Friday, July 24, 2009


I haven't been cooking much lately....gasp! I know!!

Things have been so crazy around here that I've just been throwing meals together and trying to make sure they're balanced and healthy. But I'm starting to get the itch. I've got a couple of recipes sitting on my kitchen counter that I've been wanting to try, especially with all of the yummy produce that is so abundant right now! I'm planning to sit down today and get my meal plan worked out, so I can get some meals in the freezer as well as get some fantastic dishes made for Party in the Pantry. Which, by the way, has been having some really tasty things posted lately. Check it out if you haven't in a while!

Today my plan is simple. I have to spend a few hours working on my income statements, since my sales tax payment is due (UGH!), but I also want to whip up a batch of these healthy blueberry muffins I tried last weekend. We haven't had cookies in a while either, so I thought maybe the kids would want to do that as well. I have no plan for dinner yet, but no worries! I'm breaking out my collection of recipes I've torn out of various magazines and photocopied from books...and finding something worthy to try!

What kinds of things would you like to see on Party in the Pantry? I'd love some new inspiration for fall, and we're always looking for a new recipe to try!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rainy day

Well, the weather has been nothing less than delightful around here lately...seriously, this is NOT normal July weather for Ohio. But we've been enjoying the cooler temps and low humidity just the same! Today when I woke up, it was raining. Not a pounding rain, not a thunderstorm, but a nice steady, light rain. Perfect!!!

I'd really like to just hang out around here all day, piddling around doing laundry, weeding out closets, and stripping beds...but I won't. I'm spending the day with my kiddos! We're going up to the $1.00 theatre (which is now actually the $1.50 theatre) to see Monsters vs. Aliens, and then we're headed across the street to Graeters for ice cream and a little playland time. I can think of no less than 52 things I could (and need to) do around here today, but it can all wait. Summer is more than halfway over, and I spend too much time working at work and working at home. And although my kids are most always with me, I'm not really spending time with them.

Today will be different.

We will sneak our own yummy popcorn into the movies. We'll laugh and giggle and cuddle while we watch the movie and snack on our popcorn. We'll go to Graeters and spend lots of time tasting and deciding what flavors to get. The we'll sit and chat a little while we enjoy our ice cream...and before the kids run off to play on the banana teeter-totter or the ice cream cone slide. And on the way home, both kids will fall asleep in the car and continue to nap for an hour after we get home. Of course, there will be no fighting or arguing of any sort! Not today!! Not on this day when I'm giving them all of my attention...

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun times at the fair

We went to the Madison County Fair last week. Normally, I would do anything possible to avoid going, because to be's kind of a cruddy fair. I bribe the kids every year by telling them we have to make a choice between the Madison County Fair and the big Ohio State Fair...and well, who wouldn't choose the Ohio State Fair???

But not this year. See, Noah has this friend at preschool named Eric, and they live somewhat close to us. Well...close-ish. Like on our end of the country outside of Columbus. Like still about 25-30 minutes away. But's closer than a lot of his friends, seeing that his preschool is downtown and the kids come from all over the city.

Aaaaaaanyway, Eric's mom is always trying to come up with a way to get these boys together outside of school, which isn't easy, taking into account everybody's work schedules, activities, and bedtimes. So last week she mentioned meeting for dinner and then heading to the fair here in town. Now, for as much as I dread our fair, let me tell you that we had a GREAT TIME!! Noah and Eric were like two peas in a pod, and Kendall met various friends while she was riding rides. No one she already knew, of Kendall is just a social type of girl! She just walks up to the first interesting kid she sees and introduces herself, and they become instant buddies. Heck, I hope she is always so self-confident! Couldn't we all use a little of that from time to time? She met a little girl who rode endless rides with her, and a group of little boys who raced her down the big slide more times than I could count. These kids were having a blast! Thank goodness we had the foresight to buy the $15 armbands, because these kids racked up more than $50 each in rides if we had purchased individual tickets! (Well, let's be honest...we never would have let them ride that many if we hadn't purchased the armbands. But then they only could have ridden a couple...and it was worth it that they were having so much fun!)

I guess I won't be so quick to write off the Madison County Fair next year! And the bonus? Eric's mom and dad were totally great! I see more outings in our future. What could be better?

Monday, July 20, 2009


Noah desperately needed a haircut this week, and I finally got around to it on Saturday. As Teresa was getting ready to cut his very shaggy hair, she combed it up into this fauxhawk...isn't it funny? Noah smiled, but he didn't like it at all. He made it very clear to Teresa that he didn't want his hair that way. After we reassured him that she would cut it and comb it back down, he relaxed and let me take the picture.

Funny little boy!!! Isn't he a cutie?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Slip-slidin' Away...

Remember the slip-n-slide? We never had one growing up, but our neighbors did. You know, it always seemed like such a good idea...until you realized your parents set it up on a really hard part of the yard and when you came down on your chest, it hurt! Oh yeah, and the water was COLD!!! Good times, good times...but anyway...

Earlier in the season, I picked up my kids' first slip-n-slide because I got a SWEET deal on one at Target. It took a few weeks for us to pull it out, simply because we have not been at a loss for things to do until just last week. They could hardly wait to get it up and going, so we found a nice soft spot in the yard, where the grass was nice and thick, and Barry got to work. It didn't take long before those cute kids of mine were slip-slidin' away!!

Kendall is gearing up for the first slide...

Here she comes!!
Now that looks like fun, doesn't it!! A perfect 10!
Noah's turn...mouth open, as always!
He's comin' in fast!
Nice run, Noah!!
They had so much fun doing this all afternoon, and then the next day, they invited Shea over to slip-n-slide with them! This is the best $11 purchase yet!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A day with my girl..

One day last week, I didn't have any clients in the afternoon, so Kendall and I had the entire day to hang out together, just us two girls. THAT doesn't happen very often!! We had a nice lazy morning, snuggling in my bed, and reading our respective books...Duma Key for me, Pippi Longstocking for her. After finally getting up and getting dressed, I asked her what she wanted to do, since we could do ANYTHING. She thought about it for a moment, and then said she wanted to go to Prairie Oaks Metro Park for a nature walk and some creeking. I added that we should take Scout along, as he would LOVE it. She agreed, and off we search of adventure! Of course, I also grabbed my camera, as I thought it might be a good day to get some good shots...and it was!

Kendall & Scout

Getting ready to go creeking...

She thinks this is the best part!

A minnow! She also caught a crawdad, but no pic...sorry!

Scout gets in on the creeking as well. He didn't catch anything though... :)

My girl...
Headed home...
What a fun day!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Summer is full of so many cheap, fun little activities that we can do at home...and one of the best is BUBBLES!!! The kids love them, and I buy the bubble solution by the gallon. It's cheaper that way, and it also keeps me from having to run to the store every other day! Noah got a big Mickey Mouse bubble wand this year for his birthday, and this week the kiddos put it to good use. Noah is not much on making the bubbles...he recruits someone else for that business. He likes to chase and pop them. And he will do it for hours. I'm not kidding!

Noah has successfully recruited Kendall to make the big bubbles...

He waits for the perfect moment...

And grimaces as he makes contact!
Now it's getting fun...bubbles everywhere!
Oh no! He missed one!!
So much fun! What are some fun, cheap activities you do at home during the summer when you need a break from all the running around?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Fabulous 4th!

I know these are a bit late, but least I'm getting them up now, right? Even with all the work to be done over the holiday weekend, we took some time out to go downtown to see Red, White, & Boom...Columbus' big fireworks display. It was the first time for Noah, Dad, and Taffy. I think it's safe to say everyone really enjoyed it!

Jessie's friend Jennifer got us tickets to a VIP area at Boom Central, which was great since they served food, beer, and wine...for FREE!! The food was really good, that much I can tell you! They also had various bands playing, and tents set up where you could grab a table and just chill out of the hot sun. and probably most importantly, this area had it's own set of Portajohns, so we didn't have to go stand in the ridiculously long lines.

Jessie and Deanna found us once they arrived, and then her friends Alisa, Adam, Dan, and Alisa's kids Anderson and Ava showed up as well. The kids all played so well togther! What a riot!

Hope you all had a fantastic 4th too!!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Hard Work Pays Off!

We are in the process of finishing our basement, which as you may remember me talking about previously, is a bit difficult since we don't have our garage built yet...and therefore have no where else to store our "garagey-type things" like tools, tools, and more tools. But since it will be far less expensive to finish the basement, that is what we are doing first.

Although we have a geothermal heating/cooling system, we decided to look for a woodburning stove for the basement to help supplement the heat in the house. See...while the geothermal system keeps our house at a nice even temperature, you never feel that blast of dry heat that you get with a gas furnace or fireplace. And boy, do I miss that intense heat! So we started looking, and last winter we purchased a Buck stove, which is a woodburning stove that puts out heat like there's no tomorrow...and the one we found is actually the same model we had in our house when I was growing up. I was so excited to find it, especially remembering how toasty warm our house always was!!! Since that time, Barry has drawn up various different plans for the layout of the basement, and we have tweaked and re-worked, tweaked and re-worked...and re-worked again until we finally agreed on a plan that we hope will work.

Barry worked the rest of the winter and spring hanging drywall, priming, painting sample colors, cutting and hanging trim...and well, you get the idea. Things were really starting to take shape! But finally, it was time to get the stove set, which meant we had to decide on what we wanted for the hearth, mantle, and walls behind the stove. I like the look of field stone and river rock, so I was pretty sure we would be leaning that way. It took many of hours surfing Craig's List to find a deal on the amount of stone we would need, but true to form, Barry perservered and found some!

Of course, my Barry is the handiest of hubbies to have around, but he hasn't really done work like this before, so we called for reinforcements. My dad really likes to do stonework, and said he'd be happy to come for a weekend to help get it all laid. So on Friday, he and Taffy rolled in and the boys got right to work...

Just getting started...the "before" picture

Lookin' good, guys! (The board on the wall is where our mantle will go.)

My dad, cutting some stone
Trying to figure out the layout of the hearth...Putting the last piece down...Don't these guys do good work? We are really happy with the results! Once the mortar is dried, Barry has to go back and re-mortar and point the back wall to fill in the joints, and then set the stove. Of course, we also have to get the mantle installed, but all in good time. I'm just happy to have this part done, as it was quite labor intensive as well as time-consuming! I think I'll be having to pick out paint and carpet soon enough, don't you think?

Boy, I can't wait to have it all done so I can share pics! But I'm getting ahead of myself there...I need to get out and start chopping some wood, don't I? LOL!!!
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