Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things That Make You Feel Old

Around these parts I'm actually considered pretty computer literate. Look around the blog people. And still, I tell you it's true.

So I'd helped out a friend who needed some computer help. Stop laughing. I really did.

I got an email from her that said, "You....Rock!".

Which I showed to my husband. Feeling awfully puffed up and proud.

He sat looking at the email for a minute and then turned to me all serious like and said, "Why did she call you a rock?"

I couldn't make this stuff up.

Also I wanted to point out that today is my one year blogoversary. Yes, that's right. Exactly one year ago today I put up my first "test" post. I've accomplished exactly what I started out to do here. Meeting like minded, Christian women. I'm so grateful for each of you that reads here.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Frugal Friday Handsoap

For anyone that doesn't know, Crystal had her sweet baby last week. And she's already hosting Frugal Friday again. Amazing.

My Frugal Friday tip this week is really simple. We like good smelling liquid hand soap. I'll buy it at B*ath and Body when they have a great sale. But we have 2 bathrooms that need hand soap. A half bath/laundry room that needs hand soap and then, of course, the kitchen. So buying 4 hand soaps can add up. Especially when you wash your hands often, and we certainly do.

So I've finally found something that works really well for us.

When our soap dispenser gets empty, I give it a quick wash in hot water.

I've found these D*awn Dish soaps to be VERY inexpensive when they're put on sale at C*VS or Wal*Greens. I rarely pay over 50¢ for one of these small bottles. This one is Apple Blossom and it smells really good. It's one of my favorites. But there are all different scents if this one isn't something that your family would enjoy.

I'll fill the dispenser about ¼ full of the dish soap.

Then gently add water to fill it the rest of the way full.

I then gently slosh it back and forth to combine the dish soap and the water. I've found that it stays pretty well mixed, though you may have to give it a slosh every now and again if it's not used often.

One bottle of the dish soap makes about 4-5 bottles of hand soap. Paying 50¢ a bottle for the dish soap, that's appr. 10¢ - 12¢ per bottle of hand soap.

I'd especially recommend this in the kitchen if you, like me, have a dishwasher and don't normally keep dish soap on the kitchen counter. It's so easy to use your hand soap as dish soap to wash the occasional dish. No more pulling your dish soap out from under the counter.

For more Frugal Friday tips visit Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Because Beth Said Pretty Please


Potato salad is such a personal dish, it seems that everyone likes it different. This recipe is the one that I've made for years and years and everyone always comes back for more. It's modified (as is practically everything I make) from the old Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook.

Creamy Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes (appr. 2lbs)
½ cup finely (believe this) chopped onion
½ cup chopped sweet pickle
1 ¼ cup mayonnaise
2 t sugar
2 t celery seed (an important ingredient, weird-I know)
2 t prepared mustard
2 t vinegar (or pickle juice)
1 ½ t salt

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender (40 or less minutes usually). While potatoes boil, mix up rest of ingredients in a bowl. Peel and cube potatoes. Add to mayo mixture. Toss. Chill.

I like to do this when the potatoes are still hot. It makes for a more mushy potato salad. If you like your potato salad without the mush, cool the potatoes first and more gently fold mayo mix into potatoes.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just to Host the Picture


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Book Review (The R*oad)

(I'm pretty careful to write (or talk) about books/movies with NO spoilers. I'm pretty sure I've not given anything away that you'd not want to know if you plan to read the book.)

I've read many O*prah Book Club books. Usually I really like the books. When I saw that she got an exclusive interview with the author, and how much she recommended the book, I decided to try it out. (As an aside, I was really wanting the Sara Donati book in the sidebar, but the bookstore didn't have it in stock and the paperback (which I prefer to read) was coming out in Sept. (I was told) so I decided to wait.)

Most of you probably don't know but I really like survivalism books. So having heard a bit about it, it seemed right up my alley.

Let me just say here that the book was a good read. Not at all what I was expecting and so dark in places that it took my breath away, but it had good content.

Having said that, and really disliking strong critique of someones work, the style of writing just drove me nuts.

There. I said it.

Did you know that there is not chapter one in the book? Really. I'm not joking. No chapters. Just different paragraphs.

And the boy and his father are not named, did you know that? No names. (And yes, I know many "reasons" why this would be done in writing. I get the writing style. But mostly it doesn't work for me. And in this case, it really doesn't work for me.) So at times it's hard to know who is saying what. Another reason you might not be able to tell who is saying what is because there are no "punctuation" indicating that someone is saying anything at all.

But that's not what drove me nuts. What drove me nuts was how flowery the style of writing was.

I know it's me. I know that others get a lot out of poetic writing styles, but I just don't. I don't "see" others flowery visions.

I like things plain and simple. Practical. I suppose I get overwhelmed when I need to decipher every second sentence.

My husband, on the other hand, thought the writing was beautiful. I'd read him a paragraph now and again that was driving me crazy and he didn't see it the same way at all. He thought the writing was stunning and poetic.

If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to pass it around. I'd really like to hear others thoughts on it.

Any takers?


Monday, June 25, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

This was a HUGE success here last week, even though I didn't follow everything exactly as written. The whole week seemed much less stressful, and I even felt I had more "down time" than normal. I really hope I can make a habit of this.

Monday - Leftover cheeseburgers and hot dogs from cookout. Homemade coleslaw.

Tuesday - Grilled brats with kraut. Baked beans.

Wednesday - Pasta with homemade pesto sauce (the basil is in!) and roasted zucchini (cause the zucchini is in too ;), bread and salad.

Thursday - A dish that has no name. It's a type of white chili that I came up with long ago. I'll post pictures and directions. Name suggestions would be great, it's one of my family's favorites.

Friday - Leftovers poured over brown rice. Salad.

Saturday - Cookies. Ok, not really. But we have to make tons of them for a youth project so the likelihood is that we'll sample cookies most of the afternoon and not have much of an appetite for supper. So we'll probably have grilled cheese and tomato. Something lite and simple.

Sunday - Cookout Day! Hopefully steaks this week. We'll have to see what looks good at the butcher.

For more menu ideas visit Laura. The women there are most welcoming, warm and inviting. Not to mention intelligent and encouraging!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Japanese Beetle (in my hair)

What a week! We've had company 3 times since Monday of this week. And all of it was spontaneous. And really nice. But not leaving much time to post at all.

I did finish my book. I'm normally a slow reader. Well, that's not true at all. I just normally don't have a lot of time at all to read. So I'll read as I go to sleep. Most nights getting only a few pages in before I'm too tired to stay awake any longer. But for some reason, I was able to read this book in just a few days.

I was thinking about doing a book review when I finish a book so that I can document what I like and dislike about it. But in all honesty I don't like to say negative things about someones work! LOL I'll have to think on it I suppose.

I went to the bookstore yesterday and just couldn't think of a thing I wanted to read. This is unusual for me as I usually have a list of books in queue. I finally found one (now in the sidebar). We'll see.

I basically like two kinds of books. Those that teach me something (can range wildly from sur*vivalism to food to politics) or those that entertain me. I love historical romance and am partial to series books. I'd love any suggestions of your favorite books.

I have to say here too what a blessing that menu plan was this week. It's something I plan to keep up. It made all the difference.

Oh, and the title of this post, I know in the picture my hair is straight. But my hair is naturally curly. And for some reason a bug magnet. So I was in the garden a couple of days ago (which I desperately need to make a photo of!) digging through some plant or another when I hear a loud BZZZZT! I look around and see nothing. So I continue on with my business.

I get done and come inside. Make myself a protein drink and sit down to check email. I feel something in my hair (on the top of my scalp). I reach up and something BZZZZT!'s under my hand. I throw my hear forward and try to brush the offender out of my hair. But I see nothing at all. Did I imagine it?

I go to the bathroom and can't see anything. So I look around and see this Japanese Beetle really tangled in the side of my hair.

Now, if any of you have ever had dealings with a Japanese Beetle, you know that they are sticky. And not at all small.

So here is this bug looking at me like "Are you gonna help me out of this mess or not?"

Let me stop here to say that I'm not at all good with bugs. I tend to freak a little. It's a long childhood trauma story best saved for another day.

So I'm a little freaked. And I'm trying to untangle this bug who is against my ear yelling BZZZZT! BZZZZT! Which I interpret as "Hurry Up!".

I end up getting him** out of the big clump of hair but he's still in 5-6 hairs that I just can't get undone. I reach into the drawer and pull out a pair of scissors and am finally able to untangle him where he falls (which I think is his death fall - but it turns out it was only exhaustion/exasperation) into the sink. I go to get some paper towel to get this bug out of the sink and he comes flying, kamikaze style, after me through the house.

Luckily I had dropped the scissors because I would have been running with scissors at this point.

He disappears and I can't find him. And to this day, occasionally I hear a BZZZT! coming from somewhere in the downstairs.

I'm sure he's waiting to get back in my hair to nest.

**I call the bug "him" but it could have well been a "her".

***No bugs were harmed in the making or telling of this tale.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Our Father's Day

I can't find the words to describe my husband.

So instead I'll tell you how he spent his Father's Day.

Sunday is the only day that Mike isn't working from early in the morning until late in the evening. He enjoys resting on Sundays. We go to Church, we sometimes go to an outdoor market (we call it The Hippie Market, 'cause the first year it was open it had lots of people in 60ish clothing), we come home and read the paper and, weather permitting, hang out by the pool and relax. If it's rainy we'll watch movies or even sometimes nap. Friends are always welcome on Sundays and we usually have a few.

But since yesterday was Father's Day, our friends were celebrating with their fathers/children. Mike got a call from J. The guy whose wife died unexpectedly a little over a week ago. He wanted to come over and my husband didn't hesitate a second to tell him to come on over.

So J came over with his 6yo and 3yo (and also brought his younger sister). He was, as expected, a mess. Tired. Not sleeping. Lost.

Jillian (9) spent the day in the pool with the kids (and sometimes the sister) and Mike spent the day talking with J. We cooked a good meal and made sure he ate a little. And late in the day when he dozed off under the fan on the back porch, we talked quietly and let him rest.

My husband spent his Father's Day being a father to this young man who desperately needed some normalcy. Some encouragement. Someone to listen.

Mike doesn't like it when I talk him up to others. He always diminishes the good he does by saying that it's what anyone would do.

He's definitely a keeper.



I have got to be more responsible for my weekly menu planning. We rarely eat out, but I find that "What's for Dinner?" is a stressful question at times and that's just silly. If I don't plan ahead, there are several quick meals that I can get together in an hour or so, but those get old after a while. Aside from the fact that I should have better organizational skills.

So in my attempt to be more conscientious, I've decided to try Laura's

Monday - Grilled Cheeseburgers with Pasta Salad

Tuesday - Purple hull pea creole dish with buttermilk cornbread

Wednesday - Crockpot beef and vegetables, salad

Thursday - Meatloaf w/mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli

Friday - Meatloaf sandwiches with chips

Saturday - We'll be away from home, so I have no idea at this point.

Sunday - Cookout with friends. Sausages, Boudin, Hotdogs with slaw.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Unlikely Frugality

Have you ever sat down and figured out how much money you spend on razors in a given year?

It seems that people who really watch the sales can get razors pretty cheap. Especially when the sales are combined with coupons. But with summer upon us, a house with many females can go through the razors, cheap or not.

I'm not usually one to advocate spending money on a gadget to save money. Especially when the investment is as steep as this one. But this has really worked for me and I'll tell you why.

For some reason it seems the more I shave my legs, the more I have to shave my legs. It was getting to the point a few years back that I had to shave every day or I would have stubble. It also seemed that the cheap razors just weren't doing the job anymore. And those expensive razors are, well, expensive. Plus it was tiring and time consuming to have to shave every single day.

(As an aside, I can't believe that we can now pay up to $3 for a single disposable razor?!)

Anyway, I had read about epilators. I had also read the horror stories about epilators. But I decided to take the plunge and try it.

This is the one I ended up getting.

Like I said, the initial investment was steep. Approximately $100. But if I was conservatively just going through $5 in razors a month (and there was a time that I was spending more than that, for sure), it would take less than 2 years for this to pay for itself.

The fact is, I've used this same one for over 3 years now and it's still going strong.

But maybe more importantly, it's not only a money saver, it's a time saver.

I now epilate approximately once every 2 weeks. It takes about 10-15 minutes. To be totally fair, I have to say that I still shave about once a month as well. I do it for the exfoliation. I've heard that just using some type of loofah to exfoliate works just as well, though I've not tried that.

But isn't it painful? At this point, not at all.

The trick to using an epilator (for the first time) is this:

Do NOT wait and grow the hair out a little before the first use. Shave first. The next day, use the epilator. The next day, use it again. Etc.

The thing is, there is not a lot of hair growth in just a day, so it's not too painful at all. And within a couple of weeks of using it every day, you're pretty much hair free.

What does it feel like?

To be honest, it felt like little, teeny needle pricks at first to me. But like plucking eyebrows, it gets to the point that you hardly notice it.

And that's my off the wall frugal tip for today.

For more frugal ideas, be sure to check out Crystals Blog


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pasta Salad

When the weather is really warm here I like to serve at least 1 cold side dish to our evening meals. Yesterday I made our favorite pasta salad. This recipe takes a HUGE bowl. The one I'm using is what I use as a punch bowl for kids parties.

I like to use a low glycemic index rotini pasta. Cook according to package directions. **I usually cook it a couple of minutes less than the shortest time. It's going to be sitting in a dressing for quite a while and we don't like it mushy.

While the pasta is cooking, I chop a huge onion, some bell pepper and then I seed a cucumber.

Then chunk up the cucumber. It's hard to tell how much food is actually on this chopping board, but it's literally cups of chopped vegetables.

Drain pasta (of course).

We like to add a whole can of sliced black olives.

Put pasta in your huge (trust me) bowl.

Add the olives. And vegetables (I didn't get a picture of this step.)

This is our favorite dressing to use. I stock up when it's Buy-1-Get-1-Free. It takes 2 of the small bottles.

Throw in a cup or so of Parmesan.

And about 1/3lb of your favorite shredded cheese. I also bulk buy this on sale and freeze it. We like Mozzarella.

Here is the bowl bulging with all the stuff. Before it's mixed.

And after it's mixed. I'll also add some garlic powder (just a couple of sprinkles while I'm mixing it) and a couple of shots of balsamic vinegar sometimes. Place in refrigerator until chilled and then pack in airtight container.

It should keep for several days, though it never lasts more than a day or two here. If you add a packet of tuna on your (individual) bowl, it makes a nice, cool supper.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just One More Thing

I was so sad to learn that Lori lost her dog on Monday.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw his picture. I've posted about my old dog before, but realized that I'd never put up a picture. He has this amazing ability to turn his head when you get a camera out.

My other dog Lucy is just the opposite. It's hard to make a picture without her jumping in front of the camera, looking all serious.

Today, I finally got a picture of Hi-Boo.

When this is what I usually get:

Like Lori's dog Bear, my Hi-Boo is old. He turned 12 in March.

And though it's bitter-sweet, I'm glad to see yet another thing I have in common with a friend.


Lots To Do Today

Mike and I went to the funeral home last night. It was the young woman that I'd posted about a few days ago. Unbelievably sad. And draining. The husband walking around like a shell of a man. She looked so little. So young. There were pictures of her little family surrounding the casket.

I had to stop by the grocery store on the way home. I ran into an older woman there who seemed eager to talk. She was telling me her age (75) and the changes she'd seen in her life. She had so much spark and life in her.

Can you imagine her horror when I burst into tears? All I could think of was the young woman who I'd just seen lying in her casket that would never see anymore changes. Not the changes to her children as they grew. Not the changes in her husband. Not the grief of losing her parents. But not the joy of life either.

I quickly made my excuses and finished my shopping in a hurry, coming to the comfort of my home and family. My precious family.

There is much to be done today. My desk is literally overflowing. But I pause today to think of that little family that is grief stricken. Whose lives will never be the same again.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Simple, Economical, Instant Oatmeal

Tonya said:

"Would you mind posting your instant oatmeal recipe? I think I would like to try it."

And Lori asked too.

I first stumbled across this recipe online, but have changed it over the course of time to what I have written below.

I'm truthfully a little embarrassed to post it because it's just so ridiculously simple. Especially compared to all my blog friends who make all these exotic, homemade breakfast dishes.

In my defense, I'm not a morning person. And my girls really do like those little crazy expensive packs of oatmeal.

So I'll assume you'll forgive my lack of morning ambition when I post the following:


10 cups of some type of quick cook oatmeal (I buy the huge double boxes at Sam*s)
10 T equiv. of some type of sweetener*
10 T dry milk
Cinnamon Powder (to taste)
1-2 T salt (to taste)
Whatever dried fruit you happen to have around **


Take at least 4 cups of the oatmeal and process it into a powder in a food processor or blender. This is the trick to making it like those little packets

Then you just basically toss the rest together and store it in an airtight container.

To make the instant oatmeal, pour equal parts boiling water over oatmeal mixture. This will vary depending on how thick or thin you like your oatmeal. Let sit for a minute to thicken. I'm sure you could also add cold water and microwave, but I've never done this.

*Since my girls were used to those very sweet individual packets of oatmeal, I started off using 10-12 T brown sugar. But I've gradually reduced it to about 8 T. It just depends on what you're used to. I don't see why you couldn't substitute your sweetener of choice.

**One of my girls doesn't like the dried fruit in hers, so I leave it out of the main mix but keep a container of dried fruit, raisins and nuts beside the tub of oatmeal so it can be quickly added for those that like it.

Why do I go to the trouble to do this?

Well, I can pay close to $4 for one of those little (10ct?) boxes of individual packets. Even buying them in bulk still cost almost double what I can make it for at home.

One of those packets, by my measurements contains less than 1/3 cup. The above recipe makes over 24 of that size serving. The ingredients bought in bulk costs me less than $2.50 (less if I leave out the fruit/nuts).

Plus, I can pronounce all the ingredients.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Last Monday

I wanted to join in on Candy's Reality Internet and post a week in the life of me. Well, after having the camera with me all day seeing how much time this was going to take, I, like many others, decided to do a single day instead of a week.

The day I'm chronicling is last Monday. We're not doing school right now, so that is why there is no mention of it.

What I've found by looking at my days a bit closer last week is that there probably is no typical day here. Not in any real sense. Not in the summer when our time is more our own. It really just depends on what needs to be done at any given time. In other words, there is no way to schedule when the instant oatmeal runs out and needs to be remade.

So while this day may not ever repeat exactly, it fairly accurate as to the things that I get done in any given day.

I try to start the day with a hearty breakfast. I'm blessed that my husband loves to make scrambled eggs and more often than not, makes them for breakfast.

Then it's time to get supper started. Today I'm making a Cajun purple hull pea dish that will be supper with the addition of sliced cucumber (fresh from the garden) and buttermilk cornbread.

After making 3 pictures of laundry fresh from the dryer, I decided that was enough. You get the picture. I think I ended up doing about 7 load that day.

I also made my first ever batch of homemade yogurt. Here it is heating up.

And here it is cooling down, with the starter. Waiting to mix it together.

And here I'm freezing the rest of the store bought yogurt in ice cube sizes to have handy for next time.

I ground some wheat for a new bread recipe.

My husband wanted a bread that was more whole grain(ish) that the one I've been making. I ended up making one with lots of fresh ground whole wheat, oatmeal, and ground flax. He really liked it (and I wish I'd made a picture of the final product, but I didn't) but the top caved in just a bit and I wasn't impressed with how difficult it was to slice neatly.

I've been really battling ants in the garden lately. I've searched high and low for something natural to use to help with this. One thing I read was to put your coffee ground on the soil. So I tried this last week. This was after trying cinnamon and even borax (not in the soil of course, but underneath the boxes). Sadly, none of this worked and the ants were literally destroying the garden. So finally at weeks end, I caved and put some ant dust on it. It really wasn't what I wanted to do, but the ant feeding frenzy was destroying everything anyway. It's much better already.

As an aside, as I go about my day I've found it super handy to keep a water glass handy. Excuse the warped look. Dishwasher + plastic = warped. This glass holds approximately 40oz. I try to drink a full glass with my vitamins before coffee in the morning and then have at least 2 more during the course of the day. Lately I've been substituting one of the glasses of water for tea. I also make huge protein shake (it fills the entire glass) for my lunch most days.

We ran out of my homemade instant oatmeal. Since the girls really love it, and it's so economical and easy to make, I made a huge double batch.

I store this in an old protein powder container and it makes for a quick, fairly healthy breakfast.

I didn't get pictures, but I did detail the kitchen as well. Putting everything I could in the dishwasher and running it and scrubbing everything else down.

I also took a nice bubble bath before my husband got home. :)

When I was out of the bath I lit some candles in my clean kitchen.

And then I got to watch the rain watering my garden so I didn't have to do it myself.

Mike came home and at the last minute Jessica (my oldest daughter) brought Jarad (her boyfriend) home for supper so the picture taking got put on the back burner as I prepared the meal for 2 more adults than I thought I was having.

Supper was filled with fellowship and laughter.

I know that many would look at the day as boring or tedious. Maybe non-challenging. But I look at it much differently. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my family. To have the time and energy to make our house a home.

I hope you've enjoyed your peek at my day.


Saturday, June 09, 2007


I've put up my blog links.

Some of the ones that I've linked to are huge. And some are not. I think there are some real hidden treasures in the blog world. And I think I've found some of them.

If anyone would like to be added that I've forgotten, just let me know. And certainly if anyone would like to be removed, just let me know.


You Just Never Know

While I sat in the dentist office on Thursday waiting for Julia to get some teeth sealed, I made an amazingly long list of things I needed to get done in the next little while. We were out much of the day on Thursday doing errands (with a fun trip to the mall thrown in) so nothing got done on the list. My plan was to start it on Friday.

Early Friday morning my husband woke me up with bad news.

We are now at the age that we have friends who have grown children. Several years ago one of these friends son-in-law was coming into town (with the friends daughter and grandson) to visit. He was home from a tour in Iraq. Since my husband is retired Navy, the friend thought that my husband might have something in common with him. Mike talked to him and invited the (young) family over for dinner.

The son-in-law (I'll call him J) really seemed to latch on to Mike. He was estranged from his father and it felt to us that he was looking for that type of figure. We had a really nice evening with them and they stayed really, really late. Talking to J's wife (I'll call her L) was pretty much like talking to my oldest daughter. There is just a few years difference in their ages. Their little boy was all boy, but a delight. My daughters adored him. And L was just pregnant again.

They only stayed in town a few days and then were back to wherever they were stationed. J would call Mike from time to time and keep us up on their lives. They were back in town at some point later and we saw them briefly. I only remember that L was much bigger pregnant and just as sweet and precious as I'd remembered her.

J did more tours in Iraq over the years. Calling Mike occasionally when he could. He recently retired and moved his family to a neighboring town.

Yesterday morning Mike got an early morning call from a hysterical J. Seems that he'd found L dead in the wee hours of morning. Her family was out of town and he said that he had no one else to call.

Mike quickly dressed and went to the hospital and I was left with this surreal feeling for the day. My heart so heavy and sad. At this point, we have no idea why she died. And it just still doesn't feel real or right. She has two little kids to take care of. She was so incredibly full of youth and life. She had this natural beauty that made her glow.

She was only 26.

I wish I had hugged her for just a second longer the last time I saw her years ago. I wish I had some words of comfort for this grieving family.

I pray that this young man is able to step through his grief and be a shining example of a father to this motherless 6yo little boy and 3yo little girl.

So yesterday my list was put aside. I spent the day with my daughters. We watched TV together. We talked. We went for a coffee drink.

Because life is so short. And you just never know.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Does Anyone Know?

What is the protocol for adding people to the "Blogs I Read" sidebar? Should you ask people before you add them?



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just a Quick Note

I made quite a few pictures yesterday for Candy's Reality Internet . There is really no "typical" week here. Things change all the time. But my plan right now is to record this week and post it on the corresponding days next week.

We'll be out of the house some today, so there probably won't be as many pictures. I've always enjoyed peeking into others lives. I hope others will join in even if it's just for a day or two.


Monday, June 04, 2007

A New Week

Yesterday we were supposed to have friends over and cook out, but the weather looked icky and we all decided to do it some other time. So home we came from church and did something almost unheard of in our home.

We napped.

For about 2 hours.

What bliss.

When we got up, the weather had shifted. It wasn't muggy anymore. It was breezy and the sun was peeking from between clouds. We sat outside for a little bit and then it was time to take the girls to youth. I threw some potatoes in the oven to bake and we left.

After dropping them off, we went by the meat market. Mike called a friend of his and invited him over to grill steaks. We got back home and straightened the house. We went to get the girls and then had an impromptu cookout anyway! Our next door neighbor saw us outside and he joined in the fun. Mike is the best bbq chef in the (my) world. We even made homemade peach ice cream!

It was a wonderful time and much needed. The last two days I'd been trying to strip my kitchen floor. It was looking yucky and when I washed it (with vinegar and water as usual) it didn't look right. All splotched up. So after I'd mopped it literally like 40 (yes, forty) times Mike stepped in and grabbed some ammonia and a scrub brush and went at it (while I rinsed rags and wiped up the goo). We finally got it done late Saturday. That is not something I want to do again in the near (read: ever) future.

Other than that, I've been easing into my summer schedule. It seems that in the summer I'm able to keep my house all clean and how we like it. In the winter there is just so much going on that it's hard to keep up. I've got to somehow change that. And I've been working on it. But it's still not to my satisfaction.

I've made a few pictures and hope to join Candy's Reality Internet if I can somehow find the time. It's just where we all post pictures of our typical day for the whole week.

Anyone else game?

Lots to do today. It's only my second week of the new cleaning schedule so I'm still detailing many things. I'll leave you with our calendar that shows the difference in May and June. And then I must scrub off May and put up the July calendar!