Weekend Recap

We had a great Memorial Day weekend spent camping at the Fremont Lakes!  We went down Friday afternoon and started off the weekend with a little fishing.

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Danika caught one fish but it got off the line!  One of the families we were camping with brought a hammock and the kids LOVED it!

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Saturday morning we headed home to get Danika ready for her dance recital.  Her dance studio only does a recital every two years and this was a recital year.  She did an amazing job and it was fun to watch her and all of the other dancers!

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Ashton had a bit too much fun at the recital (or maybe it was the fact that he missed nap time 2 days in a row!) but this is what I saw less than 10 minutes after getting in the car after recital.

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We headed back to the camper after the dance recital and hung out for the night and all day Sunday.  The boys did a little more fishing and all of the kids had fun swimming and playing.  Danika got to have a couple friends come spend the night in our camper so that was an extra fun bonus!

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We loaded up and headed home late Monday morning and spent the day getting the house back in order, doing laundry, and planting most of our garden for the year.  We have a garden of mostly pumpkin varieties with a few vegetables thrown in.  Hopefully it does well!

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We are gearing up for another busy week with softball games every night, and we get to celebrate Danika’s 9th birthday on Friday.  It’s going to be another fun, busy week!

5 on Friday

Instead of Friday Favorites today, I decided to do 5 on Friday….or rather “5 Thoughts Floating Around in my Head!”  I’m mentally (and physically) drained this week and feel like getting some thoughts out of my head might help me regroup…so I’m sorry if none of my post interests you today:)  It’s more for my sanity!

One

We’re only one week in to summer vacation at school, and I’m already questioning whether I made the right decision with summer daycare.  We typically have a high school girl come in and watch the kids at our house in the summer, but this year we decided to leave Ashton at the daycare he’s been going to and send the girls to the YMCA summer fun club.  Both of these are great programs and the kids love it there, but it kills me to get my kids out of bed every morning earlier than they have to for school so we can leave the house by 7:20 am….isn’t it supposed to be “summer vacation”?!?  I’m sure all working parents have been saying this for years, but this is the first summer it’s really affected us (in years past I’ve worked from home or only a couple days a week so summer schedule was always really lax).  Dealing with the wrath of my children at 6:30 am when they don’t get to bed until late because of summer commitments (ball, 4H pigs, etc) does not rank high on my fun meter!  I’m hoping we fall into a better routine as the summer goes on (at least I keep telling myself it will get easier, because it can’t get much more painful at my house this week)!

Two

As I said, this are just random thoughts in my head.  I’ve been struggling with youth sports as of late, and really don’t know how it will all pan out.  I’ve encouraged Danika to play all sports available to her, because I think it’s good for kids to learn to play in a team atmosphere and take direction from someone other than parents.  This spring I will be the first to admit that I overcommitted her to the point of frustration for all of us.  She was so busy that she would have melt downs every night because she didn’t have any time to be a kid and I felt horrible about it.  I’ve promised her that I will not ever make her play a sport if she’s not 100% on board in the future.  She wanted to sign up for softball but we’re hitting the point where she’s not 100% committed so practices are a struggle….I don’t want her to quit because that’s not teaching her that she needs to follow through with her decisions.  I’m putting this in writing so when it comes time to sign up for fall sports, I can go back to this post and remind myself that I will not force her into anything!! 🙂

Three

I’m super excited that camping season is finally here (see this post for some great camping recipes)!  We’re hoping to camp most of the weekend and I cannot wait to just relax…it’s nice being out at the campground and enjoying the outdoors, and then I don’t see all of the to do lists that keep growing at home!  It’s fun family time, and the kids always look forward to it.  Camping is one of my very favorite things about summer!

Four

Danika has her dance recital this weekend and I always look forward to seeing her dance…she really enjoys dance and will be sad when this year is over.  I’m not sure if she’ll continue to dance next year or not, but regardless am so glad that she has found something she’s good at and that she loves doing.

Five

I really want to sit down with the kids and write a summer to do list.  I think it would be fun to have a list of things they actually want to do this summer.  I envision this being both simple things (eat ice cream for supper, movie night, catch fireflies) and also items that require more planning (go on a camping trip to XYZ campground, have a play date with a friend, etc).  Letting all 3 kids have a say in our summer plans and also putting them in writing will help us accomplish at least most of the items on their summer fun list.  I’ll try to get that done in the next week or so and share it!

 

If any of you have any insight on summer daycare, youth sports, etc. I’d love to hear your feedback.  I’m on the struggle bus this week and need to reset as we go into June so that we can enjoy our summer…we need to find a happy balance of free time and commitments!  Enjoy your long weekend – I know we will!

 

Camping Meals

We’re camping throughout this week and into Memorial Day, so I thought today I’d do a roundup of some campsite meals that I’ve tried or want to try this summer.  When we’re  camping, we are always looking for easy meals that can be thrown together quickly and put on the grill or over the fire.  Here are some ideas that are worth trying:

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Campfire Chili Cheese Fries – I’ve never tried these, but when looking through Pinterest for camping recipes, these chili cheese fries kept popping up.  They look like the perfect snack food/appetizer to munch on throughout the day.

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BBQ Breakfast Scrambler – I’m always looking for new breakfast recipes, and this one looks like it will not disappoint!  I’m putting this on my list to make this weekend.

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Grilled Pizza – one of our favorite camping meals (and actually favorite summer meals in general) are grilled pizzas.  It’s so easy to buy a pre-made crust, add your favorite toppings, and throw it on the grill for 10 minutes and lunch or dinner is served!

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Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes – My family really enjoys grilled potatoes, but this recipe looks like a yummy twist on our standard potatoes.

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Hobo Dinner – These “hobo” meals are so easy, and the clean up is a breeze!  You can literally put anything you want in these, wrap them in foil and put them over the fire.  It’s the perfect camping meal!

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Fudge Striped Cookie S’mores – these look like a yummy twist on your traditional s’mores.  I definitely will be trying these!

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Apple Pie Packets – Sometimes it’s nice to have a dessert option that isn’t smore’s and these apple pie packets look amazing!

I’d love to hear your family’s favorite camping meals.  Please comment and let me know if you’ve tried any of these or what your “go to” meals are when camping.  Happy camping season!

Weekend Recap

Last week was cold and rainy for most of the week and the weekend was much of the same.  We had booked camping spots starting on Friday, but with the rain and cold weather we decided to hold off until the weather was a little warmer and dry.  Friday night Joe worked late and the girls were at my mom’s for the day, so he came home late and brought them with him, so Ashton and I enjoyed the quiet and hung out at home for most of the evening.

Saturday morning and had to go to Lincoln for a painting party to celebrate a 7 year old birthday (fun, wild time!) and then had to show acreage properties to a client for most of the afternoon.  We had talked about camping Saturday night but when I got done working it was still pretty drizzly out so we decided that pizza, a movie and popcorn were a better choice!  Apparently Ashton was extra excited as shown by his face:)

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We start having softball games almost every night this week so Joe put some pork on the smoker so that we’ll have pulled pork for easy meals.  I love being able to use this for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, etc.

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Sunday morning we packed up to go camping and headed out to enjoy the day.  We have our camp site through Memorial Day, so we’ll be out there on and off throughout the week (hopefully the weather cooperates).

Have a great week!

Friday Favorites

Today I’m linking up with Andrea and Narci to share my Friday Favorites!

One

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On Monday, Jayde had her 1st grade field trip to the zoo, and I got to go along as a chaperone.  It was a hot one (90+ degrees) but we had a lot of fun anyway.  The misters along the sidewalk were our best friend after lunch!  It’s always a fun time to get to spend special one on one time with her!

Two

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We’ve started walking Danika’s 4H pigs daily this week, and that’s been a favorite of mine to watch her really enjoy doing it.  The first walking experience was an adventure, but it’s been really fun every other day.  We all find it kind of therapeutic to let them out and walk them around for 10 minutes each evening.  Danika does way better with them than the rest of us…we’ve decided it’s because of her calm personality.  They never take off running for her like they do for Joe and I – but I consider walking them a form of exercise, and having to run after them is just a way to burn a few extra calories:)

Three

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Summer vacation started for the girls on Wednesday – it’s crazy how fast the year went!  I now have a 2nd and 4th grader (and I think that makes me officially old!).  We can’t wait for late summer nights, lots of swimming and camping!

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Jayde was awarded the Raider Award for her class – it’s an award given to just one kid in each class….she was so excited and we are so proud of the good student and classroom helper that she is!

We’re hoping the weather clears up this weekend so we can go camping again this weekend through Memorial Day.  It’s been a cold, rainy few days and it looks like it will continue for the next couple of days.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

Repurposing Old School Lockers

I’ve always loved the look of repurposed lockers as home decor, but the problem is that old lockers are somewhat hard to come by (and if you can find them they tend to be kind of expensive!).   When I found out my old high school was getting rid of some old gym lockers at a pretty reasonable price I jumped all over it (not sure my husband was quite as excited because he was the lucky one that got to load/unload them…and they are not light!).

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I had so many ideas running through my head as to how I could repurpose them in my house, so they hung out in the garage for a few weeks.  These lockers came in sets of 4 lockers (2 wide by 2 tall).  I have a long wall in my dining area that definitely called for a statement piece so I decided to combine two sets of lockers to create a storage unit/cabinet.  Because of the height I wanted, I had my husband cut them vertically in half so that they were only the height of one locker.  The edges were rough, but I knew I’d be covering that anyway so it wouldn’t matter.

After they were cut, I power washed the lockers to get rid of all of the dust/dirt that had collected on them over the years.  Once dry, I spray painted them with a fresh coat of dark gray paint (I removed the little metal locker number pieces because I wanted to put them back on after painting).  After the paint was dry, we reattached the number plates and then moved the lockers into the house and put them where we wanted them (this resulted in a broken finger after my husband dropped the lockers on my hand…but it didn’t even matter because I was one step closer to this project becoming a reality…okay, it did matter and several choice words came out as a result of his actions!).  Lesson learned – find some strong men to move lockers in the future – it’s not worth ending a marriage over!

Moving on…once the lockers were in place, we screwed the sets together so that they wouldn’t move around.  I knew I wanted to wrap the lockers in wood, and ultimately decided to use pallet wood to cover the top and sides of the lockers.  We just screwed the planks to the top and sides o the lockers and I love how it turned out!  It’s the perfect mix of industrial and rustic.

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I decided to add some shelves made out of pallet wood with metal rod brackets on the inside of the lockers.  I purchased some metal baskets from Walmart and spray painted some stripes on them to add some color.  It’s the perfect place to store craft supplies, coloring books, markers, etc.

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I ultimately love how this project turned out and have a feeling it will be a central piece of our home decor for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Recap

We took the camper out for our first trip of the year this weekend!  The weather was perfect (again – we’ve been really lucky with great weather the past few weekends!).  We camped down at our lot by the river which is only about a mile from our house.  I was a little worried we’d be bored, but we definitely stayed busy while we were down there and were able to come home during the day on Saturday and get a few things done.  Here’s some pics from the weekend:

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We came home on Sunday morning and ran to town to pick up a few vegetables to plant in the garden.  Joe sprayed something in our yard and garden last spring to kill weeds and we found out after the fact that our garden wouldn’t grow because of that spray, so we didn’t get to have a garden last year.  We’re going to test it out to see if the chemical is out of the soil this spring, and if my vegetables stay alive for a couple of weeks we will go ahead and plant our pumpkin varieties.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will actually have a garden this year!

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The kids all made me sweet homemade gifts for Mother’s Day, which was the best present ever!  Hope all of you mama’s out there had a great day/weekend as well!

Friday Favorites

Today, I’m linking up with Erika, Narci & Andrea to bring you my Friday Favorites.  I have no life altering products to share this week, but rather a compilation of some of my FAVORITE moments this week!

One

A friend sent an extra Kiwi Crate craft project she received in the mail from her son home with me last weekend.  My girls absolutely loved putting it together (it came with all supplies and instructions on how to assemble).  They spent a couple hours working on it and needed no help from me (extra bonus!).  Their end result was awesome and they had so much fun working together on the project. (For some reason I can’t get the picture from this fun project to load on my computer, so you’ll just have to imagine how wonderful it is:)

 

Two

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On Monday, the girls had track and field day at school.  Joe’s mom was able to come up and spend the day there, and since I was working she offered to take Ashton with her.  The girls were so happy they were there and I was happy to receive the pictures and videos throughout the day!  Win, win for everyone!

Three

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We had some rain on Wednesday throughout the day, so softball practice was cancelled for the night…we were all happy because that meant we actually got to be home with no plans for one night this week (this meant the girls were glued to their iPads since they don’t usually have time during the week to play on them)!

We’re going to attempt our first camping trip for the year this weekend…hopefully all goes well!

 

 

 

Recipe: French Dip Sandwiches

I’m all about easy meals this time of year because we’re almost never home in the evenings.  This French Dip recipe is one of my favorites – and is a good one to make all year long!  Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 beef roast
  • 2 cans beef consommé
  • 1 packet dry Italian dressing
  • 1 packet Au Jus gravy mix
  • 1 package hoagie buns
  • Provolone cheese (not pictured)

Put your roast in a crockpot and pour 2 cans of beef consommé over it and add about 2 cups of water as well.  Then add your packet of Italian dressing over the top of the roast.  Cook on low roughly 8 hours (I always put in the crockpot before I leave for work and it’s ready when we get home – probably more like 10 hours later).

When roast is complete, lay out your hoagie buns on a baking sheet and butter both top and bottom of hoagie bun.  Layer your shredded roast and provolone cheese on bun.

I also start my au jus mix at this time on the stove – just mix mix with 3 cups of cold water and it’s ready once it boils.

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Set your oven to broil and put your sandwiches in until cheese is melted/bubbly and buns are toasted brown.  That’s it – easy peasy!

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Like I said, super easy meal and everyone in the family will actually eat it – which is a huge win at my house!  Let me know if you make this and if you’re family enjoys it too!

Weekend Recap

We had another great weekend!  Friday night Danika had softball practice so we dropped her off and the littles and I ran to do some real estate work.  We got back to practice in time to play at the park for a bit and the weather was perfect!

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After practice we went out for ice cream!  Apparently, no one except for Danika wanted to cooperate for a picture!

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Saturday, we got to enjoy a day with no plans!  I ran some errands in the morning while the kids played at home.  After lunch, the girls decided to have a bike wash and clean up all of their bikes.  Joe and I sat and enjoyed the weather for a bit.

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After Ashton’s nap, we headed down to our river lot to do a few things.  We ran into some friends and spent most of the afternoon there, and the kids had a blast playing with all of the kids – but my phone died so I failed to get any pictures!  When we got home, Ashton and I made rhubarb crisp with some rhubarb Joe brought home from work so we grilled out and had that for dessert!  It was delicious!

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The kids thought they wanted to have a sleepover in Ashton’s room for the night, so it started like this….

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….and then ended about 15 minutes later when arguing ensued about someone touching someone else and someone taking someones toys.  I could have called that one!

Sunday was my birthday so Joe and the kids made me breakfast and fun homemade cards and gifts.

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I spent a little time doing blog work.

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We had more softball practice in the afternoon and I had a church fundraiser meeting.  While I went to my meeting, Joe and the kids went fishing for a bit.

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I’ve been trying to eat healthy so I told the kids I wanted “carrot cake” for my birthday since it was healthy…meaning I would just put carrots on a plate and call it cake:)  They decided I should have real carrot cake so we grilled pizzas and had carrot cake to celebrate!  It was a great weekend with the family and I wouldn’t want to spend my birthday any other way!  We’re counting down until summer break – just a week and a half of school left!