Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What I'm Reading.

So, what have I been reading? 

HA!.  Truth. 

I have had next to no time to ready lately.  
I cancelled the Unlimited Kindle monthly subscription because I wasn't finding books to read that I liked. 
I haven't been keeping up with the Baker Bookhouse book challenge.  

So . .. 

I found this kind of funny which is I why I posted it.  

I do have a whole shelf of real books to read and I have a book for Book Club to read by mid-June. 
I also need to try and catch up on my Baker Book Club books.
I guess I better get reading!

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Big Move

After months of anticipation . . .actually almost a year of anticipation . .the big moving day finally arrived this weekend.

Last summer, by the time my mom was leaving the campground for the summer, the plan was in place for her to sell her home in the spring and move closer to my little family.  She put her house on the market at the end of March and had an offer within about 24 hours.  Of course, then comes the things like inspections and appraisals and closings.  Those took a few weeks but in just over a month the whole process was done including purchasing a home just 10 minutes from us. 

Friday morning actually started out with some rain but thankfully it lasted for all of about 10 minutes and then the rest of the day was clear.

 My mom had worked all winter packing up the house so it was completely ready on moving day.  It was such a blessing to just have to load because she had it all ready. 
 She rented a huge truck (and it is a good thing she did!) 

 We had amazing help.  Friends from the church there came and helped load the truck.  One of my brothers friends was in charge of "the puzzle" of the truck.  He did amazing and fit everything in that truck! 

 The last pictures with the house before we headed out. 
The truck, driven by Darryl (with the boys along for the ride of a lifetime!) as they headed out. 

When we arrived at my mom's new place, people from my church just kept showing up.  It was amazing.  They got the entire truck unloaded at her house and then, came to my house to unload things into my garage and furniture into my house that I was getting. It was a very long day but it was so nice to have it all unloaded by Friday night.  

On Saturday, my brother helped my mom with things at her place before we all headed in to return the truck.  After dinner we all hung out at my mom's new place and enjoyed some time visiting.  My mom is busy unpacking with the help of two boys who are already loving that she lives so much closer!  

I love the view out her living window (and so does her dog!) 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Worship - I Have This Hope

I heard this song not long after learning that a friend of mine from college had cancer.  This is a song I had heard many times before but in light of the unexpected news, it took on new life to me.  Even in the darkest moments, we have hope.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Our Week in Photo #19

Here's our week!

 On Saturday, we met friends at the park.  It was only about 50 degrees so it was chilly - a perfect day to play!  
 We went to our favorite wooden park.  We need to go more before these two get too big to go to parks. 
 On the way home, we had to stop at Meijer and they just happened to doing a "decorate a cupcake" activity so the boys did just that.  And yes, they were good. 
 For dinner we did something we rarely do - we got Papa Murphy's pizza.  I considered it an early Mother's Day present - easy dinner HA! 

We love our cat. 

Sunday - Mother's day!  We started with breakfast at home and then went to my sister-in-laws

My boys and me! 
These were the gifts the boys got me.  Now, lets keep it real.  I picked out the necklaces from my friends jewlery.  She wrapped them all up and even threw in a free necklace.  The boys were not thrilled that I did that (lesson learned HA).  They did get me Biggby gift cards though which I love! 

I shared these photos in a previous post but on Tuesday we got some outside time in finally. 

 On Wednesday the boys and I had some furniture to move.  We are gaining some new furniture from my mom when she moves.  Well, the animals all love when something new happens! 
 The cat claimed this sideways chair as his own. 

 The dog was like, 'What's up with the couch?" (Gottta love Lazy Boy - the backs all come off!) 

Finally we met my mom at her NEW home!  Yes!  Now on to moving! 

We will be busy with moving details the next few days.  Technically there should be photos but I'm guessing I won't get a chance to post them on Friday night (and this goes live on Saturday!)  So I'll share those later in the week! 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Weekly Menu!

This week begins with a big move!  A move that has been in the works for quite awhile and finally happens on Friday.  My mom is moving in order to be much closer to us which is just wonderful!  A moving weekend means lots of busyness so, in a way, that makes my life easier because I have less cooking HA!  But moving is never easy so that cancels that out :-)

Here's the plan!

Friday - Moving Day so we will eat out.

Saturday - Moving Day = eating out

Sunday - Recovery Day (haha) = eating out

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Chicken on the grill, baked beans, mac and cheese, and zucchini

Wednesday - Homemade chicken nuggets and Fries

Thursday - French Bread Pizza (Homemade!)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My Tree

Many years ago, Darryl and I planted a simple crab apple tree.  
There's a funny story - we went to our local market and they had trees on sale - these were good size trees . . .10 feet tall maybe?  
We owned an Alero.  Which is not 10 feet tall HA!
Darryl said, "No way". I said, "It will fit!" 
Well, I wanted the tree so I won.  It did fit . . kinda.  
The root ball was in my lap, the end of the tree was out the hatch and might have dragged on the road a little.  
BUT . . .. 
we made it home. 
Ever spring, I wait.  
It turns this very slight pink color as spring starts to heat up. 
Some years this happens really early and then we get snow and it totally messes with my tree
Some years this happens and we get a huge wind storm and it totally messes with my tree. 
BUT . . . . ..
This year spring has been near perfect.  
The warm days, rain, and cool nights has helped it to bloom slowly. 
I've watched it daily and then I noticed this . . .. 
Isn't it a beauty?  It only lasts a day or two so I will enjoy it today as much as I can.  Pretty soon those flowers turn to crab apples and the birds get to enjoy the tree as much as I do. 
I'm so thankful that we "made it fit" all those years ago so that we can enjoy the beauty of the tree now. 

It fits perfectly into my backyard!  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Spring Fun

Spring has taken a long time to arrive - and I have loved it.  We've had amazingly wonderful cool nights and no humidity.  Granted, we've also had quite a bit of rain and lots of clouds but I have not missed 80 degree days yet!  Today was a beautiful day with sunshine, warm air, and a nice breeze.  Before dinner we spent a little time outside and had some fun.

 Blowing dandelions is always fun!  
 Josh - my crazy kid. 
 Dash loves being outside with us and "owns" his yard.  

It's fun to watch him race through the yard!  Sometimes he gets lost in the grass HA! 

I would say that things are quiet around here - but they aren't!  We are desperately trying to finish up school; my mom moves this weekend; and I'm trying to get some things done here at home before that move as I'm in gaining some new furniture.  

Monday, May 13, 2019


I enjoy jewelry.  I always have but after having kids (who liked to pull on everything) and staying home, my collection has slowly dwindled.  Last year my boys both got me jewelry at different occasions, which I love!  Well, my next door neighbor started selling Paparazzi jewelry recently and she's just plain fun so when she does live shows on Facebook I'm just sucked into watching her for an hour or so!  She always does some sort of drawing and someone wins something new!  The first time I watched, I won TWO drawings!  (And I never win!)

Aren't these pieces just amazing?  The best part?  Each of those pieces are only $5.00!  Yes, you read that right!! 

If you are interested in the jewelry, you can check out her Facebook page  HERE.  She has albums up on her page so you can see her current inventory and buy pieces straight from her page or she does live shows on Thursdays normally (and sometimes other days too!) 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Our Week in Photos #18

This week seemed busy.  It was one of those weeks were I feel like I let other things get in the way of our daily routine of school leaving us a little behind where I wanted to be.  It wasn't even all my "fault" - on Wednesday the kids I watch had a half day, Nate had his bi-weekly call, Josh had school testing, and Darryl was home.  There was nothing extra going on that day!  In the end though, it wasn't a very exciting week and therefore very few photos!

 Josh and Nate each got a set of these blowup boxing gloves in their Easter Baskets.  Nate and Cooper played for a bit 
Our sweet pooch Dash.  It's funny, it's a totally different dog than when we met him at the shelter.  He's so content and happy . .. and a little bit crazy HA!  But he loves his people; he doesn't like being alone! 
 Of course, we finished up the dining room this week with the hanging of photos and artwork. And I AM Lucky to have such a great guy!  (See his shirt!) 
I caught this little visitor this week.  We don't usually have cats in the yard during the day so I know this guy was hungry.  I watched him climb up the fence like a ladder, walk across the top of the fence, and this is where he was when I grabbed my camera.  Yes, I scared him away nicely after the photo.  As much as I love cats, I don't love cats in my yard or garbage!!  

Weekly Menu

I had coffee with my brother, Kel, last week which is a rarity since he lives in Brazil!  He told me that he reads my menu and then gets disappointed when I don't follow it ;-) LOL  Well, I made it my goal this week to at least eat what I planned even if we eat them on different nights than planned!!!  Things have slowed down a little bit around here other than we are waiting for the "go" for my mom to move over here by us.  So that does help when it comes to planning meals.  We still have two nights a week that we need easy, flexible meals but otherwise, we tend to be home.  I think it is time to start planning some simple grilling meals too.  We are charcoal fans though, so it does take a little more work to grill than just turning on a gas flame outside on a stove (that's my take on a gas grill HA!)

Have you ever heard of the show "Restaurant Impossible"?  Well, it's a crazy show on Food Network where Robert Irvine comes to rescue a failing restaurant.  He's coming to a small place in Grand Rapids in another week or so - not any place we would ever visit, quite honestly, but they gave the opportunity to sign up to be customers on the day of the show.  Needless to say, I sent a quick e-mail hoping we'd get in just for the fun of it. . .we didn't it.  That's all. HA!  It would have been fun but in the end it's ok because, like I said, we wouldn't normally eat there - not our normal food choice!

After all of those random thoughts, here is the plan for this next week.

Friday - I'm so tired of cooking HA!  We've been trying super hard to not spend money but I feel like I have pulled everything out of the freezer and cupboards that I can but I don't have time to go to the store until Saturday so Taco Bell it is (because we can eat the cheapest at Taco Bell!!)

Saturday - It's time for a little appetizer fun.  Meatballs, Shrimp Cocktail, BLT Dip, Beefy Enchilada Dip (for something new) and Chicken Nuggets.  Just something fun on a Saturday night

Sunday - It's Mother's Day!  We are actually headed to my in-laws for the afternoon.  My niece likes to get us all together on this day now especially now that she is a mom too.  I think the plan is to grill - I just bring whatever they tell me to bring!

Monday - Lasagna and Garlic Bread.  I've been craving my homemade Lasagna - not only is it good for dinner it is also great for lunch (and maybe breakfast HA!)

Tuesday - Chicken Alfredo Pizza and Chips.  This is an old favorite.  I don't make it often because it is pretty rich but it is so very good!

Wednesday - Chick-Fah-Lay Nuggets and French Fries

Thursday - We heading to my mom's to help her move so we will grab food on the road.

And this is how last week actually went:

Friday - We have a busy day with state testing and meeting up with my oldest brother for a few minutes while he passes through town.  So, I'm keeping it simple - Pot Pies and Yeast Rolls  This is exactly what we had! 

Saturday - Taco Baked Potatoes.  I have left over Taco Meat (and Chicken actually) so I'm going to throw baked potatoes into the crock for the day.  Then we can have a little baked potato bar with Taco Meat, Shredded Chicken, Butter, Sour Cream, Cheese and whatever is in the house.  I switched meals around and we actually had scalloped potatoes and ham with mixed veggies for dinner.  It tasted so yummy! 

Sunday - We will be gone all day.  Darryl is working; I have a Choir Concert and the boys and I have to leave at 1:00 pm since we have to be early.  The concert isn't until 4:00 so we will be hungry afterwords.  I'm kinda leaning towards using some Olive Garden gifts cards for dinner but it will depend on the time.  I decided to skip going out so we did the Taco Baked Potatoes instead :-)  We used taco meat, diced ham, Stadium Cheese, Broccoli, and sour cream.  They were super good! 

Monday - Monday nights are TKD nights so we are running in a couple of directions usually.  I try to keep dinner something that the boys and I can eat early and Darryl can eat when he gets home. French Toast Sticks and Sausage sounds good! This is a change up - I had leftover chicken in the fridge so I opted for Quesadillas with rice and beans instead. 

Tuesday - Darryl has requested Beef Tips and Noodles so that is what we are eating! That's exactly what we ate :-) 

Wednesday - we don't have AWANA anymore but Darryl often still has practice.  We might do Taco Bell or I will cook something easy like Pizza at home. I decided to work on using up some food in the freezer so I boil a ham bone to get all of the meat off it.  I then made scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, scones, and french fries for dinner. 

Thursday - Ham and Scalloped Potatoes.  I have yet to make this - it's something I really love - great comfort food - but it seems like I always feel like it takes forever to make . . .when really, it doesn't!  I can throw it in the oven as we walk all the door for piano and it will be done when we get home! We wrapped up the week with Ham and Potato Soup.  Again, using up the ham and also some carrots, celery and onions that were on their last leg!  

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dining Room Redo!

The dining room has been on my "make-over" list for about a year and a half.  We finally got around to it mostly because I order two shelving units that I didn't want to put together until we did the "redo"! 

I almost always forget before pictures!  We had started painting but I did remember to snap a few! 

 We painted it this plum color when we moved into the house like 17 years ago.  I love the color - always have - and really didn't want to paint over it BUT it needed to be repainted no matter what so we decided to use a leftover gallon of paint we had from the living room instead of buying more.  Plus, in a way, it was going to be nice to lighten it all up! 

We finally wrapped up the last few things last night!  I told Darryl that all I wanted from him for my birthday and Mother's Day was to have the last few things hung up :-)  Well, he accomplished that goal!
 Measuring to hang some pictures.  
 Look what the stud finder found - a stud HA!  (yes, every man must use the stud finder on themselves!) 
 No, this isn't the dining room but it was part of the redo in sense. I moved the small bookcase from the dining room to this corner in the living room.  It finally gave me a place for my books and my dad's globe.  I also hung my piano shadow box which was a gift from my parents years ago. 
Our clock is finally back up!  We purchased this as a wedding gift with gift cards received from my co-workers.  We both love clocks and this one is a favorite. 
 Moving on to the actual dining room.  Those are my new shelves (my real birthday present.)  I've been wanting to order them for two years and it just never work out.  I was thrilled to be able to get them and organize my scrapbooks with lots of room to spare!  We also added a gray rug under the table thanks to my mom moving :-) 
 My piano wall.  I love the photos of the boys - both their 1 year old collage and their yearly photos.  
 My mom gave me the lace valences awhile ago and I love how airy they are on the windows.  The art on this wall has special meanings.  The gold frame is a piece of artwork Darryl bought for me when we were dating and visited the Detroit Institute of Art on a date; then there is a poem "Touch of the Masters Hand" which was my dad's favorite; the cat plaque is something my brother Ken bought me as a Christmas gift when I was a kid - it was so neat because I saw it at a store and loved but didn't have enough money - so he secretly bought it for me; the other small plaque was a Christmas gift from one of my boys.  (And the clock - just a clock because I want a clock in every room!) 
 In case you wondered, I love photos.  This is a little history wall with photos of grandparents and parents plus both a young photo of both Darryl and my siblings. 

The last view - the round plate is one of my favorite gifts ever.  I saw it in a store in Frankenmuth but couldn't justify buying it at the time.  After we got home, he called the store and had them ship it so he could give it to me as a gift.  The two cats represent our two cats we had when we got married - Misty and Franny. 

I'm really happy with how it all turned out and am even happy with the new paint :-)