Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. This girl, on her birthday eve. Twelve tomorrow. Sheesh.

2. The weather was amazing over the weekend, and now it's pouring and temperatures are dropping into the 40s (if we're lucky) for the next few days. Really ready for just short sleeves.

3. Tonight was supposed to be Fisher's first baseball game of the season, and he was on the roster as a pitcher! We got an unexpected night off because #2.

4. Ah, well, no baseball meant an early night, which meant several chapters of A Night Divided.

5. Fisher is looking forward to the district chess tournament on Saturday morning.

6. The birds (robins and doves) have been flying around looking to settle in for weeks, but, sadly, we don't see any nests. I wish the bunnies weren't getting cozy. They are eating my hostas, which was not a problem before last year. I have no idea what to do.

7. The nice weather over the weekend caused us to feel like we should be doing something with our yard instead of just sitting there reading books. So Ron thatched and I cleaned out beds and raked up all the dead grass. We are starting to wake up our gardening muscles.

8. I picked up a very cute book yesterday that Alla read in two hours - A Boy Called Bat. I am now reading this one along with Unbroken, though not nearly as quickly.

9. We haven't watched the previous seasons of American Crime, but this season is very good.

10. We also watched CNN's new series, Soundtracks, which is terrific.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

I am unable to stop with the beautiful Florida floral photographs. We have nothing like this here. The locals probably thought I was nuts going around and photographing their very everyday, expected flowers.
1. Fisher got Unbroken for his birthday (the young adult adaptation), and is now insisting that we all read it. It's been on my list (and my actual bookshelf) for years, so I'm glad for the push to get to it.

2. A book I recommend to absolutely everyone, and the book I read on spring break - The Hate U Give. Don't say I don't read YA, or this subject doesn't interest me. If you are a human living in our world today, this is required reading. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read.

3. Alla has found a new series - The Keeper of the Lost Cities. If you have a voracious reader who also loves Harry Potter and The Land of Stories, this may get you a stack that will last a few days!

4. Fisher has earned the number one spot in his school chess tournament, and is very much looking forward to the district-wide tournament in a couple of weeks.

5. Lately we are having a heck of a time finding kid movies for our Friday nights. The library's movies are picked-over and scratched up, and Netflix's pickings are slim at best.

6. A favorite easy recipe: 2 bananas, 1 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Mash it, form it into cookies, bake at 350 for 15 minutes. You can even serve them for breakfast.

7. We have a small living room/entry way by American standards, so you'd think it'd be super easy to find a company who could rip out our mish mash of carpeting and tile and put in something else. But, as I have found with almost every other aspect of home improvement, it is not easy.

8. I am eager for it to warm up quicker, for the temperature to warm to that easy feel where you can sit outside and wear flip flops and not grab a sweatshirt. I think what I'm wanting is, Florida on spring break temperatures. But all the cool is bringing rain, and the rain is bringing green, and that at least gives some hope that warmth might be on the way.

9. Fisher is growing as fast as the grass, and is in dire need of new pants. I took some fleece sweat pants from Alla's closet that were 5 inches too short on her, set them in his closet, and now he has two new pairs. Sometimes, even with a girl and a boy, you can do this. If you don't let on.

10. Today I am enjoying the fact that we have a nothing-night. No activities, meetings, baseball, nothing. Going to make a real dinner. A hot dinner.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Missing Anna Maria.

Have you stepped into the spring chaos yet? I feel like as soon as we stepped off the plane after Spring Break, that chaos greeted us at baggage claim. Spring is fun, the best part of the school year, when there are ALL THE ACTIVITIES to look forward to, and the summer just so close, but also, ALL THE ACTIVITIES. A trade-off, I suppose, for reliable warmth, the ease of shorts and a t-shirt, and even a bike ride or two to school.

We had an incredible spring break on Anna Maria Island, Florida, where there were no trade-offs, one hundred percent reliable weather, a wonderful boy turned 9, and I read a whole book. There were no activities to look forward to, dread, or figure out how to get to.

Just palm trees, ibis, white sand, turquoise water, and a trolley.

So, to warm up this rainy Friday and provide some lush green, the first half of Anna Maria Island.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Let it be known that January 2017 was the month that the Killins family caught the HAMILTON bug. Actually, Alla brought it home with her. They are listening at school.

2. We are now basically only listening to that. Ever. It is amazing.

3. We are also wondering when Fisher will be old enough to go see it.

4. I just finished Homegoing, which was phenomenal.

5. Now Fisher has me reading The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, which is also great.

6. Alla is only reading The Selection series, over and over and over and over.

7.  This white chicken chili is so easy and so good. My only suggestion if you make it, and you should, is to add another chicken breast and maybe decrease the stock by a cup. Otherwise you will have a whole bunch of liquid and not much stuff. It's a winner in our house because it's a "chips and cheese meal."

8. Is it winter where you are? If by winter, we're talking about temperatures in the teens, then tomorrow it will be winter here. But our snow pack is almost non-existent, which is not the best for February.

9. Also not the best for February - freezing rain. That crap nipped my run in the bud this morning.

10. Our family still hasn't seen Hidden Figures! Definitely have to change that soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. I woke up on Saturday morning with the cold that Fisher came down with on Friday afternoon. No warning. I am all done with this and ready to have my nose back.

2. It would be great if the sun would make an appearance. I know it's been hiding for at least 5 days.

3. Got a clean bill of health from the dermatologist today. I don't know about anyone else, but if I could change one thing about my childhood it would be my lack of sun protection.

4. It seems our family needs a whole cupboard just for water bottles, as they are multiplying. Unfortunately the cupboards are not.

5. Middle schoolers still have cute mispronunciations. Sadly, I think we're past the days of her saying liblary and callepitter, but just last week I got "persipate" instead of perspire, and I didn't even try to correct that.

6. Yesterday Minnesota Kelly Barnhill won the day by picking up the prestigious Newbery award for The Girl Who Drank the Moon! My very own daughter won the day by not only watching the awards live with me for the umpteenth year in a row, but by suggesting she'd like to miss school so we could be at the presentation in person. I mean, how do I make that happen? Do I have to be a librarian?

7. Currently reading = Homegoing. I am only 50ish pages in, but I can tell you this is one amazing book. Layered, generational, important, well done. I'm not a fast reader, but I don't mind savoring this one. (As long as I can renew it.)

8. Currently wrapped in a blanket while the kids play outside in the mild temperatures and taco meat simmers on the stove.

9. Kids get Thursday and Friday off this week!

10. We have been waiting for a free weekend to take the kids to see Hidden Figures, maybe this is the one.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The big 4-0.

Big birthday, come and gone.

Lunch with my husband.

Dinner with everyone. So very glad I could spend my 40th with my Mom!!

Then, Ron had a 40-balloon bouquet waiting when we all arrived at the Radisson Blu on Saturday afternoon. 40 balloons is a lot, let me tell you. Kids listed the balloons on their favorite list from the weekend.

Weekend fun:

Mani with Alla
Pool for the kids
Hanging up my coat for a full 24 hours
Fisher beating us at mini golf in the Mall of AmericaBurger Burger
Breakfast at the hotel
Not cooking for two days
Finishing a book, starting another
Sleeping in the hotel with all of my loves and my 40 38 balloons (pop)
Coming home to sunshine and thirty degrees

I would love to impart some wisdom upon turning 40, but all I can say is that it feels like New Year's Day, very fresh and at the beginning and appreciative and full. There is something that happens from the day you're 39 and 364 days to the day you turn 40, and maybe it's perspective. Maybe gratitude. Maybe understanding. Probably it's simpler than that. In our family we practice gratitude everyday, but this feels a little bigger, a bigger thank you. 40 years is a lot. 40 might be the new 30 or whatever garbage they are spewing in Hollywood, but it is a lot of years. A lot of earned years.

I am so thankful for so much, for my family and for health and for love and for these awesome balloons.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

Trying to get back to making a habit of this, so...

1. My big 4-0 is now 3 days away!

2. It's Tuesday, which means Fisher and I started our day at Chess Club.

3. Looking forward to leftovers of last night's Lentil Soup. This is an absolute family favorite.

4. Just finished The Sun is Also a Star - very enjoyable. Alla seems to be in a lull when it comes to handing off books to me, so that means I get to get back to my wonderful friend Katherine's book, Very Married! Katherine is a gifted writer; you'll want to savor these words.

5.The two novels I didn't get to from my 2016 list are Christodora and Homegoing. I will be getting to those very soon, as I'm sure Alla will start thrusting books at me if I don't. And also she truly wants me to read The Land of Stories. And also if the final Penderwicks book comes out this year, I pledge to purchase the set and devote the time to all five in a row.

6. I am getting near the end of Amy Poehler's (audio)book, and admit I am eager to be done with it. I'm too far in to quit now, but the problem is I kinda don't care. If you love SNL or Parks and Rec or AP herself, this is the book for you and there are definitely some hilarious parts. But. I don't care that much, and I'm going to have to remember that before the next audio book I pick out.

7. We got a tiny bit of snow yesterday and it's still snowing today, which is lovely, because prior to this we just had the deep freeze and a dwindling snow pack. The snow is so so pretty.

8. This may be the first winter on record that I haven't complained that my face is so dry. Success! Now if only I could figure out my poor cracking hands.

9. We were treated to Alla playing in the orchestra concert last night. I love to see her growth, am so impressed that she has learned to play the violin, and cannot believe how wonderful the high school orchestra sounds. I am hoping and hoping that she plays all through high school.

10. My awesome daughter also helped me greatly this weekend by sitting here at the computer and creating a 2017 calendar for our family so I could finally order it. She can't wait for it to come so she can show the family.