July 31, 2014

Weekend Plans

August...I love this month. We get to bask in the promise of autumn while still enjoying the beauty of summer. : ) And honestly, we may as well embrace it because try as we might, we will never be able to slow the passage of time...Here, this first weekend of August is full. Full of fun. : )

Friday Steve and I are heading for a quick overnight at a resort nearby. I am excited to spend some time with the hubby. I think that one of the best gifts we can give our children is the example of a strong, loving marriage. So a night together is a must now and then. And a trip to the spa doesn't hurt either. ; )

Saturday we hope to return before bedtime as I think I will be missing my kiddos too much. I also hope to be home in time to throw in a couple loads of laundry and get organized because...

Sunday we are off again to Steve's family reunion. Steve is the baby of seven, and his siblings have recently decided it is time to begin a summer reunion tradition. As social as I am...kidding! But because we pass on any Christmas get-togethers now after Flynn's horrible sickness that led to an Emergency room visit on Christmas Day a few years ago, we like to attend the summer one.

So that is what our family will be doing this first weekend of August. I hope yours is happy and sunny and summer-like, whatever your plans may be! Thanks for visiting!

Off to Mass selfie last weekend...

followed by this beautiful sight when we got home.

My wonderful mother spent the night with us...and Sunday morning was spent outside. Shooting hoops, of course. : )

Steve takes great pride in bringing me home goodies from our local farmer's market...

with which he prepares delicious dishes like this cabbage salad complete with mandarin oranges and kiwi.

This little guy prefers pop tarts though. ; )

We ran some errands this week, and took my mom out to breakfast at the bakery. Where for some reason...hot chocolate tastes way better than it does at home.

Leaving you with this one of my little lady. Taking a stroll down to the mailbox on one of our many jammie days this summer.

Happy Weekend!

July 28, 2014

This Makes Me Happy...Zucchini

Yes. You read that correctly. Zucchini makes me happy. Now, perhaps this is because I don't actually grow zucchini. I rely on the talents of others for that. Like the sweet older man down the road who leaves it on my doorstep during the last weeks of summer. Perhaps it is because it suggests ever so slightly that the glorious days of autumn are near. Or perhaps it is simply because zucchini lends itself to so many wonderful things. Whatever the reason...as strange as it sounds...zucchini make me happy. : )

Zucchini bread. Always a favorite for breakfast or with my tea. Warmed and slathered in real butter, of course.

Chocolate zucchini cake is a summertime tradition here. Oh how wonderful the house smells when this is baking...with a hint of cinnamon and cloves. : )

A favorite meal this time of year...zucchini lasagna. : )

Madison's specialty...Pasta with fresh veggies...

And Peyton's...zucchini cake with cream cheese icing. : )

Maybe the easiest and best way we prepare it...
Simple roasted zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper, and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven until tender. And enjoy.
And zucchini may very well make you happy too!

July 25, 2014

Christmas In July 2014

Christmas in July was fun this year...Thanks in part to the weather cooperating. It was a chilly 48 degrees this morning. : ) Here is how we spent this fun summer day...

I lit this candle first thing this morning...and all the kids awoke to the house "smelling like Christmas!"
They were excited to see a few presents from mom and dad near the fireplace. And it warms my heart that they act surprised every. single. year. : )
Flynn and I went down to the basement and dug out her favorite movie. Which we may or may not have watched on an endless loop all day long.
Except when we took a break to read this old favorite. It always amazes me how long those little batteries last in these things!
We baked a chocolate cake in these special Christmas tree cake pans that belonged to my mother. She used to make a birthday cake in them for her own mother every year. I can still remember...vanilla cake with white icing and sliced bananas in-between the layers. My Grandma's favorite. : )
At the end of the evening, we lit this sweet scented candle...
and finished off our day of Christmas fun with a slice of yummy cake.
Which is blurry because apparently I couldn't wait to have some...
Christmas in July 2014 is in the books. Now we return to our beautiful summer with the promise of autumn and Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas awaiting us in the days ahead.
Merry Christmas in July, friends!

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!!!!!

July 21, 2014

Reminder: Christmas In July!

Yep. We celebrate this one too. We celebrate Christmas in July for one reason...it'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!

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.