Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Off to the pumpkin patch we went...

Monday afternoon, we found that we had a free afternoon. The kids were home from school. My tutoring session got cancelled. Ben's OT appointment got cancelled. So, we decided to head out to the orchard where we picked apples, to let the kids pick pumpkins for Halloween. Rebecca and Benjamin had NEVER been to a pumpkin patch and Jacob had only been once with his preschool. In fact, Bill and I had never been to a pumpkin patch in the 12+ years that we have been together. 

The weather was perfect (mid 80s and sunny!). We met up with my mom and my sister, who was home from college so they could have some fun as well. We were a little late in the season to pick them, so there weren't many left, but the kids found 3 perfect ones for them.  


At the orchard, I also picked up some tomatoes and some hot salsa for Bill. Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon of family fun and making memories! We will definitely be adding this to our to-do list for fall in the years to come (and hopefully we will be able to go earlier towards the start of October next year!).

Do you pick pumpkins from a patch? 
When was the last time you visited a pumpkin patch? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jacob's sports themed birthday party

On Sunday we celebrated Jacob's 7th birthday. My parents, my sister Mary, my brother Josh, my brother Joe and his wife and family came over for lunch and cake and ice cream. 

It was a lovely afternoon. Jacob requested some kind of sports cake so I decorated a non-dairy cake with a sports theme. He loved it and said it was the best cake ever! 

I had stuff for sandwiches, pasta salad, grapes and chips for lunch. I even pulled out peanut butter and jelly for the birthday boy! During lunch there was lots of conversations and laughs and being silly with the kids.

After lunch, we headed outside so the kids could pound on a pinata that my brother brought over. The kids had fun trying to open it up and Rebecca ended up being the one to pound it open.

 After the pinata, it was time to come in and have cake and ice-cream. I had found "touchdown sundae" ice cream (made by Turkey Hill) as a special treat and it was really good and a perfect compliment to the cake. 

After cake and ice cream, Jacob got to open his presents. Jacob got football cards, a set of wrestling figures, a Cleveland Cavaliers poster, a football game set, and a basketball. He loved all his gifts! 

Overall, it was a very nice get together with people who really care about my son! And Jacob said it was the best day ever which was just icing on the cake for me! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday (10/17/2016)

Happy, Happy Monday! Today has been an atypical Monday around here as the kids are home from school and the weather is absolutely perfect for being October 17! Today we spent the day working on Rebecca's AHG cooking badge, took a trip to the pumpkin patch and just had a great day. This is all after a crazy Sunday of Jacob's birthday celebration! So it has been busy but fun! Now I am off to join into Sandra's Happy Homemaker Monday theme today. So let's see what else is going on in my little corner of the world. 



Absolutely beautiful!! The temperature today was in the low 80s and it is supposed to be that way until Thursday when cooler weather returns. I love fall, but today's weather was amazing! 


Today I had cheerios with banana cut up in the bowel. And a can of caffeine free diet mt. dew. (I know, not the healthiest drink).

The trees are starting to really turn color and it is absolutely beautiful. The only downside is that as I look outside my kitchen window, I see that several of my neighbors have political signs in their yards. I HATE this time of year, especially this year, as everyone is so divided and tensions are high.


Typing up this post, trying to decide what else I need to get done tonight and listening to the kids eating dinner and watching T.V.


You can tell that the kids have been home today from school as there are numerous toys laying around and the house looks lived in today.


I still have a ton to do tonight, including uploading photos to Walmart, getting tutoring stuff ready for tomorrow, write another blog post and schedule, clean up kitchen from dinner, do at least 1 more load of laundry.


Monday: kids are off of school today, Ben had speech, Rebecca worked on her AHG cooking badge, we went pumpkin picking, etc.
Tuesday: I tutor and Rebecca has American Heritage Girls meeting, need to make a trip to Walmart
Wednesday: Tutoring
Saturday: Rebecca has to help at a fundraiser
Sunday: PSR for kids and church



Kids are currently watching cartoons. Tonight at 8, the TV will be mine as the Cleveland Indians play the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series. The Indians are winning the series 2-0 in a best of 7 series. Go TRIBE!!


Monday::  chicken and cheese casserole, peas and pears
Tuesday::  waffles, sausage, fruit
Wednesday:: chili and grilled cheese
Thursday:: hamburger helper and peas
Friday:: pizza
Saturday:: macaroni and cheese
Sunday:: pot roast, mashed potatoes, corn


Nothing at the moment, but I HAVE to get going on our vacation photo book and I think I may have the perfect picture for our annual Christmas cards. Also I have an idea for the kids' annual Christmas ornament that they get from St. Nick, but need to get working on those.



So there you have it, a little peek into my life on this Monday night. Hope everyone has a great rest of the day and a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday going-ons....

Happy Saturday! It is the final day to get some things done before we have people over for Jacob's birthday get together tomorrow. There may only end of being my parents and sister and brother, but that is okay. I still want to have a clean house for it and then I can maintain it throughout next week and beyond, hopefully! 

There are several things that I need to get done today and a few things I would like to get done, but if I don't get to them it is no biggie. So I have a must do and I would like to do list for this weekend. 

My must do list:
  • bake Jacob's birthday cake and decorate it
  • make up trays for party food and place in refrigerator
  • make pasta salad and refrigerate
  • wrap Jacob's birthday presents
  • declutter area at the bottom of the steps that has become a dumping ground of clutter
  • sweep and mop the living room, dining room, kitchen and downstairs bathroom
  • wipe down fronts of cabinets and appliances in kitchen
  • sweep off the front porch
My would like to do but if I don't it is not a big deal list:
  • Clean upstairs bathroom
  • wash all sheets off all beds
  • make banana bread
  • write out 2 book reviews and schedule them to post
So we shall see what I can get done. Bill is out covering state golf and I hope the kids can keep themselves occupied for most of today. So we shall see what I can get done. 

What are your plans for this Saturday?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How's my to-do list coming along?

On Monday, I posted a rather long to do list that I wanted to get done throughout the week in preparation for Jacob's birthday party on Sunday. Being that today is Thursday and I have a rather long day of tutoring ahead of me, I thought I would see where I stood on my to do list and what I still need to accomplish. So let's see where I stand, shall we?

Just a reminder that this is my list for cleaning the downstairs in preparation for Jacob's birthday party this coming weekend. I hope to work on this throughout the week and that way I don't have to scramble around on Saturday.
  • deep clean downstairs bathroom (including dusting, cleaning toilet and sink, sweeping and mopping floor)
  • Deep clean the living room 
    • dust ceiling
    • clean out from under couch and loveseat
    • clean out and vacuum rug under the recliner
    • redo mantel area for Halloween
    • sort toys and books in kids' corner
    • get things of floor near the bottom of the steps (this includes bag that I took to hospital that never got taken back upstairs)
    • clean, organize and dust TV stand
    • sweep floor
  • Declutter desk area
  • Straighten up dining room
  • Clean off shelves that are in between dining room and living room
  • Dust ceiling fans in dining room, living room and mud room
  • Clean off porch (including sweeping and wiping down table and chairs)
  • Mop kitchen, dining room and living room
  • Wipe down walls
There are also my day to day to-do list items:
  • laundry
  • cut all kids' fingernails and toenails-- I did Benjamin's.
  • Pay bills and balance checkbook
  • Take a load of stuff to Goodwill
So I am making some progress and that makes me happy. I still need to tackle the corner of the living room, but most of the major cleaning is done. And that makes me happy, especially since I am starting to fight a head cold. I always get sick around Jacob's birthday

Well, I need to get kiddos off to school. Hope everyone has a happy Thursday! We've almost made it to the weekend!  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Befriend (a book review and giveaway)


Is real friendship too risky?
We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.

Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book, BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.

Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.

Yes, it’s true: Real friendship is costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.

Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendship that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.


BeFriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgement, Isolation, and Fear was an interesting read. BeFriend offers different ways of belonging to different groups and argues that at it's core we need to "befriend" all people because all people are from God. Author Scott Sauls explore different groups that we may shy away from befriending because they are different than what we deem to be normal in our own lives. Sauls makes the argument and shows us how to examine our lives so that we can befriend all including ourselves, the shamed, sexual minorities, children, family members that we may not get along with, bullies, strangers, refugees and more. 

I appreciate Sauls' approach and he does raise many difficult questions. However, I did not agree with some of his arguments as in certain chapters there seemed to be an underlying theme of judgement against those he argues we are to befriend (ie. being gay is wrong, but who are we to judge even though it is wrong, etc.). That just really did not sit well with me. I did, however, like how each chapter offered personal stories and ended with a summary, a scripture verse related to the chapter and questions to consider. Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a thought provoking look at relationships in your life.

If this looks like a book you would like to read, I have an extra copy to give away to one of you. All you have to do is comment that you want to read the book. If more than 1 person comments, then I will use to pick a winner. Unfortunately I can only mail to readers in the USA. Giveaway will end next Friday October 21, 2016 at midnight EST. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Buzzplant and Ravu Collective. All opinions of this book are my own.   


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy 7th birthday Jacob!

7 years ago today, I went through my first major surgery. The end result was an adorable, chubby bundle of joy that we named Jacob William. He was the answer to a prayer. We found out that I was pregnant with Jacob during the same month that Travis was to have been born. 
Our lives have never been the same since. Jacob is a very active, hyper, always talking, loveable boy who loves sports and sports and more sports. He is great at reading and remembering things. 

I thought it would be fun to interview Jacob for his 7th birthday and here are his answers:

1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?

2. What is your favorite color? 

3. What is your favorite television show?
Sportscenter... of course. 

4. What's your favorite outfit?
Sports shirt

5. What sport do you like the best? 

6. What song is your favorite?

7. What is your favorite cereal?
Lucky Charms

8. Who is your best friend?
I have 3. Skyler, Mackenzie and Nicole

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Football player

10. What is your favorite book?

11. What are you really good at?
playing sports

12. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
Notre Dame

13. What is your best memory?
I got to play on the playground a bunch of times.

14. What would you buy if you had $1000?
20 Milk jugs

15. What vegetable do you hate the most?

16. If you could have a wish, what would it be?
To live forever and ever

17. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

18. Who is your biggest hero?

19. What do you like to do best with your friends?
Play tag

20. What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday?
Ride a roller coaster

Today, Jacob had pancakes and bacon for breakfast before school.

 I took football themed cupcakes to school for him to share with his class. 

Tonight, we will have his birthday dinner of PB&J sandwiches and we will just hang out at home. We are planning on having him a little get-together this weekend to celebrate with family. 
 I can't believe he is 7 already!