Boy, I have really been slacking. No posts since October. 2019 WILL be a better year for my blog and for me personally. Although I truly love my job as an Intervention Specialist (special ed teacher), I have just started on the last 5 months of my career. I will be retiring on Sept. 1 after having spent 25+ years in the classroom. I am really ready for this next phase of my life.
That being said, let’s get on with the topic at hand. As my readers my know I have previously introduced them to my oldest daughter, Amanda, and her family. I have also written about my youngest, the only son, Kelsey, in a two part introduction. First I introduced his family and then filled in readers about the chronic foot problems that Kelsey suffers from. I began with the introduction of my youngest daughter, Hilary, and her family.
I saved the introduction of my second child and second daughter until last because she has been in the midst of some major life changes. At last, the changes have been made and I am proud to introduce Breanna Lyne and her family. Breanna’s name takes on parts of my mother’s middle name Ann and her father’s name Lyne.
Breanna lives the farthest away from us, but it is only a little over an hour’s drive. She resides with her long time boyfriend, Kevin.
Brea, as we call her, is finishing her training as an esthetician. You can view her work on her Instagram page at breanna.lyne.esthetics.
I now have a person in the family that can wax my eyebrows for free. A frugal win for me. She has also worked on her sister’s eyelash extensions. Brea is fantastic at her job.
This is the perfect career for her due to her background in art. She is a fabulous artist and is very creative. You can view some of her art on her Instagram at breanna_lyne.
Kevin is also very artistic. He owns and works at his own tattoo shop. You can see some of his work on Instagram also.
Breanna has one daughter who is currently working at an IHop. Savannah is a lovely, young lady with a bubbly personality. She graduated from high school a couple of years ago and is still trying to find a career path that fits her unique abilities and interests.
Both Brea and Savannah are animal lovers and have adopted three rescue dogs between them.
This completes the introduction of my large extended family. My husband and I currently have 4 children, 4 bonus children (spouses and boyfriends), 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-children. We get together frequently and it is always a blast.
Thank you for letting me introduce my family to you. I would love to meet your family.
I hope to see you back to hear more about the antics of my large, loving, and lunatic family.
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It has been a few months since you have heard from me. It has been a very busy summer and an active first few weeks of school. I honestly can’t remember ever having so much paper work in years past. If you remember, I am a teacher for Special Education. Things are finally settling down into a more structured routine.
No. 7 on this list was to increase the number of subscribers to this blog. I am pleased to report that this goal is progressing nicely. In May of this year by subscribers numbered 2590. The first of this month, they numbered 4850. To say I’m pleased in an understatement. Thanks to you all!
No. 13 on my list was to finish the Koi pond. My daughter-in-law’s mother had given me a liner for the pond and we had put rocks around it but had not actually set it up anymore than that.
I decided not to finish it and took it out instead. It would have taken so much money to get the electric to it for the pump. Not to mention stocking it with the fish and plants. I just could not justify adding that expense to the budget.
My 19th goal is to fix up the back yard area that is right off of our deck. I already had a Dwarf Pink Dogwood tree right in the center of this space. It is really beautiful in the spring when it blooms.
My granddaughter and I have decided to plant a fairy garden around it next spring. She completed a 4-H project which was a fairy garden and through both of us working on it, we became very interested in succulents which we had used. On a side note, she won first place in this category at the county fair and she earned the privilege of completing at the state fair level.
My son moved and replanted a hydrangea bush in the back, in a corner and then I chose some yellow and purple perennials to go along the pool fence. I always try to choose perennials so I won’t have to keep purchasing flowers every year. I still have a lot to do out there though.
One of the biggest goals I had on my list was to increase my output of DIY and craft projects throughout this time frame. I can honestly say that although this has been a real effort, I have managed to spend more time in my craft room this past year.
One of the first crafts I did was for my son for Father’s Day. His wife had pick it out and brought me the “D” for the project. She and their children painted it before I added the letters made with my Cricut machine. Each of the kids’ hand prints are on it. It was a fun project.
Next, I finally completed a large burlap, sunflower wreath that my oldest daughter had wanted for her front door. This was my first wreath of this kind and it took me some time to make it. But I think it turned out very well.
One of my granddaughters turned 13 in July, so I worked on a project for her birthday. My 11 year old granddaughter helped me tie-dye a t-shirt for her. Would you believe I had never tie-dyed before? After it dried, I used the Cricut to add images and writing to the shirt. I hear that she likes the shirt a lot.
This next projects were decorating a couple of t-shirts for the 11 year old granddaughter. I love working with my Cricut machine. (I have learned so much about the Cricut, but there is so much more I want to learn. I am no longer intimated by this fantastic machine. I guess that took care of goal number 51 on my list.)
I have finished a couple more of the cushions for our outdoor furniture. I only have a couple more to complete.
Now, I have several projects in mind for Christmas gifts this year. You’ll have to stay tuned to read more about them in a post coming up soon.
Goal no. 56 is to purchase new deck furniture. I did purchase two wicker swivel rockers with a matching table for the upper deck. Also, I bought a pool side box to hold various supplies that seemed to be always laying around. I still need to replace loungers by the pool but that will need to wait until next spring.
The next goal I was able to knock off the list was to make homemade ice cream. I remember sitting outside on warm summer evenings while my grandfather continually cranked the ice cream maker until we had delicious homemade ice cream. A couple of years ago my husband purchased a Kitchen aide stand mixer for me for Christmas. I love that thing. I have made so much in it including noodles. Yeah, me.
I bought this ice cream maker attachment to go with it about a year ago and had attempted to use it once. And that was a disaster. I ruined the wire mixing attachment and had to buy a new one. But, I finally conquered the task of making homemade vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. I can’t wait to try other flavors.
My next goal that I have accomplished was the one I dreaded most, potty training my grandson who turned 3 in February of this year. I hate potty training so maybe that’s why it always seemed so difficult.
Up until this spring, any time I would mention using the toilet he would say never. If I tried to put underwear on him, he would scream and cry like I was torturing him. I finally had decided to wait until warmer weather and it worked like a charm. Once I put underwear on him and repeatedly took him to the toilet, he was trained within 2 days. Not even diapers overnight now. It was a miracle! He was the easiest child I ever trained.
Three out of my 12 grandchildren live with me and between their mother, their parental grandparents, and myself we were drowning in toys. First, I went through the oldest child’s room (when he was not home of course). That finished number 79 on my list, purging toys. I purchased a shelving unit that could hold 8 bins. I only bought 6 bins and left 2 areas open for shoes. It makes the room look so tidy, when the toys are picked up of course.
The next goal on my list that I finished was painting the dressers in Shyla’s room. The dressers and bed are all complete. The match the walls in her room. For Christmas, I am making her a bedspread to match the colors, curtains, and theme of her room. Her room is the prettiest one in the house. Number 93 has now been marked off.
Number 94 on my list was to replace the sheers in the living room. I knew that they would not survive one more washing. Instead of replacing them, I decided to take them down and see if I could handle not having my windows covered. We do not live right on the road so people seeing in will not be a major problem. We’ll see how it goes.
As of now that is all I have finished of my list. I had better rev up my efforts if I want to accomplish all of my list by November 28, 2020. I still have 84 things on my list to finished.
This is a long name for a wonderful dish that the whole family liked. This recipe showed up on my Facebook with a video of the making of the dish. The video made it look so easy and also delicious; the two must-have for a meal at my house. So I put it on the meal plan for the week.
While shopping I had forgot to write down a couple of the ingredients, but I started the recipe any way. The first ingredient I didn’t have on hand was heavy cream and I didn’t have any chicken broth, which I thought I had in the cabinet. I didn’t let that stop me.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I used more. Four won’t feed my family of 5 or more if someone stops by, which happens often.)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
8 oz. of slice mushrooms
Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce (Which I made with substitutions.)
1/4 cup of butter
2 garlic cloves, minced (I need to buy a garlic press.)
1 Tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of chicken broth (I thought I had some. I’ll explain what I did in the directions.)
1 cup heavy cream or half & half ( Do you know what to substitute for this? I do now.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of spinach, chopped
In a large skillet, add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown on each side; Cook until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender. (I added a little more olive oil at this point.) Remove and set them aside.
To make the sauce, add the butter and melt. (I used the same skillet.) Add garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in flour until it thickens. Whisk in chicken broth, (Since I was missing the broth, I boiled some water and used a chicken bullion cube.) heavy cream, ( Substitute 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup milk.) Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt. I moved the sauce to a sauce pan at this time. Add the spinach and let simmer until it starts to thicken and spinach wilts. Add the chicken and mushrooms to the sauce and serve over pasta.
I served this over spaghetti noodles because that is what I had on hand. Next time I plan on being better prepared and serve it over linguine pasta.
If you decide to make this dish, let me know how your family likes it.