Happy Homemaker Monday

I didn’t plan at all last week (well, I did know I needed to work for just a bit on Friday afternoon) and it was wonderful.  Sometimes it can be very relaxing to take a break from all the non-stop weekly planning.

I didn’t even menu plan!  Nor did I bother to go to the grocery store until this afternoon.  We managed.

This week, however, I work a full-time schedule for the entire week and I know I am going to need a bit of a plan.  I also know I’m going to be paying the price of staying up too late and sleeping in so much.

The Weather This Week

Nobody knows.  It’s been HOT and sunny.  It rained for five minutes perhaps today.  They show storms for later tonight but they could go around us again.  Highs in the low 90s tomorrow and then mostly in the mid-upper 80s.  Not bad unless we factor in the humidity.

On My Reading Pile

I actually went to the library on Sunday!  I  have a non-fiction book about the Missouri River (for preschool), a fun picture book called Do Lions Live on Lily Pads (also for preschool), the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th books in The Giver quartet, Science Verse (something to torture my own children), Gretchen Rubin’s newest book, Better Than Before, and The Rose Society by Marie Lu all sitting on my reading pile.

On My TV

I was watching Tiny House Hunters on Netflix but it proved to be a rather short series with just 5 episodes.  I also watched The Giver (thus the reason I decided to read the rest of the books in her series).


I plan on keeping it simple this week with a full work schedule.  Of course, I also know the boys probably won’t bother to eat anything of true substance while on their own so I need to plan on dinners they will actually eat.

MONDAY:  pork chops, potatoes, salad

TUESDAY: OUT for a family birthday (Pizza)

WEDNESDAY: Ribs in the slow cooker, corn on the cob

THURSDAY: Hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings

FRIDAY:  Chicken of some sort

To-Do List

  1. Get gift and card for family birthday party
  2. Clean bathrooms
  3. Fill out July wall calendar
  4. Clean out the car
  5. Probably tons more that I can’t remember


Nothing at the moment.

Looking Around the House

considering it is now Monday night, it doesn’t look too bad.  The bathrooms still need cleaned but otherwise it just looks lived in today (as long as you don’t look too close).

From the Camera

Union Station and downtown Kansas City Skyline

Union Station and downtown Kansas City Skyline

Thought for the Week

In Your calm is your strength.  (German Proverb)

(Found on Pinterest)


Don’t forget to go check out all the Happy Homemaker Monday posts over at Diary of A Stay At Home Mom.  Many thanks to Sandra for hosting.


Five on Friday: Summer

I haven’t been keeping up around here as well as I probably should be doing. I forgot summer means sometimes I have to take a number to use my computer (I really don’t mind too much). Since I haven’t posted since the Monday before Father’s Day, I decided I’d just do a simple and fun post today.

My fellow blogger, Carrie from Northwoods Scrapbook always participates in a Five on Friday link hosted by Amy of Love Made My Home.  I’ve always thought it looked fun and so today I decided to join and make my own Five on Friday post about our summer.

One:  Travel

Not necessarily exciting exotic travel but still the good kind of visiting family in another state travel.

Kansas wheatfields

Kansas wheat fields

We have to drive through Kansas to visit our family in Oklahoma and you may have heard that driving through Kansas can  be rather boring.  It can be.  It can also be beautiful.  The phrase “amber waves of grain” came into my mind on more than one occasion as we drove past the wheat fields ready for harvest.

Two:  Lazy Days

Silly cat!

Silly cat!

After the rush of the school year, we are enjoying the lazy days of summer.  I know the push is there to keep the kids busy even in the summer and if that works for your family, I make no judgements.  This summer we are enjoying our lazy days to the fullest complete with staying up way too late and getting up and out (sometimes) and about when we feel like doing it.  Our days are probably starting when they used to be ending.  I like our laid back no rush to be anywhere or do anything schedule.   Next week won’t get to be so lazy as I work a full schedule.

Three:  The Sunny and HOT summer days

Hang in there, you fall and winter people!  I hung in there all of our last, miserable and cold, rainy summer.  I am soaking up these 90+ degree days.  We’ve already been swimming more than all of last summer.  I love the hot days and warm evenings with the lightning bugs flashing.

Four:  The Summer Flowers

Bees and wasps do scare me a bit but I am grateful for the summer beauty they help to provide us.

My front porch flowers

My front porch flowers 

Squash blossom in the garden

Squash blossom in the garden

The neighbor's out of control hydrangea

The neighbor’s out of control hydrangea

The day lily that simply sprang up out of the weeds in the backyard

The day lily that simply sprang up out of the weeds in the backyard

Five: Family Time

Our lazy days and slower pace seem to allow us to spend more time getting out and doing things as a family (maybe just maybe after mom has a “We never go anywhere!” fit) or staying in and watching a movie together.  I actually like my kids and enjoy spending time with them and hearing their perspective on things.  I like my husband as well (sometimes).


That’s a brief five on Friday glance into our summer.  In other less (or maybe more?) exciting news, we dealt with a flying ant invasion (and no, they weren’t termites, we checked) as well a broken dishwasher.  I am actually pretty proud to have not broken down and purchased paper plates yet.  We won’t talk about how much bug spray I bought and then didn’t even use.

Thankfully, the ants are gone and a new dishwasher is on order.

I suppose it’s fitting that I started this post at 10:30a.m. and am just finishing it at 10:30p.m.  See number 2 about the lazy days.

How are you enjoying your summer so far?

Happy Homemaker Monday and Menu Plan

I always think I should find a more creative or fun title for these posts.  I can never think of anything though.  At least, you know right at a glance what this post will contain.

Hopefully, I’ll remember to link it up to Sandra, who hosts Happy Homemaker Mondays, over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom as well as Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie, host of Menu Plan Mondays.

Getting started a little late today, a summer Monday with no place to be.  I like to be out and about but it is also nice not to have anything pressing on the schedule today.

The Weather is…

Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Supposed to get a thunderstorm (50 percent chance) later tonight so it will be then be hot and humid.   Serious swimming pool all week with highs in the 90s and maybe a 100 degree day thrown in there.

On My Reading Pile…

I just finished reading The Young Elites by Marie Lu.  I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it at first.  I had picked it up at the library when I was unable to find the final book in the Legend trilogy by the same author.  It is much darker although ultimately I decided it was also much better written with the characters better developed.  J said something about maybe he would like to read it when I was first reading it and telling G that I didn’t care for it much.  However, it is definitely one for older teens.

On My TV…

I’ve been struggling to find anything I really want to watch on t.v.   My husband found me some show called Covert Affairs on Amazon Prime that I’m casually watching but it doesn’t have that have to watch all the episodes right this minute pull.  Probably a good thing in the summer.  I started re-watching The Lord of the Rings movies over the weekend plus J and I took a break (he’s not watching those movies with me, not his thing) and re-watched Wreck-It Ralph.

On our Menu…

We are visiting relatives later this week so I only have to plan a few days and most of our meals will come from my big fridge and freezer clean out happening today.  The meals should really thrill the boys (Ha!).

MONDAY:  Ham steaks and sweet potatoes, watermelon slices

Lunch:  grilled cheese, whatever chips we can scrounge from the pantry, cucumber slices and carrots, grapes.  MAYBE.  We didn’t eat breakfast until after 11 so we also just skip lunch today.

TUESDAY:  Chicken, possibly homemade Chik-Fil-A sandwiches, French Fries

Lunch:  repeat of today’s lunch or maybe peanut butter sandwiches with apple slices.  I saw this cute idea for apples on Pinterest but immediately thought they should have used peanut butter and chocolate chips so maybe I’ll give it a try.

WEDNESDAY:  Fish sticks, salad, watermelon

Lunch:  probably be a frozen pizza kind of day.




On My To-Do List…

Um, too much for my current level of motivation.

  1. Clean out fridge and freezer (in progress)
  2. Go to the grocery store but not until fridge and freezer are clean.
  3. Clean the house (also in progress but I took a break to work on this post)
  4. Get Father’s Day gifts and cards
  5. Clean out my purse
  6. Clean out the car
  7. Go to Target (I need cleaning supplies…)
  8. Water the garden (we have blooms on the cucumber and zucchini plants!)
  9. Clear off the top of this desk (probably could be filed under clean the house but it is a separate project).
  10. Write and schedule some blog posts!


not a thing…a clean house, hopefully.

Looking Around the House…

It’s been better. It’s been worse.  I think we need to do a bit of a clutter clear out and then a deep clean but that will likely take all summer at my current pace.

From the Camera…

My lilies finally bloomed!



Quote for the week…

Summer Theme Days In Review Returns

I hope you enjoyed reading about our summer theme days last year because I’ve decided to bring back my summer theme days in review posts.

Our summer theme days this year are pretty low-maintenance. I had help from J in creating the list so went with most of his ideas.

MONDAYS:  Lazy days.  So, basically they will be free days.

TUESDAYS: Family Video Game Days (or nights really as we’ll most likely wait for my husband to get home from work).  I may or may not have used this one to add in “cleaning day” with a comment that everyone would be more willing to participate if the house was clean.

WEDNESDAYS:  Wandering Wednesdays.  We will be leaving the house on this day for a field trip no matter how big or small.  I’m wanting to visit some state capitols so I may work those visits (a few are within a day trip distance) into this day.

THURSDAYS:  Science days.  I campaigned for this one.  J asked that we limit it to one science experiment a day but I’m sure he’ll come around on that matter.

FRIDAYS:  Outside days.  J’s idea and I was not about to argue.  He did make sure I knew it would be outside days spent at home.

We started the first week with a very loose structure.  I imagine our structure will be very loose all summer as I will be working here and there.  We started on Wednesday.

Wednesday did not go so well.  Basically, our wandering Wednesday involved eating lunch out at Steak and Shake followed by the boys getting haircuts with much protest from J.  Poor G’s stylist did not listen and his haircut was not the style he prefers.  It is pretty much so short, he won’t need a haircut until school starts or later.  I actually ordered him a hat when he asked.  Yes, that bad.

I did work Thursday but J and I still managed to get some science going later in the evening after I was home.  We tried this bending water with a balloon experiment which has been all over Pinterest lately (for me anyway) and it did work!  We also made some homemade play-doh and oobleck for fun and because oh my, all the rain that week.  So happy to see sunny skies.

We had the idea earlier in the week to make a volcano from some Crayola Model Magic dough in our art supply cabinet.  J spent the days I worked painting it and getting it ready so we could mess with it on Friday night.  Unfortunately, our idea to use the fake snow as lava was not super exciting.  Good thing we had some vinegar and baking soda to rescue our fun.

The crayola model volcano J worked on all week.

The crayola model volcano J worked on all week.

I think this is after we added baking soda and vinegar. Fake snow didn't work as well as we had hoped.

I think this is after we added baking soda and vinegar. Fake snow didn’t work as well as we had hoped.

Last week was a bit better as far as summer theme weeks.   Monday was indeed a lazy day.  Tuesday, G had a friend stay over and the boys all played video games together.  Wednesday was a bit of a blur but mostly I think we just hung out.  G’s friend had just returned from vacation so I gave the boys a pass on wandering Wednesday.

Thursday though….I did insist we get in the car and go somewhere!  Getting two home-bodies to leave the house is no small feat.  A bribe of a pizza buffet did the trick.  The plan was to eat pizza and then go visit Watkins Mill State park and maybe tour the mill.  We did find the park but the mill tour was 2 hours long!  That’s longer than I can handle and the boys weren’t overly enthused so we passed and did some wandering on our own before I caved and said, “OK, we can go home now.”

Another view of Tryst Falls Park where we stopped on our way to Watkins Mill.

Another view of Tryst Falls Park where we stopped on our way to Watkins Mill.

We found it! The highlight was the blue tailed skink, not pictured, we found outside though.

We found it! The highlight was the blue tailed skink, not pictured, we found outside.

Lake at Watkins Mill State Park. We saw a Baltimore Oriole here!

Lake at Watkins Mill State Park. We saw a Baltimore Oriole here!

J’s been mostly hanging out outside and playing with some neighborhood friends so I haven’t pushed our theme days too much.  My husband and J did decide to see what would happen if they set a bouncy ball on fire Sunday so that counted as our science day for last week or maybe this week?

Bouncy balls melt when on fire and stink.

Bouncy balls melt when on fire and stink.

How are you spending your summer so far?


Happy Homemaker Monday and Menu Plan

I sort of neglected the blog last week.  I thought about it and have a few half-posts done but never managed to stay back here long enough to finish anything (I may have been kicked off my computer by kids a few times…).  A new week, a new post and hopefully more new posts coming soon!

I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new blog week than with a Happy Homemaker Monday and Menu Plan post.  I actually started to do this post yesterday and then, realized it was Sunday morning not Monday morning.  Oops!  Better than thinking it is a Sunday morning on a Monday morning though.

The Weather

Other than rain overnight Friday into Saturday, the weather was pretty much Spring-time perfect over the weekend.  I did make myself mow the lawn on Saturday in case more rain arrived.  Looks like it will be a hot and sunny week (much-needed) around here.  I think I even saw some temps in the 90s…time to check out a pool or two.

On My Reading Pile

I’ve mostly been reading books on the Kindle app on my phone.  Funny, I never thought I’d get into that but I do enjoy the convenience of it.  I read all the books in the Timebound series by Rysa Walker plus one of the short novellas.  I thought the series would make a good movie.

I also have a couple other free books in there from last weeks accidental download that I should be reading.  Plus, I have to return library books this week and grab a few preschool books.  I plan to look for something there as well.  As much as I find the Kindle app convenient, it does hurt my eyes if I say spend almost all day reading a book I can’t put down.

On My TV

Not very much.  J’s been a bit obsessed with the Matilda movie so we’ve watched that one a couple of times.  It is a fun movie to watch if you’ve not seen it.  Even the teenager seemed to enjoy it.  I gave up yesterday on finding anything new on Netflix worth watching and just watched a couple of reruns of Fringe after a brief panic when I thought they removed my all-time favorite show.

On the Menu For This Week

I’ll confess, I have been completely and utterly unmotivated when it comes to planning our menus.  We’ve probably been eating out way more than normal because of this.  I make the plan and then, don’t bother with it.  I am going to try to do better this week.  Lunches need some planning as well.

MONDAY:  Ribs in the crock pot, corn on the cob   Lunch:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apple slices, carrots

TUESDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread  Lunch:  ham and crackers, celery and peanut butter, grapes or watermelon

WEDNESDAY: Chicken, perhaps these oven baked paprika chicken legs  

Lunch:  Grilled cheese, watermelon or grapes


Lunch: hot dogs, chips, cucumber slices, carrots, watermelon

FRIDAY:  Probably pizza of some sort

Lunch:  Probably out…

On My To-Do List

  1. Clean the house! Mostly this room but all the rooms need attention
  2. Pick up a fruit fly trap somewhere.  I’d like to be on top of the fruit fly invasion this summer.
  3. Return books to the library and get new ones.
  4. Work on this blog
  5. Do some more summer planning

What I Am Creating

Nothing.  I might work on an informal summer reading plan for the boys later though.  J has already told me he could be bribed encouraged to read for Quick Trip money.

Looking Around the House

It needs cleaned!  There is a path through the chaos so that’s good at least.

From the Camera

An accidental discovery of a fun waterfall and local park on our way to a different Missouri state park (Watkins Mill).  I’d always kind of wanted to go to this park and see its natural waterfall.

Tryst Falls in Kearney, MO

Tryst Falls in Kearney, MO

Fun although I will admit it made me very “vacation sick” (is that a word?) to go back to South Dakota.  I want to go back!  Picture below is from last year but I think it explains why I want to go back there…beautiful!

Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota

Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota

Quote for the Week

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.  (Proverbs 16:3)


What plans do you have for this week?  Don’t forget to check out the Happy Homemaker Monday posts over at Diary of A Stay At Home Mom as well as the Menu Plan Mondays over at I’m An Organizing Junkie.

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