Friday, May 31, 2019

Weekly Menu

Can you believe it's June (well tomorrow).  I can't.  Summer is here, that's for sure!  This next week is pretty quiet to be honest.  We've wrapped up school and our friends are still in school so we have lots of free time this week which is actually kind of nice.

(Ironically, I posted about menu planning earlier this week and as I'm writing this I have zero inspiration!)

Here's the plan:

Friday: Chili Dogs, Potato Salad and Chips

Saturday: Hamburgers on the grill and daddy fries. (This was planned for last week but never happened!)

Sunday -  Depends on what is on sale when I go shopping - I really don't know . . chicken? Pork?

Monday: Tacos

The rest of the week . .. it's going to be based on what I find on sale at the store just because I'm lacking inspiration!  :


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer Planning

Last summer I took time to lay out some basic summer plans.  You can read all about last summers fun HERE.

I like to print off calendars and fill them in for June-September.  I look to add events like the free Library activities, free movies, park days, free bowling days and more.  By laying it all out on the calendar it allows me to get an overall picture of what we want to do and what we can do. 

This year I did something a little different.  I put all of the little events on the monthly calendars as well as things already planned liked a Family Reunion and a camping trip.  I then made a "bucket" list of ideas that the boys have requested so that we fit those in too.

What's on our bucket list?
--Playing at a trampoline park (we have loved a place called "Catch Air" for years but the boys are very close to aging out of being able to go so we are transitioning to the trampoline park.)
-- Craigs Cruisers.  This is an amusement park like place with an arcade, go-carts, bumper cars and more.  It's another thing that that the boys are finally getting older enough to enjoy
--Windmill Island - this is a fun tourist thing to do in Holland, MI and has been on the list for a couple of summers.  The boys have both learned about it in Michigan History so I think it's time to go.
--A River Boat Cruise.  There are a couple of options between Grand Rapids and Lansing.
-- Visit Splash Pads.  There is one in our town now plus several in surrounding towns. 
-- Visit Boulder Ridge "Zoo" - it's a local Animal Refuge that we enjoy (and I love the giraffes)
-- The Grand Rapids Children Museum - our library offers free passes that you can check out once a year.  It's time to check it out again!

Of course, our biggest activity in the summer is swimming at the pool.  This is the last year my mom will be at the campground since she has moved close to us now so we want to enjoy the pool as much as possible.  (Or maybe I should say I want to swim as much as possible - I might love it more than anyone else!)

As I did last year, I'll share our weekly recap of our summer fun. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Menu Planning

We had a busy weekend - it always shows when that happens because I don't get a chance to sit down and write up posts.  Plus, the well has been a little dry lately :-)  I think of great ideas when I'm laying in bed but then forget about them when it's time to post!

I love meal planning.  I've tried all kinds of ideas through the years to keep things exciting.  I've had some really dry times in menu planning too.  I find that we go through different stages in life where I can menu plan and stick to it like glue and then other times when life just gets in the way and we are eating the cupboards bare until I have a chance (or desire) to get to the store!  Recently I came across a couple different blogs that shared some good ideas on menu planning and I thought I would share.

The first one comes from Creative Home Keeper.
The basic idea is that you write down 20 or so of your favorite recipes to rotate throughout the month.  Yes, 20.  That leaves room for eating out, leftovers, and new recipes.  I also like that she actually has two lists - one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter.   When I read this post a few weeks ago, I liked the simplicity of it.  It's been stewing in the back of my mind since then and I'm slowing creating my spring/summer list.  One of the reasons this appeals to me is that it is flexible but I don't feel like I have to search recipes every Thursday to plan my menu.  I can use my master list to keep things simple. 

The other blog is Lime Life Planners.
I like this concept because she uses her planner to plan out meals and her grocery list.  Now, you know I am a total planner girl so this appeals to me on so many levels (and no, I don't use a Lime Life Planner - I just a cheap old planner I get on Amazon!).  My disclaimer to the grocer list, though, is I have a master list on my computer that matches the aisles in my store to make shopping easy.

If you don't meal plan or are looking for inspiration - maybe one of these ideas can help make planning just a little easier!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Our Week in Photo #20

Here's a look back at our week   I feel like I might have shared some of this already!! 

 On Saturday, I spent time rearranging some new furniture we got from my mom.  The animals loved having a new chair to sit on!  (So much so that they even sat together!) 
 We enjoyed time at my mom's new home. 

 Nate got to enjoy a fishing field trip with his fishing class from Friday School. 
Speaking of School - we are wrapping up projects!  They each have a science project to finish and one Language Arts test to take and we are done!  (Josh is really happier than he looks HA! - this is his Michigan History Timeline) 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Weekly Menu

It is the unofficial start to summer!  Can you believe that it is Memorial Day Weekend?  I cannot.  I'm still remembering how extremely long January was and yet May is flying by like it only has two days in the month!!

Friday -- Leftover Potato and Ham Soup from the freezer and Biscuits

Saturday -- It's my mom's birthday!  It's time to celebrate her :-)  She has requested steak and cheesy potatoes so that is what we will have! I'll add our favorite Corn and Tomato Summer Salad too :-)

Sunday -- Hamburgers and French Fries

Monday -- Memorial Day!  Brats and Hot Dogs, Zucchini, potatoes

Tuesday -- Sloppy Joes, Mac and Cheese, and Green Beans

Wednesday -- Chili Dogs and Fries

Thursday -- Tacos

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!!