Sunshine, Dirt, & Lots of Elbow Grease!

This past weekend, my hubby and I took advantage of the beautiful, unseasonably warm, Ohio weather and did some gardening! We're overachievers (me by nature - Alan by force), so this wasn't just a typical day of gardening... we tore out the ugly hedges that lined the front of our home, planted trees, shrubs, bushes, and flowers. Then proceeded to work in the back yard, prepping the garden and planting what seeds we could (many of them shouldn't be planted until after the May 15th frost-free date.) I've included a before & after shot of the front of the house. I think it looks much better... and this is just phase 1!

I'm hoping that the many daylillies and hydrangea bush that I planted in the northern corner (left-hand side of the photo) will grow to fill that area. Otherwise, it will be pretty bare-looking this summer! We decided to keep the zebra grass on both ends of the house, but the new growth is still rather short at the moment. Our not-so-appealing aluminum enclosed porch windows are still in existence, unfortunately. But I think we will have to live with them at least for a couple more years until we can come up with a good (and somewhat cheap!) replacement for them. If anyone has any ideas, by all means let us know!

I can't wait until the flowers bloom and put on a colorful show in the front yard! Because we have been able to get most of this project out of the way, I'm now dreaming up ideas for a patio in the backyard ... or... maybe that can wait until next year. :)

I'll end this post with a pic of the kids (and big kid) prepping the garden. I wish I could keep them this little and cute forever.... *sigh*


Guest Post at Once A Month Mom!

My friend Tricia, from Once A Month Mom is on vacation this week and I am guest posting on her site today! Tricia blogs about how families can save themselves time, money, and resources by participating in Once a Month Cooking and her friend Cortney advises moms and dads on how they can make their own baby food from scratch as well. I am very excited to share information on how OSU Extension can help her readers save even more $$! You can view the post here.

Click here to see what Once A Month Cooking is all about.

My sister Hollie and I will be participating in Once a Month Cooking in May. I look forward to sharing some of our experiences... good ones I hope! :)

Thanks to Tricia for this wonderful opportunity! :)

Menu Plan Monday - April 27th

Okay, this is my first attempt at publicizing my participation in "Menu Plan Monday." I have planned weekly meals in the past, but lately our family has been so busy that it has gone by the wayside. :( I'm hoping that this time around I can stick to it! Here is our menu plan for this week:

Monday - Spaghetti Pie left-overs

Tuesday - eating din-din out to celebrate mommy's promotion!

Wednesday - Lemon-Pepper Chicken packets, steamed carrots & baked potatoes

Thursday - Pizza Pasta

Friday - GF (george foreman) Hamburgers & green beans

Saturday - Lunch: hosting a garage sale = on the fly!
Dinner: ordering pizza to save our sanity!

Sunday - Dinner: Ham, Peas & Fruit

I'm hoping to participate in Once a Month Cooking next month with my sis, so hopefully I'll be adding some of those items to my menus in the near future. :)

you can find more information about Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com


Extension 2.0

In an effort to help OSU Extension (my beloved employer :) transition smoothly into the 21st century, I developed the Move It Miami County blog for the Move It Miami County program this year (a walking challenge for county employees.) The blog has been so successful that I was beginning to wonder if I should re-work my previously created Parents in Action blog and expand upon what I already had. In the beginning, the blog focused entirely on raising teenagers (and all that that entails, obviously...) However, after serious pondering I thought I would expand it a bit to include many issues that come up with parenting in general. So... I'm unveiling the new Parents in Action blog that will cater to the needs of many of my program clients (those who enroll in the various programs that our Miami County office offers.) It will house information on anything from what to eat during pregnancy, to dealing with empty nest syndrome and beyond. As always, all of the information will be reliable and research-based, as well as Extension driven. I'm seriously considering also adding a section that includes real-life parenting experiences to give the blog a personal touch.

Come check out the site, learn about what Extension is all about, and gain some great knowledge at the same time! :) The blog is still housed on a .wordpress URL - I do have an osu.edu URL approved, but it will take some time before we switch over. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you think!




*enter annoying snoring sound here - oh yeah, over and over again too!*

I love my husband, very - very much. But, like many *ahem* most men, he can have a few annoying habits... the latest to rear it's ugly head is the "I'm asleep on the couch snore-fest." Now, I should be incredibly grateful that this snorefest doesn't transpose itself into our bedroom night after night. It seems to only happen when he's spread out on the couch... so spread out in fact that I have to crouch, uh, pretzel style down at the end of the couch to avoid sitting on the floor and getting a numb butt. :P Anyway, with Alan's schedule being a few hours ahead of mine everyday, it makes for a boring and lonely night sometimes. He tends to be down for the count by the time the last kiddo is snug in her bed - which means I am moving from tucking Marissa in to logging on... far from making my way to bed. Isn't it bad enough that I have to sit up alone watchng TV and tutoring online by myself while trying to figure out what every little noise and knock is in our new house? Oh well, eventually I might get up enough guts to banish him to the bedroom after he's so deep into sleep that he's drooling and the snorefest begins.... but then again... who else would keep me "company" by laying beside me on the couch? :)

BTW - we've successfully covered 3/4 of the basement walls with paint! Paint of all colors, no less! It is truly turning into "kiddyland." :) We'll post pics soon.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

*the picture with this post was taken when Jakey was just two months old... hard to believe he was ever that LITTLE! :)

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