Celebrating Everyday Life: – July 28th, 2013

It has been a very busy week in our home.  Tommy has been in Musical Theater Camp all week and headed to Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp in Iowa today.

Musical Theater Camp

This was the first year Tommy has participated in Musical Theater Camp at our church.  I was so impressed by the entire production.   We have such amazing and talented staff that work with our kiddo!

Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp


Tommy headed to camp this afternoon.  He will be gone until Friday, which he is fine with but Mom is missing him already.  Today as we were getting ready to send our little guy off to camp, I was struck by what an amazing church family we have.   The pictures above were sent to us by one of those amazing parents.  What a relief that the Verley’s were taking the kids down to camp!  They are the greatest!

Ryan and Chelsea

Hanging out at the library while Mommy is at work.

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Fun at the Beach

Random Pictures from Tommy….
I have always loved finding pictures on my camera taken by my children.  They are always a wonderful look into their thoughts!   These are some of the pictures I found this week from our budding photographer, Tommy!  Never know what you will find, seems this week that Tommy was admiring the beauty of flowers in random neighbor’s yard!


In Our Garden:


Picking Raspberries with Dad


Our beans are flowering and we have some small tomatoes.


In Our Kitchen:

New Recipes Tried:  Easy Skillet Lasagna – very easy and good!   Holiday Tortellini Soup another winner from our Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes cookbook!


I has has some leftover refrigerator pizza dough so I made bread sticks out of it.  These turn out very good, I was surprised!

Hope your week is filled with wonderful everyday moments with family and friends!



Weekend Update: 6/28/10



Another Monday morning, leaving me wondering where has the weekend gone???  Time at home is so wonderful and the weekends pass so quickly. 

Since the college daycare is closed on Fridays, I was home with Tommy.   He had his last day of Vacation Bible School.   While he was at VBS for the morning, I cleaned up the house.   What a great way to start the weekend….the chores done!

After VBS, my friend Michelle came over to see if she could use any of the left over homeschool stuff for her preschool class.   I was so happy she was able to use some of the things we have left from our garage sale.  After she left, Josh and I packed up the remaining things in the garage to take it to Goodwill.   I am glad he got me started on this, even though I didn’t want to do it.   If I had procrastinated, who knows when the garage would be completely done!  There is still alot of work to do….but progress is being made. 

I ran to church to pick up our “Fare For All” items.   Fare for all is a cooperative food buying program, that really helps to stretch our grocery budget.  Next month, I hope to post about what we received from Fare for All and how we incorperated the items into our menu. 

Friday Evening, we watched a movie, but ended up watching it in the basement since the tornado sirens went off again.   So we spent the evening in Josh’s room watching the original “Karate Kid” movie. 

We also have started our summer schooling with Tommy.  He is enjoying it and being very good.   He is hoping to earn an outing to Valley Fair.  He has never been there so he is very excited.  This last week he put together a big IMG_1940mosquito puzzle and worked on various workbooks.  I really like the Summer Bridge Activities workbooks so are now focusing on those.   It gives him variety and the activities are short.   We sit outside and spend about 30 minutes to an hour brushing up on academic skills.  

SATURDAY – I was up early and working on my Menu Plan for the week.  I really needed to get groceries and have not been paying much attention to our budget lately.  I decided I better get on track again, since we have added expenses in the summer with full time daycare for Tommy.  It took me most of the day to get the list and shopping done.   I was happy with my efforts on staying on budget.  You can read more about it in my Grocery Budget Post.

While I was out shopping at the various grocery stores, my hubby, son and brother in law IMG_1953were busy in the garage.  They cut the wire racks to fit under the loft and took 2 big loads of stuff to goodwill.   Our garage is a bit messy again as they brought down everything that I need to go through and decide what we need to keep. I will be able to have over 30 bins on the new shelves.  It is going to be great!  The best part is that when reading Michelle Duggar’s book, I discovered a wonderful organizing technic she uses to store things in bins.   It will change our lives …we will be able to find things very quickly once I have it all set up.  This will be a topic that will need to have a blog all to it’s self……

 We had a late supper of Grilled Whiskey Ham Steaks.  These steaks were part of our Fare For All items.  I have never bought them before, but they sure were great marinated and grilled.  And of course, my 22 year old son had whiskey in his room.  Always there to help his mom with her cooking!


I worked the info desk at the church in the morning.   The VBS kids sang in church.  

After church we were going to take Tommy to the movie Toy Story 3, but he decided he didn’t want to go.  He wanted to stay home and play with his friends.  So that is what he did.   He went off to play and I decided it is time to reconcile my checkbook.  I had left it go for a couple of months and really needed to get things done.   That was a nightmare…..I made a math error back about 2 months ago…I added a deduction what should have been subtracted.  NOT GOOD!   So once I sort of got that all figured out….I paid the bills.  

For supper I made the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.  Very good!   Since it was hot outside, I didn’t want to turn the oven on in the house.   So we set up a table on the deck and brought the Roaster Oven out.  I baked the casserole in there…it works just like a oven, but doesn’t heat up the house.   I try not to turn on the oven in the house in the summer.  This is a great alternative and works wonderfully.  Thank you to the blogger, CoopersWife for teaching me about this years ago! 

IMG_1943The guys cleaned up and did dishes after supper and Tommy and I went outside to work on his workbooks for a bit.  I was determined to finish my book, June Bug by Jess Laurey, before I went to bed!   Tommy works pretty independently so I can read and run and do a couple of chores while he works. 

After the guys were done with kitchen clean up, hubby started a fire and we all spent the evening outside.   My BIL and Tommy played catch (VIDEO COMING) and hubby enjoyed his fire.  

We made smores with the giant marshmallows and enjoyed a wonderful evening in our backyard. 


We called our smores, “Pig Nose Sandwiches” as the huge pink marshmallows looked like a pig snout after they were cooked over the fire. They were a tasty mess!!    I stayed outside as late as possible reading and enjoying the evening. 

MONDAY – the rude realization that the weekend is over!!   I was up and made Chicken and Rice Casserole for the family.  It is in the fridge and ready for hubby to cook tonight.  I will be working late, so am going in a bit later too.  

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I used to feel very guilty working late, but now I try to prepare supper before hand and I leave a note how to cook it.  I feel less guilty knowing my family has a good meal even though I am not at home. 

Lunches are made. Tommy and Daddy are off to work and I am heading there myself.    Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I know I did!  I love Summer and the simple pleasures in life, such as a relaxing evening with family and a good book in the backyard.!

Happy Monday!!

Animal Wax Museum

Tommy’s 2nd grade class put on a wonderful wax museum the other day.  It was a great idea.  His teacher this year is very creative!  We just love her!

The first video is Tommy practicing his Monkey report in his costume.   I have had fun making the different costumes he has needed this year for class.  It has been years since I have pulled out my sewing machine, to do anything more than mend. 


2nd Grade Class Singing – The Lion Sleeps Tonight!

I am heading to bed early tonight!!   have a great night, my friends!!

Good Night!

Counting my Blessings…..

It has been a good holiday season for our family.   We were lucky to be able to be with much of our family and enjoyed our time with them greatly.   Our hearts ache for our family and friends that were faced with tragedy this holiday season.

Our second event of the holiday season is Coyan Christmas!   We have the entire Coyan family to our home to celebrate the holidays together.   We are blessed to be able to be with family for the holidays each year. 


Paul’s Mom and Dad.  


Julie (SIL) and Dale (BIL)


My nieces – Kristen and Lisa


A new guest to Coyan Christmas, Chrissi (Bob’s GF) and my nephew Bob.


Joe introduced his GF, Jennifer to us as well this holiday season. 


Cousins hanging out in Josh’s room.


My Sister in Laws – what blessings to me.


Christmas Eve – what a blessing to have all our children with us for Christmas Eve. 

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Our Tree and Gifts..


My Boys….


The Appetizer Buffet..


The boys love sparkling juice!


Kaleb (nephew) and Steve (BIL) celebrated Christmas with us!




Goofy boys with full tummies!


All my Boys….what a blessing!


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Blessing – brothers spending time together!


Blessing – a wonderful hubby to cook with!


Learned how to make Pork Crown Roast!


Son and Dad spending some time together.


Though this might look like a usual Holiday season at our house, I am especially thankful this year for the blessings of family!   This year over the Christmas break many people around us experienced tragedy and loss.   One of Tommy’s school mates, lost her father and one of the children from Tommy’s soccer team also lost his father over Christmas.   A friend of mine lost his granddaughter at the age of 3-1/2 to the battle with leukemia.   My hearts go out to each of those families.    My thoughts and prayers have been with them throughout this holiday season. 

Hug those close to you and remember how blessed you are!!

First Day of School…………………..

 We are up and ready for school ahead of schedule.  I hope that is a good omen for our year.  I woke up and made monkey bread for breakfast.   I used the wrong kind of pan and made a mess all over the oven…oopsy!!  But it was still a tasty breakfast treat for the 1st day of school. 

Tommy’s First Day of 2nd Grade




We are off to 2nd Grade.  Here is to a great school year!



Wishing you a Happy First Day of School!

The Remodel Progress….

   The journey began because one young man wanted to move back home.  This was what we started with……it is a long ways from move in ready!!  That was at the end of May.


Tommy enjoyed this look.  It made the perfect roller rink!!  Prior to looking like this is was stacked to the gills with storage stuff! 


 Next came the digging of the hole for the egress window…..what fun! That took a few weekends in June.


Then came the collapse of the hole…….oops…


Finally it was done and we were ready for the window to be installed.


The fruit if our labors……the egress window!


We went on vacation in July and when we returned the project had started and the insulation was up….YEAH!  Recessed lighting is installed.


Next the sheetrock was put up.  It is starting to look like a bedroom.


Then the walls were taped,  mudded and painted! 


Here is where we are today………..

The hole to right is where the sump pump is and a cabinet is being built above it.  The cabinet door in between the windows is one of the two cabinet doors for the alcove above the sump pump. 


The egress window is done and has a sill now, very nice.  To the right are the closet doors.  To the left is the door covering the electrical panel.   And yes, that window does look like it is centered on the wall now.  Thanks to the wonderful idea of our contractor, Andy to jut the wall out around the electrical panel.  PERFECT!


This is my bookcase and I LOVE IT!  This was the one thing we had put in for when we move into this room after Josh is out on his own again.  It is a double sided bookscase, on the opposite side when you come in the door there is an identical book case. 


Closet doors were hung and it is starting to look like a closet. 


I can’t wait to see what is accomplished tomorrow!!  It is getting exciting as they are finishing it up.  Then we will have it carpeted and Josh will move in.  His lease is up on the 31st, but it sounds like he plans on moving in the weekend before that so I think he will be on the couch for a bit. 

Thanks for stopping by…..

Our Weekend…..

   Hello everyone….I sure miss posting on xanga, but life keeps getting away from me.  It easier to just quickly log into facebook and do a quick status than a real blog post!   But I have some pictures from this weekend so I thought I should do a picture blog.

It has been a very busy weekend!   Friday morning started off with getting Erik to church to leave for his Mission Trip to Cortez, Colorado.


Erik, Danny and Tommy before packing up for the Mission Trip.


 I ended up working Friday as I had a placement to complete.  I got back into town around 4:30 and Tommy’s school was lining up for the Manitou Days Parade at 4:50.  ARGH!!  Hubby and Tommy were already downtown WBL waiting for me.  I got to Tommy’s School float just as they were getting ready to leave to line up!



It was great fun participating in the parade.  Hubby and Tommy walked and handed out freezies to the crowd.  I was on the float refilling bags of Freezies for everyone to hand out.  We got home around 9:00 and Kristen came to spend the night with us.   We had a snack before bed and got Tommy and Kristen all settled for the night!

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We headed to church to check out the community garage sale before I needed to work at the garage sale.  Each year there is one lady that is at the sale that has great clothes for Tommy!  Again this year we hit pay dirt at her booth.  I found soccer cleats, a columbia jacket and a bunch of clothes for Tommy.  I spent a totally of 26.00 at her booth. 

Hubby took Kristen and Tommy home and I stayed to man the jumpy thing and hand out freezies for the school at the garage sale.  I was there from about 10:00 until 1:30.  I will say it was hot and time didn’t pass that quickly.  But it was fun.   Once home I made lunch for everyone and then I took a nap.


Tommy and Kristen cooled down this afternoon with the Slip and Slide. 


Hubby,  Josh and my BIL, Steve spent the day working on the window well for the egress window!  It is almost done!



Hubby and Josh learned how to split the bricks!


The egress window well….I think they are doing a great job!


Tommy and Baby enjoying the piles of dirt from digging the window well.


Tommy garage sale purchase, a green exercise peanut!  

As you can see Tommy has been very busy today.   He went to sleep right away tonight!  Well time for me to finish up here and get to bed as I have alot to do tomorrow!!

Hope you are having a great weekend!!!

Our Long Weekend in Photos…..Memorial Weekend 2009

FRIDAY – the day full of errands and surprises!

The building inspector came over to inspect the doors and windows installed in our home.  The inspection went ok, but we got a few surprises when I asked a couple of questions about our upcoming remodeling of the basement.  The windows in the basement are not egress. So we will have to have another window put in on the side where we will be adding a new bedroom for Josh.  The other bedroom down there was grandfathered in, but we have to meet all codes on the new construction.    ARGH!!

I left a message for a friend of ours from church who is a contractor.  We definitely need his assistance after the inspector told us of all the things we needed to have done.  My one brother had said the heating would be enough on that side, but the inspector said no.   So I was a bit freaked out after the inspector left as we have WAY more work to do than we thought.  ARGH!!

IMG_0138 Then to add to the surprises of the day, our garage door broke!!  Yep it is stuck.    Gotta love a day of surprises. 

After all of our surprises, Josh and I decided to go run errands.  We went to Walmart and Sam’s Club.  We stopped at home and then I went to Aldi and Festival.  I also picked up a movie from redbox for family movie night.

Josh and Amy joined us for Family Movie Night.   We grilled out hotdogs. To have with our beans and had pasta salad while we watched the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop!.  It was a pretty funny movie.

While we were watching the movie, Andy, our friend from church returned our call and came over to discuss the basement remodel with us.   He pointed out a number of other things we didn’t know we needed to do.  He had some really good ideas.  We asked him to give us a estimate on completing the entire remodel job.   I hope we will be able to afford to have him just do the job, it would really be a huge weight off our shoulders!   We are leaning towards being broke, but experiencing less stress.  We will see.  Many things to think about and discuss for hubby and I. 

SATURDAY – Our day of work……

Josh was over on Saturday as well to work on the basement.   When he arrived, Hubby and I were just getting ready to leave to go to the bank, library and menards.   Josh , Amy, Steve and Tommy stayed at home and worked on cleaning out the basement.  

When hubby and I returned the basement was completely empty!!   So our afternoon was spent cleaning the floor.  We used vinegar and a electric scrubber to clean the floor.  This took the rest of the day!


Tommy enjoyed the empty basement and roller bladed around and around the pole!   It is hard to believe we finally have it all cleaned out.   We ordered 6 pizzas for supper and enjoyed a picnic out on the porch.   We contemplated camping out in the tent, but decided it was too cold and that Sunday would be a better night to do that. 

We needed to get up for church on Sunday morning and didn’t want to be too tired.

SUNDAY – Our Day of work not related to the basement…….

We were up on time and attending church services.  This week was MN Teen Challenge Sunday.  A great rehab organization that shared their faith and testimonies with the congregation. 

After Church I spent most of my afternoon avoiding washing dishes!!   Josh and I went outside and split the hostas and worked in the shade garden while hubby mowed the lawn.     Uncle Steven and Tommy played catch with the football.  We all spent most of our day outside enjoying the nice weather!

IMG_0155 I finally did wash the dishes and then went outside to harvest the rhubarb.  I destroyed the plant!!  LOL!  Josh and I cut up alot of rhubarb.  I mixed up 6 pans of strawberry-rhubarb crumble and made strawberry-rhubarb=raspberry jam.

The aroma in the house was just yummy!!  We took a couple of the rhubarb crumble to the neighbors as well. 

This is was time to make supper!!   It is great having Josh around home more, but that always means I need to cook for extras!   While we were making supper Charlie came over.  We invited him to stay for supper as well so with Josh  and AMy we had 7 for supper.   Normal night at our house it seems!! I love looking around the table and see all these people enjoying my meals.   IMG_0156

I tried two new recipes at supper and both were a big success.   The first one was Cheddar Potato Strips – very good, but needed to cook longer than the recipe called for.   I also make Green Beans Almondine, which was also a hit!   Two new recipes to add to our online cookbook!

The rest of the evening was filled with bonfire and camping in the yard.  Here are some various pictures from the night!! 


Tommy’s highlights of the day – football and tenting!!


Bonfire Fun…………..

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Even Baby our puppy was enjoying her night outside….


Mommy and Tommy by the fire…


Our sleeping arrangements for the night……can you say……BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

More Later…..time for me to head to bed!!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with family and friends!!