Thursday, March 28, 2019

Birthday Trip #1

The weekend went too quickly but it was filled with so many delightful memories.  I'll cherish these moments forever in my heart. 

Last weekend, I flew back to Illinois for a weekend with my mom and sisters and I brought along Miss Clementine who was missing her Grammy terribly.

This little one is such a good traveler and never complained when our flight was cancelled, then rerouted, and lost my luggage.  Her demeanor is so happy-go-lucky that she can make any bad moment a good moment.   It finally worked out and even though we arrived late in the evening, we arrived safe and sound.

On Friday morning, I woke up to coffee with my mom, sitting in her sitting room by her fireplace.  So cozy!

That first morning was all about visiting the cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried, and getting to see the important one, the grave of my father.

Isn't his headstone beautiful?  The front of the headstone has their two names with the wedding cross (they were married just shy of 50 years before my father passed away from cancer).  

On the back, you can see the names of all their children (I'm the middle of nine).  

I've been working on genealogy and spent that afternoon going through the treasure chest of information my mom had on so many relatives that lived so long ago.  

Miss Clementine found her own treasure chest of all the fun things hidden away in Grammy's closets upstairs.  

And then there were a handful of cousins she was able to visit with.  There are so many cousins in all and it's very rare now when we are in the same spot - the last time we were all together was at my niece's wedding 3 1/2 years ago.  

Saturday was such an amazing day having coffee with my mom and sisters in the morning, chatting aimlessly around my mother's kitchen table, and then going out for a birthday luncheon, followed with a pedicure.

Sunday was a time to say good-bye.  Even though we had so many laughs, departing was so hard.  I wish we all lived closer.  They made my birthday trip so special, and I love them dearly!  I am blessed to have them in my lives and to be their daughter/sister.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

50th + 18th Birthday Celebrations - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

Spring is here and along with it comes daddy / daughter dances.  These two, be still my heart :)

She had so much fun and he loved spending time with his baby girl.

I am thankful for ~

the gift of life!

The big 5-0 came along and my family spoiled me terribly.  The celebrating continues, (I just arrived back in TX from a weekend celebrating with my sisters and mother).  My hubby is taking me away next month, too!!  Woot!

From the school room ~

Spring break was a success.  Ester and Mabel painted their bedroom, and David and I worked on giving the powder room a face lift.

From the kitchen ~
Birthday celebrations galore!  Miss Ester turned 1-8 four days after my birthday.  It was such a pleasure having some of her friends over to celebrate.

What I am reading ~

I am loving this Bible study for lent.

Around the house ~

Our Miss Ester (Emma) is 18!!  I still cannot believe it.  She is such an adventurous and humorous young lady who has the kindest soul in the world.  The world would be a much better place if there were more Emma's in it :)

I am thinking about ~

How Miss Sarah surprised us over spring break, coming home to help celebrate our big birthdays!

My heart was overflowing with joy to have everyone together again.

I am praying for ~

*An end to abortion

*For all those who have asked me to pray for

*Prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude

What I am listening to ~

*All the family conversations (and the sound of children's voices playing outside - so sweet ).

Some final photos to share ~

Someone lost her two top teeth - and can you believe it was big sister Sarah who used the old string and door knob technique?!  Ha ha ha!

I gave Emma a new peg doll, her patron saint, St. John of God (patron saint of heart patients and his feast day happens to be her birth date! God-incident ).

Someone got her permit - woot!  I have a third driver, folks.

On the feast of St. Patrick, we had a lovely picnic at a state park.  We also set the camper up for a few nights, taking advantage of the pretty weather.

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door!


Sunday, March 3, 2019

New Spring Books and Saint Books

These four books have been recently added to our St. Patrick's Day and March Weather book bin!

And we couldn't wait until the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19) to read this sweet, new book.  It's a true story!

So many wonderful choices for children (and adults) out there!


Friday, March 1, 2019

Camping Meals (Ideas)

I've been wanting to put together a post about camping meals, things that work for us and are easy yet still nutritious (for the most part).  For almost one year now we’ve been camping each month, so I thought now is a good time to do so.

The menu planning has evolved from  cooking ahead and / or grocery shopping the day of departure  to ordering the food online and picking up on the way to our destination. The menu planning is still a sticky spot though.  A two night camping trip is easy, but the 5-7 night trips can be trickier because we just don't eat out that much ($$).  To help this, I have created a list of meals and snacks in my google docs that I like to refer to each time we are heading out on a camping trip.

I try to think of meals that are easy to prep and clean up.  When we are camping, the last thing any of us want to be doing is standing around spending a lot of time on meal productions.

Some breakfast meals include (but aren't limited to):

1.) Toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas

2.) English muffins with fresh fruit

3.) Scrambled eggs, sausage, and fresh fruit

4.) Pancakes and bacon / sausage with fresh fruit

5.) Breakfast burritos

6.) Pop tarts (although I usually use these for the last morning since things are more hectic as we begin to tear down camp.)

7.) Bagels with cream cheese

8.) Waffles

Lunch and Dinners include (but aren't limited to):

1.) Cold cuts with chips & fresh fruit

2.) Soft shell tacos and chips & salsa

3.) BLT's and fresh fruit

4.) Potato, kielbasa & pepper hash

5.) Meat & cheese charcuterie board (And this is so good with a glass of wine on the side!)

6.) Soup and salad (when it is colder outside)

7.) Left-overs because who wants to travel back home with a cooler full of left-overs??

8.) Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches

9.) Cheese quesadillas with chips & salsa

10.) Pasta salad and Italian bread

11.) Chicken salad on croissants

12.) Crockpot meatballs

13.) Crockpot roast pork

14.) Crockpot roast

15.) Chopped brisket sandwiches

16.) Rigatoni and sauce with bagged salad and rolls

Snack ideas:

1.) Crackers and cheese

2.) S'mores

3.) We like to drive into town for an ice cream treat (especially if it's hot out).

4.) The RV resort or state park stores usually carry some of those fun snacks, too.

5.) Packages of cookies

6.) I have a fruit of the day.  Whatever fresh fruit isn't eaten with breakfast, I keep for later in the day.

7.) Vegetables

8.) Granola bars

9.) Humus with crackers

10.) Pretzels

11.) Popcorn

12.) Yogurt

Other meal ideas include:

~ Out to dinner when we camp 4 nights or more.

~ Fishing trips with friends include a huge fish fry (these are so much fun).

~ Group breakfast when camping with friends (another fun time gathering).

~ Some RV parks include a snack shop where the kids can order a pizza (inexpensively).

If you noticed, these meals do not include a camp fire.  In Texas, more often than not, there are burn bans due to dry conditions and campfires are not allowed.  It's hard to plan for meals around these since they can pop up at any time.  Hauling a charcoal grill isn't one of our favorite things either.  A camp stove is typically our go-to for meal prep.

The biggest beneficial pointer I want to suggest is to pre-order your groceries at a Walmart Pick-up closest to your destination (or any grocery store that offers the service).  We pull up in our camper, check in the groceries, place them in the camper, and head straight to the camp ground.  It's so nice not to have to grocery shop after you set up camp.

Like most folks, I really try to keep things as healthy as possible, and everyone knows how hard healthy choices are when traveling.  However, I must say, we always eat considerably better when we camp compared to when we stay in hotels.

Until the next trip and meal...



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