Well, Hello There, August

Weekly Happenings: August has shown up, and is welcome (anything to make this crazy year go by faster, in my opinion). We’ve found out a little more about how Joseph will be starting school at least. He’ll be starting out fully virtual on the 24th of this month. The school hopes to be able to have any students who are comfortable with in-person schooling to start with that after Labor Day. After discussing what the two models would be like (virtual vs. in-person), we decided that it would be best for Joseph to go back as soon as they deem it safe. We feel that school will prove to be a better learning environment (less distractions) and home can continue to be the place to go to escape the stress of school. We did squeeze in some fun things this week: playing in the back yard (this is note-worthy simply because it’s usually too hot for them to stay outside for too long) and going to the zoo.

The Weekly Weather: We did have a couple of random rainstorms come through right at the beginning of the week. By random, I mean they weren’t even on the weather forecast. I would hear the thunder rumbling, check my app, see nothing mentioning rain, see rain start to fall, check app again, and finally see it updated to show rain. Silly weather! After that, though, it was clear and warm for the rest of the week. I have to admit that summer in San Antonio is not my favorite. I think late fall through mid-spring is my favorite time. 😉

What Paul’s Been Up To: I forget if I mentioned it before, but last weekend he went up to Big Spring, TX for the State Libertarian Convention. He left on Friday and got back on Monday. He then went in to work for the rest of the week. Today, he’s been working on another big wood-working project: building a loft bed for Joseph. We feel it’ll make Joseph’s room feel less crowded if we can put his desk and bookcase UNDER his bed.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve been mainly keeping the kids happy, fed, and entertained. 😀

What Joseph’s Been Up To: Not much different for the boy, either. He did use some of his allowance money that he’s saved up to buy a new game for his Switch, so he’s been excited about that.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s basically been doing her same thing as well. She’s currently on a Lion King jag…so she’s been asking (a LOT) to watch the original Lion King, Lion King 1 1/2, Lion King 2 (Simba’s Pride), and The Lion Guard (Disney Jr. series about Simba’s kids). Hoo-boy.

This Week in Pictures:

I made this pasta (with chicken and fresh green beans) in a peanut butter sauce (it had peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut milk, and lime juice in it).
Here it is all dished up with chopped peanuts on top and some extra lime wedges. It was pretty yummy!
I had some apples that were on their last leg that I knew would be rather mealy if I tried to just eat them by themselves, so I decided to make apple sauce in my cooking blender.
I found that I needed to move the blender because in the other spot, the steam was leaving a residue on my cabinet door (luckily I was able to scrub it off without damaging the cabinet door). This was the first time I had actually used the cooking setting on my blender, so it wasn’t something I had realized would happen.
The maple syrup and cinnamon I added for flavor really made the applesauce dark (I also didn’t peel my apples, so their red skin also darkened things a bit). The blender made it really smooth and creamy, though. Man, if I had had this thing when my babies were little, I would have seriously considered making my own baby food. It was sooooooo good!
Another dinnertime, another meal: I take a refrigerated crescent roll, spread some marinara sauce on it, put a few pieces of pepperoni along the widest part, half of a cheese stick on top of that, and roll the whole thing up, sealing the sides as best as possible. Then I just bake them up like regular rolls (making sure to use the longest suggested baking time because of the added filling). Add a Caesar salad on the side, and it’s a meal the kids gobble down.
Backyard fun: tossing the ball back and forth.
Abigail could do this ALL DAY.
Swing set and slide shenanigans.
He quickly found out that the swings were a little toasty. We’ll have to change when we go out there so that they aren’t so warm next time.
I pulled out the bubble gun for extra fun.
She absolutely loved getting to be in charge of it for a bit.
This is something we must stop and do every time we go to the zoo now.
Being photo-bombed by brother. 😉
Another one of Abigail’s favorite spots: the waterfall in the bird enclosure.
One of those then-and-now photos. They are a teeny bit bigger than they were back then.
Y’all. This bird. I was taking the picture of the kids and it landed on the handrail and started hopping towards us, rather curious-like. It had some sort of seed in its mouth. I pulled Abigail back just a little and reminded her to just look with her eyes. I told her we could talk to it in quiet voices, so she kept saying, “Hi birdie!”. We talked to it for a couple of minutes while it just sat there, cocking its head in different directions. As we moved to walk away, it munched down its seed and continued to sit there.
She told me she was holding Baby Simba up like in the movie. This one is ALWAYS one step ahead of me.
He’s almost done! It just needs a couple more things and then a coat of paint. 😊

Time Keeps Ticking By

Weekly Happenings: This week has been pretty average, with one highlight for the kids: Paul was able to finish up the swing set in the back yard, so the kids have been enjoying playing on it in the evenings, when it has cooled down a smidge. Oh, and today I took the kids to the zoo to help chase away the cabin fever.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been a little cooler, thanks to a tropical storm that was off the coast (which gave us some rain). We also got a good thunderstorm that came through last night.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He got the swing set done, which was a huge project. He was working from home this week, so that helped him to be able to squeeze in working on it.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve mainly been keeping the kids happy, healthy. and the like. I did host book club, though, which was fun. I had a few of my friends in the house and then we had more friends join via Zoom, which is a computer program that allows for people to “meet up” virtually using computers, phones, tablets, etc.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: Pretty much a rinse-and-repeat from last week: summer vacation fun. 🙂

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s also been pretty much doing the same stuff. She did learn (the hard way) not to walk in front of the swings while Joseph is swinging. 🙁 I was across the yard, so I couldn’t stop her from walking where she wasn’t supposed to. Luckily, even though she got knocked over (poor Joseph tried so hard not to hit her, but it really was unavoidable), she didn’t get hurt too badly. I’m kind of hoping it was enough of a traumatic experience to help her remember not to do it in the future, though.

This Week in Pictures:

She told me she was having a stair picnic.
On Monday, Paul put up two of the swings. He needed to get more hardware and chains for the rest of the stuff. He had enough for two swings, but needed more for the other regular swing and for the swinging bar.
Spot the toad! I’ll give you a hint: he’s kind of close to the stone border.
All finished! Paul moved Abigail’s bucket swing over so that both of the regular swings would be next to each other.
Trying out the swinging bar. He was twisting it up so that he could spin around.
Always wanting to do what her brother does. 🙂
My quote for August. It’s actually a Beetles quote. 😀
It’s never boring when Chef Abigail is in the kitchen.
Joseph wanted me to take a picture of him and the bell tower he made from Mega Bloks. Abigail wanted to be included, so she was showing me her flowers. 😀
She loves standing by this wall, pretending to be a butterfly.
He wanted to see how close he was to the height of a whooping crane.
This is my favorite animal at the zoo. The okapi!

An Almost-All-Text Post

Weekly Happenings: I almost didn’t have any pictures for this post. We haven’t really gone anywhere or done anything out of the ordinary. I jokingly say that we’re basically in survival mode when we have weeks like this one, but in reality, it isn’t far from the truth: we’re just trying to survive the summer, haha.

The Weekly Weather: It’s been hot and humid. We are supposed to get a bit of rain over the next few days, though (there’s a tropical storm coming in from the Gulf), that is also dropping the temps a bit. Yay!

What Paul’s Been Up To: He worked…at work…this week (as opposed to working from home). He also spent this morning starting on a big project in the backyard. Joseph is starting to get too big for the swing set that we have (it would actually rock back and forth when he was on it it), so Paul got some lumber and is in the process of building a bigger swing set. He got the frame assembled and stood up today (which was a BIG job, because he’s using pressure-treated wood, which is heavy) with a little bit of help from our neighbor (he’s a bit taller than Paul, so he was able to help lift one of the ends of the center beam up high enough for Paul to be able to get the other set of legs onto it). All he has left to do is to trim off some excess wood from some supports and then install the swings themselves. He’s going to do that another day, though, because he’s understandably beat.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: I’ve pretty much just kept the kids alive and relatively happy. It’s definitely a full-time job!

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He’s mainly been soaking up as much of his free time as possible. 🙂 Ah, summer vacation is the best when you’re a kid!

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been soaking in extra play time with Joseph. She’s also been enjoying playing hide-and-seek with anyone who will play, and just about loses her mind any time anyone comes to the door because she’s figured out it’s either going to be some sort of delivery (with a slim chance of it being something for her) or will be someone who just might say hello to her (my poor social butterfly of a child has really been struggling with having to stay home more than usual).

This Week in Pictures:

Living in San Antonio means being able to get freshly-made tortillas (I mean, the package was still warm when I picked it up, y’all) from the grocery store for tacos. I was also able to make homemade horchata in my new blender. The first batch turned out okay, but I tweaked the recipe a bit and it was a lot better the second time (for when we had taco salad to be able to use up the leftover taco fillings).
She was dressed up as Link (from Legend of Zelda). This is an old Halloween costume of Joseph’s.
She was loving swing that sword around.
We’ve made a few small changes in our decor. I had two Texas-themed pillows for the one window bench that Paul built a few years back, but when I went to find some more after he built the matching bench, I couldn’t find any that were similar. I found some plain black pillows that I thought would work, but once I got them home, they didn’t really look as good as I thought they would. After a bit of thinking, I figured out what I would do. I had noticed that the covers for my couch throw pillows (when we replaced the previous throw pillows, we opted to get throw pillow inserts with zip-on covers) were getting all pill-y (and were more often in the way than not for actual couch-sitting). So, we decided to put the black throw pillows upstairs for the kids to use to lounge with and put the original Texas-themed throw pillows on the couches (one on each couch is way better than the two pillows on each couch that we had before).
Then, we ordered new covers for the throw pillow inserts that match better with the colors and design that we have downstairs. We got two Texas star covers and two “home” covers.
I’m really happy with it all!
I realized I hadn’t gotten any pictures of Joseph this week…so last night as we were chilling on the couch, I swooped in for a selfie. I love this kid!
The start of the new swing set. Paul put the old one underneath to give you an idea of scale…the new one is going to be quite a bit bigger. 😀