This time, he took anyone who could go to Petit Jean State Park to a cabin over night. My little family went with my parents and Sam and Grace (everyone else had to work and W and Grace came up late after work and left early the next morning for work again!)
This is our lovely cabin
and the not so bad view from the back porch!
where you could sit and read or have a snack
and if you want to take a drive down the mountain, overlook the lush rolling Arkansas countryside!
another view from the cabin (sigh!)
we took an easy walk down to overlook the waterfall. It was a lovely walk and a lovely view
LG and M were fabulous! M LOVED exploring! She had black feet from running around outside by the time we left!
Grandpa and his girls
stay tuned for part B! Boating on Lake Ouachita! (pronounced Wah-chi-tah :)
The other day, she got into the pool like this. She dipped her hair in the water to be like Ariel and actually let me swim with her. (lately she just wants to stay in the shallow end and play by herself)
Then she took off the goggles and said, "I don't need these buggles anymore!"
Me: what did you call them?
M: buggles! buggles to see in the water!
I gotta get me some buggles! :)
This was W and M on the back porch last Sunday during their chat. I'm thankful for my sweet man who knew I needed a break and enjoyed a quiet chat with his daughter.
W has a coworker who lives on a farm in Hot Springs. She has brought in some yummy corn for everyone at work and last week she brought more goodies! We got scrumptious tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, and OKRA!
Do you know how to cook okra? You DO NOT boil it!! That is, unless you like eating snot.
So, in honor of our farm fresh produce, we had a good ole southern meal last weekend! W was so excited for it! LG was our handy sous chef and M wanted nothing to do with what we made! :)
To properly cook okra, well, you fry it. It's really the only way to go! Trim the ends and chop it into 1" pieces.
Beat an egg or two and coat your okra in it. Let it sit for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, get out your Arkansas farm-grown catfish and dredge it in butter, lemon juice and cajun seasonings. Then, you bake for twenty minutes so that you have SOMEthing at this meal that isn't fried!
Dredge your okra in a mixture of cornmeal, salt and pepper.
Fry it! I am not a very good frier. I usually end up with a lot of blackened fried food first. :) I was a good girl this time and used my handy dandy candy thermometer! How about that rhyming! I didn't even do that on purpose!
We also made hush puppies! We were going to make them from scratch but last minute at the store, I found a mix by Zatarain's, the maker of my Jambalaya mix that we love so dearly. So we did that and they were fabulous!!
So we enjoyed our spicy catfish, moist hush puppies, okra (then you dip it in ketchup!) and fresh sliced tomatoes! (still haven't figured out what to do with the cucumbers! :)
I am so thankful for the moments that remind me what the point is.
Sunday morning, we ended up with extra time before church. (I'm kind of neurotic about being on time, so we sometimes get up tooo early!) W took M out on the back deck and they just sat in the camp chairs looking at the sky before it got blazingly hot. I went back to look and M was just chatting away to her Daddy. I love it.
Monday night, we managed to have a family home evening moment! The first one in ages since we moved! W was sharing a story and M was just staring at him like it was the most fascinating thing ever!
I am so thankful that between peeing on the floor, coloring on my sheets, throwing tantrums, ignoring me completely, and hitting her sister, that she often comes and snuggles with me in the morning in bed, strokes my cheek and says "I just love you".
She got her bottom right middle in April, followed shortly by her bottom right canine. (yes, I'm attempting to keep track at least SOMEhow!) Then at the end of June, she got the right lateral incisor on top. Yes, weird! One Sunday she got her right lateral incisor so she has three in a row on the bottom and doesn't quite look so much like her teeth are rotting out rather than growing in weird! :)
She scrunches her face and nose when she smiles right now. I love it!
It's here! It's tonight! But I have to work tomorrow so I will not be joining the midnight masses this time! But it's here! I'm so excited!
IN 2007, we were crazy nuts and went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter 5: The Order of the Phoenix! I was having surgery the next day so I knew I wouldn't be working or need to be alert, and it was a fun hurrah before feeling like crap for a few weeks. W and I felt like chaperones, we were the only adults there except for other parents who were there with their teenagers. We did not dress up. But we know people who did! ;)
This year, we're going to try and make it before Friday. :) We'll see how well we do with that!
It's been a while since I shared my diamonds in the rough with you.
So, without further adieu,
1. Leven Thumps! I am loving this series! I've read the first two, they are creative and fun and different but magical and scratch my "I miss Harry Potter" itch!
2. And if that didn't do it, the fourth installment of Fablehaven is helping this series turn into one of my very favorites! I love these books and I'm at the edge of my seat waiting for the conclusion now! 3. On a whole 'nother level, another new fave at our house comes directly from the bagged cereal section! Blueberry muffin tops are delicious!!! LG is an even bigger fan than I am and will ignore her cheerios but kick and squeal and slam her highchair tray (=the sign for more in her book) until she gets 'em! They're a blueberry spin on cinnamon toast crunch and everyone out there should try 'em! 4. And to round out our reviews, three movies! We rented Australia from the red box last night and while I thought it was one of those movies that could have ended several times before it did, it was still enjoyable. And yes, Hugh Jackman was hot. Up! is Fantastic! M was a doll and sat so well with her cute 3D glasses on the whole time and we just loved this show! It was a truly pleasant surprise!
and finally yes, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I had heard it was not worth seeing. However, I enjoyed the books and figured it was worth a $1 redbox splurge and it was! I guess when you're expecting a terrible movie, it's easier to enjoy but I thought it was great.
I am struggling as the parent of a toddler. She is sassy. She is whiny. She is fussy. She deliberately acts up when I try to set limits. She thinks she doesn't need naps, but anyone who's seen her banshee-like attitude at 5pm after no nap knows otherwise! She breaks her toys and then acts as if she couldn't care less when I try to give her consequences.
That's the part that is making me crazy. I'm trying so hard to be consistent and patient but when I do, it's like it backfires! She is pushing every button I have and many more that I didn't even know existed. It makes me angry, mean and I worry all the time right now that she's only going to remember me as a mean mommy.
I usually AM crying or am READY to cry as soon as W walks in the door.
I pray every day that I will have patience and know how to raise her so that she won't be a snotty brat but the sweet girl that she used to be. I keep trying to remind myself that this is a phase, but ten month phases are really really rough on the soul!