Fathers Day 2019 at least the House did not catch fire… yet

FathersDay
2019

We should note first of all. The house did not catch fire. But if I’m being honest that would have just been fitting for how our evening was going.

While I began making our Trick Daddy Tacos Dinner, our little PS was helping unload the groceries.  Because cooking dinner at the same time as she helps put away groceries is super easy.  She put the healthy cereal in the storage container and she decided she needed a bowl, a few minutes later little A came in the kitchen looking for that healthy cereal. (Cinnamon Toast Crunch- not the chocolate that is just too much…  healthy is the regular kind)The rule is milk in bowls at the table. Since Keith is educating the children in classic television and Gilligan’s Island was on, both girls took dry cereal in their bowls to the family room to watch with him.  I have no idea what actually happened but I heard glass breaking, little A called out “its good”. I came back to see a Correlle bowl smashed on the edge of the rug in the family room and on the wood floor. Since most of the family was now trapped by glass J and I cleaned, swept, and vacuumed up the tiny shards of glass.

Not knowing that was just the beginning of the events I went back to the kitchen to continue making ‘tacos’ for dinner. ( we were actually going to have steak, the little kids wanted to trick their daddy)  I had the evening meal planned out so the cooking ended all at once.
steak
loaded baked potatoes with mushrooms
bacon wrapped asparagus
corn on the cob
mini baguettes
caesar salad
chicken for the non steak eaters
root beer floats
dessert by E

The corn cob water was beginning to boil, the potatoes had 10 minutes left, the table was mostly set.  The glasses had scoops of vanilla ice cream chilling back in the freezer. It appeared that the Father’s Day trick dad taco meal would be a success.

And then…

I wrapped the asparagus in bacon, slinging bacon grease all over the counter and floor, the timer for the potatoes dinged, I turned off the oven and went to start the grill.
Three.
Two.
One.
Ignition.
Nope.
No ignition.
The grill would not start.
The sprinkling turned into rain and the detailed timed out plans were quickly crumbling.

Keith took a crack at starting the grill for grilled ‘tacos’, it did not start for him either.

We opted to pan-sear the steaks, (because we had no other choice) sticking the asparagus in the hot oven, the skillet was heated to smoking hot for the steaks.  The kitchen, sitting room, dining room and family room all filled with smoke.  The oven was not cooking the bacon (I HATE MY OVEN) the smoke had not yet set off the fire alarm, because the boys grabbed all the fans in the house and began opening windows.  Rain was coming in the kitchen window as smoke billowed out.  Oil splattered on the floor from the pan of steaks, they were a little crispy on one side.  The bread did not go into the oven to warm, and a glass of root beer float fell on the dining room.  The loaded part of the potatoes was still in the fridge.  J set the meat to rest, I put the bacon asparagus in the hot pan to finish cooking.  R almost slipped taking food from the kitchen to the dining room.  My plans were shot and all I wanted to do was cry.  R saw me leaning over the oven, and checked to see if I was okay.  I sucked it up and declared that next year we really were having tacos they are much less stress.

Dinner was delicious, Keith was showered with love notes and gifts.  Both J and E spent their own money to gift him with things they knew he could use or would love.  Their sweet selfless love of their daddy touched my stressed heart!

We played a few games and even let him win!

What about you, any Fathers Day cooking disasters?

Go hug your kids, and maybe someday we can laugh about this disaster meal.
jen

p.s. follow me on Instagram Overholt9
(because I never changed the blog name and the baby is 5 now)

 

The First Day

Happy First Day of School my children. I pray that you are kind, to others, I pray that you are the one that people know they can trust, I pray that you speak to the lonely and that you include those left out. I pray that you know more of Jesus this year. That you will grow and learn and that you apply the things you learn. The world measures your success but God measures your heart. This year I pray your heart grows.

Go hug your kids, time moves too fast for this mama!
jen

Valentine Hearts, and Paper Valentines

img_6266Today is Valentines day.
Happy I love someone day!
Tomorrow is Happy 50%off candy at Target day.

Towards the end of January one of my friends posted a picture on Facebook, it was a door covered in hearts, each heart had something written on it.  It was cute and home-made, and full of kindness, all things I love.  So I decided to take it and make it mine.  I was going to cut hearts, but after doing the mental math I decided I was just too lazy to make 84 different hearts, so instead, I bought a few packs of pre-made hearts from my favorite store ever.  Hobby Lobby, I lose all restraint when I go into Hob’lob, and much like Oprah, “you get a car, and you get a car…”  I walk through the store, “you get in my cart, and you get in my cart.”  Seriously I cannot contain myself!

When I got home from my rather small spending spree I sat down and wrote out things I love about my family.  I was afraid it would be difficult and time-consuming but once I sat down the traits and ideas just came out.  I could not write fast enough.
I love your new smile
You are an excellent reader
You are an extraordinary dishwasher loader
You make me laugh
You work very hard on your grades
You play your instrument well, your practice shows
You have very pretty hair
You are becoming a Godly leader
I love to listen to your stories
You pick up shoes like a big girl
You seek justice
I love you
will you be my valentine…
You get the idea, some things were big things, character and other things were appearance, and appreciation.  It was fun to do.    I contemplated doing the big kids, (more on those changes later) but I would have to mail them, and I did not know if they would want all those paper hearts… (if they read this let me know I can send them to you)  I was going to put a heart on each night, I often ended up doing 2 at a time, simply because I would remember when I was already snuggled into my bed.img_6274R’s Door,  img_6275J’s door img_6276E and A’s stairway
(notice the things at the top of the stairs, the JBF sale is coming soon!)img_6264Keith’s hearts made it to our closet, because I put PS’s hearts on our bedroom door.img_6267Each set of hearts was ended with Be My Valentine.  I want my family to know they will forever have my heart.

Paper Valentines.
While I don’t agree with every child getting a trophy, or some school systems removing the honor roll for fear of hurt feelings I do embrace the valentine card for everyone.  We can look back on our childhood and either remember being left out of someones lick’em’stick’em tattoo valentine or (wanting to) leaving someone out of our puffy sticker valentines.  And we all know that kindness counts, leaving someone out is just hurtful.  Each weekly folder before valentine comes home with a class list.  Because I had a moment of clear headedness I purchased school valentines in early January (actually when I was taking O back to the University)  Whoo-hoo I was ready, I even knew where they were, yesterday, after wrapping valentine boxes (empty cereal and cracker boxes) I sat down with the girlies, and we made the cute little eraser valentines from Target (Why does my cart get so full there???)  E had bumble bee ones and A had cat ones.  The set included glue dots, you just put the bee or face on the card, sign your name and you are good to go.  Because A is in 1st grade and writes L A R G E like a 1st grader I signed all her cards for her (and honestly if I let her do it I would be spending more time redirecting her than it would take for me to knock them out myself)  The girls left for basketball practice and I cleaned up our mess.  I put all of Little A’s valentines in a large zipper baggie and left them out for her to take in the morning.  Our morning rush to get out the door, R was leading little A along and she paused to admire her cards, she stopped short in her tacks and said, “mom did these wrong,” R asked “in what way?”  A sweetly replied “they are addressed to MY FRIEND, but not all the kids in my class are my friends.”  R warned her “you don’t need to tell them they are not your friend”  She reasoned with him “oh they are going to know”img_6272To:my friend
From: A
p.s. you are not really my friend…

So IF your child is in my little A’s class and she tells your child that they are NOT REALLY ‘my friend’ I am so sorry, we will now be working on telling the truth in love, and not all truths need to be shared.

Happy Valentines day, go hug someone you love, I was once again reminded how short life really is, and if you don’t get that hug in, or that I LOVE YOU in, it might be your last chance.
jen

We Survived Another Year of Christmas Card-slash-New Year Card Pictures

dsc_0012It is that time of year again Christmas Card Picture time, as you all know it was once again Keith’s favorite way to spend an evening.  He loves getting the pictures taken.  He loves to plans out outfits, and shops for new clothes, he likes to organizes schedules, he makes deals with a friend to come take our pictures.  He works so hard to make this a reality for us.

Okay…
so in reality, yes he is awesome, but he just barely tolerates these pictures.  He smiles and plays along, he does not complain, at least I have never heard him complain.  That is why he is awesome.

Getting schedules together was almost more difficult than getting coordinating clothing for everyone.  Well, actually, now that I am thinking it was more difficult getting schedules together.  C works, O was away at college, we had to wait for her to get home, for C to be off work and for R to have a night with out activities.

I went through the kids closets and realized that if we went with the red/black theme than the boys were the only ones needing new clothes.  On black Friday, I went shopping.  Not super early I just did not even care that much, and I only went to one store!  Score for easy shopping, and sales!  Belks had just what I needed.  After literally an hour and burning up my phone battery trying to find shirts everyone would agree on, and in the correct sizes C walked in the store.  He was a huge help since I was really struggling.  Now we all coordinated but no one “matched.”

We met at a lake downtown for our pictures, if you have read all my Christmas card posts, than you will recognize this background for pictures.  This used to be the old paddle boat rental area, the boats are long gone, years ago the city began to revitalize the down town, this area is beautiful and much safer than when I was a teen.

dsc_0035We tried for the organized family look.
But the darn tree was just too awkward and spacing was off…dsc_0041We tried the album cover.
Which I was a fan of but everyone was worried that PS was going to fall…dsc_0001We went back to the gate with the Christmas banner
but you can see how that worked…

We laughed and the boys made fun of me, We tried and tried but just were not feeling it that night.   Thankfully the friend who took the pictures works with college age students, she was not annoyed by the big kids who could not stop messing around.

After the sun started to set and we were about ready to give up THIS is what we ended up with.  I love it!  dsc_0055 When we were done getting the shot little A started to cry and asked NOT to be turned upside down anymore.

We did it, we survived another year of Christmas Card Chaos.  We lived to tell our story, I cannot imagine what next year will be like.

Go hug your kids, and take a minute to plan a family picture.  It is likely you have not done one in a long time, and life is just too short to miss the opportunity to make another family memory, and get another family picture.
jen

Senior Night Already?

imageOn Friday, we celebrated Senior Night for the Girls Varsity Basketball team.

We recognized these girls, these seniors, on their final home game.  These girls, who have given up free time, for team time.  They have played together for 7 years now.  (most of them for 7 years and some of them have been playing together for 10 years.)  Seven years to bond, to be together, kind of like sisters, annoying at times but the bond is undeniable.  The IF you mess with 1 sister, you get all the sisters, kind of bond.  (Oh I’m not saying that they hurt anyone, but you don’t mess with family.)  Seven years together, every afternoon, 2 or 3 evenings a week, countless bus rides, summer camps, and bad jokes, you become family.

imageAt our school the parents write a letter to their senior,  the announcer will read the letter as the parents and child walk to center court.  The parents give their girls a bouquet of flowers.  I hinted to O, and outright asked her.  She did NOT want a flower bouquet.  She did not want flowers at all.  After brain storming and chatting up with some of the moms, at the game the night before,  I decided a cookie bouquet would be perfect.  I looked at ordering one, but it was too late.  Ok, so I looked into it at 10pm the night before senior night.  I looked into fruit bouquet too, also not enough time.  After morning drop off, I left the babies with a friend, I decided I could easily make one myself.  Nope I could not, oh sure I have the skill I really could make them, I just needed more time, 1pm the day of the event to be held at 6:30 was not enough time.  When I was buying the cookie stuff I grabbed a few bags of O’s favorite candy bars.  I grabbed skewers too.  I was so glad I had a back up plan.  I made her a dozen “cookie flowers’  and wrapped them like a flower bouquet.  She thought it was great.

imageBecause we are just not big candy eaters, I made a ‘flower’ for each of her teammates, and coaches.  I also made a flower for all her friends, and family who came to honor her with us.

I had a bouquet, I had signs I made, I had 12 balloons (Oh you ask why 12, well because that is how many came in the bag I bought) I had clean matching clothes for the girls, I even had clean clothes for me.  I was all set.

I did okay writing the parent letter to be read as we walk our daughter to half court, oh sure I cried a little but not big ugly cry.

I made it through the candy bouquet without freaking out.

I made it through the balloon pick up when the guy blowing them up asked what they were for.

I made it through dinner, I even got everyone to the car.

I walked into the gym like a boss.  Until I saw one of Keith’s former players, we love her like she is family.  I started to cry, she told me to ‘pull it together mom’ so I did.

My stomach hurt, my eyes stung and I had a lump in my throat.  But I pasted a smile on my face.

They called all parents of seniors to the basket end of the court.  They started calling out names, we were last, they read all 6 letters before they got to ours.  These girls have been together with for 7 to 10 years, I cried for them.  Their moms and dads sat in the bleachers for countless games, and camps, we have driven or carpool together, we know the families, we are also a family, because of our time together all these years. We were last on purpose, the other moms knew I would cry, and they said if they saw me cry they would start crying too.  So in order for the families not to all cry they stuck us at the end.

imageOur senior, and her last home game.
Our senior.

O
We are so proud of you and your accomplishments on and off the court.  You have spent more time diving for balls and sacrificing your body to make a save, a rebound, or a steal, I think some games you spent more time on the floor than on your feet.  We are proud of all the heart you put into basketball.  You have put countless hours into your game, years of camps, before you were old enough to play, time hanging out in the gym, and watching games with your dad.
I don’t think I will miss the game you play after every game, the one where we guess how many new bruises you got during the game.
I am pleased to say we ONLY purchased 11 pair of knee pads, for the 7 years you played at school, when I told you the last few pair were supposed to be the best, they would not rip, I think you took that as a challenge.  They ripped.  They ripped by the 2nd game you had them.  Somewhere in some gym there are little hex shaped air pockets laying sad on the gym floor.
Often I would hold my breath as you were thrown to the floor, not sure if I should clap for the effort you put in the play or call the chiropractor because of how hard you bounced.
We are going to miss watching you play.
I am going to miss coaching you, the time we were together was special for me. Watching you grow as a player these last 7 years, getting stronger, working as a team, and listening to instruction has made all that time together enjoyable.  I am going to miss sitting next to you on the bench, listening to you talk, and watching you grow.  
We love you, and will miss watching you play the game that brought you so much joy and pain.  
We are eager to see what God is going to do in and with your life.  
love Mom and Dad
During the reading of the letter we (I) wrote for O, she decided to tell us her college choice.  So not only was I thinking about the ending of her time at her school, I now was thinking about her new beginning.  I think I don’t like this.
One sweet mom said I looked great and smiled so nice, I informed her I can cry while smiling.  I know the big ugly tears will come soon.  I had a few escape on Saturday, while I was alone running errands.  I had some escape earlier this week while Keith and I were talking about the scholarship competition weekends.  Ugly noises escaped from my mouth and tears just burst from my eyes.  I am going to miss that girly!
So please go hug your kids because senior night is just around the corner.
jen
ps: during the ceremony O announced to us her college choice.  Today she paid the fees, and now has an email address to that college.  In two weeks she is going up for the scholarship competition.  I keep crying.

She is 18, Are You Kidding Me???

100_7838(rev 0)I swear I was just eating the final meal before I was scheduled to be induced.  (Peanut butter, jelly sandwich and chocolate milk) I swear I just way laying in the hospital excited to meet our new baby.  I swear I was just over exaggerating how to say the girl’s name because we spelled it with an O on purpose, a long O to be exact, a long O which says its name…  I swear I was just starving waiting for Keith to get back with food, I swear I was just breathing in her new smell, and worried about ‘girl’ things for her.  I swear it all just happened.  How in the world is she 18?  I was so nervous how was I ever going to be a mom to a girl.  A beautiful take my breath away “it’s a GIRL” how was I ever going to do it. I did not know anything about being a mom to a girl.

Today that girly is 18.  I swear she was just snuggled in my arms, only until her daddy came in the room.  She was a daddy’s girl through and through.  She always was.  Now that she is older, she sometimes chooses me over him.  I am not going to lie, my heart does a leap when she does.

Happy Birthday girly, thanks for making me a mom of girls!  I love you
go hug your kids time moves so very fast
jen

Happy New Year, Lets Make a Resolution

Happy New Year!
2015

I’ll let that sink in, 2015 the older I get, the faster time moves.  Okay I know that technically it moves at the same rate of speed, maybe I should say the older I get the more aware of how fast time actually moves.  I remember when the year changed from 1979 to 1980 I won’t tell you how old I was, just that I remember talking in class with our teacher and classmates about how we would have to remember it was not 79 anymore but 8o.  It is the weird little things that I remember.

Lets talk Resolutions.  Do you make unrealistic resolutions or even realistic ones?  Do you make the poplar time management, weight loss, resolutions or do you set even better bigger goals.  A few years ago I decided to take a picture a day.  For the most part it was an easy, there were a few months in there where I struggled to get pictures every day.  By in large I loved it, I was looking for things to take pictures of, my kids were the subject most days, it reminded me to appreciate the simple things, the daily ness of our life.  That is my goal this year, to get at least 1 picture a day.  In today’s technology it should be easy, we all have cell phones, most of them have a good camera, most electronic devices also have a camera on them, some people are ‘old school’ and actually own a camera.  I float between my phone and my camera, which will make it easy to get at least one picture a day.

For Christmas Keith spent time and money fixing my computer, recovering the pictures on my computer hard drive, they are for the most part rescued.  A few pictures did not come through clear but the majority have survived!  I cried when I opened it and saw the work and recovery.  He also bought me an external hard drive.  He did the computer recovery at school in his conference room.  One day someone came into the room took one look at my old computer and asked if it really worked.  DSCN1773The missing enter key.DSCN1772 The frame-work around the glass screen had broken loose and was taped with electrical tape to keep it framed in.DSCN1771 A better look at the plastic frame around the screen.DSCN1770One more look.

DSCN1769It was a HOT mess, by HOT mess the computer would get so hot I was honestly afraid it would burn my lap, canceling out the benefit of a LAPtop…  He rescued the pictures off the old computer, transferred them to my new (not so new apple computer) and combed files and files for pictures from the lost brain of the apple computer.  He also installed another brain into my apple computer.  I am happy to have it back and working.  While he was kind to share his laptop I felt guilty using it when he was around.  So goal number 2 is to back up my computer monthly.

There you have it 2 goals for the year 2015.
1 A picture a day
2 A monthly back up on my computer files

What about you?  Do you have goals for the following year?  I hear that part of the solution is to have a plan, what is your plan to accomplish the goals you have set?  My plan for a picture a day is an easy no need for a plan of attack, the back up I have written on my calendar with an alert so that will help me remember.

Go hug your kids and share some love this next year
jen