Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Memos


Good Monday morning everyone!  I don't know about you, but July kinda kicked my butt (even being on vacation for 2 weeks!) and August is looking pretty stinking busy too!  2015 is FLYING by, it'll be the holidays before we know it!

The weekend around here was full of gardening, chicken cooping, parties and a full day of church activities.  Our garden is still doing great, the corn is the only thing we haven't been able to enjoy yet, and I'm not sure if it will actually produce anything, but there are plenty of baby corn cobs growing and I hope they make it!  We're still on Operation First Egg Watch at Cope's Chicken Coop.  The girls have been going into the boxes at least a little to check them out because the golf balls I put there have been moved around and the pine shavings have been rearranged.  I'm not being very patient for that first egg! 

One thing the weekend didn't lack was yummy food!  Friday night I made this casserole with fresh squash and zucchini from the garden and it's a keeper for sure.  My husband loves casseroles and stuffing - so this one was a hit before he even tried it.


Saturday morning I made more zucchini bread and tried this recipe for lemon zucchini bread.  It was good, but definitely needs the glaze or more lemon zest/juice in the mix for a bit of a flavor boost.  With the glaze it's delicious!

 


Sunday after church we hit up the local Asian bistro for their lunch special.  It's $7.25 for your choice of entrée and rice, sweet carrots and your choice of sushi or egg/spring roll.  I had the California roll and RC had a cucumber roll.  Very good and lots of food for the price!

     
Sunday evening was make your own pizza night with fresh veggies from the garden - I loved it!  These crust come in a pack of 3 at WalMart for $2.50 and they worked perfectly!
 


For Meatless Monday - I'm going to use these patty pan squash on the grill as a "steak" if you will and serve with fresh zucchini and yellow squash on the grill as well.  We may even toss a few green beans on there and see how they turn out!
 
I've shared this song on Monday music before, but we sang it again yesterday at church - and while it's a stretch for my normal "praise music" I really, really like it! 
 

 
This is a new one we sang yesterday and it's great - I love learning new songs and we have such talented musicians at New River - and the cutest bass player ever, however I may be slightly biased :)
 
 
Finally a few not me Monday thoughts for your enjoyment...
 
While free ranging my chickens on Saturday, I didn't stand with the girls at my feet yelling at the top of lungs at the hawks trying to swoop down while my husband set up the playpen for them.  I have more couth than that and would never holler at random wild birds - nope, not me.
 
I certainly didn't make a video of myself trying to get all of the chickens out of the run to free range only to play it back and think, oh geez, do I really sound like that?!?!  I certainly didn't play it for my sister and one of her friends Saturday and she told me never to play it again.  Nope, not this girl.
 
I obviously didn't forget to check my husband's closet to make sure he had pants to wear to church all day yesterday playing four services and realize at 6am that he was wearing jeans that were quite snug and would have to endure uncomfortableness because of me all day.  Surely I would never do that, right?  So thankful for a gracious husband who forgives me when I am not quite with the program.
 
That's all for this Monday folks.  Have a great day everyone!
 
From hot and sunny SC,
Stephanie

Thursday, July 30, 2015

August Declutter or Bust

I am linking up again today for a Thinking Out Thursday post with Vanessa and Penny and I'm throwing down a challenge, a dare if you will, for an August Declutter!  Join me if you like in the effort to live life with less stuff - I so desire this in our home!  It's a bit scary to think about how much "stuff" I have for just "having's" sake and it's time to take action!

I saw this challenge over at Half Agony and Half Hope for a Simple August.  I have way too much "stuff" and I know it.  I have to get my "other" house (my childhood home where I lived from 1978 until 2012 with my parents and sister and 30 plus years of "stuff") cleaned out and maybe I need some motivation and accountability!  The idea behind this is pretty simple.  For each corresponding day of the month you trash, donate or recycle the number of items for the date.  Day one you must remove 1 item all the way to day 31 where you must remove THIRTY ONE items.  Yikes!  I can do this!  It's almost 500 items out of my house and it so needs to be done!  Want to join me?  Follow along with me on Instagram (Born2Crop) and use #MinsGameAug2015 so we can see your progress too!

This is the blog that the idea started from - I haven't read it all yet, so I can't speak for how realistic the idea as a whole is, but I do know I want a life with less stuff and more of the important things like time, peace of mind and fun!

 
Have a great day everyone!  Be bold and courageous!
 
Stephanie 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Currently I am...

 
I am linking up again today for a Thinking Out Thursday post with Vanessa and Penny.   Today's edition is a take on a blog post I read a while back of 10 currently I am __________ listing things that were happening at the moment the post was typed...so here goes.
 
 
Currently I am...
 
Sitting on the couch at 8:07am in a nightgown that I love that belonged to my mom and typing this post because I didn't do it last night.
 
Watching the water sprinkler out my window watering the garden and thinking I should have picked the green beans before it came on at 8am
 
Reading an email from an Etsy custom order customer about her bedspring wreath and replying that it should ship tomorrow if I can find a box for her today.  Visit my Etsy shop here if you'd like one too :)
 
Listening to my Pekingese Max snore on the floor below my feet.  It's cute, but it'd be cuter if he did it at night instead of barking at who knows what in the yard and waking me up.
 
Chatting with my husband on Facebook about some water pressure issues with our well pump and trying to decide what we need to check to see if we can it fixed soon.
 
Flipping through zucchini recipes to use the plethora of jumbo ones left on the vine too long.  Last night I made stuffed boats with sausage and veggies and it was quite good.
 
Messing with my still sore fever blister adorned lip that is better, but still aggravating as all get out.  I had several blisters pop up on the last day of vacation and probably my worst outbreak ever at once and I am SO ready for them to be gone and to not feel like I should wear a hospital mask when I go out so I don't scare anybody.
 
Making a mental list of what needs to get done the rest of this week and so far that includes - nesting boxes for my chickens who will start laying soon, finish my vacation laundry, clean up my sunroom that became a landing spot for random items out of my car during vacation packing, a holding spot for things brought home from my other house that I'm cleaning out, and random things that are just cluttering the dining table
 
Realizing that I still have my "spring" burlap banner on my mantel - seriously?  It's July 23rd.
 
Noticing that I have so many "tabs" open in my brain at once...no wonder I wander in circles some days - my husband often says he works with one open at a time as many men do - I can't even imagine....
 
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Stephanie
 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why don't you "just"...

If you've been around a while on my blog, you know I've struggled with infertility and undergone many months of treatment only to end up in debt and definitely NOT pregnant. We completed two cycles of stimulating drugs, egg retrieval and the awful waiting game.  In the end we had two embryos that survived the required amount of days, and at our doctor's encouragement due to my age, we had the embryos tested for chromosomal abnormalities that come with older eggs.  We found out that both were "incompatible with life" and almost certainly wouldn't become viable pregnancies or end in early miscarriages.  The day I had to walk into that clinic with legal paperwork to "dispose" of my embryos was a day I wouldn't wish on anyone...I don't have words for how awful it was.

I have several friends who have been or still are in varying stages of building their family, either through infertility treatments or adoption.  We have often commented that we could write a book and what NOT to say to someone undergoing treatments or trying to adopt.  My all time favorite is still - if you just quit worrying about it and just have fun "trying" you'll get pregnant.  Well, here's how I know that's not true.  I had surgery to remove two damaged fallopian tubes and it's medically impossible for me to "just" get pregnant.  And sometimes, even that explanation doesn't quite click.  *sigh*.  Why didn't I "just" think of that.  Be calm, do some yoga, take some deep breaths - who needs fallopian tubes anyway, right?  

Another doozy is why don't you "just" adopt.  Well, let's see.  Adoption isn't any cheaper than IVF when it's all said and done.  There aren't any blue light specials on aisle four for babies that I know of.  Adoption is more than just saying - I want a baby and the stork appears with your request.  If only it were that easy!

With my friend Erica's permission I want to share her recent post There is No "Just" in Adoption because it's everything I think and more.  She recently became a momma to a sweet little guy and I couldn't be happier for them.  I'd love for you to follow along in their story - it's been awesome to watch God work in their lives!

If you're a parent, either through birth or adoption - you understand the joys your children have brought your family.  If you're still praying and longing for a child - know that I "get" that.  I stand alongside you in the wait.  You're not alone and I'll never think well you know if you "just" do this, take that or quit this or that - you'll end up pregnant.  Only God knows the way your life will unfold and His plan is ultimately perfect for you, even if it doesn't seem so at the time.  If you're the friend of someone longing to have a child, don't allow yourself to get caught up in the suggestion game.  I promise you - we've googled, asked our doctors and read it all - love on them, pray for them, listen TO them, cry with them, laugh with them, whatever they need!  We will cherish your friendship if you do!

Have a great Wednesday folks!

Stephanie

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ten Tuesday Thoughts

Yes, I'm late posting again.  I am trying to get caught up, I swear!  Vacation through this ol' gal for a loop.  First world problems, right?

So, without further delay, I give you Ten Tuesday Thoughts.

1.  Fever blisters are from the devil.  Straight from the pits of hell, I swear.  A combination of stressful days, too much such and wonky sunscreen caused an outbreak on Saturday and it has been a bear of a couple of days trying to get a handle on them - today's tip is cooled tea bags actually do provide a little comfort to raw lips.

2.  Coming "back to work"  even as a part time Nannie after 16 days off is no joke.  Not sure if it's my age or the fact that these 3 are challenging from the get go, but this ol' gal was whooped Monday night.  Had it not been for a momentary meltdown over pain in my lips and face, I would have been asleep before 10pm last night.

3.  My chickens have tripled in size since I left for the beach and they are getting ever so close to laying.  However, we have not complete their nesting boxes yet, so I'm hoping they're holding on for a few more days before they start.  Right now we are trying to survive the hot July days with watermelon, cucumbers and blocks of ice in their water, but I won't be sad for the low 90s coming after tomorrow for a few days.

4.  I have four super sized zucchinis that I have to find a use for tomorrow - they were left on the vine WAY too long and are past the regular use size for sure.   I have looked up recipes for zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake and zucchini brownies so far.  I'd like to try my sister's Vegetti (an as seen on TV product for making "veggie pasta" and see how we like that.

5.  My meatless meal last night was sautéed zucchini and onions with garlic in pasta sauce served over pasta with fresh green beans.  It was delicious!  I had to cut the pasta in small pieces before I ate it due to #1 - open sores and pasta sauce are not your friend.

6.  I have three patty pan squash from my garden that I can't wait to taste - they look like flat white pumpkins.  The friend I purchased the seedlings from said to slice and eat like regular squash.  I'm going to use them somehow in supper on Wednesday.

7.  I had toasted coconut ice cream while on vacation and I'd love to find a recipe for it to make it homemade.  I also had the Hershey Coconut Chocolate Almond while at the campground and was delish too - I'll be looking for it locally as well!

8.  Today is National Junk Food Day. Since I spent 16 days of vacation as if everyday was National Junk Food Day, I think I should refrain from celebrating today.  My stretchy shorts are screaming for mercy.  Just sayin'

9.  Tomorrow I'll be taking a day to cook some zucchini, pull weeds and other garden chores and go to the store as well as finish vacation laundry and do some much needed housework as we get to the end of July.  How is that possible?

10.  Tomorrow's post will be available in the morning, I hope.  I'm sharing a friend's post with a few comments of my own.  I'm looking forward to completing it!

Have a great afternoon,
Stephanie

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Vacation Memories - afternoon edition

Well, Monday is here, vacation is over and I'm a bit out of the blogging loop.  I took my 2 weeks off and to be honest, my brain is a bit behind the times in keeping up, so I'm going to throw some of my favorite pictures of the vacation up here as a little recap, how 'bout it?

I only managed to get up at for the sun rise once and thought at 5:45am, I'd be alone on the beach, but how wrong was I? there were a dozen or so folks claiming their spots on the beach!  Now, mind you, you can't leave your items unattended until 8am (they are subject to disposal in the overnight hours), so these folks had to sit on the beach for 2 hours waiting for the time.  Front row spaces are at a price I suppose.  However, I'll take my chances on finding a spot when we finally get ready to come out on the beach.




My handsome hubby and I
My sister planned a day for our friends to head over to Southport, Carolina Beach and riding the ferry and it was SO much fun!  Here we are riding over the sound headed for Carolina Beach! We ate lots of yummy food and explored a bit and enjoyed the day with some great friends! If you ever get the chance to ride the ferry, you totally need to do it, it's a fun experience!  I love this picture of my husband and I...you know sometimes a selfie just works out well - and I love this one!   It's hard to believe that just four years ago this guy took a chance and slept in a tent outside our camper in the crazy hot weather and began a relationship with me.  I couldn't be more blessed if I tried!
Here are a few more favorites from the week!
 
This is off the shoreline of Carolina Beach on a HOT July afternoon!

 
I didn't forget about my girls while I was gone - and I loved this little chicken I found in an
antique shop in Southport  - It was a little pricier than I was willing to shell out, but cute nonetheless.!
Speaking of my chickens - we are officially in countdown mode for Operation Egg Watch - the breeder we purchased them from said they will start laying anytime as early as next week into about the next 6 to 8 weeks - this chicken mama is SUPER excited!  We are installing the nesting boxes this week and starting to mix in the layer food to help them be strong and healthy for egg laying soon!

Well, have a great week folks, I'll do my best to get back in the groove this week! :)

Stephanie

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Favorites

Vacation is here!!! As I was packing I kept thinking to myself, don't overpack, don't overpack, don't  overpack! My "goal" was to get everything in my FAVORITE beach bound monogrammed Thirty One bag. Technically I succeeded.  My flip flop tote is full of only clothes. However, for my assortment of shoes and random toiletries I did have to pack a separate tote. Oh well...for 16 days, I still think that's pretty good!
Here we are loaded on ON the road with my FAVORITE 2 dogs and a Suburban filled with food, clothes, tools and supplies for our stay at the campground. I cannot wait to enjoy some quiet days where my biggest concern is what swimsuit am I wearing today!  I'll  be honest, the hardest part of this vacation is leaving my chickens behind. They are in capable hands but I hate leaving them because nobody takes as good a care of them as me. RC will be home the second week while I am gone so he will get a dose of chicken duty as well!
So...signing off for the weekend...I may not post everyday while we are gone, but you can follow me on Instagram if you like at Born2Crop #copesvacay2015 for pictures of Myrtle Beach fun! 

Happy Fourth of July folks and have a great weekend!