Friday, July 27, 2012


I am fortunate enough that from time to time this summer my parents have come over and watched the kids for us.  I usually have things all set up and ready for meals.  My Dad can microwave a mean hot dog!

But, from time to time there are situations that come up where I am thinking UGH.  All Grandparents mean well, right?  Even if they don't do it like Mom does.

Yesterday Molly was going with a friend to a local Vacation Bible School.  We needed to get my parents home quick so we could race back and get Molly a sandwich to eat for dinner.  My Mom had called earlier in the day and asked what Molly was going to eat.  I told her I would make her a sandwich when I got home.  Some how that got translated to "make Molly a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

In case you didn't all ready know this, Amanda is allergic to peanuts.  And, even with age, her allergy number does not seem to be going down.  It actually is going up.  I am not an expert on what those numbers mean so I'm not even going to try and explain them.  All I know is that we have Epi Pens, an Epi Pen is needed at school, and I know where they all are for emergencies.

So back to my dilemma with the making of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my non-allergic daughter.  The ONLY time Amanda has ever had a reaction to her peanut allergy is when I (myself) cross contaminated the jar of jelly by using the peanut butter knife in it.  I know, you've cheated and done the same thing, right?  So I am now very, very careful to never do that.  Two knives are required to make a sandwich. It's just not something that my parents would think of since they didn't have a child with a food allergy.

I need to add a line in here that the only reason we have peanut butter even in our house is because 1) Mr. Shook loves it on a bagel or english muffin, especially good for him after running.  Peanut butter is excellent protein.  and 2) Molly loves it on a sandwich and celery and we need to find ways to bump up her weight and peanut butter is excellent for that, as well.  But, it is up very HIGH on our shelf, no one is to get it down on their own, and Amanda knows not to eat it.

But, Amanda loves herself a jelly sandwich and there are times where that is lunch.  Sad, I know because it just can't taste that good and therefore, our jelly can not be laced with peanut butter.

I do not think I am a food Nazi.  I am very careful to ask ingredients of things that I don't know what they are.  We avoid bake sales.  I already know we can't eat at Chik-Fil-A, Five Guys Burgers and I ask for Amanda's food to be cooked separately at places like FlatTop.  I mean ABSOLUTELY no offense by this next statement but the place where I have the most uncertainly is our church.  For our Wednesday night meals many desserts are brought in and the servers simply don't know the ingredients.  Not a big deal, we just don't have anything that we are unsure of.  Our church has a fabulous Egg Hunt every Easter.  It rocks!  But I always make a point of telling Amanda's Sunday School teacher to please not let her eat any candy before I look at it.  Our trick-or-treat candy gets an inspection, too.  It's just what we have to do.

Preschool was great about her allergy and I pray that Kindergarten will be the same.  From what I have seen the school does a good job.  It does bother me that their solution for lunch is to have a peanut free table.  I guess segregating them is safer.

I thank the good Lord that we have never had to use Amanda's Epi Pen.  Her only reaction was solved by a dose of Benedryl.  I think I have freaked out a baby-sitter or two with my Epi Pen instructions.  It scares me that I have to end that conversation with "and after you use the Epi Pen then you call 9-1-1."  I hope that we NEVER have to do that.

And, don't get me wrong about Grandma and Grandpa and them being helpful.  They both felt really bad that I now have to pitch the jelly.  If you know my Mom then you'll know she offered to buy a new jar.  Not the point.  A food allergy is just something that you have to be on top of all the time.

And, just writing this post has made me crave a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A visit...

We made our annual summer visit to see Mr. Shook's parents, aka my in-laws, over the weekend.  We are always so busy and packing in a lot when were there but there are certain things that are a must when you go and visit family and Ohio.  

We visited our new baby in my family...

She is just precious!!

This one melts my heart...Amanda is so proud to hold her new (maybe third??) cousin

We spent a very hot Sunday at the Cleveland Zoo.
Cool, we got to touch an African House Snake.
ummm, no thanks

Thank goodness for the misting stations!

Yep, it's Duck Tape.
They had the coolest camper that was full of creations that you can make with Duck Tape.  Then you could get a free sample roll.
Fun with our cousins!

Lunch on Monday was at an Amish restaurant...

Sadly, we had to explain to the kids what being Amish meant.  No Wii, no DS, no TV (gasp!)  We saw lots and lots of buggies.  We saw an Amish boy in a Amish grocery store walking bare foot.  Molly wanted to know if 1) the Amish had showers because 2) his feet were really dirty!

Mr. Shook and I both grew up very near the headquarters of Smucker's.  You know, the jelly people.  It's in Orrville, Ohio.  We had never been to their company store until Monday.  It was really neat and sold all the products that Smucker's owns...Jiffy, Martha White, Pillsbury, Folgers to name a few.  It's only a short drive from where we grew up and neither of us had been to this store.

I know I'm partial to this beautiful country side, but this picture doesn't do justice to how pretty parts of Ohio actually are.  This was in Holmes County and the rolling hills are majestic!

Just a glimpse of a weekend in Ohio!

Monday, July 16, 2012

America's Favorite Pastime...

We have finished another year of baseball and we have finished our first year of softball.  

But, I sadly am a horrible softball Mom and forgot my camera for EVERY SINGLE GAME and have zero softball pictures.  I feel awful because Molly really loved it and did pretty well, if I may say so.  Imagine a really cute girl in an obnoxious orange Morton Rotary shirt with a batting helmet that was WAY too big, and bobbled back and forth when she ran the bases.  Yep, that was my girl.

Here are some pics from Cameron's last game where it was no less than 95 degrees at 9 AM.  We were ALL hot.  That's what you've gotta love about baseball.  You start in April in sweatshirts and end in July in the thinnest possible clothing you own.

Here's my Cleveland Indian...appropriate I know :)

Here's our favorite coach...

Here's the sister cheering section...

Thank you to my guy for stepping up and being Cameron's coach.  It takes a lot of time and dedication but we are so blessed that you want to spend this time with our kids.  We can now close the chapter on coach pitch ball. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A shower for...Me??

I've heard couples that have been married many years say, "I would really like another wedding shower to replace all my kitchen, bath, and linen stuff."  It should be one of the perks of being married say 25, 30  years, right?

Well, Mr. Shook and I have been married 14  years and we are starting to feel that way.  Where have all our spoons gone??!!  Where are the lids that matched the perfect Rubbermaid containers we bought for our first apartment?

We have decided to slowly start replacing some of our stuff.  On Father's Day Mr. Shook got some much needed alone time at the mall (he enjoys shopping alone) and came home with a surprise gift for glasses, and I mean drinking glasses.  This past weekend we did our monthly Sam's Club run and we found the deal of the day, a 50 piece Rubbermaid storage set.  And the lids hook to the bottom of each container or hook together and stack nested.  How cool is that??!!  If I could find new flatware that I love we will be replacing that as well.

We received some really nice things when we had our wedding showers when we got married.  But, some of the stuff has broken over 4+ moves, we've used them well or they have grown legs and just disappeared.  It's is nice to replace some of our stuff and I may have a pretty decent box to share at our church Basement Sale come August.

I guess it says a lot about our relationship when I am excited to get a new set of storage containers.  Bor-ing!  But, I'm glad to be boring with my guy.  He enjoys good storage, too.  (Smile!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

40 days and 40 nights...

We went and made a return to Kohl's on the Fourth of July, strange I know.  But, of all weird things Mr. Shook got a summertime illness, bronchitis, and didn't feel like doing the whole cookout kind of thing.  So we ran errands to get out of the house.  Anywho, one 7 year old fell in love with a new backpack.  I thought it was crazy even thinking about new backpacks, after all it's the fourth of July.

But, guess starts in 38 days.  


We counted when we got home from purchasing the super cool new pink backpack.  And on the 4th of July it was 40 days.

I say...yuck.

We are having a fun summer and if we don't melt first from the extreme heat we will continue to have a lot of fun.

Hope you are, too!!