Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm thinking about...

...How parenting really doesn't change all that much as your children grow. When my kiddos were little, I struggled with letting them learn to do things on their own as opposed to me doing it for them. Not out of frustration on my part, but out of my love and desire to nurture and care for them. For instance, learning to tie shoes, or dress themselves, or make their beds...These were things I loved to do for them, and it was hard for me to let go and allow them to learn to do them on their own, even though I knew it was necessary for their growth and independence. Now, as Madison approaches eighteen (WHAT!!!!), I am struggling with the same thing...learning to do laundry, packing lunch for work, cleaning her bathroom...These are all things I know in my mind Madison needs to learn to do for herself. My heart, however, has different ideas! I enjoy doing these things for her. I love having her laundry all clean and folded on her bed when she returns from a long day of work. I find comfort knowing her bathroom is clean and tidy. Does she have to learn these skills herself? Yes. Will she? Yes. I guess balance is the answer. Or not. : )

...About packing away my summer red, white, and blue decorations before giving the house a good cleaning. And still my heart...decorating for autumn! The warm, cozy days of fall are coming!

...About changing my meal planning routine to fit changes in our lives. I currently plan meals one week at a time, with a specific meal planned for certain days. I mentioned recently that our one and only grocery store is closing...can I just tell you how sad that makes me? I have so many memories of pushing my little ones through the aisles every Friday...But I digress...That leaves us with Walmart. I can't. I just can't. No disrespect to anyone that can, but I just can't buy my groceries in the same place where people get oil changes and buy plumbing supplies. So, we have decided to plan two weeks of meals at a time. I think it will work best if we choose about ten meals or so and shop for those items in the beautiful grocery store in the nearest town. Then Peyton and I will plan meals as we go for the two weeks, allowing for leftover nights too. We don't have as many outside activities anymore as the kids are homeschooling, so we have less activities to plan around. Happiness! So, we will see how this goes...

And here are some pictures of the past week in our little home...

My little lady all ready for Mass for the Feast of the Assumption last week...
The Lavender plant at the end of our driveway is pretty this year. No thanks to me. It just kinda grows. : )
Afternoons around here are wild and crazy...
just the way we like 'em. : )
My girls. So different, but so much alike. I love the love between them.
We had cupcakes last week. It was Cupcake Day! This one was divine.
Do you play ABC Mouse with your kids? Flynn loves it...and I love braiding her hair while she plays. : )
My baby has been waking up early. Really early. And I am glad. We watched this beautiful sunrise together this week. No filter here...none needed. She loved it...She was amazed...and I will remember that morning on the porch forever.
My baby got this flower yesterday when we visited Daddy at work. One of Steve's employees gave it to her, and she hasn't set it down since. : )
And leaving you with my Snapchat face...because I am weird like that...
Happy Weekend!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Berry Strudel

So I had some berries to use up. They looked like this...

Pretty, right?

And Madison came home from work with the perfect recipe to use them in. You will want to give this one a try. Promise.

Summer Berry Strudel

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1 Tbl. sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 5 Tbl. Crisco
  6. 3/4 cup milk
  7. 1 egg
  8. 3 cups berries ( I used blue and blackberries)
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. 2 Tbl. butter
  11. Powdered sugar and water
  1. Mix by hand flour, baking powder, 1Tbl. sugar, salt, Crisco, milk, and egg.
  2. Spread out on sheet pan.
  3. Mix berries with 1 cup sugar.
  4. Put filling on top of batter.
  5. Dot with butter.
  6. Fold like a calzone. Pinch edges.
  7. Bake 25 minutes at 425 Degrees.
  8. Stir powdered sugar and water together.
  9. Drizzle over top.
  10. Slice and enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm thinking about...

...How much difference a year makes. Last year at this time we had finally been given a name for the awful disease that was taking my father further and further away from us. Dementia. And it was heartless and cruel. I remember many days when my dear father would call me several times...confused, anxious, agitated, and sad. I would talk to him for hours, calming him down, reassuring him, and loving him. My children would tell me how wonderful I was with him. And I smiled and replied with the question...Wouldn't he do the same ? Didn't  he do the same my entire life? And won't they do the same for me someday? Because that is life. And that is what loved ones do.

...About the upcoming Feast of the Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is celebrated on August 15, and is my very favorite feast day. Year after year I bring my intentions before Our Lady on this day...and pray for a blessed and healthy new school year. We will be attending Mass on Friday morning, and perhaps even convince Steve to join us for breakfast after. : )

...How frustrated I am with clothing choices for my Flynn. My heart is breaking as I have to leave those cute Toddler sizes behind, and let me tell you...those little girl clothes are not making me happy! I wish these manufactures would realize that not all mothers want their preschoolers to dress like preteens! And then ...I realize that honestly, Flynn spends most winter days in her jammies. So I am happy.

Here are some pictures of the past week around our country home...

Sunny mornings mean my baby takes spins on her big wheel...

and other days on Peyton's old princess bike. : )

This little guy hops from bed to bed in the morning. He goes wherever anyone is still sleeping. Most days...he ends up with Madison. : )

You may know my love for all things fall. Yet, I wait every year until the day after Labor Day to fill my home with autumn. Except this year. I couldn't resist setting out these amazing fall scented votives in the mudroom.


And more happiness.

Summer is still in full swing around here...steak on the grill with roasted fresh veggies...

tons of fresh picked sweet blueberries...

which we used to make another of our very favorite pies. Ever. Thanks, Patty!

And some summer fun every morning...

and every afternoon.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Have A Winner!

We held a very official drawing on Sunday for the Yankee Candle Giveaway...

Meaning... I wrote down names on notepaper...

put them in a pretty basket...

and had my Madison draw one name.
Because that is how we do it around here. : )

And the winner is...

Lisa from one catholic girl! Lisa is a new friend I have recently met and blogs here. 
Lisa...please email me with your address so I can get it in the mail. : )

And thank you all for indulging me in all my crazy ideas!
Have a wonderful day. : )

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm thinking about...

...How quickly time goes by. I am remembering spending summers at the lake when I was young. We spent entire summers at our lake house when I was young, and I remember how happy and safe and comfortable I felt being there with my family. My grandma also had a cottage there, and my mother, sisters and I would spend evenings around her kitchen table playing cards. Now... I am the mother, and my mother is the grandmother. Life goes on, and we grow and change, and I am realizing that I am but one link in the chain of mothers and children that will go on and on. And that makes me happy.

...The fact that school will be starting soon. And I am glad! There is something about a brand new year that gets me so excited to begin teaching and learning with my kids. I just love the feeling of a fresh start...the sharp, new crayons and bright red apples and shorter, cooler days...All these things make me happy to be a mom. And a teacher. : )

...The weekend ahead and how few plans we have. I hope to spend it with my family, relishing the beauty of summer as it begins to fade into fall. My favorite. : )

Here are some pictures of the past week around our house...

Steve brought home some peaches...

which we promptly turned into this. : )

My little lady was excited to go to Steve's family reunion...

and wanted to wear her finest dress.

It poured the whole way there, but held off for the afternoon and the view from my seat was gorgeous!

Then, God gave us a rainbow on the way home. : )

We have been cooking with zucchini. And pasta. And garlic, fresh herbs, and cheeses, of course.

I got my nails done at the spa. And I took this picture because they will not look this good for a long, long time. : )

Leaving you with a shot of my girl. We have been spending mornings on the porch lately. And she loves it.

Oh, and in case you missed celebration of this little old blog's 2nd Birthday, I am giving this amazing candle away. If you want to have a chance to add this to your cozy evenings, just leave a comment here.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Overnight Getaway

Once in awhile, Steve and I take a quick getaway together. It is good for us, and good for the kids. We are fortunate to have this lovely resort within driving distance...If you ever find yourself in Central Pennsylvania, Bedford Springs Resort is worth a try. Promise.

It is charming, beautiful, cozy, and full of history.

We arrived just in time for a quick lunch by the pool...

then I visited the spa while Steve took a long walk.

Our room was so cozy. And clean. A must, right?

And we had a private balcony complete with comfy rockers.

This was the view from our rockers. We just sat and visited and relaxed. And rested.

The inside of the resort is just as beautiful. This is the walkway near the indoor pool.

Saturday morning we had a delicious room service breakfast and headed home...refreshed and renewed...and mindful of how blessed we are to have our little family waiting at home for us. : )

Remember to take time for you and your spouse. I think it is one of the best gift we can give our children...the gift of an example of a loving marriage. : )