Streak Breaker

Note: Post contains video. Read at mommie2zs.com for best results.

I broke a long streak of many months with at least one post when I didn’t post anything in April. Living life and not writing about it.

Buds and Monkey are still working on moving the blog over to a private server. I’m a little mentally stalled by that since I know it will mean changes to how things work and look.

Many things going on with the our crew. We’ve had trips to Vermont, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, and soon to Ohio. We’ve had birthdays and Girl Scouts, and love, laughter, and tears.

And I was the target for musket shots at a Civil War Homeschool event because I teased the Lieutenant.

Please note that Yessa shoots at me with much less alacrity than many of the other children.

A few random photos with explanatory posts to follow eventually.

A few long drives.

Beautiful day for being out and about.

All getting so big.

So tall.

Saturday workouts.

Beloved nieces come in all heights.

The new game store space.

Monkey’s smile/look intrigues me in the above picture. She’s an enigma.

These “smiles.”

That’s better.

New Doggie Great-Nephew Alert!

Jeremy and I have been colluding on Jeremy and Teresa getting a dog since they moved to Nash. I assured them that we would be puppy’s second home, ready, willing, and able.

And today the family expanded. T & J showed up this afternoon with a furry surprise for us.

Such sweet kisses.

We’re missing a flag to make this picture scream “AMERICA!”

Such a handsome boy.

I agree Duke, Buds does have delicious smelling breath.

He had very important secrets to tell me.

The new family.

Can’t wait to have decades of fun with this sweet boy.

Sorta Good Time

Part of being a Girl Scout is getting to know Girl Scout cookies, and since the girls have chosen to join up with a newly formed homeschool GS troop down here, yesterday I volunteered to help with cookie sorting. Awesome niece Teresa volunteered (was begged) to go along so I’d have company for the drive and to navigate if I got lost. And she even brought delicious coffee to help me get going in the early morning.

It was a beautifully sunny, crisp day to be outside. The sorting happened in the back lot of an electrical company so lots of space and easily available forklift and pallet mover. Due to the industrial location, no actual Girl Scouts could be involved in the sorting process, which is too bad but understandable due to liability.

Also, they wouldn’t let Teresa and me drive the forklift. Due to “you don’t know how.”

Whatever…

Teresa and I have lots of ideas for how they could improve the process next year…which no one wants to hear…but we are ready to share if asked.

The semi with our load of cookies pulled up right at 10 a.m. as expected.

Ready to move those cookie boxes!

Ready to move those cookie boxes!

The semi with our service unit's initial orders.

The semi with our service unit’s initial orders.

The crowd of adults ready to help.

The crowd of adults ready to help.

The line of pallets of with the individual cookie types.

The line of pallets of with the individual cookie types.

The pallets were piled above Teresa’s head, so well over 6 feet high. The taller folks were in high demand as they were called for help from stack to stack as we reshuffled the cookies into smaller stacks for easier counting and sorting.

The individual boxes of cookies hold 12 smaller boxes of GS cookies, which means some of the boxes are worth $60 on the open market. (Black market sales of Thin Mints…who knows the value?!) This means there are multiple counts of cookies at each step of the process.

First we de-stacked the pallets of cookies into smaller stacks of cookies for initial counting. Piles of 5 x 5 x 5 make for quick counts.

Samoas are popular.

Samoas are popular.

Then the human ants sorted the cookies into individual troop stacks, where each troop’s pile was counted by 3 separate counters.

The right side shows an individual troop's cookie pile, with remaining stacks of 5x5x5 piles on the left.

The right side shows an individual troop’s cookie pile, with remaining stacks of 5x5x5 piles on the left.

Then the human chain loaded the cookies into troop vehicles, then we were free to go.

Our troop's initial cookie order.

Our troop’s initial cookie order.

Teresa and I were on our way home from unloading the cookies at one of our troop leader’s homes by 12:19. We scooped up Yessa and headed to lunch at Publicity in self-congratulations for a job well done. Jeremy even made it back from fishing in time to join us.

A pleasant day well-spent.

Forgot my sunglasses, which makes me look just like...

Forgot my sunglasses, which makes me look just like…

Squnity-smiley emoticon.

Squnity-smiley emoticon.

Click on the picture of our two troop leaders and me to make it bigger and you’ll see, I’m not even joking.

Now, go support a Girl Scout.

Halloween 2016

The children are growing and changing and aging, so I’m never sure what each new holiday will bring. I love our time at Halloween carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, and I love that they are at an age where they know what they want and can do pretty much anything on their own.

I wasn’t sure what they’d want to do this year, but it was one of my favorite Halloweens ever!

As always, it began with the slaughtering of innocent gourds.

We love this part.

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Having children of an age where we all get our own knives…priceless!

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Then on Halloween we all headed out together, stopping at every house in our neighborhood with a light on. It was a beautiful night, warm and bright. We talked and laughed and sang. And met even more neighbors.

I loved, loved, loved it.

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I guess walking all over Venice for hours was worth it!

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The costumes were a little varied this year. And the children got warm, so as the night wore on, they peeled off layers and masks the longer we walked. I looked like a walking coat rack by the end of the night.

Then back home for the great candy sorting extravaganza.

Jeremy and Teresa had put in their candy preferences when they visited earlier in the week, so the children carefully set aside the candy for them, then began their trading.

Jeremy's favorite.

Jeremy’s favorite.

Teresa's preference.

Teresa’s preference.

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Ms. Glenda, my walking buddie, gave out slinkies, silly putty, glow sticks and colored pencils, all of which were thrilling for all of us.

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After treat bargaining, the night was still young’ish so we watched a Halloween classic you might recognize.

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A great time had by all despite no sightings of The Great Pumpkin.

Happy Halloween.

Nashville Additions!

Two awesome things happened right before the crew and I headed up to Mom’s for her move.

These two moved to Nashville from California and we could not be more thrilled:

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J’s boat lives in our front yard for now, which makes us seem way cooler than we really are:

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Second, shortly after they got moved T + J were over for dinner on a night cousins were staying overnight, which meant my adult niece, with whom Buds and I have many fond memories of visits to us when she was little, was in our house with our young nieces and nephew, who are the age now that she was when T had those annual visits.

My heart swelled up in my throat at the circle of life and how grateful I am to have lived by all these little people when they were little.

And now, to have T + J close to us here, as my own children are growing up?! It makes me cry from gratitude as I type this.

A little throwback for posterity’s sake:

Buddie's first trip home with me

Buddie’s first trip home with me

The morning after my graduate school graduation.

The morning after my graduate school graduation.

One of many summer stays

One of many summer stays

Staying in the dorm

Staying in the dorm

At our wedding

At our wedding

She's always been snuggly.

She’s always been snuggly.

That time we all went to New York City together.

That time we all went to New York City together.

With Monkey

With Monkey

Can’t wait to make memories with all of them, young and old.