Author Archives: Jean

My Spring Break Brainstorming

Spring break looks a bit different when the kids become teenagers. My boys would be fine if we did not a thing all week-long. They’d be happy simply staying up late, sleeping in late, and playing video games and watching television (read YouTube) non-stop.

However, it’s my spring break next week as well and I want to spend some time with them doing a few other things.  I thought it would be fun to simply write a post on my spring break brainstorming of activities.

Lots of these will be food related, teenage boys = almost everything agreeable must be food related! These ideas are mine but I’m sure the boys will have a few of their own as well.


  • Walking at local nature center trails
  • Yardwork 
  • Maybe a day trip somewhere (so I guess that would be a “in the car” thing)
  • Sculpture garden at Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery
  • Walking around Plaza
  • I think the Royals home opener falls during our Spring break? Need to check.


  • Steak and Shake
  • Art gallery or plaza and lunch at Winsteads (one of G’s favorite restaurants)
  • New local business that serves cookie dough like ice cream
  • Snow cones! (one J’s favorite things, he’d go in the winter if they were open)
  • Culvers
  • IHop


  • Nelson-Atkins Art Gallery (There’s a display I really want to see and think the boys would also enjoy)
  • A Walk Down Memory Lane in a Toys R US before they close for good
  • Maybe indoor swimming
  • Movies (I’m adding a separate heading with all the movies we need to see)
  • Bowling and/or laser tag (with friends)
  • Top Golf and/or visit an arcade somewhere


  • Movies
  • Sort Through Books (Planning to sell/donate some books to Half-Price Books)
  • Read
  • Clean out some cabinets (This is for me, not something for the boys…)
  • Board games
  • Video games
  • Cooking (I do need to use some of the week to prepare for Easter Brunch)

Do I think we’ll do all of these things? Nope. It’s nice to have a few ideas for how we might spend our days though.

My plan for tonight is to ask the boys their input for ideas on what they want to do during the week. I also plan to make a few “guidelines” so it won’t be complete chaos around here when Easter arrives.

Do you get a spring break? How do you spend your time during breaks?




Happy Homemaker Monday, Waiting For A Slower Week

Last week went by in one of those busy blurs. Not sure what I did exactly outside of working and not blogging but it felt busy!

This week is probably going to be another busy one but then, it’s spring break for us!

Glad to have a plan for these busy weeks thanks to the Happy Homemaker Monday link-up hosted by Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. Be sure and check it out!

On to the categories…

Breakfast Time…What Is On The Plate This Morning

After a sugar-filled weekend (oops), back to my eating better sugar-free until April 1 attempt.  Scrambled egg with bacon bit and toast with butter. And of course, coffee.

*J and I did walk to McDonald’s for our traditional Shamrock Shakes so that had to cancel out a little bit of the sugar, I hope!

On My To-Do List

  1. Haircut this morning
  2. Finish and publish this post, after haircut
  3. Parent teacher conferences at both boys’ schools
  4. Bunco
  5. Make Easter Brunch Menu
  6. Make Housecleaning Plans
  7. See what the boys want to do on their spring break (besides stay home and sleep late)
  8. Pay bills
  9. Usual clean out fridge, grocery store, stuff
  10. Still need to return library books instead of simply renewing them

Currently Reading

The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age Of Artificial Intelligence by Amir Husain. It’s nonfiction. Interesting so far although I’m only on page 32. Also, still working my way through the March magazines.

On The TV Today

I confess to spending part of my busy week/weekend watching the entirety of Jessica Jones, season 2. Definitely thought season 2 was as good as the first one.

Now, I’ll probably only watch The Voice tonight and spend most of this week doing other non-TV things.

The Weather Outside Is

Not this: We had a great weather day last Thursday, a sit on the porch and enjoy it kind of day! I did, too, although I had very limited time.

Today’s weather is more like this:

We do need the rain though so not too much complaining about it over here. Cold (low 40s) as well. We don’t need the cold. Supposed to be partly sunny and warmer for our spring weather by the end of the week.

On The Menu This Week

No idea. Let’s recap how last week went first:

Monday: Tacos, rice We had hamburgers *I worked 1-5*

Tuesday: Chicken legs, twice baked potatoes We had the tacos and rice from Monday’s plan

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef We had the chicken legs with baked sweet potatoes *I worked 9-noon*

Thursday: We had Subway *I worked 8-4:15* *G had a band concert*

Friday: leftovers or shrimp with baked sweet potatoes We had grocery store Chinese take-out and J had taco bell (he went to an event at a local game store with a friend) *I worked 8-4:15*

Saturday: I had training until 3, J and I walked to get our Shamrock shakes, and then, we ended up just ordering a pizza.

Sunday: We had left-overs.

The plan for this week:

MONDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad *I have parent teacher conferences at the middle school*

TUESDAY: Roast in the crock pot *I have parent teacher conferences at the high school* *Bunco night as well*

WEDNESDAY: Bacon Wrapped Chicken, Baked potatoes

THURSDAY: ham steaks, mac and cheese, salad, cornbread

FRIDAY: OUT to celebrate start of spring break for boys

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself I Will

Either pick up the camera or work on this blog a bit.

What I’m Knitting, Sewing, Or Creating

It’s plan for Easter brunch time! I’ll be spending my time reading my past posts about it and getting new ideas from my Pinterest board: Easter Brunch Ideas.

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try This Week

I tried 2 new recipes last week! My success rate with them is 0-2. Ha!

The spinach muffins were such a disaster I threw them away.  I wonder if the sugar recipe would have worked better but too late now. Spinach is going to stick to being a savory food item for me.

The second recipe I tried went the other direction on the health spectrum. I made Bottom Of The Cereal Box cookies. 

They were okay to me. Kind of sweet/salty thing. The sugar cookie mix had a funky/bad aftertaste according to both J and my husband though. J thought it I made a chocolate chip cookie dough base and then added the cereal it might work better. The cereals I used for these: cookie crisp and St. Patrick’s Day edition Lucky Charms.

Favorite Photo From The Camera

Quote For The Week

Just saw this on a church bulletin board as I was driving home from my hair appointment:

Don’t let your past steal your future.


Happy Homemaker Monday

So, it’s apparently International Napping Day. Something to do with Daylight Savings Time, perhaps? Around here, it’s national I want to move somewhere they don’t do this nonsense day.

It’s also Monday and a half-day work day for me in the afternoon. Don’t worry I didn’t get to sleep in either. School days don’t really allow for that. Going to attempt to make this a quick post as I have quite a few errands I’d like to cram into the morning hours.

Still, I need a plan so I’m happy to take the time for a Happy Homemaker Monday post and link it up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

Breakfast Time…What Is On The Plate This Morning

Scrambled egg with bacon bits and 2 pieces of whole wheat toast plus COFFEE!

On My To-Do List

  1. Write and Publish This Post
  2. Trip to Target
  3. Trip to Grocery Store
  4. Return Library Books
  5. Clean House
  6. Work
  7. Planning For Easter Brunch
  8. Clean off top of this desk, it’s bad again
  9. Go to Tourist Info Center/Spring Break Planning
  10. Mom’s Night Out on Wed/G’s band concert on Thurs

Currently Reading

Just the March magazines. Need to start a new book.

On The TV Today

Probably just The Voice, maybe the show after if I can stay awake.

The Weather Outside Is

Cold. Cloudy and feels like 30. I’m wearing a sweater to work. Spring is supposed to make another attempt later this week, looking forward to that!

On The Menu This Week

A fresh new coat of paint in the kitchen, lighting wasn’t great when I took the photo.

Let’s start out by looking at last week and I’ve decided to add in our weekend meals for my reference though I still won’t be planning them since our weekends tend to be unpredictable.

Last Week’s Menu Plan:

MONDAY: Post went up on Monday night after we’d already had dinner (it was an “on your own” night) *I worked 7:45-4:15*

TUESDAY: Spaghetti  *I worked 7:15-3:45*

WEDNESDAY: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef My husband decided to paint the kitchen meaning we ate out (actually, they ate take-out from Captain D’s and I worked late, came home and ate snacks) *I ended up working 3-6* (I did finally serve the broccoli with frozen pizza for lunch on Sunday)

THURSDAY: Chicken legs and salad Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and salad

FRIDAY: McDonald’s *I worked 7:45-4:15*

SATURDAY: My husband made the boys pancakes and bacon (I didn’t eat as I’d had an upset stomach on Friday night. Could blame the arches but I was already feeling a bit queasy before we had dinner so probably just a bug.)

SUNDAY: Soup (from a can, Ramen noodles for G who has never been a fan of soup), baked potatoes

On To This Week:

I’ve declared it eat out of the fridge/pantry, and freezer week!

MONDAY: Tacos, Rice *I work 1-5*

TUESDAY: Chicken legs, twice baked potatoes, salad

WEDNESDAY:  Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef *Mom’s Night Out*

THURSDAY:  Probably OUT, maybe Subway *I work 8:00-4:00* *Band concert for G*

FRIDAY: Most likely leftovers, maybe shrimp and baked sweet potatoes *I work 8:00-4:00*

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself, I Will

no idea, maybe take a nap?

What I’m Knitting, Sewing, Or Creating

Nothing. I would like to get back outside if the weather would cooperate!

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try This Week

I have my eye on these spinach muffins for St. Patrick’s Day….(note: I found this recipe first but am still imperfectly attempting that whole avoiding refined sugar thing.)

Favorite Photo From The Camera

After working quite a bit last week, then not feeling well over the weekend, not too many great pictures on the camera. Didn’t even put up a bird watching post on Saturday or Sunday.

This poor goose was sitting on a hill during our out of the blue snow storm (nothing stuck) last Monday. Took his photo with my phone through my car windshield… Ventured out in the backyard on Sunday for a quick minute to try to capture a few noisy, returning grackles. This was the best photo from another overcast day.

Quote For The Week

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. (William Arthur Ward)


Happy Homemaker Monday Night, Welcome March!

So glad it’s officially March and spring’s on the way!

Unexpectedly called into work this morning so my post is going up late. And since I’m working again tomorrow and possibly on Wednesday, this week needs a plan. Glad to be joining in with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom to make one!

Breakfast Time…What Is Was On The Plate This Morning

Super rushed morning without a weekend grocery trip meant I grabbed the last of Chobani Flips even though they contain quite a bit of sugar. Needed the protein! And coffee although not enough. Plus took a G-Fuel water bottle to work.

On Today’s To-Do List

None of it happened since I went to work but it was a typical list:

  1. Clean out fridge
  2. Go to grocery store
  3. Write and publish this post
  4. Go get lawn bags and pick up leaf piles
  5. Target/cat litter
  6. Start planning for Easter Brunch
  7. Pay bill (electric bills arrived after I paid all the others, annoying)

Currently Reading

Still wading through Raising A Responsible Child: How To Prepare Your Child For Today’s Complex World by Dr. Don C. Dinkmeyer Sr. and Dr. Gary McKay. Heard myself using some of its logic at work today. They’ve written one about raising teenagers, I think I want to read it also.

On The TV Today

Probably just The Voice with my husband. Maybe that show after it.

The Weather Outside Is…

Warm? 50s Rainy? Cold? 40s Windy? Sunny? 50s. All of those within a day? Yes. Predicted to be cold (41) and windy again tomorrow but who knows. Lows in the upper 20s on Thursday and Friday? Hoping that one changes!

On The Menu This Week

No ideas…none. I really need to think on it. Let’s look at last week first…

MONDAY:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole We bumped the French Toast to this night

TUESDAY: French Toast We had regular chicken enchiladas (instead of the casserole) and taco salads

WEDNESDAY: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef We all did our own thing: mozzarella sticks for J, ham sandwich for J, and G and I had copycat Chik-Fil-A sandwiches (I adapted mine to leave out the powdered sugar)

THURSDAY: Kielbasa, green beans and sweet potatoes in the crock pot, fried okra, and we all had ham steaks. Frozen okra into fried okra was not very good. We’ll wait until August for fresh okra.

FRIDAY: Frozen pizza or Out. We ordered pizza.

Now what to have this week…I really need to go to the store!

MONDAY: We all did our own thing:  just deli turkey for J, hot dog for G, I had a turkey sandwich, and my husband had to do a few work errands and hasn’t eaten yet. *I worked 7:40 to 4:15*

TUESDAY: Maybe spaghetti of some sort *I work 7:15-3:45*

WEDNESDAY: Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef take 2 *I may be working 3-6*

THURSDAY: Chicken legs and salad maybe

FRIDAY:  Probably OUT or maybe breakfast for dinner

If I Have A Few Minutes To Myself I Will

Finish my book.

What I’m Knitting, Sewing, Or Creating

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try This Week

I made these Flourless Strawberry Brownies. They aren’t awful. (Unless you ask my husband who for some reason tried one…yes, they are awful after a normal chocolate chip cookie). Definitely need to use seedless jam if I make them again. And some sort of frosting, I didn’t frost my batch.

Favorite Photo From The Camera

Did you see the moon last week?! Let’s get closer… Love how the trees look like they’re covering the moon.

Quote For The Week

Embrace the current season of your life. (Gabrielle Blair)

Liked this one since it had my word of the year in it!


So what’s on the agenda for your week? Did it get off to a fast start like mine or did you get to linger over your coffee?


Goose, Goose, Robin

Out of bird seed and seeing nothing but an impatient squirrel on our deck, we went around the block.

Have you heard it’s almost spring?  The Canada geese are back at the end of the road and venturing further from the pond.

Caught a couple in flight near the pond! This goose wondered what I was doing. I noticed the geese were up near the playground and parking lot at the park I visit on my lunch break from work as well.  Meant to get back and get some better pictures but didn’t make it over there again.

The last few weeks I’ve shared pictures (sometimes blurry) of our returning robins. The weather treated them a bit nicer this week. My husband mulched the end of the fall leaves with the mower today.

Made our robins quite happy especially this one who agreed to pose for me a minute. Spring is coming! And is that a bit of green grass there as well? Yes, it is! Worms, wake up! Are you ready? And now, it’s time to get back to yard work before the rain moves this way…

Are you ready for spring?  I saw on the news where it’s something called “meteorological spring” already.  Just a few more weeks for the real thing.  Some tulips and lilies sprouting in the’s coming!  Waiting impatiently over here…better weather, more birds moving through, pretty flowers…I’m ready!

Linking up with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.


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