Thursday, July 28, 2016


Last week we were on Staycation and it was a huge success.  We were busy every day.  We began our Staycation Saturday evening by going to the drive-in to see Finding Dory.  The evening was warm, perfect, and gorgeous.  We packed our cooler with drinks and snacks, but still bought chicken fingers, fries and slushies from the concession stand.  Although, Elliot periodically watched the film, he spent a good portion of the time playing amongst the dirt and rocks.
Elliot, waiting for the movie to start
Sunday, Elliot went to visit his father and grandparents.  I cut the grass, washed clothes (we designated an area to layout the clothes we would be wearing during our Staycation – this turned out to be an excellent idea, a timesaver and solved the dilemma of what to wear).  All other clothes were put away.  We also prepared a few foods ahead of time for easy heat and eat meals.

Monday morning, we signed Elliot up for Vacation Bible School.  It was the only morning he went.  He couldn’t get over our leaving him there and refused to go again.  This was actually a good thing, as it made our mornings less hectic and we were not in rush mode.  We picked Elliot up at noon and headed out for the Children’s Museum, then the Duquesne Incline.  We ended this very hot day with ice cream treats at Dairy Queen.
Being creative at the Children's Museum
Tuesday, we headed down to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (one of Kayla’s favorite places).  The building was cool and Elliot was very well behaved.  Afterward, we were supposed to ride the PNC Carousel, however, parking is an issue in Oakland, so we visited Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream shop instead.  That evening we had dinner reservations at The Olive Garden.
Checking out dinosaur bones at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Wednesday, Mom joined us for Polar Bear Pop at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  We took the tram to travel the park (it was a very hot day) and only toured a few sites.  That evening, Kay, Elliot and I enjoyed dinner and a show on a Pirate-themed Gateway Clipper Cruise.  Highlights: Elliot threw up after dinner and a few crew members cleaned that up; Elliot spent most of the time lying under the table watching Kids’ YouTube. 
Hanging with the Polar Bear at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Thursday, I left free for Kayla to fill.  She said, why don’t we rest.  HAHAHA.  So, except for her having a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, we mostly stayed close to home.  I did laundry and we packed for our trip to Ligonier.
Touring Fort Ligonier in the rain
Friday, we loaded the car with swimsuits, stroller, blankets, sunglasses, books, and a cooler filled with lots of water, and headed on out to Ligonier.  Beautiful drive, but once we hit our destination, the Ramada Ligonier, to pick up our amusement park tickets, it began to rain and thunder and lightning.   We decided to explore Fort Ligonier instead and then walked Main Street (this little town is lovely!), had lunch at Abigail’s (delicious) and then checked into our room.  We unpacked and ordered Chinese, which Elliot and I walked to pick up. The Ramada Ligonier has an outdoor pool, and if you go there around dinner time, there’s a good chance you will have the pool to yourself (as we did). 
Enjoying the Hotel's outdoor pool
Saturday, after our complimentary breakfast of waffles, eggs, ham, potatoes, toast, juice and a ton of other choices, and after Elliot played at the Lego table, we packed up the car and headed on over to Idlewild Park where we spent the day (until the thunder, lightning, and rain) riding, playing and swimming.  We were home by six, tired, yet happy and rested.
A little downtime
Are you considering going on Staycation?  Check your State’s “official tourism” website for ideas of where to go and what to see.  In Pennsylvania, the website address is:  It has a special section for PA Road Trips that I refer to often.  Then, set a budget and stick to it.  Many of our activities we paid for strictly in cash (we set up a binder with each day’s activities and driving directions stored in a plastic sleeve, along with the amount of money we anticipated we’d need for that day).  Careful planning and lots of research ahead of time really made for a fun and relaxing week (well, except for maybe the many times we drove around in circles because I have NO sense of direction).
Elliot, ready for the road???
Have you gone on Staycation?  If so, what fun things did you do?  I’m thinking of maybe a four day during the autumn months (our favorite time of year).  Any ideas??

Sweet dreams after a day well lived

Please note that the links provided in today's post are for convenience and informational purposes only.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Looking Forward To . . .

. . . nine glorious days away from the office!  As you can see from yesterday's post, we are gearing up for a Staycation.  Tonight we begin to cross off the many to-dos on our pre-Staycation list, i.e., gather ALL trash and put out for tomorrow's pick-up, gather ALL dirty clothes, towels, blankets, sort and carry down to laundry area, start laundering, make grocery list, shop, prepare quick dinners for the week, clean out car, then pack car with totes, blankets, extra pillows, garbage bags, etc. for the many road trips we will be taking, make lots of ice, stop at Bank for cash, print out directions... wait - this is a vacation??!  LOL!  Anyway, that's part of the list.  My brain is swimming with all that needs to be done to have a really GREAT week.  Hope you have lots to look forward to!!!!

Peace and Love,



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

We are going on Staycation!

Another year we are putting off a Florida vacation (insert sad face here).  Instead we have decided to have a Staycation (insert happy face here).  After all, there is so much to see and do right here in our home State!  So, after much thought and careful planning, here is what we have so far on our "Staycation" Itinerary:

July 16 – 24, 2016

Saturday, July 16
Grocery shopping*
Dependable Drive-In 9:00-2:00  (The Secret Life of Pets OR Finding Dory) ($16.00 for admission).  – clean out car. Pack pillows and blankets, baby wipes, towel, cooler, extra clothes

Sunday, July 17
Elliot to his Dad’s
Yard work, laundry, *make meals for the week: chili, sloppy joes, meatballs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, noodles

Monday. July 18
Vacation Bible School 9-12
The Children’s Museum 10-5        
Station Square/Duquesne Incline  
DiFiore’s Ice Cream Delight, 120 Shiloh Street (CASH only)

Tuesday, July 19
Vacation Bible School 9-12
Carnegie Museum – 10-5 
The PNC Carousel – 10-6, ($2 – use token machine)
The Olive Garden – dinner (make reservations)

Wednesday. July 20
Vacation Bible School 9-12
The Pittsburgh Zoo – 12-2 Polar Bear Pop
Gateway Clipper Pirate Dinner – 5:30 -9:00       

Thursday, July 21
Vacation Bible School 9-12
Friday, July 22 – Saturday, July 23
Vacation Bible School 9-12
Check in at Ramada-Ligonier (pick up Idlewild Park Tickets) 
Idlewild Park – Christmas in July (Friday) 10:30-8

You will notice that I left Thursday free and told Kayla to fill it in.  After looking over the list and agreeing to what is planned so far, she made me laugh when she suggested that "maybe we should just stay home and rest."  By then, that will probably sound great to me, too!!

If you are planning a Staycation this year, what is on your list?????

Peace and Love,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Looking Forward To...

... a quiet weekend (hopefully), and spending time with this little guy.  He is pure joy!
A most happy fellow!
I've got mountains of laundry and the VA is coming tomorrow, so I've got to box up a few things tonight.  Tomorrow is trash pick-up, so tonight we will be cleaning out the fridge.  I really do not have much on my list, just a lot of purging and cleaning.
What are you looking forward to this weekend?



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 2016 To Do List

I have so much on my July To-Do List!  Besides a staycation scheduled, Vacation Bible School for Elliot and a few other fun outings, my list includes decluttering my bedroom (I will eventually move to the second floor*), staying up with the yard work, planting, washing tons of laundry, learning how to cook using a roaster, documenting a week in Elliot’s life, a few crochet projects, and MORE!  I intend to totally ENJOY this month.
We entered July on a whirlwind weekend of activity.  The kiddies stayed at Amanda’s Thursday and Friday.  The office closed early Friday for the weekend (a perk!).  Mister brought over a fabulous Italian-style dinner.  Mom and I shopped Saturday morning, then cleaned and rearranged the non-working kitchen.  That evening, I cooked up some chicken nuggets and deviled eggs for our trip to Idlewild Park the next day.  Sunday morning, after a good breakfast, K and E and I loaded the car and drove to Idlewild. This was Elliot’s first visit and he was a blast!  He had a blast, too.  The 4th of July, Mom came in for a picnic lunch, and an afternoon of 500 and Gin.  K has become quite the card player.  Then we packed up some dogs, burgers, and corn on the cob and headed out to Amanda’s.  The kids played and swam (and sadly there were a few family fireworks (not in a good way) so that part of the day did not end on a high note.  However, we regrouped and headed over to the back of what was once a Sears where we met up with Jayme and Tina and their family to watch the real fireworks.  Elliot loved it all!  His innocent happiness is SO contagious!  All in all it was a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! 

And now it's time to get back to busy!  What is on your July To-Do List?



*we have a little one joining us around January 15th and are changing the rooms around to create a nursery.  SO exciting!!!

Friday, July 1, 2016

July │ Currently

Welcome July!!

The days are coming fast.  I am having a hard time staying up with all I would like to do.  In actuality, I need to let go of a few things and just s-l-o-w down.  It all gets done at the end of the day. Right? Right?

Our region has been having wonderfully hot days and cool nights.  The flowers are blooming, the grass is green, the skies are so blue.

I have been reading ALOT lately - psychological thrillers is my current genre.  I've just finished Girl in the Dark by Marion Pauw and am ready to move onto All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. I've really been making use of the idle time spent on the bus to and from the office each day.

Elliot continues to be a wonder and a joy. He astounds us each day with something new.  I LOVE this little guy!!!!

We laid to rest a dear friend yesterday.  She fought the fight.  Prayers to her family and especially her youngest who is only 17.

I've had the oil changed in the car - road trips here we come!

I am so looking forward to this month,  Kayla and I have plenty planned, starting with a trip to Idlewild Park this weekend.  In a few weeks, we are having a "staycation" and have invited K's little brothers to sleep over.

Any plans for your month??

Happy Friday!