Friday, February 10, 2017

P52 - Week 6 - Licensed to Learn

My dear Wonder Boy had one of those "milestone moments" this week - he received his learner's permit.

He's now officially "street legal." Right now, his dad takes him out on Sunday mornings for lessons. Plus, he's been in a class for the last month. He starts the driving portion of the class in just another week.

I have such mixed emotions about this particular milestone.

I'm proud of him, of course. I'm also petrified for him. Not because I'm worried about what he might do behind that wheel, though I would be fooling myself if I didn't admit that this wasn't at least a portion of my fear. But what TRULY digs at me is what someone ELSE could do to him.

This "letting go" part of parenthood may be the toughest part of all. I want to scream "I'M NOT READY!" But it really doesn't matter if *I* am ready. Time keeps on ticking. And the Boy believes he is ready. *sigh*

I believe in him. And I will be praying like mad every time he hits the streets. And, in time, I tool will adjust.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

P52 - Week 5 - Hear Me Roar!

I just had to share this snap as it makes me grin from ear to ear!

This sweet little bully pup stole my heart in a recent visit with Wonder Mutt's breeder. She (Wonder Mutt's breeder) has 2 litters of bully pups just under 4 weeks old. They all have their eyes open and are starting to roam around their respective rooms.

We brought each one out in turn to the living room so I could snap some shots to be shared on Facebook. But it was the first time these little cuties touched the laminate wood floors. Up to this point, they had been on carpet or blankets or some other soft surface. And NONE of them seemed very impressed with the slick laminate floors.

This little guy in particular gave us an indignant howl expressing his ... ahem ... desire to return to his more familiar surroundings. We all had a good laugh, snapped our pics, and then gave in to his desires.

I am really looking forward to my next chance to play with this group of cuddle pups in a couple of weeks. I look forward to the puppy kisses, fuzzy snuggles, and it's always a treat to see how much they change in those weeks between our little photo shoots.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

P52 - Week 4 - Soul Food

To say it has been a mild winter is a pretty big understatement this year. We had 1 weekend where things got cold, but for the most part, we've been pretty consistently above average. However, we have had a couple of cool days off and on. And when the temperatures start to drop, I can't help but crave a warm bowl of soup. This one shown here is one of my favorites:

This is my favorite, super-easy, always-pleasing Chicken Tortilla Soup (pictured here minus the tortillas - I don't add those until the last minute).

And this is the recipe, for those who also crave a bowl of comfort food for the soul:

1 - tsp olive oil
.5 - cup diced yellow onion
2 - cloves garlic, minced
1 - 15 oz can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
3 - cups chicken broth
2 - cups diced/shredded chicken (cooked) - I use boiled, roasted, or even canned chicken
1 - 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
1 - tsp black pepper
1 - tsp cumin
1 - tsp chipotle chile powder
.25 - tsp sea salt (optional)
1 - cup cilantro, diced

1. put olive oil in soup pan and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
2. add next 8 ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil.
3. reduce heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, add cilantro, and serve.
4. garnish with crispy tortilla strips, if desired.

I will say that, often, we eat this without the tortilla strip garnish. Sometimes we'll add about .25 cup of white rice to a bowl instead and serve it that way. But regardless of how you serve it, this is a bowl of the good stuff that will warm you from the inside out!

Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

P52 - Week 3 - Bake Sale

After the excesses of the holidays, my better half and I have been trying very hard to get back to a more balanced diet. But all of that got thrown a bit off track when the Boy came home with an urgent request for bake sale items to help offset travel expenses for the UIL Academic Team.

I do have a couple of confessions to make though. First off - to minimize the temptation on the whole family, I made these before school on the day they were due. That way we didn't spend hours in the house with that amazing cookie smell taunting us. And second, these are "place and bake" cookies. The only way I was going to be able to get them made in the short time between our morning wake-up and depart for school and work time, was to cut some corners. I don't think anyone really minds though. They tasted great (that, uh hmm, is confession number three) and I even made double the amount promised. SCORE for the Boy and his teammates!

Here is hoping that their next meet will be even more successful than the bake sale!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

P52 - Week 2 - For the Love of Music

This week's entry is very special to me. It features my Wonder Boy and highlights his ever growing love of music:

Long before he was aware of it, Wonder Boy has always been moved by music. As a toddler, he loved to bounce around the living room to his favorite tunes. There were many times when he was engrossed with a particular toy or activity, music playing in the background, and we would see him unconsciously grooving to the beat. It always brought a smile to my face.

When he graduated elementary school and moved up to intermediate school, he was so excited at the prospect of being able to join the orchestra and he's never looked back from there!

Fast forward to his first year of high school (that's now, btw), and we find the Boy getting ever more serious about his music studies. Without being prompted or encouraged, he has more than doubled his practice time. He is excited about the pieces he is learning, about new techniques he is trying to master, and he endeavors to be a leader in his school orchestra.

One day I will share the story of picking out this beautiful instrument (it's a doozie!). But for today I just want to celebrate this next step in Wonder Boy's musical development. He loves to play and his skill is catching up to his desires. Our home is filled with music and we are truly blessed that this is the case!

Thank you, Dear Boy, for sharing this gift with your family!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 P52 - kick off!

In an effort to encourage me to to pick up my camera more often than I did in 2016, I am starting a photo-a-week challenge project (P52) for 2017.

For this first week, I chose the snap you see below of our Monster Mutt. He and the Puppy Princess spent the Christmas holiday at a local pet resort (so we could get the house clean for our visitors). And the sweet staff at the resort sent them home with a couple of festive new squeaky toys. We waited a few days until the moment felt right to bring out the plush sacrifices, I mean new toys.

The Princess knew just what to do and immediately started in on her "seek and destroy" mission which left her plaything as nothing but a soggy shell, a quickly confiscated squeaker mechanism, and a shower of white fluff. But Mr. Mutt wasn't so sure what to do with his precious new trinket.

He ran from one side of the room to the other, perched on the couch - proudly showing us all his cherished prize - and then started running around again, occasionally tossing it in the air to see if it would fly away. The squeaker seemed to startle him when he would accidentally clamp down upon it. And, unlike the Princess, he was not interested in seeing how quickly he could shred it.

We eventually had to sneak it away from him so he could enjoy his dinner. And by this time, it much more resembled a soaking sponge than a toy (*gross*). We'll clean it, dry it, save it for another day. Who knows what he will think when we pull it out next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dapper Dan

Wonder Boy had a day off from school today so I thought it would be a good day to do a test fit of his orchestra uniform. I have to admit that I think he looks particularly dapper in his tux!

I am truly looking forward to their fist concert at the end of this month!