Saturday, July 23, 2016

Getting Rid of the Swimming Pool

We said goodbye to our pool today. We had a grand party - one last hurrah - a pizza party with homemade ice cream floats!
There's a few things about it that I'm gonna miss....
  • the beauty it brought to our backyard.
  • the sound of the water.
  • going for a late night swim- just hubby and I.
  • cooling off on a hot summer day.
  • the memories we made together as a family.
  • and especially the reflection of the water dancing on my ceiling in the evening.
We bought the pool to have something to do as a family, and to be honest - I feel guilty taking that away from the kids.... but there comes a time in life when you gotta face the facts. And the fact is too much is just that - too much!

The excess of things and luxuries are not always worth it. The pool was costing us hundreds of dollars a year to run, It took time to balance, sweep and upkeep it. The supplies, toys, towels, chemicals, sweeper, hose, - all adding to extra clutter. Where we live, it is always windy, a pool cover never stays on in the winter. Even with a solor cover, most summers, the water isn't warm enough to use the pool often (especially when you factor in the wind).

 (For a fun read check this article out.... it's pretty much true only in our case, it was cats... always cats drowning!!!)

Everyone has to find their place where enough is just that - enough. Not more. For our family, having a pool was no longer a luxury - but rather, it had become a headache, a chore, clutter, .... too much.
Here's to living a simple pool-less life..... where it really is enough to be without a pool.

PS. we kept the deck.... but that's a story for another day!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cream Cheese Roll Ups

Looking for a quick brunch idea for a special occasion, or maybe just a little something special to serve your family this weekend? Try these Cream Cheese Roll-ups - they are quick, easy and taste amazing with a cold glass of fresh milk!


1 loaf of white bread
1 bar (8oz) of cream cheese softened
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
¾ cups sugar
1 TB cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted


With a rolling pin, flatten bread. (I used 12 slices.)


In a small bowl combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon - set aside. Spread 1 - 1½ tablespoons of cream cheese mixture onto each flattened bread piece and roll up.


Dip each rolled bread into melted butter and then into the cinnamon and sugar mix. (I have found using a paper plate for the melted butter and cinnamon sugar, makes it easier and is less mess!)


 Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining pieces of bread. 
Note: can I just say that I love my USA pans! They are awesome!

Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What Does Family Mean to You?

 Who are your family? Have you ever stopped and really thought about that question? The past few weeks, I've been giving it a lot of thought.... here's my opinion on the matter and the answer to the question!
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word family is as follows:
1 - family. noun.  fam·i·ly \ˈfam-lē, ˈfa-mə-\  - plural. families.
: a group of people who are related to each other

: a person's children

: a group of related people including people who lived in the past
1. : a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household

2. a : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan

    b : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race
3. a : a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship
    b : the staff of a high official (as the President)
4. : a group of things related by common characteristics: as
   a : a closely related series of elements or chemical compounds
   b : a group of soils with similar chemical and physical properties 
   c : a group of related languages descended from a single ancestral language
5.  a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family. (1): a single-parent family (2): spouse and children

6.  a : a group of related plants or animals forming a category and usually comprising several to many genera
    b : in livestock breeding (1) : the descendants or line of a particular individual especially of some outstanding female (2) : an identifiable strain within a breed

7. : a set of curves or surfaces whose equations differ only in parameters

8. : a unit of a crime syndicate (as the Mafia) operating within a geographical area

Okay, so when I looked up the definition of family, the one thing that stood out to me was this.... even a group of criminals can be a family. That folks, got my attention! 

People have often told me that your extended family - brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., are supposed to be your 'most important' family and that you should never turn your back on them - that you should always keep the peace, and put them first in your life. Here's what I find wrong with that statement. 

As you grow up, move away, get careers, form your own beliefs, get married, have kids, do life, etc., -you grow apart. You no longer have things in common with your siblings. I come from a large family (there were 7 of us kids, we were never close growing up - most of us are now married with kids). Most times, when we're together, we try to get along. But as I get older, I have realized, we just don't have much of anything in common anymore. It seems like we are trying too hard. It's becoming a fake. Conflict is always there. Your aunts, uncles, and cousins turn into people that sometimes seem like strangers. You come away from a get together stressed out and frazzled. To put it simply - Life changes. Yes, they will always be part of my family in the definition that we all came from the same ancestry tree, but they are no longer my 'family'. Let me explain....

To me, my family is my hubby and kids

"Family is the people I love, the ones who care about me, the ones I know, and care for deeply. The ones I talk with, laugh, cry, and live with.... the ones who I do daily life with, who know me inside out - they are my family."

So, to wrap it up.... the answer to the question is this.... Family is what you make it! It is the people you love, feel close to, do life with. Family doesn't have to be big, little, blood, or any other thing. 

Family is simply what you choose it to be! 

This is my family... they are not perfect, but, they, are my everything!


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