Thursday, August 27, 2015

MENU: 8/27/15 - 9/2/15

September and school will both start within the next week. Summer's been fun, but I'm ready for the structure that comes to our lives in the fall!

Last week found me spending hours in the kitchen beyond regular cooking. I processed tons of peaches that we spontaneously picked one morning, made up some seasoning blends, and got a few things in the freezer for later. This week won't involve any advanced cooking, at least I don't think it will, but I am going to be trying out a few new recipes.

NEW RECIPES
* corn & cotija cheese dip - I love dipping blue tortilla chips into this stuff!

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I whipped up a batch of onion soup mix for a new recipe I popped in the freezer.
* I blanched, peeled, sliced, and froze about 55 lbs. of peaches for smoothies or whatever will float our boat later and put two peach pie fillings in the freezer.
* We'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like we do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* egg & veggie scramble
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* new recipe/rice/crockpot beans
* coconut chicken soup 
lentils & rice
* new recipe
* corn & bean salad/cornbread (from the freezer)
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* new recipe
* produce
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

8/27/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that there is food in my cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer.

What is something that you are thankful for?

Monday, August 24, 2015

GIRL TIME

I planned on taking a few naps and busting out some projects while the guys were on their camping trip a couple weekends ago, but I ended up having four days of low-key and somewhat spontaneous fun with Naomi instead. If you know me at all, then you know that's way out of character. Yes, there's a part of me that regrets not getting some work done when most of our family was gone, as opportunities for uninterrupted times of productivity are few and far between, but the time spent with Naomi was definitely worth it. The guys had the camera and we didn't take many pictures on the phone, but we got a few to prove that we had some fun. Here's a glimpse of our four days together.

Thursday - We slept in and had a leisurely day at home. Bill and Becky stopped by for a while in the morning and Mieschell dropped in later with a bunch of Mountain Man snacks for girl time. Naomi watched a movie, I read a book, we played multiple rounds of Candy Land and one really long round of The Ladybug Game, and we went to bed at a reasonable hour when the day was done.


Friday - I'd planned on taking Naomi along for a free tour of Creo Chocolate in Portland, then ended up coordinating schedules with a friend and her son who had also planned on going. We headed up mid-morning, took the tour, then sat and visited with Thea and Jake for well over an hour. It's a neat place and you can easily schedule a tour, which includes samples, through their website or stop in for a variety of small batch chocolate bars, baked goods, and chocolate drinks that they've taken from bean to finished product right on site.

I didn't want to get stuck in Friday afternoon traffic, so we started heading south as soon as we were done at Creo. I had a coupon for a free ice cream with a paid purchase at Cold Stone, along with a gift cards, so I asked Naomi if she wanted to get some ice cream. No question about what her answer was. We enjoyed a free treat, then headed across the street to visit some stores we'd seen on our way to Cold Stone. 

First stop was Cabela's. I'd never been there before, but Naomi had and wanted to give me the grand tour. We tried on hats and shoes, watched fish in the aquarium, and looked at a whole bunch of other things. 


Second stop was Home Goods. Naomi hadn't been there and I wanted to show her what it's like. We laughed at all sorts of funky things, saw a bunch of cool stuff, and then headed out.


She said this mirror was "so artistic" and wanted to take a picture of it to show Tim (which I'm just now realizing we never showed him). She struck her tough girl pose, which she was able to hold until the camera clicked ... and then she started cracking up.


By this time we were getting pretty hungry for real food. We swung by Costco because Naomi had money she thought she'd like to spend there, She didn't find anything she wanted badly enough to buy, but we enjoyed a few pre-dinner samples.

Finally, we stopped at Red Robin. I had a few dollars of personal fun money from a while back and a free burger on my Royalty card, so we enjoyed an inexpensive dinner out. As a sidenote, you can link your Royalty card to the school of your choice and a small percentage of your purchases will be donated to the school. Choose the school your kids go to, that's in your neighborhood, or one that you know could use some extra funds.

We headed home after a full day of running around, then Becca came over a couple hours later. She and I ended up talking about everything under the sun until 3:00 in the morning. Naomi stayed up with us until 1:00, falling asleep on the couch because she didn't want to miss out on the action. Why put your head on a pillow if you can bend your body in unnatural ways to fall asleep instead?


Saturday -  A few days earlier I'd asked Naomi if she'd want to go on a hike on Saturday, but we never made a decision about it. First thing Saturday morning she asked where we were going to hike and I told her there was no way we were going to start a hike at 11:00 (or later) after being up so late the night before. We compromised and decided to visit a new park instead. I had pictures to pick up in Salem, so we took off after sleeping in and eating a late breakfast, making a quick stop at Franz to stock up on bread along the way, 

We chose to visit Bush's Pasture Park, which neither of us had ever been to and was just a couple minutes away from where we were picking up pictures. What a cool park! Lots of paths, play structures, wooded areas, open fields, athletic facilities, flower gardens, and so on. We didn't see the whole thing, but we loved what we did see and will definitely go back.


Taking a long way home, we swung by a sale Amy and Kelly from Vintage Ladder were having out in Mt. Angel (they're pretty active on their Facebook page). We didn't plan on spending any money, but it was fun to drive through the country, see the antique furniture they've found and ugly pieces they've spruced up into cute furniture, and catch up on life. 

We got home mid-afternoon, shortly before Mindy and Tammy came over. Tammy ended up making BLTs for all of us and cooked up some corn on the cob we had on hand. We spent all evening chatting and laughing. Laughing a lot, I might add. I hadn't laughed that much in a long time! Barb stopped by briefly while Mindy and Tammy were here and it was nice to visit with her, if only for a few minutes. 

Sunday - Naomi and went to church in the morning, then came home and puttered around the house for a couple hours until Laura and Emelye, who had never met each other before, came by. We ate lunch, chatted about life for a couple hours, and wrapped up our visit just after the guys returned home. 

Folks, it was such a wonderful four days! I love having all my kids together, but I also love getting to spend some one-on-one time with them. It was really fun to just goof off, relax, and run around town with Naomi. 

The time with friends was also great. Not only did my extroverted self love visiting with so many people over those four days, but my friend tank got filled up way higher than it had been in a while. I'm grateful for the women in my life, both those I'm close to and those who are casual friends ... and obviously not limited to the ones I saw over that weekend, with talents and interests different than my own, who will cut through the superficial things and address the parts of both of our lives that really matter, with life experiences that I'm able to encourage them through or that enable them to encourage me, who make the time to maintain friendships, and who I can laugh with about all the silly things in life.

(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

DADS & SONS CAMPOUT - 2015

This trip is always the highlight of our Silas and Devon's summer and it's the first year Teebs got to go. 

The brothers piled in the back seat ...


... and goofed off for the camera.


Tim assumed the chauffeuring position and they were off.


Their first stop was to visit with Linda (Tim's mom), Monica (one of his sisters), and some of Monica's kids. There wasn't a picture with everyone smiling at the camera at once, but I think these two pictures caught everyone at some point.



They also swung by our old house in Beaverton for a photo op.


Finally, they reached their destination - three nights, four days, six dads, and ten sons at Fort Stevens. They spent time riding bikes, played a night game on the beach, had a scavenger hunt, sat around a campfire (days before they were banned), went fishing, buried each other in the sand, explored historic stuff, and had a ton of fun.

Lots of boys and bikes!


View from the lookout.


The whole group of guys.

 
High school classmates, reunited through a mutual friend at this campout several years ago, with their sons a generation after they were in school together.



Friday, August 21, 2015

8/20/15 - WORTH REPEATING

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So let’s find our normal. Let’s find it and settle into it. And wait for God’s direction. Let’s see where He takes us.


~ Mathaus Schwarzen in A Letter to MKs Around the Globe at To Sow a Seed


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Temptation often comes through doors that someone deliberately left open.


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Whether it's cleaning toilets, wiping noses, sweeping streets, balancing ledgers, crunching numbers, serving the homeless, making a phone call, or speaking in front of a thousand people. It all matters.

And if something's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Whatever you're called to do, whatever is right in front of you, do it with all you've got. There's so much fulfillment that comes from giving each task our all!!


~ Crystal Paine in Why You Should Always Give 100% at Money Saving Mom


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It's hard to be the person you want to be if your days leave no room for contemplating who that person even is.  < snip >  Live out your purpose. Live your values. You don't have to do it all. You just have to be yourself, and do what you were made to do.


~ Melissa Camara Wilkins in Do Less and Live More at Becoming Minimalist


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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

~ John Lennon


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

MENU: 8/20/15 - 8/26/15

I didn't end up trying the new breakfast recipe I'd planned for last week. It just keeps getting bumped for other things. Oh well.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I made seasoned salt and taco seasoning last week.
* I'm going to make homemade Italian sausage with this seasoning mix, which I need to get blended up, then have one of the kids make and freeze the sauce for Italian sausage with bowties.
* We'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like we do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* new recipe
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* coconut chicken (crockpot, from the freezer)/rice/bok choy with garlic & ginger
lentils & rice
* chipotle sweet potato nachos (sweet potato base from the freezer, experimenting with mozzarella instead of cheddar because there's a bunch in the freezer)
* new recipe/black bean dip/broccoli pesto/crackers/veggies
buffalo slaw/rice (skipped last week because a friend came over and made BLTs)
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers

SNACKS & DESSERTS
carrot pie
* produce
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

8/20/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful for the tree in our front yard that keeps the sun from completely blasting our living room in the summer and drops leaves in the fall so that the sun can warm things up in the winter.

What is something that you're thankful for?