Summer-eee (and a recipe-eee)

Here are a few random summery photos for you, along with my favorite go-to easy summer dinner recipe.

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Ice cream swim break!

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Summer fruit… mmmmm….

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One days pick!  We have tomato insanity over here.

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And, my favorite easy summer go-to recipe: Grilled, marinated flank steak.  You just sprinkle garlic salt all over.  Then dump some salsa, olive oil, and lime juice in a bag and stick the meat in.  Let it marinate at least an hour.  Grill about 6 minutes each side, and ta-da!  The kids used the meat for soft tacos.  I made a steak salad.  It would be great plain with potatoes on the side, too.  Endless possibilities!  Enjoy!


1.  These girls are almost to the age where they won’t be playing dress-up anymore.  (sniff, sniff).  That will be a sad day!

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2.  This boy is almost ready to do laundry himself.

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3.  These peppers are almost ready to be picked.  (Feels like they took forever to turn red!)

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4.  We almost have enough green beans to use as a dinner side dish.  Almost.

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5.  The apricots are almost ripe.  (I’m super excited about it, too — my favorite fresh summer fruit!)

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6.  This chicken almost got away with sleeping in the tomatoes.  Funny Audrey.  She still roosts here every night, but now I catch her and bring her into the coop.  Animals are not safe in our backyard at night!

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7.  I’ve almost got the kids 2013-2014 schoolwork organized and put away.  Phew!

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8.  My husband is almost finished with our awesome new backyard table.  I love doing projects with him!  Can’t wait to show you the finished project.  (Can’t wait to see it, myself!)

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As of today, we have 3 new smiles around here…

1.  This sweet girl lost her 15th tooth last night.  (Yikes!)

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2.  This poor girl ran into a pole while playing tag and cracked her front tooth and damaged the root.  We are hoping and praying it heals itself.  For now, she has a special mouthwash 3 times a day, and a semi-permanent retainer that resembles braces.  She was a trooper and did great!

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3.  And, this little sweetie had her first dentist appointment today and also did great.  Just look at those pearly whites!

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Summer.  Now it’s official.  And here is something I never thought I would say… I think it is my favorite season!  Once we get past Allison’s birthday and Father’s Day and the calendar actually reads summer, I feel such calm and peace.  There is no running from one activity to another.  No birthdays to plan.  No more school planning… at least not for a while.  No schedule.  Summer Bible study and church are the only ways I know what day of the week it is.  (side note:  Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon study is incredible!)  Daily swims.  Daily Bible study.  An abundance of eggs and tomatoes.  Fresh fruit.  Iced coffee.  Barbecues.  Lots of friend time.  VBS.  Camping.  Time for organizing and projects.  Need I add more?  Summer is what I need!  (Right now, that is… when fall comes, that will be my favorite season!)  But for now… I’m in love with summer!


Oh!  One more activity I forgot to add; baseball!  Actually, we aren’t really a baseball family.  But, some sweet friends invited us to play softball on Father’s day, and it was so much fun!  Check out Malachi at bat:

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Happy First Day of Summer!

Father’s Day 2014

Technically, this should be titled, “Father’s Day Celebration 1” because it was our Saturday celebration of Father’s Day.  We chose to celebrate Saturday because we thought that Daniel would be working on Father’s Day.  Turns out, he is going to be home Father’s Day after all, so we will have a Father’s Day Celebration 2!

Saturday began with a quick morning card opening, and then it was off to run errands.  All.  day.  long.  (Hence, the reason Daniel took Father’s Day off).

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Our day ended with a fun family dinner.  Daniel’s favorite: Cheese fondue, along with shish kabobs and root beer floats.

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I am so glad there is a day to honor fathers.  Sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to have a husband who is such a wonderful dad to our kids.  Thank you for being such an incredible husband and dad to our family, Daniel.  You are the best!

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Sometimes a small getaway is just what the doctor ordered.  In this case, it was a great way to kick-off the summer!  Daniel bought the Groupon for our “Swiss Chalet” a few months back, and we decided the weekend of Allison’s birthday would be the perfect time to go.  (Note to self: Don’t plan a trip the day after a birthday party unless your husband is home the week before to help you think and pack.)  Despite the busy-ness and exhaustion before getting there, I am always at peace surrounded by God’s incredible creation and the ones I love.

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We played lots of games… Clue, cards, Wis and Wagers, and ping pong!

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The girls enjoyed an outdoor makeover… nails and make-up!

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We kept meals simple, marinating and preparing almost everything at home before going up the mountain.  Nice!

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Buddy picked a wild orchid on our little nature walk.

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Day2: Chilly morning, though not as cold as I expected.  One of my favorite parts of being in the mountains is cool air.

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Daniel brought along his birthday present: a hammock.

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We went on a lovely little hike; (more of a casual stroll along a short path).

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Sweetest. family. ever.  Some of my favorite people on the planet.

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More games… and Allison’s new Nancy Drew movie from her birthday.

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An evening by the lake…

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All this just 40 minutes from home… blessed!

Painted Frames from the Craft Closet

I feel very blessed to have a closet in our home dedicated entirely to craft supplies.  (I would show it to you, but it is in desperate need of a summer clean out!)  Anyway, if I dig deep, I can usually find something “special” for the kids to work on.  The other day I found my Ikea 3-pack of wooden frames.  I gave the girls some paint, and expected it to be a quick project.  Why am I always wrong about these things?  Wrong in a good way… this project lasted a long time!  I think it was one of the most impressive paint jobs from all 3 girls.

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The frames sat in that closet for years, but I am pretty sure they still have them at Ikea… and for a good price!  Next time I go I think I will pick-up some more.   We’ll see how long those last in the closet this time!

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 And, here they are:

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