June 8, 2012

No More Pencils, No More Books!

Yesterday was the last day of school for Big Sis!  Here she is enjoying a celebratory mint chocolate chip cone at the coolest new ice cream shop in town.  I'm so glad she chose this place over Dairy Queen (though there's nothing wrong with a Blizzard!).  I want to make more of an effort to shop local businesses and this was a good first start!

Lil Sis chose superman ice cream which matched her outfit!  I had strawberry and hubby had buckeye blitz. All were delish!

This week started off (last Sat.) with soccer.  Although it was unusually cold for June (54 degrees!), it was a beautiful day for soccer and didn't feel as cold as it really was.  Lil Sis had a great last day of soccer and is thinking that she'd like to do it again sometime.  I'm glad she had fun with it.  It's a nice change of pace from dance and gave her the chance to interact with more kids that she'll be going to school with in another year.

Soccer is held at the former grounds of Big Sis's last elementary school.  Here you see that the school is now completely gone.  They just knocked it down about a week ago.  We're all very sad.  We had some great memories at that school.  While her new elementary school is awesome we miss the smaller size of her old school.  Her new school has about 800 kids in K through 4th grade.  Her old school had maybe 300 kids between K and 5th grade.  BIG difference!  But the school district is saving a lot of money through the consolidation of the elementary schools, so it does make sense to have the kids all in one building.

I did a little daydreaming this weekend.  I love the South and want so badly to move there!  The next best thing is flipping through a Southern Living magazine in the sun with some lemonade.

While trying to relax, Lil Sis tortured me by climbing up the slide a million times.  I'm always afraid she's going to fall off and break her neck.  But somehow she makes it to the top safely every time!

On Monday, I had an unexpected treat.  I was able to stay at home because my mom (my babysitter) was sick.  I love being able to hang out with the girls at the bus stop in the mornings.  Here they are playing some sort of game.

And of course the scooters come out every morning!

This week was the start of tumbling for Big Sis and Gymnastics for Lil Sis.

And a busy week for Hubby with graduation, a sports banquet and a student recognition dinner.

But now that school's out, we are all looking forward to a fun, relaxing summer...

a summer in which we will follow the inspiration on the June calendar in our kitchen, I hope!

Have a great week!  And check out InstaFriday over at Life Rearranged for more fun pictures from the past week.

June 4, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...It is a beautiful day!  Sunny and not too hot.  I am lucky to be home with Lil' Sis today and we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine earlier.

I am thinking...my mom.  She had a gallbladder attack in the middle of the night.  She spent some time in the Emergency Department and was sent home early this morning.  She's doing pretty well right now, but I believe this means she definitely will need surgery soon.

I am thankful...for an unexpected day at home, though it is going by way too fast.

In the kitchen...nothing exciting today, but I'm looking forward to trying out a new pulled pork recipe tomorrow.  

I am wearing...a gray sweatshirt and old black yoga pants.  Will need to change into something presentable to take the girls to gymnastics later.

I am creating...Well, I made some play-doh cookies and cupcakes earlier.  Does that count?!?!?

I am going... to take the girls to their first summer gymnastics and tumbling classes tonight. We're all looking forward to it!

I am reading...Quitter by Jon Acuff.  Almost done!

I am hoping...for good news later this week.

I am looking forward to...date night with hubby this weekend!  

I am learning...that I need to get serious about sleeping more.  6 1/2 hours a night is not enough!

Around the house...lots of laundry.  I'm getting "caught up" if that's even possible.

I am pondering...why I torture myself by not getting enough sleep?!?!?!

A favorite quote for today...Worrying is like praying for what you don't want. - found on Pinterest

One of my favorite things...Southern Living Magazine.  I so badly want to move south.  Preferably by the ocean or a large lake (think Lake Norman, NC).  The Midwest just doesn't do it for me!

A few plans for the rest of the week: gymnastics & tumbling classes, dance company auditions, last day of school for Big Sis,  and date night.

A peek into my day...the girls goofing around at the bus stop.  I love when I get to wait for the bus with Big Sis!

Join in on the fun at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

June 2, 2012

Road Trip!

This week I had to go on an overnight trip out of town for a work meeting.  It's a crazy trip as I spend 8 hours in the car (round trip) for a 6 hour meeting, but it is worth it since the people I work with are scattered all over the state.  We only get together in person a few times a year, so it is nice to see them all for a day.

I love looking at signs on the road. There were so many good ones on my drive Thursday night.  Unfortunately I wanted so badly to get to my hotel to rest that evening that this one at a rest stop was the only one I could snap a picture of.  

When I arrived at my hotel, I was pleased to discover that they were extremely concerned for my safety.

Yep, all fire alarms!  I'd hate to hear what that sounds like when there actually is a fire!

And if you were worried that this wasn't enough, a fifth one was in the bathroom...

The hotel room safety features weren't the only perks of my stay.  I also had the greatest room location.  I actually had a door that led out to the courtyard by the swimming pool.  It was a rainy day and I had to get to my meeting, but check this out...

If I didn't have to rush home because hubby was going out of town for work (timing is everything!) I'd have stayed an extra night just to enjoy my view, along with a glass of wine!  

I think the only time I ever enjoy breakfast in bed is at this hotel!  This was really yummy.  I didn't have time to eat it all, but I'm really glad I chose the eggs over a bowl of cereal!

Just in time for the drive home, a massive downpour.  Thankfully it only rained for the first 30 - 40 minutes of my 4 hour drive home.  But of course, I had no umbrella, so during those 30 or so minutes, not only was I struggling to see the road, but I was SOAKING wet and cold!  The sun did finally come out and between that and the heat in my car I dried off quickly thank goodness!

I stopped for a fancy schmancy dinner at McDonalds.  It was the coolest McDonald's I've ever seen.  If I wasn't worried about what the other people eating inside thought, I would've taken pictures.  But I was afraid too.  It was very modern and bright.  I've never seen anything like it before.  And didn't really expect to see that in the middle of nowhere, which is where I was.

A quick pit stop for gas, and I was on the road again ready to get home!
To make time go by fast on the road, I listened to this for a bit.  It was ok.  I don't think I'll listen to the other 14 hours that are left.  But maybe I'll borrow the actual book someday.  Maybe.

And finally the best stop of the day - home sweet home!  So thankful to come home to two happy girls who were spoiled by ice cream from their grandparents!  After putting them to bed, I enjoyed some blog reading, TV watching, wine and popcorn.  The perfect R&R after 26 straight hours away from home!

June 1, 2012

My First InstaFriday

I'm so excited to be linking up to InstaFriday for the very first time! Here's a glance into my past week.

I thought I'd start today off with how I start my mornings.  Jillian has become a good friend of mine lately, as I get ready for our summer vacation.  Her workouts are pretty tough and yet quick at the same time.  I really hate spending more than 30 to 40 minutes working out in the mornings.  Thankfully her DVDs pretty much fit right into my schedule.  And when I'm not with her, you can find me here bright and early in the morning:
I really enjoy running on the treadmill.  Especially to the Workout Radio station on Pandora!

Once I'm done working out I'll grab some breakfast and surf online or work on a Bible study.  I started this one this week:

I just love Beth Moore's studies.  This is my third one this year.  

My memory verse for the week.  I think a lot of the stress in my life comes from my trying to win the approval of others.  This verse is a good reminder that when I put my focus on gaining the approval of those around me I am not focusing on Christ as I should be.

This has been my favorite Bath and Body Works scent for the past few years.  As you can see I'm running low so I ran to the mall to get more.  I was shocked to discover that they are no longer selling it!  They replaced it with a scent that smells way too much like limes and not enough like coconut.  I don't understand how they could do this to me!
So, these three scents will be working hard this summer to replace my lost love!  I cannot decide which one will be my favorite, though the girls are pulling for Rio Rumberry!

Speaking of the girls, I just love hearing the sound of them playing on the swingset in the backyard.  99.9% of the time they get along so well!  I can hear them through the window above the kitchen sink and it is music to my ears.

For our Memorial Day picnic, I introduced the girls to the joy of husking corn!  When I was a kid I remember having to do this with my cousin before family cookouts, so now it is time to pass the torch.  Big Sis says she'll never teach her kids how to do this because it is so much fun that she wants to keep the job to herself! Lil' Sis decided that she cannot wait to teach her kids so that she can just sit in the sun and relax.  It's funny how two girls from the same parents who spend so much time together can be so different!

So there it is, my first InstaFriday.  Tune in next week for more pics of our daily lives!

life rearranged

May 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Granola Bars

I did it.  I actually made a recipe I found on Pinterest.  Last Friday I took the day off work and spent it with Lil' Sis.  I love cooking with the girls and was really excited to have the opportunity to have this one-on-one time with her.

We made Chocolate Chip Pretzel Granola Bars.  A year ago we found out that Big Sis is allergic to cashews and pecans.  This means she cannot eat pretty much any store bought granola bars as they say they may have tree nuts in them.  Since discovering that, I've been on a mission to find yummy granola bars we can make ourselves.

Here's the recipe I used, which is slightly different than the one I found on Pinterest.
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
  • butter to grease the pan
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and then mix in the peanut butter and honey until smooth.
3. Mix the oats, Rice Krispies and pretzels into the banana mixture
4. Pour the mixture into a greased 8x12" baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
5. When the granola bars have cooled, press the chocolate chips into the top of the bars. Wait until they're completely cool before you cut the bars.

These were easy enough to make. But I will say, if you do not like banana bread, you will probably not like these.  I didn't.  Neither did Big Sis.  Lil' Sis, on the other hand, loved them!  She cannot get enough of them.  So maybe they are good, but I will not make these again.  They are worth a try though if you do like banana bread as it is a great recipe to use up ripe bananas.  The pretzel, chocolate and peanut butter combination is pretty tempting, too!

While the recipe didn't turn out that well for me, the quality time with Lil' Sis was fabulous.  She is a hard worker and really interested in learning how to bake.  Hopefully in a few years she will be making goodies for the rest of us on a regular basis!  Trying a new recipe every week will be a great way to get the girls more interested in baking and cooking.

I cannot wait to see what we make next...!

This post is linked up with Works for Me Wednesday.  Go there for more great ideas!

May 29, 2012

More Moments Like This

Sunday was perfect.  After church in the morning, we ran to Lowes to get a few hanging pots - flowers for the front yard and a fern for the kitchen.  Had a great lunch and then I headed to the grocery store.

The fun began when I got home.  Hubby had set up the plastic wading pool and water table for the girls.  I had purchased a few tiny water guns.  We spent the afternoon getting wet, enjoying the beautiful weather.

It was the kind of day I want to have every day.  I was actually only out there with them for maybe two hours, but it was two hours filled with fun. No worrying about chores.  No iPhone or Facebook distractions.  No TV. Just me and the girls and a beautiful day.

I don't know why it is so hard for me to enjoy moments like this.  I don't know why I let stress get the best of me.  Instead I think of work responsibilities on a long weekend when (hopefully) no one else is thinking about their day jobs.  I focus on all of the chores around the house that aren't done.  I worry about money, calories, the future, grocery lists, laundry, and much, much more.

But life is too short for that.

Around the neighborhood we have a number of kids graduating from high school.  They were just starting 6th grade when we moved in the neighborhood.  It seems like that was just yesterday.  And here they are getting ready to go away to college in the fall.  I know it won't be long before my girls will be getting to that point in their lives.  Will I remember days like Sunday?  Or will I remember being stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious all of the time?

I know what I want to remember. And I will do my best starting now to create moments like this everyday.  Moments where I don't worry. Moments where I laugh along with my daughters.  Moments where messes are ok and smiles are abundant.  I know the everyday stresses still have to happen. But life is too short to let them take away from enjoying God's blessings.

May 28, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...I can see the hanging pots of begonias that we bought after church yesterday.  I'im excited to have some flowers brightening up our front yard.  The front of our house gets hardly any sun, so we have a hard time figuring out how to add color to it.  These begonias should help!

I am thinking...about my summer clothes shopping trip that I am taking today.  Cannot wait to find some new clothes to wear.

I am thankful...for an absolutely wonderful day yesterday.  The weather was (almost) perfect.  The cook-out with my parents was amazing. The time with my family was wonderful!

In the kitchen...ribs, corn on the cob and french fries yesterday.  One of my favorite summer meals.  Tonight we will have Hawaiian chicken, baked potatoes and more corn on the cob. Mmmmm.

I am wearing...my favorite summer jammies.

I am creating...nothing at the moment.  Maybe I'll pick up a fun craft to do with the kids today.

I am going... to the mall today.  Yay!

I am reading...Quitter by Jon Acuff.  Amazing book.  I borrowed it from the library, but I may actually purchase it now because there is just so much in the book that I need to highlight.  He says so many motivating things throughout the book.  Reading this is helping me learn how to pursue my dreams even though I feel like I have so many obstacles to overcome.

I am hoping...to find some cute summer clothes today.  I don't know what happened to my summer wardrobe but it is pretty much nonexistent right now.  I wear the same thing every day.  And at home it's not pretty as it is usually frumpy clothes I'd never wear in public.

I am looking forward to...another hot summery day.  

I am learning...how to successfully apply self-tanner, especially to my back.  Missed a huge section yesterday.  Thankfully I won't be exposing my back anytime soon, but I think I have to go to a pool party next week, so I will need to fix that!  I'm using L'Oreal Sublime Bronze and it seems to work pretty well.

Around the house...the plastic wading pool is open for business!  Our fridge and freezer are overflowing with summer goodies.  I need to do some chores today. 

I am pondering...why my cat has to throw up on the carpet when the kitchen tile is two feet away.

A favorite quote for today...When you stop doing things for fun, you might as well be dead. - Hemingway

One of my favorite things...Diet Coke.  I'm totally addicted.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a week of no extracurriculars for the kids.  I'm so excited!

A peek into my day...I hope my deck looks like this all summer.  I feel like we hardly sit out there.  But not  this year!  I want to make sure we enjoy every possible moment of beautiful weather this year.  Somehow, every day we will get outside and make good use of the backyard.

Join in on the fun at: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/