Friday, July 27, 2012

~this moment... five years ago~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week ...
five years ago today.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

~summer fun~

Baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, reading, sight-seeing, visiting family, croquet, swimming, painting, fishing.
You name it, we're doing it.
And trust me... it's not all fun and games.
We are talking about two boys who love to bicker and fight over
just about everything.
And I mean everything!
But between the arguments and brotherly love we are keeping busy.

Yeah, you might be able to write a message in the dust on our TV.
Junk mail accumulates.
The closets need a good sorting through.
But guess what?
Emails don't need an immediate reply.
The laundry will be there when we return.
The dishes don't have to be washed the minute we are done eating.

We're enjoying each other and our time together!
People always say how fast your children grow up and you can't get these years back.
I'm seeing it first hand and want to savor every minute of it.

Don't get me wrong...typically it's "Work Hard, Play Hard."
But if you know me well enough you know I like to change things up a bit... do things backwards.
So for us, it is "Play Hard, Work Hard."

If you don't see me around the web as much as usual,
I haven't forgotten about you and I'm still peeking in at your blogs. Even though I might not be commenting as much, I'm still checking in to see what you are up to.
 And it looks as though we are all filling our days.
Summer is going by so fast.
School will begin before we know it and we'll fall back into that routine.

I hope you are enjoying your days with the ones you love most, whatever you might be doing.

I'm taking full advantage of enjoying life with our boys!
Fingerprints on the windows, and all!

Monday, July 23, 2012

~S'mores Cookies~

It's official. I've got an open invitation to parties if I bring these along.  They are the biggest hit! And thank goodness I'm not a chocolate fan/ sweets kind of gal or they might not have left my house.  They really are that yummy.  (I had to try one, of course!) 
I've taken these Graham Cracker S'mores Cookies 
(with my own short-cut)to two parties in the last month and they have been devoured within minutes of putting them on the dessert table.

I cheated and picked up the pre-made "ready to bake" cookie dough both times.  Sometime when I am not in such a hurry to
I'll try the original recipe.

I used four mini marshmallows per cookie and just smashed them into the dough and dropped them onto a graham cracker.  Two dozen cookies fit perfect on my pizza stone.

I bought the XL Hershey's bars the first go round and had to break them in half they were so big.  So the second bunch I purchased the mini (snack size) bars and they were just right.  

The marshmallows really poofed up in the oven.  Make sure and watch the Hershey's bars when you put them back into the oven. 
You don't want them to melt completely. 

The cookies might all melt into one another but it's nothing that a little spatula can't fix by cutting them apart easily after they cool for a bit.  

Perfect for a cook-out, rainy day, or movie night with the family! 
Or just because.
You'll want more than one.
Trust me.
I'm more of a "salty" girl and I could have eaten a second.
Happy S'mores making!

Friday, July 20, 2012

~this moment~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~on lessons and putting~

So, I never told you what went down when we went putt-putting.

The day was beautiful, the sun was shining, and we were with family.  What more can one ask for? 

The boys had free coupons to use that they had gotten from the library.  It was part of their summer reading program prize and it included these putt-putt tickets. Luckily they had dropped an extra one in and we though we'd ask their cousin, Kory, if he wanted to join. 

We headed down south to grandma's house and picked her and Kory up. 
The five of us were headed to the Miniature Golf Course to have some fun!

After picking out putters, balls, and getting a picture with the cool Indians out front, they decided which course to play. 

The trees above provided a beautiful canopy of shade and I enjoyed taking pictures of the nature around us just as much as snapping photos of the kids.


I had two jobs this day: offical scorekeeper and photographer. 

Unfortunately, I was more passionate about one job than the other. It wasn't the score keeping.

Everything was going perfect until the end.
Here's what went down right before they started the last hole (18):

Austin: "Who's winning mom?"

Mom: "I'm not sure, Austin.  Let me count."

Mom: *begins to count up the scores and looks up.... confused*

Mom: "Oh shoot!  Is this the last hole?"

Austin: "Yep. Why?"

Mom: "Well, from the scorecard it looks as though we are only on hole 14.  Hmmm???"

Austin: "You've got to be kidding me!  That's because you're too busy taking pictures instead of writing our scores down!  Mom!!!!"

Mom:  "Here... I'll fix it.  I think  I remember what holes I forgot to write down.  I'll just erase and move over these holes and you can replay the ones I missed."

Mom: *frantically erasing and rewriting and guessing and sweating* 

Austin: "This is ridiculous.  I can't believe you did this."

Mom: "Sorry guys."

Austin: "What's the point of playing if we don't know who won?"

And that's when it hit me. 
Like a ton of bricks. 
How could I have forgotten? 

In the midst of snapping away photos of the beauty around us, enjoying the company of my mom and seeing my nephew, loving the excitement and joy in my boys eyes at each hole... I forgot. 

This is Austin we are talking about. 
Mr. Competitive. 

Right then and there I looked down at the boys.  All three of them were standing there in front of me, eyes looking up for answers, fixated on me. Waiting for me to FIX this mess.

And what did I do?

I looked straight into the depths of my son Austin's eyes and answered his question. 

Mom: "The fun of it. That's the point, Austin."

And I did the unthinkable.
As I voiced those words I shredded that messed up scorecard into as many pieces as I possibly could.  

I walked over to the trash can and let the pieces fall like rain into the metal red container.   

I'll never forget the look on his face. 

He played that last hole in silence. And at the end of this final hole the ball dropped into the cup forever. 

It was carried off into a tube that leads to a crate full of colorful balls all waiting to be retrieved by the owner.

I felt like that ball was my son's heart dropping into that cup.

Rolling away into a create, waiting to be retrieved by his mom.

I walked over to him, no words spoken, put my arms around him, embraced him into a huge hug and kissed the top of his head.

He looked up and smiled at me under the brim of his baseball cap. 

And that's when I saw it.

This boy of mine is growing up.

He learned an important lesson this day.  One that I hope stays with him forever. It's not always about winning. 

I learned one as well.  I need to put the camera down and just live in the moment instead of having to always try and capture it. 

Memories are the best photos in life.  


Monday, July 16, 2012

~diary of a birthday kid~

He woke to find his favorite color of the traditional birthday streamers hanging from his door.  Mom had to pull the door shut to get a picture because you wouldn't want to see inside.  If you did, you'd wonder why we even left the house this day at all instead of staying home and cleaning up his room.  

But it was his 8th birthday.  
And we had an adventure planned for the day.
Be advised: photo dump, junk food, sugar, sugar, and more sugar.  Did I mention junk food and sugar? 
Yep.  Looking back at these photos I'm asking myself what i was thinking.  But we had fun.  TONS of fun.  
Just Derek and me. 
I told him months ago when we ran into the local gas station that he could have some of these little gems, "maybe for your birthday."
Guess what?  He remembered.  So we ran up to the store and got these for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon, we headed for the "big city" about 40 miles away to visit a few places and take advantage of some coupons. Derek's request for lunch? 
This boy loves pancakes.  L.O.V.E.S. T.H.E.M. 
He was too full to finish his plate. 

Somehow he managed to find room for the ice cream the whole staff brought out to him while singing 'Happy Birthday'.  He got a kick out of that!  But he immediately told me to get the red cherries off the top.  He's not a fan of those maraschino ones!

What would you like to do now, Derek?? 
What's that? 
You want to go ride the escalator at the sporting goods store??  Um....OK! 
(It really is the simple things, isn't it??)

I don't typically take pictures including me,
or the inside of a bathroom,
or of me and my kid inside a bathroom,
a really yellow bathroom... 
today was an exception.

First off, I hope I'm not the only mama out there who still makes her kid go into the woman's restroom with them if need be.
If dad is along or big brother, by all means... head to the men's.
But there are some pretty weird people out there.
And you just never know who's inside!!
And I can't go in to peek.  
So guess what?
He got stuck with me. 
But we thoroughly enjoyed the huge mirror and took advantage of making funny faces and weird poses and I just had to get the camera out and take a few.
(Just glad nobody walked in on us being silly!)  

I'd like to know if there are any other kids out there able to walk by one of these without putting? Mine can't.

Off to Chuck-E-Cheese to use his 20 Free Birthday tokens.
Yep... I'm that kind of mama.
You send us a coupon for something free and I'm there.

Skee-ball never gets old... no matter how old you are!

Some of my favorite photos are the sketches from this place.
We have ones of both the kids through the years but this was the first time I jumped in with him. 
I'm glad I did. I mention on my ABOUT ME page trying to get more pictures including me since I'm always behind the camera.
Slowly but surely it's getting easier.

Off to the book store to pick out a new read.
 Mama got a Grande Carmel Frappaccino, but she shared.  

Derek got his free birthday treat for being part of the Kids Club at the store.  He picked the chocolate brownie with chunks. More than half came home with him for later!

(And yes.. if you are keeping track so far we have donuts, pancakes, ice cream, frap, and brownie. Oh my!!)

We're finally back home and he can try out his new mini basketball that he bought with birthday money from grandpa.

It "works" really good!

What would you like for your birthday dinner Derek?

Red Baron pizza (don't ask!!)
Red potatoes

Frozen Red Grapes

 It was a RED dinner, indeed.
It is his favorite color after all!

I'll always remember this day with my boy!
It was sweet! 

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Friday, July 13, 2012

~this moment~

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama
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