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5 Things Friday {6.23.17}

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Have I mentioned a time or twelve that I love summer? Because I really really love summer. I joked on Instagram earlier that most of my images will consist of the same scene- me sitting at the pool with a book while my kids swim. We had a very laid back relaxing week, which is exactly what summer should be in my opinion. 

1. My sister brought my adorable nephew over to swim and we had a blast. Well, most of us had a blast. Mason was less than pleased that he had to hang out around the steps to play because my nephew cannot swim yet and he’s over the weight limit for his puddle jumper. Ha! But it was a good time and I got to hang out with my sister and talk to an actual adult!

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2. There wasn’t anything specific that Matt wanted to do for Fathers Day this year. He didn’t want to go anywhere and he didn’t want any gifts. He really just wanted a relaxing day. So that’s what we did. We let him sleep in, then we spent hours at the pool, then lounged in the hot tub before Matt grilled delicious pork chops for dinner. Then we did more nighttime hot tub lounging with wine and binge watched Beachfront Bargain Hunt. Our dream is to one day live on the beach so this show is our jam. It was a great day.

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3. Tyler just started his very last month of Accutane! He had bloodwork done earlier in the week and saw his dermatologist a couple of days later. She is so pleased with his progress and he probably will not need to do another 6 month course. He is so ready to be done with this journey. He has a lot of scarring on his back so we’ll go back in 6 months to talk about how/when/if to do anything about it. I happened to catch him mid-yawn at the dermatologist office. Ha! He had a friend sleep over the night before and they played video games until 5am, then he had to leave for morning football at 7am so he got no sleep at all before his appointment. Then he had to go back for afternoon football practice. He was TIRED and CRANKY when he got home. Teenagers. 

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4. I don’t know why I make rules around here. I have a strict no dogs on the furniture policy and that includes the brand new outdoor furniture. Nobody listens. I find dogs on the furniture all the time now. Blatant disrespect. But they’re so cute, how do you say no and shoo them back to the floor? I just can’t do it. 

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5. I made the best 7 layer taco salad for dinner the other night. I’d been craving taco salad and I finally made one. It was delicious and I’ll be sharing the recipe soon because it is too good not to be shared. The kids, who normally grumble about why can’t I just make tacos without the salad part, ate every single bite! 

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We had a busy, fun week. I can’t believe we’re already done with week 2 of summer break. NOOOOOO! Slow down time, slow down! 

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He Said, She Said: A Sister Wife

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Setting the Scene: We are into week 2 of summer break and it’s been awesome. Matt’s been working long hours at work for the past few weeks so he’s usually gone before anyone else wakes up (except Tyler because he leaves at 7am for football) and he’s not been getting home until after 7. The following conversation took place one evening last week when he didn’t get home until almost 8pm.

He Said: So how’s summer break going?

She Said: Good. But I could use some help.

He Said: Help? Help with what?

She Said: Cleaning, cooking, laundry, driving your kids around.

He Said: So you need a cleaning service, laundry service, a chef, and a chauffeur?

She Said: Yes.

He Said: Too bad we haven’t hit the lotto yet. 

She Said: I’d settle for a sister wife.

He Said: A what?

She Said: You know, a sister wife. Someone to do all the boring crap that I don’t want to do.

He Said: And what would you do if she did all that?

She Said: Lounge by the pool, read in the hot tub, take naps.

He Said: Ahhhhhh. You want to be a trophy wife. 

She Said: Yes. Yes please. That’s exactly what I want to be.

He Said: Can I pick the sister wife?

She Said: No.

He Said: Well that seems unfair.

She Said: This isn’t about you. It’s my sister wife.

He Said: I’m not sure that’s how it works.

She Said: Well that’s how it works in this house.

The End.

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Delicious Turkey Bacon Ranch Cheddar Pinwheels

We’ve been spending most of our afternoons at the pool enjoying the cool water, laughter, and sunshine….and sunburn. The last thing I want to do is come home after 4 hours of relaxing and cook dinner. So I’ve been experimenting with some wraps that I can pre-make and have ready to go at dinner time. We’ve had some….let’s just call them losers in the popularity category. But this one was a winner. Everyone loved it. The other wraps I’ve tried used an entire 8oz block of cream cheese but that was too much for my family so I went a different route with this one. And it was amazing! If you’re family loves cream cheese then you can omit the sour cream and use the full 8oz block of cream cheese instead. You can leave these in wrap form or you can slice them into pinwheels. My kids love them as pinwheels but Matt and I ate them as wraps. 

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Ingredients:
4 burrito 10″ tortilla wraps
4 oz sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup bacon bits
1 pkt dry ranch dressing mix
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
12 slices of deli turkey

Directions:
1. Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, cheese, milk, and bacon bits until well mixed.
2. Spread evenly on each tortilla wrap.
3. Lay 3 slices of turkey down center of each wrap.
4. Gently roll each tortilla tightly and wrap with saran wrap.
5. Refrigerate for an hour before slicing.
6. Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

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I really should have made double this recipe because the kids devoured it! I’ve already added it to the menu plan for next week again. I’m going to keep experimenting and I’ll share any more wraps that are hits with my family! These would also make a fantastic appetizer for a party! I’m adding them to my list of yummy goodness for our football parties and tailgating at Tyler’s games this Fall!

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5 Things Friday {6.16.17}

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The first official week of Summer Break is coming to a close and what a week we’ve had. I love summer. I love it so hard. The kids have slept in until past 10 nearly every single day. My house has been full of laughter and noise. All I smell is sunscreen and chlorine. It’s perfection. 

1. Last weekend was super busy at our house. We had some stuff that needed to get done before we got down to the business of enjoying summer. Tyler had football at 8am. Then I had to take him to his sports physical at 11:30. His school participates in the free sports physicals every year and luckily it’s at the same place where Tyler sees the sports medicine doctor so it works out nicely. After his physical we spent hours working in the back yard getting ready for the landscaping to start. Matt and I made a quick trip to Sam’s Club then took the kids to the pool for a couple of hours before making pizzas and watching movies. Maia and Zoey both had friends sleep over and there wasn’t a whole lot of sleeping happening. But it was fun!

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2. Tyler helped out his varsity basketball coach with a camp for middle school and JV players this week. The coach asked a few of the varsity players to help out to earn service hours. It worked out nicely because he had football from 8-10 and then the basketball camp was from 10-3. He came home exhausted every day. He told me that they’re like puppies- full of endless energy and always yapping. Ha! 

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3. The 3 youngest had dentist appointments this week. Cleanings and no cavities all around! Poor Maia goes for her orthodontist consult at the end of the month. Her teeth are pretty crooked and her bite is a little bit off so it’s time to get it fixed. She’s thrilled. 

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4. My dad came down this week to help us with a project on the back deck. We just replaced the hot tub cover and a storm already knocked a branch into it, ripping a small hole in the vinyl cover. So my dad built a lattice cover for the top of the gazebo. It looks fantastic and it only cost us $60 compared to the $1200 quote we got from a local handyman to add a roof. We had a bad storm the day after dad finished and not one branch hit the hot tub! 

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5. I’m really enjoying this summer. We go to the pool pretty much every single day. All my kids can swim without assistance and passed the neighborhood swim test so I don’t have to be in the water with them all the time. It’s opened up a whole new world for me. I can read. I can lounge. I can watch them play. It’s awesome. Big kids rock. 

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Week 1 of summer is in the books. Bring on week 2!

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5 Tips For A Successful Summer With Older Kids

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Now that my kids are older summer break has taken on a completely different dimension. It used to be something I dreaded. 12 weeks of little kids who require total supervision every single hour of the day and woke up at dark o’thirty every morning? That’s a nightmare. But now that my kids are older it’s so much better. That being said there are still things you can do to make sure your summer break is successful.

1. Keep the food fully stocked. We have 2 pantries and 3 fridge/freezers. I keep them fully stocked at all times in the summer. I buy most of our snacks at either Sam’s Club or Aldi to cut costs and I always keep a ton of fruit on hand. My kids expend a lot of energy at the pool and they eat a lot. I keep the freezer stocked with things they can microwave easily by themselves- hot pockets, taco wraps, quesadillas, mini pizzas, chicken melts, etc. 

2. Let them sleep. Remember those days when the kids woke you up before the sun? Well those days are long gone in my house. My kids don’t wake up before 10am unless we physically wake them up. And I only wake them if we have somewhere to be. Otherwise I let them sleep as long as they want. Poor Tyler has to be at football by 8am four days a week so he’s leaving the house at 7:15am. I remember my mom always waking me up by 8am during the summer and it was awful. So I don’t do it. They sleep late, sometimes they take afternoon naps after swimming, and they stay up late. That’s exactly what summer should be. 

3. Keep the plans to a minimum. I used to have a schedule and plans for nearly every day of summer break. Vacation Bible Schools, splash parks, play dates, dollar movies, camps…we did it all. If every minute wasn’t scheduled the kids were fighting, bored, and annoying each other. Now that they’re older they do not want to have all those plans. They want to chill. Which works well because I also want to just chill. 

4. Spend as much time at the pool as possible. We’re lucky to have a great neighborhood pool right down the street from our house and a hot tub right on our own back deck. We spend as much time in them as possible. It keeps the kids active, keeps them busy, and limits the fighting. They’re too tired to whine and all their friends are swimming with them instead of messing up my house. It’s perfect. 

5. Relax the rules. During summer I am flexible with the rules we maintain during the school year. The kids are allowed to drink select sodas during the summer when I never ever buy it during the school year. We make Coke Floats and Root Beer slushes. I don’t enforce bedtimes. They are expected to be in their bedrooms by 9:30 unless it’s family night but they can play, read, or watch a movie for as long as they want. I also don’t enforce any limits on screens or electronics. The kids spend a lot of time outside and in the pool so unless I see them spending days upon days glued to a screen I just let it go. Their friends are welcome to come over and play anytime during the hours we’ve established- 11am to 8pm. They just come and go all day and it’s great. My backyard is always full of laughing kids. 

Cheers to a great summer!

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