Saturday, June 30, 2018

Our Week in Photos #44

This week followed our summer plan pretty closely.  I'll post a few photos here but there will be more in the post tomorrow.

 Fun at the park - Monday was a perfect park day - not too hot with a great breeze.  
 The cat . .and Josh's toes :-)  

 Running camp - hosted by the local Cross Country Team.  It was a fabulous experience for the boys.  Josh had a goal of running two miles by day three and he did it.  Nate ran 1 1/4 mile which was more than his goal of 1 mile!  

 The library activity this week was the hula hooper.  She was great.  The boys also earned a homemade cookie from the local bakery for reading all week. 

The last day of running camp brought lots of fun games!!

We also did a lot of swimming this week as the weather really warmed up and the boys did some Lightning Bug catching too! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Weekly Menu

Last week I actually stuck pretty close to the menu except my mom brought over soup for us to eat on Monday night (and yes, it was really, really good!)  so that was a nice treat.  It's hard to believe that we are already half way through summer! (Well, almost - 4th of July seems to mark that!). 

Friday - Leftovers.  There is pulled pork and a sloppy joe mix I made a few weeks ago (in the freezer).  I'll cook some Mac and cheese and chop up the last of the salad stuff for a nice meal. (And if needed, I can also make some garlic cheese biscuits!)

Saturday -  Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, Fruit (I'll see what's on sale), and roasted zucchini (you might guess that this is one of my favorite veggies!)

Sunday - Asain Style Drumsticks (In the crockpot!), Fried Rice and Cresent Rolls

Monday - Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and green beans

Tuesday -  Mac and Cheese along with Ham Biscuits (I actually had a ham in the freezer and cooked it on Monday, then sliced up the ham to use for dinner and froze alot of it to use in the future.

Wednesday - Today is the 4th of July!  I'm hopeful the weather is decent and we can grill some Hamburgers.  I'll make my favorite sliced cucumbers, some baked beans and chips and dip for a nice early dinner before we head to my choir concert followed by fireworks.

Thursday - Spaghetti and garlic bread (this is becoming standard Thursday night fare!)

Thursday, June 28, 2018

What I Read in June

One of my goals in June was to read books- 10 total throughout the month.  I actually have a full basket of books to read which has helped me to attempt to not spend money on new books!

 The Atomic City Girls was a book for my book club in the month of June.  I did not like it at all.  It was boring and I skipped alot of the book.  If there is one good thing I could say is that I learned something about our history that I never knew.  During World War 2 there was a "secret" town built by the military.  All of these young civilians came to work there (a lot of young women) but they weren't told what they were doing until it was done - they were helping to build the Atomic Bombs that were dropped.  It's like a secret part of history.  It makes me want to read more about this topic. 
The Wood's Edge is a book that I started probably a year ago but then got distracted and put it away while I read lots of other books!  I also put it away because it was a very hard book to follow due to Military and Indian names and words.  BUT, ironically, when I picked it back up (with about 1/4 of the book left) I really like it because the last 1/4 of the book resolves everything.  I was actually sad that it ended because I wanted to learn more about the main characters. 
Jane Kirkpatrick is an author who digs into a story with lots of historical facts and a way of telling a story that almost makes you feel the joy and discouragement that the characters feel.  The Road We Traveled shares the story of a family who basically loses everything as they travel west yet they were drawn closer together and found personal strength to overcome those trials.  I found that it took a little bit to get into the story but once the characters where introduced and started to develop, I wanted to know what happened with each of them.

Lauraine Snelling is one of my all time favorite authors.  I especially love her series around the Red River Valley.  This book is number one in a new series that revolves around the extended family in the Red River Valley Series (There are multiple series that spin off of the original series.)  In this one a family leaves their home to follow the American Dream and live/help a cousin.  The cousin takes advantage of their goodness until they stand up for themselves and succeed in obtaining that dream.  It is a fabulous book that I could not put down (Thank goodness for a 95 degree day for a good excuse to sit inside and read!)
Last fall, my mom and I got hear Lynn Austin speak about writing this book and she signed our copies.  Lynn is one of my favorite authors also so I was really excited for this latest book.  To keep it real, though, this book is my least favorite book that Lynn has written.  I found it hard to follow and the fact that it would just back and forth in time drove me nuts.  It is written in a style that tells the store of 4 (I think) different people, one at a time so you kind of relive the same time period 4 times with 4 different perspectives.  I skipped alot of the story just to get to the end and find out what happened.  It ended well so I guess sometimes that is all that matters!

 One of the great things about my favorite Christian Bookstore is they have a $5.00 table.  The books on the table are a mix of well known authors and new authors so its a great way to find really good books to read at an affordable price.  This is one of those books - Tamera Alexander is a a great author and this book did not disappoint.  It takes place in Tennessee after the war and brings a different twist to the lives of the freed slaves and those that were still fighting for them.  It was a book that I couldn't put down and wanted more of it when it was done. 
No Way Up  is another one of the bargain books and it was better than I thought it would be - it was actually very well written if not a little predictable.  It was an easy read with a great story of family who come together when things get difficult and, in the process, learn to love each other better. 

Whew!  Seven books this month (and I have one that I'm half way through!).  I've spent a few mornings sitting on the deck, eating breakfast and reading which has been great.  I've also taken books to the Laundromat, the park, and to VBS (where I sat in the truck for 2 hours reading HA!).  I truly enjoy reading and am glad that I've taken time to actually read some of the books in my "pile".   

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

July Goals

Yesterday I posted about my June Goal accomplishments.  It makes perfect sense to post my new goals today! 

1. Deep Cleaning - Instead of putting a specific room like I did last month (and then I did different rooms!) I'm just going to say that I need to accomplish deep cleaning in two of the following rooms left - Kitchen, Dining room, Bathroom, Play Room, or Boys Room.  Some rooms take a lot more work than others so it just depends on time what rooms get done! 

2. Basement - just continuing on with cleaning stuff out.  I'll keep trying to do the two trips a day concept until it is all cleaned up.  My main goal this month is just to get all of the stuff cleared out.  (Next month my goal, if this is done, will be to re-seal the floor!)

3. The Laundry Room - More cleaning - even though this is part of the basement, it really is its own area.  I just need to clean stuff out that doesn't belong and maybe re-seal the floor if I can. 

4. Money, Money - I don't give alot of specifics finacially because I feel like that is pretty personal but, I'm going to try to make July a "no-spend" month; or Freeze the Money.  What that means is writing a very specific budget and sticking to it.  Trying to plan for what we NEED to spend money on so those things are planned for but nothing extra.  We have some things we need to save for (like new tires for vehicles!) and without a freeze on the spending, it is hard to save.

5. Ways to Supplement Income - I'm continuing to look for ways to supplement our income.  Assuming I have not heard back from Shipt yet, I will try to re-apply and see what happens.  There is also two other very specific at home possibilities that I want to review and possibly apply for as well. 

6. Summer Fun Plan - I want to focus on our summer fun plan and accomplish what we can.  In July, it is easy to get lazy and not do anything but I want to try to not let that happen.  We have the advantage of the pool at the campground to fill some afternoons but we also have free bowling, library activities, crafts and maybe even a few side trips.

7. Scrapbooking - I mentioned in my June goals that I wanted to plan 8 hours in the month of July for scrapbooking.  So, I've looked at my calendar and I picked two Sunday afternoons (4 hours each) that will be my time for scrapbooking.  After church, once we arrive home and have had lunch, I'll just sit down at my desk and enjoy my hobby!

8. Scrapbooking part 2 - I want to go through 4 albums that are done and make sure they are really done.  Making a list of anything needed.  Also, I want to completely sort, edit, and upload all photos from 2018 this month.  Finally, as one extra item in the budget, I want to order 1 month of the digital pages I have and the pages to put them on as well.  Basically it is really important to me to finish 2009 digital pages by the end of this year if at all possible.

9. Reading!  My goal this month is to read at least 8 books of any kind.  It feels good to be getting through my basket of books :-)  Also, along these lines, I want to clean out the kids books.  They are old enough for chapter books so I want to clear out our kids books (keeping our favorites of course!) I also want to find a good place to have a "kids library" (I have a goal this fall to let the boys pick out a couple books each month from their book orders so they have books to read as well as to maybe visit the library more!)

10. Recipes - I'm tired of my recipe books :-)  I've used three ring binders forever but, I think I want to switch to a simple file box so I can just slide the recipes in and out of the files instead of having to refile fthem in a binder (which I don't do until I have a think stack of recipes floating around!  I'll also use this as time to clean out the cupboard that houses all of my recipe books!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June Goal Recap

As is usually the case with goals, I didn't accomplish nearly what I had planned but I did get some things marked off the list!  I know June isn't completly over but I decided I'd rather do this post IN June instead of a week into July! 

Since June is the 6th month I decided to focus on 6 main things I want to get done this month.

1. Deep clean the Bathroom and Kitchen Neither of these rooms interested me this month HA!  BUT, I did deep clean the master bedroom instead.  I also conquered the Living Room (since we use the living room almost more than anyroom, it is easy to deep clean!) 
2. Find ways to supplement our income - sign up for Shipt, look into online teaching and a few other work at home options that I've researched. I applied to Shipt but am still waiting on them to get back to me.  I will start this process over in July if needed. 
3. Two trips a day (Basement) - let me explain.  I have to head to the basement twice a day to empty the dehumidifier so each time I go to the dreaded abyss, my goal is to bring something up that needs to go out to the trash or to charity.  Since I'm walking up the stairs, it makes sense to carry something up!  Sometimes this will mean actually taking 15 minutes to empty a shelf or organize something and that's ok because that means my basement will be all clean by the end of the summer.  This plan can pushed off track because we ended up without a trash bin for over 3 weeks.  What a pain!  Once we got our bin back, I started carrying stuff upstairs and out the door! 
4. Scrapbook - Complete 10 - 2 page scrapbook spreads and go through 4 scrapbooks to make sure they are complete and updated.  (Making notes of anything that is needed) I really wanted to focus time on this in June but I feel like we were really busy and then went down to one car so my "free time" was taken up with other things.  I think my July goal needs to be to find 8 hours a month in any fashion and scrapbook!  
5. Read 8 books this month - they can be anything - fiction or non-fiction - I just need to read because I love reading :-)  I shared THIS POST the other day of the books I read this month. 
6. Schooling related items - Return the boys hardcover books that need to be sent back in a timely matter; complete 4 lessons for the class I'm teaching in the fall.The boys books are shipped back.  
Bonus item (because a bonus is always good!) - Clean and organize the garage.  The boys are going to help with this one since a lot of what is in the garage belongs to them!!  This is done thanks to Darryl!  I was gone one day for a meeting so he decided to conquer the garage chaos with the help of the boys.  It looks so much better! There are still a bunch of bins and shelves that I need to go through but at least it is all cleaned up (So I can wait until it is cooler to work in the garage :-) ) 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Plans Week 4

Wow, we are already on week 4!  That is just crazy!  I always feel like June is SUPER busy and then we slow down a little!

Sunday - There is a fun Riverboat cruise that is on my "summer bucket list" so I thought it would be fun for Father's Day!  This plan actually changed a week ago and I'm glad it did!  We made plans to head to my mom's place for lunch with her and my brother and sister-in-law, Kel and Deb.  I'm so thankful for that time together (plus it was pushing 100 degrees so riding on a non-air conditioned boat would have put me over the edge HA!) 

 Before we headed to my mom's, the boys gave Darryl his gifts. 
Harley - Just because he's handsome :-) 

Monday - If the weather is nice, I'll take all the kids swimming (I think this will end up being the first time for all of them going!) Then the boys are attending a VBS in the evening all week at our old church. Sometimes unexpected things change plans - my husbands radiator is going out on his van so he had to take my truck to work which leaves us stuck at home.  We created some fun though - the kids got out the slip and slide and played in the water.   Then, we attended VBS at our old church in the evening. 

 It took a lot of work to set up the slip-n-slide only to discover it had not weathered well and had some holes.  We added soap to the water which added some fun but not enough to keep it out for long.

Tuesday - Today is a board meeting day so the kids get to play with the other board members kids followed by VBS in the evening. Darryl took today off due to his van so the kids actually stayed home while I went to the board meeting.  They made their own fun at home. 
Playing UNO outside on the trampoline with friends. 

Wednesday - I have a craft planned for today - I think we will end up doing "Field of Tulips" which we didn't get to a few weeks ago and then also a craft called "Spring Glyphs" No crafts today.  I did implement the whole "you cannot play the x-box or I-pads all day" rule so they kids all went outside to ride bikes and blow bubbles for an hour.  I did laugh when I saw this quote today: 

The boys also attended VBS once again.  I will admit, this has not been their favorite activity.  We attended VBS at this church 2 years ago and they had a blast but this time, not so much.  It's a different bunch of kids and they aren't super nice or inclusive of kids they don't know which makes it really hard for "new kids" to fit in.  They've agreed to finish the week but don't want to go again next year.  Not all the plans can be a success, right? 

Thursday - We will attend a Library activity in the morning and then maybe have a picnic at the park and play time.  I also have a leadership meeting in the afternoon but the kids get to stay home this time. None of this happened today since I don't have a vehicle.  We did make it to the last regular night of VBS (Friday is the carnival).  

Friday - We love VBS HA!  All four kids are attending an all day VBS at the church where our co-op meets AND teh boys have their last night of VBS at our old church.
 Super Heros! 

Saturday - this is another week where we might just crazh on Saturday.  BUT I may take the boys to spend a little money at the Bowling Alley Arcade - this is something Nate wanted to do for his birthday but we couldn't fit it all in.  Then, we have two church open houses for graduates to attend in the afternoon/evening.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Our Week in Photos #43

This week took a slightly different turn because we were down to one car while Darryl's van got repaired.  It meant we spent more time at home and also I had to really move towards a "zero spending" mindset to make up for the unexpected expense of the repair.  But, even at home, fun things can be done!

 We celebrated Father's Day. 
 This was one of the gifts Josh picked out - yes, those are Cats in Space on that shirt. 
 Nate picked out a ball for Darryl as one of his gifts.  I think really Nate picked out a ball for Nate HA! (Don't worry, Josh also picked out a ball for himself  Darryl. 
 Monday had a heat index of close to 100 degrees so the kids got out water stuff - water guns, the sprinkler and the slipe-n-slide.  The idea was just to get wet and cool off! 
 VBS started on Monday night.  The boys always love the singing! 
Tuesday they created their own fun which included playing UNO on the trampoline and helping Darryl clean the garage!

 On Wednesday I told the kids that they couldn't play inside all day so they went out and rode bikes.

 And Blew bubbles! 

 Thursday night brought the last regular night of VBS - they had to dress up as scientists.

 And they played water games.
 Friday they attended an event at a different church on Bible Super Heros. 
They made some awesome crafts. 

And we ended the night with the VBS Carnival.  It was alot of fun with a lot of candy :-)