7 Quick Takes Friday - #20

Well, well, well... it's Springtime in Texas, and I love it! Here are my quick takes for this week:
  1. Coupons! I've been having so much fun saving mega bucks on our groceries. Maybe I'm going a bit overboard because I haven't been here basically for about 5 years, but I'm CVS-ing and Walgreen-ing and Kroger-ing. A friend of mine adopted a baby last week and needed formula coupons and I was able to send her a bundle! It's been way fun to have such an easy outlet for saving money!

  2. On the flip side, the produce here is very disappointing. Even farmer's market produce, although it's better than I'm seeing in the grocery stores. Seriously, the mandarins here look like something fake is sprayed inside of them- they're a weird color. The avocados don't ripen the right way. The tomatoes are mushy. The apples are waxy. And the bananas taste fake. I'm kind of grossed out, yet still wanting to keep our norms of eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.

    Makes me want to start my own Victory garden, except we'll not be here in future years to do anything with it, and I really already missed planting season. I do have a basil and rosemary in my kitchen window, though.

  3. CashFlow the game is super fun! (But, wowzers, it's expensive on Amazon!) We bought it years ago, back when we were landlords, before we sold all of our properties and moved abroad. We dug it out from storage this week and have been playing with the kids.

  4. Yesterday we went to the Amon Carter museum in Fort Worth and viewed their collections (free!) and picnicked afterwards. The Hudson River School collection was by far my favorite. Our sons definitely preferred the paintings and sculptures of cowboys and Indians.

  5. Bluebonnets are in full bloom, and we need to do our pictures! This is likely our only chance for bluebonnet pictures in years... we may try today.

  6. A few days ago, Ethan said, "I wish __(friend #1 in Turkey)___, ____(friend #2 in Turkey)___, and ___(friend #3 in Turkey)___ lived here. Then our circle of friends would be complete!" It's hard having part of your life on one side of the globe, and part of your life on the other. No matter how old you are.

  7. Gulp, this one's hard to admit. I like the kind of mom I am here, better than the mom I am overseas. The stress levels-- in big and small ways-- are much, much lower. The "norms" of life are norms that I know... as in, I know where the freebies are; I know what the fun things to do are with kids, and where to find them; I know what it's like to grow up here and look forward to sharing those things with my kids here; I remember the tasty treats I loved and can offer those same things to my kids. I know those are all small, sideline things... but they're real, and it's hard to watch the sands of time slipping by and see evidence of the things we're missing (like, I never thought my sons wouldn't experience Texas little league baseball!). *sigh*

Well, that's this week's 7 Quick Takes. Thoughts? What's going on in your world?


The Reader said...

so many thoughts!

Do the bluebonnet pictures. What a taste of home to look upon every day when you return to Turkey. You'll be glad to have it.

What they are missing - when I went through this (a puddle of tears as I cleaned a closet of scrapbooking supplies, sadly throwing out the little league stickers and such...), remember and list the things they ARE experiencing that they wouldn't have in TX. A good friend told me that when I had my puddle of tears, and I remind myself daily. The kids don't know they are missing that stuff, so it isn't a loss to them, ya know? (hugs though) because I know it's hard.

Fresh produce. Yep. My thoughts exactly. Try to buy things you can't get in Turkey so you aren't comparing (is that possible? are there varieties of stuff in TX that you don't have there??). It's the only way we survive it when we're in TX.

AS for what's going on here - back to school time : ) Started our newest SL cores this past Monday, so that's what we're doing. Enjoy your time in Texas!

Brenda said...

I'm actually kind of glad to know that about the produce. Maybe that's why it's such a struggle to eat healthy here. 'Cause it's kind of "eh. that was ok."

Kim said...

Jess, I've been enjoying your blog for a while and I just wanted to say hi.
I'm a transplanted Texan who lives in Wisconsin and I so know what you mean, although obviously not in an international way! I love the midwest, but there are so many things--summer trips down to New Braunfels, swimming outdoors at Thanksgiving, sunsets, fire ants, Galveston--that my kids will never know. It's so weird.
And bluebonnet season--ENJOY!
All the best--
Kim D. in WI

Johanna said...

I am *so* with you about the produce! I have a great idea. Come plant your victory garden in my yard. I guess I'm assuming you're living in the same town you e-mailed me once that you grew up in, but if you are, I cannot be more than a few minutes away. I'll water and weed and only charge you a very small percentage of your produce... :) Sound good?

I hope you are enjoying yourself to the fullest while home right now. Don't feel guilty about indulging or feeling like you're not as "good" of a mom when you're overseas. God has you right where he wants you. Soak up everything you can while you're here and enjoy!

Erin said...

Hi Jess! I do love reading your 7 Quick Takes. And I know what you mean about the kids' experiences in the states vs. overseas. We don't even live overseas yet, but as we prepare to move, I struggle with even letting my kids try those different activities because I don't want them to find one they really like, and then never get to pursue it! A friend reminds me often that our children are not burdened by their parents' call to move/serve overseas. God calls the family, and that includes the kids. He has such greater experiences planned for them. That thought always comforts me.

Missus Wookie said...

You know - I mourned that my kids wouldn't do specific US stuff - and neither would now care, DD is SO not into Proms, DS can't see why competitive sports could be interesting...

Definitely different people for the opportunities and places they've had.

All four of us find the produce in the US hard work. We were THRILLED to find farmer's market in NYC & DC and bought loads chatting to the sellers and rejoicing in fruit & veg that tasted of something.

Glad you are enjoying your time in the US :)

Charisa said...

Jess, I totally get what you wrote in #7. My little guy is only a year old, and we've been in Africa 6 months now. But I think the same - I like the Mom I was back in Canada better. It was so much easier to parent in Canada! I understand life there; how to communicate easily, where the parks are (and there actually are parks there!), etc. So looking forward to returning.

sandra @ eastern journey said...

I, too, find myself sad when I think of how different life is for our kids. I especially miss sports for Schafer. Love your quick takes.

littlestreetfighter's Mom said...

Hey! I'm new to your blog...we live in New Zealand (from America) and love, love the produce here. Produce in America is NOT great. We do Victory Garden and do it even here in Christchurch. You'll loooove it. Go for it. Our kids eat everything right off the vine/branch/limb. You will become spoiled though b/c nothing tastes as good once you've had your own. Enjoy your blog! blessings, jennifer

littlestreetfighter's Mom said...

btw- you're reading Gentle Art of Domesticity...possibly a take off of Edith Schaeffer's Hidden Art of Homemaking - that's one of my favorites and wanted to suggest it to you.

Anonymous said...

Funny you say that... I HATE the mom I am overseas, and I long for the patient, focused, loving mom I was in the States. I always feel so maxed out here between language learning and other things required of me and I feel like my kids get the leftovers (and my leftovers aren't always so pleasant!)

I also feel like my kids are "missing out" because I don't know where we can find a swimming pool in the summer, or how to find things like ballet performances and recitals. I miss things because of language barriers and miss opportunities of things my kids would have enjoyed...

BLAH, I could write a novel here. I feel ya!

Kimberly said...

Looks like a great list!
I need to google "victory garden"...
I am not quite sure what that means!

Jess said...

Here ya go:


That link explains victory gardens very well.

Marlana said...

1)I live in Thailand but am from Texas. The produce in America will never be the same as the markets in Thailand. No comparison.

2)Ah, the joys of international living.

3) CASHFLOW IS MY FAVORITE GAME EVER. I miss it SOOOOOOOO much. You should totally bring it back with you.

Phyllis said...

Your last one sounds familiar, except that it's the opposite for me. I am a horrible mother in the states! I feel so lost and busy there! Here, I have time, I know what to expect, I know how to keep my family healthy and spend time with them, I know how to get around. In the states? It's just sickness and busyness and STRESS for me.

The Hayes Zoo said...

Jess -

I have felt the exact same way about food in general but the produce especially since we moved back to the states. The stuff my friends rave about is just so-so to my spoiled taste buds.

I feel your pain.

Can't wait to meet up with you in Seattle at the BFM!!! It will be such a treat to meet IRL! I'll bring my Bimbo shirt....for a photo op.