Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Friday, July 27, 2012

It began with a chair

In college, I would buy a cool pair of tights and then have to buy an outfit to match.  Well, I also did this a year or two ago!  But this time, it was a chair!  Dave and I were at Costco one day and I saw this chair that I really liked.  I know he didn't like the plaid chair that came with the house, so I proposed that we get this chair instead.  We didn't make an impulse decision that day; but the next day, when I came home from dropping off the boys with my parents for the weekend, this chair was in the living room.  What a great way to start a weekend! 

But the chair did not go as well with the burnt red walls.  Chocolate brown would be better.  And the walls did not go so well with the reddish window treatments.  But Lowes had a perfect pair.  And the rod holders didn't fit the new curtains.  But Target had brownish metal rods that really look great with the new wall color. 

So after a week of painting and moving furniture around and getting rid of all that dust that accumulates under furniture, we have a new living room.  All because of a chair! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

SOS Week

Our church had an in-town mission trip this week called Serving our Savior-SOS.  The youth who wanted to, stayed at the church to be able to get away from outside influences and be ready to serve the entire day.  Nathan got to stay this year if I stayed some.  So I did.

I even got to cook breakfast one morning!  And I got pranked as noted in the previous post.  Other fun things that happened this week included

Camden finding a "girlfriend"

and Nathan being told by some kid on the street that he looked like a girl!  They both had fun serving, attending basketball camp, hanging out with the youth (both of them!), and going to backyard Bible club. 

Since it was a church wide emphasis, Dave and I participated by having a BYBC at our house and by being on the construction team for two days.  It was an awesome experience.  We both got to help paint a halfway house for homeless men, some whom are veterans.  One man was deaf and I got to talk with him a little.  He was such a sweet guy and jumped right in to help us paint, put the outlet plates back, and sand the wall.  He was a blessing to us with his spirit.

At our BYBC, we had a great storyteller, some fun crafts and exciting, even wet games!  But the best part, one of the families that attended, came to our church on Sunday! 

Nathan though, had the most life changing experience.  He volunteered to get out of his comfort zone!  And he did.  He spent most of his time ministering downtown or out in the country.  He showed love to kids in some of the poorest areas of Charleston.  He also got to not only serve, but to sit and talk with homeless people.  One man really touched his heart as they ate spaghetti together.  The man had lost his family, but still knew God loved him and that he had a friend in Nathan.  He even gave him the address of where he stays.

It is so important for kids to serve God when they are young so that they will grow up to serve God.  And it is a refreshing reminder of how we are to look at others.  My first thought when he said he had a homeless man's address was that "you won't be able to visit him".  But Nathan is only seeing him as God sees him.  Not as a person we want to avoid and be cautious of because they are only on the streets because of their addictions or poor choices.  Yes, this could be the reason; but in Nathan's idealist, albeit niave mind, this man is just a person who needs helps.  A person that God loves.  So maybe we will be going to visit a homeless man in our future.  Jesus would.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It was actually a good prank!

Our church is having a churchwide "mission trip" to Charleston this week, and the youth are staying at the church to be available for whatever tasks are needed of them.  Nathan is staying up there and since he is new to this whole youth thing, I have stayed up there a couple of nights at well.

The first night I stayed there was uneventful.  I had taken my Ipad in order to read at night, and of course some of the girls wanted to look at it and play the games.  So on the second night I stayed there, one of the girls, whom will remain nameless, was playing on my Ipad right before lights out.  I was fine with that because I figured I would get it back and still be able to look at it after lights out.  But when she handed it back and got in her bed, I found that she had put a passcode on my Ipad!  After fiercely whispering to her put the code in, she did so.  I thought I could then go into the settings and change the passcode, but to my surprise, nothing was in English!  I think it was French.  Even my Ibooks were in French!  I still figured that I could change it easily, but from the other end of the room I hear, "Ladies, put the flashlight thing away.  Whatever is shining on the ceiling, put it away now." Between my frustration and the barely uncontrolled laughter of the other chaperon sleeping near me, I gave up and went to bed.    

Of course the next day I still could not get into my Ipad.  I finally got someone to put the passcode in correctly, but now the language was Chinese, I think!  And it was very hard to figure out which button to push in order to change the language or the passcode.  But finally I was able to get to English and put in a new passcode that no one knows but me!  I guess you could say that I have been initiated into the youth.  Things have definitely changed since we last worked with youth.  Now I need to learn to think smarter! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Helpful hints from Amy

That sounds like a cheesy newspaper column!  But I did find 2 helpful hints lately...well the latest was actually from Dave.  Ever since we got our new tub, or maybe since I started buying body wash with coupons, we have had the worst problem with getting our tub clean.  It would take forever to clean, and there still seemed to be residue on the sides and dirt on the bottom between the ridges.  After trying all sorts of bathroom cleaners, I had finally thought I had found the solution with Pine-Sol and a scrub brush.  This made it look clean, however, it still felt grimy.   Today, though, we finally got a clean tub again.  Dave was saying that it always seemed to feel greasy, so he figured we needed a cleaner that cut washing detergent!  So he got out the Dawn and scrubbed for a short time compared to usual and the results were a sparkling white tub! The best part of this tip is that Dave did the cleaning :)

The other tip has to do with deodorant; and I hope I am not jinxing myself by saying that I have found something that works. Some people know that I have been complaining about the way my deodorant has not been working in recent years. So far I do not think I have smelled bad, but I have felt wet. It also has started ruining my shirts. And not after wearing them for a full season even! It has been very frustrating. I had switched from my lifelong Secret and tried Degree, Lady Speed stick, and even a brand named Tussy. I had given up on all of these cheap brands and moved to the clinical strength Secret, but this still did not do the trick. Until I read a tip on one of those slide shows on the Comcast home page. It recommended putting the clinical strength deodorant on at night in order for it to soak in. In the morning I put on regular stuff and this combination has worked!!! And it has been working in the hot humid month of July! Like I said, I hope I didn't jinx it. Other solutions have been temporary in the past, but I hope that this one works for good! My shirt budget can't handle wet pits!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Prom to Remember

Seven years ago I started working with a camp for children with multiple disabilities. I can remember the time well because I was pregnant with Camden! I have not worked at the camp for the past two summers because I feel like my children need me during the summer first of all. I do miss the kids at camp though, so the boys and I usually head up to the end of the camp celebration. This year it was a prom, complete with king and queen! It was a fun time and the kids enjoyed dancing with the counselors. In fact the counselors and parents enjoyed dancing too! Of course Nathan and Camden weren't shy about cutting a rug; although Nathan may have been a little embarrassed when I started dancing around him! At first he wouldn't dance with me, but after moving on to Camden, he cut in and decided it was cool to dance with his mom! All in all, it was a great prom and kudos to the organizers of the Pattison's Prom! It was awesome!
Hanging with my buddy Lamaun!

Camden dancing with the Prom Princess Haylie...she is the one who held his hand...she is so sweet!

Nathan was supposed to be the date of Bailey, one of the counselors and an old friend.  He was not sure of this situation.
So Bailey dance with Camden instead!

 Me and my handsome sons!
Camden always makes the goofiest faces in pictures!

Luke, one of the coolest kids I know, with his date, a daughter of one of the counselors.  Although his body is handicapped, his mind is not and he knew who he wanted as his date!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another fun meal!

A very happy crowd...but what with the hair Nathan?

Over a year ago I met my parents at the Francis Beidler Forest, about halfway between our homes. Afterwards we ate at the closest restaurant which was a diner connected to a gas station off of 95. And it was my birthday dinner from my parents! As non-satisfying as the first experience was at the Home-cooked diner, because we had to meet again about halfway between Charleston and Columbia, we ended up at the same diner. To be honest, the food is not too bad, but it is a humorous place to eat! The waitress reminded me of someone on Restaurant Impossible. When asked how the chicken sandwich was, she replied that she had never tried it. When asked what she would recommend, she said, well, I really just like the salads. I got the french toast!

Camden was not too happy about the choices he had for dinner!

Grandaddy and Nathan looking forward to dinner...or at least just hanging out!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SUP on the Folly Pictures!

I am the person on the right

The group being silly!

Serious Paddleboarders!

Amy and Dave standing up!

When the kids are away...

the parents will play! 

My parents took the boys this weekend so that they could have some quality time together.  Well that is the reason I presented them with; but really it was so that Dave and I could have a weekend together.  We always say we want to do certain things, but they require babysitters for long periods of time.  Like taking the boat out for dinner and just hanging out and fishing.  Well, the fishing was Dave's idea, but it was fun to hang out on the Cooper River together.  We did this after we docked the boat at RB's on Shem Creek.  We didn't catch any fish, but I have my license for the year.

That was Friday night.  On Saturday we slept until 9!  Even the dog did not wake us up!  After hanging around the house, we took in a movie, ate lunch and headed to Folly Beach for our induction into paddle boarding.  That is a sport that I want to do more often.  It really is a whole different water experience from being on a boat.  It is almost like walking on water. 

So we had a staycation weekend for the two of us.  I think we need a few more days many fun things to do in Charleston!

The opening to Shem Creek and our dinner!

The dolphin that swam out with us on the way out of Shem Creek.

Dave the pilot

The view from our fishing spot.

Amy fishing...focus on fishing, not catching!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More cooking tales

Although I have not been blogging much since April (due to computer problems), I have been keeping up with my cookbook...especially since I haven't had to do the grocery shopping myself!! 

In April, my favorite entree dish was a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin.  In fact, we have had a lot of pork tenderloin over the past several months.  This is still my favorite way to make it though, even if all the other recipes were yummy as well.  My favorite appetizer was a feta cheese truffle.  I even made it twice!  It was basically cream cheese, feta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper mixed together.  Then rolled in parsley (was light on the parsley).  We also has some homemade pizzas and roasted fingerlings.  A pretty good month!

May was the meatloaf month!  Nathan says I should stick to my old recipe (hamburger meat, ketchup and bread crumbs), but we ventured into new ideas with meatloaf including using ground pork.  One downfall with doing things this way, is that they often will have sections in the cookbook that involve several new ways to make something, like meatloaf.  Thus several meat loafs this month!  This month was not a good as other months, however, we did have good mushroom and cheese ravioli and Caprese salad bites!

In June, there were lots of desserts that I had to try.  In fact, I am still working on making them all!  The best by far is a Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pie.  It involves crumbling up chocolate cookies (I used chocolate graham crackers) and putting a key lime cheesecake filling on top of it.  They were awesome!!  Dave's favorite was a peach cobbler.  He loves cobbler, however, I have never been good at making it.  But this was a huge success!!  He said it was the best.  And I didn't totally follow the recipe because I used cinnamon instead of nutmeg.  We ate more pork tenderloin with a couple of different marinades and even had creamy black bean soup.  The soup was tasty, however, it was not too creamy...I didn't cook the beans long enough and they were crunchy!  Oh well, not everything can be a success!  And although the veggies and pasta were good, Dave kept looking for the meat in the meal!

And this year we are getting to eat lots of tomatoes!  Yeah for the tomato if only the cucumbers and zucchini will start producing!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Diva Treatment

This box at Harris Teeter has my favorite button to push!  I drive up in front of the store and push the button and tell them I am here for my groceries.  This way of shopping has been awesome!  For instance, this week, I went shopping Sunday night, my groceries were gathered while I was at the water park Monday, and I picked them up on the way home from the water park while the boys were sleeping in the car. 

I started doing this when I got so busy at the end of the school year that it seemed I never had time to go the store and we were eating out too much.   Then I got hooked.  The personal shoppers are very nice and they will substitute other brands or bigger sizes of items at the same price.  But I do feel a little embarrassed when I am just sitting there as other people are walking in to buy their groceries the old fashioned way.  I do get out and help them load the groceries, although I think I could just sit in the car while they do it.  I guess I am not that used to people waiting on me.    

There is a fee, but this summer it is only 1.95 per visit.  Normally it is 4.95.  I justify this by they fact that we are actually eating at home more and that I don't buy the extra things not on my list that are too enticing to pass up.  Also, no boys are begging for donuts or other items.  And it is fun to do!

So for now, I will accept my diva treatment!