Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

I sat down this evening while things are winding down for the day to blog, and after staring at a blank screen for a few minutes I decided to go through  my blog roll to get some inspiration - stumbled upon this so I joined up! Here's what I'm supposed to blog about:

What we're eating this week.

This pizza was UH-MAZE-ING. Seriously. It's a trendy little joint downtown on the Chattahoochee called Your Pie. Mine had sundried tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, pepperoncini, and I'm probably forgetting something. It came with tofu, but I opted out because I truly enjoy a good veggie pizza.

Who doesn't love a good rice Krispie Treat? Especially when your husband makes them with your girls and brings you a warm, melty bite.:)
What I'm reminiscing about.
-- Always, always about days gone by. Days when my girls were babies. Days when Mike and I were in our first year of marriage and it was just us, living it up in England. when I was pregnant with  my girls. When I was healthy and could live a normal life. Days before leukemia and cancer and premature babies wrecked our world.
What I'm loving.
-- Honestly? This is going to sound so geeky, but I'm really loving the new budget we creaed and are sticking to.
What I've been up to.
-- Pokémon Go. I know, I know. I caved. But we have SO MUCH FUN as a family! We go down to the Riverwalk every night that we can and walk (or roll!). Sometimes I sit with the girls at the splash pad/park while Mike rides his bike. It's really great.
What I'm dreading.
-- Starting back to school. :(
What I'm watching/reading.
-- The Bible. Honestly. That's all I have time for - or all that I make time for, anyway. I love audiobooks....I need to get a new one. And I'm not watching anything except YouTube.
What I'm working on.
-- Getting tings ready for the new school year!
What I'm excited about.
-- Our trip to Florida in September! Almost two weeks of vacation and I cannot WAIT!
What I'm listening to.
-- Honestly, nothing specific. Kids CDs or Adventures in Odyssey most days.
What I'm wearing.
-- Haha. Nothing great, for sure. Lots of lightweights because it's SO HOT here in Alabama!
What I'm doing this weekend.
-- Hmm....I think it will be a relaxed weekend. Saturday my mom and I are going to a big town yard sale a couple towns over - it's all inside, so I will have an easy time getting around. I love yard sales but can't really get out and do it anymore. The girls have karate. Sunday is the usual church and family time.
What I'm looking forward to next month.
-- Kicking off the school year. Seeing my cousin from Arizona. Having a yard sale to get rid of this extra junk!
What else is new?
Mike got his first pair of glasses (reading glasses from the Dollar Tree) yesterday! I think he's so handsome in them. He's been needing some for a while, especially to help a night while driving and reading. He's going to an official appointment to get "real" ones this week.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Menu Plan 7/25

Happy Monday, ya'll! I'm back for another round of Menu Plan Monday!
Last week we did pretty good. Here's t he real life version of the planned meals:
Monday we enjoyed BBQ chicken (delicious!), cream corn and wild rice. Tuesday we had Pioneer Woman's Layered Saladand oh my goodness it was delicious! It lasted for one whole supper plus two lunches for my family of five. Wednesday we ate out because I had an appointment in Atlanta. Thursday I had potatoes that I scored for $1 for 5 pounds, so we made BBQ potatoes with all the fixings. Friday was tuna sandwiches and raw veggies (family favorite), Saturday was a birthday party, and Sunday we made hobo packs - hamburger patty, potatoes, onions, carrots wrapped in foil and baked in the oven. Another family favorite!
This week I've got more yummy things planned.
(I type this as my stomach is growling for lunch!)
MONDAY: red beans and rice with smoked sausage, cornbread muffins
TUESDAY: biscuits with sausage gravy and scrambled eggs
WEDNESDAY: chicken and dumplings
THURSDAY: Paula Deens Stuffed Beef Tenderloin and roasted brussel sprouts.
FRIDAY: Leftover night.
Saturday: out at a local Chik-Fil-A fo Princess and Prince Night
Sunday: grilled steak, scallops, and zucchini
I'm also making fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast and snacks this week.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Down Days and a Visitor

Today has just been one of those days. For the past three or so days, my back/hip/legs have been hurting. Sometimes, when I'm in my wheelchair, the ache is too much and I have to get out. Which has landed me on the couch or in the bed a lot more than usual. But I'm working with it and  ya'll know I do not give up. However, giving up doesn't mean I don't get down or depressed. Because I do. We all do, and you're lying if you say you don't. I get so frustrated that I am not the same mother I was a few years ago. I can't drive my girls to the park on a whim. Our outings are now carefully planned around my moms "rest time" (because she is our driver), doctors appointments, infusions, etc. I can't spend the a afternoon at the mall with the kids. I can't decorate my house the way I used to because I'm unable and we all know men could care less. I can't go grocery shopping or even on a carefree day of shopping with no specific plan because I have to worry about what stores are most important and how many times of getting the wheelchair in and out and how long will someone will be able to help push me before they wear out.
I'm done whining. So - on a much brighter note - these little guy was hanging out by the garden, chomping on a green tomato!
How cool! He's no stranger to our yard. I don't know where he comes from, but we've found him hanging out back there at east half a dozen times over the past almost 9 years that we've been here. He was going to town on that tomato!
Here in Alabama, it is HOT HOT HOT! It's ridiculous. Du to the heat, we've had a problem with ants. The pest control guy, miracle worker that he is and has been for several years, is on his way to my house right now to take care of the nasty little things. Bless him!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stranded: Famous People Edition (link up with Mix and Match Mama)

I'm linking up today with Mix and Match Mama for their "Stranded With...Famous People Edition" blog party! It's my first time, and I'm so excited! I had to REALLY think about this one. They host one every month and I'm looking forward to doing it again!
The first person who came to mind was Ree Drummond, for several reasons.
#1 - She's funny, so she'd keep me laughing while I was trying not to have a conniption fit.
#2 - She can cook. I mean, she can cook GOOD. She would be able to come up with all sorts of meals from things found on an island that I ever could.
#3 - She's go a lot of kids and often feeds a lot of people - she would be creative and organized.
#4 - She works with a wide array of big animals, so you know - if a hog or cow or something happened to swim the ocean to my deserted island, she'd probably know a little about how to clean it. And clean fish. Because I do not clean fish.

Uncle Si. For obvious reasons.
This has to be famous people, and my husband isn't famous. (well, in my book he is.)
Daniel Lissing is easy on the eyes, yes - but you know, he's strong, and me and Ree and Uncle Si are not gonna be all that strong. Obviously. ;)
If you link up, let me know! I'd love to read.
Have a great day, ya'll!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Comparisons

Hey ya'll! Usually on Fridays, I link up with Keys Korner for her Show Us Your Life series - but this week was on kids room and the girls room currently looks like Hurricane Opal (you Alabama 90's kids will get the reference) tore through there. Then I link up with the 5 on Friday group some but I have had a blah week and couldn't come up with 5 interesting favorites. The week consisted of a failed dental procedure (painful) and my back is giving me problems. That's landed me on the couch or in bed most of the time. I did get one big thing accomplished, though....I cleaned out the girls closet last night/this morning and now have to face the BIG task of listing it all for sale.
All I have for you today are these two comparison pictures. I noticed tem a few days ago but just got around to putting them together on Instagram.
This. This is the difference 5 years and a 120 pound weight loss brings.
Ignore the sticker on the sunglasses - I was trying several on and there was no mirror there so I snapped some pics. I bought these.
Not even ashamed.

And THIS! My baby! The first shot is me packing for a several week hospital stay 3 years ago. She didn't want me to go so she decided she'd try to go with me! Second shot is her while we were packing for Stone Mountain the other weekend. Someone tell her to stop growing up!
That's all I have, friends. I hope ya'll have a wondereful weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stone Mountain 2016

Last week we were able to go on an overnight getaway to Stone Mountain. I've only been once before and I don't really remember much. Mike grew up near there and went multiple times a week as a kid. This was our girls first time. And it won't be our last!
This is the view that greeted us:
I mean, seriously. Can this be my front yard please?

I didn't get a whole lot of pictures because I vowed that I would not spend so much time behind the camera and enjoy the time with my family.

The carving on the side of the mountain is HUGE. It doesn't look big at all fro the ground, but they say you can fit two school buses on the back of the horse. They also say a gown man can take shelter from the rain in the ear of the horse. That's huge!

First thing we did was take the skylift up the mountain. Had a picnic on the top of the mountain and enjoyed the beautiful view.

Later that night we enjoyed the free laser light show.

We headed back to the hotel after the show and hi the sack. The next morning we enjoyed a beautiful, delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel and then headed out for some sight seeing. They have SO many different attractions there, but we saved our second set of tickets for another time and just did the exhibits and nature trails All of which, by the way, are wheelchair accessible! I was so happy to be able to go do some things with everybody else! And - all of these things are free!

I think everybody can appreciate a good covered bridge!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Weeklly Meal Plan July 4-10

I usually post with the linkup on Mondays, but yesterday was Independence Day and I wanted to honor that by itself, without including the weekly men plan. I decided to share it today instead.
Last week was a fail. One big, large, epic fail. Monday through Wednesday was great, then we took a very spur of the moment trip to Stone Mountain Thursday and Friday. W had a GEAT time -update coming soon! Saturday morning I woke up early and sat on the couch with my cup of coffee (okay, they say it's a sin to lie so I have to admit I was on my third...) when Mike called me to come to the bedroom. He had just gotten a phone call from his parents that his grandmother was in serious condition and within 30 minutes he was on his way to Tampa. As of today (Sunday) she is doing some better, but still in ICU and still on the vent. Please keep her in your prayers.
Then Saturday, my mom took the girls swimming at my cousins house and I stayed home ALONE! I almost didn't know what to do with myself. It was so.....WEIRD! Sunday we came to my hometown to spend the holiday here. So that blew our plan! But this is a fresh week and here's what we have on the docket.
Monday: cookout - we contributed fresh fish, hushpuppies, tomato pie, and Watergate salad
Tuesday: stuffed clams and roasted asparagus
Wednesday: sprig vegetable soup (third week on the menu!)
Thursday: black bean tacos and radish//carrot/cilantro salad
Friday: waffles & sausage
Saturday: lemon chicken pasta and French bread with garlic herb butter and feta
Sunday: macaroni salad with diced ham
I hope ya'll have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!
I hope ya'll are all having a blast with your family and friends.
For those of you serving in this war, my prayers go out to you and your family.
I am proud to be a military wife and family member, and I know it's never easy spending these holidays away.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 6/27

I'm back today with another Menu Plan Monday! As usual, I'm linking up with  Organizing Junkie for her Menu Plan Monday blog party! You should go check it out, and if you find anything noteworthy - let me know! I've been in a horrible meal rut lately. I plan great meals and then don't cook half of them. It's been difficult because due to the chemo, Mike won't eat much, or can't eat much, or the smells bother him, etc. But he finished is last treatment last week (AMEN!) and hopefully things wild go back to normal now.
Whatever normal is. I still haven't figured that one out.
Monday: egg salad on sandwiches or with crackers, carrot sticks and celery
Tuesday: spaghetti & meatballs in the crockpot  - recipe from A Farmhouse Full over on YouTube. (She rocks. She's a mother of many and she's so encouraging!)

Wednesday: spring vegetable soup (shared last week)

Thursday and Friday we are going to be out of town overnight.

Friday: stuffed clams and roasted asparagus

Saturday and Sunday I have left open because I don't know what our plans are yet. we'll just have to see. :)

And as always, here's my YouTube video to go along with this post.

Friday, June 24, 2016

5 on Friday Linkup

Hey ya'll! Happy Friday to you. Today I'm inking up with a great blog for 5 on Friday .

| O N E |

This is not the greatest picture, but I love this piece we have hanging above our bed. It was handmade by a dear man I have known all my life. He's known as a "junker" (picture the show American Pickers) and he loves making something out of nothing. He carved this and stained it for us. He signed it on the back. We rarely get to see him these days, but he is so special to us. This piece is especially dear because he's had a stroke and probably won't be doing much of these things anymore. This is one of my most treasured pieces in my home.
| T W O |

Looks silly, right? But this laptop is a lifesaver! We have a desktop but it's in an awkward corner of our bedroom and it's not comfortable to get to it in my wheelchair. Mike had to purchase this laptop for work last year & I had never even paid attention to it until I saw him use it one day. The screen rotatoes into a tablet and it's touch screen. I LOVE IT! It's so easy for me to use with my poor eyesight. This is why I've been able to get back into blogging more!
| T H R E E |

I scored this Michael Kors wallet in Atlanta. She's a pretty little thing and I LOVE it! My sister had went with me to one of my checkups there and afterwards, we went for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (one of our favorites) and did a little shopping after. She convinced me into going to the MK store (not that I put up much resistance)  and we both ended up with one of these! I think after the sales I paid  about $45. It was originally about $110, I believe.
I don't know about you, but I consider that a win. :)

 | F O U R |

Today is our eleventh dating anniversary! I can't even believe it. 11 years ago today, just before lunch, I wrote down what I wanted to say on a piece of paper and practiced it a million times before I called Mike's shop and asked for "Senior Airman O'Neill, please." I asked him if he'd like to get dinner and a movie later - and he said yes! And here we are, 11 years later. We have never celebrated this day before,, but we are this year. I ordered this awesome tie clip with the longitude and latitude of our first date on one side (in jolly old England!) and "143 2" on the back. I never knew 143 was code for "I love you" and so when he e-mailed me that while I was back in the States and he was still in England during our engagement, I responded bac with 143 2. Yes, we're nerds. Wouldn't have it any other way! I got this from Pink Lemon Design on Etsy.I love everything about it.
| F I V E |

I saved the best for last. I purchased this dress from Magnolia & Co. Boutique this week and I'm n love. I've known the girl who owns it for several years, way back when she and my younger sister worked together in high school. Such a sweet girl, very hard working, honest and humble. I left a lengthy review on her Facebook page and you should definitely go check it out. I'll say that it's completely perfect Don't think I'm saying that because I know her or because I'm affiliated because neither of those are the case. And while you're there, you should check out the inventory - you won't be disappointed!

Now! I'm logging off all social media for the rest of the evening so I can go get ready for a hot date with this handsome military guy that's pretty charming.
I think I see a future with him. Who knows? :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Garden Update! June 2016


This is our little raised garden beds. We started with 3, but we'll add more as time goes on. We purchased these from Home Depot, but I don't suggest doing that. They're very well made and fit together with a tongue and groove, but you can build your own for way cheaper. We bought these because, being a military family, we're supposed to be moving in a few months and want to take them with us. We've planted tomatoes, onions, strawberries, squash, cucumber, banana pepper, and bell pepper. Two of the tomato plants are out of the picture.

We also have a HUGE blueberry bush out front that we will be transplanting several cuttings from this fall. This was the haul from the other day. We used them to make homemade blueberry muffins yesterday - that recipe & blog post is coming next week, so be on the lookout!

We have gotten these cucumbers  plus a few more. Take a look at big boy over there! We've been collecting and will be canning these into pickles tomorrow. I love canning season!

Another haul we've gotten. Our squash isn't growing as much as we'd like, but I'm not sure why. I'm going to can at least one jar of salsa and hopefully, providing we have enough, get a few jars of tomatoes canned. The squash and peppers will be cut up and frozen, as well as the banana peppers.
We all enjoy taking the time every morning/evening to get out in our little garden and check it out. this has been a learning experience for every one of us. I can't wait to do it again next year and make it a little bigger!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fathers Day 2016


I'm two days late, but better late than never!
We had a really good Fathers Day this year. I was a little worried about how it would go because Mike just finished his last round of chemo.
I told the girls - listen. No matter how we spend this day, we're going to have fun! Whether we stay home, eat watermelon (the only thing he's been able to keep down most days), and play cards, or go to the big shindig with the family, it doesn't matter. Daddy is here and alive and we're going to celebrate. Thankfully, he felt pretty good so we headed to church and then to my sisters house to spend the day with my dad, sisters and their families.
But ya'll, we're from Alabama. And Mike loves everything nature, everything outside, everything hunting, fishing, wildlife. So we cannot get through a backroad trip without stopping to look at something - and I love it. We have gotten ourselves into so many an adventures this way. Found so may hidden gems and just appreciated the handiwork of God,

 So I wasn't surprised when he took a right turn onto a tiny road . I looked down to pull my camera up (this is not my first rodeo and I wanted to be ready). Two seconds, four tops, is all it took.
So imagine my shock when we hooked a curve and I looked up to this:
It may not look very surprising to you. But we were on the edge of a very sharp drop off! After I started to breath again, I realized how beautiful it was. I've heard stories about the generation before me jumping off the train trestles into the river. Those were the good old days. :) 
Caught this little guy on the way in:

Then we got on to my sisters. We had so much fun! My dad, brother-in-law and nephew had been deep sea fishing and we fried/grilled those fish, fried some chicken, hot dogs, green bean bacon wraps, potato salad, slaw, cucumber/tomato/onion salad, deviled eggs and I don't remember what else. Food was good and company was GREAT! Got some good home videos and played a few rounds of Twister- always a good one in my family.

My two younger sisters. Kayla's 25 and Allie is 23.

Caught my beautiful niece taking selfies on my phone. Raven is 14 - where ha the time gone?
Niece takes selfies....Aunt Stephanie will post!

Me (31), Daddy, Kayla (25), Allie (23), Elizabeth (35).

The Four Crazy Ladies Sisters.

Papaw and all his grandkids!
Sara (8), Will (12), Bradyn (18 months), Raven (14) and June (6)
Our family started as 4, and currently we're at 11 with one in a serious relationship. I hope to look back on this post in a few years and see how much we've grown!

We ended the day with a trip to Gander Mountain for Daddy & an ice cream run. This was literally the only picture of us 4! We were too busy having fun! My girls and I are so lucky to have this man in our life. I'm so proud of you for being the husband and father you are, for being more than required and for sticking by our side.

I hope all the single mothers out there had a great Fathers Day as well. My mama was a single mom for 17 years, so Happy Fathers Day to you too, mama!