Sunshine and Happiness

The summer has already been exciting, hectic, and a little sad.  I haven’t been spending much time on the computer, and I apologize for that.  I am a true Pisces, the warm sun draws me out and fills my days with busy activity.  Normally, when I write the words “sunshine and happiness”, I’m usually being highly sarcastic.  However, right now is not one of those times.

So what have I been up to?  The school year wrapped up with awards ceremonies for my middle schoolers.

Myself and my step-daughter, Shalyn
Myself and my step-daughter, Shalyn

Zakkary also had an idea for an unusual end of school project.  Instead of having everyone sign a yearbook, he decided he wanted my help to customize one of his skateboards for autographs. *some names had to be blurred out*  Zakk has also asked me to write-up a post on how we did this, lol.  It was easy, but I’ll entertain him with it eventually.

Customized skateboard: Assassin's Creed theme with end of school year autographs.
Customized skateboard: Assassin’s Creed theme with end of school year autographs.

Not knowing what to do with all his spare time, Zakk wanted to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies.  At 13, he already knows his way around the kitchen pretty well.  He makes his own grilled cheese sandwiches and even made the family an entire spaghetti dinner once.  Baking though takes a bit more patience, so he hadn’t delved into that too far.  He asked me to give him a recipe and let him go off on his own.  I did and I even managed to remain hands off, only answering questions involving measurements.  He even brought me the beater and they turned out perfect!

Role reversal: Zakk made cookies and brought ME the beater!
Role reversal: Zakk made cookies and brought ME the beater!

My husband’s cousin and his wife are expecting a little one and they held a gender reveal on a weeknight  I work weekends and rarely get to go to family events, so I was really excited.  As you can see, Grandma and Great Grandpa got to announce they’re having a girl and the dad-to-be went into shock for the rest of the night, lol.

My cousin's gender reveal: It's A Girl! and dad's in shock
My cousin’s gender reveal: It’s A Girl!; dad’s in shock

We wrapped up May at Tybee Island for Memorial Day.

Body surfing at Tybee Island
Body surfing at Tybee Island

Even though we’re only halfway into June, it’s been an extremely busy month already!  We’re fortunate enough to have a family member with a nice pool, because these Southern Summers can get HOT!

Shay cheesin' in the pool
Shay cheesin’ in the pool

With my five days off during the week while everyone else is at work, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my nieces and nephews.  After a few hours of free time in the pool, they were starting to get a little cranky with each other, so I decided it was time for some organized fun.

Floatie Races at my Brother-in-Law's pool with some of my nieces and nephews.
Floatie races at my Brother-in-Law’s pool with some of my nieces and nephews.

We’re also lucky to be within a short drive to a huge lake.  I learned to water ski and kneeboard here as teenager, so even though it’s not as nice as the ocean, it will forever be a favorite place for me.  Right now our water levels are extremely low, normally it’s just sandy beach.  That means the grass and clay that reside in the deep parts are exposed and the kids LOVE to watch me try to tiptoe through it.  I can’t stand water weeds and squishy clay!  My competitive swim years come in handy for this part.  As soon as the water hits my knees, I can shallow dive and avoid the rest.

Clark's Hill Lake
Clark’s Hill Lake

I haven’t totally stayed away from the computer though.  Super Mario 3 is classic and I decided to introduce Zakk to it when he needed more mom time.  There’s quite a few websites that host all the classic console games. I won’t tell you how late we stayed up playing this the first night, but let’s just say I was a “bad mom” that night!  Those are the memories he’ll always keep though <3.

Super Mario 3
Super Mario 3

I’ve also been crocheting little by litter.  I finished up my CAL Week 4 squares but have yet to start week 5.  I had an order for another cute penguin and he’s now enjoying his new home.

Finishing up an order
Finishing up an order

I also started another crochet project that will eventually be a post, but it’s a secret right now.  That was the early stages and at this time another five rows of those puff stitches have been added.  They’re fun to make, but they burn through the yarn fast!

Secret crochet project
Secret crochet project

My current big project kind of happened by accident.  A few months ago, one of my Uncle’s was teasing me and said I should paint my Aunt’s house.  Her husband passed away a few years ago, so this Uncle and I try to make sure everything’s taken care of for her.  I think he meant to do it, but he bought the paint over a year ago.  I figured it would only take me a couple of days and decided to knock this off our to-do list.  It’s going to take me FOREVER!!!  I’ve put three good days into it so far and I haven’t even finished rolling the main color.  There’s two different trim colors and the roller doesn’t reach between the boards, I have to do all that with a paintbrush. So maybe I’ll be done by September! *grin*

Painting my Aunt's House.  Who's idea was this again???
Painting my Aunt’s House. Who’s idea was this again???

I don’t do much cooking in the Summer, it just gets too hot in my Georgia kitchen to turn on the stove.  Though I did make something that, once again, I’ll write-up eventually.  With all this activity and my lack of appetite due to the heat, I needed something filling, easy to make, portable to keep with us, and packed full of what I needed to replace all the expended energy.  So I tried my hand at Protein Oatmeal Bars.  Looked up high energy foods, picked a few that worked together and bound it all together with some honey, using my Pampered Chef Square Muffin Pan.  I love that pan, and the bars have worked fantastically!!!

Protein Oatmeal Bars
Protein Oatmeal Bars

Our sadness mainly comes from my 20-year-old son moving away from home.  He’s lived outside of my house, but within driving distance, for almost two years now.  But this time, he’s moving 10 hours away by car.  It’s freakin’ this Momma Bear out a little.  The only compensation is that we get the dog back, lol.  We adopted Bo about five years ago, so he’s been a part of our family for a long time.  The older cats grew up with him, so there was not an issue there.  Our youngest cat though is only a year old and had never met Bo.  She follows him around trying to figure out what he is.  Then when HE gets too nosy, smh, she bats his snout a bit.  Luckily, she’s not threatened enough to use her claws.  And Bo’s a big baby, if the little 2.5 pound ball of fluff looks at him hard, he starts whining, lol.  FYI: that Batman pajama pillow in the background will eventually be yet another post :D.

A dog and his boy
A dog and his boy

So that’s been our crazy summer so far!  In four days, we leave for Daytona Beach, so it’s just going to keep on going!  As you can tell, I have plenty of stuff to share, just lacking the time to put it all together!

So until it slows down a bit here, the posts will be inconsistent but I’m around and every once in a while I throw my current activity up on Instagram, so drop by and check it out: @DesigningUs

Until next time: Keep creating, I know I will!

Thanks to Tami at Tanglewood Knots for the signature idea!


2 thoughts on “Sunshine and Happiness

  1. Hi Trudy! Love the signature – so bright and pretty!! I need to take my own suggestions and create one for myself LOL. I am very interested in the Protein Oatmeal Bar recipe. Hubby often needs a high protein snack because of his work out routine and these would be perfect. My baking usually goes along the high fat/carb/sugar type of treats and these will much better for him. Plus the prices on protein bars is ridiculous!! I love that you were a “bad mom” and played video games with your son into the wee hours! My son is almost 30 and he still talks fondly of the video game marathons that he and I used to have when he was about your son’s age. Finding ways to stay close to your kids and making memories is the “good mom” thing to do. You have been so busy doing productive and fun things – makes me feel like a sloth!! My big projects for now are cleaning off my kitchen table and getting control of the endless stacks of dishes that seem to grow out of thin air overnight!! Not very ambitious plans I know but still a challenge. Have fun at Daytona Beach and we’ll see you back here soon!! 😀
    Tami recently posted…Fantastic Bake Along – Pizza Party!!My Profile

    1. If it helps, I haven’t been doing dishes, lol! We’ve been surviving on BLT sandwiches, paninis, and salads. None of which require many dishes. My kids have realized that I’m on a kitchen semi-staycation and when we get a good sink full, they step in and do them <3. I may actually be getting heat exhaustion on purpose so I don't have to be in the kitchen, but I'll never tell :D.

      As for the signature, I got bored at work yesterday and updated my blog to-do list and that went on it. I started trying out my signature on our whiteboard and thought, I bet that would transfer well as a picture. Pulled into into my graphic editor, did some coloring and effects, and wah-lah! That's my honest to goodness handwriting, lol. The perfectionist in me will eventually re-do it because I see a ton of mistakes and I'm not sure I like the effects I added, but it works for now.

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