Friday, August 17, 2018

No More Pencils: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using backpack ~ pencils ~ mascot ~ notebook ~ apple
They were submitted by Sarah of My Brand of Crazy.

This is the first year in a very long time that I am not sending one (or both) of my boys off to school. And let me tell you, it's a great feeling. That's partially because for the last 5 years any time I sent one of them off it came with a hefty bill . . . and that's with them having scholarships. But the rest of tuition adds up, as do the little things like books and food and rent and clothes and tickets to the games. Let me tell you this, as one who knows all too painfully (get it, hospitals . . . painfully . . .) well, hospitals are an expense no family prepares for. Suffice it to say that if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, my younger son did not eat enough apples. Not by a long shot. Take my word for it friends, buy your kids a bushel. Because this is a fate you do not want to tempt. I probably don't need to remind anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis about the phone call I got on my birthday sophomore year from PurDude that went something like "happy birthday mom . . . and . . . ummm . . . I broke my leg last night". I am still traumatized. And to this day I'm not able to say out loud how it happened. He could have been killed. I simply cannot deal.

And you wonder why I drink.

A cool refreshing summer cocktail, this Marnier Creamsicle Float is orange liqueur flavored ice cream floating in spiked orange soda. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

Marnier Creamsicle Float

A cool refreshing summer cocktail, this Marnier Creamsicle Float is orange liqueur flavored ice cream floating in spiked orange soda. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cocktail

So no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks for this family.

Back to school time of year has actually come full circle for us this year. First the boys were too young and we didn't participate. Then I couldn't wait for the first day because, face it, I'm not the only mama ready for a break come fall. Next phase was dreading that time of year because they lived away while in college and I missed them (payback, I suppose for those years I couldn't wait for them to go). And now we're back to not participating. The circle of life.

But life is never perfect, and neither is that circle. There may just be a little space where those ends meet. 

College Boy didn't quite finish college and he's more than likely going to find his passion and go back. Purdue Pete may be out of our lives, but another mascot may just be on the horizon.

And PurDude could always go to grad school {{shudder}}.

But for now we're going to take a breath, leave the notebook buying to someone else. I'd like to say that we'll get a financial break, but we're replacing the windows in our house this summer and since they cost more than tuition, no such luck. 

But for now I will be keeping my family close.  Back to school this past Monday was just another day. I only knew it had arrived by the cars parked up our street (the elementary school is through the woods behind our house) and all of the adorable little kids parading towards the school wearing their new "first day of school" outfits and proudly carrying their bought-for-the-occasion backpacks because last year's was for babies (yes, I can still hear those words). Then at the end of the school day, there they went in the other direction, a bit worse for wear, messy hair, dirty faces and disheveled clothes. I made sure to catch a glimpse of them through my not-yet-new front windows and couldn't help but smile.

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Marnier Creamsicle Float        

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 3 drinks):
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or any orange liqueur
3/4 cup whipped cream flavored vodka
3 cups orange soda, divided

OPT: mandarin orange slices for garnish

*Place the ice cream and orange liqueur into a blender. Blend together then freeze overnight.
*In each of 3 serving glasses, pour 1 cup orange soda. 
*Add 2 oz whipped cream flavored vodka to each glass, top with a scoop of the ice cream mixture. 
*Garnish with mandarin orange slices if desired.


  1. Those years (and years) of first days of school. Sigh. And now I'm back in the circle herding grandkids to and from. This is the payoff. When I get to have the fun and someone else is paying the bills! ;)

  2. Back to school days are long past here for the boys, now I watch via FB as my grandkids head off to school. The oldest just finished college, two are entering high school, 1 middle school and the rest elementary except the baby which will happen all too soon. I'm happy not fighting the crowds with list that seemed endless but it is fun to see the "first day" photos on FB of friends and family kids heading off.
    Now about that drink...sounds perfect for any warm day.

    1. I agree, much more fun and less hectic to watch first day of school from afar. And yes, that drink is just perfect!

  3. My daughter heads back Monday to finally finish up her degree, my son is going to school in Texas next month, but the babies being born in November have to wait a whole year. I'm in no hurry to send them though...most days!

    1. Don't blink, those babies will be off to school before you know it.

  4. I made the mistake of going in the office supply store the other day, and had to fight the crowds of people stocking up for school.

    1. Ha, not a mistake I'm going to make this time of year!

  5. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years, and I don't miss it a bit. Honest! Alana

  6. I'm so glad I no longer have to deal with back-to-school anxiety. I'm watching my daughter go through it with my granddaughter. Oh, how I remember that feeling. That drink you made looks super decadent and delicious!

    1. Maybe you should make one of these drinks for your daughter. Just a thought.


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!