Monday, June 29, 2015


Sometimes you're hitting the point when naps and down time really need to start. Like, immediately. Nothing bad has happened, but everyone is right on the brink of being rude, uncooperative, and/or having a meltdown.

Then you notice this.

Oh, the difference ten minutes can make for all the Ws!

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Devon asked to skip the low-key park or house party with a group of friends that we usually have for his birthday and go somewhere fun with just one friend, Dominic, instead. We granted his request, coordinated schedules with Dominic's parents, and today was his celebration day.

He really wanted to do something alone with Dominic, minus the sibs, but part of his plan was to go to OMSI. We go once a month as a family with a membership we were given and haven't made it up there in June, so he said we should all go together and then split up. That's what we did.

We went to church in two cars this morning, then headed to OMSI with Dominic in tow when we were done there. Our first stop was to carry the lunch we'd made before church out to the benches along the river next to OMSI and eat. We watched people playing out on the river, saw a river otter (or something) chowing down on a dead salmon, and avoided collisions with all the cyclists whizzing by.

Then we went inside. These buddies concentrated intensely.

 They also laughed hysterically.

We tried to take a group picture to prove that we were all there and this was the best one we got. We'll just pretend like everyone was looking at the camera with a natural-looking smile. I promise that we had a better time than this picture indicates!

Once our time at OMSI was done I took Silas, Naomi, and Teebs home, but Tim kept Devon and Dominic and headed out off for some more fun. Their next stop was Sky High and both boys had a great time jumping, playing dodgeball, and busting out some tricks.

The final stop for these sweaty heads was Cold Stone for some ice cream, because, well, you have to have some sort of dessert when you're celebrating your birthday!

Friday, June 26, 2015


Silas kicked off his teenage years with all of our regular birthday traditions.

Breakfast is supposed to be doughnuts with Dad, but there aren't any great places to get doughnuts in town. Last year he got bagels instead and this year we were able to get WinCo bagels, which we all love, a day early and just saved them for him. He and Tim took their bagels to Settlemier Park bright and early.

The bigs all left shortly after breakfast for a church event and were gone all day, coming home in time to eat. Silas chose fried eggs (grease-free on the griddle, so I'm not sure if that counts as fried, but whatever), cottage cheese with crushed pineapple, and stuffed French toast for his birthday dinner.

Next up was taking pictures of him wearing the traditional birthday outfit.

He looked smug ...

... goofy ...

... and like a slightly crazed advertisement for weight loss.

He opened gifts and cards after his photo shoot.

Finally, he and I headed to El Paisanito for ice cream.

That was the end of all the birthday traditions, but there was one more thing the birthday boy did. He was able to create his own e-mail account, which he was really excited about and did immediately after breakfast.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I'm thankful that we've been given so much food this week that I had to turn down an offer of fresh produce because I don't have anywhere to put it.

What is one thing that you're thankful for?

MENU: 6/25/15 - 7/1/15

It's going to be in the 90's and 100's all week, so most of our menu requires minimal stove time or uses a crockpot.

* keys-style citrus chicken - Yum. That's what I think about this lime, orange, ginger, garlic, and red pepper concoction.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* We'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like we do once or twice every week.
* I'll pick up and process 40 lb. of Zaycon chicken. I usually do a mixture of plain chicken and some in marinades, but I think I may leave this batch all plain.

* egg & spinach scramble/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

* leftovers 
* 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
* Elizabeth's meatloaf/mashed potatoes/new recipe
* stuffed French toast/fried eggs (we actually do these grease-free on the griddle)/cottage cheese with crushed pineapple (Silas' birthday dinner of choice)
* coconut chicken (raw in marinade from the freezer, crockpot)/rice/frozen peas & corn
* sub sandwiches/apples/carrots/multi-grain chips
* pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing

* ice cream (I bought two cartons on sale a while back, so we ate one last week and will eat the other this week.)
* produce
Crunchy Flax cereal (We've scored a several cases of 12 for $4.99 at a local discount store over the last several months, so we've been using it as a snack. We either eat it with milk as a cold cereal, over yogurt with fruit, or mixed into homemade granola.)
* 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 after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Three healthy little Ws. One sick little W. One dad who loves them all.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Beth lives a few hours away and has let me know several times over the last couple of years that her door is always open in case I ever need to just get away. A trip to her house hasn't worked out, but she gave me a heads up a while ago that she was going to be in my neck of the woods this weekend. Tim and the bigs are off fishing, so Teebs and I met her for breakfast first thing this morning. We spent 2 1/2 hours eating, chatting, walking around, and watching people sail remote-controlled boats. I love spending time with her, so it was such a great way to start the day! We took a quick picture before we parted ways just to prove that we actually hung out together.

Pam had contacted me a couple days ago to see if we could connect, so I let her know I was going to be closer to her house than usual when I was done with Beth. She met Teebs and I at a park and we spent 2 1/2 hours catching up on life. I'm so grateful for her decades-long friendship!

Not only did I get a bunch of time with two ladies I love today, but I also snagged a needed picture frame from an awesome yard sale a family from church was having, chatted with another family from church who was out in their yard as we left the yard sale, had a kid from church who was at the park with his family spend a big chunk of time pushing Teebs on the swing, and picked up bargain flip flops at Old Navy for a couple little Ws who needed them.

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, I've been having a hard time lately, so this day has been exactly what I needed.