Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekend Plans

These summer weekends. They are the best, aren't they? This Friday we will be celebrating Christmas in July with a special dinner of Zucchini lasagna, garlic toast and fruit salad. Peyton is planning on making a Christmas tree cake too. Then we are planning on watching one of our favorite Christmas movies...Christmas With The Kranks. : )

Saturday Steve is making a quick trip to camp to do a few things. I suppose that will give me a chance to do some much needed cleaning around here as well. Madison works until 7:00, so that means we can attend 7:30 Mass together. That always makes me happy.

Sunday we have no plans!!! I am thinking about making a run to the grocery store. In the nearby town. Thirty miles away. Because, unfortunately, our one major grocery store is closing. I am so sad about this. This store was clean and had wonderful food and even better customer service. I can't believe they had to close. Now we are left with Walmart. Enough said. Anyway, after a trip to the store, we will have the evening to be outside and enjoy. : )

That is what we will be up to this July weekend. I hope yours is happy and sunny and healthy, whatever your plans may be. Thanks for visiting!

Madison had some friends over this week. They took my brown bananas and turned them into delicious blueberry banana bread. I told them they didn't have to... to which Madison's friend Nathan replied, "The bananas are smashed! There's no going back now!"

Our Disney movie of the week...perhaps one of the sweetest ever. : )

Just an ordinary day pic of my baby. Because she wont always have ponytails while eating apple slices, right?

Big brother Rhett took her to see the movie Planes. His idea. : )

Made a Dairy Queen run one night this week. A late one. With our jammies on. You must do this at least once a summer. It's a rule, I think. ; )

My hubby brought this home for me...and it smells amazing! Like blueberry dessert baking in the oven. : )

Summer is looking like this here...

and this...

and this...

and this. and I am loving it! But I am also loving...

this!!! Planning Flynn's Preschool lessons for fall. : )

Summer is rolling along...

but soon enough...fall will be here! : )

Have a wonderful summer weekend!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reminder: Christmas In July!

Yep. We celebrate this one too. We celebrate Christmas in July for one's fun. I started this simple, fun tradition years ago when I had three littles under the age of 5. It was an easy way to add some holiday magic to our lives in the middle of summer. Friday is July 25...Christmas in July! If you want to start your own tradition this year, here are a few simple ways you can add the magic of the holidays to your summer. : )

Grab your favorite Christmas candle and light it for the day...
Whip up some simple cupcakes with holiday sprinkles...and yes. Boxed is fine. As long as it is Duncan Hines. Simply the best.
These were ours last year...
We even wrapped some up for our friends. : )
Wrap up a few small gifts...I shop all year and whenever I find something for one of the kids, I get it and tuck it away. In a super secret spot. That is so secret, even I forget sometimes where it is.
And pop in some of your favorite Christmas movies!
There. A super simple fun way to hold you over until the holiday season returns.
Happy Christmas in July!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Running Through The Grass

My baby loves to run through the grass before Mass. I don't know why...she just does. It makes me happy how happy this makes her. And so I take pictures. Because some day, perhaps not that far off, she won't want to run through the grass in her church clothes. And I will look back and remember.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekend Plans

We have a few things planned this July weekend. Friday night, Steve and I are going our to dinner with some friends of ours. It's funny...for some reason, we never think of doing that. I mentioned to Madison that I hadn't talked to my friend Bonnie in awhile, and Madison asked why I didn't call her and ask them to meet us for dinner. It took my seventeen year old daughter to remind me that I ummm, yes...we could go out to dinner sometimes. So we are. And it will be fun. And another perk of having kids far apart in ( and dependable) babysitters. : )

Saturday, Steve is taking the older kids to a baseball game. They are leaving mid-afternoon and wont be home until late. That means Flynn and I have the entire afternoon and evening to ourselves. I'm thinking I will take her to Mass and then out to dinner. : )

Sunday Steve and the older kids will have to attend early Mass, as Madison works the early shift. The rest of us have a quiet day here at home. Steve has some outside things to work on, and then he is making a meatloaf for dinner. I hope to have some garden lettuce and red potatoes to serve along with it. And maybe a trip to Dairy Queen to round out our weekend.

So that is what we are up to this mid-summer weekend. I hope yours is happy and sunny and pleasant, whatever your plans may be. Thanks for visiting!

Summer has been beautiful this year...

allowing for many moments like this. Little ladies in sundresses, sandals, and sunhats. Riding on old Tonka bikes. : )

Lots of yummy food around here lately these crockpot French Dip sandwiches...

and creamed lettuce over fried potatoes. I posted the recipe here last summer.

Fruit salad is always a favorite...

as is our favorite snack bread...chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Just gearing up for fall, folks. ; )

Someone always waits very patiently for the last bite of my ice cream cone...and he always gets it. Because...really...could you say no to that face?

And little sweetie had fun showing Grandma all about Club Penguin. On the iPad, no less.
I love the love between these two. : )

Happy Weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Summer Schedule

Years ago, when I was younger, I always felt strange when someone would ask me why we never went to the pool in the afternoons. I would quietly explain that the little ones napped in the afternoons, and I liked to keep them on a schedule.  Years ago, when I was younger, I cared what other people thought. Now...not so much. We do what works for our family. Even though I no longer have little ones that nap, we still don't go to the pool in the afternoons. It just isn't our thing. Some people do. And that works for them. Our family has a different schedule, and it works for us.

Our summer schedule has changed very little over the years. I guess that means it is working. : ) During the beautiful summer days, we spend mornings outside, before it gets too hot. We like to sit on the porch while I have my coffee. The kids ride bikes or we go for a walk. If it is very hot, we will get out the sprinkler and water table too.

Around noontime, we come inside and get cleaned up. Peyton and I start to prepare lunch, which during the summer is our main meal of the day. This works well since Madison works mostly from 3 to 10 or 11, and I like her to have a good meal before she goes. It is also nice to have the cooking done and the kitchen cleaned earlier in the day, so we can simply relax and enjoy.

After lunch we have quiet time. This is when the little ones used to nap, but now sometimes it is just me!  : ) We usually watch a movie or read. We are currently watching the Disney movies in the order they were made. This is the hottest part of the day, and we like to spend it indoors. Plus, I find that the kids need some time in these long summer days to just rest and renew.

In the evenings, we have a small meal and head back outdoors. Steve gets home around this time, and we take a walk or play outside with the kids. We also like to sit on the porch and just visit. If it is very warm, we go to the pool and swim. It usually is empty at that time of day. : )

So that is how we spend our summer days here in the mountains of Pennsylvania. I would love to hear about summer days sometime. : )

Watching storm clouds from the porch is a favorite summer activity...

Making s'mores for snack is too. : )

Pretty flowers on the porch...

And pretty clouds in the sky.

Ahhhh...summer. : )

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Best Friend

I am blessed. I have a friend. Her name is Marian. And she is the best friend a person could ask for. I met Marian our very first moment of college. Almost 27 years ago. And we have been best friends ever since. After college, Marian stayed in the city and became a very successful career woman in a field so perfect for her. She helps people. I came home and settled in the country as a teacher, then wife and mother. Yet, our friendship remained. Marian is the friend I pray each of my children will find. The friend that remains in your life forever...through the good and the bad. Marian has laughed with me, cried with me, celebrated with me, supported me and consoled me. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. She is my firstborn's Godmother. She has been with me for baptisms, birthdays, holidays, and recently, my dear father's funeral. When my father passed, Madison immediately ran and called Aunt Marian. And she came. Seeing her walk up the stairs as I prepared to go to my father's wake immediately made me feel and strong.

Marian and I have watched Big Brother together every summer  for the past 14 summers, even though we are miles apart. Sometimes we text...sometimes we talk on the phone. Sometimes we go weeks without talking, as life gets in the way. But we pick up exactly where we left off. She knows what I am trying to say before I say it. She helps me see situations from the entire perspective, and helps me deal with them. She loves my family as her own. She knows me. And still loves me. : )

I often feel as if she does and is so much more for me than I could ever hope to be and do for her. When she was leaving this past weekend, I hugged her and thanked her for coming. I told her I knew she had a whole life waiting for her back at home. And she told me I was the most important part. I don't know that I deserve a friend like Marian, but I thank God everyday that I have her in my life. I hope she knows that. You do, right Mar? : )

My best friend forever...Marian. : )

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weekend Plans

Sandwiched among the busy summer weekends is this one...Perfectly free of any prior commitments. As much as I enjoy holidays and weddings and parties, I find comfort and peace in the mundane, ordinary days of life between them. That is where I prefer to live. Among the consistent daily routine that is my life. This weekend is just that. And I am glad.

Friday evening Madison works and Rhett will be helping out at the theatre, so the rest of us will probably spend the evening outside. Dinner will be French Dip Sandwiches and fresh fruit before Madison and Rhett leave.

Saturday I plan on starting my yearly scrapbooking. Steve has some little things to do around the the air conditioning filters, replacing light bulbs, hanging pictures...all those little projects that seem to pile up. : ) We will attend Mass in the early evening, and perhaps go out to dinner together.

Sunday is free again...Madison doesn't work until late afternoon, so I think we will have brunch before she goes. Waffles with fresh berries, eggs, sausage, and fresh fruit sound good, don't you think? And then we will probably sit on the porch and enjoy the quiet before preparing for a brand new week ahead.

That is what (little) we have planned this summer weekend. I hope yours is happy and peaceful and sunny, whatever your plans may be. As always, thanks so very much for visiting!

My baby...all ready for the sparklers last week...

and they did not disappoint. : )

Our Fourth of July was perfect...quiet and filled with food and movies and fun.

My sweet hubby brought these home for me...and they were perfect for our holiday table.

Peyton and Flynn were in charge of dessert. : )

Me and my man on our way to a wedding last weekend...and we didn't match on purpose. Swear. But it kinda works, right? ; )

Our Disney movie this week...I think I enjoyed it more than the kids. ; )

A favorite summer meal...crab cake sandwiches with a few cherries on the side...eaten outside, of course.

And yay for our small town bakery that delivers cupcakes! See that one in the front? Yep...that would be Coffee and Cookie...just for me. : )

Happy Weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Strawberry Wine...Ok, Everything But

Are you old enough to remember that song...Strawberry Wine? I loved that song back in the day...But...I digress. Anyway. June is strawberry time around here. It doesn't last long, but when it does, we take full advantage! Proof below...

My hubby brought me home not one...but two of these beauties. : )

And a closer view...just because.
So what exactly does one do with that many fresh berries?
No little Flynn eats bowls of strawberries daily.
Nothing but sliced berries. And milk.

We added them to our cereal bowls for days...

And my Peyton baked a delicious strawberry upside down cake...
But my favorite strawberry treat every year?

Fresh Strawberry Pie, of course!

Strawberry Season 2014.
Success. : )

What do you all like to do with your fresh strawberries?
In the meantime...I'm patiently waiting for blueberries.
And blackberries, too. : )