Yippee! Back to School! Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop

Here’s the the prompt I chose this week:
(Click on the title above to see all prompts and instructions for participating!)
1.) What will you be doing now that the kids are back in school?
Of course I have already resumed my daily litany of questions for each of the boys every afternoon: “Have you done your homework? Do you have studying to do? Is there anything in your backpack I need to see? Have you emptied out your lunchbag?” Will it be inappropriate for me to call Aaron at college next year and ask these questions? Thankfully, this is the first year I don’t have to also ask, “Do you have a uniform clean for tomorrow?” Both boys are now in public school, and although Jack’s school has a pretty strict dress code it’s very liberating to not have to be limited to navy pants and white shirts every single day. Being the type-A planner and goal setter that I am of course I had a very specific plan for the time between when I get off work (1:00 pm) and the time I have to leave the house to go get Jack in carpool (3:15 pm). Are you ready for this? EXERCISE! Yes, my plan was to go to the gym I pay membership fees to every month, which happens to be right around the corner from work, and exercise from 1:15 pm until 3:00 pm. They have wonderful weight equipment, a running track, lots of treadmills and ellipticals, and a pool. There are personal trainers on staff to set up my own personal workout plan. The kids have been in school five days as of today, so guess how many times I’ve been to the gym. That’s right – NONE! What have I been doing instead, you ask? Repainting the house? Learning Italian? Volunteering at a homeless shelter? Nope, I go home to my nice quiet house, pour a glass of sweet tea, and play on the computer. Oooh, I’m finally doing that online photography class or researching environmentally friendly home renovations, right? Nope, but I have really leveled up on both Farm Town and Farmville. Maybe next week.

Ham & Swiss Wraps ~ Lunchbag Week 2

Better late than never, huh? The last few days have been pretty stressful, so I was glad I’d chosen a lunch that could be made in a big batch and eaten over several days. We just haven’t had any extra time lately. I made these wraps Sunday afternoon and they’ll see us through lunch Wednesday – what a deal! This is a variation on a Pampered Chef recipe – the original calls for whole wheat tortillas and some yummy green peppers and tomatoes, but if I made it that way I’d be the only one eating lunch. Mix 8 oz softened cream cheese with 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 Tbsp honey, spread this on flour tortillas (makes about 8). Add deli sliced ham (about 5 slices if you’re using the small prepackaged slices, and Swiss cheese (I used 1 1/2 slices per wrap). Roll, slice, and tuck into a sandwich bag. These stay nice and fresh for several days. Look at that cute Hadley Pottery plate – it makes me want to go play Farm Town!

Goodbye, Millie Dog

Millie Ballard: born January 1, 1994, died August 16, 2009. She was our sweetheart, our “Millie Dog”, “Millie Girl”. She lived a long life for a chocolate lab, especially considering all the health issues she had when she was younger. A friend from work said her daughter in Virginia had a litter of lab puppies, and she was driving down to pick up a couple to bring back – did I want one? Michael didn’t know we were getting a dog (his first EVER) until I got the call that they were home and said, “Honey, let’s drive over and pick up our puppy!” She loved Michael immediately, rode home snuggled up next to him inside his coat. Bringing Millie home is Aaron’s first real memory. He was only two. They grew up together, and Millie loved going camping, swimming in whatever body of water presented itself, and running races with me. She was much more competitive than I was! Then at Aaron’s seventh birthday party Millie tore her ACL chasing a cat up the stairs. Jack was born a few weeks later and Millie greeted him at the door and stole the pacifier right out of his mouth! One week later she had orthopedic surgery and I carried her out for potty breaks and did physcial therapy three times a day with her while I was on maternity leave with Jack. Then three weeks later Jack had surgery and things got really complicated! Millie eventually bounced back, but she was never quite as active as before. A few years ago we added Saminda (Sam) to the family. Our two chocolate lab girls got along well, and Sam has kept Millie entertained throughout her last years. Her last few days were peaceful and painfree, and she was surrounded by family and friends when she passed away. She added so much to our lives, and we are glad to have had her with us for so long. We love you, Millie!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!