Our Family Life

Saturdays on the Porch

Welcome to the porch! Let’s chat!

This week started off really hot here in Southern Virginia. Luckily, late Thursday into Friday morning we finally got some much-needed rain. Storms came through which lowered the temperatures and the humidity, thank goodness. I cannot stand humid weather.

I was able to get a little more weeding done this week, but for only a few hours in the morning because it got hot quickly!

Remember last week when I told you I met one of the neighbors? Well, this week I met her sister. She’s really nice and in the 15 minutes we talked, I learned she’s a horse, dog, and garden person; she lived in Hawaii and South Carolina where she found churches she loved but she still can’t find a church around here; she has a cat but she’s allergic to him, and the list goes on.

I loved talking to her because she switches subjects in the middle of a sentence just like I do! She promised to bring me some perennials to plant along the front of the house, which she calls a “door garden”. I’ve never heard that term before.

Saturdays on the Porch

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Speaking of plants…

In the middle of moving and hurting my ankle, I completely forgot there were 2 dwarf spruce trees planted in cement planters on the front porch. Of course, with no rain, they sadly turned brown and died. So I replanted them this week with Dragon’s Breath, which my husband picked up on one of his many trips to Lowe’s.

dead plant
Dragon's Breath

In my defense, I’m not a plant person and I’ve never had a green thumb like my mom. She is a plant guru so I’m going to need her to retire soon and become my personal landscaper.

Here’s a funny story for you.

Wednesday, I put a load of laundry into the dryer and turned it on just like I always do. Luckily, I was down there for a little bit looking through boxes because the dryer started making this terrible clicking sound. I quickly opened the door and it was so hot inside! Plus, it smelled like it was burning and the back of the dryer started turning greyish blue. I got all the clothes out and hung them up to dry, then texted my husband to let him know I almost burnt the house down doing laundry.

When my husband got home from work, he removed the back of the dryer to see what was going on. He went to the electrical store and bought some new pieces that he thought were bad. He replaced the pieces, turned the dryer on, but the clicking sound was still there and so was the burning smell. He turned the drum to see if he could figure it out from the inside. A thumbtack fell out of the back of the drum into the dryer!

$70 and 2 days later we realized a thumbtack was the problem.

Home Update

This week I was able to finally put our office together. Writing from the couch is nice on some days, but not every day. I’m a pen and paper girl so I have lists and notes in notebooks and those are hard to use when they’re laid out all over the couch. So I needed an office.

The office will mostly be my husband’s office once the family room is fixed. Then we’ll use that as our living room and our “temporary living room” will become my craft space/office. Maybe? That was the plan anyway. Things are always changing around here, though.

Here’s what I did in the office this week.

When we first moved in, my daughter turned this room into a cat room. She set up a “kitty condo” out of boxes and a few of her blankets. Amber loved the box in the middle for some reason. She eventually forgot about it, which I’m glad because I didn’t want to feel like a horrible cat mom when I took the boxes away.

We were storing boxes in the family room until we could put them where they belonged, but we had to move them because the contractors were coming. So the few remaining boxes went into the office, which I cleared out this week.

kitty condo
Office 2

After cleaning up the office space, I started putting everything together. The previous owner had left a really nice computer desk in the basement, so my husband and I brought it upstairs.

The decorative vases on top of the bookshelf were also in the basement, along with 2 pictures of purple flowers which I thought were really pretty, so I hung those on the walls by the door.

office 7
office photo
flower photo 1
flower photo 2
office 8

So now the office is set up, but temporarily, of course. Here are some thoughts and goals I have for the office:

  • paint a different color
  • install the printer
  • get a file cabinet
  • new décor with inspirational sayings (?)

Also, while going through boxes, I found the photos my husband made for me years ago of our kids. I remember finding the perfect frame for it at a thrift store. I love how antique it looks! I hung it up on the wall that you see as soon as you walk in the front door. It’s plain right now, but I plan to add more pictures there whenever I find them all.

photo of kids
photo 2 of kids

My husband has been changing out lightbulbs and replacing them with smart bulbs so they’ll work with Alexa. They’re nice to have when we get home and it’s dark so we can turn the lights on before we even get out of the car. However, when I’m home, I’d much rather use a light switch to turn on the lights. I guess I’m just old fashioned that way. I hate asking anyone to do stuff for me, especially a robot.

Weekly Menu

What’s on the menu this week:

  • Monday: French Onion Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Tuesday: Cheesy Potato Slow Cooker Soup with ham and sliders
  • Wednesday: Homemade Ham & Cheese Subs with bacon cheese fries
  • Thursday: Chicken Sandwiches with waffle fries
  • Friday: Grilled Chicken with baked potatoes and salad
  • Saturday: out
  • Sunday: I still haven’t decided yet
banana pudding
Banana Pudding

This week’s dessert: Banana Pudding

My favorite posts from around the web this week:

  • 10 DIY Christmas yard decorations It’s July and I’ve been seeing Christmas stuff pop up all over the place, especially the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. These yard decorations are so cute! I love the reindeer and the pallet Christmas tree.
repurposed hand-me-downs

Book of the month:

I’m sad to say that I haven’t had much time to read this week or last, so I’m still finishing up A Prayer for Owen Meany. But, the next book on my list to read is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I’m pretty sure I started reading this book years ago, but I’m not quite sure why I stopped. So I plan to pick it up again and mark it off my list this month. Have you ever read this book?

The Bell Jar

Deal of the week:

Plant Therapy: All this month, if you purchase the No Worries essential oil blend from Plant Therapy, they will donate $5 to the Boys and Girls Club of America. The No Worries essential oil blend is kid-safe and is designed to help kids through unruly nerves. It’s perfect to add to a diffuser necklace or lava bead bracelet for when the kids go back to school. Or if your kid has anxiety in general like my daughter, they can wear it any time.

The oil blend is also great for adults to use, too. I love to diffuse it when I’m feeling a bit anxious. It smells great, too! It has a woodsy, sweet, citrus scent.

Fun Photo of the Week

Okay, this isn’t my own photo, but when I came across it this week online, I couldn’t stop laughing! If you’re a girl who has ever worn a dress with pockets, you know exactly why this is so funny. Don’t tell me you’ve never done this!

fun photo of the week

This week on the blog:

This week I, made a cute rustic sign for my bathroom out of a thrift sale frame and Dollar Tree wall stickers. If you missed it, you can see how I did it here.

rustic bathroom sign

Thank you for joining me on the porch this week! Now it’s your turn to chat! Let me know what you’ve been up to this week. Any exciting news? How’s the weather? Anything! (I’m in desperate need of adult conversation, can you tell?)

Happy 4th of July!

Thank you for sharing!