Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomato Pickin'

My family loves cherry tomatoes so I planted 8 cherry tomato plants this past Spring. Now, they are growing with gusto! Every other day, Sissyboo and Double D and I have been going out and gathering a basket full. Sissyboo gathers and Double D sneaks away and eats them.

"If a child has a pure cherry tomato off the vine, it's the sweetest thing you'll ever have. And he'll actually like it," Michelle Obama.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daddy's Garden

On my recent trip home to Ohio, I spent a lot of my time out doors enjoying my parent's deck and flowers. Daddy built a gorgeous deck that wraps around the back of the house and has planted flowers all around the deck and also has several garden areas.

Straight out back is his green bean garden. Daddy plants the beans and then he and Mom pull weeds, pick the beans and then she cans them. They are awesome too! We love getting a can or two of these green beans:

Here is a raised bed that I am green with envy over. I never thought I would like the higher raised bed, but I love this one. There are tomatoes in the center and then onions on each lower end. So cute!

Here are just some of his perennials around the deck:

Here is his shed along side of a gorgeous purple Rose of Sharon Bush. I am now going to have incorporate a Rose of Sharon around my house after seeing how lovely this one turned out to be:

This butterfly was fluttering around the Rose of Sharon for awhile. So after about 15 minutes of watching it, I decided to grab a photo. I could have sat and watched him flutter all day.

These are just a few of the flower pots Daddy has sitting on the built in bench on the deck. He is currently in the process of staining the deck or else they would be placed around the inside of it. Can you see the bar above the deck. That is actually a hammock! The hammock sits nicely underneath the shade of the Cleveland Pear Tree.

This is just a view from the outside and a little glimpse of my Daddy! :) He sits here daily watching the birds and wild life. I found myself just sitting out there with him taking in the beauty of the area. He has made quite a little haven for him and my Mom.

This black rod iron basket is just gorgeous. Yes, I am coveting once again! I didn't get a picture of it, but they have two of these baskets on either side of their window. It looks stunning.

Thank you for taking a little tour of my Daddy's garden. It's a little piece of quiet heaven there in Ohio.

Meal Plan Monday you hear that? That is the sound of silence. Because it is a rare thing around here, I am trying to get all my work done! While all kids are napping, I have just planned out this week's menu, written a few thank you notes, organized the family's health records and finished the children's chore charts. Whew...time for a iced coffee break if I do say so myself.

Last week was a good but weird week. We came back from Ohio only to have the entire family including the hubster get sick! We were sick all week and didn't get celebrate Sissyboo's third birthday. (Boo!!!!) Fortunately for us, she didn't think a thing about it. However, I am dying to give her, her birthday gifts! If you know me, then you know that I love my kids birthdays! I get so excited that I can't sleep the night before their birthdays or Christmas. I love seeing them excited and happy. I am looking forward to celebrating Sissyboo's birthday this coming Saturday with her Grandparents from Missouri and taking her out to her favorite Mexican Restaurant.

Here is my menu for this week. Trying a few new dishes! Who knows...maybe there will be a keeper in this group. (I have decided to make light desserts on the nights I make new just in case they don't work out, there will be something yummy to look forward to after wards.

Monday: Chicken Hurry and rice with asparagus (or trees as my kids call them)

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Mama Disalvo's (a Dayton, Ohio Restaurant) Sauce

Wednesday: Creamy Lentil Soup with Chorizo Croutes

Thursday: Sweet and Spicy Shredded Pork with corn on the cob

Friday: Chicken Teriyaki and Sushi Rice

Saturday: Taking Sissyboo to her favorite Mexican Restaurant (the girl drinks salsa!)

Sunday: Make your own Pizza's (letting the kids make their own pizza's)

Blessings on a wonderful summer week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Girl Made My Dreams Come True

My oldest daughter turned three this past weekend and I can not believe how fast the time has gone.

Sissyboo has made all my dreams come true in many more ways then thought possible.

There is not a day that has gone by that I am not grateful that the Lord placed her in my life. She is such a wonderful little girl. She helps me out so much around the house whether it's cleaning up or helping with the baby, she always lends a hand.

Currently her favorite loves are Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse and my old red cowboy hat (that she wears 90% of the time when we are home). She is a girly girl that has to have her toes and finger nails polished weekly! Loves to sneak into my make-up and usually has one of my old purses around her shoulder. She has a smile on her face when she gets up in the morning and her favorite thing to do is run into Double D's room and wake him up.

Her best buddy without a doubt is her little brother Double D. Oh those two love to play with one another and when apart they almost seems lost with out each other.

Each night before she goes to bed she also has to give Double D a kiss through the rails on the stairway (or the kissing stairs as we call them).

I just love this little angel and I am so glad the Lord is allowing me to be her Mommy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Trip Home

Like I said in my previous post, I drove my three little ones home to visit my family last week. We had a great time, but Mommy and Double D were exhausted by the time we got home.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

I visited with my lifelong best friend and her son at the mall and we all crammed into a photo booth. Sissyboo is not pictured because she was crying in the corner of the photo booth because it was so small. Two adults (one being preggo) and four small children equals this picture:

Taking Sissyboo up to Cedarville University to show her where I want her to go to college (big smiles):

Going swimming with the entire family at Aunt Niecey's club:

Having Missymoo meeting Aunt Niecey and cousin Enjoyment for the first time:

Double D swimming with cousin Lovely:

Sissyboo just being cute:

My parents threw a Toy Story birthday party for Sissyboo and Double D since they don't usually get to see them on their birthdays. (The kids where over the moon with their cake):

A trip to Young's Jersey Dairy was in order. We had to get ice cream and feed the animals:

Double D hugging the goats! He has such a big, kind heart:

Being with the cousins is always my kids favorite part of any trip home:

Sissyboo hugging Buzz Lightyear after a long few days:

We had a great time at home and created some wonderful memories.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday...even though it's Wednesday

(The kids picking blueberries on our back porch)

I recently got back from taking the kiddo's to see their Grandparents and the rest of my family in Ohio. My hubby had to work so he stayed here in St. Louis, while I made the 6 hour journey to Ohio with three small children. The trip was great, but exhausting. However, I am very thankful that I got to spend some time with my dear family.

Because of my trip, I am a little behind on the menu plan:

Monday: Soup Beans

Tuesday: Turkey Tacos Picadillo (since this post is being done after I made these, these were surprisingly good!)

Wednesday: Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes (a family favorite)

Thursday: Green Beans and New Potatoes with a side of corn on the cob (this is my favorite summer time meal that reminds me of home)

Friday: Chicken Peanut Pad Thai

Saturday: Chinese Take Away for Sissyboo's Third Birthday (one of her favorites)

Sunday: Pork Steaks and Sauerkraut

Friday, July 8, 2011

Easy Grape Salad

This is a wonderful and refreshing salad to take to family functions.

2 lbs green seedless grapes
2 lbs red seedless grapes
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste
1 cup crushed pecans, to taste

Wash and stem grapes.
Set aside.
Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until blended.
Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl.
For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans.
Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely.
Chill overnight.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Edible Landscaping

Several years ago when we had our landscaping put in, I asked the landscapers to leave a bare patch of land next to the walkway for me to play around in. Every year I have had fun planting the typical summer annuals like petunias and impatiens. However, this year I wanted to try something new. So, when I read an article about edible landscaping I knew I had to give that a try.

In the middle of May when I started clearing out the vegetable/herb gardens in the back yard, I was surprised to find a little sprig of oregano and thyme growing. After the horribly cold winter, I didn't think any of my perennial herbs would return. But there they were, tiny as ever, but growing fast. So with those two herb plants and a Live Forever (that I snagged from my Grandmothers house last year), I started my own edible landscaped garden.

Since planting those three little plants, I have added some additional edible herbs, and perennial plants.

Here is how the garden looked when I first planted at the beginning of June:

Here it is as of last week with the plants tagged so you can see what all is in the garden:

Since this photo was taken, I have added a Lambs Ear plant and a Pink Yarrow. I am looking forward to adding a purple Echinacea this weekend to make the garden complete.

It has been fun to walk out the front door and clip the fresh and edible herbs for meals.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meal Plan Monday...Even Though It's Tuesday

I am a little late on this weeks menu because I was enjoying celebrating the Fourth of July with my family too much to blog!

Here is the menu for this week:

Tuesday: Grilled hamburgers for the adults and grilled chicken tenderloins for the children (usually I don't make separate meals, but I don't want my daughter eating beef that is not raised as corn fed) and grilled asparagus

Wednesday: Slow Roasted Turkey Breast and mashed cauliflower

Thursday: *Cream of Lentil Soup with Chorizo Croutes

Friday: Brenner (Breakfast for Dinner)

Saturday: *Turkey Veggie Meal Loaf Cups and roasted carrots

Sunday: *Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin and spinach salad

I hope you all have a wonderful short week!

*Indicates new recipes

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodwill, the thrill of the hunt!

OK, so you may not know this about me, but I am a Goodwill junky! Since high school, I have loved roaming through antique, thrift and Goodwill Stores in pursuit of my next little treasure.

I have recently discovered several fabulous local Goodwill Stores, and as of this past May, St. Louis has opened up a (insert drum roll here)...Goodwill Outlet! The Outlet is a warehouse with large bins filled all kinds of goodies and every twenty minutes they bring out new bins. YEAH for me!

Recently while reading several money saving and thrifting blogs, I came across a wreath that a fellow blogger had just picked up from her local Goodwill Store. The wreath had some broken wooden petals, but nothing a glue gun couldn't fix. I thought to myself, I never find anything that cute! Well low and behold, I was recently in my local Goodwill and walked by the SAME wreath. It is a wreath that Target is currently selling, but because it also had a broken wooden petal, it was sent to Goodwill.

I said a big HELLO my new little wreath friend, snatched it up and brought it home. I got out my glue gun, fixed the broken piece and hung it up over the mantel.

Can you say...WINNER?

I also found this cutesy little milk glass soap pump that goes perfectly by the kitchen sink. Huge fan of milk glass!

So, for the last two years I have been wanting a table and chair set for the kiddos play room. However, I hadn't found a set that I could live with, without paying mucho dinero. I saw this little set for only a few dollars at The Goodwill. It now has a lovely home in the play room. I loved how my kids squealed with delight upon seeing it! But I also love the fact I didn't pay more than a few dollars for the whole set. SCORE!

I love the moto of The Duggar Family, "Buy used save the difference". I am all about that, but to be honest, for me, it's more about the thrill of the hunt.