Ten Things of Thankful on The Eleventh of September

Somehow, this seems a very fitting day to stop and reflect on the blessings of the week.  So does the next day.  Ahem.

Ten Things of Thankful


The first item on my list for the ten things of thankful this week has to be the warm welcome I received from so many who participate in this link up.  Wow, thank you!  I’m hoping to be better about visiting everyone this week.  And, yes, it an addictive one (in a good way!) because here I am back for the second week.

And the rest in official ten item list form which will technically mean I’m doing 11 things of thankful but I’ve never been too great at the math stuff:

  1. I figured out how to make the button show up in my post!  That’s a huge one for a non-techy person such as myself.
  2. Family get-togethers.  My nephew held a family get-together over Labor Day weekend for my side of the family and it was so nice to see those who could manage to get there.  It’s hard to get a large family together for non-occasions and it was very needed one.
  3. Friends willing to go the extra mile and do more than their fair share.  The mom of one of G’s friends has been available to give G and his friend a ride home every day the past few weeks (when they haven’t walked) and helped me out tremendously by giving G a ride home on Wednesday so he wouldn’t have to walk or try to catch the bus with his band hat and shoes in tow.
  4. Summer flowers lingering into the fall.


    Black-eyed Susan

    Black-eyed Susan

  5. The smell of the honeysuckle growing wild down the road.  One night, as we arrived home, the amazing scent filled the air.  Then, the wind blew and the scent of someone’s bonfire filled the air.  The scents of late summer and fall all at once soothing our senses.

    And inhale...

    And inhale…

  6. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets I was able to view.  I also opted to not take any pictures and just enjoy them.
  7. The flexibility of my job.  It is so nice to work at an understanding place where I can work it out to leave early when my kids are home sick.
  8. I’m HUGELY thankful that G never ended up with the full on stomach flu making the rounds in these parts.  AND that none of us got it (so far, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all the other things…).
  9. Hy-Vee cookies.  Some day they’ll quit having them on sale with a gas discount and I’ll no longer have any justification to buy them.  I could make cookies myself but these are such a great time saver (and yummy as well).
  10. Comedians who make me laugh!  I’ve been trying to catch Ellen this week when I have had the chance.  And watching this clip of her and Jimmy Fallon was just what I needed in the middle of a week that was a bit emotionally rough at times (note: language in one of the songs):

Those are my ten for the week!  I’m turning the computer back over to J (he’s building something in Minecraft) and heading out the door for a little retail therapy.

Hopefully, your blessings numbered way more than ten last week!

Happy Homemaker Monday & Menu Plan: Holiday Edition

I’ve missed making these weekly plans!  Funny how weeks when you are too busy to make the weekly plans are the weeks when having a weekly plan would probably help the most.

Since today is a holiday (Labor Day in the U.S.), I’m taking advantage of our relaxed and rainy (sigh) morning to make a weekly plan.  As usual, I’m going to link this post up with
Sandra over at Diary of A Stay At Home Mom, host of Happy Homemaker Mondays, and Laura over at I’m An Organizing Junkie, host of Menu Plan Monday.

The Weather This Week:

“Lightening has been detected in your area.”  My phone kept buzzing with that this morning.  I found it funny since it would usually buzz about 5 minutes after the thunder.  Um, it is stormy and raining this morning.  It was a great morning for sleeping late (minus my younger son’s alarm going off at 5a.m.!  UGH.) but I do hope it clears off this afternoon.

The rest of the week is calling for highs in the 80s and pretty decent chances of rain until later in the week.  I probably should have mowed the lawn on Sunday since it is now Tuesday and rainy yet again.

Weekly Menu

My menu the last two weeks have been pretty sparse and I’ve mostly been winging it.  We haven’t gone out a bunch but instead have eaten stuff out of the freezer, standard meals (think spaghetti and tacos), or “heat and eat dinners.”

I’m still working on trying to clear out the pantry and freezer a bit (although I didn’t plan to do it the last two weeks, it was kind of nice to have stuff there so I want to clear it out more so I can start filling it up again).

Here’s the plan for this week:

MONDAY:  Brisket (purchased already cooked from Sam’s Club, this was J’s request)

TUESDAY:   Waffles, Sausage

WEDNESDAY: Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Chips & Salsa

THURSDAY:  Fish Sticks, baked potatoes, salad

FRIDAY: OUT or whatever brilliant thing I can figure out to make so we can be out the door by 5:15 for the football game.  So, OUT.

Things That Make Me Happy

Getting together with family, sleeping in on stormy mornings, days where the only thing on the to-do list is Netflix, and pretty flowers outside.

To-Do List

*I’ve been trying out this new app (it’s not new at all) on my fancy phone called Cozi and I really like it for tracking our schedules so far.  I’m late to the party with using my phone as a planning tool but it seems to work fairly well for me.

  1. Get both boys haircuts (this was on for tonight but now G is home with an upset stomach)
  2. Grocery Shopping
  3. Clean the House!
  4. Find our pencil sharpener.  I guess that sort of goes with clean the house.  We have so many un-sharpened pencils…
  5. Clean out fridge, I’ve been trying to do this every Monday
  6. Work for me, Band practice for G if he feels better, Curriculum night at J’s school, sadly my husband and I have a funeral to attend on Wednesday, and then, the football game on Friday (high school), plus I’m hoping to talk them all into a little day trip if everyone is healthy on Saturday.

On the Blog

I’m just hoping to get into a better posting routine.  I did manage to get a few posts published last week at least including one on saying goodbye to summer guilt yesterday.  I need to do some blog visiting and commenting (I’ve been reading but haven’t mastered commenting from my phone or Bloglovin’ (this only works about every other time, is it me?).   I still have posts in progress so hopefully, this will be a good week of blogging.

Books, Movies, and Television

I need a book!  I keep thinking I’ll get over to Half-Price Books but haven’t made it there.

Haven’t seen any movies with the exception of making the teenager sit through Weekend At Bernie’s.  That one wasn’t quite as funny as I remembered it to be.

On regular television, I’ve become rather hooked on American Ninja Warrior while waiting for all the season premieres to begin.  I told G that if I were 20 years a few years younger I would want to train for it.  On Netflix, I’ve gone back to the island.  “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”


Random choices.



We finally got a new table & chairs for our deck!

We finally got a new table & chairs for our deck!

I commissioned J to make me a stand for my phone so I could listen to music while working in the kitchen

I commissioned J to make me a stand for my phone so I could listen to music while working in the kitchen

It works great!

It works great!

View from the Santa-Cali-Gon festival Ferris Wheel

View from the Santa-Cali-Gon festival Ferris Wheel

Looking Forward to This Week

Maybe an almost free day on Friday.

Homemaking Tips and Trials

Not sure if it fits this category but since I have one home with a rolling stomach, there’s a tip on Pinterest about grape juice being a deterrent to stomach ailments.  I do think it works.  I’ve certainly added it to my grocery list again (albeit a bit too late this time).

Lessons Learned the Past Few Days

It’s ok to step back and let others help, I need to pick up the phone and just call friends and family more often because we’re all busy.

Thoughts for the Week

J had an assignment last week that involved using an inspirational quote.  This is what he picked and I love it so I’m stealing it for this week (although he’d probably tell me I have to find my own quote since that’s what I told him):

Don’t change so people will like you, be yourself and the right people will love the real you. (unknown)


I’m glad to have a bit of a plan for the busy week ahead.  Why are the shorter weeks always the busiest?  Do you have a busy week ahead as well?



So Long Summer Guilt

Do you end summer with that extra helping of guilt as well?  Every summer, I think this summer will be different!  We’ll do tons of fun things, my kids will read all the library books and do extra educational stuff for fun.

I guess before I officially start my post on saying so long to the summer guilt, I should share some summer confession with you:

  1. My teenager read exactly ONE book all summer.  He read it on the Fourth of July because he was bored.  My younger son read 3 because I bribed him to do it.
  2. The only summer slide I contemplated was the one on the underused swing set in our backyard.  There were no summer workbooks around here.
  3. I was just as guilty as overdoing it on the screen time as the kids.

Here is why I’m going to say goodbye to the summer guilt (at least until next year):

I’m slowly learning to accept that my children aren’t going to magically morph into different beings each summer who want to leave the house.  For better or worse, these children of mine are home-bodies.

We did do fun stuff.  We just didn’t do fun stuff every single day.  That would have, of course, taken the fun out of it.

My idea wasn’t always the same as the boy’s idea of fun stuff.

I wanted to go to a beach at a local lake.  They wanted to go to a swimming pool.  Actually, what they really wanted to do was have a water balloon fight in the back yard.

We made it to the swimming pool once (weather did not cooperate well for swimming this summer).  And we had a water balloon fight.  Twice.  It was enough.

summer guilt

Water balloons ready to go

We didn’t go to the library every week like I thought we would (yet, I still racked up an excessive share of late fees, hangs head in shame) but we still read.  My oldest watched a subtitled Japanese anime show (I’m counting it) and my youngest read the directions on-line for most of our science experiments.

They also had numerous Yu-Gi-Oh card battles where the math involved gives me a headache so no workbooks needed.

Screen time is down time for us and summer is all about down time.  It is supposed to be a break.  I’ve decided to try to not sweat it (as much).

Summer seemed a lot more fun when I simply embraced it.  It worked much better than trying to make it perfect or fit a mold of what all that screen time was telling me I should be doing.

Now, it’s time to say the traditional (Labor Day weekend) goodbye to summer.  I’m also going to say so long to my summer guilt because while this summer was not perfect, it was pretty darn good.

A Week of Thanksgiving (Ten Things of Thankful)

Every  time I read the Ten Things of Thankful posts by Lisa over at The Meaning of Me , I think what a great idea, I should join in on that!  This week I’m finally actually doing it.

The idea is to share a gratitude list of ten things each week in blog post form.

I had many reasons to pause and be thankful during the week.  A large amount of my list will be job focused since I worked a lot this week at the preschool.  I worked most the week filling in as the “cook” at the  preschool and it’s not my favorite thing to do but I knew they needed my help so I grumbled (at home) through it.

  • I’m thankful for a job I love most of the time when I know many others are still searching or struggling with jobs they must keep out of necessity.

  • I’m thankful for the other teachers and staff at the preschool who gave me plenty of grace and encouragement this week as I muddled my way through a difficult position to fill making lots of mistakes.

  • I’m super thankful for our dishwasher appliance at home after spending an entire week doing the 3 compartment sink method of lots of dishes.  There weren’t a huge amount of dishes every day but I kept thinking on regular plate day, it was like Thanksgiving except by myself with no one to dry the dishes.

  • Super surprises should really take up two numbers on my list.  The staff at the preschool surprised me on Thursday with a card (and gift card) expressing their thanks to me for all I do for them.  Wow.  I was completely stunned.  It feels really good to be loved and appreciated.  The day had already started with half the kids running up to give me hugs as I walked in the door, more than enough gratitude to fill my heart already.

  • The second surprise of the week was not work related but I was thankful for a last invitation for J to go swimming at a friend’s home on Thursday evening (We’ve had 90 degree weather around here).  The invitation was casually made in the summer and I’d decided it simply wasn’t going to happen.  I’m so thankful for friends who keep their word and last-minute plans working perfectly.

  • I’m super thankful we had French Toast in our freezer as a dinner option one night last week.  As you can probably imagine, spending an entire day cooking does not exactly make one want to come home and cook some more.  I’m also sort of proud that we didn’t eat out all week until last night despite my lack of a menu plan and winging it every single night.

    Bright full moon

    Bright full moon

  • While our lack of bedtime structure needs to change, I was grateful that both boys were up late enough that I could pull them outside to check out the amazing full moon on Sunday night.  My phone photos don’t really capture the beauty.

    I couldn't capture the color with my photos...

    I couldn’t capture the color with my photos…

  • Coffee!  I’m not sure I’d have survived this week without the stuff.  The teenager has early morning band practice 2 days a week and getting up and ready to go out the door is challenging but coffee makes it better.

  • I’m oh so thankful for the public school district and their free Wi-Fi!  G’s first marching band performance was last night and they did fantastic.  However, we had to have him there an hour and 15 minutes prior to the start of the game.  With a local festival going on in the same area as the football stadium, we just stayed and waited.  It would have been much too long of a wait for J but (Can you hear the hallelujah?) but with his tablet and free Wi-Fi, we were fine.

  • Finally, I’m thankful for a soft, comfortable bed which felt wonderful after such a busy week.  I was also thankful for the option to sleep in and stay there this morning (although seriously, when did 7a.m. become sleeping in??) once I got up and shared the news with our furry alarm that it was Saturday and we had no need to be up and awake at 5a.m.   She was quite (loudly) concerned about our deciding to sleep this morning.

While my list could go on, I must stop and start laundry and dishes and figure out how we’re going to spend our time on this holiday weekend.  What things were you thankful for this week?



School Supplies for Moms

The school supplies my boys needed for elementary school were pretty standard.  Other than the white construction paper needed the kindergarten year, we could usually easily find all school supplies in the back to school section at Target.

The school supplies needed for middle school were only slightly more complex.  I’m still not sure why G needed 500 spiral notebooks for his entire middle school career when he used perhaps 10.

This year as I found myself again in the back to school aisle at Target (many times…turns out each class in high school has its own supply list), I found myself thinking what they should really give us is a list of school supplies for moms.

Luckily, I compiled a list of items needed for moms (or dads) as our kids head back to school.

school supplies

    1. 180+ cups of Coffee

    2. 1 Alarm Clock with snooze button

    3. 1 extra-large size of Patience

    4. 500 Pens (color of your choice) because 499 will disappear

    5. 1 pair of tennis shoes

    6. 3 calendars, one paper, one in a planner, and one in your phone

    7. 1 BTDT friend (at least)

    8. 500 reassuring smiles

    9. 1 extra-large container of Clorox wipes for cleaning out and off backpacks and lunch boxes

    10. 180 package of Eggo Waffles or other quick breakfasts to pull out of the freezer

    11. 500 Sharpies (see #4)

    12. 1 Guilt-Free Pass for all the things you will forget and papers that will be signed in pencil or purple Crayola (because you won’t be able to find the 1 remaining pen or Sharpie when needed)

I’m sure I probably forgot a few that you’ll need to pick up as the school year progresses, I often find I run out of patience and need to find more.

If you’re a crying mom, you should probably add tissues to the list.  I’m more a Freedom singing mom myself (although I was certainly a crying mom during the start of kindergarten for both boys, I got over it).  If you are a Freedom singing mom, make sure you share those reassuring smiles with the criers, they need extras!

What school supplies would you add to my list?

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