Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini

Ah, zucchini! The vegetable that multiplies, multiplies and multiplies some more. I have given some away, bagged some for the freezer and still have some on the vine.


I tried a new recipe, Zucchini Coffee Cake.



3 eggs
1 c oil
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 c grated zucchini
1 c nuts (optional ~ I didn't use since Megan doesn't like them in baked goods)

Topping:
1/2 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup nuts (I didn't use)

Mix together eggs, oil and sugar. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix in vanilla, zucchini and nuts. Pour into 9x3 inch greased pan (I don't have one so I used an 8x8 pan). Sprinkle with topping and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.



Megan declared it "the best ever!" Enjoy!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!




Sunday, July 24, 2011

On My Mind

Do I know that God is in control of my life? Yes! Do I always let Him be in control? Sadly, no. I have been feeling the nudge. You know what I mean. The nudge to make a change, the nudge that says things aren't the way they should be. The nudge that we all sometimes ignore. That nudge has been pulling me toward slowing down and simplicity.

Simplicity can mean different things to different people. For me simplicity means:


♥ Less Stuff ♥

Stuff is a constant battle. Does it make me feel happy? For a moment maybe, but then it starts to feel overwhelming. Stuff becomes clutter not only in my home and mind, but in my heart. I am by no means a neat freak but when there is to much stuff I tend to become overwhelmed. That leads me shutting down and having a forget it attitude. Not good.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:19-21





♥ More Time at Home ♥

Learning that it is okay to say No. I don't have to be every where and please every one. (very hard for me since I am a pleaser) This doesn't mean that we will be home all of the time. It means that we will be selective about the things we do and make good use of our time.

She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. ~ Proverbs 31:29


♥ Letting Go of Worry ♥

This goes along with my pleaser personality. I really need to stop worrying about what others think. Make decisions that are best for Chuck, Megan and myself ~ my family ~ with out worrying about what others might think or say. (This is probably my biggest issue. I am so bothered when I think someone is upset with me or doesn't agree with a decision we have made.)

This doesn't mean that I won't plan for a rainy day. It means that I will take each rainy day as it comes. Knowing that I am really not in control but in good hands. His hands!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7


♥ Living in the Moment ♥

Not longing for simpler times or for a less chaotic tomorrow. Making today where I want to be.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34


♥ Spending Time in His Word ♥

This is the most important thing I can do. It keeps me on track with my priorities in the correct place.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119:105

Life is full of choices. Are you making the right choices? Are your priorities in the correct place? Are you feeling at peace with the direction of your life? I want to be able to say yes to all of those question at all times.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moments

I have been telling Chuck and Megan about a baby bunny that I keep seeing. Finally Megan spotted it one evening.


It warmed my heart to see Daddy peeking out the window with Megan.

There are so many times that life can feel overwhelming. Places to go and things to do and sometimes it feels like life is passing you by. It is the simple moments here and there that make you stop and realize what is really important in life. I am grateful for those moments and cherish each and every one of them!


While watering flowers Megan asked me to spray her. A great way to beat the heat. She innocently asked to spray and before I knew what was happening I was being soaked. Lots of fun and laughing. Another moments that makes it all worth while.


Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed. Coria Kent

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!




Monday, July 18, 2011

Lazy Man Green Bean Pickin'

Like most of you we are experiencing some extreme heat and dry conditions. Due to the dryness my green beans were starting to wilt and die. For the last picking we did what I call lazy man pickin'. We went out when the sun started to go down and pulled up the entire bean plant and loaded them onto a tarp.


We then sat on the back porch and picked the beans off while sitting next to a fan. Well worth it since we ended up with eight gallons. My mother-in-law came over to help and took most of them to share.

We have also been working on removing a tree. To save some money we had a tree cutter drop it to the ground and then Chuck cut the tree up.


A guy he works with is coming for the wood this weekend and he hope to go out late tomorrow and get the rest of the brush clean up.

After little stretches of work each evening we have been cooling off in Megan's pool.


We never dreamed this pool would benefit the whole family! If you are in the extreme heat zone, please be careful. I hear that Wednesday and Thursday is going to be the worse. Be safe and stay cool!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!





Friday, July 15, 2011

Backyard Camp Out

After the indoor camp out the girls have been asking to sleep outside. Megan invited her cousins for a sleepover last night. I wasn't sure that we would be able to sleep out since the beginning of the week started with extreme heat. Luckily a cool front came through and yesterday and today will be pleasant before the heat and humidity return Saturday. Thankful!


The girls were very excited to see the tent go up.


No camp out would be complete without a fire and marshmallows!



Yum... s'mores!


Then it was time to chase lightening bugs before turning in.

Everyone made it all night in the tent! Other then my aching back it was really nice. We often sleep with the windows open but the sounds were very different being out in a tent. We heard the raccoons chasing each other up and down the trees at the back of our property. There were sounds of crickets, tree frogs and giggling girls! Fun was had by all and this is something we will make a tradition.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

Summer-time brings with itself unhurried mornings, restful afternoons, and leisurely evenings. ~ Author Unknown

Summer seems to be a busy time of the year for me. I have to be intentional to take time to make some lazy days of summer. That is exactly what I have been doing.


Making time for long walks.


Hot afternoons spent in the pool.


Buying a special afternoon snack. It is hard to say no when your little wants carrots with the "fuzzy" like a bunny would eat.


Saying Yes! we can outside before bed and play. Summer bedtime is hard since it doesn't get dark here until almost 10pm!

It is easy to get caught up in the to do list. I reminding myself that Megan will not remember how clean and organized our home was, how neat the flower beds and garden looked weeded or how great it was to have an empty laundry hamper. I want her to remember how we slowed down and enjoyed the sweet days of summer!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!





Monday, July 11, 2011

Laundry Saving Tips

Along the way I have picked up a few ideas that help save money while doing laundry. I am by no means an expert, but I thought I would share what is working for me.

I have found that using a powder detergent works best for me. I find that when I use a liquid detergent I am lazy and will hold the container over the washer, push the button and just drop some in. I am sure that I use to much detergent this way.


Instead of using the scoop that comes with the detergent and recommended amount of detergent I use a 1/8 measuring cup. I find that my laundry comes out just as clean using this little bit. If I have an extra large or dirty load I will add an extra scoop and use 1/4 cup.

When I was working and we had more wiggle room in the budget I would go to Sam's and buy this container of fabric softener.


Now that every penny counts more then ever I buy the least expensive fabric softener. I am able to get twice as much from the bottle by pouring it into my large container and then filling the bottle up with water and adding to the large container. Just be sure to shake the large container well to mix the water with the fabric softener.

I am also to able to double my fabric sheets by cutting them in half.


The only time I find that I need more then half a sheet is when I dry blankets during the winter. I don't know why but the static is terrible on a load of blankets.

I love coming across money saving tips and hope that this helps you save a penny or two.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!


Friday, July 08, 2011

Ordinary Days

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. ~Thomas Moore

After an extremely busy weekend it has been wonderful to have ordinary days. To many my days and life may seem boring, but the simple hum of my days make my heart sing.

Tuesday was a day full of laundry.



Without a packed schedule there was time to play.


I feel that it is so important for children to have time to play. Time to explore, use their imaginations and just be. I don't feel children need to be constantly entertained or in planned activities.

I made my first purchase on Craigs list a week or so ago.


This table and chairs was purchased for $20. I bought it to add two chairs to my existing table.

Here are the chairs around my existing table.


I wasn't loving this. The chairs didn't slide under the table enough and although it looks okay in the picture once the baby pulled up on a chair or Megan tried to push one up to the table it looks crowded and messy. Last night I convinced Chuck to bring in the other table to try out.


I am liking this much better. The quality of the table isn't as good as my other one, but this one will meet our needs. We usually eat dinner while the boys I watch are still here and this makes it a much better experience for everyone.


One of the things I like most about ordinary days is gathering around the dinner table.


Enjoying some fresh green beans from my garden and even better company.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!





Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Blogger Comment Problems?

I don't know about you, but I have been having some major problems leaving comments on some blogs. I get stuck in an endless cycle of logins and comment verification codes. Here is a fix for the problem.

1. Close all web browser windows but one.

2. In that window, clear all of your cookies, cache, passwords, everything (in my IE browser, I go to Tools, then Internet Options, then under Browsing History I click “Delete” and leave all boxes checked and click “Delete” again).

3. Then go to www.blogger.com and login, but here’s the catch, make sure you DO NOT check the box for “remember me.” If that box is checked, you must uncheck it.

4. Then you can go to any Blogger blog and you’ll be able to comment as yourself again.

I was getting very frustrated and am happy to now be able to comment.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!

Party Time!

Friday was Megan's birthday and we had a little party for her. We started out with the grandparents and my sister's family joining us for dinner at Olive Garden.


We hadn't been there in a long time and it was such a treat!

Everyone then came back to our home and we were joined by some good friends for cake.



Megan requested a pinata.


The kids had lots of fun! Since I did this I didn't make treat bags. I had some little treat boxes to hold their goodies from the pinata.

There were presents.


Lots of craft items were received. Yes! Not only does Megan love crafts, but it isn't something I have to store for long term.

The weather was wonderful and the kids were able to run and play; just as kids should!


The party was small, simple and relaxed. I think it was my favorite of all the parties.


Happy Birthday, Megan Moo! We love more then you will ever know!!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!




Tuesday, July 05, 2011

In the Bean Business

The green business that is. Last week mom and I were talking and she said that we wouldn't have green beans by the fourth of July. Ha! The green beans showed her. This is her garden and it has eleven rows of beans that are about 25 feet long.


She started picking and was shocked by the amount of beans she was getting. She picked 2 1/2 rows and ended up with 11 gallons of beans!! That is when she called me and I went over to help out.


I snapped and snapped until I thought my fingers would fall off.

So far 56 quarts have been canned.


When it is all said and done it looks like there will be over 100 quarts from the first picking of her garden. Wow!!

It looks like the beans in my garden will be ready in a day or two. I think we are going to be in the bean business for a while!

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!