Day to Day Adventure: 6/5/11 - 6/12/11

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

Could we please go back to spring?  Wow it has gotten CRAZY warm here!

Not really complaining here but really June is not always swimming weather here . . . . . .

The new location of this post is

Grilled Chicken Salad

This blog has moved.  Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet lil’ monster

See the water balloon?

You get the idea.



Monday, June 6, 2011

Healthy Summer Snacks!

imageWhat do you feed kids when they are starving?  My younger two are growing like weeds these days & really need some extra food to keep them going.  What do YOU reach for when the energy levels are low?  Healthy or not?

1.  Full meals  I try to make sure they are putting away meat, vegies, carbs & good fat at each meal.  This helps them make it to the next meal if we cannot snack without getting really cranky!

2.  Fruit  This is my first question to them.  Have you had some fruit today?  We don’t eat a lot of fruit at meals so they need to get this through snacks.  Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, pineapple etc  Elizabeth loves apples & can go through a couple a day!

3.  Trail mix  Peanuts, raisins, & m&ms(a few)  I think Joshua would live on this stuff.  Daddy lets them add other stuff—like marshmallows. 

4.  Nuts  We always have almonds in the house.  Not everyone likes them but this is my little snack I have before fixing supper(when I am starving) so I don’t start snacking!

5.  Yogurt & peanut butter dip  We don’t do this often but is sure is good.  Apples are delicious dipped in this. 

1 cup Stoneyfield French Vanilla yogurt

1-2 T smooth peanut butter

6.  Smoothies  Nothing better on a hot day!

7.  Popcicles Well maybe this is better.  Freeze your smoothie recipe for a healthy alternative to frozen sugar.

8.  Sandwiches  Sometimes a little snack won’t do it.  When we go for a bike ride or a long walk.  I will pack peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  Also peanut butter & crackers or cheese & crackers are crowd pleasers.

9.  Popcorn  Regular or Kettle corn---mmmm love it!

10.  Cheese sticks or slices of regular cheese   Mix it up.

11.  My favorite snack right now—Apple cut in to 4 pieces, topped with peanut butter & sprinkled with sunflower seeds.  Nothing better!

Linked up at Tasty Tuesday, Delectable Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, What’s On YOUR plate, & Fun with Food Friday

Working on the old home place

Some weeks are just difficult.  We had one of those last week.

Difficult meetings.

Our  suburban started making a funny chicken noise.  An expensive noise.

We are dealing with a 2 car situation for 3 drivers.

Michael’s schedule wasn’t lining up with our weekend trip out of town.

I had to change my attitude.

We work with wonderful people who love our children.

We OWN 3 vehicles.  No debt.  We have an emergency fund for just this situation.

Michael was in Joplin giving of his time & energy to those who right now have NOTHING.

It helped to spend time with my mother-in-law & father-in-law.  They are so giving, loving & fun to spend time with.

We traveled up to the farm where Suzanne grew up & spent the weekend there.

So here are the highlights of our trip.

First we all worked hard at building a new fence. 

Dig post holes 1Dig post holes 2Dig post holes 3

Elizabeth is an expert post hole digger.



After the little people & grandma & I went inside  the guys kept working & got more done.  There was some definite napping going on after lunch.  Along with soda drinking, snacking & games!


Since we were hot--there had to be a water gun/balloon fight!



And Root Beer floats!  Yum!


This was a trip I wasn’t so excited about.  I am feeling behind, overwhelmed & in need of some quiet work time.  It is hard to get away & relax when you feel that way.  I am so thankful that I went.  My husband & kids had a blast.  It was fun to see them let loose & enjoy being together.  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.



Building Perennial Flower Beds

imageWow summer finally has arrived!  I am not sure where spring went but we’ve jumped right in to mid 90 temperatures. 

That means a couple of things. 

#1 Joshua, my 9 year old, will be in the water as much as possible.  He is armed with water balloons & guns.  He pretty much lives in his swim trunks right now.

#2 I am out in my garden A LOT!  I love growing plants/flowers!

The tomato plants in my crowded garden are growing nicely.  I am out there every morning or evening to water & pull weeds.  This is not a big job because we laid newspaper in the paths between rows & covered it with bagged grass from mowing.   I like this challenge because I get satisfaction out of feeding my family from the garden.

Another challenge—planting flowers in a shady yard. 

We have a ton of trees which makes our yard nice & shady but challenging to plant perennials.  I like to do some annuals but truly I love the ease of plants/flowers coming up year after year without a lot of work on my part.  I have carved out one spot of sun to have a flower garden.  And you guessed it—there are perennials in it.

Starting Point

Just pick one place to work on this year.  If you try to tackle it all then you will be quickly overwhelmed.  Also, looking at gardening magazines & blogs are a great way to get ideas. 

I try to add at least one perennial plant to each area I am working on each year. This year I am working in more than one area because I feel like I can handle it and the kids are helping. It is one thing to do it by yourself & another to have helpers. :)


Your dirt is important.  If it is clay(as mine is) you are going to have to help it along.  I add peat moss, sand & compost every spring to loosen things up.  I also will turn over the dirt in the fall & mix in leaves to help increase the quality of the soil.  Don’t just start sticking plants in the dirt—you may need to make some changes.

Buying Plants

I love perennials.  Perennials = Low maintenance. 

--It comes up year after year

--Often multiplies & gives you more.

--Perennial plants are NOT more expensive than annuals.  Think about it.  You spend $4-10 on a nice 1/2 gallon or gallon size plant.


Filling a bed with annuals year after year = spend more money & time in the long run. 

Plant something that will last & you can move your focus on to another bed or area of your yard. 

Free(or nearly free) Plants

Ask your friends or better ask people with gorges flower gardens.  Most plants will spread or multiple each year—hmmm I bet God planned it that way!  So there are some years I just can’t give away enough Iris’s.  Last year my mother-in-law had purple coneflower’s everywhere & guess who took every one she would give away?  Gardeners are willing to share and when you have some extra—give it away!

Another nearly free way to boost your gardens?  Don’t shop up front at the home & garden store.  Go to the back.  Sometimes there will be racks of reduced plants there that are done flowering or have gotten a bit dried out or root bound so the store will clearance them.  They will not always grow, they will sometimes take a full year to bloom again but you will have paid a fraction of the cost. 

At Easter when the lily’s are done blooming?  Volunteer to "take care” of the plants from church.  I had a couple that way & just stuck them in the ground.  They were seriously dead looking when I planted them.  This year?  Well they haven’t bloomed yet but I just can’t wait!

Last time I was at my hairdressers house she mentioned that she had Lamb’s Ear that she wanted GONE.  It had spread & she was tired of it.  So I volunteered to dig it up for her.  It is going to fill in this hard to mow spot and a couple of others around the yard!  Thanks Dalene!

Final word

As you probably can tell I try to make gardening as easy as possible.  One more tip is to MULCH, MULCH, & add more MULCH.  I hate to spend the $ on shredded bark but it is worth it.  Pulling the weeds gets old so if you can’t buy mulch at least lay down newspaper and cover it with grass that you are mowing up anyway.  Mulching helps retain the moisture in the soil, keeps the weeds back, enrich the soil, and generally looks nicer.

So there is how I’ve gotten my perennial gardens going without spending an arm & a leg.  Do you have any great tips to share?  Or maybe a flower or two to trade.  Chime in and tell us how you’ve done it.

image7 image

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