Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Boys Room

One of the "big ticket items" on my goals this month was to finally get the boys room picked up again.  Their room had a double whammy because 1) When we painted the living room in May, I slid all kinds of things into their room to get them out of the way.  Then, I never found new homes for them as we put the living room back together 2) Because it was already crowded stuff got thrown everywhere because we couldn't get to anything!  Well, we spent all of last week cleaning their room, moving Legos to the new Lego Room in the basement and sorting every single thing in the room.  It's a huge improvement and I'm hopeful (not really HA) that because they helped sort things and find homes for things that it will stay cleaner.

Here's some before photos:

And now, the after:

 Look at all that floor space! 
 The goal is to keep a walking path to the closet - it isn't always easy.  And, if you look closely you can see a friend in the closet. 
 Itty, Bitty, Whitty Kitty HA! 
The boys love being able to play video games again and Nate loves being able to get to his power rangers too! 

Now, for a little extra bonus in this post we also cleaned out the playroom recently and this was the "After":
 The truck closet.  We lined up every single truck in the living room and I made them pick their top 5 favorites first.  They were so afraid that was all they would get but, in the end they actually kept every single truck because they "love them all" HA! 
 My scrapbooks will be moving out of this closet as soon as I can purchase the shelf I want for them.  That will offer a little more storage in the playroom too. 
 Isn't that pretty??? AND it still looks like this three weeks later! 
 This unattractive huge industrial shelf that I bought for my basement is the perfect shelf for this room because it houses the big bins of toys so nicely.  And yes, they have pulled bins and baskets off of it to play with stuff and have put them back.  That also proves it is a great storage solution! 
The game shelf!  So neat and easy to use! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Itty Bitty Kitty Witty

 We love our Itty Bitty Kitty Witty (aka Harley). 
 He's really loving being the only pet right now.  He has his own toys and even has "his" chair that he loves to sleep in. 
 He's kind of annoyed that I'm using the flash. 
 He's now trying to get away from the flash. 

Something has caught his attention.  Harley really is an amazing cat.  He loves to have his ears scratched and belly rubbed.  He loves it when the kids (Josh especially) carries him around, lays on him, or "hugs" him.  How do I know? Because he just lays down and takes it HA!  He brings a lot of joy to our home and we are so thankful to have him as part of our family! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ninja Warrior Competition

We had the fun opportunity on Saturday to take the boys to a Ninja Warrior Competition in Grand Rapids.  We've watched the show on TV frequently and the boys are always amazed at what some of the contestants can do (Shoot, so am I!) so we knew they would enjoy it for a bit.  The added bonus is that a family friend was competing in it as well so we were excited to cheer for someone we actually knew!

 This is Dan.  We were excited to see him compete.  Now, lets keep this real.  The competition start time was 5:00.  At 5:20 they started introducing all 71 competitors.  By 5:40 my kids were already bored and ready to leave. The first Ninja started at 6:00.  Someone needs to manage the time a little better :-) 

 This was the first guy to complete the course.  Everyone else crashed and burned early :-) 
 Time to watch Dan compete.  He had told me last week that he wasn't expecting much because he hadn't been training.  Well, he ran that course like a . . .Ninja ;-) 

We left after Dan competed since, by that time, we had been there for over three hours (For real!) and the kids were quickly losing any interest at all.  But, we believe that by that point he was 5th or 6th.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Song - He Always Wins

Traveling home from Grand Rapids yesterday, I heard this song and just really loved the message.

As long as I'm able, let the work of my hands
Bring glory to Jesus, on Him I stand
Struggles try to snare me, sin plans defeat
But there is nothing stronger than the Rock beneath

Over any trial, over any sin
My God in Heaven, He always wins
He is over life, He is over death
His love is eternal, it never ends

Oh-ooh, oh-oh-ooh
Oh-ooh, oh-oh-ooh

[Verse 2]
Like a tree by the waters, my roots run deep
And I thirst for nothing but His love for me
His mercy is endless, His promise is true
I will not be left wanting, when it's Him I choose

Over any trial, over any sin
My God in Heaven, He always wins
He is over life, He is over death
His love is eternal, it never ends

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Our Week in Photos #8

So this happened on Sunday:
 My baby aka my truck hit 200,000 miles.  I was thankful to be the one driving it since, well, it is my sweet vehicle.  I love my Trailblazer - it's an awesome vehicle.  Now, I wonder if we can keep it going another 200,000 :-) 

Our garbage day is on Mondays and this is what happens most Mondays:
 Josh heads outside to wait for the garbage truck after seeing it pass by the front of the house. 
 When the truck arrives, he has a full conversation with the "garbage getter" (the guy who drops off the back of the truck to get the bin) AFTER the driver waves at him, honks his horn and talks to him out his window as he's driving by.  Sometimes this guy in the driveway lets Josh pull the lever to load the bin into the truck but, no matter what, he always stops and talks to Josh every single week.  

The boys also pulled out Twister and had some fun getting, well, twisted :-)

Our main "excitement for the week" has been cleaning the boys room (which I'll share for another post) but, in doing so, we've uncovered some things that have been hidden behind boxes and tables for a month or two.  

 They can finally get to the Wii again and are enjoying playing their favorite video games.
Nate has only taken off this Power Ranger outfit when I force him too.  I believe he might be sleeping in it on Wednesday night.

This past week seems like it's been a little quieter but there are things I was unable to take photos of:

1) They both went in for the Well-Child Visit and passed with flying colors.  They are both super healthy and right where they need to be! 
2) They both went in for they semi-annual dental visit and neither had any cavities (which is great) and both have a consultation set up with the Orthodontist next week (which is . .. good?)  Yikes!
3) They both attended the community VBS this week (Sun-Thurs) in our town and had a really good time.  They even managed to both get their names drawn for a free week of summer day camp next summer at a local Christian Camp! 
4) We also managed to get a little swimming in this week too. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekly Menu - The one with "soft" foods

My husband has had to have a lot of unexpected dental work done over the last few weeks and he has more coming on Monday.  Because of that, he has to eat "softer"foods due to mouth pain from extractions and root canals.  I said I'm going to make him and the boys mac and cheese and I'm going to cook myself a steak!! HA!  For Real!  Ok, maybe not but I did pull out some easier to chew recipes so he doesn't starve to death ;-)

Friday - He's still on the really soft food diet from the dentist so he's getting some cream of wheat.  I decided to make each person their food of choice - Mashed Potatoes and Beans for Josh, Mac and Cheese for Nate, and, for me?  Steak and a baked potato.  Keeping it real ;-)

Saturday - It's our plan to take the boys to the Ninja Warrior competition that is in Grand Rapids so dinner will probably be on the run.

Sunday - Meatball and Orzo Soup and Crescent Rolls.  Much to my chagrin, my kids don't like soup.  So I'll make them Spaghetti which they both love.

Monday - Grammy's Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans.

Tuesday - Ham and Cheese Quiche, Overnight Coffee Cake, and Asparagus.  Oh, and some waffles and sausage for my picky kids.

Wednesday - We are going to eat at Wendy's for a fundraiser for the Ionia VBS.

Thursday - Lemon Barbecued Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad (or veggie depending on what is in the fridge!)

I think there is at least one thing in each dinner for sure that Darryl can eat depending on how his mouth feels; if not I will always make him fried eggs or cream of wheat :-) He "should" be back to regular eating by the end of the week!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Something Yummy - Slow Cooker Cheesy Corn and Broccoli

Slow Cooker Cheesy Corn and Broccoli
adapted from Plain Chicken

This was piping hot when I took the photo so the steam makes the photo look blurry (sorry!).  This was one of those simple, easy, good dishes.  It's nothing fancy but was tasty.  If you have non-picky kids, they will love it (I, on the otherhand, have picky kids and they fake threw-up when they say it HA!).  It reminded me of a rich cream corn with broccoli thrown in to make it seem more healthy! I couldn't find 16 oz packages of veggies so I just grabbed the "regular" size which averaged 12-14 oz. 

1 (16 oz) package frozen corn
1 (16-20 oz) package frozen broccoli florets
4-oz Velveeta, cubed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk

Combine the ingredients in a slow cooker, stir.  Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.  Stir before serving.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What I'm Reading

Whoops!  I forgot that I hadn't actually written about what I've been reading and this posted blank today!

I finished this book up and I will say it ended alot better then it started.  For the first half the book I couldn't keep straight who was who and who belonged to which family.  As the story narrowed into more a telling of just two main families it started to make sense.  It wasn't the best written storey but it was still good enough to finish.

This is a book that showed up as Free on one of the sites I follow so, of course, I picked it up for my Kindle.  I wasn't really sure if I'd like it but it had me in its grips from about the second chapter and I could hardly put it down.  This is the first gook in the Gwen Marcey series and when I finished it, I immediatly went looking for the next one because I enjoyed the mystery and suspense so very much.

Currently, I don't have a book I'm reading (I know - it's awful).  I was reminded in reading my last reading post that I need to read the last book in a series that I loved and then I think I will pick up the next book in the Gwen Marcey series too.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Few of my favorite things . . .again

I have some more favoite things!  I thought I would share.

This.  The best sun screen in the world.  It smells like cocunt; goes on like butter; and lasts for hours even on the hottest, sunniest days.  Yes, we use SPF 50 and they do have an SPF 70.  We tend to love the lotion but they also have a spray which I'm not against either.

Flip Flops!  I know, they aren't really shoes but I love them!  I tend to wear them almost year round.  My philosphy is that even the snow is shoveled, I can wear flip flops :-) HA!

Ok, this is a food item but it's something new I've found.  This Icelandic yogurt is good.  I'm not a fan of greek yogurt at all but I tried this and it is really good.  I've tried a few different types of Icelandic and this "type" is the only one I like.

It's Football Season.  It might only be pre-season but I sure do love having a game on as often as I can!
Do you see those temps?  I'm loving this weather!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Look Back at Halloween

I already know what you are thinking.  Halloween?? Really?  It's only August so don't rush it.  Well, here's the story.  I ask the boys in August to start thinking about Halloween costumes because, lets keep it real, I don't make anything; we buy their costumes.  The thought of "Creating" a costume gives me anxiety HA!  The reason we start thinking about it in August is because 1) They have time to think about what they want to be before my "order" deadline of the end of August and 2)Costumes are much cheaper in August then they are in October!  There is actually a third reason this year - Halloween at the campground is the last weekend in September; then we are camping in October on "Halloween Weekend" where they get to go Trick-Or-Treating again!  So yes, we plan early.

As we were discussing costumes, Nate brought up the fact that I "forced" him to be a Pirate two years in a row.  I told him he was wrong that he was only a pirate for one year and I could prove it so I went digging through photos and thought I would share.

 Josh -2009.  A Sock Monkey 
 Nate - 2010.  A Giraffe
 Josh 2010.  An Elephant (Seriously, this is my favorite "Josh" costume ever even though he wouldn't keep the head on because the truck covered his face!) 
 Josh- 2011.  A Train Engineer
 Nate- 2011.  A Scarecrow.  (This is my favorite "Nate" costume.  If I could dress him like this every year, I would HA!) 
 Josh - 2012.  A Fireman
 Nate 2012 - A Race car Driver
 Nate 2013 - A Pirate
 Josh 2013 - A Pirate
 Nate and Josh 2014 . . .Pirates (Do you notice something . .. Nate has a very good memory.  He was a pirate two years in a row!) 
 Nate - 2015.  A Dinosaur
 Josh 2015.  A Vampire
 Josh - 2016.  A Power Ranger
Nate - 2016.  A Power Ranger

Yep.  I was wrong and Nate was right.  As we looked at the photos I remembered the story (except I remember it slightly different than Nate does!).  Nate wanted to be a dinosaur so I ordered him a dinosaur costume but he did not like it.  I returned it so I could get a full refund prior to Halloween.  He couldn't decide what he wanted to be so he just ended up being a pirate again.  Josh, on the other hand, wanted to be a pirate two years in a row. 

Have the boys decided what they want to be for 2017? Josh is pretty much set and Nate is still thinking.  Either way, I won't reveal it until the first Halloween Activity at the end of September!