Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A post is long overdue and there is, oh, so much to share with you.
The sharing of life events will still have to wait for another day;
however, I wanted to share this quote that I stumbled upon.
This quote reflects what I believe and what I have attempted to convey to my children.
As penned in my biography portion of this blog many years ago, "Life may consist of a series of small and seemingly mundane activities yet when viewed through the lens of possibility and opportunity life becomes a grand adventure."
Our lives most certainly are a grand adventure. 
And now for the quote that stirred my spirit today.

"Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself."

-William Martin, The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Last Months Frugal Accomplishments

February 18 - March 18

Within the last month the kids and I made a trip to New Mexico to visit with family, Maceo and I have been planning our trip to the UK for his college auditions and life continued to happen (ie. senior photos, etc.).  So, I can't say that this past month has been the most frugal month of my life; however, even in the midst of large adventures and expenses I have had some successes.

I did my best to make good decisions while on the trip.  We drove straight through so that there were no hotel accommodations to pay for.  We did eat out a couple of times (I was in New Mexico, I did have to have green chile) but largely ate what was prepared for us by our wonderful hosts and diligently worked on eating all of the leftovers.  We went to Old Town to a couple of museums.  We paid for the natural history and rattlesnake museums but, fortunately, the art museum was free.  We went to Santa Fe and simply walked through galleries and such which was free.  We played a lot of games and did some hiking and visited with family - all free!

I immediately bought corned beef when it went on sale.  I bought three of them.  As crazy as the month of March has been it was great to have it on hand for St. Patricks Day without having to really plan or think about it when it snuck up on me.  Two remain for future use as we love them.
I also purchased the cabbage on sale and a ham that is awaiting Easter.

I was cleaning out the bathroom cabinets and found quite a bit of epsom salts that were several years old.  I knew an ice storm was heading our way and we were out of ice melt so I began to wonder if the epsom salts could be used for ice melt and the answer is yes!  According to my research sugar will also work.  I added a bit of sugar to my epsom salts to extend its use, applied it to my sidewalks before the storm arrived and it worked marvelously!

Before I went to New Mexico I got a lot of work done on Maceo's scrapbook, again using what I had on hand.  I won't work on it again until after we get back from Maceo's auditions but I'm really happy with where I'm at on this project.

I continue to work my way through some of my stock of sample products.

Towards the end of February I was really trying not to go to the store for groceries.  I brainstormed with Herb how to use what we have on hand and, overall, it was really quite effective.  I did agree to let Herb go buy onions and garlic because he determined that he can't possibly live without them and, definitely a small victory, he did stick to the shopping list.

A victory regarding creating meals that don't require a trip to the grocery store was making taco puffs for dinner one day.  We had ground beef but no tortillas or bread or pasta but we did have puff pastry so I made little taco puffs.  When I make taco puffs I usually make a jalapeno cilantro sour cream but, alas, there was no sour cream.  Instead, I made a dip using plain yogurt.  I also pulled out some old chipotle salsa that was languishing in the pantry.  The meal was a success, altogether.

We used our home warranty to get a brand new sump pump and, thank goodness, as the basement was flooding.  Sigh.

I know that there was more, way more, but life was moving so fast I didn't get it documented.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lifestyle of Learning 2018 Edition: Volume Six

February 18 - March 10

Bishop had his culinary internship.
Maceo and Bishop made a trip to St. Louis to see a Brockhampton concert.
Maceo had a couple of improv lessons with Queen City Studios.
Maceo gave voice lessons to his two students.
Maceo viewed a production of Ragtime.
Bishop, very unfortunately, had the flu.
Also, unfortunately, the sump pump gave out and the basement flooded.  Sigh.  After recovering from the flu Bishop helped deal with flooding.
Maceo performed with Home Team improv team.
Maceo read Columbinus.
Bishop returned to pottery lessons.
Maceo had his senior pictures taken by a great friend that he has performed with for years who is now a great photographer.

Bishop had scouts a couple of times.  He worked on the sculpture merit badge.

Bishop attended a workshop at the university presented by ceramicist Dick Lehman.
Here is a sample of Dick Lehman's work.

Bishop attended science group where we tried to do some experiments related to circuits.  Those experiments didn't quite work so it became an exploration of batteries.

Both boys got their learner's permits before we left for New Mexico and, while in New Mexico, they both did some driving (thanks to Christian for teaching them how to drive)!!!

We made a trip to New Mexico to celebrate Grandpa's birthday.
We dined at some New Mexican restaurants.
We got to eat some gumbo.  Grandpa even gave us the recipe.

The kiddos went hiking in the mountains.
We went to the Natural History Museum...

...and the Albuquerque Museum.

Maceo and Bishop stayed at the Albuquerque Museum while the rest of us went to Rattlesnake Museum - 35 species of rattlesnakes were seen.
We went to Santa Fe and found Grandma's grave.
We checked out several stores.
Look at this amazing pottery!!!
We went to the Loretto Chapel with the miraculous stairway.

We had pizza, including one with a blue corn crust, chicken, green chile and pine nuts.  Yum.

We say the movie, "Tortured for Christ."
We went to the ranch to spend time with Grandmama.
There was food...
...time with the dogs...
...game playing...
...and hiking, fire building and star watching.
There was a long drive home with just enough time to straighten up the house for a film shoot at the house.  A film student is making a documentary on homeschooling and we were selected to be in it.  It was so much fun!!!

Bishop went to the cabin camp out with his scout troop.

Before leaving for New Mexico Bishop entered two pieces of pottery into a competition and, upon returning from New Mexico, we found that he had a piece accepted into the juried exhibition.

This is the piece that will be in the exhibition.  Isn't that exciting?

Maceo ended the week with a trip to Branson to see a production of Annie that his girlfriend was in.
It's a full life!
It's a good life!