Monday, June 30, 2014

July Menu

Happy Monday morning, friends!  

We are out of town with Aaron's family right now and are having a wonderful time!  Poor Gracie has skinned her knees twice, but I've got her covered with bandaids, so hopefully that does the trick!

I hope you can find a couple of new meals to try!  I'm especially excited about the Smoky Pork Tacos with Peach Cherry Salsa and Crispy Fish Tacos.  We had the Easy Popcorn Chicken last month and everyone ate it without a complaint.  I'm not going to say it's healthy, because it is fried, but it sure is yummy!

So, here it is!


Tuesday, July 1  Out of Town
Wednesday, July 2  Out of Town
Thursday, July 3  The Sandwich
Friday, July 4  Pizza? (But maybe something more 4th of July-ish)
Saturday, July 5  Pancakes and Eggs  Root Beer Can Chicken
Sunday, July 6  Sandwiches  Silly Cereal Supper

Monday, July 7  Smoky Pork Tacos with Peach Cherry Salsa
Tuesday, July 8  Easy Popcorn Chicken
Wednesday, July 9  Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Thursday, July 10  Breakfast Burritos
Friday, July 11  Pizza
Saturday, July 12  Leah's Play and Family Here
Sunday, July 13  Sandwiches  Silly Cereal Supper

Monday, July 14  Taco Chicken
Tuesday, July 15  Crispy Fish Tacos
Wednesday, July 16  Baked Ziti
Thursday, July 17  Honey Ginger Steak
Friday, July 18  Pizza
Saturday, July 19  Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps  Pretzel Dogs
Sunday, July 20  Sandwiches  Silly Cereal Supper

Monday, July 21  Chicken Sandwiches
Tuesday, July 22  PW Fajitas
Wednesday, July 23  BBQ Chicken
Thursday, July 24  Breakfast Quesadillas
Friday, July 25  Pizza  (Becky Gone)
Saturday, July 26  (Becky Gone)
Sunday, July 27  Sandwiches  Silly Cereal Supper

Monday, July 28  Tacos
Tuesday, July 29  Garlic Lime Roast Chicken
Wednesday, July 30  Hamburgers
Thursday, July 31  Leftovers

Friday, June 27, 2014

Project 365: #24 & #25

I've got 2 weeks of pictures here!  With the craziness of being gone because of the tornado and then swimming lessons and VBS, things have been busy!  Enjoy these cutie pie pics :)

Day 164:


Spoons that change color in cold makes fro-yo even better!


Day 165:


Leah and I picked strawberries, and Maggie and Gracie got to enjoy the literal fruit of our labors.


Day 166:


We enjoyed fruit crisp and apple nachos as a picnic on Sunday evening.


Day 167:



We enjoyed some custard at Culver's during their re-opening!  They were like the smartest of the 3 little pigs and built their house out of rock...


Day 168:



My parents were already planning on coming to visit on Tuesday.  Even though we were on the opposite side of town from the tornado damage, we were without power for the whole day and into the next.  We went out to lunch among other adventures and my mom gave Maggie and Leah some drawing tips!


Day 169:



Jumping in the pool at Nana and Papa's!


Day 170:



Leah on the bull thing at the Walmart play place.  I'm the mom who never gives her kids money for the rides...it took years before they knew they moved :)  


Day 171:



Fun at the beach...where I had a sunblock fail, for myself.  OUCH!


Day 172:



Piggy Back by the river!


Day 173:



This is what my kids and their friends do during church.  I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the custodian who undoubtedly finds one million rainbow loom bands.


Day 174:



We like to hang out with giraffes in the morning.  Don't you?  :)


Day 175:



Enjoying supper at the park before VBS!  I was the snack lady.  Everyone likes the snack lady ;)


Day 176:


Leah is practicing her diving stance.


Day 177:



Maggie:  professional swimming lessons kid!

Swimming lessons update:  Leah and Maggie passed their swimming lessons, but Gracie didn't.  She wasn't quite able to put her whole face in the water at once.  She didn't even notice that she didn't pass because she got a tattoo and a bunch of stickers on her paper :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Was Not at My Best

For starters, I only have 1 pictures of tornado/storm damage, because someone took my camera :(  We were in the play place at Walmart, I set my camera down, and forgot to bring it with me.  Aaron went back to check and asked at customer service, but it was nowhere to be found.  Sad day.

Anyway, this is our neighbor's tree that got blown down.  We didn't have much damage in our area as the 2 tornadoes were in other areas of town.  


From what I read, only 1 person was seriously injured (and she should recover well).  And while there was undoubtedly millions upon millions of dollars worth of damage done to the university, the most important thing is that no lives were lost.  

Through this, I've come to the conclusion that I do not do well in a moderate crisis.

A regular crisis?  I'm your girl.  There will be a plan of action.  There will be good questions asked.  I will be the queen comforter and helper.

But, I don't do the moderate crisis thing well at.all.

Of which crisis am I speaking, you may ask.

We didn't have power for like 36 hours.

That is certainly not a major crisis.  I mean, I have friends who work at the university who were handling major crises with grace and calm and strength.  My lack of electricity doesn't even come close in comparison to what they were dealing with.

I would even say that not having electricity for around 36 hours is on the low end of the moderate crisis.  

The storm that brought the tornado, came to town probably around 11:00ish pm last Monday night.  There was a lot of wind and rolling thunder and flashes of lightning.  The tornado siren didn't even go off...likely because elevation of the tornadoes was so low that the dopplar radar couldn't detect them.

We lost power around then.

Maggie woke up from the storm.  She was crying, because she didn't think she could fall asleep without the fan on.  To be fair, it got pretty stuffy pretty fast.  We didn't want her to wake up Gracie with her crying, so she and I took turns playing Dots, my favorite time wasting game on the tablet.  

After a while, we tried to get Maggie to go back to bed, but she was pretty worked up, so she and I camped out on the couches.  I was awake for longer than I slept, so needless to say, that's not the best way to start a day that contains a moderate-low crisis.  

Aaron very sweetly walked to the gas station to see if they had coffee.

While he was gone, I started getting frantic about not being able to take a shower.  I mean, technically I suppose I could have taken one in the dark, but at that moment, I wasn't sure what the water situation was. 

I'm not even one of those people who has to take a shower every day.  So, in an act of desperation, I grabbed some baby wipes and wiped out my armpits.

I apparently have no shame seeing as I shared that bit of information with the world wide web, but that gives you a glimpse as to how well I wasn't handling this!

Plus, I can't possibly be the only person who has ever done that...fess up :)

Anyway, Aaron came back without coffee, but he had run into some neighbors, so he returned with news of the tornadoes' damage.  

He also grabbed a travel mug so that our neighbor, Larry, could make me some instant coffee!  He must have lit their gas stove with a lighter or something.

Larry even told Aaron that he added an extra half scoop of coffee to make it stronger for me. 

So super nice!!!

Thankfully, my parents were already planning on visiting us for the day, and they were already on their way!

Aaron and I walked around our neighborhood, checking out the damage.  

It was getting hot.

I hate being hot.

I reeeeeeeally hate being hot.

I mean, let's just say that humidity and I don't really connect.

The girls were getting bored with walking around when a dog started trotting after Gracie.

She flipped out, so I carried her for the rest of the way home.  

My parents had gotten into town by the time we got home, so the girls and I met them in the Walmart parking lot, while Aaron went to work.  Between the road construction and storm damage, I wasn't sure they'd even be able to make it to our house.

We headed out of town to my favorite restaurant which lived up to the hype :)

We walked around the river and had such a fun time!  We got cupcakes and explored the fun downtown mill district.

I called Aaron and found that there was still no power, but we headed back home anyway.  

After enjoying a supper of sandwiches, my parents headed for home, and we headed to our friends' house.

The girls happily played outside with Jaime and Amy's kids, climbing up and sliding down the awesome inflatable water slide.  I took an actual shower...ahhhhhhhhhh!

As we started to pack the girls up to go home, I got a text from a friend saying that it was possible that we weren't going to have power for another day or 2.

At that moment, I was done.

As in:  drop the mic...Becky OUT!

I called the power company to see if there was a timeline for when our power was going to be back on.  I was nice, because, you know, it's not their fault there was a tornado.  He said, basically, in 12-24 hours.

There was no way we were going to be able to sleep, so we decided that the girls and I would head to my parents' house.  Aaron wanted to be home to make sure our basement didn't get water in it due to another storm that was on its way.  

I turned into the focused, intense mom.

I tried to give the girls a pep talk along the lines of, "We're each going to pack 3 outfits and work together to get going as soon as possible!"

I failed to mention that the reason we were hurrying was because the sooner we got going, the sooner we would get to Nana and Papa's house and the sooner they would be sleeping.

Let's just say that they perceived the Mommy-in-go-time-mode as MOMMY IS FREAKING OUT AND I SHOULD PANIC!

Did I mention that I was wearing a headlamp?  Because I was wearing a headlamp.


this is an old picture

Soooooooooo, they also probably felt like they were being interrogated every time I looked at them.  

I wouldn't say that this was a recipe for success and harmony and happiness.

It was more of a recipe for crying and panic and dismay and crying.  

Oh, and crying.  

Did I mention there was crying?

I can't say I blame them, because I wanted to cry, too, but I was too busy wearing a headlamp and shoving random clothes in a bag.

Aaron talked and prayed the girls off of the emotional edge, as I teetered dangerously close to the aforementioned edge.

But, we made it!  We left our house at 8:45 and got to my parents' house at a little after 11:00...the last 15 minutes were through pouring rain.

But, hey, at least it wasn't a tornado.

And at least I wasn't wearing a headlamp :)

Linking up with And Babies Don't Keep!


And Babies Don't Keep

Monday, June 16, 2014

Simple Summer

I've been realizing for a few months now, that our family is in a different spot than it's ever has been.

Since Leah was a baby, I've been the routine mom who is adamant about nap time.  I mean, we get home for naps.  The girls need their sleep, and I need a break.

But, Gracie just doesn't need a nap like my big girls did.  If she takes a nap, she's up forever at night, keeping Maggie awake which results in Maggie crying.  Not.fun.

This does mean, though, that we can go places and not rush back right after lunch for a nap.

I almost don't know what to do with this kind of freedom!

I've been learning too, actually through a very helpful thread of facebook comments on a friend's status, that even though my girls aren't babies, they still thrive with routine, so I won't be giving that up altogether.  

This morning, when the girls wake up, they will be greeted by FUN workbooks to do each day while I'm getting lunch ready.  They will do these at the kitchen table where I can see them.  I realized that I can't see much of the living room while I'm making a meal which was prime opportunity for bugging a sister.  At this point, I need to be able to see them and encourage harmony :)

We are also having a morning routine.  I have a little calendar for each week that I will fill out with their bathroom jobs and other things we're doing for the week.

Have I mentioned the amount of hair that ends up on our bathroom floor each day?  It's remarkable.  And not remarkable in a good way :)

So, each girl will have a job in the bathroom to do each morning, in addition to tidying their room and putting away clean laundry, which I might even have them fold.  I want these things to be routine and have them not fight me on it.  Let me rephrase that...have them not be over-dramatic about it; that's more accurate!

I'm hoping, too, that they days develop some sort of rhythm of playing outside in the morning (before it's hotter than sin, because apparently I think sin is represented by hot weather ;)), quiet rest time after lunch (I'm not ready to give up my break time),  and going to the pool before supper. 


I also want to have fun things sprinkled in to the week:  picnic Tuesdays, crafts (this is what we're going to do this week; it will take several sittings), Aaron's softball games, "adventure hikes."

"Adventure hike" are in quotation marks, because to a true outdoors person, these are neither adventurous nor hikes, but we've never claimed to be hardcore around here :)

I want the girls to have time to explore the outside and have new opportunities to be creative and do things like this...


:)

This will also be the Summer of the Backpack.


I love my cute and functional 31 bags as much as the next midwestern suburban/small town mommy and mine will still get a lot of use, but even if they aren't necessarily cool, sometimes a girl just needs a backpack!

I'm a camp girl at heart, and I fell in love with my husband while wearing this very backpack, so it's even sentimental!

I've been a mom for long enough to know that I need to hold these desires lightly and be flexible, but I'm going to give it my best!

What is your summer looking like?  How do you set the tone for your days?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Project 365: #23

If you are reading this on Friday, I have the day off!  Wheeeeeee!  Leah overheard me telling some friends that I was getting a day off and she asked, "Day off from what?"  :)

Day 157:



Well, that's self explanatory.


Day 158:


The girls were so excited to go to the pool for the first time!


Day 159:



We found this track in some mud in the road.  That's Leah's hand for comparison.  What do you think it is?  A rabbit?


Day 160:


My sister gave me these crocs.  They are game changers.  Also, when I forget to take a picture during the day, I take a picture of my shoes right before bed :)


Day 161:


Maggie, Gracie, and I got to join Leah and all of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders at the pool for an end of the year party.  I promise Maggie was excited!


Day 162:


My glasses girl playing a math game on the computer.  About the granola bar...I got 3 kinds of granola bars to see which ones the girls liked.  Naturally, they all liked a different one.


Day 163:



I'm watching the NBA finals with a cookbook magazine, an Arnold Palmer, and a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich...and with Aaron, too!


Have a great weekend, and don't forget to celebrate all the daddies in your life on Sunday...I have some awesome ones in my life!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's a Barrage...of Phone Photos!

Aaron got me a new phone for Mother's Day and got a steal of a deal on it!  We do straight talk from Walmart for our phones, and he got me a smart phone for 20 bucks!

I have a bunch of photos on my old phone that I finally figured out how to get off.  It's a lovely stroll down memory lane...won't you join me? 

This was the first photo I took and texted to Aaron just to be funny.  Abby Cadabby tagged along for errands :)




These 2 buddies were having fun at Aldi together!  Aren't they little!?!?!




I love it when they read together...




Then Christmas rolled around and the kids did some nativity stuff as an activity during Sunday School.



Leah got to be Mary...



Isn't she a cute, sparkly dressed Mary?!




Maggie and I had a Maggie and Mommy date to Target complete with some hot chocolate from Starbucks!




Once our minivan was in the shop, so I squeezed all three girls into the back seat of Aaron's Cavalier.  Three peas in a pod!




Dr. Mike is super fun!  Check out his aim!




Last summer I took the girls out to lunch by myself, and we had a great time!




Look at this pretty girl just chillin' in the cart at Aldi!




When your sisters are in school and unavailable to grocery shop, sometimes you have to bring your own little friend :)




Ryan and Becca were the recipients of Leah's Flat Stanley!  Flat Stanley even brought Leah back some souvenirs from Kansas City.  




Gracie broke her leg before I blogged, and the only pictures from that experience were on my phone, too.  I'll save those for another day and share the story of how it happened!

Have a great day! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Zoo Time!

Maggie and I got to head to the Zoo for the annual Pre-K field trip!



I think she was most excited about riding the bus!


We started off on the back of the bus (where all the cool kids sit, naturally...that was a joke :)), but then I started to get car bus sick, so we had to move up front.

We walked through a really cool park-like area on our way into the zoo.  One of Maggie's classmates was with us.


We saw a mama duck with her ducklings even before we entered the zoo!


We went to the primate building first, and Maggie got to see how she measured up to the monkeys!


We got to watch the striped tail monkey-esque creatures for a while...


Then, we moseyed over to the large cat area.


The lion was being kind of reclusive, but the tiger was another story!  It was pacing back and forth right in front of the window...totally showing off!


What the rhino lacks in excitement, he makes up for in the ease of finding department.


No offense to the rhino, but he was kind of el boring-o.

We watched the giraffes for a bit...


and then Maggie got to make her best chicken face :)


We rode the carousel,


and the train.


I tried to get a picture of us, but she was nervous that she wasn't supposed to be on my lap or something :)


We had lunch and then came back in for some fun playground playing which included being the cutest little joey ever.


We made it home in one piece and quite happy about our whole day!


I was so happy to spend the whole day with my Mags <3