Monday, June 29, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Summer Week 4 - June 20 thru June 26)

This week was very similar to last week with lots of scheduled things and not a whole lot of time for much else.  However it started with some excitement!  Last week when I was driving around the air conditioning went out on our van for the second time in less than a year.  That coupled with multiple other issues led us to buying a brand new van!
Our Odyssey was a good car for us for almost 7 years and close to 100,000 miles but it was time to part ways.  We went big and got a brand new 2015 Town & Country with all the bells and whistles, including a blue ray player, heated steering wheel and camera when you're driving in reverse.  I LOVE driving around in it!!  I'm very thankful we were in the position to be able to upgrade to such an amazing van.

Adrian spent all day Saturday taking care of the car buying so unfortunately we had to spend a lot of Sunday working around the house.  But we did have some fun since it was Father's Day.  We got Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, went out to Orange Leaf for a treat in the afternoon & grilled steaks for dinner.  We also gave him our presents, a Scooby Doo video game (AJ), Mario stuffed animal (Zak), Bowser stuffed animal (Daniel) & a bathing suit (me).

Monday thru Thursday were super busy for us again!  Daniel had week 2 of Safety Town where he learned about house safety, fire safety and toured a local fire station.  He also had a nice program for graduation on Thursday.  Zak really enjoyed seeing the police officers and firemen each day.  While Daniel was there, we ran errands again.  AJ has become quite good at following my list while we go grocery shopping.  He is very strict, won't let me buy anything not on the list.

Also this week all three boys went to Vacation Bible School at the church across the street, Eastpointe Christian Church.  They really enjoyed themselves, although Zak was very tired by the end of the week since they were up late each night.  Adrian and I enjoyed some time alone together on Monday night, then he had to work late the other 3 nights.  I was able to go to my PTO meeting on Tuesday, then have some time to myself on Wednesday and Thursday.

After the super busy schedule we kept Monday thru Thursday, Friday was a planned stay at home day for us.  We did all have to go to the Y at night because I was teaching a Zumba class and Adrian wasn't home from work yet.  The boys had a great time there so I'm hoping to get to a few morning classes next month.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/29 - 7/5)

Whew, last week went by in a blur!  Between Safety Town, VBS, Zumba and Adrian working 60 hours I'm surprised we're all still standing.  We did a pretty good job of keeping up with everything around here, but I did change a few dinners around and eat leftovers a few nights to make thing easier on myself.

We aren't exactly sure what we're doing next weekend for the 4th of July but we know we want to see fireworks as many times as possible.  I also want to go to at least one parade, possibly more than one since it's not supposed to be very hot.  And I think we are going to get together with my brother and his family.

The other priority is to start getting ready for our long weekend trip the following weekend.  This will be my last menu plan for a few weeks since we leave next Thursday.  I'll cook thru Sunday, then probably just eat leftovers and freezer meals until we leave.  We won't be back until late on Monday so that week will be fly by the seat of our pants as well.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Zucchini Lo Mein - held over from last week
Tuesday - Freezer Meal - this is Adrian's last long night at work & I have to teach a late Zumba class so this will be a throw in the crock pot & eat when we can kind of meal
Wednesday - Cheesy Pot Pie Casserole
Thursday - Tacos
Friday - London Broil
Saturday - BBQ Ribs slow cooked all day
Sunday - Burgers, Hot Dogs & Sausage

Water Flavor - Cantaloupe
I love the mango flavored water that I had this week.  It was one of my favorites!  I will be watching for mangoes to go on sale again and setting that one up again very soon.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Summer Week 3 - June 13 thru June 19)

Our third week of summer started our scheduled camps of the summer so the fun slowed down a little bit.  We signed AJ and Daniel up for bowling camp, which they later changed their minds about and decided not to do.  Daniel is signed up for Safety Town and AJ is doing hockey camp.  And all 3 boys are doing swim lessons thru the YMCA.

After last weekend's fun, we needed to have a full weekend staying home and working around the house.  We had a ton of stuff to do around the house to get done that we hadn't been keeping up on and also to get ready for some other things coming up this summer, including haircuts for the boys and pitching the tent to make sure it is ready for our trip in July.  It wasn't our most fun weekend, but it was very productive.
The rest of the week was spent going to my Zumba classes most mornings and taking Daniel to Safety Town in the afternoon Monday thru Thursday.  He learned about bike safety, pool safety, stranger danger and got to take a tour of the local police department this week.  While he was there, AJ, Zak and I ran errands, mostly grocery shopping.
Daniel with his new ID card after touring the police station
Friday we were supposed to go to Zoombeezi Bay, but it rained all day so we didn't go.  Actually it pretty much rained all week so even though we didn't have plans to do much, most of our plans would have had to be altered anyway.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Summer Week 2 - June 6 thru June 12)

Our first week of the summer didn't go quite according to plan but we still have a lot of summer to go!  We had a really good second week of the summer!

Our week started with a family trip to Storybook Village at the Ohio Historical Center on Saturday with my brother and his family.  We had a great time meeting storybook characters, listening to stories, playing with sets and props from stories and checking out some of the historical things as well.  The highlight for my boys was meeting Pete the Cat, one of their favorite characters!  I think they also really enjoyed going out for ice cream after...or maybe that was just my favorite part.  :)
Meeting Alice
Building a house of straw for the pigs
Pete the Cat!
Tea Party with the Mad Hatter
Sunday we had another family day and took the boys to Zoombeezi Bay for the first time.  We had a great time playing in the wave pool, lazy river and play areas.  I also took the boys on one of the big slides that Zak isn't tall enough for.  We spent most of the day in the water, then finished up with a few rides and some funnel cake.

Monday I needed a day to rest and catch up since we ran all weekend.  We normally try to have one day of work and one day of play over the summer, but that didn't happen this weekend.  Adrian actually ended up taking this day off of work so the boys hung out with him while I taught 3 Zumba classes, ran to Kroger and did a bunch of chores around the house.  Yeah, that's a rest day for me.

Tuesday we all had our annual eye doctor appointments.  Everyone did great!  AJ and Daniel still have perfect vision and mine hasn't gotten any worse over the years (yay!)  I picked out new glasses with some help from Zak and then we headed home to play there.

Wednesday we met up with one of AJ's friends at Friendship Park in Gahanna.  We played on the play ground for a while then walked the nature trail they have for almost an hour.  We thought the boys would be tired after that, but they went right back to the play ground.  I had a nice time chatting with the other Mom while the 4 boys played.

Thursday was a big day for me...I took all 3 boys to Zoombeezi Bay by myself!  I was a little nervous but it went amazingly well.  They did a great job of listening to me and everyone stayed safe.  We played in the lazy river and at Baboon Lagoon for most of the time, which was fine with everyone.  We were there for about 3 hours, which is pretty much our limit when there is only one adult.

Friday it was raining all day so we decided to stay home and chill out.  Adrian and I also had play tickets for that evening so I wanted to rest up for that.  We saw "Once" and it was really good!  I loved the story line, the music and all of the actors.  I don't think I blinked for the entire second act.

So that's it for week 2 of our summer!  Pretty packed week with a ton of fun! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/22 - 6/28)

We are in the middle of enjoying Father's Day, but I wanted to take a minute to pop in and share my menu plan and check out what everyone else has on their menus.  Last week was a little crazier than I expected with a few things coming up...the biggest of which was buying a new van!  My a/c died for the second time in under a year and there were lots of other things wrong with our old van so we traded it in for a brand new Town & Country.
I love it and am super excited to drive it...which is a good thing because I have a lot of running to do this week.  The boys have VBS, Safety Town, ice skating & swimming plus a field trip to a nature center and my normal busy Zumba schedule.  My menu is a lot of quick things and crock pot meals and I'm really hoping I can stay on track.  Now that we have a car payment again we need to tighten our budget a bit.

Here's my plan for the week:
Monday - Turkey & Pepper Soup with salad - didn't get to it last week
Tuesday - Sage Chicken Stir Fry over Cauliflower Rice - didn't get to it last week
Wednesday - Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Thursday - Buffalo Chicken Salad either as a sandwich or over salad
Friday - Freezer Meal
Saturday - Out - We're going to a local festival for the day
Sunday - Zucchini Lo Mein

I replaced my water infuser so on the menu for that this week is strawberry mango water.

And finally I'm making this Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad today so I have it for lunches this week.  I'll be eating on the run most days and am just not feeling like eating a normal green salad.  I'm hoping between this and the leftover chicken salad I'll be OK. 

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Keeing Up With...Family (Summer Week 1 - May 30th thru June 5)

I'm planning to blog out each week over the summer so I can both share our adventures with everyone and also document them for the boys in the future.  I fell a little behind so I'll be playing catch up for a few days.  Once in a while I'll do a bigger post for bigger adventures.

This week started with AJ's birthday party on Saturday.  Then on Sunday we continued the birthday adventures when we headed out to Newark for Nathan's 6th birthday party.  He had a roller skating party and we all had a great time.  It took everyone a little while to get adjusted to being on roller skates but once we got going it was fun.  I think Zak had the most fun of everyone, he wouldn't get off the rink when the party was over!

Monday was a very down day for us because we were all tired after the weekend.  We went to the gym for my Zumba class then drove out to Newark to pick up AJ's prize from the ActiveFit program.  He won a $150 gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods!  He is such a lucky kid!

Tuesday was AJ's actual birthday and he wanted a stay home day.  We had to go to the gym so I could teach my Zumba class and then we went to the library very quickly to pick up some new books and DVDs to keep us busy.  And we all signed up for their summer reading program.

Wednesday my Zumba class was cancelled and the boys really wanted to stay home since we didn't have anywhere we had to be.  We had a great time playing at the house, in the yard and playing some video games.  It was a very nice relaxing day!!

Thursday we had plans to go strawberry picking, but Zak woke up with pink eye.  Boo!!  We headed to the doctor to get that taken care of and then once again spent the day at home.  I thought the boys would be bored but I think after the whole school year they were thrilled to be staying at home so much!
Friday Zak was still a little off and did not want to go swimming, which was our planned activity.  So we headed out to AJ's counseling session in the morning, then went to Krispy Kreme to get our free donuts for National Donut Day!  Then we headed home to get ready for another very busy weekend.  I thought we would just chill at home that night but Adrian came home and wanted to go to Best Buy to get new cell phones so we headed out to do that.  It was a long night, but we survived.  The boys got a new 3DS game out of the deal as well, AJ spent his birthday money on a new Mario game.

It wasn't the week we had planned, but it was still pretty fun.  And it was kind of nice to relax and have very few obligations after a very busy school year.  Plus it was nice to recharge and prepare for the rest of the summer, we have a lot of weeks left!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (AJ's 8th Birthday)

AJ had a great time celebrating his 8th birthday earlier this month!!  It started on his last day of school with a Popsicle party in his class room.   Then he came home and his brothers couldn't wait to give him their presents.  They got him Mario & Luigi stuffed animals and Adrian and I got him a new bike and a Scooby Doo board game.  We had Jets "saucy" pizza for dinner that night to celebrate his birthday and also the end of the school year.
When I asked AJ what he wanted to do for his birthday he said "Have my friends come over, play outside, play video games & eat ice cream."  Easy, simple & doable!!  We woke up Saturday morning and finished the preparations for that.  He had 6 friends come over to play that afternoon.  I made them goody bags with bubbles, chalk, water guns and Pokemon cards that they could play with during the party.  Everyone had a great time playing outside and playing video games!!

We had the family come over towards the end of the friends part so we could all do cake and presents together.  AJ wanted ice cream so I made him Oreo ice cream cake and he loved it.  He got a lot of very nice presents from friends and family including Pokemon cards, Skylanders, a new board game and a new Sonic video game.  He was very happy with all of his gifts!!

We ended the day with a small BBQ with my brother, sister in law and niece.  We continued to play outside most of the time and AJ opened all of his new toys.  He had a super fun day and it was exactly what he wanted.  Daniel and Zachary also had a great time at the party, it included all of their favorite things as well.

Since his actual birthday was on a Tuesday we didn't do a whole lot on that day.  I let him pick what he wanted to do and he wanted to have a "stay home day."  I had to teach in the morning so we went there & to the library to pick up some books & DVDs but spent the rest of the day at home playing and relaxing.  We also had special ice cream (Buckeye flavor from Velvet) and Popsicles during the day.  It was another fun day!! 

Happy 8th Birthday AJ!!  We love you so much and can't wait to see what this upcoming year brings for you!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/15 - 6/21)

We have been having a super fun and super busy summer so far!  I'm hoping to recap what we've been doing the past 2 weeks this week.  We had a jam packed weekend last weekend so I didn't get to a lot of my to do list.  This weekend we are having a "work weekend" to balance that out.  Then next weekend we'll be back to one day of fun and one day of work each weekend.

I didn't type out my menu for last week, but it including some amazing recipes.  Two of our favorites were this Buffalo Chicken Salad and these Luau Tacos.  Both yielded enough for us to have leftovers for 2 lunches so Adrian and I both got to enjoy them twice.  And the chicken salad is already on the menu again next week.

This week is busy with extra Zumba classes for me and Safety Town for Daniel.  It's going to be a lot of running around but a lot of fun so it's worth it.  I also really need to make time for a stock up trip to Costco...we are almost out of coffee!  We also have a busy weekend with a trip to the local water park, a birthday party for our nephew and Father's Day.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Quinoa Chicken Primavera in the crock pot
Tuesday - Tacos for the guys & this Shrimp & Avocado Salad for me.  I'll be eating on the run between 2 Zumba classes.
Wednesday - Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry over Zoodles
Thursday - Cheesy Pot Pie Casserole
Friday - Turkey & Pepper Soup with Caesar Salads
Saturday - Sage Chicken Stir Fry over Cauliflower Rice
Sunday - Steaks, Baked Potatoes & Corn for Father's Day

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keeping Up With...Family (Last Day of School!)

Another school year has come and gone.  This year both flew by and dragged on.  It was an interesting year for me, but both boys thrived!!
It was a busy last day for all of us.  It started with Daniel's kindergarten graduation.  He learned a ton this year including the basics of reading and math.  He can add and subtract, read over 50 words and write pretty well.  He is excited for first grade but will miss his K teacher.  Change is always hard for him, so I think each year will be the same pattern.
Kindergarten buddies!
Daniel saying Bye to his fabulous teacher
After graduation, we headed to Scramblers for a celebration brunch.  Daniel loves their pancakes, they are bigger than his head!  When we finished there, the 4 of us went and did some birthday shopping for AJ since he was still in school.  Then Daniel spent the rest of the day playing and hanging out and ready to start summer break.
 AJ ended his tenure at Licking Heights West this year.  He will move to a different school for 3rd and 4th grade.  I was extremely emotional about this, even more than Daniel's graduation.  He is super excited about it, can't wait to learn more.  This year he learned a ton and improved in all subjects.  His favorite subject is still math, where he mastered addition and subtraction and moved on to multiplication. 

AJ had a busy last day at school as well.  In between Daniel's graduation and lunch we went into his classroom to celebrate his birthday with Popsicles for his class mates.  I also went and said thank you to his amazing speech therapist.  She has helped us more than I can express.  His teacher also had them make Father's Day gifts, so thoughtful!  Finally, AJ received a math award for being a math whiz!
Heading in for the last day at West
Now that school is over we are ready to start our summer!  I'll mostly keep doing weekly recaps of what we do over the summer, with a few extra posts in there for special events.  Stay tuned for a recap of AJ's birthday weekend fun!