August 31, 2013

A Peek Inside...Our New Schoolroom

Finally! After months of deciding and planning and dreaming, we finished our new schoolroom last week. Remember, this is the before...

And this is the after...our Schoolroom!

 All ready to go!

Each child picked out his or her own desk and chair. This is Rhett's desk...

this is Peyton's...

and this is Madison's!

I found this cute clock on Etsy.

Here is the printer table with a few baskets for supplies underneath.

Right above is the Bulletin Board with the school schedule on it, and a few cute touches as well!

Here is the Dry Erase Board with our calendar and weekly schedule, and a clean Chalkboard to start the year.

The kids and I worked out a schedule together and Madison wrote it on the board.

This fresh chalkboard with the perfect piece of white chalk makes my teacher heart happy!

This is perhaps my favorite spot. ; ) The Little Miss has her very own corner!

All ready for preschool!

And all ready for a great school year!

August 28, 2013

Weekend Plans...Labor Day 2013

Well, it is here. The last official weekend of summer. And as much as I LOVE already knew that, right?...I always feel bittersweet about another summer ending. And then I pull out my fall decorations and all is right with the world. : )

Friday we have no plans except Rhett working at the theatre for a little bit. I think I will have an easy meal of Tuna and Noodles and bread and butter before spending the evening outside with the kids. I am finding the days are already getting shorter as the darkness comes earlier so every moment counts!

Saturday during the day is free. Since we did a big clean last weekend, I may just do some quick cleaning... clean toilets, vacuum, quick dust and wetjet, and then put my feet up! We have Mass in the late afternoon. After that Madison has work, and I am planning on using some fresh garden tomatoes Steve got at the Farmer's Market to make some pasta with tomatoes and garlic. Yum!

Sunday we are going to my sister Margie's house for pizza and wings. We do this every Labor Day weekend and also again over Christmas. It is something we all look forward to! That means Labor Day itself is free for just us. We always spend that day just around the house together getting ready for school and fall. Steve is planning on cooking some hot dogs on the grill and maybe ending our summer with a trip to see Madison at Dairy Queen. : )

And that is what we have planned for this last weekend of summer. I hope your weekend is fun, and yummy, and warm, and sunny, whatever your plans may be!

Steve made a trip to the Farmer's Market and came back with green peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash! We threw them in a pan with some olive oil and added some pasta and parmesan cheese...and it was delish!

Another summer favorite...chop some zucchini then add some olive oil, garlic powder, pepper, and parmesan cheese and bake!

And just so you don't think I went all healthy crazy over here...Peyton made some homemade doughnuts last weekend. And they were soooo good!

There were pumpkin ones too. Be still my heart...

Summer days mean hours and hours of my favorite toddler toys...

and summer nights mean late night-after bath-pizza parties with the big kids!

I am loving my new cyber/homeschool planner...

but not as much as my Peyton is loving her copy of The Walking Dead Season Three!

Sitting outside on the porch last night, we enjoyed this view of a late summer night in our backyard.

And to finish up...a new hair selfie. And I am still waiting to see some of yours!

Happy Labor Day Weekend, friends!

August 27, 2013

Time Goes Too Fast Tuesday

Awhile ago the kids and I were going through some old pictures on the computer. We came across some from our beach trip a few summers ago, and I thought about how very quickly time passes. Without these visual reminders, I sometimes forget days gone by and special moments forever frozen in time.

I thought I would post a few every now and they were taken years before this little old blog was born. So I apologize for the trip down memory lane...I just need to recapture these precious memories as time carries them further and further away. : )

My baby Flynn on her first trip to the beach...June 2010

August 24, 2013

Keepin' It Real...The Third Time Around

Time for another Keepin' It Real post. You know, the ones where I fill you in on all the "real" stuff about me you would probably rather not know. Or, as my family so lovingly puts it...the stuff that is not "Blog-worthy". In any we go!

This was my dinner the other night. And if you are familiar with the menu there, you may know that this particular meal comes with TWO cheeseburgers. I may or may not have eaten both. You decide.

These are Flynn's new jammies. See how cute? And now know that she wore them all day. And played outside in them. And then slept in them. Yep.

We are still featuring these beauties at our house. Steve returned from buying yet another box and informed me that the next time we will be buying Depends, as she is currently outgrowing size 6! Yes, they do make size 6 diapers. Trust me.

This is where you will find me almost every afternoon. Around 2:00. Under that soft brown blanket. Sometimes my baby joins me. Sometimes not. And all while...

it looks like this outside. : )

Thanks for visiting...hope you come back!

August 22, 2013

Weekend Plans

The weekend is here...and we have a few things on our calendar to keep us busy. Friday evening I am planning on a quick meal of Tuna and Noodles before Rhett heads off to work at the theatre and Madison off to Dairy Queen. The rest of us will have a quiet night permitting!

Saturday Madison works from eleven to seven, because all the college girls are back to school now. I plan on getting started on the Back to School deep cleaning I like to do every year. I know it is weird, but I just like to have everything dusted and vacuumed and decluttered before school starts. And before the fall decorations come out!!! Saturday evening we have a small wedding celebration to attend for one of Steve's employees, and then after Madison gets off of work, we are going to attend late Mass together.

Sunday is free of all commitments...maybe the last time that will happen for I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing! I think Steve will want to cook on the grill and I will add some sweet corn and one of Peyton's summer desserts. Embrace summer while we can, right? And that is it. That is what we will be doing this weekend. I hope your weekend is happy and relaxing and yummy, whatever your plans may be! Thanks for visiting!

My lunch this week...homemade pimento cheese sandwiches. And I splurged and used white bread instead of wheat. And they were good!

My little lady taught herself learned how to ride a bike this summer. With the fourth one it just kind of happens, I guess. No camcorder or applause or celebrations...just, "Look Mom!" But Mom is still just as proud. : )

And still takes too many pictures, of course!

Summer nights mean riding until sunset...

while big brother Rhett leads the way...

and what a beautiful sunset it was...

Madison's friend Justin, (and I emphasize friend here...we had a heartbreak recently and now she is single!! And he is actually a friend of our whole family... but anyway) Justin spent a lot of time here this summer sleeping on my couch and eating my food, so he offered to cook us chicken for lunch last week before he left for college. I am thinking the oven...silly me! He shows up at eight in the morning and rigs this up in our yard and cooks chicken all morning!

Yep...because everyone does this on a random Friday in August...

I went with it...and It Was Delicious! He cooked raw potatoes and veggies with olive oil too. We rounded it out with a fresh peach pie made by my Peyton, and it was perhaps the best meal of the summer! He cleans up too!

I'll finish up with this one of me and my working girl!

Happy Weekend, friends!

August 20, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Most people have as many zucchini recipes as they do zucchini. I know I do, but this is one of my favorites. So just in case you have an extra one that you need to use up, give this a try. You will be glad you did. Promise. : )

                  Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Ingredients:    1/2 cup butter
                         1/2 cup oil
                         1 3/4 cup sugar
                         2 eggs
                         1 tsp. vanilla
                         1/2 cup milk
                         2 cups shredded zucchini
                         2 1/2 cups flour
                         4 TBL cocoa
                         1/2 tsp. baking powder
                         1 tsp. baking soda
                         1/2 tsp ground cloves
                         1/2 tsp. cinnamon
                         chocolate chips

Directions:       Mix all ingredients. Pour into
                         greased 13x9 pan.
                         Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
                         Bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

August 18, 2013

And This Is Love...

Today I took my mother to visit my dad in the nursing home. She has been unable to visit him lately, as she is dealing with a very painful diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis. My father has very recently begun his journey down the heartless path of the mind robbing disease of Dementia.

I knew from speaking with my father on the phone recently that this visit could be very difficult for my mother. Any concerns I had, however, were erased the minute these two saw each other... Today, I was blessed to witness the most beautiful, touching moment between two people who have loved each other for so long. Words fail me as I struggle to convey the feeling that passed between my parents.

The minute my father saw my mom, the distant, faraway look in his eyes disappeared and recognition returned as love filled his heart. My mother immediately put her head on his chest, and he slowly reached to lay his hand on her head. Tears filled my eyes as I watched this very special moment between these two precious people who have loved each other most all their lives. These two people who together have raised five daughters, who have lived in too many houses to count, who have shared joy and suffered heartache, have attained what many people search for their entire lives...true, unending love.

Although I hesitated before sharing this out of concern for invading their privacy, I ultimately decided that sharing this moment of love between the two people that gave me life is the best gift I can give them in return. I can share their story of love and encourage others to realize that all things do indeed pass, and in the end, if we are blessed, we have each other. Everything else that fills our minds...the homes, the cars, the bills, the laundry, the joys and the sorrows fade away. Even the children that we love with our entire souls grow and begin their own lives. What we are left with is each other, and the love that we have shared and nurtured all our lives. Today, I witnessed this in that small, stark room. And I am blessed.


My Current Favorites

One of the things I love about blogging (besides meeting awesome people from all over and getting tons of yummy recipes) is learning about things I never heard of, or never thought to try. Each of us has certain things we turn to each day to make us feel happier or smell better or work quicker. Here are just a few of my current favorites...

This awesome smelling stuff is a new addition to my shower these days. The Easter Bunny brought some to Madsion and I fell in love with it. And guess what? It is also available at Bath and Body Works! The spray is actually a pillow spray. : )

BB Cream! Who knew? If you are like me, and haven't changed your beauty routine since 1986, you may not know what this stuff is. And if you are fortunate enough to have a teenage daughter who is an aspiring cosmetologist, she will tell you. This is a cream that does just about everything from smoothing and concealing to providing SPF and a touch of color. And did you know about cream blush that you apply with your finger? Where have I been?!

I posted about this wonderful item before. I put one packet of this in my is a top loader...on the first of each month and my washer smells and looks awesome!

This is my breakfast. Every. Single. Morning. It is Cinnamon Life with blueberries and raspberries. Sometimes I change up the cereal, but always a bowl with fresh fruit. : )

I love this hand soap! My family...not so much. They say it smells weird. Hence it has been banished to the laundry room.

Now this is one scent we all agree smells just like summer!

DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation with any of these products...I just really like 'em! : )

August 14, 2013

Weekend Plans...And A Winner!

The weekend Just wow. The weather this week has felt more like autumn. I am counting the weeks until I can unpack my warm, cozy autumn decorations! Three. I hold off until the day after Labor Day. : ) In the meantime, summer fun we will have! Friday evening Rhett works at the theater and the rest of us will be home relaxing and visiting. My mother has been staying here as she has been having some health issues causing her a great deal of pain in her arms and legs. She has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and will be seeing a surgeon next week about possible surgery. Prayers for her would be greatly appreciated .

Saturday morning I am taking my mom to get our hair done. I need to get my hair colored and am taking her along for some much needed tlc! After that, we will prepare for late afternoon Mass, followed by some dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Flynn has requested her "favorite order lo mien."

Sunday is a free day. I am planning a late morning brunch of homemade blueberry waffles, sausage, and fresh fruit. We will probably spend some time outside and cook some burgers on the grill for a late supper. I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend, and hope yours is as well...whatever your plans may be. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Peyton has been doing some summer baking with our zucchini and fresh blueberries. We love to bake and surprise friends with fresh- from -the -oven treats!

Before Mass last weekend where someone was pleading for a friend to join us...

and how could I say no? I am happy to report that Teddy was very well behaved too!

My evening tea with some yummy Blueberry Tea Cake!

Still trying to perfect the art of the "selfie". Those teenagers make it look so simple!

And in case you missed I did...this little old blog turned one recently. I had a little birthday give away. And as promised we picked a winner in the most scientific way possible. We drew a name out of a bowl.

And the winner is...

Sarah from With a Hopeful Heart!
Congratulations! And Thanks to all of you for sharing my 1st Bloggy Birthday! looking in your mailbox! : )

My baby all ready for the Feast of the Assumption Vigil Mass... She wanted to stand near "Her Mary".