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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Chicks Rule!

In our regular life this week…

I don't know about you, but we have had a very busy week! Between the holiday and birthday parties in our family, we have been on the go non-stop.

I feel like some old lady who talks about nothing but the weather these days. Pretty soon I'll be telling you all about my heartburn and arthritis (of which I have both). But until then, I'll stick to the weather. Last week was miserable! This week? Ahhhhhh ..... It has been PERFECT! In fact, I want to live in a place that has weather like this all year round! It's been in the upper 70's and low 80's during the day, sunny, breezy, and getting down into the high 50's and low 60's at night. We've even had some cool, pleasant showers. Amazing!

We figured out that our central air conditioner just needs to be replaced, for which we do not have the funds. So we took the funds we do have and bought two window air conditioning units ... a tiny one for the kids' bedroom and a nice energy efficient one for the center of our house. We'll just have to save for a replacement central unit for next summer. Rick got both installed (easily) when he got here and they are going to work out so well! We will have a cool house with the heat returns this next week. Yay!!

In our homeschool this week…

We picked up our chick eggs on Tuesday and they are happily warming in their incubator home in our sitting room. The kids named the eggs. We should have some babies by Tuesday.

Meet the Chicks: Spot, Spike, Basket, Roger, Cloe, Jericho, Peacock, Rascal, Bark, Amy, Spark and Chick. We are hoping the kids improve in their child naming abilities before they have our grandchildren!

As I was out of town on Monday returning from a trip to Oklahoma to see Daughtry in concert, we skipped schoolwork. Then I realized that it's the 4th week, so we were only going to have two days of schoolwork to do anyway. Soooo ... I called off school for the week, sans reading and taking care of our chick eggs. This week we are back at it, although swimming lessons will conflict with our studies somewhat.

On Friday the kids and I were watching our resident squirrels, Feisty and Derrick, playing in our oak tree with their new friends, Cody and Perry. We decided they needed a squirrel feeder, so we made this easy one with a large applesauce jar and wire.

While out in my garden yesterday, I noticed that something was munching on my parsley! I found two culprits ... caterpillars who will become black swallowtails! I plucked off the parsley and put them in our butterfly habitat. I also found a moth-type caterpillar and grabbed him. This morning, the moth had already begun to form it's chrysalis AND I must have plucked a parsley with an egg on it because a brand new baby caterpillar was on it this morning. The two bigger ones have climbed up and should be ready to form their chrysalises within the next day or so. It's very fascinating to see! And it's the perfect lessons for our life cycle unit.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Eli and Brynne spent the night Monday night with Kyndal and hung out with her on Tuesday going to the pool and McDonald's.

We had our favorite visitor, Antonio, with us this week! He is Dawson's best friend from Oklahoma and an honorary family member. Man, we miss this kid! It was so great to have him here.

On Wednesday night Brynne and I travelled a bit to help out in throwing Collin a surprise 19th birthday party with Kyndal and his parents.

On Friday we headed to the lake for a fun day in the sun!

A favorite thing this week was…

I was going to say water aerobics that I attended for the first time this week. But I quickly changed my mind at the town fireworks show at the park when Eli quietly said, in the middle of a beautiful display of fireworks, "Happy birthday, America." Tears, folks, especially in light of what a mess our America really is. But the flag's still flying!

What's in the kitchen this week ...

Although you don't count calories with Trim Healthy Mama, I decided to put into My Fitness Pal a normal day of eating according to the plan to see how things were tracking. With all of the eating I did on that day (and even my glass of wine), I was 200 calories under my normal calorie goal to lose weight. I was WAY under on carbs, WAY under on fat grams, under on sugar, and well above goal on protein and fiber. I did not pay attention to how much I ate, just followed the plan and ate until I was satisfied. It's good stuff, folks!

This week at the store I bought some more of the normal ingredients: golden flax meal (I found it at Walmart, but it is with the Kashi cereal ??), Joseph's pitas (our Walmart does not have any of the Joseph's breads), dark rye bread, Dreamfield's pasta (for those pasta nights ... got spaghetti and penne), Uncle Sam's wheat and flax cereal (I ate some and it is so filling ... you don't need your normal large bowl of cereal to fill up!).

On a completely unrelated NON Trim Healthy Mama note, we went to some friends' for a cookout in the evening of the 4th. I brought Saltine Toffee Cookies (patriotic style) and Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese. They were SO GOOD!

What we're reading ...

Mom:  Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, Couponing Made Easy by Christi the Coupon Coach.

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne: Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Read-aloud: Poppy and Ereth by Avi. 

Things we're working on…

Enjoying some days off and celebrating with family. Our little town hosts a traditional 4th of July celebration at our awesome park every year. It's been going on for over 100 years. There are turtle and frog races, sack races, egg races, egg and water balloon tosses, food, cardboard boat races, and fireworks. We have missed very few of these since I was a little girl. This year we had the perfect weather! And with lake time, birthday parties, and a family dinner, we are getting lots of family time.

I’m grateful for ...

Should I even say it??? Yes, the weather. It has been glorious and I feel like it has been a direct gift from God to me personally.

In the garden…

Isn't my garden beautiful? I love to go out and look at it! But, with the "direct gift from God" of the cooler temps, there is no fruit growing on these beautiful green bushes and plants. Maybe we are just going to have a late season. Hoping! .....

What's coming up this week ...

We will have a busy week coming up. Yesterday was my niece's 1st birthday party. And today we had a fish fry to celebrate her birthday and my other niece's (her sister's) 16th birthday! The kids start swimming lessons tomorrow, and Brynne starts a softball tournament. I'm going to try to fit in water aerobics on Tuesday night and Friday night (unless Brynne has games). We should have baby chicks hatching. With normal school work and trips to the pool, we will be busy for sure. On Friday and Saturday my sister and I are having a garage sale (gag!), but it needs to be done.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

Clockwise starting in the upper left: Crusoe, Chloe, Quincy, and Buck

We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:


  1. I love all the pictures. You have such a cute family! I am so sorry about the AC, but so glad the weather has been good! Praying for a cool summer and a box of money on your front porch! :)

  2. Today is the 11th straight day of rain here. So tired of mud and wet. I didn't realize that you guys had four dogs. So cute.

  3. Your garden looks amazing, and I can't wait to see those adorable chicks!
    I hope the window units help. That's what we have in our house right now, and they work great!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post Nicole! Love the great pictures. I love Eli's patriotism - what a sweet thing for you to witness during the fire works. <3

    Our downstairs central AC is on the fritz and needs a pretty expensive repair - I too have been considering buying a window unit for our family room. Today it will be 104 in Texas - ugh!!!


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