Friday, August 31, 2012

Car Line


Here we sit again, in a long line of cars that encircles an empty playground.

Just waiting on the teachers to march their students to the appropriate bench. The little guys watch each moving car carefully, searching for a familiar face and shooting their arms skyward when they spot one.

Soon the line will start moving and Owen and I will look through the sea of orange to find our little Scrapper.

For now though, it's reading books and taking iPhone pics. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homework



Every afternoon is the same.

After waiting my normal 10-15 minutes in the primary school car line, going over various animal sounds with Owen and tickling his feet to distract his wearing patience, a teacher loads my kindergartner into the car.

Immediately, the adventures of the day spill from his mouth. Whether he got a turn on the swings at recess, which extracurricular classroom he was taken to that day, the amount of lunch he consumed, and all the incredible knowledge his beloved Mrs. Dodd bestowed upon him.

Yep, it's only been a little over a week and I am proud to say Nathan has gotten this student thing down. He's woken up each morning excited and ready to go! Ready to see if he will be the line leader that day or what treat he will receive for staying on Scrapper orange on the class behavior chart. (The kid recites the classroom rules to me daily and threatens to "pull my color" when I'm being "disrespectful." I have a feeling conduct won't be an issue with this teacher's pet.)

Once we pull up to the house and Nathan insists on opening his own door and carrying his own backpack in the house, we pull out his daily folder. I'm not surprised to see an orange smile on the calendar square. However, to Nathan's utter delight, we find his first homework assignment! I hand him a pencil and he recites a song about putting his name on the top of the paper. I read him the instructions and he begins. He writes his numbers delicately, again with a song to guide his pencil. He counts the chairs in the house and colors the appropriate number of squares. He draws and counts three bananas. He walks into the living room, hands the piece of paper to his dad, and, beaming, asks him to check his homework.

Believe me, y'all. I am well aware that Nathan will not treat homework like Christmas morning forever. In this moment, though, he is in love. He is bursting at the seams with pride and he soaking up every second of kindergarten like a sponge.

To say I'm proud would be understatement. Proud of Nathan and proud of us. Over the past five years we prepared Nathan for this and these past eight days have been visible proof that we've done something right in this weird dance called parenthood.

An orange smiley face all around.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kindergarten Kid



Well, I did it. I won't say it was easy, but I did it. I walked Nathan into the double doors of the primary school, down the long kindergarten hall to his classroom, gave him a quick hug, and I left him there.

As of 8 am today, Nathaniel Thomas Bauer is a kindergartner.





After about five minutes of tossing and turning and "My bed is too comfy!" Nathan decided to put his little feet on his bedroom floor and join us for breakfast. During the waffle/banana combo, excitement began to rise. He was going to school today!

He finished his breakfast, talking a mile a minute, and pulled on the outfit he had decided to wear the night before. He grinned wide as his daddy pinned a car cutout bearing his name onto his shirt to let duty teachers know how he plans to get home. "Do I get to wear this every day??" he asked.

He was so excited that he was willing to take the above photos for me. (Nathan is an excellent model, but typically this is only of his own volition) He held his kindergarten sign proudly, with his new Transfomers backpack strapped securely over his small shoulders. He jumped into the truck with his daddy and Owen and I followed behind, eager to take brother to school.

I don't know if I can properly describe the primary school lot, but we can use the word "congested." Luckily we were allowed to walk our babies in on the first day, so my experience with the dreaded car line is still waiting.

Nathan's grin never left as we entered the building and bright decorations smiled back from every door. He recognized his classroom by a giant monkey (surrounded by bananas naming each student). He entered, set his lunch box in the designated area, handed his backpack to his teacher, and started coloring. I think I saw a flash of nerves at this point, which was my signal to hightail it.

As for what happened next, let's just say I was thankful for the 30-minute commute to collect myself before work.

Yes, Nathan did better than mama on day one, but did you expect anything different? This kid amazes me every day, and today is just the beginning. I'm counting down the minutes until I can head back home, pick up my kindergarten kid, and ask him every question under the sun.

Happy first day, y'all!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Brawling Brothers



I thought I would try to resist uploading a photo bomb in my next post. But then, the above happened.

Today is the last Friday for me, Nathan, and Owen to get to spend an entire day together. Monday brings kindergarten and a much lonelier (albeit, quieter) time at home. To commemorate the Bauer boys' last Friday fun day, I thought I could get them to sit side by side on the living room floor. Arms around each other and wide cheesy smiles on their faces. Instead, I got this:







Yeah, I was pretty pleased with it, too. Boys will be boys, I suppose. And I will not hesitate to scramble to my bedroom and grab my camera when they do so.

Enjoy your final weekday off before school bells start to ring once again. Happy Friday, eveyone!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Watermelon Weekend



As you heard a few days ago, the Bauer boys and I took this year's Watermelon Festival by storm. Owen strolled and ate everything in sight and Nathan kept his eyes fixed on the kid zone, full of bouncy slides and ball pits.

We ate, we drank, we shopped, we played, we met Easton Corbin (very VIP around here), and we spent Saturday night jamming at our new buddy's concert. He and Nathan had a lengthy discussion on tattoos once Nathan flashed his Batman arm art. Total BFFs.



Also, as promised, I've got pictures. Pictures galore, mind you. If you are looking for a little more festival and a little less Bauer face (sort of), click HERE for a complete album. For those of you who come here for Bauer faces, please continue scrolling and make all of your dreams come true:


Hope you guys had a blast this weekend, whether you got to festival with us or not. Have a fabulous Monday, y'all.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tasty Slice




The Bauer boys and I had a blast in the cool morning breeze of the Watermelon Festival (yes, you read that right).

We bought crafts, we ate funnel cakes, we chowed down on some ice-cold melon, and we danced to the local music that filled the air. After a few hours of fun, both boys willingly jumped into bed for a nap (you also read that right). Our second round of festival fun continues with the big concert tonight. A full update with lots more photos will be on its way tomorrow.

If you live near us, I sure hope you were able to grab a slice, too. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yes, We Can!



This post is going to be picture-heavy. Please avoid if tomatoes disgust you. In fact, you probably shouldn't come here at all anymore. (Just kidding, I really like you!)

I have officially decided that if my tomato plants are going to keep giving me tomatoes, the ugly things aren't going anywhere.

That is why Jonathan and I decided it was time to buy some canning jars and give it the old college try. We love to eat chili, stews, and soups in the winter and what could be better than cracking open a jar of homegrown tomatoes? As much as I love the maters freshly picked, I figured home-canned tomatoes have to be pretty good, too. Looks like we'll find out soon. :)

This was completely trial-and-error, as we were both elbow deep with tomato guts, running between four burners full of boiling water and the recipe. However, for prosperity (and to remind myself of what I did for next time), here's a rundown of how it happened. Complete with photographic evidence!

First step, you get a bunch of sun- and/or windowsill-ripened tomatoes. Our goal was to make five pints of canned whole tomatoes, since that's all that can fit in our pot. We figured this would suffice:



Next, you ask your husband nicely to core every tomato so that you don't end up with lots of little palm cuts to match the one you got on your first attempt:



Then the tomatoes get naked. We blanched a few for no more than a minute and plunged them into the ice bath to cool off:



After that we were shocked that the tomatoes slipped easily from their skin (despite the fact that everything we'd read said it would happen). Naked tomatoes were odd and Nathan was appalled, but we did it:



Once all of the tomatoes were squishy, nude versions of their former selves, it was time. The five pint jars came out of the dishwasher, tomatoes were delicately squished into them, and boiling water covered the fruit, along with a splash of lemon juice (for some scientific reason):



Once the fifth jar was filled, we realized we had miscalculated. :) Two more pint jars were quickly sanitized and we stayed up until 10:30 for two full rounds of processing in the stock pot. When all seven jars were out and each lid "pinged" into position as it cooled, we were done. We did it! Yes, we can, and you can, too!



I doubt they look exactly like they're supposed to, but I'm almost 80% sure we did it correctly and that should mean fresh-tasting chili if the weather ever cools down. We'll be sure to invite you over for supper. :)

In the meantime, however, I only have five empty jars, yet dozens of tomatoes on the counter and even more steadily growing on the vines. We may have started canning, but fresh tomato season is still in gear. Let me know if you want some. PLEASE! Happy Wednesday, y'all.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mac 'n Cheese


Owen enjoyed his lunch today. Thoroughly. Hope your lunch was just as cheesy. If so, I sincerely hope your T-shirt color of choice was not white. Have a terrific Thursday, y'all.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

and the Greatest is Love



“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
- 1 John 4:16

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be Christian (that and chicken sandwiches, but that's beside the point). During the school year it is my role to be a disciple making disciples. After days of consideration, I am starting to wrap my head around what I believe that means for me.

LOVE.

It is my opinion, and I'd imagine the good book could back me up on this, that the most important part of God's mission for us on Earth is love. Spreading the love shown to us by Jesus Christ. All of us. Love Jesus, love Jesus' people, love Jesus' world.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and I am blessed to live in a country that grants it for me. It's liberating to see people take a stand and voice their values. It does worry me, though, that many are missing the point. Why are we standing in line to give money to a corporation with Biblical values instead of standing in line to feed the hungry? How can we shine the light of Jesus when we treat Christianity like a line drawn in the sand? Why are we so concerned with the dirt on others when we're yet to be clean ourselves?

Stop and think. What are you fighting for?