Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Fair and Another Derby

The end of July and beginning of August was full of fair and another Bump 'n Run Derby.  It was all very busy, but fun.  Memories were made and good times were had.  Let me share some more...
See what we have been up to lately at A Glimpse of Normal!
First up was our local fair where we helped with our church tent and Missy showed a draft horse.  No, we don't own a horse.  Our fair has an open program where youth get partnered with draft horse owners and then they work with the horse, learn all about draft horses, and then show the horses at the fair.  Friends at church own 3 draft horses and suggested the program to Missy.  She wanted to try it out so we got her all signed up and she has been able to work with Lucy, the draft horse this year.
Missy started the program in April and she learned a lot from it.  She worked with Lucy several times and even got to attend a show with the horse owners before the fair so that she could practice.  When show day at the fair came, Missy did great.  Lucy did not cooperate completely like horses sometimes do, but Missy kept her cool and kept trying.  Missy showed true courage and perseverance when Lucy didn't cooperate for the decorating class.  She did the best she could and even though Lucy reared up a few times (Missy was always in a safe spot), Missy finished the decorating the best she could.  After Lucy continued to be uncooperative in the arena for the decorating class, the club leaders and the horse owner decided it would be best for Missy to show a different horse in showmanship.  This way she could still show a horse and show the skills she learned throughout the year rather than have to sit it out.  The leaders found her a great horse to show, Missy got a few instructions and off she went.  She ended up placing 5th in the showmanship class (out of 10+ horses) which was great considering 15 minutes before her class was up she didn't think she would be able to show at all.  She walked away that night with 2 ribbons - 5th place out of 5 in decorating and 5th place in showmanship.  It was a night of true perseverance on her part and we couldn't be more proud of how well she did. 

Missy got the chance to work with the draft horses again on the last day of the fair.  This time she got to work on driving the draft horses with our friends she had been working with all year long.  It was a great day for a show and Missy did a great job showing.  Her driving skills improved greatly from the first time she drove and we were really happy with how well she showed.  She didn't place in the show, but that was okay because she showed improvement.  Overall, Missy had a lot of fun in this program and working with our friends that own draft horses.  We are truly thankful for all they did to teach her, encourage her, and let her show their horses.

Next up was CJ's second Bump 'n Run derby in a town about an hour away and the weather was so much better this time.  The week of the derby, the car started giving fits.  It didn't want to stay running and racing that week was starting to look impossible.  This was the week right after our local fair, we were exhausted, and hubby got called for jury duty.  After checking everything we knew could be going on with the car and doing a lot of Google searching, we decided to contact a friend that has a towing business.  He is excellent with troubleshooting and he helped CJ and Hubby find the issue with the derby car.  He was even able to get us in contact with someone selling a car just like the derby car so we could get the part we need (yes we own a second car that will most likely get prepped for derbies now too).  So the guys finally got the car up and running so that we could head out to the derby.  CJ raced in heat one and he ran in second for a few laps.  He raced great!!!  His car took a few hits and unfortunately one (or three) of the hits were right to the coolant lines so the car started to overheat.  After his first race, CJ and Hubby were able to get the car ready to race again for the second heat that he would be in.  We weren't sure if the coolant lines would hold out, but it was worth the try.  CJ ran in second for a lap or two before he got stuck behind a stalled out car.  He got out of that mess and then caught up to finish the race in 5th place.  Overall, he raced really well and we are proud of how he did.  With every race, he is learning what he can do to improve for the next time and he is having a blast.  Now we make some repairs to the car again and hope to get in at least one more race this year.

I think that sums up our last few weeks and where I have been.  I have been a busy momma cheering for my kids.  It has been awesome to see both kids persevere, push through, and do their best.  I look forward to what they both have going on next. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August 2019 Menu Plan...or lack thereof

I know I am a few days late and we are already in August, but I promise I have a good excuse for a late menu plan.  We were helping run our church booth at the fair that ended on Saturday.   So the first few days of August got away from me.  I have been trying hard to sit down and come up with a menu, but we have a lot A LOT going on this month.  Summer break is coming to an end for us and we are trying to soak up the last days of our summer break.  That is why I made the hard decision to skip my typical monthly menu plan.  If you need meal ideas you can look back on the following posts:
A Glimpse of Normal
I will be back in September with another new menu plan.  I promise not to let time get away from me again.  On the plus side, we have been doing plenty of things that I will be blogging about in the next few weeks.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Derby Driving

CJ has had an item on his bucket list for years now.  It is one of those crazy items that you think is just a dream, but he was totally serious about it.  His dream was to drive in a Demolition Derby.  We have always loved watching them, but I can't say that I was immediately on board with him driving in one.
Derby Driving from A Glimpse of Normal
Have you seen a demolition derby?  They can be rough, cars can flip, and so much more.  I guess that is why they are fun to watch, but it is also why I kept telling him there was no way he was driving in one.  Then a couple of years ago we saw our first Bump 'n Run style of a demolition derby.  The Bump 'n Run style of racing is more of a race combined with being able to bump opponents out of the way.  After watching a few of this style of derby and seeing many events put on by the same company, I started listening to CJ and hubby when CJ said this was a dream of his.
Derby Driving from A Glimpse of Normal
No, we aren't crazy.  Yes, we know derbies can be dangerous.  Yes, we took tons of safety precautions and installed a roll cage in his car.  Yes, we finally agreed to let CJ try out Bump 'n Run Demolition Derbies this year.  His first derby was this past Saturday and I knew that CJ was ready for it.  We found a car earlier this summer and he (along with help from a friend and his dad) got it all ready to go.  He followed all the rules for the company that runs the derbies and we added as much safety gear as we could while still following the rules.  It was HOT when we got to the fairgrounds and we knew there was a chance of a storm that night.  One storm rolled in and made the dirt track into a mud track.  That was okay with CJ because our trails get muddy and he drives his 4 wheeler on them all the time while they are muddy.  So I knew he would do okay driving.  More storms were rolling in, but the derby went on.  CJ got 4th in his heat and we couldn't be prouder of him.  He was the only first-time driver at this fair and he did really well in spite of the THICK mud.  His car still lives and his next event is coming up in 2 weeks.  We are pretty excited to see what he can do now that he has experienced racing in an event.  Here is a quick video of him in the derby:
I will be the first to tell you that I wasn't super happy about the thought of him racing in derbies.  But I know that I can't say no to everything for forever.  Some things CJ does will be risky and they will seem much more dangerous to me than they really are, I think that is just a boy thing that they do.  God poked my heart and nudged me to stop saying no and to get on board with this crazy dream of CJ's.  God really reminded me that I can say no all I want, but that in reality, He is the one in control and there is nothing I can do about that.  All the time I kept trying to say no to the crazy bucket list item, God kept nudging me to say yes.  So I did.  It is amazing the amount of peace I have about this bucket list item for CJ.  I know who watches over him and whose hands he is in and that is why I can say yes.  I also said yes to the Bump 'n Run derby because I have watched how the company that CJ is racing with works.  I have seen them throw out drivers for breaking the rules.  I have seen them stop derbies when they think something is unsafe.  They truly do everything they can to put on a fun, yet safe events.  Lastly, I said yes and got on board with this crazy dream because my kids need me to get on board with their dreams and bucket list items.  We won't be able to make all of their bucket list items happen, but we can make some happen and they need that.

P.S. - In case you were wondering, CJ is a very responsible driver on the road.  His demo derby driving stays where it belongs on the track.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Meet the Blogger

Hey there everyone!  It has been quite a while since I posted anything about myself and I have new readers, so I thought it was time to re-introduce myself to you all.  Here it goes:
A Glimpse of Normal
My name is Cassandra and I am the writer behind A Glimpse of Normal.  I am a stay at home mom of two, who you frequently read about on my blog.  I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 20 years and he is amazing.  I could gush on about him all day.  We live in the boonies in my dream barn, yes I really live in a barn, on several acres of property.  We have one dog, three adult outdoor cats, and a kitten.  Maybe someday we will have other animals, but we are good for now.

I started A Glimpse of Normal over 7 years ago and have written about many things over the years.  It is my place where I can put down all the random thoughts and ideas that roll around in my head.  I would love to narrow down my blog to one topic, but there are so many things that I love to do that I feel like I just can't limit what I write about.  I  love cooking, baking, reading, crafts, crochet, and DIY projects.  I also love sharing deals, tips, and ways we save money because it might help you too.  I love sharing how God is working in our lives and devotions that really make me think.  Sometimes I share things that are weighing my heart down or bring me great joy.  You really just never know what I will share on here.  I also do product and book reviews from time to time and find them a lot of fun.

I love all things yarn, glitter, and the beach.  I have about 4 crochet projects going that need to get done before I start the 1 bazillion waiting to be made someday.  I very rarely turn down a cup of coffee especially if you bring me Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I pin more things on Pinterest than I could ever create, but I still find myself looking for more on there.  I love to laugh and play games.  I geek out on books and math and I am totally okay that you know that.  So to sum it all up - give me all the yarn, coffee, books, shiny things, and take me to the beach.

Lately, besides reading, crocheting, and adventures with the family, I have been quietly working on getting myself healthier.  I had a physical earlier this year and my doctor was pretty happy with my plan to get myself healthy (which we talked about in detail) and she fully supports it.  The things I am doing to help get healthier is continuing to go cardio drumming every week that I can.  Cardio drumming is a lot of fun.  I will admit that I only agreed to go to one class with a friend and now if I can't go I am totally bummed.  I am also continuing to participate in Step Bet which helps keep me accountable for getting my daily steps in.  I gave up soda back in January.  I watch what I eat by tracking my food and I allow myself the occasional treat.  I decided it was time to stop waiting for someday and get healthy once and for all.  My doctor sealed that thought by telling me I needed to get a couple of numbers down to be even healthier.  I knew it, but I guess I needed that confirmation to wake me up.  When I am ready to share results, I will, but in the meantime, I am here quietly working away.

Lastly, we have some pretty fun things lined up for the rest of the summer.  I hope you will stick around and see what we have going on.  I am doing my best to balance writing for the blog and being present in real life so the blogging maybe a bit sporadic right now, but it won't stay that way for long.  Thanks for reading my blog, it means the world to me and stay tuned for more...

If you don't already follow me on social media, please take a few minutes to do so:

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day!!!

From our family to yours...Happy Independence Day!!!  We hope you are enjoying your family and friends today while celebrating our freedom.  Our family would like to thank all the men, women, and families that have served and sacrificed to keep our country free.  Freedom is a hard fought for gift and we can never thank those who fought for it enjoy.
Happy 4th of July

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July 2019 Menu Plan

July has totally snuck up on me.  Where is the summer going?  Can it please just slow down?  I know the days are longer in summer, but it totally feels like they are flying by faster than ever.  Does anyone else feel like that?  We have a busy month this month and July is starting out HOT, so you will find a lot of quick and easy meals on our menu plan.  
If you struggle to menu plan for a month, hop over to A Glimpse of Normal and check out what our menu plan is.
  1. Taco Salad Crunch
  2. Sheet Pan Breakfast Bake
  3. Green Beans, Potatoes, and Kielbasa
  4. BBQ Bacon Juicy Lucy Cheeseburger
  5. Supreme Pizza Casserole
  6. Parmesan Crusted Chicken
  7. Mississippi Pot Roast
  8. Chicken Fajitas in Foil Packs
  9. Meatball Parmesan
  10. One Pot Burrito Bowls
  11. Black Bean Rice and Vegetable Tacos
  12. Easy Mexican Pizzas
  13. Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
  14. Slow Cooker Hoppin John
  15. Shepherd's Pie
  16. Chicken Gyro Salad
  17. Mountain Meatballs
  18. Steak Kabobs
  19. Sausage, Pepper, & Onion Pizza Hoagies
  20. Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad
  21. Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
  22. Greek Steak Pitas
  23. Amazing Cobb Salad
  24. Ground Beef Stuffed Pepper Skillet
  25. Italian Sandwich Rollups
  26. Upside Down Pizza Pot Pies
  27. Amish Haystacks
  28. Fireman Bob's Spicy Crockpot Sloppy Joes
  29. Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  30. Crockpot BBQ Chicken
  31. Slow Cooker Carnitas
This is what is for dinner this month at our house.  You can find all of these recipes and more on my July Menu Plan board on Pinterest.  I hope you find this menu plans useful and I would love to know how you use it.  Do you follow it?  Do you use it for dinner ideas?  Let me know.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Happy 16th Birthday

This boy...
Happy Birthday CJ!  A Glimpse of Normal
...he is AMAZING!!!  I know we are totally biased and that is okay, but stick with us.  He loves Jesus, his family, and his friends.  He is hardworking, diligent, and loyal.  He is smart, funny, and kind.  He has his faults too, but overall he is pretty easy going.  He is our firstborn and has taught us more than we even know.  God has truly blessed us with him and we are doing our best to raise him for God.  We are thankful for him and love him very much.  Today we celebrate him.  16 years old!!!
Happy Birthday CJ!!!