Monthly Archives: July 2011

And Then There is Life

I was doing pretty good.  Then it got busy this weekend.  I took Grace to camp, leaving at 8:30 am and returning at 9:00 pm on Sunday.  Work is crazy.  Kids are squirrely.  Today at one time I had three workmen from two different places working on various issues in my house, the water shut off and kids getting up from nap and needing to “potty” already!  At the same time there was also a neighbor boy knocking to tell me he hit a ball into my backyard and he needed to get it, a woman calling from church with a prayer request, Grace’s boyfriend visiting and my hubby coming home to get the boy for wrestling camp (sending his two friends home).  Now there is a little quiet but I still haven’t really accomplished much today.  Just keeping everyone in a forward motion was a full time job.

So the biggest question now is whether, after a trip to the grocery store, do I try to do a load of laundry or maybe the handwashing?  Or go to bed?  If I stay up a little I might get to talk to grace via email before bed… but that might not be til 11:00…. decisions decisions decisions!

I hope all is running smoothly for you!  Thanks for stopping by…. maybe next time I will have something interesting to say?!?  Never can tell!


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Filed under Just Me

Let Me Think About It

How long did it take you to realize that you don’t have to say yes to everyone and everything in order to be liked?  Or accepted?  Or accomplished?

You probably figured it out waaaaayyy before I did.  I was in my early 30s?  I don’t remember exactly when but it wasn’t that long ago, I’m sorry to say.  Now I rarely give a definite answer without taking my time.  If I get asked to join something, do something, make/bake something… whatever the request might be, I am quick to say that I will look at my calendar or think about it or whatever and get back to them soon.  I generally give a time frame, anywhere from an hour to a day or week, depending on the request.

It is empowering to take my time in decision-making.  And when I do make up my mind, the other party knows that it is truly what I want to do and can do.  Nothing fake about it.

Unfortunately I didn’t extend that to my daughter earlier this week when she was on the phone with someone requesting her service.  She attended a leadership training at a local Bible camp (that she has attended for 4 summers) in June.  She loved it and eventually hopes to be a camp counselor there.    This training was to start the process of training her to be a JC or junior counselor.  Unfortunately she had to leave early (the night before scheduled) due to a migraine.

But the exciting part was that they were interested in starting her as a JC THIS summer… even though she is only 14 and their usual requirement is that JCs complete their sophomore year in HS first.  She just completed 8th grade.

So this week they wanted her to do a week the first part of August.  It would overlap our big family vacation by a day, which I told her.  They said they could let her go a day early.  She agreed.  When she hung up I asked if she was sure she wanted to do it.  She got a little huffy thinking I didn’t want her to…  fact is, with this added to her calendar it would give her only one more full week at home all summer.  The week before school starts.  When I tried to explain, she started to cry.  Overwhelmed.  She didn’t realize that.

I should have instructed her to tell the camp director that she would call her back the next day after looking at her calendar.  Why didn’t I?  Because I was busy with work and not really thinking…  I did assure her it was not the end of the world.  That she could certainly call the camp back and explain that after looking at the August schedule more closely, it just wouldn’t work.

She didn’t really want to make that call… I don’t like to see her having to do uncomfortable things.  But she’s getting bigger and needs to learn these things.  Better now.  With me right here.  She was afraid they would be mad.  I assured her they wouldn’t.  If they think enough of her to have her JC two years early, they certainly won’t hold her honesty and responsible nature against her.

The camp director was sad she was so booked up already but assured her they would contact her early next year to get her scheduled before her summer booked up.   And Grace learned that you just have to do some things.  Like make tough phone calls.  Even if there is a chance someone will be upset.

I think a valuable lesson was learned.  Both in having to call and say that she couldn’t fulfill the commitment she made and in seeing the value in telling someone that you certainly want to do something but need to check the calendar and think about it before committing.

She’ll make a hasty commitment again.  And sometimes she’ll just tough it out and do what she said she would, maybe even hating every minute.  And sometimes she’ll find a way to back out gracefully.   But maybe she’ll get the hang of making thoughtful decisions before she’s 30!  That would be great!

Aren’t we all just trying to pass along those lessons we wish we’d have learned a little earlier?  What are you teaching a young one these days?  What life lessons do you wish you had learned earlier?

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Filed under Attitude, Kids, You Don't Have to Like It

Summer: the half-way summary

Exactly half-way through this summer, I am wondering where the time has gone…  Yes, I counted out the days/weeks.  I like numbers.

It seems to have at least partially gone to:

  • bonfires
  • sleepovers
  • parties
  • baseball practice
  • baseball games
  • house guests
  • weekend trips to visit family
  • a visit with a dear friend (Hi Heather!)
  • time at the lake
  • tubing at the lake
  • fishing
  • quiet hours at the coffee shop with a spiced chai
  • strawberry picking
  • making strawberry  jam  syrup
  • picking peas
  • shelling and freezing peas
  • tearing apart a bathroom!

The second half will see the end of baseball, but won’t slow down!

  • BIG family trip (first ever)
  • camp for kids
  • bathroom redo to complete
  • garage to clean out and reorganize
  • more time at the lake
  • more fishing
  • CSA harvest events
  • gardening to keep up on
  • freezing and canning to do
  • painting

Just as I don’t know how we fit it all in the first half, I don’t really know how it will all get done in the second half.  But I think that somehow it will…

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Filed under Home Projects, In the Kitchen, Lists

Menu Plan Monday ~ 7.18

Well, last week went pretty well.  Not perfect, but better than the last many weeks have been!  The biggest success was coming home from our pea pick at the CSA farm to a roast already done, saving us from fast food!  Yeah!  Within 15 minutes of being home there were shredded beef sandwiches, baked beans and carrot sticks.  I also liked not having a specific meal assigned to each day.  It gave me the freedom to know that I had something on hand for everyday, but could make what I felt like making and fit into the craziness of the day.

Now I’m excited to try again.  Let’s see what can go on this week’s menu!  In cleaning out the pantry and looking at all I had on hand, I am pretty stocked up on ingredients for Mexican dishes.  And we have 16 jars of canned salsa to use before tomatoes start taking over.


  • Lettuce wraps with deli meat and shredded cheese
  • Quesadillas – either bean or chicken, we’ll see what I find more of in the freezer
  • Lasagna hotdish (made in the crockpot?)
  • Crockpot cheeseburgers
  • Tilapia fillets


  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Chef salads
  • Enchiladas
  • Chicken legs
  • Leftovers

Side-dishes will consist of LOTS of veggies! Our CSA has been delivering a ton of vegetable variety on Thursdays!  We will have green beans, Chinese cabbage, peas (shelling and sugar snap), onions, lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce, some spinach, kohlrabi, cabbage and maybe a carrot or two.  Fresh fruits right now include kiwi, nectarines, oranges and bananas.  So any combination of those will grace our plates at any given meal.

What will be on your plates this week?  Looking for some meal planning inspiration?  Look no further than the Menu Plan Monday links  hosted this week by Finding Joy in My Kitchen!  Wow there are some creative ladies out there!!

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Filed under In the Kitchen, Using It Up

Sunday Summary 7.17

I’m getting a little peace and quiet at the coffee shop again.  You may notice that it’s where I do a lot of my writing these days.  It does me good to get out of the house for a little bit.  And somehow I think better about all this stuff when I am not surrounded by the noise and chaos.

As expected the shopping day was really fun on Friday!  We didn’t get to a couple of stores we were hoping to, but we got home at 11:30pm utterly exhausted!  It was a FULL day.  Somehow I missed the exact moment when the girl decided to like dresses and consequently dressing up.  She likes pearls and a little bit of lace.  This interests me since I’m more of a diamond girl.  While shopping she wanted to look at suits (for speech season) and sundresses for “everyday” or something.  Amazing.  She did end up with a few dresses and wore one yesterday already.  She is taking a little more time with her makeup and hair, but thankfully not going overboard.  I am so proud of the young woman she’s growing into… it is really amazing!  Wow!

And as hoped for, the weekend has been pretty productive.  By the end of the day I should have the upstairs main living area de-cluttered, cleaned and looking good!  While I’m here my kids are washing the entry paneling (lower half of the walls) and kitchen cupboard fronts (top and bottom) then scrubbing down the table, chairs, and bar stools!  I sound like a slave driver and the boy may say I am but the girl asked if we have a plan for doing the same in the basement!  I told her that we’d tackle that during the evenings this week.  She said “even the office?”  How cute is that!?!

The only thing that is going to get put off is the bread baking.  I will have to do regular bread, but the 4 batches of blueberry zucchini bread I hoped to get done will wait for a few days.  I did however get a huge batch of spaghetti sauce made (teaching the girl how to make it) and froze a dozen big packages of peas.

While there is still chaos and craziness, I am looking forward to this week.  It holds the possibility of getting even more things under control.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a happy, blessed week!

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Filed under Attitude, Just Me

Company Girls ~ 7.15

Ahhhh…. Friday is here!  And it’s shaping up to be a wonderful day!

I woke up to a little storm rumbling through.  Layed in bed, just enjoying the slow pace for a little bit and then took a long shower.  Now it is only 8:30 and I’m at the coffee shop, determined to get this post out.  It is quiet and I have a (free) spiced chai next to me…. really this will be a great day!

Normally I work on Fridays but we had Girl Scout summer camp plans fall through, turning our 2 night camping trip into a one day camp.  Now the girl and I are heading out for a big shopping day.  We even like the hour-plus drive.  We will jam to her music, played loudly.  We will pick girly places for lunch and supper.  We’ll roam the mall and hit Sam’s Club.  There are lists a mile long… but we have so much fun.

In an hour we’ll finish up our errands and head west.  I feel like it’s going to be a relaxing, productive day!  …full of laughs!

Other than today?  I am overwhelmed by the chaos that has collected in my house.  I need to really clean, declutter and PURGE a lot.  Bookkeeping needs some attention.  And after rejuvenating today, I think I will have the energy to tackle some of that craziness!  The weekend is pretty open.  Lets hope I can fill it with productive fun!

How about you?  What’s happening in your life? I know I’ve been gone quite awhile, so I’m looking forward to checking out what’s going on.   Stop over at Home Sanctuary and visit!



Filed under Attitude, Just Me


I am coming to understand that there is quite a difference between boys and girls when it comes to sleepovers. It is surprising.
I have only ever been familiar with girl sleepovers. Until this last year, that is.
When girls have a sleepover is tends to be at least semi-planned. Probably in part because girls are a bit more ordered in their social situations. And also because girls have stuff. A lot of stuff. That they NEED! So when girls decide to have an impromptu sleepover a parent inevitably has to go deliver or retrieve the girls’ stuff.

Boys? They need nothing. They like sleeping in their clothes. They borrow each others shorts and swim trunks without thinking twice if they will fit or if they will “look cute” on them. And a night without a toothbrush! Oh yeah!

As far as sleeping goes… Girls will make a bed up.  Boys will crash wherever.  A mom told me the other day that when my boy stayed at her house recently she found that the boys had decided to throw a blanket on a bunch of clothes piled on the kid’s bedroom floor and sleep on that.  Really.  When the mom asked her son about it, he simply told her they both decided it was comfortable enough.  Go figure.

Sunday, after a baseball team party my son and another boy were asked to stay at the host’s house for a sleepover.  We could simply leave, no worries.  Then Monday I got a call from my son after he finished baseball practice, asking if he could stay at a friend’s house.  As in, I am going home with them and they will bring me to practice again tomorrow.  When the mom said “he doesn’t need anything, does he?” I did suggest that they stop by for a toothbrush and maybe another pair of shorts.   I can overlook more than I ever thought I would… but TWO out of three nights without a toothbrush?  I’m not there yet!

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