Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jam Packed Fun!

Over the weekend we had not one, but two family reunions to attend. Friday night we headed about an hour and a half away to start our first adventure. My parents are responsible for my family reunion. It was decided that this would be our last year to host the reunion. It is lots of work and with Megan in school I am not able to go down as early as normal. That puts more work on my parents. As sad as it is to end this era I know that it is the best thing at the moment.

My cousin brought this cute cake!

Although we go away for the reunion I think the thing we enjoy the most is our time spent at the inn.  There was time for Megan and her cousins to swim.

A lovely sunset walk.  What a great way to erase the stress of everyday life!

We always make time to do a little exploring.  The town where the inn is has an Amish community.  Right after we turned off the main road we were greeted by this sign. 

We passed many buggies and wagons.

We even saw the Amish schoolhouse.

Sunday we hit the road again and headed two hour south for Chuck's reunion.  It is always held at a state park. 

Grandma is on the end in the black pants.  They are a wonderful group and share some great stories of times past.  I could sit and listen to them all day.

Some time was spent hiking.  This is cake rock and we try to take a picture of Megan here each year.

This park is know for it's waterfalls.  This is the top of what is know as Little Clifty.  There is usually a steady stream of water falling over the edge of these rocks. 

We have been getting some rain so seeing how dry this is really put the drought into perspective.  Wow!

By the time we headed home Sunday evening Megan was a dirty, tired little girl. Hmmm... I wonder why? lol

It was a very long weekend, but lots of fun. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pinned It, Made It: Pancake Bites

Another week is beginning and that means it is time to share another completed project from Pinterest on Pinned It, Made It Monday .

I saw this idea.  My first thought was that is a great idea why didn't I think of that?! lol  Weekday breakfast is hard for me.  I have to feed Megan before she leaves for school and then I have to feed the boys when they arrive. (Chuck takes his breakfast and eats at work since his shift starts at 6:30.) Fixing two full breakfast meals just isn't going to happen.  Honestly, there isn't enough time. 

Please don't judge me on my awful muffin tins.  These are my favorite and have seen lots of use.  Maybe next week I will try an idea I saw to clean all this junk off. :)

This is super easy. You fill your greased muffin tins with pancake batter.  I usually use an ice cream scoop to get a consistent size.  Then you add your toppings.  I used sausage for most as I think Chuck would enjoy those most.  I also made some blueberry and chocolate chip pancake muffins. 

They are quite delicious!

These should freeze and re-heat beautifully!  Just what I need for those busy mornings.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Corn... Finally!

I join you this afternoon in much better spirits.  A couple hours of rest was the perfect solution!

With the drought corn has been very hard to come by.  My parents ran across some listed on Craigslist and we jumped on it.  We ended up getting 30 dozen for $40.00!  That was a fantastic price since most places were selling it for $5.00/dozen and had a limited supply.

I shared 6 dozen with my mother-in-law and then got busy on the rest.  You could tell that the season had been rough as some ears weren't fully developed and there were some worms.  We knew this going in as the farmer told us that he didn't spray the corn a second time.  He didn't want to put any additional money into a crop that might fail.  I certainly understand that!

Anyway, we did end up with plenty of corn.  I am truly grateful for it!

  Mom and I worked together and ended up with 33 quart bags containing 3 cups each and then two dozen froze on the cob.

Now I must run and give my kitchen some attention as the floor is super sticky. :)  Well worth it when I serve this yummy summer treat on a cold winter day!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What the Doctor Ordered....

All the windows are open and temperature is a wonderful 69*.  I can feel that fall is just around the corner.  My home is tidy, not super clean, but tidy.  For today I am fine with that.  The boys I watch have been playing nicely.  I should be on top of the world, but I am not. Sigh.  I am tired. 

Not only physically tired, but mentally tired.  I know we all have those times when everything in life seems overwhelming.  That makes me even more exhausted because I know compared to others I live a good life. 

I have decided to take the afternoon off.  Well, as much as a mom can. 

What better way to spend a quiet afternoon?!  I plan to snuggle under a cozy blanket, drink some warm, delicious tea and read. 

When you are feeling down one the best things you can do is spend time with a friend.  My prayer is that this friend will help with my mental tiredness.  After a little time in the Word I plan to snuggle under my blanket for a little rest. 

Ahhh.... just what the doctor ordered!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Teacher Gift: Pencil Snack Holder

The first week of school is ending and that means it is time for a teacher gift.  The first week has been fantastic!  Megan still loves going and is giving her teacher rave reviews.  They are doing fun things like subtraction and addition problems while sitting on top of their desk.  Sounds like Mrs. Teacher is going to make learning fun!

I found the idea for this here.   I used what I had on hand to make this.

I didn't have any gray paper so I used aluminum foil to create the metal ring and I opted not to put on the lettering since I didn't have any on hand.  I attached a note that says:

I hope your first full week was sweet.  Here are some treats to sneak when the afternoon is not so neat!

You can go here and see what I made last year.  I am up way past my bedtime so I must run.  Have a great weekend!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

I have been researching and playing with making instant oatmeal.  I finally have a keeper recipe.

 For this you will need:

1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 t cinnamon
2 t dry milk
1/8 t salt
4 t brown

I made a big batch.  I didn't keep track and can't tell you have many times I doubled, tripled and quadrupled this recipe.

To make it you take 1/2 cup of mix and then add hot water.  Up to 1/2 cup of water depending on the consistency you like.  I use about a 1/3 cup of water.  Add any desired fruit.  For this bowl I used a teaspoon of dried blueberries.

I have seen this stored in snack size bags.  I decided that I wasn't willing to add the extra cost for that convenience.  I decided to store it in a glass jar with a 1/2 cup scoop.  I include the scoop so that I don't have to take the time to dig one out each morning.

In case you are wondering about price comparison I figured it out for you. :)  Of course this price will vary depending on how much your ingredients cost.  This batch cost $0.11 for each 1/2 cup serving. 

A generic that is about 1/3 cup is $0.16 a serving.  Not a huge savings, but overtime it will add up.  Especially considering that some weeks my crew would go through two boxes!  I don't know about you but I see my grocery bill rising and I am not bringing home more groceries.  Sometimes even less then I use to.  I am going to see if I can lower the price even more by checking out some prices at Aldi.

I would love to hear what convenience foods you are making from scratch to stretch your grocery budget. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, August 06, 2012


Hospitality is the relationship between guest and host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. Specifically, this includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.  This is the definition according to Wikipedia.  There is nothing mentioned about a beautiful home, perfect setting or a table that is set for a Country Living Magazine spread. 

Not that there is anything wrong with all of those things.  I like beautiful things and am really inspired by it.  I think that sometimes we see those magazine spreads or perfect blog post and feel like what we have to offer isn't enough.  I know that I have issues with that. 

Lets face it not all of us, actually most of us, don't live in big, beautiful homes.  We live in modest, cozy places.  Life is sometimes busy and we don't have time to plan the perfect place setting.  I know that there are times that I let the comparison game start to make me feel like I don't measure up.  When that happens I am less likely to be hospitable. 

Recently we had the opportunity to host a couple over.  It was spontaneous.  The week had been busy, the house was clean and I just didn't feel like going to lots of fuss that I would then need to clean up.

We used our finest china.

Served out of our best serving dishes.

Served simple fare of BLT's, deviled eggs, veggies and a variety of pickles.  I used what I had on hand.  The lunch invite was extended at 10 and lunch was served at noon.  

I didn't go to a lot of fuss and you know what... no one seemed to mind.  I understand how easy it is to get caught up in being perfect.  This afternoon served as a great reminder of what true hospitality is. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pinned It, Made It: Santa's Magic Key

Another week is beginning and that means it is time to share another completed project from Pinterest on Pinned It, Made It Monday .

 I found the idea here.

It says:

Dear Santa,

This magic key works just for you.  Please open the door and come on through.   Thank you for coming to our home tonight.   We're celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ!  Thank you, Santa, for the gifts you bring.  Thank you, Jesus, for everything!

The xxx Family

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

First Grader!

She has been ready for this day since the second week of summer! :)  About broke this Mama's heart  this morning when she said that she wished it was tomorrow so she could stay at school all day. :( 

I know that it isn't personal it is just that she loves school.  As Megan says "the best part about school is learning."  I hope she has a life long love for learning.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

End of Summer....

Okay, so I know there is lots of summer left, but since school starts tomorrow it feels like the end around here.  The schools around here are going to something called a balanced calendar.  There will be a two week break for fall, two weeks for Christmas, two weeks in the spring and then a two month summer break.  I have mixed feelings about it, but am trying to keep an open mind. 

Since I have been terrible about keeping up around here I thought I would share some random pictures from our summer. 

Chef Megan.  She loves to open her diner and "make" dinner for us.

There were some country drives at the beginning of summer.

 It is always fun to spend time with friends. 

Our annual trip to the air show.

Always a silly girl! :)

Swimming in the big pool.  She is now arm float free and just yesterday she learned to do a double back flip under water. 

A trip to the Air & Space Museum outside of D.C.

Having fun with cousins while in Virginia.

It has been a very busy season.  I hope you enjoyed some of the highlights. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!