Around Here Week 30: 07/21-27

Monday, July 29, 2019

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  419+ hours (of 1000)
Up 25 hours this week as we continue through this beautiful summer weather. There were some days that were downright perfect this week with an incredible breeze and blue, sunny skies. It's been dipping down into the low 60s though in the evening and at one of Grey's baseball games it was actually fall-chilly! We all wanted long pants and hoodies! The wild blackberries are starting to come out and I got a handful for a snack while walking the dogs on Friday morning. 

Reading and finishing Miles Morales: Spiderman by Jason Reynolds. I started (a little late) our next Book Love Foundation summer club pick: Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King. I'm listening to The Lost Man by Jane Harper on Audible during my half marathon training. It is so good - enough to keep me distracted from the miles! 

Half marathon training miles this week: 9 miles
I ran at the North Star track, CT track, and at the Que with Loni for our Saturday morning long run (4miles). I tried lengthening my stride on the straightaways at the CT track on Thursday night and whew, that gave me soreness in all kinds of new places (hah!) The half is in the end of October, so I still have a long way to go, but it's one mile at a time - no matter how slow! 

Classroom visiting for the first time this summer. The kids and I stopped into school and spent some time in my classroom organizing and digging into planning for the upcoming school year. Gah, so nerd-excited for school to start. I got my schedule, mapped out the year long curriculum for most of levels, and did some prom committee research. 

Training our chickens to stay off the patios. If you want a good laugh, just come watch me work on this - with a water gun in hand, I run outside shouting like a mad woman, "Get off my porch!" Eventually, the chickens will start to realize if they don't want a lunatic running and yelling at them, they'll stay off. We also moved our old patio chairs farther away from the porch to encourage their perching away from our space. Speaking of chickens, we found their hidden egg stash too; under one of the front bushes - 10 eggs!

Planning our upcoming mini road trip/family vacation. Brandon has a conference for work and the whole family is encouraged to come as the conference is located in the Kalahari Poconos resort! So we stretched the mini vacay out to include a little something special on the way to (Knoebels amusement park!) and on the way home (Lake Tobias Wildlife Park). I get such a geeked out thrill searching and mapping it out on google to find family fun along the way.

Choosing two slips from our summer fun jar including a visit to Laurel Hill State Park and Ebensburg Pool. The choices were a little staged (hah), but the kids were happy to get a chance to explore. Unfortuntely, Laurel Hill State Park swimming area was closed (too murky from all the rain) but we made the best of it by wading in the water, climbing on their cool playground structure, building a huge sandcastle, and finding seashells. We had Maldet with us on Thursday when we went to Ebensburg pool and the kids were so great. I was amazed how easy the trip was; everyone helped carry things to and from the car, no whining, no issues; and everyone happily swam from the moment we got there until the whistles blew for adult swim at 3p!

Writing a short story! The idea hit me like a lightening bolt and in the middle of a conversation with Brandon, I stopped and said, "sorry, I have to go write a story right now!" hahhaa. My very encouraging family and friends are holding me to trying to get it published, (eee!) so we shall see.

Visiting our extended family at the Plunkett reunion. We squeezed in a trip to Altoona before the baseball game to have lunch and play games with our cousins on my Dad's Mom's side. The kids are always so happy at family reunions and the girls even stayed behind with my parents while the boys headed to the baseball game.

Feeling so proud of Grey the last week or so. Since his birthday in April, I feel like we have been fighting constantly and I was just giving him lectures all day, everyday and was feeling so frustrated with his attitude and choices. He was really growing through something and my response to it all probably was terrible, but mommas gotta mom, right? Thankfully, it appears he has come out of the fog and I keep hugging him & letting him know that I am so proud of his help, and patience with his siblings, and his reactions to disappointment. Lawd, send me all the patience forever, please and thank you.

No bummer summering with our besties with an afternoon at the Quemahoming. While the kids kayaked, swam, and playground'ed, Kate and I got to catch up and laugh. Always so good for my soul. Every time we have our kid kayaks with us, we get asked about them - so if you're in the market for some kid-size kayaks; we have two of these. Our kids love them and they're light enough that they are responsible for carrying/dragging them in and out. Violet (4.5y) is completely independent on it in the water and Rusty (3y) is getting there; still figuring out turning. (tip: we bought ours at the end of the season last year and they were marked down to like $50 each, check out Walmart online too!)

Summer sporting for the final week! We had our co-ed volleyball playoff game and lost in the first round. So bittersweet to end the season, so we had a big team 'family' dinner at the Crow's Nest afterward. I love those cats! Grey finished out his all-star baseball season with the last two tourneys at ETJ and CV. He learned a lot about the game, made some new friends, and loved having a baseball summer. We got to have one of his teammates over for a sleepover on Friday night much to Grey's delight (and Violet's! haha, she followed the two of them around like a little pup).

Frugal living by using three zucchinis that were gifted to us from my Aunt Thelma to make two loaves of zucchini bread (they didn't make it 12 hrs before being gobbled up!). Brandon and the kids washed and cleaned the inside of both vehicles at home. I downloaded the Ibotta app on my phone and scanned my first receipt ($0.50 earned!). I packed lunch for the pool and the Que instead of buying something special on the way to/from. I used my Audible credits from our prime membership to download a book on tape for my half marathon training for free.

Making zucchini bread, three ingredient chocolate chip muffins, french toast, frozen pizza, turkey tacos, bbq pork chops and rice, frozen popcorn chicken, and chopping up lots of watermelon for the kids.

Keto'ing with some really incredible meals. Heather & Albert brought us dinner on Monday night with her incredible Keto pizza crusts and toppings that we devoured. Brandon made grilled porkchops and roasted garlic and cheesy brussel sprouts. We had turkey taco wraps thanks to the Keto friendly Tumaro brand (thank you Heather!) I had chicken jalapeno popper casserole and air fried chicken with coconut flour. My handsome zoodler husband also made us shrimp and broccoli over zoodles with alfredo which was to die for. For the family reunion, we made buffalo chicken dip with cucumber and green pepper dippers - and we've been chowing down on cocktail peanuts because they are best quick snack everrrr.


  1. So many great things in this post this week! Yay for back to school planning - I'm in full lesson planning mode over here too. I'll be in touch soon to see how I can help. XOXO

  2. The girls in the water! Tab! That picture!! It's magic. Please frame it and hang it somewhere in your house. So good!!!
    Also, I love your swimsuit! Such a great color on you.
    I am currently dying to read your short story, and ended this post feeling motivated to "pick up my pen" again as well. Funny how you & Ashley are always inspiring me to be my very best self. Love you for that.

    And lastly, "Lawd, send me all the patience forever, please and thank you." Umm, yes & AMEN. Gosh if these three boys in a row aren't gonna send me STRAIGHT to the looney bin! The attitude and talking back and questioning... some days it is more than a sister can handle!!
    Sending you strength. We got this!