All of Last Week

April 28, 2024

Call it a catch up post I've been meaning to get up. 

I made a deal with the boys that any time Jeremy is out of town they can sleep with me. They're (specifically Elliot) are always wanting to sleep with us. Jeremy has a conference at the seminary, so last Friday they got to cuddle up with me. Harrison read Elliot books, and then shockingly the octopus child slept very still the entire night. 

I find it funny that the kids are on a Dr. Seuss kick with a mother who isn't a fan of the author. Not for the usual reasons, but I just don't care for the illustrations or writing style. I get that they are easy beginning readers, but I don't (didn't previously) own many of his books. 

How do you like that face of a child who was beside himself with getting to sleep by Mama. 

After what felt like two months of searching for Distylium I finally located some. We also replaced the Lobelias with Lavender. I just didn't find them to be sturdy enough. They require too much water for me and look pathetic so easily. 

I make dessert for Monday Night Bible Study at our house ever week, and I've recently been sick and tired of the labor of cookies. So for three weeks in a row I made a bar something, the kids finally revolted last week. 

Harrison told me when he grew up he was moving out of the country and not telling me his phone number. Elliot immediately started sobbing that he didn't want to be alone. I told him that eventually Harry would move out anyway.... more tears. He "doesn't want to be old and alone." He also said he wanted to start over from a baby again. The crying and gnashing of teeth carried on until bed. 

I had to finally swear I would redeem myself by making cookies on Tuesday. The kids opted to only bake half the batch and eat the other half raw. 

Elliot had a field trip to the park for the end of the school year. I don't know if you can tell from this photo how he feels about Cool Ranch Doritos. 

Last on the list is this poor old dog. He can not stand to be left alone. What I find most interesting with him is that I am the primary person, until all the boys leave and he's left with just me and acts like he was dumped on the side of the road. He cried for 20 minutes when Jeremy took the kids to gymnastics Thursday. 

 That about wraps up the highlights from last week. Hopefully this week I will be better with updates. 

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An Easy Spring Weekend

April 16, 2024

 I love an easy weekend at home. I know I'm dipping deep into introvert while I'm married to an extrovert who wants to go places and see people. I don't, I want to stay home and be quiet. 

Blame it on this time of the school year, as things rev up I slow way down. 

Friday night we finally got to have dinner at The Flats in downtown Lafayette. The food was great and the atmosphere was amazing. The restaurant opened up to their courtyard that had additional outdoor dining. We stayed inside and watched the Master's. 

Saturday I got back at it on fixing my backing for the quilt. This has definitely been a lesson in fabric sizing as well as understanding why quilters have fabric stashes. My attempt to be conservative left me making another trip to the fabric store and fixing errors. 

On the upside I finally basted it and will start the actual quilting this weekend. 

After yardwork we shoved the kids outside to play in the water in this gorgeous weather. The boys jumped on the trampoline until everyone needed snacks. 

In gardening news that no one cares about, I have my first pepper on the plant.  I seem to remember the Marconi producing early last year and then continuing to produce until Fall. Also, if you want leaf lettuce let me know. We HAVE leaf lettuce galore. 

It's high time to pressure wash this old house. There are even a few boards we need to change out. I really think the board issue will resolve itself when we install gutters one day. 

I'm really wanting to paint our bedroom while Jeremy is in Brazil this summer, but I'm afraid these boards might jump paint in the project line. 

As far as house projects currently go the want/need list is as follows: 
***Find 3 distyliums for the front flower beds (everyone is out of stock)
1. Paint the bedroom
2. Finish bedroom decor
2. Paint the back room (all wood paneling)
3. Pressure Wash/spot paint outside

Surely I'm forgetting something. But on the "when the fence is done" list is putting in two long raised beds, and then eventually a chicken coop. 

Granted, none of this "has" to be done. It's all a want list. Minus that wood that needs replacing outside. I'll be forever grateful that a good, much wiser, friend told me when I bought my first home to not just buy thing to fill it up. It's best to wait and buy what you really love. 

That waiting until you really love something idea has been helpful in not feeling the rush to do a project, waiting and really saving up for items, and even just taking the time to make a decision. 

The downside of an 80 year old home is definitely the projects, but at the same time a benefit is the projects. This is the first house we've had that I've been able to really make decisions on exterior and interior paint colors and decor. But we've also lived here longer which has also allowed for more time to think and save, and then spend those project savings. 

The other benefit to taking my time with these projects is that I have all the time to change my mind. Y'all I think I looked at couches and living room furniture for 5 years before we finally bought a new couch to replace our Facebook Marketplace find. 

This has somehow turned into an "Emily talks about saving money for projects" instead of a "weekend review" blog post. 

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DIY Monogram Bunting Baseball Cap

April 12, 2024

 I saw someone post these adorable baseball caps on Instagram several weeks ago, but the price tag on the website was far out of my price range. If you've been on this blog for any length of time you know that I am not shy to try and DIY a project. 

The only thing I really changed from the original design was writing out our kids whole names on them. I know I use their names on here and on social media, but to be out in public with more than a monogram has always been out of bounds for us. The boys are such church/pastor kids, that they are comfortable with many people speaking to them and knowing their names. In an effort to keep that kidnapping chance down, in the most "child of the 90's way possible", I avoid having their names on them where some stranger could see it, call them by name, and they'd happily walk off with the. 

This was incredibly easy, I learned a bit as I went along. 

You'll need:
- A baseball cap 
- 3 colors of embroidery floss 
- an embroidery needle
- white felt
- your good sewing scissors
- white thread

It's not necessary but embroidery wash away paper would make placing your monogram so much easier than hand sketching it on the felt. 

Step 1:  You can use a template, or just hand draw your bunting. I drew out one and traced it so the boys would have the same bunting size. 

Step 2: Anchor your felt bunting down in place with two little stitches. This is where your white thread comes into play. You can't even see those anchor stitches when you're done. It just made the rest of the embroidery much easier. 

Step 3: I then outlined the triangle of my bunting in light blue embroidery floss. 

When I tell y'all this was so easy and the boys loved it in their Easter baskets, I sat in bed after the Palm Sunday picnic and had this stitched up in no time. 

Step 4: I did a single line of red embroidery floss on each little tail of the bunting. 

Step 5: I sketched out their initials on the bunting with pencil and then stitched over them. 

I wanted to chain stitch, but was not having the best luck. It would probably benefit me to get a hoop and practice a few embroidery stitches. If you don't have a problem with names, this would be adorable with a name or nickname written in cursive. Wash away paper would make writing it out super easy. 

The kids barely took these off of their head for all of spring break. 

The total cost in the end was under $20 dollar for two hats, verses the $58 I saw for one hat.

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Weekly Meal Planning on Wednesdays

April 10, 2024

Two blog posts in one day? Who is this... maybe it's just someone who hasn't been keeping up worth a dern. I felt awful Monday and was just making it. A solar eclispe on the first day back did not help my get-up-and-go levels either. If you ever thought teaching during a full moon was fun, let that moon swipe by the sun during a school day. 

This week's meals include a girl dinner, a new baby meal train, and the regular rotation required by the kids. 


Thursday | Grilled Porkchops, Chopped Salad Kit, and Baked Potatoes

Friday | Eating Out! Making Elliot the cookies I posted about a few weeks ago, they were really good.

Saturday | Men's Wild Game Supper at church means I get some girl dinner time  - Honey Soy Crispy Beef & Noodles

Sunday | BBQ Boneless Country Pork Ribs, BBQ Beans, Potato Salad. 
I'm cheating on the beans and potato salad and using the Marketside brand from Walmart, shortcuts save time after church friends. The ribs are just seasoned with Tony's and then basted with Sweet Baby Ray's while grilling. 

Monday | Euna Mae's Poppyseed Chicken, Rice, Salad (The kids will probaby still eat Breakfast for Dinner) 

Monday Night Bible Study Snack | Fruity Marshmallow Treats

Tuesday | Spaghetti Night with French Bread (I need to share my go to recipe) 

Wednesday | Sam's Club Chickfila Knock Off Nuggets and Fries.

Lunch for the Week | Cottage Cheese Dip with Mini Peppers 
(blended cottage cheese, ranch seasoning mix, shredded cheddar, and sometimes I add Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Sauce if I want something spicy)

Strawberry Glaze Smoothie 
(1 c almond milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 avocado, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 dates - I'll likely add some chia seeds, then glaze the cup with a tbsp of coconut cream and strawberry preserves. I'm not bothering with the other supplements that are added to the shake at Erwon, but if I can locate some Sea Moss gel I'll add that in. I already put collagen in my coffee so I might as well use protein powder in the smoothie.) 

That about wraps us up! Share in the comments what you are cooking this week.  
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Slow Weekends and Sam's Club

We had a nice slow weekend to cap off Spring Break. 

Friday night we had a family date night at Central Pizza in Lafayette, the wings are amazing. I should have gotten a photo of all of us out, but we were too busy devouring food. 

Saturday involved the usual weekly cleaning and Jeremy changed the truck latch/handle thing. I only noticed because the Ring camera kept being triggered by the boys playing in the back as he was fixing it. 


Sunday everyone (the children) dumped out the dress up bin and while Elliot was putting on the Spider Man costume we got to teasing him that it looked like a baby bonnet. 

This child is such a giggle box that when I applied a face mask during their bath time that night he couldn't look at me without falling into a fit of laughter. 

On a recent Sam's Club run I picked up these Spinach & Feta Cheese Chicken Meatballs

If you are looking for a good meal prep item for work lunches, this is really good. I am packing this with lemon rice, tzatziki sauce, and a salad all week. The macros are pretty good too, not too high fat or carb for the protein kick you get. 

Now to sip coffee while we continue to hold power and internet. 

All of Louisiana is under an awful storm, my MIL actually lost power yesterday. Schools are called off due to the flash flooding, and I can't say that after moving like snail for two days after coming back from the break that anyone is all that sad about an extra day stuck at home. 

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Camping Locally @ Palmetto Island State Park

April 5, 2024

This week we went on a one night camping jaunt to one of our local state parks - Palmetto Island in Abbeville, LA. Since we had a few really great weather days (night and day taking into consideration) it allowed for a paired down setup. 

Perfect for a quick Spring Break trip.  

The bigger question here is, why has no one told me we needed to camp here before?! Jeremy camped here with friends about 10 years ago, and I admittedly stick to Arkansas/Tennessee for the weather. Moving forward it looks like we may be alternating between our two local parks for a quick camp in the Spring/Fall when the weather is ideal. 

How gorgeous is this short board walk trail through the swamp?

For a 24 hours trip it felt like we spent multiple days. 

For starters I booked up at campsite CI088, right across from the shower/laundry area. The facilities were great and in the laundry area they even had a book shelf full of kids books that the boys took advantage of. 

The roads going through the park are paved, perfect for taking out scooters and bikes. There were many families riding bikes and walking all day long. I always love the safety of a campground, because the boys can be given more freedom to ride around and explore. It's been nice getting to an age where everyone can adhere to the rules set in place and aren't actively trying to get in water or fall in a fire pit. 

The site was large enough that we really went back and forth on whether or not to use the tent pad or put the tent on the back side of the driveway. We ended up going with the pad because it was so well shaded.

 This was the first tent pad we've used that was sand, it honestly made walking in the tent feel better on your feet (many are rock based) and the bottom of the tent shook off easy when we were packing up. 

Here's a better view of the campsite from the road. 

We had a good amount of space, and a big bonus with the fire ring not being right by the tent. We were able to check into our site at 2pm and since we were doing a lighter set up this time we set up the tent to house our bedding and bags until we got back from hiking and kayaking. It's a breeze when you don't have to connect the AC to the tent (says the woman who watches Jeremy set it up every trip). 

We lucked out and were able to see the Abbeville Red Irises blooming.

There is an area with a big splash pad and playground, and a meeting room building where right behind it is a short boardwalk through the swap where you can easily view the flowers when they are blooming. 

Elliot was warned many times to stay on the boardwalk and not get too close to the edge. I was not jumping in that swamp to fish a child out. When Harrison was this age he fell into the Cahaba river (when we went to see the lillies) and at 4 he slipped in the creek at Beaver's Bend where he was also fished out of the water. The kid isn't agile and has given me a few heart attacks while camping. 

The outdoor rug we added to the mix for our Gatlinburg trip in 2022 is still a favorite. It give you just enough room for wiping off feet and leaving shoes that the tent floor doesn't get nearly as gritty as it did before. 

After we froze our butts off overnight in Gatlinburg in 2020 (we meaning me) we've since learned our Spring camping lesson. Surprisingly we didn't end up needing our gas heater that night. 

Also note, with the nice weather and checkout the next day being at 1pm, we didn't tarp the top of the tent. Dew was minimal and the tent had plenty of time to dry. Trust me when I say this, always tarp the top of the tent on long trips just in case the weather decides to change. 

Our minimal inside set up. 

No AC, the boys shared the queen double air mattress and we had the king size. I added fleece throws to their bed and they slept in long flannel since the temps were dropping to the high 40's by 4am. We had a heated fleece blanket incase everyone needed to end up in our bed. 

The kids spent so much time playing in this patch of sand in front of the tent. 

Fair warning, there was a ton of poison ivy. Jeremy is highly allergic, so I set up the back side of the tent and did my best to walk around it. We always remind the boys to not touch anything green that isn't grass. Jeremy hasn't mentioned it yet, but I think we came out of this without any poison ivy rashes. 

And I set up the tent standing in it (I know, I know) wearing Chacos! Make that your PSA is always pack Dawn dish soap. As soon as we were done I washed my feet and legs with it and came out of the trip fine. I've also never had poison ivy and don't think I'm super allergic. 

Another set up view. 

Peep the amount of extension cord we take to reach that tent in all camping set ups lol! 

The pop up tent wasn't taken this time. As per the usual the coffee pot and griddle were set up on the picnic table. We contemplated grilling the burgers that night, but opted for the easy of the griddle. It's just cheaper and quicker than fussing with a fire pit or ring. 

Everyone playing frisbee. 

I left Jeremy to do all the cooking this time.

Elliot was very impressed with his burger, but honestly this child just loves camping and would live in the tent if given the opportunity. He would be on board for buying an RV and living in it full time. 

If you go to Palmetto I highly recommend taking kayaks, we borrowed two from a friend and had a great time. Pretty soon we need to purchase two tandems, I personally enjoy the ease of taking your own vs. renting. With renting you tend to end up with a canoe and then an hour slot. 

We kayaked the area in about 30 minutes (tons of lilly pad overgrowth we couldn't paddle through) and since we weren't renting no one felt bad when we pulled our kayaks back out in that time frame and then did it all over again the next morning. 

Everyone making smores. 

Another fire while making breakfast. 

After breakfast we packed up most of our stuff and left the tent up while we went kayaking again. Take down was quick and we managed to check out with time to spare. 

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