Sweet Summertime

Sweet summer time…lemonade and sweet tea, days without schedules, afternoon thunder showers, the smell of freshly cut grass. And fresh veggies!

I picked peas yesterday. And a couple of green tomatoes to fry up.

Put up ten quarts of Silver Queen corn today. Going to use the strawberries I got a few weeks ago and froze to make jam. Hoping to go blueberry picking and put some of those in the freezer as well.

When I was shelling peas yesterday, I expected to here the music from

“The Young and the Restless” playing as we often shelled peas or snapped beans while my Nanny’s stories were on.

Next up…canning green beans if I can get enough of them. 
Now I can hardly wait for my first taste of an icy cold watermelon. Not those ones in the grocery store in December. I’m talking about the ones you buy from a man out of the back of a pickup truck on the side of the road. I can taste it now.
What takes you back to summers when you were a kid? Is it a smell? A taste? An activity? Share if you will.

Lynne 

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Family Easter Celebration

Today we celebrated Easter a day early, but it was still fun. Here is a picture of my parents with 7 out of 10 grandchildren. Mine are the tall dude in the back (coral shirt) and the blond girlie on the far right.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Lynne

Easter Family

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

We finished out 2014 by dismantling Christmas and cleaning out our storage building and outdoor storage closet. What fun! (But it’s organized and done, so I’m happy. Tired…but happy.

I doubt I will make it to midnight. Hubby’s already out. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be back tomorrow to work on the menu planning series. I’ve been contemplating slow cooker recipes today. There are so many good ones!

Y’all be safe! Don’t drink and drive! Phone a friend if you have to!

See you in 2015!

Lynne

Greetings from Hilton Head…and a recipe that’s just too easy!

Good morning!

Hope your day is off to a great start! We were up early (well, some of us were) and off to the beach for the sunrise this morning. It was beautiful! And a little chilly!

I have a pork tenderloin in the crock pot this morning and will be making barbecue sandwiches and crash hot potatoes for dinner. We did our only eating out of the week yesterday.

This is how I make my barbecue. Put a pork tenderloin in the crock pot (I used a 3.5 pound one today) and cover with water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove from the crock pot and shred. In a baking dish, mix with your favorite barbecue sauce and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve on buns. Easy peasy. Sometimes I divide the meat in half and do two different sauces.

Anyway, y’all have a blessed and beautiful day!

Please pray for Teresa (with whom I started this blog) as her dad passed away this week. Love you, Teresa!

Lynne

 

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Blessed!

What a beautiful day we are having here in Aiken, SC today! But, man, is it breezy! But the sun is out and it’s gorgeous! I’m enjoying the view from inside instead of sitting outside this afternoon. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a wonderful morning at church celebrating victories from our church-wide Financial Peace University classes that have been going on for the past ten weeks. If you get the opportunity to participate in FPU, I encourage you to do it! I’m a nerd, so I’m enjoying the budgeting part. Weirdo…I know. I’m okay with that. We are planning a vacation for spring break – cash only! No plastic allowed.

By this time next week, I’ll be Hilton Head bound and the Cooper River Bridge Run 2014 will be over. I’d appreciate your prayers for safety in travel to and from Charleston, as well as during the race. Not just for me, but for the 40,000+ runners who will be there. (That’s a lot of runners, by the way.)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’m off to visit the parents and help take care of my littlest nephew.

Blessings,

Lynne

P.S. And enjoy this view.

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Weekly Challenges: Day by Day

Hey, y’all!

I hope you had a great weekend! I did. I made strawberry jam for the first time with some sweet Florida strawberries. (Thanks to the Girls Scouts here Aiken who got them here somehow.) Twelve half-pints of them even. I made some homemade tortillas which were quite the bomb. (At least in my estimation.) Sunday was busy with church, a nap (duh!) and then our last week of FPU.

I’ve been contemplating weekly challenges and this week – because it will be easier for me ๐Ÿ™‚ – I’m given (issuing?) four challenges. There would have been fine but clearly, I’m posting late (during commercial breaks during Dancing with the Stars), so there’s really not time for a challenge today. Please accept my humblest apologies for giving you a day off. So, here are the four things that I’m challenging you to this week. I would love to hear from you and get some progress reports. Pictures would be even better.

Challenge #1: Make a menu plan for dinner. Plan 4-5 dinners per week. Have leftovers two other nights (or sandwiches or let the family fend for themselves). That still leaves a night to order pizza or eat out if you choose. I posted last week a four meal plan along with a grocery list. All four meals utilize the slow cooker (Your BEST friend in the kitchen, I kid you not. Unless you have a chef.) Here’s the link to that post:

https://lifedoesnthavetobethisway.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/four-dinners-shopping-list-for-next-week/

I followed that post with four additional posts with step-by-step instructions for each meal including what to do in the morning (as in, put things in the slow cooker) and what to do to complete the meal. Easy peasy. You can’ find those posts on the blog or on the Facebook page under “Notes.”

Challenge #2: Get some exercise. It’s not a dreaded word. Be not afraid! I’m not expecting you to go run a 5K this weekend. (But, hey, that’s entirely up to you!) But – gasp! – summer is just around the corner and that means swimsuits! Yikes!! I shudder. If you don’t have an exercise regimen (I said that in my mind in a serious voice), it’s time to get with the program. If you are not an exercise-r, start slow and easy. (Disclaimer: Consult you doctor before beginning an exercise program.) Walk the dog. Walk around the block. Take a class. If you moving from your couch for the first time in a long time, walk to the mailbox and back. Based on all that I’ve read – and that’s a lot – you need to be exercising 3-5 times per week for 20-30 minutes per session. The key to continuing with exercise is finding something you enjoy (and you will find it) and do that. You won’t go back to the gym if you hate the gym. (I hate the gym. Just saying.) I like doing my walking and running outside as opposed to on a treadmill and I really enjoy Zumba and yoga. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Challenge #3: Get together with a friend. Someone you haven’t seen in a while or haven’t had a real conversation with in a while. (K, I’ll be in touch!) Life gets crazy and we let this go. But friendships are important and you have to tend them to maintain them…just like a garden. If you can, spend 30 minutes over a cup of coffee or tea just catching up. Hey…you can do challenge #2 while catching up. In fact, that’s an awesome idea. Walking and talking is GREAT! Did that just today with my buddy Kathryn. If you can’t physically get together, there’s Facetime (I’ve done that now!) and Skype. But in person is always best. Find 30 minutes. It’s one sitcom or reality show. You can do it. (That’s why we have DVRs.)

Challenge #4: Do something for YOURSELF. Take a nap. Get a massage. (I’m doing that Wednesday.) Pick up and read a book you’ve had your eye on. Take a bubble bath. Do all of these things. Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Do all of these things. Just do something that’s just for you that makes YOU happy. It’s not being selfish. Sometimes you just have to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of the people in your life. If you don’t, it will catch up with you eventually. Anything that can “catch up with you eventually” is never good. Never.

And try to remember to do one or two of these things for 15 minutes a day. Just 15…no longer. Little by little does the trick. The tortoise always beats the hare. You know the drill.

  • Purge something (a bookshelf, a drawer, a closet, a cooking magazine collection…ahem!) and separate things into the give, donate, and toss categories. And then give, donate or toss them.
  • Straighten up the area you see first thing in the morning before you go to bed at night. What a relief to have an area free of clutter to wake up to.
  • Make your bed. It really does make a difference in how your room looks and feels.
  • Put away your laundry. (I’m working on this one.) I do mean the clean laundry, not the dirty stuff.

Let someone you love know that you love them every day! Smile at the cashier at the grocery store. Do something nice for your hubby or wife “just because.” And have a GREAT week!

Lynne

 

 

 

New Recipe! Hope everyone enjoys!

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Recipe By: Lynn Cole
Yield: 8

Ingredients:

– 8 ย ounces cream cheese
– 8 ounces pepper jack cheese
– 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
– 1 pound cooked chicken
– 8 flour tortillas
– cooking spray
– shredded Cheddar cheese
– green onions, for garnish
– sour cream
– salsa

Directions:

1. Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.

2. Fold in chicken.

3. Divide among flour tortillas.

4. Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.

5. Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.

6. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

7. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

9. Turn chimi’s over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

10. Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

What a week it’s been!

What a week it’s been! So many scary and sad things in the news this week. I don’t know about you, but I have not been overly motivated to work around the house. Spring cleaning just seemed unimportant in light of all that is going on in our country this week.

And then yesterday, we had a crisis of our own. I was sitting in my Weight Watchers meeting and got a phone call that my daughter had had a seizure while at school. This was her first (and I pray ONLY) seizure, so it was very scary. For those moms and dads out there who deal with this on a regular basis, I am amazed by your strength. I don’t know if I have ever been so scared for my child. CT scan and blood work show nothing unusual, so we proceed from here with an MRI and an EEG. Those will be coming in the next week. As I sat on the couch last night listening out for Kayla making any unusual sounds, I was thanking God that she had the seizure at school and not on her drive home. One of my son’s friends was in a wreck on Monday and she may never be the same again. I have been praying for her complete recovery all week, and then yesterday realized that it could have been us. (Yes, I’m crying now.)

This has been a perspective-changing week for me. Not that I have ever thought that a clean house and organized pantry should come before family and friends, but this week really hit me with how important it is to spend as much time as possible with the ones we love. And how important it is to let them know we love them.

So spend this weekend loving on your family. Love on your friends. Thank God for your many blessings. I’m taking the weekend off. I’ll be back on Monday.

Have a blessed weekend!

Lynne

Celebrate!

Focus on your accomplishments, not your failures. Count your blessings. Celebrate the life you’ve been given. John Maxwell

Today I want you to focus on your accomplishments. We need to every so often stop and reflect on your accomplishments. Look around your house. What are you not tripping over? Laundry maybe? How does it feel to not be stressed every evening racking your brain about what you will fix your family for dinner. Does it feel good to wake up and dishes are done? Celebrate those accomplishments! If you have a Lynne personality; you will go sit on the porch and celebrate with a cup of coffee. If you are a Teresa personality; you will grab a hand full of chocolate and celebrate sitting on the front porch. Well, that is if it is warm enough. Here in South Carolina, one day it is eighty degrees, the next day it is fifty – eight degrees! So it is a possibility! The point is find somewhere today that you can get alone and focus on what you have accomplished so far! You deserve it!
Here is what I do not want you to do! You are not to look at what you haven’t done yet. The recipe you tried that did not work out so good. Let it go! Think only on the things that are working well! This is the day to forget what you haven’t done yet. What hasn’t worked out. Only look at your accomplishments!
Take a minute to write out at least ten blessings in your life right now. Here are mine.
1. I have a God who loves me unconditionally.
2. I have friends who are willing to tell me when I need to work on something in my life and who are also there to walk me through the hard times in my life.
3. I have friends who laugh with me and cry with me.
4. I have a group of old and new friends on Simplify 2013 who encourage me every day to keep my life in balance.
5. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. Who supports me!
6. I have three children who are now grown and we have unbelievable relationships.
7. I have a great job!
8. The sun is shining today! (Little bit more about me, I don’t like the cold!)
9. I have an awesome church!
10. I have a new book on my Kindle. (I love to read!)
I want you to celebrate the life you are given today! I hope you will take a minute to let us celebrate with you and put a few of your blessings on the Simplify 2013 facebook page or tweet them with #Simplify2013. Off to celebrate my day! ~ Teresa