Archive | June, 2015

Fun Friday: We’re about to have a whole lot of fun!

26 Jun

For a little while I’ve been alluding to a little bit of a big secret. For those of you who know me well, you are already in the know, but for those of you who don’t, today’s post is a hint. Starting very soon, I’ll be taking my blog on the road! Be sure to watch for updates throughout the summer! If you haven’t already signed up to follow The Whole Bag of Chips by email, you’re going to want to right now!

You won’t want to miss a single post!

Watch for updates along the way!

Watch for updates along the way!

Monday Musings: What really matters

22 Jun
Honoring a special couple

Honoring a special couple, the epitome of great role models.

This weekend was a great weekend for us. Not only was it Father’s Day yesterday, where we remember all the dads in our lives, past and present, but for our family it also included a really special event.

My parents, who share ownership of a sailboat with another couple, are members of a local yacht club. Although the words “yacht club” sound incredibly fancy, it’s really a very casual spot with picnic tables and piers, seagulls, and boats going by. Generally, when we visit there with my parents, everyone is seen in shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits and flip flops.

Once a year however, the yacht club is transformed for the annual “Commodore’s Ball,” which honors that year’s Commodore. The Commodore is sort of the equivalent of being the president, and to be Commodore (a one year stint) you must work your way up through all of the other jobs below it first, which takes several years.

This year, my dad is the Commodore. Through the years he’s done each of the jobs below this one, working through whatever that year entails, including some big hurricane damage and renovations at the club a couple of the years, and working with all of the members of the club and members of the board.

We’re incredibly proud of him and of my mom, who is truly is right hand “man” in all that he does.

In addition to this he’s also on the board of the association where they live, and has had to deal with a lot of things going on there. He’s been retired from his job for four years, but he was always a leader in his field when he was working as well.

I get a lot of my leadership and personality traits from my dad, and although I think I’ve always known that, I don’t think I truly realized just how much I’ve gained from him until this weekend, and really how much I’ve gained from the two of them together.

This weekend, I knew for sure that I’ve taken the best of the best from two of the best: my parents.

Friday night we were speaking to him about an issue taking place with the association where they live and how that was being dealt with. What stuck out to me was not only the leadership role he’d taken, and how others were looking to him for guidance, but mostly the fact that he mentioned that when he spoke to the group he spoke about treating others the way they wanted to be treated, and not stooping below that to meet anyone any lower.

What an important thing to remember when dealing with people: the Golden Rule; treating others how you expect to be treated.

Not everyone lives by that rule and you see it often in day to day dealings throughout life, and I know that I personally try to counter it by not stooping below the benchmark I’ve set for my own behavior, no matter what I’m dealing with.

On Saturday night, we attended the Commodore’s Ball in my parents’ honor. It was an amazing experience, the yacht club was transformed to an elegant setting, unmatched by anything I’d seen in all my years visiting them there. However, it wasn’t the elegance that will stick with me, it wasn’t the AMAZING dessert spread, (TOTALLY AMAZING) but rather it was the grace and humble manner exhibited by my parents that evening, particularly my dad, as the Commodore himself.

I was shocked when during dinner he asked for a pen and scrap of paper so that he could make some notes. He wanted to be sure not to forget anyone when he made a speech, thanking people for their presence and their hard work. His speech was unrehearsed and it was from the heart. He always says to me that he’s jealous of people’s ability to speak in front of others, but watching him the other night, you’d never know it.

And then, there were the guests.

We went table to table, meeting all the members of the club. We circulated during the appetizers. Time and time again, the exact same words were spoken to us:

“We love your parents.”

“Your parents are such good people.”

Traits like kindness and niceness, treating others with respect and treating others how you’d like to be treated trump all, and that was clear on Saturday night.

No one came up to us and spoke to us about the size or type of boat my parents share with their friends–which is nothing super fancy, or the type of car they drive (which is also nothing fancy) or the type of house they live in. None of that really matters.

The only thing anyone thought to share with us was how nice my parents are and how kind they are to everyone.

I know that my parents have always been my role models, but on Saturday night I truly knew that they’d taught me the best lessons of all throughout my life as they modeled for me, and continue to model for me, the traits that I want to be sure to carry on as a legacy to them as I journey through my dealings with people during the rest of my days.

Be kind, be nice, treat others with respect and how you’d like to be treated.

That’s what people will remember, that’s what your legacy will be.

Congratulations Dad, Congratulations Mom!

Love you both.


Fun Friday: We made it!

19 Jun

Happy Friday to you all!

Each spring I feel like The Little Engine that Could, as we chug along through the end of the school year.

Each spring I feel like The Little Engine that Could, as we chug along through the end of the school year. I think I can, I think I can…

Guess what?

We did it!

We made it to the end of the school year. Today is our second full day of our summer break for three of us, third full day for one of us, and my poor husband has to keep on chugging along through next week until his school district finishes up.

Overall though, we’re in the clear.

As always, it was a tough spring. It always is as we maneuver through the five sets of school schedules, with all our usual stuff popping up on unusual days with concerts, recitals, shows, school exams and the like culminating their final activities all in a short span of time.

Even though this is designed for teachers, the owl on the right is a pretty accurate representation of how I feel by the end of the school year too.

Even though this is designed for teachers, the owl on the right is a pretty accurate representation of how I feel by the end of the school year too.

Each spring, I question whether we’ll make it through, but we always do. There’s not a whole lot of choice in making it through or not, you just have to do the best you can and plow on through, knowing you’ll soon be on the other side of it. Being a parent of three in two schools, a school news reporter in two cities, and a school principal is pretty harrowing this time of year for all five of us, for sure. During the rest of the school year I use one notebook per month on average for my newspaper interviews and coverage. During this time of year I use one per week, sometimes two. It’s that busy, and that’s just me, just my job alone.

Every winter when I do my taxes and flip back through my calendar from the previous year, reviewing my mileage and expenses, I’m shocked that we made it at all, but we do. I equate it to tax season for accountants or the end of the quarter or fiscal year for others in the business world. Just super busy.

And so here it is, the end of the year for just about all of us here, and almost for one of us. We made it, we did it. Our kids are another year wiser from this year’s experiences, another year smarter from all that their teachers have imparted on them, and they’re ready for our own summer experiences.

I know I hinted at it before, but we have one heck of a summer planned out.

More on that next week.

Til then….have a great weekend, and an awesome start to your own summer, whenever that begins. If it’s not over for you yet, it will be soon, and I know you can do it!

Two weeks of meal planning

1 Jun
Ready for another two weeks of dinners?

Ready for another two weeks of dinners?

It’s June 1!
We’re in the home stretch for the end of the school year; a busy time for us adults with our work in the schools and as parents of school aged kids, but also a busy time for the kids at school and in all their after school activities.

We can do it though, we’re almost there.

For us school ends on June 17 and for my husband’s district, it ends an entire week later, but at least the bulk of our family will be done with a lot of our stress by June 17.

I have not had a ton of extra typing time to devote to my blog, which is typical for this time of year, but to make up for it I’m going to share with you two weeks of meal planning ideas, just in case you’re as stressed in May and June as we are.

I hope that it gives you some inspiration for what to have for dinner over the coming two weeks.


Day 1: Eggplant Parm with pasta and salad

Day 2: BBQ Ribs and Chicken with cole slaw, baked beans, and rice pilaf

Day 3: Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Day 4: Baked stuffed fish with red potatoes

Day 5: California Chicken sandwiches (grilled chicken with avocado and melted cheese)

Day 6: BBQ Pulled Pork in the crock pot

Day 7: Dinner out (Friday night)

Day 8: Baked Chicken Dinner with stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes

Day 9: Homemade Soup (we always offer sandwiches on the side, like grilled cheese, but it’s not often that anyone wants anything besides the soup.)

Day 10: Breakfast for Dinner: French Toast

Day 11: Pasta with Sauce

Day 12: Marinated steak tips

Day 13: Pork Chops with homemade apple sauce

Day 14: Quesadillas and Burritos