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!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 6.20

Hey everybody! I hope ya'll had a great weekend. We sure did! Saturday we stayed home all day and caught up on everything. Well, SOME things. I have decided to accept the fact that everything will never be done.:) Sunday we cooked out with  my dad, sisters and their families. More on that later.
Last week we had a plan, and we somewhat stuck to it. You can see it here. Monday we had pesto ranch chicken thighs and leftover pasta salad. Tuesday we had sandwiches. Wednesday we had fish sticks and mac & cheese. Thursday we had Italian sandwiches and vegetables, Friday we had sandwiches again, and Saturday we had spaghetti - but we had some squash in the garden so I sautéed them up with garlic and onions and added it to the marinara - it was SO GOOD! Sunday we cooked out at my dads - all kinds of fish they had from deep sea fishing, green bean bacon wraps, cowboy beans, fried chicken, French fries, Cockof the Walk cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese....I'm sure I'm forgetting something but I'm still in a food coma. You'll have to forgive me.
Here's this weekends meal plan:
Monday: PorkChopand Pineapple Pie  cucumber/tomato/onion salad, roasted asparagus
Tuesday: Rosemary chicken, faro, cream of cor
Wednesday: leftover boston butt sandwiches, pasta salad with peas
Friday: out @ the base Independence Day Celebration
Saturday: Date night - Mawmaw has  the girls!
Sunday: egg salad sandwiches, chips/fresh veggies
I hope ya'll have a wonderful week. This week I hope to have a recap of the last several weeks, possibly a health update and hopefully a recipe post up.
As always, I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie!
Check out my YouTube video on this:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Show Us Your Life Friday - My Real Live Dining Room!

I'm linking up today with Kelly over at Kelly's Korner for her Show Us Your Life series (today it's Real Life Dining Rooms).
I literally have done nothing  to this room since we moved in 8 years ago. We are on our third table (the table from my dads house when I was growing up) and the matching china cabinet is in the living room. I did add a table runner this week that I scored on clearance from Target (like I need another reason to love that store) for $8. A few months ago, out of necessity, I changed out my seasonal centerpiece for the convenience of having the  napkin basket and salt & pepper shakers on the table 24/7.
Also, that decision saved the sure broken destiny of several pretty apothecary jars.

This is the view from the end of the couch in the living room.
Our house isn't very big - about 1400 sf - and it's all open.
I know the table is off center, and it drives me crazy But I am in a wheelchair and I need it placed like that so I can get the chair around it when wiping it down and sweeping/dusting/etc.
But still. It. Drives. Me. Nuts.
Here's a closer view of the table runner. It has the yellows, teals, and blues that I'm going with.
My kitchen is orange and we're getting ready to put board and batten up. I've got teal rugs in there. I'm still looking for mustard yellow accents.

Bakers rack in the corner. Still decorated the same as it was in 2007,...but now I'm noticing how awful the arrangement looks on the bottom. Time for something new! FYI - my sister gave us this bakers rack as one of our wedding gifts. I love it.
My favorite thing in the whole room. A picture of us that was taken after being married about 7 months., in Banbury, England. I really love this one so much.. Mike has a similar one in his office at work, but it's in color.We were so young and carefree. I miss those days, but I know I'll miss these busy days of school, work, housework, grocery shopping, shuffling children around even more.
Speaking of craziness, here's a VERY "real life" shot for you. Wild kids at 7:30AM! They were so energetic that I sent them out to play in the front yard right after this.
I hope ya'll have a great Friday! We are off to my aunt and uncles to go swimming.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Menu Plan Monday1 6-13 - 6.19

I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie for the Menu Plan Monday!

Last week we didn't eat out AT ALL.
I can hardly believe it. But I set a goal to eat at home as much as possible for the next 30 days, with the exception of one date night (but I'll add on a day at the end.) Our eating out has gotten out of hand. I did cave today though, and suggested the new stuffed crust pizza from Little Caesars to Mike in hopes that he would actually feel like having it after his atrocious week of chemo, and he agreed! And he ate two pieces! YAY! So I'm totally justified, right?

| M O N D A Y |

Pesto ranch chicken thighs from How Jen Does It. These things are SO good and I"ve never made a bad dish from her. I'm serving them with broccoli that I toss in the skillet with garlic and a tiny bit of olive oil and brown rice.

| T U E S D A Y |

Fish sticks, macaroni & cheese, and peas.
Dinner of champions, ya'll.
Served mostly because I can't get to the grocery store til Thursday due to scheduling conflicts.

| W E D N E S D A Y |

Once around the fridge & cabinets
- AKA find what you can and get it down!

| T H U R S D A Y |

Spaghetti. Simple, fast, and....that's pretty much what we need on a Thursday night after a day of errands and grocery shopping with and 8 year old and a 6 year old!

| F R I D A Y|

dill and caper butter salmon served with orzo, a radish, carrots and cilantro salad and asparagus.

| SA T U R D A Y |

Italian sub sandwiches with tomato/onion/cucumber salad.

| S U N D A Y |

I messed up on the vlog below. I totally spaced that it was Fathers Day! We are going to my sisters house for Fathers Day lunch with my dad. We're having red fish and angel fish they caught deep sea fishing a while back. My sisters are pretty good cooks and I'm sure we will come up with something fabulous!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five on Friday! 6.10.16

Hey ya'll! I'm linking up with the ladies  for their FIve on Friday post!  Go check them out!

| O N E |

I LOVE summer - that's no secret! Two things I love about summer (among the oh-so-many) are sno cones (specifically the Fuzzy Navel or Pina Colada flavors) and Dippin' Dots, in pretty much ANY flavor except banana split.

Funny thing. I love banana splits, but don't like banana split flavored things...
I enjoyed several of these bad boys in the past week.

| T W O |

I signed the girls up for the Summer Reading Program at the local library.
We LOVE the library! Especially being a homeschooling family, but we would make use of it either way. We go to weekly story times, weekend story times, and pretty much any other activity they provide. Doesn't hurt that it's across the street from a small playground and free splash pad. :)
This week (first week) of the summer program was about reptiles. They had a tortoise named Shelly, a lizard with no legs, an African bullfrog named Bubba, a milk snake and a boa constrictor. 
A boa constrictor.
Because I'm the nerd and chose to sit right beside the guy doing the show, I got front row footage.
Anyway, do you see that snake heading for that poor mans head? It's not just the angle of the photo, either. It was really going (slowly) for his head. And he was totally ok with it.
I was not.
Sara and June LOVED it, though.

| T H R E E |

| F O U R |

I caught this sweet picture right here earlier this week. My sweet baby still takes naps almost every day. We all have quiet time and she generally falls asleep. We put the girls in bed by 8 or 8:30 every night, but she can never fall asleep right away. Neither can Sara. I think they read far longer than we think. I'm okay with that. :)

| F I V E |

And ya'll - this man right here finises his LAST five-day stretch of chemo today, FOREVER!
About two more weeks of shots and two small chemo doses and he is D to the O to the N to the E with chemo! God has blessed him so much. It's been neither easy nor fun, but he's bore it like a champ. This cycle was MUCH easier than last, and whether you want to account that to God or to a change in medicine is up to you. I'll continue to thank God.

I hope ya'll have a great weekend! Since Mike will be recovering, we don't really have any plans. May go to the library tomorrow, maybe play in the park and splash pad some. Lots of sprinkler/pool fun at home. And church on Sunday!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Meal Plan Monday 6/6-6/12

I've been missing for a couple weeks, but it's because the first week Mike had his second round of chemo and I didn't care one lick about getting on the computer. The second week we went on vacation to Panama City, FL! My niece had a cheer competition (which they won several awards at AND have th eopportunity to cheer in the 2016 Orange Bowl! Go Panthers!) down there so my sisters on my dads side, their families, and my family went down for a long weekend. We had a blast! Pictures to cme on the Five on Friday post. Be on the lookout!

Go over to Organizing Junkie and link up!

This week is a slow one for the girls and I, but busy for my mom and Mike, because he has five straight days of chemo and she drives him. I'll be cooking all suppers, which is no big deal.

Monday: tomato basil chicken sausage sauteed with mini red bell peppers, fresh carrots, and pasta salad
Tuesday: seasoned whole chicken with onions and carrots in the crockpot, served with roasted new potatoes
Wednesday: cheese tortellini in alfredo sauce, green beans
Thursday: Not gonna lie - cheesy Hamburger Helper and peas on the side
Friday: spaghetti
Saturday: bean soup - basically black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, corn, diced tomatoes, onion and celery. Pretty much a meatless chili.
Sunday: again - not gonna lie - fish sticks and steamed veggies

We are recovering from vacation so I planned this weeks menu solely around whats on hand. No money spent + no grocery trip = great relief for a family dealing with a parent in chemo.

Have a great Monday!

P.S. Go check out my meal plan video on YouTube!