Day to Day Adventure: 6/26/11 - 7/3/11

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How does my garden grow in June?

July is just around the corner.

My crowded garden is growing like CRAZY!

There has been rain and hot days with lots of sunshine lately. My tomatoes are LOVING it!

I am trying an experiment and not clipping all the suckers that develop. There are TONS of blooms and some tomatoes!

We’ve been faithfully putting our grass clippings in between the rows so there haven’t been a large amount of weeds. YEAH!

A couple of failures, I’ve had in previous years were peppers & zucchini. I started with pepper plants instead of seeds and they are thriving.

We have one BIG pepper & several little ones.

Also in the past. my zucchini have been a failure because of squash bugs. There haven’t been any bugs on the zucchini so far this year.

However my poor little pumpkin plant was attacked.

It lost a bunch of leaves and I thought it was a goner. I squashed 4-5 bugs & removed the leaves with eggs.

So far it is still alive, has new leaves & a little bloom that is starting to develop!

Next week I will shop you how THE TRASHCAN EXPERIMENT is going. It is looking pretty good so far!

I am so glad to have a garden. It truly is one of the joys of summer that I love!

How is your garden growing?

Posted at Things I love Thursdays,Titus 2sdays,Simple Living


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can teens be . . .





a joy to be around?


A resounding YES!

My oldest is about to leave his teens—only 2 more months.  #2 is in the middle teen years, #3 will become a teen in December & #4 isn’t quite there yet. 

I posted on Facebook on Wednesday that I spent the evening with 25 AWESOME teens.  We had a lot of fun and there were NO discipline issues.  Usually there are closer to 40 but this is summer and many are unable to attend.  NO this is not a church sponsored YOUTH group.

Sound amazing?  I think it is and that is why we are a part of this group.

Some would tell me that we are crazy to spend time(lots of it) with the teens that are involved in our kids lives.

They are LOUD.


Sometimes they hold opinions that are VERY different than mine.

There are moments when they make BAD decisions.

But I see those situations not as times to avoid but times to get involved.  My kids have made choices on who their friends will be.  For the most part those kids are great but they are KIDS! 

Moldable, teachable and they are loved by God--just as much as me or you.  So anytime that there is a child placed in my path, I see that as an opportunity to invest in their life.

By investing I mean that I try to do 3 things.

1.  Love them in a way that they know it.  A hug, a smile, a word of encouragement and sometimes a word of discipline.

2.  Challenge them.  See where they are at & what things they need to grow in?  Suggest, prod, push and get in their face(at times) are the tactics I use.

3.  Spur them on.  No one is a lost cause.  Everyone deserves a second, third or millionth chance.  Sometimes encouraging someone is hard but it is always worth it.

Steve & I have never given our kids a choice on whether we are involved in the activities they attend.  They just know if they are a part of something that we will be around.  It isn’t a topic for discussion.  I think for the most part it makes them feel safe, loved & encouraged.

What ways are you involved with your kids friends? 

How do you interact with them? 


Summer Morning Routine


I love about our mornings

1.  Thunder & rain to water my crowded garden
2.  Sleeping in on days that follow late nights
3.  Eating breakfast together & planning our day
4.  Picking a couple of projects to work on
5.  Working outside while it is cool
6.  Watching tomatoes grow.

7.  Planning simple meals
8.  Checking my flowers for blooms

9.  Chores getting down so we can go to swimming lessons
10. Big kids coloring with little kids
Summer is a different routine.  Play in the mornings while its cool.  Work on projects inside or read in the afternoon while it is hot.  My mind is thinking ahead to fall & the school work yet to be done.  But I am relishing the summer mornings while they are here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fast Easy Bean Dip

We took this to our small church group Sunday night(10 people) and it was gobbled right up.  It is great for sharing or a quick easy supper.  Very adaptable to what you have on hand or the ingredient your family prefers.

Mexican Bean Dip

2 cans refried beans

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded cheese(cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend)

2-3 green onions

3 plum tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced olives

Tortilla Chips

Spread refried beans in a pan.  I used a 11x15  jelly roll pan but you could do a couple of 9x13s instead.  Spread the sour cream over the beans.  I only do it on 1/2 the pan because of members of our family who don’t like sour cream.

Sprinkle on the cheese.

Chop up tomatoes on top. 

Use scissors to snip the green onions randomly over the pan.

Slice your olives & sprinkle them over the rest. 

Again we only did 1/2 for various members of the family.

That is it!  Just grab your chips & a spoon.  You are ready to dig in.  Unless you are stealing the rest of the olives from the can like my little guy who helped to make the dip. Enjoy!

For more great recipes check out theses sites

 Balancing Beauty & Bedlam, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,This Chick Cooks, What’s on your Plate, Ultimate Recipe Swap, Fun with Food, & Foodie Friday

Finishing the Bathroom

One day long ago we decided to rip out our bathroom tile because it was leaking in to the basement.  The tile was falling off so this was not an unexpected project.

Rip out Bathroom

Sept 2009

When we did that we realized there was yucky mold growing behind the tub on the drywall.  So instead of a simple fix this job turned in to a total remodel.

Bare bathroom


New Tile Floor

January 2010

Then another day not so long ago we replaced the tub, tile, vanity, floor tile & mirror.  See my strong men?  Don’t drop it guys!

New Vanity top

April 2010

Somewhere along the way my hip started to hurt and we stopped working on the bathroom for an intermission of a year because I could hardly sit, stand or walk.

In January, I had hip surgery & now I am loving to sit, stand and walk.  Having no pain helps with that.

Now we are puttering along on the final stages of the bathroom.

The trim boards.  Some are original—frugal people that we are we saved them.  So they must be stripped.


Last weekend, while the kids were sick & the husband was away helping to roof a house.  I decided to work on this little time consuming project.


First, you apply the stripping stuff(seems better to say that than the stripper—something wrong about that).  We used Formby’s.  Then you leave it on to bubble and turn in to a yellow mess for about 15-30 minutes.  Resist starting early.  It REALLY works better if you let it go a while—don’t ask me how I know.

Second, you take a plastic scraper(Pampered Chef for me) and scrape the mess off.  This will get most part of the stain off.

Third, you have a choice.  Repeat steps 1 & 2 or dip some steel wool in the stripping stuff and rub it on the spots where the stain was still present.  I did a little of both of these methods.

Steve is steadily working on the few pieces that are left.  He’s also been testing a few scraps with the stain.  On the new pieces we had to buy he’s found that using a pre-stain conditioner(Minwax) helps the stain to achieve a darker color faster.

I also recommend this kind of project to build your marriage.  You learn so many things about a person as you work together. 


Tonight it was awesome to watch him apply the stain to a few pieces which have been through the whole process, stripping, sanding, hole patching, conditioning & staining.  

It is looking REALLY nice!  I am so thankful that this project is moving forward.  I love our new bathroom. 

But I will love it even more when it is DONE!



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Repackaging Vinegar



If you’ve been around here for very long you know I love vinegar for cleaning, getting rid of that sour smell in the washer & removing hard water stains


Around Easter I got a couple of great coupons for some almost free Vinegar!  I used the coupons to buy vinegar in this size.  For some reason I really loved the glass bottles.

Plastic just doesn’t do it for me.

I have plastic in my kitchen but I would rather store in glass if I can.  There is a reason for this but I am not going to follow that bunny trail right now—maybe later.

Before long my nice glass bottles were empty.  What is a girl to do?  Recyle—yes but I just couldn’t.  So I discovered that I can keep my glass bottles from the vinegar & USE THEM!

I bought one large size vinegar for a whopping $2.38 from Walmart.  I had never bought this size before as it doesn’t fit in my cabinet but those glass bottles do!

So I just got out my cute little funnel & repackaged the vinegar in a smaller size REUSABLE bottle!

Buying the large size vinegar is less per ounce than a smaller bottle.  This saves me some cash, is good for the environment and stops me from buying more plastic that I just have to remember to take to the recycling drop off!

Sewing Swimming & Iphones

The house is quiet.  I am basking in the moments of being home.  We’ve navigated a couple of weeks of extremes.

Two weeks ago we caught the mysterious fever, headache yuck.  It traveled through the young of the house while I was trapped at home for days(well it seemed that way).

One week ago we started the daily mad dash to & from town.  It was a week full of late nights & being gone from home a lot.

I can only do that for a little while before I start to come apart at the seams.  It has been fun but I am going to be doing some preplanning tomorrow to make this upcoming week flow better.


A mom prepared means a mom who survives.  That and getting to bed at a decent hour would help.  I struggle with that.

We have been at swimming lessons each day.  We skipped last year so it is good to get them back in lessons.

Monday they were so tired but by Thursday it was better.  Joshua needed some one on one coaching so we went for some fun swimming on Friday with Michael.  Water slide, lazy river etc!

On Mondays the girls are doing a sewing class for a few weeks. 

I can sew but it never seems to be the right time to teach this so my friend Kellie is doing a great job of helping me get this done.


Our family is now the part of the iphone craze! Michael bought a phone & has been happily texting & using his internet ever since.


I admit I am “thinking” that I might really like to have one too!

The girls participated in a clogging performance on Saturday & did an awesome job!  I love watching them move their feet & see how much they’ve learned in a year!


Joshua didn’t perform as he was the only one from his class there.  He said “NO!” to performing by himself.   But he was there to support his sisters!

The end of a crazy week of adventures—I am hoping the next one is a bit calmer.  But I bet it isn’t.

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