Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hot and Scared

Florida in July is officially HOT. Our poor a/c is working so hard, the last electric bill we received nearly brought me to tears. It was more than a car payment. More than 3 months' student loan payments. We're now approaching the point of spending as much money on home climate control as we spend on food in a month.

We've been dealing as best we can.

Thinking cold thoughts as evoked by the movie Frozen 

Spinning in circles for greater air circulation around the underarm region

And, running up our water bill by playing with the hose.

Slip and slide for the truly daring involves complete nudity, eliminating as much friction as possible.

We had a fun (read:frightening) adventure last night. A man came and knocked on our door at 3:30am. It woke Micah, who woke me up in great alarm and made me take the kids up to the attic to call 911. I only caught a glimpse of the guys legs through a window by the door as I was crossing the stair to the kids' room. Micah, nearly blind without his contacts in, could only see that a guy was there, he thought he saw him looking in through the window. I naively supposed it was just a neighbor needing help; Micah was sure it was an armed criminal. At any rate, we didn't answer the door and the police came within a few minutes and the guy was gone. They searched our whole yard and looked around the neighborhood. Nothing unusual was found. If it was just one of the neighbors needing help, we shall now hold the reputation of being being great alarmists, but the 911 lady I spoke with reassured me that we shouldn't feel embarrassed and that, from the crazy things she's seen, you really can't be too careful. Anyway, now Micah is going to be rooting stronger than ever for a stupid security system and lasik eye durgery and my dreams of saving up enough money to replace our windows shall slip farther and farther away.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mug cake?!

Ok- how have I survived this long without knowing that you can make an individual-sized cake in the microwave? This is a total game changer.
Natalie and I ran this test on a "cowboy" cake with chocolate chips, m&m's, and coconut. It was so good, we made more for FHE treat.

Angela is very cute and smart and feisty. She loves puzzles, throwing tantrums, laying in her crib with her pacifier and bear and drinking milk.

This hawk was staring me down through the window as I ate my lunch this morning.

And, in other news, Natalie had to have 6 cavities filled today. I blame the potty training jelly beans. Probably wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't spent the better part of 2 years potty training, but alas, what's done is done. Micah stayed home this morning with Angela and when I returned, there were a bunch of photos of this lego creation on my camera. 

Natalie was pretty wiped out by the sedatives- she completely fell asleep in the waiting room before they took her back. But I guess once they started prodding at her she tried hard to fight them off. I wasn't allowed to go back with her during the procedure (which is really messed up and has me thinking of searching for a new dentist) but occasionally heard an angry wail from the waiting room. This afternoon she is slowly, very slowly, perking back up.

Sheesh, dental work is expensive. I don't think I have spent as much money on my overall health, including even the cost of otc medicine and hygeine products, in the past year as it cost for her fillings. Ah, well. We didn't really need that money. It's not like we just spent more than double what we had expected to stain and seal our fence and have our air conditioner repaired again. .:sigh:. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Little Cows and Beach Bums

Very busy lately. Natalie has started a month of swim lessons. She was terrified when I first told her I had signed her up, but she warmed up to it quickly once I took her. She's in the most basic group that doesn't involve a parent needing to be in the water with the kid- so she's learning about putting her face in the water, and very, very basic propulsion, like bouncing up and down and doing "ice cream scoop arms". I don't think she'll be doggie paddling in 4 weeks, but it's good progress for a girl who one month ago would cry if she got water in her eye.

A 16 year old from church who we've had over to babysit invited the girls over to decorate cupcakes. It was very sweet and the girls loved it. Strangely, though, the cupcakes we brought home only ever got partially eaten...

I forgot to photograph this yummy pie before we broke into it. I made it to take to someone's place on Sunday, but they ended up cancelling, so we had an overly fancy FHE treat on Monday night.

We also decorated cow shirts for FHE so we could score free Chicfila the next day on Cow Appreciation Day.
Unfortunately, Angela was having a tantrum all evening. Which was a shame, because she probably would have really enjoyed painting her shirt. She loves arts and crafts. 

My little Calves:

Angela was really into the cow, though she may not seem thrilled in this picture.
And, of course, the best part of all:

A few pictures of the girls while we were at the beach a few weeks ago.

I take the girls to the beach during the day once a week and we go with Micah on the weekends sometimes. They are learning to enjoy it more and more. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

First off, an exciting week was had last week

Lots of baking, like this loaf of rosemary bread that Natalie helped pick from a recipe book and assisted in creating.

And this giant cookie. Those "small batch" recipes on pinterest are killing me. We are eating way, way, way, way way too much dessert in this house lately!

Micah purchased this car, a suburu legacy, from a friend as we'd been planning. They moved up to a minivan and we're just glad to finally have a second vehicle. Micah will still bike to work, but this will be very convenient for those occasions when it's raining or when he and I have errands and activities that overlap, as is sometimes the case on weekends or with church responsibilities, etc. The car runs fine and has no problems, but it's quite old- 1995- and has 189,000 miles on it. Micah is looking forward to learning more about cars and fixing things as they go wrong.

The children, in their optimism, are quite impressed with daddy's "new" car and think it goes really fast.

"Slow down, Slow down!"
"We're Not slowing down, its the fastest vehicle in the world, Angela!"

I'm still just amazed that we can fit both cars in the garage. Wouldn't have been possible a few months ago!

One cool plus is that this car has a roof rack, so we could tote kayaks/surf boards/bikes/etc if we ever find ourselves at the right intersection of time, money, and interest. Also good if we ever need to haul materials for projects, like large pieces of wood to board up windows for a hurricane or that 2-story ladder we need to invest in before Micah puts up the Christmas lights this year...

Fourth of July was great fun! A lot of my early shots of the parade in Melbourne were like this because of lens condensation from all the frozen bottles of water in my purse.

 The parade was small but we enjoyed it. Angela was amazed at how they kept giving her candy and Natalie had a great time waving and wishing everyone in the parade a happy Fourth of July.

Someone passed out icee pops- brilliant!
It was pretty hot, but fortunately we had a nice spot in the shade and drank plenty of water.

The stickiness was sooooooooo incredible

After the parade, Natalie said, "Let's have a little playground action", so we stopped at the park for a while, then headed home to clean and get food ready. We had a very fun cookout with a few people from Micah's work who we know from church and a few who don't belong to our church. It was a very nice party, everyone had a great time and the food was wonderful. I made this angel food cake, some banana pudding and potato salad. 

Micah cooked some chicken breasts and hamburgers on the grill. Friends brought some sides like watermelon and salad and fancy cheeses. Kids played in the sprinkler and kiddie pool and water table and we laid out a tarp at the bottom of our slide and set the hose at the top for a little slip-and-slide action. Our water bill is gonna be horrendous this month, but probably still lower than the cost of one months' maintenance for an in-ground pool :)

Once our friends left, we headed over to a park that is on the river. We were hoping to see the fireworks display in downtown Melbourne, just a few miles up the river from us, but trees blocked all but the highest fireworks. We could, however, see LOTS of other fireworks going off across the river in all of the beach side communities. We also saw lots of fireworks on our way home. This place is CRAZY about fireworks. Like, we heard people lighting fireworks off all night long Saturday, Sunday and Monday night. A few households in each neighborhood, it seemed, set off huge, high legit fireworks, not just the little sputtery, ground-type ones that have always been synonymous with "home fireworks" in my mind. I think the motto here on the fourth of July should be "Brevard: One county, one billion different celebrations."

Here's how the girls felt about our Fourth of July adventures:

It was a very full, fun day! I did wax a bit sentimental in the morning as the parade began and I felt gratitude for the freedoms that we enjoy... at least for now. It's hard not to be pessimistic about patriotism in an election year like this :/ I may not love America all the time, but I do feel like I'm trying harder and harder to love Americans, to feel acceptance and love towards those around me and be a positive influence on those who I come in contact with. And what is America if not the people who live here?