick. It was draining working there when the employee drama was going on. Today it wasn't too bad as it was just the head cook and myself. Enough said about that though... Being a substitute in the cafeterias is going well, I think. The work keeps me busy and really other than the drama, that I am not involved in but get to hear about, it is a pleasant enough job. I will say that I got my first paycheck/direct deposit today and I forgot how much the federal government takes out in taxes. LOL I am already scheduled for 2 days next week. 

What else has been going on? 

Monday I worked. 

Tuesday I worked. 

Wednesday I babysat my niece and nephew as they had a scheduled day off of school. After we took my kids to school, we went out to The Brown Family Environmental Center to walk. I told my niece that I NEEDED to get out side and get some fresh air. Since I was home, I also worked on laundry, and did some cleaning that had been neglected. 








Thursday, I didn't get called in to work so I had a free day. I took everything off of our bed, including the duvet cover and washed everything. Bill also had the day off so we took a nice long walk on the bike path--- we walked 2.83 miles, which is getting close to my average of 3 miles before all my heart issues started. We saw lots of slugs on the path during our walk. We also had a lunch date out at our local Mexican restaurant. 








Today, I worked. Came home and ate a quick lunch before I started pickup of kids. Then I came home and laid down flat on the couch as my back was killing me. Tonight Bill is covering a football game. Rebecca went to a choir tailgate party before her high school's football game and then is at the game with friends. The boys and I stayed home. I made air popped popcorn for them and we watched "Raya and the Last Dragon" which is Benjamin's favorite movie and we have literally seen it 6 times in the past month. LOL 

Tomorrow, I have a to-do list to complete that is a MILE long! I am sure there are more things to add to it as well. For tonight though I am going to relax and catch up on some blog reading! 

How was your week? Anything fun and exciting going on? Any good plans for the weekend? 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Shopping deals, new recipes and losing weight

Happy Saturday everyone! How's your day going? Mine is going well. I spent the morning running a couple of errands that resulted in great results. The kids and I went to Goodwill to look for a homecoming dress for Rebecca. Well she scored one for $2.49! I also found black dress shoes for Jacob that he needs for choir for $9.99; they look brand new! Then it was off to Walmart to see if they had black dress pants for Jacob and Rebecca that are needed for required choir clothes. Well, Rebecca found a black pair of dress pants on clearance for $9...but they rang up for $4! Even better. She also found a pair of black flats for her required choir concert attire for $9. So I will say that that was a successful shopping trip this morning.

What else has been going on around here? 

Well, on Labor Day, I spent the day doing things in the kitchen. Prepping food for the week and making banana bread. I did try 2 new crockpot recipes this week and 1 new casserole this week and only 1 was a keeper. I tried Taco Rice Casserole, which Linda had recommended. I don't think that I will make it again as it was just okay. It wasn't anything special and the kids and Bill said that if I made it they would eat it, but they wouldn't request it.


 

I tried Firecracker Chicken Pasta in the crockpot. Bill and I liked it. The kids really didn't as they thought it was too spicy even though I doubled the cream and did not use as much hot sauce. 



On Thursday night I made Crockpot Frito Chili Pie. This was a winner with everyone as the flavor was super yummy. It will give me another option for a chili type meal.  



I loved the convenience of having dinner ready this week as I ended up being called into work all 4 school days! 



I spent 3 days at the elementary school Benjamin goes to and 1 day at the high school being a substitute cook. I like the work, and so far I like everyone that I have worked with. It is tiring work but it is good. I will say that by 1PM on Friday though I was exhausted. One of the women that I worked on Friday even told me that I could go home as I looked exhausted. 4 days in a row may be pushing it just yet. Next week I am already scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at a different elementary. On Wednesday I will not be subbing as I have to babysit my niece and nephew as they do not have school. 


One bad thing about working the hours that I do (usually 9-1/1:30) is that I am too tired to work out at home. However, the job is physically demanding as such that I am still losing weight. In fact, I have lost almost 5 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks AND I am officially down a pant size! I had to wear a belt on Thursday as my jeans were very loose. On Friday, I put a pair on that was a size smaller and they fit! YAHOO! 

This morning I weighed myself and I am under 235lbs for the first time in a VERY LONG TIME! I weighed in at 234.4! When I started my health journey back at the end of March I weighed in at 262.6 at the doctor's office. That means I have lost 28 pounds in about 5 months! I will take it! 

Well, I think I am going to wrap this up here as this is getting pretty long. I need to go flip laundry too. 

What are you up to today? Anyone else finding any good deals at the thrift store or other stores? Anything fun going on? 

Have a great weekend! 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Rebecca's visit from "Jerry" and long weekend to-do list

Happy Saturday everyone! How's life where you are? Anything fun going on today? 

Here the sun is shining and it looks like it will be a good day! Thank you everyone for the suggestions for easy, crockpot meals yesterday. If anyone has any more to share please share in the comments!! 

Rebecca has had a couple of things happen since she came home from school yesterday. She got her first COVID vaccination shot late afternoon yesterday. Other than a sore arm, she hasn't had any side effects from it. 


She also had a very early morning visitor this morning. She said she awoke around 4AM to GusGus, the cat, chasing something around her room. She realized it was a huge praying mantis! She said she got the cat, went into the bathroom and contemplated her next step. She decided not to wake her dad or I and went back to bed trying to keep the cat from chasing it. This morning, she told me that it was in her room above her clock. I took an empty container and trapped it and took it outside to let it go. She nicknamed it "Jerry." LOL I told her next time, she could wake me up. We think it got in her room from where her window was opened because of the window air conditioner being there. (Her window pulls up and we think it crawled up through the opening). We have since plugged all holes with rolled up towels to help prevent "Jerry" from returning. I told her at least it wasn't a bat or something like that! There is always something going on around here! LOL 

Speaking of things going on, let's see what else is on my to-do list for this long weekend:

  • Menu plan for this week
  • Grocery list for Sunday
  • Laundry
  • Dinner with friends tonight (Yay for NOT having to cook!)
  • Sweep downstairs, stairs, and upstairs
  • Get boys to clean their room
  • Get Rebecca to clean her room
  • Pull weeds in back flowerbed
  • Find time to do something relaxing--ie. coloring, art of some kind, etc. 
  • Exercise 2 times including arm weight workout
  • Mass on Sunday 
What's on your to-do list this weekend? Any easy, fast recipes to share? Any Crockpot recipes to share? Have you ever been awoken by a flying insect or anything else? 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! THANK GOODNESS IT IS FRIDAY!!! Wow, what a week...Craziness abounds! 

Monday morning I get a text to come train at the High School for my substitute kitchen job. So I worked from 9-1:30. Thankfully it was an easy lunch... Domino's Pizza... but it was intense feeding over 500 kids over 3 lunch periods. Tuesday I also worked at the high school. This time lunch was walking tacos (Doritos with taco meat and cheese added to the Doritos bag). It was insane speed to get the meals out for the kids. After each day I would come home, get a quick bite to eat and then go start school pickup of kids. When I finally got home for the day, I sat down and realized that I was exhausted. Tuesday, I fell asleep on the couch during dinner and was in bed by 8:30. Wednesday, I had breakfast with a friend at a local diner and then ran some errands...including going to Goodwill where I found a pair of capris to wear for work. Yesterday, I worked from 9:30-1:30 at the high school again. This day, I was on my own on one of the lines. We had chicken and cheese quesadillas and chicken sandwiches on a bun with green beans. CRAZINESS!!! 

Today, I am actually unable to work at the schools, as I have my niece and nephew. Their schools decided to close for today so that the kids could have a 4 day weekend, which they said will hopefully help slow the spread of COVID. However, the football game tonight can go on. Assinine decisions being made. Stupidity abounds. Needless to say since I have them, I can't go in to work today. 

Speaking of COVID affecting things, MY kids' school went back to mandatory masks as of yesterday. They had been sending home lots of kids for quarantining etc. however according to the health department if a student is wearing a mask and are contact traced with someone, then they do NOT have to leave school and quarantine. It is what it is.  

Also speaking of COVID, my brother tested positive for it yesterday. He was sent home from college to quarantine at home. He has had a headache, sore throat and fever. The kids and I were around him for a little bit on Sunday so I will keep an eye on us for symptoms. So many businesses in our area are working with half staff or are closed due to employees being out after testing positive. 

I am so thankful it is Friday. I am still dealing with tooth pain. I will finish the penicillin this weekend and we shall see. If it still throbs next week, I will call the dentist back. I am already scheduled to work Tuesday and Wednesday of next week so that is already on my calendar. I need to get some things done around the house this weekend. I need to find some crockpot recipes to make when I am working. Anyone have any good ones to share? 

Well, I need to go make my lunch! Hope everyone is having a good Friday and here's to a long weekend! 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Overwhelmed with life right now

 Happy Saturday! It's been a little over a week since I wrote and let's just say that life has been overwhelming. So many changes and such. I will admit that I have not been in the right frame of mind much of this week, as I have just been overwhelmed with life. 

The kids seem to adjusting ok to school. This past week was their first full week of school. Jacob seemed like he was overwhelmed the first week but toward the end of the week he seemed to be more confident. Rebecca has seemed to transition well into high school so far. She is adjusting to having a lot more homework each night after not really having any the last 2 years. Benjamin has been battling allergies this week along with just being over tired due to the school schedules. However, he is loving his teacher and class and seems to be doing ok so far in 4th grade.

Not only was it their first full week back but after school activities are beginning. Rebecca has decided to join the "Vedette" afterschool club. This club puts together an art and writing magazine each year that features student submitted works. They had their first meeting on Thursday and so she decided to stay for that. There are also other after school clubs and things are starting to be added to our calendar. I guess I have to get used to being extremely busy in the evenings again. 

Other changes have happened as well. I have been struggling with what I would do with my time when the kids are back in school. My babysitting kiddo "A" started Kindergarten so I am no longer watching her. I thought about becoming an educational aide, however in the reality of the situation the hours really don't work with our schedule unless I want to hire someone to either take Benjamin to school or pick up Jacob and Rebecca from school and also I really deep down am unsure if I could handle the job physically as it is on your feet all day long. Then I was offered a part time job cleaning 2 locally owned gyms here in a town with a friend of mine. Flexible hours, etc. Sounded good, however I told her I would come in on Monday to see how it would go for me physically. Well, every time I would bend down to clean a machine and then stand up, I would get dizzy. Not good. Also there really wasn't set hours. She would go in for 1.5 hours in the morning, then go to her 2nd job, then come back for a few more hours later in the day depending on her schedule. It was too much of a hassle and with the dizziness I told her that I could not take the job. I think it really made her mad, as I haven't heard from her since. Then on Tuesday out of the blue, I get an email about a substitute cook position with our city schools that I had applied for over the summer. They sent me the paperwork for hire and I went in on Thursday and turned in my paperwork and got my fingerprints done so that I could start being put on the schedule. I think this will be good as it will get my name in the school system job market. It is a sub job so if I am having a bad day physically, or I have a doctor's appointment, I can always say no. It is during the school year, so I will be available to be mom. 



Speaking of jobs... Bill had an out of the blue phone call last week from a friend of his from his days of working at the newspaper. This friend was calling to say that he had just put in his 2 weeks notice and he was recommending Bill to take over the part-time sports position. Fast forward to last night and Bill went to cover his first football game as a part time sports writer. He was quite excited to get back to writing even if for now it is part time. 

AND as if all that wasn't enough...I have been dealing with tooth pain for a week and a half. I was finally able to get into the dentist on Wednesday, where they found a tooth that needs a root canal and an infection under that tooth and possibly the tooth next to it. I am now on penicillin for the infection and am scheduled to have the root canal at the end of September  (the earliest they could get it scheduled). The pain was gone Thursday and Friday, but I woke up this morning in pain again. :( 

Add in the news from Afghanistan, the arguing over masks/no masks in our community and among my friends, the rising COVID cases in our community, a scare we had that our A/C was broken as it decided to freeze up and not work one evening when everyday it has been real feel temperatures of 98-101 and so humid... and life has been about as much as I can take. 

This week wasn't all bad though. On Saturday the kids attended a vocal camp and had a blast doing that. Jacob has decided that he wants to join our local youth choir as a result. 




While they were there, I met my mom for breakfast at a local diner and we went to the farmer's market on the square together. Bill and I had a nice lunch date out on Tuesday at our local Mexican restaurant that recently reopened after being closed due to the COVID shutdown and then remodeling. It was a delicious lunch and nice to spend one-on-one time with Bill.  

Today, I told the kids we were not going anywhere. We were staying at home and just puttering around here. I have been doing laundry and did a little bit of straightening up. I am hoping that tomorrow I can just have a day of rest to get ready for next week.

How is everyone else doing? Anyone else overwhelmed with life right now? How do you handle being overwhelmed?  

 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Back to school

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you have a good week? Mine hasn't been too bad. Monday, I spent the day at home getting some stuff done...aka laundry! Tuesday, I had a very busy day with taking Rebecca to the high school to pick up her schedule and find her locker and classes, to CVS, to Kroger, home to put groceries away, babysit, Bill took Jacob to the middle school for his open house, and then I took Ben to his school for his open house. Yesterday, we didn't go anywhere but just hung out at home for the last day of Summer Vacation. We were treated to a nice surprise last night, when a rain shower came in out of nowhere when it had been sunny and left us with a nice rainbow in the sky. Seemed fitting to end Summer break. 



That meant that this morning bright and early was BACK TO SCHOOL!!! 

The kids were excited to go back to school. 

This year Rebecca is a FRESHMAN! Seems like just yesterday I was taking her into her Pre-K class. 



Jacob is starting middle school. He is in 6th grade this year!


 

Benjamin is in 4th grade this year and has the same teacher that Rebecca had when she was in 4th grade! 



I am not sure how this school year will turn out. Our school district is not requiring masks right now, but allowing the parents to decide. They had permission slips at open house that you needed to fill out if you wanted your child to wear a mask. Although like Ben's teacher said, I am sure masks will be mandated sooner rather than later. I just pray that my kids have a happy, healthy and encouraging school year this year no matter what happens. 

I will admit that I teared up after dropping Rebecca and Jacob off to school. Thankfully, the high school and middle school share a campus so I dropped Rebecca off in one spot and then drove down the lane to drop Jacob off in another spot. We walked Ben to school this morning. I can't wait to hear how their first days went!

Well, I am off to make some lunch before my babysitting kiddo gets here. Today is my last day with her as she officially starts Kindergarten tomorrow! 

Hope everyone is having a good day! Any fun plans for today?   

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Rebecca made her singing debut and cool chalk art

 Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope everyone is having a good day! Yesterday, I posted about our adventures at the National Museum of the United States Air Force from Thursday. That was just the beginning of our fun activities of the weekend. Up next in our plans was attending the Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival for a very special reason!


  

Rebecca made her solo singing debut singing an original song that she wrote! 

Rebecca was invited to take part in the Youth Showcase, which showcases local youth and their talents. There were 12 youth involved, most of whom sang cover songs of more famous songs. Rebecca decided to play her ukulele and sing her original song titled " Sage, Roses, and Ice." (If you click on this link you should be able to see the video! Sorry I don't know how to put the video live on here.)



 She did amazing! I am so very proud of her. She actually performed once on Friday and once on Saturday. On Friday, my brother and his fiancee came to show her some support. 



Saturday, my dad came with my niece and nephew. Her best friend, their mom, and another friend also came to watch on Saturday. 


On Friday, after she performed we walked around the festival. Got some fair food for lunch. 


The kids were able to do some kid activities like painting rocks, etc. 





It was so hot and humid out, so I treated the kids to snow cones which was a fun treat. 





On Friday we spent several hours outside and honestly it was too much time outside. After we got the snow cones, we headed to go back to the van. Well, as we were walking across the town square, I started seeing double of things and feeling like I was going to faint. So I had the kids head to a candy store on the square that I knew was open and had air conditioning. After cooling down for a few minutes, I felt like I could walk to the van. I came home and immediately set in front of the fan and had a tall glass of ice water. It took almost an hour of being in the AC and in front of the fan for me to feel well enough to take a cool shower. Honestly I didn't feel back to normal until around 9pm that night. It is another example of how my heart issues are still affecting me. 

Thankfully, Friday night we got a couple of storms go through which cooled things down and took the humidity away thankfully. Saturday, we watched Rebecca perform again and then we walked through the art activity of "Chalk the Block" which featured chalk artists out of Columbus who were creating AMAZING chalk drawings on the street! They were absolutely amazing! 





After we walked through the art, I got the kids more snow cones and we enjoyed those before we headed back home as we had a cookout to go to later. 



In the afternoon, we headed out to my parents' house as my dad wanted to have a final cookout of Summer before my brother headed back to college. I only took one photo that night but we had a great time chatting and hanging out. 



Overall, it was a great Friday and Saturday and again I am so proud of Rebecca for stepping out of her comfort zone and performing! 

Sunday, we went to church and then came home to spend the day cleaning house since this is back to school week and I wanted to get a nice clean start to the week! Yesterday, I finished up laundry and babysat. Today, I need to take Rebecca to the high school to pick up her schedule. Later, we have open houses for the boys at the middle school and at the elementary school. I also need to pick up some prescriptions and go to the grocery store. It is never ending business of life! :)  

Have you ever performed in public? Have you ever done chalk art? 

Monday, August 16, 2021

National Museum of the USAF visit

Happy Monday evening! I hope you all had a good weekend and previous week! We had a HOT, HOT, HOT week and part of the weekend and we were also super busy with life and getting in a few last minute activities before school starts again this week! 

On Thursday, we actually had a family day. Bill was off work, I didn't have to babysit, and the kids were still on break. We decided to get out and do something as a family. Originally we were going to go to Columbus and spend the day at the Columbus Zoo, however Mother Nature had other plans. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we were supposed to have very high humidity and very high temperatures with real feel temperatures of over 100 degrees. So, we went with a back up plan which turned out to be really fun!



 

We headed to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. It was a little over 2 hours to get there. Admission and parking are FREE! It is a huge museum with 4 hangers (which are all inside and air-conditioned) full of aircrafts and exhibits from throughout history. The kids and I had never been there and Bill said he was 11 years old the last time he was there. When we went in, the attendant suggested that we start at the back hangar and work our way back to the front. So that is what we did. 

We were able to see the very first Air Force One. We were able to walk through the Presidential plane that carried JFK's body and were Johnson was sworn in. It was really kind of awe-inspiring to see.

 










I was very impressed with the amount of plane art that they had on display. 









They had a space exhibit set up with rockets and other items from space craft that was really cool to see. The kids got to touch a meteorite and see a space rock.








 

Bill said his favorites were the SR71 blackbird and Air Force One. 



The kids really liked the different planes too, even if they didn't necessarily understand the historical significance of them. They loved being able to walk through a few of the planes and sit in a cockpit! 






We did end up eating lunch in their cafe as you were not allowed to bring in outside food or drinks. It was a bit pricey for what they had, but it worked for our needs. 

We spent several hours inside the museum. Thankfully, throughout the museum there were plenty of areas that had chairs where you could sit and rest. I only had to sit down 2 times even though there was a ton of walking.



When we left, we could have explored the outside grounds where they have memorials set up, etc. but it was way too hot. When we left our van read 100 degrees, and real feel outside the museum was 109 degrees! It was so humid! Originally, I had thought we would stop at a nearby dairy to feed some goats and have ice cream, but it was honestly too hot and too humid out. I cannot deal with the heat very well anymore due to my heart issues so I was perfectly okay with just coming home and not doing anything else that day. 

Overall, it was a really nice day and a great day to spend with the family learning about history and seeing some very interesting planes, even for someone who is not really into history or planes ;) 

Have you ever been to the National Museum of the USAF? What is your favorite kind of plane?