Life Update: A Jacuzzi, A Boy’s Night out, And Why We Don’t ‘Do’ Halloween

How’s the weather where you are? It’s been a bit nippy this weekend and I actually plugged up one of the heaters yesterday morning because it was so chilly in the house. It’s looking like I’m gonna need to dig the heavy blankets out of the shed soon. Luckily today has been quite a bit warmer and seems like it’s gonna be a nice day… which is a blessing as I really don’t like hanging clothes out when it’s cold! We’ve had a pretty busy and interesting weekend! So busy that I’m feeling a little like this right now:

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New House Update

We’ve also been dealing with yet ANOTHER SNAG as far as our NEW HOUSE goes… we’ve already closed but now the bank (and the county) are asking for a NEW SURVEY! We did ask about this beforehand and we were assured that it wasn’t needed. Now we get the ‘this has never been required before‘ and ‘we’ve never had this happen before‘ from the dealer… sigh. Honestly, I’m really quite sick of the whole mess and I’m gonna give real-life updates about the situation from here on out and not hide the messy part of it because I know if we are dealing with all of this there will be others as well. Maybe reading about our ordeal will help prevent someone else from having the same issue.

We are kind of in a waiting game at the moment as they seem to expect that we are going to come out of pocket with even more money now… not happening.  We’ve had to handle so many other issues and we’ve had to wait for so long because of things they didn’t handle correctly that we don’t have the time, patience, or funds to handle anymore at this point.

I’m sure I’ll be writing some more posts about this not so fun process but right now I can tell you that is has been anything but fun. The whole process has quite honestly overshadowed the joy and excitement of getting a new house and has me wanting to cry every time I get a text or email from the dealer.

LONG POST ALERT!

Square Dance Costume Party

Last week was Halloween, as I’m sure many of you with kids or grandkids know, but we didn’t go trick or treating… more on that in a bit. We did have a costume dance at one of our local clubs and the kids went as…

Can you guess?

Square dancers… lol… I’m just kidding… the boys went as cowboys and called themselves ‘The Three Musketeers’ and the girls put on a couple of their dresses and witch hats. One of the dancers brought some other masks and such that the kids played around with too. Here’s a couple of pics from that dance: 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a couple of pics of the decor that they had:

 

 

 

That was on Monday… later in the week we had a meeting to go to so we stopped by one of the dancer’s place before the meeting to check out their Halloween decor which the kids loved:

 

 

 

Horrible Internet

All week long I have been fighting with the internet trying to get our latest Academic Adventure completed and finally on Thursday I had it pretty much through the planning stage… now to get it all put together into our weekly studies. I think on Friday I did manage to get two weeks’ worth of lessons published but it was torture with this internet going in and out… hopefully, this week will be better. You can click HERE and HERE to see what we’ve published so far. I think this unit is going to be SUPER EXCITING!

Our internet has been so bad lately… I’m gonna post my ‘laundry breaks’ along with this post so maybe you can get an idea of just how bad it is. Normally I can whip out a post in 10-20 minutes… maybe 30 if I need to look up a bunch of links or photos. My ‘laundry breaks’ happened about every 40 minutes… it takes me about 5-10 minutes to unload/reload the washer and hang out a load of washWe will have a new washer/dryer set for the new house… whenever that may happen to arrive.

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I did manage to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done as a few places were offering some ‘pre-holiday’ specials this week. At the midweek meeting, we also planned out a Christmas dance for the beginner dancers… it’s gonna be so much fun!

Friday Dance and a 911 Call

Then Friday night we had another dance at a new location, Monday’s dance was actually at a new location as well, and we had some new dancers come to visit us. Everyone had a blast and we were actually a couple of ladies short so two of our ‘experienced’ guys helped out the new dancers and attempted to dance the ‘ladies’ part… they were HILARIOUS! I’m telling you that you need to find a square dance near you and check it out because we have TOO MUCH FUN!

It’s always late when we head home and it takes us about an hour to get back home from any dance that we do on a regular basis so we know to be a little more careful than normal… especially on the weekends.  This past week we had Mr. Awesome’s two kiddos with us so we had even more precious cargo onboard than normal. About halfway home we got behind a vehicle that was driving VERY ERRATICALLY.

After following them for a few minutes it did seem that the driver may have been impaired or possibly be having some kind of medical emergency so we decided to call it in. We ended up behind the vehicle until they made their way home and I stayed on the phone with the operator the whole time praying that no one would get hurt before the police got to him… which they didn’t. The closer we got to where this individual lived, the more erratic and scary his driving became… at one point he even cut off his headlights and continued down the road.

Many of the roads we travel are rural country roads and police response time can be a bit slow so were just thankful that the individual did make it home without causing injury to anyone or anything, including himself. This was a very frightening thing for some of the kids as they could hear me on the phone and they weren’t exactly sure of what was going on. We now know to be even more wary of this particular route home.

If you have ever wondered if you should make the call to report a suspected drunk driver then you can read this article for more information. Personally, I would rather make the call than to find out that someone was seriously injured or died because I didn’t. 

Norwex Booth at Middleburg’s Historic Fall Festival

Saturday was a long day for me as I had a Norwex event to do at a local historic fair. It was a ton of fun and I love learning more and more about these wonderful products.

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Let me tell you that the silicon lids have definitely made my ‘must-have‘ list… right under the mop system (which is on sale RIGHT now) and the bath towels (the striped ones are my favorites)!

These lids are AMAZING… Ms. Cyndee was showing someone how you can put the lid on a glass bowl of water and once the lids seals you can actually lift the whole bowl by the lid handle without breaking the seal! I wish I had gotten a video to share but I was just AMAZED and later during the day I was more than happy to demonstrate these amazing lids! They come in a variety of sizes to work with just about any dish that might need to be covered. You can see more about these oven/microwave/dishwasher safe lids below:

This company is more than AMAZING with EVERYTHING they do. Not only do they offer different specials for the customers and consultants each month they do a lot of work for charities around us:

 

If you haven’t checked out my Norwex site then maybe you should do that now… and be sure to sign up for my newsletter as well. If you are on Facebook you can also join Susie’s Chem Free Zone VIP Group for specials, sales, and giveaways that I can’t post publicly. If you place an order on my site be sure to add it to my Fight For Hunger party that I have going on… I will personally donate 10% of all my earnings to this cause this month as well!

<Laundry Break>

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We also had the pleasure of meeting some really interesting people while at the event. We met several who were already using Norwex and loved it. We also met some other ‘consultants’ who had actually only signed up for the discount… you can find out more info HERE. We also met Mr. Frank and his wife Ms. Dora who were the sweetest people ever! If you happen to be in my area and see a Norwex booth be sure to stop by because I’d love to meet you in person!

Ok, enough about Norwex for the moment… during the event Mr. Awesome had messaged me about some plans for the evening. I had wanted him to bring the kids up to the festival but he had promised to help someone with something that day so he decided we would do something together that evening. We had planned to possibly go to a ‘trick-or-treat event’ close by but then we found out that it was going to have a haunted house and some other really scary things that just wouldn’t work well with some of the kids. So Mr. Awesome and the brood decided they would rather go to putt-putt instead.

A Boy’s Night Out

When I finally got home that evening the kids were ready to go, all but the girls, and they loaded up. I then learned that the girls, who have been quite sassy here lately, had later protested against putt-putt because they wanted to go somewhere else. They basically insisted that they weren’t going if they couldn’t have their way… so they stayed home with Nanny and Papa! Their plan backfired on them and I think they may have learned some important lessons.

The boys had a blast at putt-putt, I was so tired that I just followed them around and kept score while snapping a couple of pics:

 

 

 

It was a good thing that Mr. Awesome was driving as I could barely keep my eyes open on the way home. The kids all slept well that night which also happened to be the night we set our clocks back…

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A New-To-Me Jacuzzi and Camera

Sunday morning I tried to insist on ‘sleeping in’ but Mr. Awesome kept trying to reassure me that this wasn’t the time we needed to ‘sleep in’ to adjust… lol, my body was saying differently. Last week I had been working with the dog (and the kids) to get everyone on the new schedule because time changes can be a nightmare around here!

He had an event that he was planning to go so he was up early and then he couldn’t find his keys. I told him I was pretty certain that I had hung them up but he still couldn’t find them so I got up to help… guess where I found them? They were hanging up… sigh.

In the process of helping to find the keys, I had to walk past Ms. Comet’s crate which resulted in her wanting to go out… yep, I had to walk her before I could get back to ‘sleeping in’. After getting settled back in bed my phone rang… it was Mr. Awesome who was calling to let me know that his plans had changed. He needed me to contact a guy on Facebook about a tub that we were planning to get.

Luckily the man was super nice and we were able to pick it up earlier on Sunday than we had planned. It also turns out that he is a plumber… and he has offered to help us out when we get our new house as we have some bathroom projects that we will be tackling… God really does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?

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Isn’t it lovely? It is a perfect fit for me too! I gave it a test try while it was still in the back of Mr. Awesome’s pickup… he offered to pull me into the sun so I could ‘sunbathe’… he is too funny!

 

 

 

Then while I was relaxing with my eyes closed and imagining how nice a bubble bath would be I happened to open my eyes to see a large buzzard swoop in… within a minute I had a whole flock of them circling overhead! I guess they thought I really had died and gone to heaven… sorry guys, I’m not quite ready to be buzzard bait!

We unloaded the tub and put it away for safekeeping until our house gets here…

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After Mr. Awesome got home I made a quick errand run to Sam’s Club to pickup up a few essentials and grab something for my sister-in-law to be. The kids and I then met up with her and exchanged her items and I got a camera that my brother no longer needed… yippee! Y’all know I have been talking about getting a new camera… new-to-me is new enough!

This actually happens to be the same camera that was used at my daughter’s wedding so I know how well it works and I’m excited to play with it and start taking some awesome photos!

Super Easy Dinner

By the time I got home, I was so ready for a nap and EVERYONE was starving. I decided to make a quick sheet pan dinner with some Super Yummy Caulitaters. This meal was so simple…

Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Set the oven to 350.

Spray a large baking pan with nonstick spray.

Place your chicken legs/thighs on the pan.

Add some fresh/frozen veggies around the chicken. (We used some frozen broccoli from Southwestern Produce Company.)

Mr. Jacob sprinkled everything with some lemon pepper seasoning… we would’ve used our favorite garlic salt but I really need to do a Walmart Grocery Pickup soon.

Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, check with a meat thermometer for doneness.

I also made a simple cheese sauce to go with it as Mr. Awesome can’t have broccoli without the cheese. (I’ll be posting this recipe soon and I’ll try to remember to link it when I do.)

I should have doubled the recipe as EVERYONE DEVOURED it.

I went to bed early last night because I was just plain exhausted. The kids slept in late this morning as well as we’ve all had such a busy weekend. I actually started on this post before 7:00 and it’s 11:30 now… yeah, feels like I’ve accomplished absolutely NOTHING so far today but I have done a few things in between internet lags.

I have managed to get 3 loads of clothes washed and hung out to dry. The kids have gotten a pretty good start on our House Blessing and they have had a snack but they are ready for lunch now. I’ve also got dinner in the crockpot… one of the freezer meals I made last month(I’m excited to try out some of the recipes HERE for this month’s freezer cooking!) I also attempted to put in another support ticket for our internet service… I guess we will have to wait and see if they actually come to fix it.

I’ve also dealt with a couple of minor squabbles, a meltdown, and a few phone calls. The dog also got a bath and the bathroom floor got an unscheduled mopping… 🙂 I also had to deal with a fallen monkey and lost thumbtack on my bed… long story.

Why we don’t ‘do’ Halloween

First, I want everyone to know that I respect each family’s reasons for celebrating or not celebrating any holiday and I am not bashing anyone for anything!

I get lots of frowns and questions from many different people about the choices that we make. Many of them question my choice to limit sugar and this past week many of them have questioned our ‘Halloween Routine’… which does change from time to time.

I have never really been BIG on Halloween… we didn’t really do the whole trick-or-treating thing when I was growing up and although I did take my older kids a few times, it wasn’t something that we planned on doing EVERY year. We did go to our church’s annual Fall Festival and had a wonderful time. The kids could dress up in non-scary costumes and we always loved the event.

When I moved to Florida in 2010 my older kids were pretty much outgrowing the whole ‘trick-or-treating’ thing and we really didn’t even give it a thought. Then right before Halloween, we were blessed with our three unexpected blessings which changed our lives overnight! Our new church had informed me that they also had a big ‘trunk’or-treat’ with lots of activities so we attended that.

Loud Noises and Scary Masks

Whew… what an experience that was. We had meltdown after meltdown as I was new ‘special-needs’ Momma and I didn’t know all of the triggers at that point. We left the event early and it took quite a few days to recover from it.

Since then I have learned that loud noises will almost always trigger a meltdown as Mr. William is deathly afraid of loud noises… especially helicopters and chainsaws. I later learned that his bio dad would often chase them around the yard with a chainsaw while wearing a scary mask… no wonder the poor kid is terrified!

Bad Behavior

We’ve all seen the ‘funny’ videos where people are jumping out and scaring people around Halloween. While I do admit some of them are funny, I also see a lot of bad behaviors being modeled.

When you have young children and/or children with limited comprehension skills they may not be able to differentiate what is done ‘for fun’ as something that shouldn’t be done normally. Why cause confusion?

Sugar-Laden Candy

We all know how addictive sugar can be and some of us know how much it can affect behavior. Not too mention all of the negative effects sugar can have on our health… yeah, I’d rather not deal with that if we don’t have too.

Cost

I have seen the cost of some of those costumes and it is scary how much is made from this one holiday. I could make our own costumes, and I have in the past, but that would take a bit of time which is something we really don’t have a lot of at the moment.

I’d rather spend our time doing things together instead of worrying about who is dressing up as what and who has the best costume… fewer arguments that way.

Various other reasons

We’ve all heard the stories about the tainted candies and dangerous items found in treats which is why parents have always warned kids not to eat the candy until they checked it first. This is one worry I don’t have because we don’t do Halloween.

Also, you face the dangers of being on the road in the dark. I know I have heard of one child being hit near us and I read of at least one other who is in critical condition after being hit while trick-or-treating. One of those accidents was truly accidental and other was attributed to texting while driving.

There are really just so many reasons not to celebrate Halloween like some of the ones found HERE and HERE. I think it’s OK to be different and this is just one way that our family is different from others.

What we do instead of trick-or-treating

We are not against going to Fall Festivals and/or Trunk-or-Treat events that have fun activities for the kids when they are held at times that don’t conflict with other things we may have scheduled.

Often we will have a club or two that has a special costume dance around this time of year and the kids do dress up in something that we already have. Occasionally we will paint faces too.

Sometimes we will pick up a bag or two of candy to have as a special treat. This year everyone voted to make cupcakes and watch a movie at home and they enjoyed some strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing and orange sprinkles while watching a favorite movie.

We also try to do something fun, like putt-putt, so they don’t really feel like they’ve missed out on anything. Mr. Awesome and I do not necessarily share the same point of view on this but he does respect my stance and we work together to find ways to make everyone happy.

Conclusion

All in all we did have a lot of fun this past week and we are looking forward to what this week will hold for us. I know the FedEx man just delivered one of our Christmas packages and I have another at the post office to pick up but that will probably wait until tomorrow as I still have quite a bit to get done.

I think I’m gonna give up on the internet work for today as this post has taken longer than expected to get finished. I still need to pull out a couple of things to go with our dinner tonight. I also need to pull out an outfit for myself and one for Mr. Awesome so I can get them steamed and ready to go for tonight. I think the kids have already picked out their outfits so it’s just a matter of getting them into them later this afternoon.

I also need to finish cleaning up a bit around here. This is what the house looks like right now:

 

It was worse when I walked in Saturday afternoon and I wanted to cry but I didn’t. Pretty much everything from Friday on has just been dumped at the front door area so I need to find a home for everything and get it situated again. I am so ready to have a little bit more room when our new house gets here.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with the whole house situation. I plan on adding a prayer page to my blog as well. I will put the names of everyone I have been praying for and some new ones that I gathered from this weekend on there. If anyone wants to be added or if you know someone that needs to be on there please let me know in the comments, just a first name and last initial is fine as GOD knows what we need.

If you get a chance check out the Prayer Requests Page and take a minute to say a quick prayer for all of those on the list.

God Bless!


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 –Thank you!

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