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Currently – May 2017

Currently – May 2017

Today I’m linking up with Anne and Nancy for this month’s Currently!  This month we’re sharing what we’re currently baking, listening to, loving, planting, and remembering.

I am currently…

Baking:  shortbread!  I got a GREAT deal on some mini cookie cutters at World Market just before Easter, and I knew I just HAD to make shortbread to take to our family Easter gathering!  They turned out so stinking cute!

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Springtime Fun List – Update #1

Springtime Fun List – Update #1

Hello!  It’s time for an update on my Springtime Fun List!

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A few weeks ago I shared a list of the things I want to do this spring.  Here’s the list:

  • Go to the beach at least twice.
  • Try two new restaurants in downtown Savannah.
  • Go to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • Take a trip to Alaska.
  • Buy a new Easter dress.
  • Get a new, official (professional) picture of Gene and me.
  • Focus on Easter by observing Lent.
  • Make and put up some springtime decorations in the house.
  • Go kayaking in a new location.
  • Write at least one REAL letter or note to a friend each week.

Thanks to a little head start (since spring starts EARLY here in Coastal Georgia), I’ve actually made a lot of headway!

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Springtime Fun List!

Springtime Fun List!

It’s time for some springtime fun, y’all!  I’m linking up with some lovely ladies to share our bucket lists for spring. I’m calling mine a Springtime Fun List!  Yay!

Spring sprung around here (Coastal Georgia) weeks ago, so I *might* have taken just a teensy-weensy head start!  Behold my list of spring wonderfulness goals!

  • Go to the beach at least twice.
  • Try two new restaurants in downtown Savannah.
  • Go to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • Take a trip to Alaska.
  • Buy a new Easter dress.
  • Get a new, official (professional) picture of Gene and me.
  • Focus on Easter by observing Lent.
  • Make and put up some springtime decorations in the house.
  • Go kayaking in a new location.
  • Write at least one REAL letter or note to a friend each week.

I bet you can’t tell which ones I *might* have done/started early!  I’ll post updates as I work through the list, so pop back in often to follow along

I’m eager to see what the other ladies are planning to do.  Here are their links so we can ALL get some good ideas for things to do this season.

Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After.

Dani at Family.Love.Inspiration.

Tamara at My Retirement Project.

Whitney at Whitney à la Mode.

Ashley at Perks of Ponder.

Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day.

Do YOU have a springtime fun list?  Or if not an official list, what are some things you’d like to do over the next few weeks?  Please share them with me in the comment section below!  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Five Things Friday – All the Happy Happy Things

Five Things Friday – All the Happy Happy Things

My happy meter is pretty much pegged out these days, and I thought I would share a few happy things with you guys today!

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1.  We’re camping this weekend!  It’s our first time out this year, and we were READY!  We stayed pretty close to home and don’t have a lot of stuff planned. Maybe a short hike tomorrow. Lots of relaaaaaxing is the primary goal!

 

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2. I recently purchased this awesome, custom necklace from my local Plunder consultant!  I just love it!  It makes me really happy!

 

3.  Gene and I are going to the insanely crazy  St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah next week!  Yikes!  I’m equally excited and terrified!  We purchased tickets from the Savannah Theatre, so we’ll have reserved seats, security, bathrooms, and lots of food.  Hopefully it’ll be a fun experience. Stay tuned!

 

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4.  I’m gearing up for my first homeschool convention of the season!  I’ll be representing Sonlight Curriculum at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) Convention next month. My team and I are excited to get back in our NEW, BEAUTIFUL booth and talk to families about homeschooling with Sonlight!

5.  We’re getting details nailed down for our trip to Alaska in May!  I’ll be working at three homeschool conventions there and then we’ll get to see our son!  He’s stationed there with the Air Force, and I just can’t wait to see him and explore Alaska together!

Add to this list a visit from my oldest niece (#gabfest #shopping), the new Beauty and the Beast movie, flowers blooming everywhere, gorgeous weather, all kinds of great stuff happening at our church, getting to know new friends, a great Bible study for Lent…the list goes on and on!  I thank God for these opportunities!

What’s something happy going on with YOU today?!?  Leave a comment and let me know!  I’ll be happy to be happy with you!

Kayaking Season Begins!

Kayaking Season Begins!

Last Saturday Gene and I hit the water again, and it was only FEBRUARY, y’all!  What what?!?  The weather here in Coastal Georgia is always…interesting.  But if February wants to hand us temps around 80, we’re going kayaking!

We paddled at George L. Smith State Park last summer and LOVED it!  I nearly had a heat stroke, but I also got some great photos!  You can see those here.  This time the pond looked a lot different because it’s winter (in name only).

I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking!

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Both the cypress and tupelo trees are deciduous, so they’re looking pretty bare right now. Give them a few weeks and they’ll look totally different!

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The tannic acid from the cypress trees turns the water into a mirror! A couple of times I turned a corner and had a moment of vertigo! For a second or two my brain couldn’t figure out which way was up!

 

We sure did have a good time, and we’re looking forward to getting back out there before the heat gets dangerous!

Do YOU like to kayak?  Do cypress trees (or swamps) creep you out?!?  What are YOUR favorite state parks?  Leave me a comment, and let’s chat!

Currently – March 2017

Currently – March 2017

HOORAY for the monthly Currently link up!  Currently I am…

 

Photo from Face Off website.

WATCHING:  Face Off on the SyFy channel.  I’ve watched several seasons of this show and really enjoy it!  Each week the artists have different movie makeup challenges; they create everything from aliens to monsters to snow queens!

 

EATING:  Strawberries!  They’re in season, and I’m a happy girl.  I buy them year ’round, but I like the prices this time of year!

 

SAYING:  “Where’s the sunscreen?” and “When are we going camping?”  We’re pushing 90 degrees today, y’all!  We have to get out there and have some fun before the REAL heat arrives!

 

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WEARING:  The awesome happy camper cap my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day!  YAY!!!

 

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POSTING:  This photo from our recent paddle at George L. Smith State Park near Metter, Georgia.  I asked my sweet man to pretty please snag a few pictures of me while we were on the water.  He did well!!!  I rushed this baby straight to Instagram where my outdoor peeps showed it a little love!  (I’m @outandback.live if you’d like to follow me!)   HERE are more photos from this paddle!

Now it’s time for a big shout out to the hosts of this here link up, Anne and Carrie!  Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see what they’re CURRENTLY up to!  And Leslie’s blog!  She’s a great story teller, so you don’t want to miss hers!

What are YOU currently watching, eating, saying, wearing, and posting?!?  Link up on Anne’s blog or leave me a comment!  I LOVE hearing from folks!  #extrovert #talktome

Top Ten Posts of 2016 – My Favorites

Top Ten Posts of 2016 – My Favorites

Yesterday I shared the top ten most viewed posts on OutAndBack in 2016.  Today I took a few minutes to look back through all my posts and picked 10 personal favorites.  I’ve listed them in the order they were published.  ( The Letter R & the Elephant and Currently – December 2016 are favorites, but since they made yesterday’s list, I won’t include them here.)

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READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW – December 2016

READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW – December 2016

With all the visual and written media flying around these days, it can be hard to decide what to choose, what might be worth a little of our precious time.  Behold!  The Read::Watch::Listen::Follow link up!  My friend Sheila hosts this every month, and the linked posts are chock full of great recommendations.  Here are mine for this month.

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READ:  I’ve read some GREAT books over the last few weeks!  I plan to post my “Books Read in November” list tomorrow, but today I want to give a shout out to Corner Booth by  Chautona Havig.  This is a fun story of a professor and the woman who invades his corner booth of a restaurant in order to skip the line at the door.  He’s recently been convicted that he talks way too much, so he determines to LISTEN to the woman; no talking (on his part), just listening.  And thus begins a sweet yet powerful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I finished it last night, and I was a little sad when I woke up this morning because I wasn’t going to get to hang out with all my new friends from this book today.  (Y’all know that feeling, right?!?)

WATCH:  My pastor shared this video with our church leadership team earlier this week, and I watched it this morning.  Wow.  Just WOW!  Francis Chan delivers a powerful challenge to all believers to  “climb the mountain” ourselves to spend time with God and not be satisfied with “hanging out with Moses” and hearing from God second hand.  Let’s just say I might have needed a tissue or two by the end of the message, and I’ve determined to lace up my spiritual hiking boots and start climbing.

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LISTEN:  Last week I listened to the audiobook Still Alice, written and narrated by Lisa Genova.  This book is inspiring, heart breaking, and very well written.  It’s a novel that reads like a memoir and tells the story of a 50-year-old, wife/mother, Harvard professor who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  I don’t want to say much more than that, but the construction of the book–how she tells the story–is amazing.  If someone close to you is dealing with this disease, this may not be the book for you right now.  And then again, maybe it is.  Note:  This isn’t the most dynamic audiobook I’ve ever listened to, but I don’t think it’s meant to be.  Since the author is also the narrator, she can read it just the way she wrote it.  It’s a straightforward book with a straightforward narration.  The genius is that a story written without excess, hyped-up drama is so very dramatic and powerful.

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FOLLOW:  I started following Kampgrounds of America (KOA) on Instagram, and now I want to go camping every single day!  I’m a KOA girl.  I grew up camping at KOAs, and Gene and I have been known to plan trips around KOA locations!  The photos are fun, and they definitely inspire me to plan another trip SOON!  (I’m on Instagram as outandback.live if you’d like to follow my adventures there as well as here.)

What are YOU reading, watching, listening to, and following?  Link up at Making the Most of Every Day and/or leave some comments for me!  This is always a fun discussion.  I enjoy your recommendations.

Currently…

Currently…

It’s time for Currently!  Here we go!  I am currently…

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Discovering:  Well, REdiscovering just how clever the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass is!  I posted a review of the movie when it was in theaters, and now it’s out on Blu-Ray.  This is an excellent movie on every level.  It’s a feast for your eyes, your ears, and your heart!

 

Celebrating:  Meeting a big goal!  I signed up for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge, and I did it!  I wrote my series, Michael Ann’s Kitchen, and posted every single day of October!  As is typical when we push ourselves to do something hard, I learned a LOT!  I learned tons about blogging in general, WordPress, and the powerful tools available to me via remarkable apps like Canva and Pic Monkey.  I’m exhausted, and I’m exhilarated!

 

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From my birthdaypalooza last week!  More about the cake here.

Starting:  Well, REstarting a concerted effort to make wise food choices and to exercise.  I’ve been off my game for a while, and then Hurricane Matthew threw me for a loop emotionally (even though we made it through just fine).  That emotional exhaustion plus two birthdaypaloozas (mine and my daughter’s) plus the Write 31 Days challenge totally upset my apple cart!  It’s time to right the cart and get back on the wagon.  (Oh dear!  My tired is showing!  Moving on…)

 

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My daughter and me on Sunday, October 30.

Wearing:  Let’s talk about what I’m NOT wearing.  The temperatures here in Coastal Georgia are STILL pushing 90 degrees.  In November.  Ugh.  So I’m NOT wearing my beloved hoodies, boots, or jackets.  It’s sad really.

(Well, there WAS that weekend camping trip last month near Chattanooga, Tennessee when the temps dipped to just shy of freezing!  Bliss, I tell you!  And, yes, we tent camp.  Stay tuned for more about that trip!)

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Googling:  More electric pressure cooker recipes and charts.  I wrote about how much I’m enjoying my pressure cooker several weeks ago, and I’m still loving it.  I’m considering buying an Instant Pot because (1) I’d like to see how it compares to my Farberware pressure cooker, and (2) some days I’d like to have TWO of them to use!

That’s what *I* am up to these days!  How about you?  Let me know in the comment section!

I’m linking up today with Anne of In Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde.  Be sure to see what THEY are currently up to as well!

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Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

This is Day 26 of Michael Ann’s Kitchen, a special Write 31 Days series here on OutAndBack.  Today I just MUST go rogue. Just this once.  Because…raccoons.

Yep.  Raccoons.

Our house backs onto protected wetlands, and I’m fully aware that the woods back there are full of critters.  My daughter wrangled our second red-bellied watersnake–non-venomous, protected here in Georgia–out of the yard and back into the swampy area just a couple of weeks ago.  (Mom fail on that one.  I did not get any pictures.  Because I was busy being freaked out and “helpful.”  I use that term loosely.)

But last night raccoons showed up for the first time! 

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