A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Farewell, Restaurants. I will miss you. June 16, 2012

We’ve had some unexpected expenses come up lately.  Kendra needed braces at least three years earlier than I anticipated in our long-term budget.  Our air conditioner in our house went kaput and cost about a thousand dollars.  In spite of it all, we’re doing fine, but…

We want to put in a zip line off the tree house, build on to the kids’ bedrooms, finish the bathroom in the garage, put a roof on the tree house, take down some trees, go on vacation, and put in a pool (to name a few things…).

So, Ronnie and I decided to give up something we both love.  Something that keeps me sane after long days at work.  Something relaxing, enjoyable, and easy:  eating out.  We eat out a lot.  It’s so much easier after both of us work long days just to stop and grab something on the way home instead of planning, preparing, and (the worst part) cleaning up meals at home.

But, eating in restaurants is expensive.  And, trust me, we’ve tried to justify our spending in this category for a long time.  We’ve used all the normal excuses – if we drink water it’s not that bad; if we eat on kids’ nights, it’s pretty cheap; when we eat out, we don’t spend money on groceries, etc.  But the fact remains, eating out is throwing money away.  Money that we could use to accomplish the things we want to accomplish and to pay for some of the things we’ve already accomplished and haven’t quite paid for yet (but that’s a whole other post!).

I will now bid farewell to some of our favorite places.

1. To Blue Sky Cafe – You are one of our favorite places to eat as a family, which is why we eat with you every Tuesday night.  Tuesdays just won’t be the same without your eclectic menu and quirky setting.  I especially will miss your Hawaiian wrap with sweet potato fries – oh, and the lemon layer cake – don’t get me started on that!  We know your staff by name, and it’s so nice to be asked if we want “our regular” when we go in.  The occasional “hook-up” is great, too – there’s nothing like being sent fried ravioli compliments of our favorite cook in the kitchen.  Not to mention our favorite waitress in the entire world, one who hugs my children and walks us to our car when we leave, one who sits with us when she’s not busy and always makes us laugh – my beautiful baby sister Vanessa.

2. Papas & Beer – I’ve never really understood your name, but that’s okay.  The thought of missing out on our typical weekend meal of a fajita quesadilla makes me want to cry.  You just don’t understand how much we love sliding into one of your booths after a long, hard day of working outside on whatever project we had going on that day.  And you never judge!  We have eaten chips and bean dip in every state of disarray because we’ve worked too long and didn’t have time to shower and change and still make it in before you close.  Whatever marinade you use for that steak is perfect!  And who would have thought to add zucchini to a quesadilla?  Not me, and you know what?  It’s perfect.

3. Acropolis – You say tomato, I say to-mah-to.  You say Acropo-lis, I say Acropo-lee.  Who cares how we say it?  You’re wonderful.  All of your wait staff know us and put our order in before even asking: a basket of fries, Greek salad, and a large cheese pizza.  The waitresses even give the kids quarters to get prizes from the gumball machines.  Your atmosphere is relaxing, and we love your outdoor eating area in the nice mountain weather.

4. Hot Dog World – You are legendary in Hendersonville, NC.  Ronnie is partial to your foot-longs with mustard, chili, and onions; Kendra loves your tater tots; Max prefers a grilled cheese; but I love your Greek salad with chicken.  Who would have thought a hot dog joint would make one of the best Greek salads I’ve ever had?  It’s absolutely delicious.  And the fact that you are next door to Yogurt World only makes eating with you that much better.

5. Uncle Scott’s Pizza – Uncle Scott, I see you so much, I feel like you are actually my uncle.  Even though you recently added a seating area, what I love to do is call in an order on my way home and swing in and pick it up.  You are the closest eatery to our house, so even if your food weren’t delicious, we’d probably eat it anyway because of convenience.  But it is wonderful!  Our favorite is your meatball sliders – a garlic knot stuffed with a meatball, marinara, and cheese – heavenly!  And thanks again for giving me a second chance after I wrote you that check I had already used at the grocery store.  I’ve started writing VOID on those now after you had to hunt me down at work…

Goodbye to you all!  And to the others we eat at less frequently – Chick-fil-A of Hendersonville, Firehouse Subs, and French Fryz just to name a few, we’ll miss you, too.

Now it’s time for me to focus on creating a meal plan for the week and sticking to it.  I actually love cooking, and I’m pretty good at it, but I’m so used to not doing it that it will take me a while to get back in the groove.

To start the weekend, I think we’ll have a cook-out.  Burgers and all the fixings…

…at my parents’ house.  Thanks Mom and Dad.

Tomorrow, I’ll cook.  Unless someone else wants to invite us over…


Pizza Run April 5, 2012

Filed under: family,food,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 8:15 pm
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I told Max to get dressed after his bath to run out to grab a pizza with me…  I made him wait in the truck.




Balloons and Dog Treats March 30, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Max,parenting,Silly Situations — mandyholbert @ 6:29 am
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Ahhhh…Friday evening. The end of the work week. The beginning of the weekend. Time to relax and have fun. Kick back. Chill.

We thought we’d go out for pizza, a regular thing for us on Friday nights. It’s easy and the kids like it. Especially since the restaurant gives out balloons on Fridays. All the kids have to do to get a balloon of their choice is to behave and eat their dinner. Should be an easy task since dinner is pizza and fries and the atmosphere is relaxed and family oriented.

Well, let’s just say that Max was having a little trouble behaving tonight. Well, maybe more than a little trouble. He wiggled, threw things on the floor, and was otherwise unruly. At one point, he got up from hs chair to do a bizarre dance of some sort in which he ran in place while flailing his arms and shaking his head back and forth (of course with his tongue out). Sparing you the more embarrassing details of his (shall I say?) uncharacteristic behavior, let’s just say that he forfeited his balloon quite early in the meal. Not that we didn’t give him ample opportunity to redeem himself – I can’t even begin to count the number of times we said something to the effect of “Max, if you’ll sit there and be a good boy now, you can still get a balloon.” No such luck.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine are usually in cohorts with each other. If one is bad, they are both bad. If one is grumpy, they are both grumpy. You get the idea. But, there, at the other end of the table, sat Kendra eating her dinner with impeccable manners and perfect behavior. You see, she had her eye on a yellow balloon from the time we walked in the restaurant, and every breath she took, she took with that yellow balloon in mind. She couldn’t have been any better.

So, what were we to do? We had to let Kendra get her yellow balloon, and we certainly couldn’t go back on our word and let Max get one too. So, our little princess pranced out of the restaurant with her prize, and our little devil left empty-handed.

Everything was fine until we got to the truck and Max realized we were really leaving. Then, he had a slight meltdown. He kept saying, “Mom I a good boy! Dad I a good boy! I want a balloon! Go back Mom! I want a balloon!!”

That hurt. No matter how naughty he was, it still hurt to see him sad. Especially with Kendra sitting there enjoying her yellow balloon a little more than she would have if Max would have gotten one too.

Well, the crying finally subsided. Things were calm. This was good. Then, Kendra said she needed to spit out her bubblegum.

So, naturally, what did I do? What did wondermom do? Rolled down the window, of course. And, yep, out went the yellow balloon. I think time froze as Kendra’s face went from shocked to horrified to accusing to devastated in a matter of seconds. Time froze, that is, until her earth-shattering sobs started. That was not one of my finer moments as a mother.

Well, Ronnie stepped up and calmed the situation by suggesting a peace-offering for the next day. So things were good again. And we were finally home. Time to spend a little quality time with the pets before bed. I thought it would be fun to give the pets a treat, so Max gave one to Roxy and Kendra gave some to Sparkles.

I’ll never really know what goes on in that head of my son’s, but when I went to look for him after he fed Roxy, I found him in the garage squatting on the floor next to the box of dog treats.

“I bite one Mom. I eat a treat.”

One smell of his breath confirmed it. The boy ate a dog treat.

Okay, so obviously it was time to go in and get cleaned up and brush teeth and stuff. I apologized to Kendra for the sixty-seventh time and romped on the floor for a while with the kids. We decided it was time for bed when Kendra tried to flip off the couch as Max did a cannonball off the top of the furniture…

Not exactly the relaxing evening I had in mind. And just think. It’s only Friday. We still have the whole weekend ahead of us…


Hello, my name is Mandy, and I’m a carb-oholic March 29, 2012

Filed under: food,humor — mandyholbert @ 6:58 am
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It’s quite fashionable now to shun carbohydrates, so I thought I’d join the crowd and give up carbs for a week.  I guess I didn’t realize how addicted to them I really am.

Breakfast is okay.  I can eat an egg and some turkey bacon and not feel too deprived that I can’t put both (and a slice of cheese) on a warm and toasty English muffin.

Lunch is another story.  My usual lunch is a sandwich or a wrap.  Can’t do that.  I settled on a salad topped with delicious vegetables and fruits and proteins.  Pretty good.

Now, dinner…Macaroni and cheese sounds good.  Or maybe pizza.  A chicken sandwich.  Ooo…I know – a quesadilla.  Oatmeal.  Cereal.  Spaghetti.  Any pasta.  Anything bread-ish.  Something warm and comforting and yeasty.  Oh, dear.  This is not an easy.  I settled on (another) salad with chicken.

Wow, and I’m only on day two.

Hmmm…What’s the point of this again?