Summer in Review-Part 3 (and some freezer meals!)

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I had made some freezer meals and several people wanted recipes so I thought in addition to my summer in review post, I would add some recipes.

At the end of June, we made a short trip to historic Medora, ND for a little getaway.  We did some site seeing, went on a trail ride, ate ice cream, shopped, saw the Medora Musical, and had an all around good time.

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After Medora, we had a family reunion  in Bottineau.  Unfortunately, the rain was the main event of the weekend, but we still had a fun time visiting with family and eating way too much food!  The kids braved the cold, rainy day and went for a ride on the inflatable couch on Lake Metigoshe.

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As is my norm, I had to take some pics of the North Dakota scenery including a calf at my brother’s farm and some North Dakota landscapes.  More iPhone pics!

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The rest of June was rounded out with bonfires and setting up the new pool in the back yard.

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Phew!  We made it through June with the updates.  July coming soon, but now to some recipes.  I am including 2 freezer recipes that I found on All Things Katie Marie.  I made these freezer meals yesterday, but have yet to eat either one.  They sure sound good, though!


Chicken Taco Chili

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. can black beans
  • 1 16 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chili peppers (optional)

Cook in slow cooker on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste


BBQ Chicken and Veggies

  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 6 red potatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce

Split ingredients into two bags (yay for two meals!). Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Recipe adapted from Mama And Baby Love

Make sure when you make these that you label the freezer bags with the instructions so that you know what to do when it comes time to cook them.  I just wrote thaw and the amount of time that they need to be in the slow cooker on each freezer bag.

freezer meals

Summer in Review: Part 1

This summer has flown by.  I can’t seem to remember what we have been doing for the last months because it has just been one big blur.  Guess that is what happens when you move across the state yet again.  As I was looking back on pictures on my phone I realized that I have not done an update on our crazy lives lately.  I am going to have to do this in segments because there has been a lot going on!  So here is part 1 of many!

The summer started with an across the state move back to the homeland of Minot.  While we really enjoyed the Fargo-Moorhead area, we realized that Minot is home and with the booming economy of the area, it made sense to come back to where the architecture work is for Ryan.

We said goodbye to our Moorhead home of 1 year….

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And hello to a new (old) house in Minot!

photo 1This picture was taken before summer clearly since there was still snow on the ground!!

In the middle of the move, we spent several weeks at Ryan’s parent’s house in the country, which was a nice respite from the craziness of packing and moving.  There was rock skipping in the ponds, walks on gravel roads, drives through the countryside, and even a late year snow complete with snowman making.

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Because of timing of this move, Luke had a few months of school left and we decided to enroll him in an online school for the final 2 months of the school year.  There were many days of school at Barnes and Noble Cafe!  No complaints on that one!

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Moving into a new house brought with it the joys of unpacking boxes and decorating (yet again!).  We still have a lot to do and many projects in the works, but have gotten a few things done.

photo 1(3)This was our first night in the new house and Luke’s first night in his new bed

Every room of the new house is painted some shade of tan or brown with a hint of reddish pink undertones.  Not my favorite, but since I really hate painting (have done a few too many rooms!), I am going slow with the painting projects.  The living room still needs to be painted, but I decided to put up some decor in the meantime to make it feel more home-y.

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When June rolls around, my dad comes for a visit and so I set to work getting the spare room ready for him to stay.  Over the past 5 years, he has stayed in a new room in a new house every year.  Because the flood and the multiple moves since, our spare bedroom furniture has seen a lot of new homes!

photo 5(3)I hadn’t hung the pictures on the wall above the bed when I took this picture, but they are on the wall now.

The yard at the new house is really a complete blank slate.  It wasn’t kept up very well and needs some love.  I do not have much of a green thumb (I am trying!), but Ryan has a patience and love of plants and shrubs that I will never have.  I took this picture of him and call it, “Ryan dreaming in flowers”!  He was not that impressed, but it is the truth.  He is in heaven when he can pick out new plants and shrubs for our yard.

photo 4(3)Anyway, that is part 1 of our Summer 2014.  Stay tuned tomorrow for more pictures of our summer.  And then probably more to come the following day :)  Guess I better stay a little more up to date with the updates!

Summer of Fun!

This summer has flown by and the blog has been neglected because of it.  I can’t really say that I feel super bad about this fact because we have done a lot of fun stuff.  No complaints in the fun department that is for sure!

I still have not shown a complete 2012 Summer Bucket List and have not been updating what we have done…so this might prove to be a very long post!

**The items in bold and aqua are items we have accomplished to date!!

  1. Build Sand Castles
  2. Go Camping
  3. Go to Medora
  4. Go Fishing
  5. Read 20 Books
  6. Make Own Pizza Night
  7. Go to Museum
  8. Go to a Yard Sale (or many!)
  9. Work on Fort
  10. Help Grandpa Neal Make Chili
  11. Have a Friend Over
  12. Go on a Hike
  13. Have Water Gun Fight
  14. Look at the Stars
  15. Build Stuff with Legos
  16. Eat at Spicy Pie
  17. Go Bowling
  18. Paint Rocks
  19. Have a Friend Over
  20. Learn about Birds
  21. Go Golfing
  22. Go to Minneapolis
  23. Eat Corn on the Cob
  24. Make Yoda Soda
  25. Watch Fireworks Show
  26. Go to Ruso Ranch
  27. Finish Vacation Station
  28. Go Horseback Riding
  29. Make Root Beer Floats
  30. Go to LegoLand
  31. Go to Library
  32. Go to Mall of America
  33. Go to G&G’s House
  34. Go to Zoo
  35. Lemonade Stand
  36. Play with Sidewalk Chalk
  37. Set up Tent in Yard
  38. Picnic in Park
  39. Go to the Fair
  40. Have Sleepover
  41. Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  42. Have a Water Balloon Fight
  43. Makes Smores
  44. Have a Friend Over
  45. Have a Bonfire
  46. Go to Movies
  47. Go to Lake
  48. Read Books
  49. Go Swimming
  50. Have Friend Over

Check out a few pics of our summer fun so far!

As you can tell, it has been a great summer!  We will be making a trip to Medora soon to see the sights and take in the musical, which should be fun!  More pics and bucket list accomplishments to come!!

1 Down 49 To Go!

Luke and I created our buckets and our list today for the 2012 Bucket List Challenge!  It was loads of fun coming up with 50 things that we wanted to do this summer and to write them on our little Popsicle sticks.  We decided that a trip to the dollar store was in order to get the supplies for our bucket list.  What we found were 2 little metal buckets and colorful sticks.  On each stick we wrote on thing we wanted to do and placed them all (50 of them!) into one bucket.  I them made a couple of signs for the buckets…one says to do and one says done.  This will be our way of keeping track of our accomplishments and adventures.

On top of it, we were able to mark one item off our list (or rather move one stick over to the DONE bucket).  Luke decided a trip to Spicy Pie was in order for the first day of summer vacation.  It just so happened that a trip there was on the bucket list by Luke’s request.  That leaves 49 more things to do this summer vacation!

Summer Bucket List Challenge

Today is Luke’s last day of 4th grade and I cannot believe how fast the year flew by!  As I was looking at a friend’s Facebook page the other day, I saw a link to the 2012 Summer Bucket List Challenge and thought it might be a fun and interesting way to keep track of the stuff we do this summer and to complete some goals.  Tomorrow Luke and I are going to make our list and then it will be time to start the challenge.

The fun thing is that these items are not big things, but enjoyable summer fun!  It can be anything from having a picnic to going on vacation or eating an ice cream cone to planting a tree.  I will post a list of what we are planning after we making it tomorrow, but feel free to join in on the fun!!  I think it will be a great way to keep track of all the excitement that the summer has to offer!

The Happy Family Movement—Summer Bucket List