Father’s Day 2018

Breakfast:  oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies, peanut butter breakfast cookies, English muffin breakfast sandwiches, and most delicious of all — handmade cards!

Allison gave Papa the massager she won from a drawing during a 5k race, and the rest of us gifted him a Jelly Belly dispenser for his new office.

After church, our dear friends came over for lunch and lounging.  It was such a beautiful day!  (Sadly, too cold to swim… but otherwise perfect!)  We also had our old babysitter stop in and stay… she is such a blessing to us!  By the time our friends left, it was dinner time but none of us were hungry so we rented “The Greatest Showman” and had a family movie night before bed.

Happy Father’s Day to my favorite person!!!  I love parenting with you!

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Garden Update

Our baby chicks are not quite babies anymore!

The bunnies enjoyed the cilantro that had started to flower.

Today was the last day of VBS.  I wanted to take advantage of the last “free,” (and cooler), morning, so once I sent the big kids off, the little guy and I hit the garden!  We spent all morning out there… weeding, sweeping, pruning, etc.  To my joy, I discovered lots of things growing… a couple zucchini, a couple cucumber, several green tomatoes, (though two were eaten by rats!), more strawberries, aaaannndd…. enough lettuce for a huge salad for lunch!  (Actually, enough for a few big salads!)  Hooray!  The flowers are starting to blossom, and I attempted to separate a few clusters of wild flowers that I had planted too close together.   Of course, there were many plants with bug holes, bird pecks, and worm poop.  Organic gardening is still tough for me, and quite a learning process!  But, I am so grateful for sticking with it and all the things that I have learned.

Once I picked up the kids, I headed back out for some more cleaning while the kids hit the pool.  The pool chairs that had been folded since last summer were full of peach pits and rat poop.  I didn’t know the rats liked to lounge on our pool chairs while eating our peaches!  Needless to say, the chairs got a good wash!

I so wanted to join the kids in the pool, but alas it was time to make dinner.  I am so grateful for days like today to just enjoy working outdoors… Looking forward to writing more garden updates this summer!

VBS Week!

This week I had 2 VBS helpers, 2 VBS students, and 1 little buddy at home with me.  As much as I wanted to get cleaning done, the sad tears as we drove away from all his sibling friends made me change my mind about cleaning and instead make a big mess — a play dough mess!  He helped me pour the salt and the flour, cheered me on as I mixed and mixed, and then we got to playing.  I am still finding “pellets” he made and shot from his volcano launcher all over the floor.  But, a good time was had by all!  (It helped that I started making some “food” for him!)  I am grateful for big kids who can go enjoy VBS… and grateful for little ones who love playing with mom!

Here’s the awesome play dough recipe that is sure to give your arm a workout: (You’re welcome!)

3 cups flour

3 cups water

3/4 cup salt

2 TBSP cream of tartar

food coloring of choice

Mix on stove over medium heat until the soupy stuff magically turns into play dough!.

And so it goes…

Last week Daniel went on his first wildfire of the season.  I have a sort of tradition that I needed to uphold, which was to paint something while he was gone.  Yes, it has become tradition!  Since we plan on giving our master bath a small upgrade this summer, painting that room seemed like the logical choice.  (I had the best little helper, too!)

The blue is now totally gone, and it feels so fresh and clean!  Daniel didn’t immediately notice; ha! Boys.  I was certain he would react right away!

This week, Daniel starts his new position at work, with actual “regular” hours.  We can finally plan!  (Or so I thought…)  When I said goodbye to him yesterday morning, it was so weird to think he would be home by dinner.  And, he was!  Though, a little while later he got the call that another wildfire was burning, and he had to go back in.  And so it goes… anyone need any painting done?

Allison Turns 13!

I have a teenager!  (And a sweet one, at that!)  We got to celebrate her ALL day, starting with her request for cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Following breakfast, her friends came over, and we all piled in the big van and headed to the beach! We only intended to stay for 4 or 5 hours, but we ended up staying ALL day!  We just couldn’t leave… the weather was beautiful, and we were having so much fun!

The kids swam, boogie boarded, dug holes, collected sand crabs, played volleyball, and swam again and again.  We stopped by the fire station to cleanup before going to Stonefire Grill for dinner.  The girls promptly fell asleep on the drive home to give them enough energy for face masks and a sleepover!

Happy birthday, my sweet girl!  I love being your mama, and I can’t wait for another 13 years!

Peach Muffins

Perhaps it’s because we had already had peach pancakes and peach waffles this week… but when I answered the inevitable, “What’s for breakfast?” with, “Peach muffins,” I was met with mixed reviews.  These kids.  Thankfully, they all enjoyed them… but not before letting me know they were a bit “peached out.”  (Is that even possible?)

Here’s the recipe:

Mix dry:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup organic sugar

Mix wet:

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp maple flavoring

1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup milk

2 eggs

Combine dry and wet.

Add lots of fresh, peeled peach slices!

Fill 12 lined muffin tins

Bake 375, 18 – 20 minutes

Saying Yes

There are so many “magical” things about summer — gardens growing, evening swims, and of course dinner alfresco.  I had a realization this week as we seemed to slow down and ease our way into this season.  My son and I had walked to the mailbox, and as we entered the garage, he asked if we could play ball.  My gut-reaction was “No.”  I had planned on making dinner as soon as we returned.  Then it occurred to me — we were on break!  Dinner could be a little later, and 20 minutes of ball time was no big deal.  In fact, we had a lot of fun!   Of course, I probably could say yes during other seasons as well.  But, it is so nice to say yes without the stress!

(p.s.  Our garden is growing quite nicely!)

Peach Jammin’

I’m so happy that despite a record number of rat and bird pecks, we can still claim an abundant harvest of peaches from our very generous little tree.  We have already gone through 3 jars of peach jam, and enjoyed everything from peach toast to waffles to crepes to peach oatmeal!  After missing out on peaches last year due to our foster baby and getting ready for Thailand, I am more determined than ever to enjoy as much of this year’s harvest as possible.  Round one of jamming is complete, with a dozen jars.  (And, this year I had several little helpers, which was fun!)  Round 2 is up next with 15 more jars to fill…

Memorial Day 2018

It was a simple, sweet Memorial Day.  I had my husband home, and he grilled the best ribs I have ever tasted.  He also made a wonderful cole slaw using homegrown cabbage from my Father-in-law.  I contributed a strawberry pie for dessert.  After dinner, we lingered outside and played while waiting for friends who came to spend the night.  When we spend the day in the pool, eating in our backyard is nice because there is sun. But, when we don’t want the sun, the side yard is just perfect.  I foresee many more evening meals there this summer!