Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Weeks 26 and 27

I am attempting to get caught up on my Project Life sharing, and I have another two weeks worth to share today.  This will get us into July!  
Week 26:
This week began with church and USA World Cup soccer.  We came home from church and ate hot dogs in the living room while we watched the big game.
My friend, Kristen, surprised me with some fun new kitchen items, just because, at church on Sunday morning.
 We went over to school to see Jim and have lunch in the office with him.  Drew has become a big Michigan fan (almost militantly so!), so he wanted to sit in Jim's secretary's chair.
 Maddie loves to visit Daddy's office!
 Jim was out of town for a golf tournament Friday and Saturday, and we met up with him Saturday evening at our niece's graduation open house.  They had a bounce house set up in their back yard, and Maddie loved it!
 Saturday was our 11th wedding anniversary.  After the Open House, we stopped for frozen custard with the kids to celebrate.  So romantic!  :)
 We really cleaned Drew's room this week.  We went through his closet and dresser drawers, and we got rid of a bunch of toys and things he no longer uses.
 I did a bunch of baking - low sugar cherry cheesecakes for the Open House, chocolate chip cookie bars for a lunch at church on Sunday, and banana bread for our breakfast on Sunday.
 Maddie came out with some of her supplies to help me with the baking.
Here's what I did for Week 26.
Week 27:
This week started with the 5th Sunday of June, and at our church, when we have a 5th Sunday in a month, we have lunch at church and an afternoon service immediately after lunch.  Then our Sunday evening is free.  We spent Sunday evening with friends, swimming

and eating pizza.
It was a long, busy Sunday, but it was a very good day.  Drew was exhausted and slept the whole way home.
 On Tuesday evening, Jim, Drew, and I went to a Tigers game with a big group from our church.  There was tailgating at church before the game.  We ate hot dogs and played games in the church parking lot.  Jim and Drew played corn hole.
 Drew tried out a new game - nine squares.
 It was very hot for the first half of the game, but once the sun set a bit, it became much more pleasant.  We had a great time.
 It was a beautiful evening.
 We had a lunch play date with some friends one afternoon, and we all enjoyed it.
 We went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant with Jim's mom on Thursday.  Drew got Orange Chicken and really liked it.  He has been branching out with his eating much more lately, and we are thrilled!
 Maddie loves rice, so she was a happy girl.
 Friday was the Fourth of July!  Jim has had to work on the Fourth for about the last decade, because the golf course does fireworks for the city, and he always had to be there for that big event.  The last time he had that day off was while we were on our honeymoon!  With Jim's new job, he had the day off this year, and we were thrilled!  We got to spend the day at a cookout with friends.  Maddie ate her own hot dog, and then she tried to steal my hamburger!
 Drew loved trying out the desserts and playing with all the boys that were there.
 After the cookout, we went to the golf course to see (NOT work!) the fireworks.  Maddie ate a snow cone,
 and Drew ate popcorn.
 Jim got to sit with us the whole time, and it was so nice to have him with us.  Maddie watched the fireworks for about the first 3 minutes, and then she wasn't interested anymore.
 The course always does a nice, big fireworks show.
We were planning to leave for a family reunion in Ohio the next morning and then travel to South Carolina to spend the week there, but our plans changed when we found out that Jim's brother-in-law had been put in Hospice care.  He had been given about a week to live, so we decided to go ahead and go to the reunion, but then postpone the South Carolina part of our trip until later in the summer.
The reunion was for my mom's cousins, and part of the celebration was my Great Aunt Nana's 90th birthday.
 My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece came up for the reunion, and we had lots of fun with them.
 My mom, her aunt, and all the cousins who came for the reunion.   A bunch of the cousins' kids, grandchildren, and spouses were there as well, but I don't have any pictures of the whole group.
That evening, we had dinner at Culvers with my cousin, Jason, and his family.  Drew had lots of fun with his little cousin, Alec.
 The boys went swimming when we got back to our hotel.
 The next morning, my cousin, Dena, came and had breakfast with us at our hotel.  I hadn't seen her in years!
After breakfast, we packed up to go back home.  I got this cute picture of Maddie from the back of the van.
Here's what I did for Week 27:
 I made a large insert about our weekend.  The front side is all about the Fourth of July,
 and the back is about the reunion in Ohio.
Here is everything together - Weeks 26 and 27 and the insert.
 Here are Weeks 26 and 27 without the insert.
This was a big post with lots of pictures.  I have been behind in sharing, but I am enjoying looking back at our summer events!  I hope to be back with another Project Life post next week.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Black Bean Soup for One

I have been sick with a cold this week, and Jim was out of town all week for school camp, so it was just the kids and me.  I had some easy things in the house that I cooked for the kids, but what I really wanted to eat was soup.
I didn't want to spend a lot of time or energy on my soup, so I made a scaled-down version of this Black Bean Soup (originally from Paula Deen's magazine).  I only had one can of black beans, so I cut this recipe down to one quarter of the original amounts, and it made enough for me to have a nice big bowl for dinner one night and a smaller bowl for the next day for lunch.  It was quick, easy, and warm - just what I was looking for!  I usually have all the ingredients, so this is one of my go-to choices when I am just cooking for myself.
Here's how I made it:

Black Bean Soup

1 slice of bacon, finely chopped
1/8 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 can of black beans
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Toppings:  Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips

Cook bacon over medium high heat for 3 minutes or until just starting to brown.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is tender.  Add beans, water, bouillon cube, cumin, and chili powder.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove pot from heat, and blend soup until smooth (I used an immersion blender).  Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, salsa, and broken tortilla chips on top.

*Sometimes, I don't bother with bacon (or don't have any), so I just put a little olive oil in my pot and cook my onions and garlic in the oil.

I use homemade salsa in the soup, and it makes it taste very fresh.  My sour cream sunk to the bottom, so you can't see it in the picture, but it is there, and it is good in the soup.  :)  I know that this soup doesn't photograph very well, but it is really tasty!  I hope you will try it this fall (either the small version or the full version)!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Project Life - Weeks 24 and 25

I am dreadfully behind in sharing my Project Life - I didn't do any Project Life posts at all during the summer!  Today I am sharing some activities from way back in June, and I am hoping to share them more regularly in the next few weeks!
Week 24:
Drew's kids class had a fair during Sunday night church.  He came out with a snake painted on his arm and a big handful of candy!
 I made a strawberry pie.  Yum!
 Jim bought himself a slightly early Father's Day gift - a new driver.
 Maddie realized that her Minnie Mouse shoes fit Drew's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' feet.  So stylish!
 Maddie likes to do everything that Drew does, and it often leads to frustration.  This day, they both had their Wii controllers.
 We ate a fun summer dinner.
 Drew went to his first big boy birthday party without us!  A friend from his class at school invited a couple of boys over for a water balloon fight, games at Chuckie Cheese, and dinner at Red Robin.  Drew had a wonderful time!
 While we waited for Drew's party to be done, Jim, Maddie, and I had dinner at Panera with a gift card from some students at school.  I always get a Greek salad and broccoli cheddar soup.
 Maddie had one of her favorites - Macaroni and cheese!
Here's what I did for Project Life this week:
Week 25:
This week started with Father's Day Sunday.  Jim had already gotten his big gift - the driver, so we just got him a few treats, and Drew made him a card.
 After morning church, we went over to Jim's sister's house for lunch and most of the afternoon.  We had fun, and both kids were worn out!  They fell asleep on the way home.
Jim and Drew played golf one evening after dinner.  Jim wanted to try out the new driver, and Drew just wanted to play!
 The kids love to play in the yard with Jim in the evenings.  This week, they played a little baseball.
 Maddie doesn't like to be left out, so she played too!
 Drew had a play date with some friends from school one afternoon.  They went swimming at a park near the friend's house, and the mom texted me a picture.
 Maddie got into Drew's fish food and dumped a bunch of it all over Drew's bedroom floor.  She felt guilty about it as I was cleaning it up, as you can see.
 Maddie has been going through some changes in her sleep schedule, and she doesn't always nap well anymore.  One afternoon, she fell asleep on Jim's lap.  He loved the cuddle time, since Maddie is not typically a snuggler.
 We had some rainy days this week, and I taught Drew to play Yahtzee.  We had a fun time!
 We have had several graduation open houses to attend this summer (with Jim's job as principal), and we had one on Saturday afternoon.
Here's what I did for Project Life this week:
Here are Weeks 24 and 25 together:
I have a lot more Project Life to share, and I am hoping to share my pages on a weekly basis again now.  I guess that summer vacation got me out of my Project Life routine.  I was making the pages pretty regularly, but I got way behind in sharing them!  :)