Thursday, May 30, 2013

Throwback Thursday

A rare moment of my sister giving me a kiss when we were little.  This was one of my Mom's favorite pictures of us.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's On The Menu?

I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day and were able to take a minute to reflect on why we celebrate this holiday or perhaps even remember a loved on who has served or is serving our country right now, protecting our freedom and the things we hold dear.  Yesterday was pretty low key for us.  We hung out playing Legos and Ava received a new microscope from a friend of mine, so we played with that.  It's been years (and I do mean years lol) since I've used a microscope.  We looked at tons of things under the microscope and had so much fun.  We had some crazy storms pass through our way yesterday.  Lots of broken and uprooted trees and downed signs, lights, etc.  Our power went in and out for awhile, but we were pretty lucky because we had power all afternoon and evening.  Other neighborhoods right around us and even two blocks away were not so lucky.  No tornado sirens went off around here, but we took shelter for a bit because it was pretty bad out.  Crazy Illinois weather.  We didn't make it to the pool one because the last several days have been cold and the water wasn't warm enough and the weather obviously didn't cooperate with us anyway.  However it is in the upper 80's this week, so I think we will get to the pool sometime this week.  Ava has games today and Thursday.  I don't think the game will happen today because we had so much rain and quite a bit of flooded areas and we are due for more rain today too.  So fingers crossed we have a game on Thursday at least!  We are starting our first full week of Summer vacation and my schedule feels really off, but in a good way.  lol  So glad to not have the routine of school.  I have several photos to post hopefully this week of Ava and some of her friends on the last day of school.  Hopefully I'll get a blog post up this week about that.  It was a fun day for sure.  Anyway on to this weeks menu.
  • Crockpot Chicken Casserole, mashed potatoes, and vegetable
  • Cheeseburgers, tater tots, and fresh vegetables
  • Taco Salad
  •  Sesame Chicken and rice
Have a wonderful week ahead!  :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

May We Always Remember...

Digi Stamps by The Saturated Canary.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Throwback Thursday...

Today is Ava's last day of 2nd Grade.  I have no idea where the time has gone, because I feel like I just sent her to school for the very first time, not that long ago.  The above photo is from her very first day of Pre-K.  She was 4 in this photo and she is now soon to be 8 in a couple months.  It truly seems just like yesterday.  I cannot believe I am soon to have a 3rd grader.  Thank you to Ava's amazing teacher Mr. Gus and her wonderful school, for yet again another fabulous school year.  I could not be happier with the all the teachers Ava has had.  She is receiving an outstanding education from very dedicated, inspiring, encouraging, and loving teachers.  We could not be more blessed.  :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

What's On The Menu?

Oh my I am having a hard time getting with it this morning.  Just one of those tired kind of Monday's.  We had a super busy weekend and it is definitely catching up with me today!  Friday after work, Ava had softball practice, then we went out to dinner, and then to the mall to do some shopping and Ava also picked out a few gifts for her best friend's birthday on Saturday.  Saturday, we were up early, busy doing things around the house, I made Lilly (Ava's Best Friend) a card, then off to the birthday party.  After dropping Ava off for the party, ran more errands.  Then, it was time to pick her up from the party.  We had a graduation party to go to for my cousin's oldest daughter that was about an hour away.  What a fun party it was.  They even had a DJ so there was lots of dancing to be had.  Yesterday, we woke up pretty early once again and ended up going out to breakfast at Charlie Parker's. If you live or are traveling through Central Illinois, you should try this place!  It's about 45 minutes from where we live, but worth the drive over for breakfast or lunch even.  After breakfast, we did some shopping.  Ava ended up with quite a few new clothes and two new swimsuits for the season and several pairs of flip flops.  We were supposed to have softball practice yesterday, but it was cancelled and I have to say this tired Mom, was pretty happy about that.  When we got home yesterday, we did practice some outside minus hitting the ball, because I really didn't feel like testing our luck on not breaking a window or something.  :) 

Now for this Ava took cookies and juice to school to celebrate her "summer birthday".  She was so excited for that. This is our last week of school and it is only a 4 day week.  Woo Hoo!  :)  Tomorrow, Ava has park day at school, where they get to walk about 2 1/2 - 3 blocks to the park and play all day and even have a picnic lunch at the park.  I don't remember doing these kinds of fun things when I was in school.  lol  We are also supposed to have Ava's first official softball game of the season on Tuesday evening as well.  Weather permitting...and guess what?!?!  Rain is in our forecast for tomorrow.  And not just rain, thunderstorms actually.  Not a whole lot going on for Wednesday.  Thursday, the last day of school and Ava is out at 1:50.  I'll meet her for lunch on Thursday and then after school she has her friend Lilly coming home after school with us to hang out.  So I need to get busy planning something fun to do for the last day of school.  Last year we did ice cream sundaes on the last day, at the park after school with several of Ava's friends.  Ava has a game Thursday evening and she is supposed to have Girl Scouts, but since most of her team is Girl Scouts and her leader is one of the coaches, I don't think we will be having Girl Scouts.  Friday, a day of relaxing (I hope) and enjoying not having to wake up so early (I hope for that as well).  Ava and I need to sit down and plan out our Not So Bummer Summer activities and journal for this summer as well.  Maybe we will do that on Friday.  Nothing major planned over the weekend.  And Sunday we have a graduation to go to and possibly Ava's teams softball photos.  As for this week's menu, I think we will keep it fairly simple.  Here is this week's menu below:
  • Loaded cheesy fries and vegetable
  • Breakfast for dinner - Stuffed French Toast, Turkey Bacon, and fresh fruit
  • Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake & Salad
  • Chicken Nuggets, tater tots, mac & cheese, and vegetable
  • Pizza Bread & Salad
So what's your week looking like?  Has the school year ended where you live?  Now that summer is here for us I am just planning a Monday - Friday menu.  Weekends we tend to grill out more or hang out with friends and have cookouts with them.  So for the summer I am just going to plan meals during the week. :)  Have a great week ahead!  :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Since this past Sunday was Mother's Day, I thought I'd post another favorite photo of my Mom.  I have carried around this photo in my purse for years.  It is truly one of my favorite photos of her. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Yesterday,  the weather finally cooperated with us enough to get part I of this lovely young lady's Senior Session done.  Finally. 

After being rained out twice.  We got these part done in the nick of time too because we have rain in the forecast for the next 6 days or so.  Everything is pretty green outside right now at least and pretty colorful.  

She has such a pretty smile and she smiled so easily.  When asked to pose she stayed so still too.  These are just a few from the first session. 

Part II will hopefully be done in the next week or two.  She had a slight malfunction with the dress she had chosen, and she really wanted some photos with a dress, so we opted for a part II.  Now we just have to see what the weather decides to do on how soon part II can be done.  :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's On The Menu?

Summer vacation is almost here for Ava and I could not be more thrilled.  We have a week and a half left of school and we are both so very ready.  I'm ready to not have an alarm clock wake us up nearly as early as it has been for the past 9 months!  lol  I am ready for the freedom that summer brings of not having to be home during the week at a certain time, so Ava can be in bed at a decent time for school the next day.  I am ready for time at the pool (if this weather ever warms up enough and stays like that for more than a couple days at a time).  I am ready for trips to the park and picnics.  I am ready for softball games to start, since most of our practices keep getting rained out.  I'm ready for evenings of fun and no homework.  :)  I am ready for more relaxing days ahead for the next 3 months!  This week though we are pretty busy. We have softball practice a few times this week.  Ava has a birthday party for one of her best friends. I have a photo session to do.  I have work. We have a graduation party to go to as well.  On top of anything else that gets thrown in this week.  I need to meet Ava for lunch at her school, as well. So with all we have going on, we will be do some easy meals this week and I am even going to opt out of cooking on Friday and Saturday the graduation party we are going to is serving dinner.  So here's the weekly menu:
  • Cheeseburgers, waffle cut fries, & salad
  • Corn Dogs, chips, and fresh vegetables with Ranch dressing (Ava's request)
  • Italian Subs
  • White Chicken Enchiladas 
  • Dinner out
  • Graduation Party...yeah no cooking for me!  
So what are you looking forward to this summer?  I also love that the days are longer and there is just more fun things to do and enjoy!  Enjoy your week ahead!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I have many favorite photos of Ava, but this one always brings a smile to my face. We were at my Mom's house one afternoon and Ava was being really quiet and good.  As any Mom knows, that means time to investigate what they are up too.  Well Ava managed to get the doughnut box off the dining room table and was hiding behind the sofa enjoying a huge doughnut covered in sprinkles. She had sprinkles everywhere!  Of course, I had to get a picture and she has that "what is there a problem?" expression too.  lol  She was in Krispy Kreme heaven.  :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Movie Review - Lincoln

Do you love history? Do you love American History? Then this would probably be a movie you'd love as well.  This film was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg with a stellar cast including Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln as well as several other Hollywood well known actors such as Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, James Spader & David Strathairn.  This film covers Lincoln's dedication and passion for passing the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery but passing this before the end of the Civil War which they are hoping to end within a month.  Daniel Day-Lewis does an amazing job portraying Lincoln.  From the stories history has handed down of Lincoln, generation after generation, it is like having a one on one experience with Lincoln and fits the image you conjure up of Lincoln in your mind. 

He was a man of great personal conviction.  An honest man that believed in equality for all. He lived a life of strong values and morals.If you are a fan of history and a fan of our nations 16th President I think this is a must see. 

What's On The Menu?

This past week I think went by even faster than last week and the weekend was quite a blur too.  I worked quite a bit this past week.  Ava has practice twice this week.  The practice on Friday was cancelled due to rain (yet again).  In fact it rained most of our weekend, but still had practice on yesterday.  It was cut short due to rain, but at least we were able to get in a little over an hour of practice.  I'm pretty grossed out by the earthworms all over sidewalks and parking lots though.  lol  Creepy!  We are due for more rain throughout the week too, but hopefully we will get to have our practices like we are supposed to this week.  Ava also has her class field trip on Wednesday and it's an outdoor field trip, so I hope it stays nice out with no rain so all the kids can enjoy themselves. My Senior session was rained out last week and it looks like the ground is too muddy and soaked today as well.  We will see what happens with later in the week and if we can reschedule it.  I have several sessions on the books, but the weather isn't all that cooperative right now.  lol  Oh Mother Nature!  Another busy week ahead though with Ava's softball practices, Girl Scouts, and just every day life such as work and of course household chores.  This week is also Teacher Appreciation week and yet again Ava was blessed with an amazing teacher for the year.  We have had some of the most amazing teachers for Ava each year she has been in school and I truly feel so blessed that Ava has had such incredible teachers the last 4 years.  So this week I will be putting together a Teacher Appreciation gift for her teacher. I definitely have plenty of things to keep me busy this week.  As for this weeks menu it's below.  :)
  • Salisbury Steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and vegetable
  • Crispy Chicken with creamy Italian sauce served over pasta, garlic bread, and salad
  • Taco salad and salsa & chips
  • Loaded baked potato and chicken casserole
  • Dinner out
  • Oven baked fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, and corn on the cob
Have a wonderful week ahead!  :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Throwback Thursday

August 1977 - My Mom, my sister and me. My first week home from the hospital.  My Mom definitely had her hands full since my sister and I are only 13 months apart.  :)