Sunday, July 22, 2018

Summer Plans Week 8

So at this point of the summer, I am making lots of changes to the original plan.  Naturally, I knew that things would change but it seems like July has brought the most changes :-)  So at the start of the week, I made notes for what we plan for each day and I'll see how it pans out.

Sunday - Today Darryl has a concert so we will attend that together :-) That's what we did :-)  I went swimming in the afternoon while the boys all stayed home and hung out in the AC.  (Give me the pool any day of the week!) 

Monday - I think it is supposed to be rainy today.  The plan is to get laundry done and to spent one hour working on the boys room.  (I was trying to not do this with extra kids here but, it needs to get done so we are starting it this week!) It was no rainy today but was SUPER humid so we totally went swimming :-)  Needless to say, we did not clean but swimming's more fun anyway!  We ended our day (after some amazing burgers) with a trip to Mooville for Ice Cream! 

Tuesday - Today I have a board meeting in the morning.  The plan is to then eat some lunchables and go swimming. The board meeting went as planned but went longer than anticipated so we didn't swim!  We ended up not getting home until 2:00 for lunch.  We did stop by the pool to see my mom and some friends of hers that had come to visit but then headed to the house.  I then made the kids go outside and play for awhile after lunch. 

Wednesday - My plan is to, again, spend one hour in the morning working with the boys on their room.  Then, the pool is on the plan!  IF the weather isn't great, maybe we will bowl. We did spend some time cleaning (one section at a time).  The extra kids left early so the boys and I went to the pool after that and then went out to dinner with my mom. 

Thursday - Today is library day :-)  We'll check out the weekly activity!  In the afternoon we will hopefully swim.  Today at the library there was a Jazz/Blues piano player.  He was really good but I will admit that he entertained the adults more than the kids.  We did not swim!  Instead, we worked on the boys room and then, went to the Free Fair.  Why?  Because the forecast for Saturday is rain all day so we took advantage of a beautiful evening and spent 4 + hours at the fair. 

 The kids singing along with the music. 

 Josh's latest trick HA! 
Ok, I couldn't resist sharing these two photos.
The one on the left is from this year - Darryl and the boys waiting for the Ferris Wheel.
The one on the right showed up in my facebook memories today and is Darryl and the boys waiting for the Ferris Wheel from 2013!!  How fun is that??
 This is the first year both Nate (Above) and Josh (Below) could drive the bumper cars and, in case you couldn't tell by their faces, they had a blast! 

 Another thing I loved about the fair this year is that the boys rode rides together.  In years past, Darryl took one and I took the other and they rode different rides due to their age/height.  Now, they hung out together and had a blast. 
 This roller coaster was significant!  Two years ago, they couldn't ride alone (Nana rode with them - she's a saint HA!).  This year, they not only rode alone, the rode in the front with their hands up in the air! 
 The slide is always a favorite.  Surprisingly, they only went down once - I have a feeling that the climb to the top had something to do with that !  They were starting to get tired by this time of night. 

Josh so wanted to ride the ponies and I'm so glad that we let both of the boys do this.  Why?  Because these ponies have a weight limit and by next year both boys will be too big for ponies.  So, it was a great thing for them to ride a horse.   

Nope, it's not snowing - it's BUGS!  The swarms of moths/bugs around the parking lights was just insane! 

Friday - I'd like to spend 1 more hour in the boys room today.  In the afternoon we will either go to the library to see a movie or swim. Today was a rare day this summer - it was stormy and rainy throughout the day. The gloomy morning was a good time to watch Movies and relax.  For lunch, we headed to Pizza Hut - the kids had all earned a free personal pizza for their summer reading program so free pizza it was!  Throughout the afternoon the boys and I worked more on their room.  Finally, the neighbor boys came over after dinner for "a movie and snacks".  HA!  The kids put together all kinds of snacks and watched a movie together.  Such a fun night! 

Saturday - Today is FREE FAIR DAY!   The boys look forward to this day all year. Obviously, we did not go to the fair today :-)  Instead, we rearranged the boys room.  Now that it is rearranged, we are beginning the seeminly never ending task of sorting and organziing their stuff.  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Weekly Menu

I'm finding it a little hard to believe that we are on the downward spiral of summer.  I'm thankful, though, that our schooling doesn't begin until after labor day so that we have ALL of August to enjoy summer.  This has been such a fun summer I really don't want it to end!

Friday - Pork Loin in the Crock pot, baked beans, make and cheese and corn on the cob.

Saturday - Spaghetti/Alfredo, Green Beans and Garlic Bread

Sunday - Chicken Thighs in the crock pot, baked potatoes, and a veggie - there is so much good fresh stuff out right now it just depends on what I have in the house!

Monday - Sloppy Joes, Daddy Fries, and Fruit

Tuesday - Tacos (Taco Tuesday!)

Wednesday - If Darryl has practice we will probably grab something out.

Thursday - Brats, Sweet Potatoes, and Mac and Cheese

Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekly Menu (A few days late!)

My kids have been using my computer to play games which has limited my time to use it so therefore, I'm a little behind on some posts.  I figured I would still post our menu for the week so my mom knows when to come for dinner HA!

Friday - Brats, Crash Potatoes, and Fried Zucchini

Saturday - We attended the Sunday School Picnic.

Sunday - Daryrl had a concert so we ate out for lunch and then everyone just found their own dinner (Well, the kids actually just tell me what they want and I make it). 

Monday - Burgers, Corn on the Cob, and Chips

Tuesday - Tacos (YUM!)

Wednesday - Assuming Darryl has practice, we'll grab something for dinner.

Thursday - Spaghetti/Alfredo, fresh green beans and Garlic Bread.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer Plans Week 7

This is a week of big change.  We originally planned a camping trip but various things made us cancel not limited to Darryl's back continuing to heal from some issues in May.  So, the plan was to be gone Sunday-Wednesday - the good news is I had written down some "Maybe" things on the calendar so I had back-ups ideas!

Sunday - Attending Worship on the Waterfront again to see Zach Williams who we loved seeing in concert before.  We did not attend.  As much as I'd love to get in free concerts, the number of people trying to squeeze into the space is just crazy.  Instead, we went swimming.  

Monday - Camping was on the schedule. Because of the planned camping, I didn't have the extra kids (and won't until Thursday) so that helped our schedule a little.  We went and picked up our fair tickets for the Free fair and then went swimming.  After some very busy days at the pool, it was nice on this day to have hardly anyone in the pool in the afternoon.  Monday evening the boys attended day one of a Community VBS.  

Tuesday - Camping was on the schedule.  Since we weren't camping, we decided to take one of the planned days and turn it into a family day.  So, today we started with breakfast at McDonalds before heading to our favorite Lake Michigan Beach for the afternoon.  It was amazing.  The sand, sun and lake are perfect.  Plus, as the afternoon wore on, the waves grew to 4-6 feet and the boys loved the fun!  We enjoyed pizza at our favorite pizza place before heading to the movie theatre to see The Incredibles.  It was fabulous day! 
 We got to watch the Coast Guard practice drop-in's to the water and water rescues.  
 Darryl and the boys checking out the waves
 The waves got to 4-6 feet by the end of the afternoon and they were awesome to play in.  The boys and I spent a good hour jumping the waves! 

Wednesday - Camping was on the schedule. Today was a recovery day :-)  Laundry, finally turning in the boys books from the school year, and then attending VBS in the evening. 

Thursday  - The library activity is a Magic Show.  If the weather is cooler we will have a picnic and play at the park; if it is hot, we will eat at home and then swim! We enjoyed the Magic Show and then hit the pool followed by the last day of VBS

Friday - Making a craft - a Penny Spinner - in the morning followed by Swimming. We did not make a craft but we did swim!  

Saturday - Today is the Huge Free Fair Parade which is always fun to attend.  There is also a Lavender Festival that I want to attend just because the fields are supposed to be just amazing to see. It was hot and humid so I didn't even bring up the fair :-)  And I decided I really didn't need to see Lavender ;-) LOL  Instead we took advantage of Western Weekend at the campground and the boys had some fun!  We also attended a Sunday School Picnic at our teacher's house.  The boys loved it because there was a pool with a diving board! 
 One of the guys in Darryl's group brought the boys hats back from a trip to Belgium. (Nate's hat is sitting funny because he hit his head on a table and had a huge bump on his forehead that made wearing a hat painful.) 

 The boys got to make stick ponies at the craft time at the campground.
 They had fun in the photobooth. 

 Did pony races. 
 And some roping. 

 And finally jumping off the diving board!  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer Plans week 6

Wow.  Week 6 of summer fun is done.  Which means we are hitting the half way point and that's just crazy.   One of the things I love about Facebook is the events.  So many ideas pop up on my Facebook feed that I can add to our "maybe" list and it gives me lots and lots of ideas to pull from in our plans.  Even as we come into July, I will still list what is on the original plan and then share what we actually did.

Sunday - There is a Christian organization called Worship on the Waterfront that brings in some pretty big artists for a Worship Concert on Lake Michigan.  Today it is an artist named Jordan Feliz who happens to be one of Nate's favorite singers. It was so crazy hot that we skipped going to the concert and we went swimming instead.  

Monday - Heading to Grand Rapids for a movie at the Christian Bookstore followed by a picnic at the park. Nope :-)  Instead we went to a friends house for the morning (because I had a meeting!) and for lunch.  Then, we went and got ice cream (one of the kids rewards from the library for reading!) followed by a stop at another friends house to visit their lemonade stand.  It was a great day!  Oh, and of course we went swimming too! 

Tuesday - Craft day (well, maybe HA!)  Making a cool Paper Plate Flower.  I'm sure we will also swim if the weather cooperates!  Our local Fireworks explode at Dusk tonight so I'm sure we will set off some of our own too.  Nope, no craft HA!  Instead, we took advantage of the hot, sunny afternoon and went swimming.  I had choir practice so the boys and Darryl set off smoke bombs while I was gone.  The boys and I then set off fireworks and watched our local fireworks after I got home.  (Darryl went to bed early since he has to get up at 3:00 for work!) 

Wednesday - Happy Fourth of July!  Today will just be relaxing.  Plus we are heading to my Choir Concert which is followed by Fireworks! We did just that - we relaxed.  Darryl had to work (which was our plan) so the boys and I treated ourselves to lunch out, followed by some swimming.  Then, my mom joined us and we all (Darryl included) headed to my choir concert.  Yes, it was super hot but it was an awesome night.  We ended the night with fireworks at home at 11:30 :-) 

Thursday - The Library Activity is a Movie (not my favorite - Sherlock Gnomes - I'll be taking a book!).  The plan is to swim in the afternoon. This went pretty close to plan except we swam in the evening instead. 

Friday - I actually have several things written down - another library we enjoy is showing a movie that we haven't seen - Coco - that we might go see; We haven't done any free bowling yet so maybe today; There is also a free day at Blanford Nature Center which is somewhere we have never been.  And, of course, there is swimming.  I'm leaving this open to pick based on the weather. Well, sometimes a busy week catches up with you and that is what happened today.  One, we had to make a Laundromat run so we did that in the morning.  It was a beautiful day, but breezy so we didn't swim.  Instead, I read a book all afternoon.  The kids played and watched TV.  After dinner, the boys spent the evening outside playing in the yard with friends. 

Saturday - Visiting Boulder Ridge Zoo.  No Zoo today.  I actually had zero desire to wander around the zoo.  Instead, it was the perfect day for the pool - 80 and not humid.  We swam for about an two hours and then enjoyed dinner with my mom at our house.  The boys decided to stay the night at Nana's - something they really enjoy doing with her so close by. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Weekly Menu

Almost a year ago, my husband started his journey of dental problems/surgery/having teeth pulled.  Throughout that process my meal planing/recipe trying/cooking really changed and was put on hold.  To be honest, I've never gotten it back!  I also always feel like our grocery budget is one way that I can "earn" money - by saving money.  Grocery prices seem to go up constantly, though, and my kids eat more and more food so it's a constant battle.  Plus, now with summer time, I don't love to heat up my kitchen so cooking gets more creative :-)

So, with all of that wisdom (HA!) here's the plan for the coming week.  That's the other thing, with summer, my meal plan is very loose - it changes constantly based on heat and time!

Friday - Homemade Sausage Mc(Master)muffins, eggs, and hashbrowns.

Saturday - Pulled pork BBQ, Baked Beans, Mac and Cheese. and Salad

Sunday - Slow Cooker, Hawiian Pineapple Chicken thighs, Crash Potatoes (I love these crispy pieces of goodness), and green beans.

Monday - Stromboli!  I love pizza in almost any form and my stromboli is resturant quaility according to my husband!  Chips and Salad

Tuesday - We are having a family day out!

Wednesday - Darryl has practice today so I'm sure the boys and I will do something easy ;-)

Thursday - I found a cool site with 100 days of Summer Slow Cooking.  I'm going to try and pull some recipes from there to try - my slow cooker is getting a lot use lately! So, I'm going to try Crock Pot Lemon Chicken over saurekraut, Asparagus, and Mac and Cheese.  Now, truth be told, we are not saurekraut fans but, I'm going to use it in the recipe because I think it will flavor the chicken - we might just not eat the kraut!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Philly CHeese Steak - Two Ways

A month or so ago, I tried a new twist on Sloppy Joes called Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
These sloppy joes were really, really good.  They had the flavor of a Philly Cheese Steak but so much easier and faster to cook.  I did leave the mushrooms out because I made them when my mom was coming over and she does NOT like mushrooms (they aren't my favorite either!).  Now, truth be told, this did not go over well with my kids.  Josh loves sloppy joes -the "normal way", so he was not happy with this thing with peppers and onions HA!  You can find the recipe HERE

Now, I took the leftovers from this dinner, put them in a ziplock bag and froze them for later.  We ate them recently and I had planned to just re-heat it in a sauce pan and serve it on a plate.  BUT, that morning I came across this Recipe for Ground Philly Cheese steak Grilled Cheese.  As I read the recipe, I realized that I could use the leftovers and make the Grilled Cheese!  I made the sandwich on my panini press which made it really tasty - but would have held up better with a nice sturdy bread and not regular sandwich bread :-) 

*As a side note, I didn't realize that both recipes came from the same blog until I wrote this post!