Monday, September 23, 2019

Mailbox Makeover

We have lived in our barn for almost 3 years now.  I am still working on projects around here when I get the chance.
Do you want to make your mailbox stand out?  Check out today's post on A Glimpse of Normal to see how I customized our mailbox.
One of my projects this summer was our mailbox...well actually it started last summer.  Our barn sits behind an old farmhouse (they believe it is the house that originally went with the barn, but I really need to do some digging on the history of our barn) and that leads to a lot of confusion for people trying to find our barn because you can't exactly see it from the road when all the trees are green.  When we moved in, our mailbox was just a regular old black mailbox.  It had a shelf in it that used to drive our mail lady nuts because it really served no purpose other than she would bump her hand on it all the time.  Last year we cut that shelf out and sanded the edges so no one would get cut, I had CJ paint the mailbox for me.  We used Rustoleum spray paint to paint the mailbox.  It has held up well and it has not faded in the last year. 
Do you want to make your mailbox stand out?  Check out today's post on A Glimpse of Normal to see how I customized our mailbox.
I meant to finish my project last summer, but never got the chance.  This summer I had my Cricut machine out for some projects and I decided it was time to finish up the mailbox...okay it was beyond time.  I used my Wall Decor and More Cricut Cartridge to cut out my "H" for our mailbox.  My original idea was to use the cutout as a stencil, but it didn't tape to my mailbox well since it is slightly curved, so instead, I held the H on the mailbox and traced it with a Sharpie marker.  This worked perfectly.  I was able to use Rustoleum Flat Black paint and a small brush and paint in the H.  I love how it turned out and that our mailbox is customized.  Hopefully, this will help people to not miss our driveway anymore. Originally I was going to add our house number too, but I like the look of just the H on the mailbox so I will get a sign for the post for our house number.
Do you want to make your mailbox stand out?  Check out today's post on A Glimpse of Normal to see how I customized our mailbox.
What do you think?  Would you customize your mailbox?  It is pretty easy and doesn't take too much time if you don't wait a year in between steps like I did. 

*This post does contain an affiliate link. This means I may make a small commission from Amazon if you purchase an item from my link.  It does not cost you more to purchase from this link.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Let's Celebrate!!!

Today we are wishing Missy a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  This sweet girl is pretty amazing.  She is smart, funny, kind, and loves big!  She loves Jesus, her family, her friends, and animals.  She has grown in many ways this past year and shows character traits we can be proud of all the time.  She is creative, artistic, and athletic.  We are very proud of the young lady she is becoming and we know that God has big things planned for her.
Happy Birthday Missy from A Glimpse of Normal
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  WE LOVE YOU!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September 2019 Menu Plan

Summer has flown by and now I face the reality that school is starting for us in just a few short days.  I am so ready for the normal schedule of school, but not ready for grading and lesson planning.  My brain doesn't want to yet.  I mean really who wants summer to end?  Okay, I will stop procrastinating now and get to the point.  The start of school means I need a menu plan.  It just makes life easier.  I can get dinner prepped or ready for the crockpot or Instant Pot while the kids are finishing up their schoolwork if I know what I will be cooking.  I save time and we eat dinner at a normal hour.  So here is what is for dinner at our house this month:
Come and see what is for dinner this month at A Glimpse of Normal

  1. Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa
  2. Mini Lasagnas
  3. Slow Cooker Hoppin John
  4. Wonton Chicken Salad
  5. Spicy Honey Mustard Pork Roast
  6. Meat Lover's Pizza Rolls
  7. Walking Tacos
  8. Ultimate Stuffed Crust Pizza
  9. Lentil Soup
  10. Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
  11. Potatoes, Green Beans, and Kielbasa
  12. One Pan Mexican Quinoa
  13. Skillet Pizza
  14. Buttery Garlic Herb Pork Tenderloin
  15. Oven-Baked Hot Italian Sandwiches
  16. Tex Mex Grilled Chicken Salad
  17. Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole
  18. Italian Orzo Sausage Soup
  19. Instant Pot Cubed Steak and Gravy
  20. Pull-Apart Pizza Star
  21. Carne Asada Street Tacos
  22. Moroccan Meatball Couscous Soup
  23. Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
  24. Loaded Beef & Barley Soup
  25. Jambalaya
  26. Stuffed Burgers
  27. Stuffed Pizza Bread
  28. Pressure Cooker Meatballs
  29. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
  30. Italian Sausage Soup with White Beans and Spinach
This is what is for dinner at our house this month. As always you can find recipes for this menu plan on my September Menu Plan board on Pinterest along with other meal ideas too.   Feel free to use this menu plan at your house too or use it just to inspire you and give you some menu ideas.  I would love to know how you use my menu plan, so please leave me a comment and let me know. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Losing and Gaining

I've been working on me this year.  I knew it was more than time for me to make some changes and I knew that it wouldn't be easy.  I started slowly and added more as I could.  I even posted a few of the things I was doing back in April in this post.  I knew those few changes would lead to more positive changes and they have.  Let me tell you more...
Come and read how I am Losing and Gaining at A Glimpse of Normal
In May I went to my doctor for a check-up.  Overall I was pretty healthy, but there were some things I knew that I could change to get healthier.  My doctor doesn't sugar coat things for you, but she isn't mean either.  She told me the things I was doing well with and she told me some things that I needed to change.  One big change she wants to see from me is my weight.  She doesn't want to see huge changes because they don't last, just a little at a time.  I told her about the cardio drumming class I was going to and the StepBet app I use and she was very pleased with both of those things.  She highly encourages both.  We discussed a sensible everything in moderation eating plan and she told me where she would like me to be the next time I see her.  The weight loss isn't about appearance, it is about my health and getting my asthma under control and off of the asthma medications.  Of course, losing weight does change your appearance and I can't say that I won't be happy about that or that I won't be more confident in myself.  

Not long after my check-up, I was at cardio drumming class and our instructor announced that a new BTC challenge was getting ready to start.  The BTC challenge is a body transformation challenge and I decided that it was the kick in the pants I needed to get me on the right track.  At first, I thought this challenge was just going to be about losing weight, but I quickly learned that it was about so much more, it was also about gaining.  Yes, it is good to lose pounds and inches, but it is important to gain too.  The first thing I learned was something my instructor told me.  She said I had to learn to love myself right where I was that moment before I could love who I might be down the road.  I would never be able to make lasting changes if I didn't love me at that moment.  That one hit me pretty hard because I was hard on myself.  I had rolled in the self-pity for so long and beat myself up for all that I did wrong.  I wasn't loving me where I was so I worked really hard to change that.  If it was negative self-talk, I would distract myself or say the opposite of the negative.  I also started thinking about what I was eating and began tracking my food.  I knew that I didn't eat all that bad, but there were some bad food habits that I could change.  When I first started tracking my food I was shocked that some of the things I ate had a ton more calories than I ever would have guessed.  I learned that I could still have some of those foods, but I would have to balance it out somewhere else in the day.  Food tracking has helped me a lot.  I am not calorie obsessed because I do believe in all foods in moderation, I just try to fill up on protein and veggies before adding in other foods.  I move a lot more now.  Since I joined my first Step Bet I have participated in at least 4 more.  I find that if I put money on the line for my movement, I get moving.  I get to the drumming class every time I can.  I also have been taking more walks and have taken a bike ride with my kids.  I know that movement is super important for all my health goals and I am truly enjoying being more active.  Before I would just say no to things because I knew that I couldn't keep up.  Now I am trying to step out of my comfort zone and say yes.  Why not try?  Isn't it better to try and fail or be slow at something than to not try at all?  So I try.  I even said yes to a Great Inflatables race.  You know, I had to walk a good portion of it, but I survived and I had fun.  It was fun climbing over all the inflatables and I would totally do it again.  I wasn't great at it this time, but that is okay...I got out there and did it.

Overall I am losing weight, but I am gaining a healthy mindset.  I am taking it one day at a time and doing the best I can with each day.  I keep learning and keep growing because that is all I can do.  This is a journey and not a race.  I am in it for the long haul, not just the short term.  I am sharing my journey with you not because I want to brag or boast, but because I watched other people's journey and I was inspired by them.  Here is a current progress picture from my journey.
Losing and Gaining at A Glimpse of Normal
Down 14 lbs. and several inches

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Fair and Another Derby

The end of July and beginning of August was full of fair and another Bump 'n Run Derby.  It was all very busy, but fun.  Memories were made and good times were had.  Let me share some more...
See what we have been up to lately at A Glimpse of Normal!
First up was our local fair where we helped with our church tent and Missy showed a draft horse.  No, we don't own a horse.  Our fair has an open program where youth get partnered with draft horse owners and then they work with the horse, learn all about draft horses, and then show the horses at the fair.  Friends at church own 3 draft horses and suggested the program to Missy.  She wanted to try it out so we got her all signed up and she has been able to work with Lucy, the draft horse this year.
Missy started the program in April and she learned a lot from it.  She worked with Lucy several times and even got to attend a show with the horse owners before the fair so that she could practice.  When show day at the fair came, Missy did great.  Lucy did not cooperate completely like horses sometimes do, but Missy kept her cool and kept trying.  Missy showed true courage and perseverance when Lucy didn't cooperate for the decorating class.  She did the best she could and even though Lucy reared up a few times (Missy was always in a safe spot), Missy finished the decorating the best she could.  After Lucy continued to be uncooperative in the arena for the decorating class, the club leaders and the horse owner decided it would be best for Missy to show a different horse in showmanship.  This way she could still show a horse and show the skills she learned throughout the year rather than have to sit it out.  The leaders found her a great horse to show, Missy got a few instructions and off she went.  She ended up placing 5th in the showmanship class (out of 10+ horses) which was great considering 15 minutes before her class was up she didn't think she would be able to show at all.  She walked away that night with 2 ribbons - 5th place out of 5 in decorating and 5th place in showmanship.  It was a night of true perseverance on her part and we couldn't be more proud of how well she did. 


Missy got the chance to work with the draft horses again on the last day of the fair.  This time she got to work on driving the draft horses with our friends she had been working with all year long.  It was a great day for a show and Missy did a great job showing.  Her driving skills improved greatly from the first time she drove and we were really happy with how well she showed.  She didn't place in the show, but that was okay because she showed improvement.  Overall, Missy had a lot of fun in this program and working with our friends that own draft horses.  We are truly thankful for all they did to teach her, encourage her, and let her show their horses.

Next up was CJ's second Bump 'n Run derby in a town about an hour away and the weather was so much better this time.  The week of the derby, the car started giving fits.  It didn't want to stay running and racing that week was starting to look impossible.  This was the week right after our local fair, we were exhausted, and hubby got called for jury duty.  After checking everything we knew could be going on with the car and doing a lot of Google searching, we decided to contact a friend that has a towing business.  He is excellent with troubleshooting and he helped CJ and Hubby find the issue with the derby car.  He was even able to get us in contact with someone selling a car just like the derby car so we could get the part we need (yes we own a second car that will most likely get prepped for derbies now too).  So the guys finally got the car up and running so that we could head out to the derby.  CJ raced in heat one and he ran in second for a few laps.  He raced great!!!  His car took a few hits and unfortunately one (or three) of the hits were right to the coolant lines so the car started to overheat.  After his first race, CJ and Hubby were able to get the car ready to race again for the second heat that he would be in.  We weren't sure if the coolant lines would hold out, but it was worth the try.  CJ ran in second for a lap or two before he got stuck behind a stalled out car.  He got out of that mess and then caught up to finish the race in 5th place.  Overall, he raced really well and we are proud of how he did.  With every race, he is learning what he can do to improve for the next time and he is having a blast.  Now we make some repairs to the car again and hope to get in at least one more race this year.



I think that sums up our last few weeks and where I have been.  I have been a busy momma cheering for my kids.  It has been awesome to see both kids persevere, push through, and do their best.  I look forward to what they both have going on next. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August 2019 Menu Plan...or lack thereof

I know I am a few days late and we are already in August, but I promise I have a good excuse for a late menu plan.  We were helping run our church booth at the fair that ended on Saturday.   So the first few days of August got away from me.  I have been trying hard to sit down and come up with a menu, but we have a lot A LOT going on this month.  Summer break is coming to an end for us and we are trying to soak up the last days of our summer break.  That is why I made the hard decision to skip my typical monthly menu plan.  If you need meal ideas you can look back on the following posts:
A Glimpse of Normal
I will be back in September with another new menu plan.  I promise not to let time get away from me again.  On the plus side, we have been doing plenty of things that I will be blogging about in the next few weeks.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Derby Driving

CJ has had an item on his bucket list for years now.  It is one of those crazy items that you think is just a dream, but he was totally serious about it.  His dream was to drive in a Demolition Derby.  We have always loved watching them, but I can't say that I was immediately on board with him driving in one.
Derby Driving from A Glimpse of Normal
Have you seen a demolition derby?  They can be rough, cars can flip, and so much more.  I guess that is why they are fun to watch, but it is also why I kept telling him there was no way he was driving in one.  Then a couple of years ago we saw our first Bump 'n Run style of a demolition derby.  The Bump 'n Run style of racing is more of a race combined with being able to bump opponents out of the way.  After watching a few of this style of derby and seeing many events put on by the same company, I started listening to CJ and hubby when CJ said this was a dream of his.
Derby Driving from A Glimpse of Normal
No, we aren't crazy.  Yes, we know derbies can be dangerous.  Yes, we took tons of safety precautions and installed a roll cage in his car.  Yes, we finally agreed to let CJ try out Bump 'n Run Demolition Derbies this year.  His first derby was this past Saturday and I knew that CJ was ready for it.  We found a car earlier this summer and he (along with help from a friend and his dad) got it all ready to go.  He followed all the rules for the company that runs the derbies and we added as much safety gear as we could while still following the rules.  It was HOT when we got to the fairgrounds and we knew there was a chance of a storm that night.  One storm rolled in and made the dirt track into a mud track.  That was okay with CJ because our trails get muddy and he drives his 4 wheeler on them all the time while they are muddy.  So I knew he would do okay driving.  More storms were rolling in, but the derby went on.  CJ got 4th in his heat and we couldn't be prouder of him.  He was the only first-time driver at this fair and he did really well in spite of the THICK mud.  His car still lives and his next event is coming up in 2 weeks.  We are pretty excited to see what he can do now that he has experienced racing in an event.  Here is a quick video of him in the derby:
I will be the first to tell you that I wasn't super happy about the thought of him racing in derbies.  But I know that I can't say no to everything for forever.  Some things CJ does will be risky and they will seem much more dangerous to me than they really are, I think that is just a boy thing that they do.  God poked my heart and nudged me to stop saying no and to get on board with this crazy dream of CJ's.  God really reminded me that I can say no all I want, but that in reality, He is the one in control and there is nothing I can do about that.  All the time I kept trying to say no to the crazy bucket list item, God kept nudging me to say yes.  So I did.  It is amazing the amount of peace I have about this bucket list item for CJ.  I know who watches over him and whose hands he is in and that is why I can say yes.  I also said yes to the Bump 'n Run derby because I have watched how the company that CJ is racing with works.  I have seen them throw out drivers for breaking the rules.  I have seen them stop derbies when they think something is unsafe.  They truly do everything they can to put on a fun, yet safe events.  Lastly, I said yes and got on board with this crazy dream because my kids need me to get on board with their dreams and bucket list items.  We won't be able to make all of their bucket list items happen, but we can make some happen and they need that.

P.S. - In case you were wondering, CJ is a very responsible driver on the road.  His demo derby driving stays where it belongs on the track.