We kicked off Friday night by loading up the back of Jim’s truck with stuff to take to the dump- 7 garbage cans, some busted up daycare toys, the cover for our travel trailer, some old worn out welcome mats and rugs, deflated soccer balls, clothes too nasty to donate to Goodwill, etc.

When that was done we had 10 minutes to spare before we needed to take the girls to their 3rd karate class for the week. They are testing to graduate their gold belts on Wednesday so we need to make sure they get in every class they can!

After karate we FINALLY got to go out for our family birthday dinner!  My birthday was a couple weeks ago, Jim’s birthday was Sunday.

We had decided on Red Robin (because one of us could get a free burger that way). It was an experience… first off we didn’t get there until 7:15, and we had a 15 minute wait to be seated, our server must have been new or something because although he was prompt about taking our drink & appetizer order, and promptly bringing those to us, the rest of the night went downhill. He’d stop by and ask us if the kids wanted refills of their freckled lemonade, but he wouldn’t bring them (??) so the kids would have to ask someone else. And he never took anything from our table when he stopped by, everyone else would. And people around us who sat AFTER us were getting their food, and he explained to us that the kitchen was backed up so he brought us some baskets of French fries to hold us over. I decided to try their new “Spring Beer Milkshake” which is a combination of creamy soft serve whipped with Blue Moon® Belgian White Beer, Cointreau® Orange Liqueur and orange juice. Um, it was gross. Maybe if I liked beer it would be OK….I was expecting more of an orange taste but the beer was very overpowering. Jim drank it for me. I ended up drinking a Spiked Grasshopper shake instead- their classic Mint Brownie Shake spiked with Absolut® Vodka. IT was tasty! By the time our food came, nobody was very hungry (except ME because I didn’t eat any of those fries and just had my 2 onion rings from our shared appetizer. I ordered their Bruschetta Chicken sandwich (A grilled chicken breast with bruschetta salsa, pesto aioli, Provolone cheese, romaine lettuce and balsamic cream on rustic ciabatta bread) which I usually LOVE and sadly this one disappointed.

Anyway, we didn’t end up leaving the place until almost 9:00. OH, and since we were ordering “no holds barred” (which meant the kids got to drink whatever they wanted, and get appetizers, and Trevor ordered off the adult menu, and Jim and I both had “drinks”)….our bill came to $73.00! And that was AFTER the free burger discount. Wow, now I know why we don’t go out to eat as a family….ever.  I don’t know how families can afford to go out to eat once or twice a week!  Save that topic for another day.

Stuffed bellies, early bedtime, early plans for Saturday morning: Jim and Brooke were going to the dump, Trevor was getting picked up by a friend to spend the weekend at the beach, which left Riley and I behind to get a head start on our weekend.

I scrubbed the kitchen floors, vacuumed the playroom, vacuumed the front and back door areas, cleaned the kitchen spotless, had Trevor help me move the closet door into the playroom so we could FINALLY put our last two coats of polyurethane on it, a quick break to check Facebook and I saw that the Aloha Garden Club was having a plant sale at Aloha Huber starting at 9am (it was 9:05 when I saw the ad) so Riley and I hopped in the SUV and headed out to shop.

It was a packed event and I’m so glad we got there when we did! I picked up 5 plants: 2 purple coneflowers (Echinacea), 1 “fireball” oriental poppy in , 1 yellow/orange chrysanthemum and 1 dark yellow Coreopsis Verticillata.

On our way home I saw the $7.99 haircut sign at Great Clips, so ran Riley in for a 1/2″ trim. Her hair is sooooo long and pretty!


On our way home from that we saw a garage sale, so stopped. I got two sconces for our bedroom, a strainer, and a family game called “Last Word”.


Back in the car, almost home, we saw another garage sale sign so stopped at that one, too! This time I got a bracelet, 4 Disney storybooks, a organizer full of beads and a bag of pompoms for daycare crafts. She threw in a reusable tote since my hands were so full! Ha!

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Total spent at the garage sales: $14

Finally made it home- Brooke and Jim had been back for a while, oopsie!

Saturday was supposed to be a super productive day doing yardwork to take advantage of the nice weather, and Jim had to work on Sunday so it was really our only opportunity to get a lot of the stuff done.  I really don’t like ‘work’ days on the weekends, so in an effort to put myself in a better mood I decided to make the list myself.  That way I’m the person in charge rather than Jim being the boss and barking orders, lol.  It worked!

Oh, side note: our dump fee came to just $22.75!  And that is for a full year of garbage!  The last time we went to the dump was June 2012….so technically I guess that’s 10 months worth.  Before that it was January 2011, so we made it 17 months between trips that round.  (See this previous post on how we manage our garbage so that we don’t need monthly service.)

Back to the to-do list.  First up was that first coat of polyurethane.


Then I went outside to tackle our list. I don’t even know where to start.  In the backyard we  fixed two of the toys on the play structure, ripped out the exposed visqueen and then spread out the bark chips to a more uniform and even depth, we took the arbor out of it’s spot for a super scrubbing (going to apply stain/oil next week to darken it back up again), weeded, prepped along the path and fences for barkdust, I planted my new flowers.

In the front yard we dug back the bamboo and pulled out any stray sprouts, cleaned up the entire area by the front door, removing the big concrete planter, trimming the hedges, pruning back the laceleaf maple making it nearly half the size it was before, the girls cut back all the low sprouts under the giant shrub, too!  Our front door space looks much cleaner and brighter.  Now I just need to get something colorful for the square planter.


For our lunch break we discussed ideas for a permanent fire pit, discussed moving the giant table a few feet closer to the house, talked about future plans for our gazebo, and agreed that we need to get some nice looking plant labels/signs/stakes now that we have so many different plants and our yard is so garden-like.

The final phase for the day was digging out around the path and along the fence for new barkdust.  As we did the front yard we realized there were areas about 6″ deep so we removed all that barkdust and relocated it to the backyard to spread in the raised flower bed.  I’ll spread that sometime this week.

We worked….all…..day.  Really it was just six hours solid of physical work, and we were both beat.  I could hardly walk after I’d stopped and sat for a bit, my feet were killing me, my legs ached.  It was painful to take a shower.  I wished we had a hot tub to soak in instead, but Jim commented that it would be pretty gross and dirty for us to “clean” up that way!  ha!

I have to say, the girls helped tremendously! In fact, THEY pruned the giant boxy shrub by our gate- yes- all by themselves they made this box shape out of it! (I trimmed up where they couldn’t reach and Jim trimmed the top and anything I couldn’t reach) but basically, they did the bottom 4′ themselves.


And I’m so so so so impressed!  Who knew they had it in them! The other thing they helped with is pulling all the teeny tiny sprouts off the trunks of the maples (those things sure are pesky) and they thought that was a pretty fun task.  After about 2 hours of help from them, they headed out to play with all their friends in our cul-de-sac and didn’t come back in until dinner time!

We ordered Godfather’s Taco Pizza…delivered, because I was too sore to drive anywhere…and to reward the girls for their hard work I also ordered a side of Monkey Bread.

While I waited for the pizza, I put the second coat of polyurethane on the closet door.  This time I’ve been very careful to not leave any bristles or hairs behind, as last time I found them the following day and had to pick them all out, sand those spots, and reapply the polyurethane again.  Ugh.

Bedtime was 8pm….after playing a couple rounds of our new board game, we settled into our king bed (the 4 of us) to watch Wreck it Ralph.  I fell asleep- I still haven’t seen the whole thing (I keep missing the middle part!).

Sunday morning- it’s Jim’s birthday!  Poor guy had to go to work, leaving the house at 4:30am.  Yikers.

I didn’t roll out of bed until almost 7, spent my quiet hour doing this blog entry, working on a couple other blog entries, and researching current coupon deals.  The girls got up closer to 8:30.  We moved slow- folded a load of laundry, sorted coupons, clipped coupons, wrapped Jim’s birthday present.  Oh, and I waxed my legs (I hate shaving, this is so much better- just do it every 3-4 weeks and it’s perfect!)

Oh, and our closet door looks fabulous!


Riley had a tournament game at 1:45, so we just hovered around the house until it was time to go. She’s #6 in Black below.



They lost, which means her soccer season is officially over, no more practices or games or tournaments.  Until tryouts May 15th.  Yep, we get a 2 week break.  Although Jim and I are thinking we’re not going to let her play competitive again.  Not only because of the intensity, time, and expense, but also because she plays up a year and we think it’s time for her to just play with her own age and go back to recreational soccer.  If she plays rec, she’ll have no more soccer until late August when the fall season starts up.  I relish that though…..ahhhhhh.

After the game we stopped in at Jamba Juice for some $3 coupon drinks, but the line was too long, so we decided to skip that and go to Costco to stock up on food for the week….and pick up a birthday cake for Jim!

He had an errand to run after work so we weren’t expecting him home until much later, but he texted to say he was home already.  So we went back and picked him up to take him with us.  We ate dinner there (as usual), he picked out the super tall chocolately chocolate chocolate cake.  We headed home.

After we got home I ran to Albertsons to pick up some whole chickens (on sale) but they were out, and I got the call that Trevor was back from the beach so I picked him up, came back home, we chatted about his beach trip, ate Birthday Cake, and Jim opened his present:  a smoking rack for our Traeger.  Now he and Trevor can try making some jerky!  And we can also smoke several racks of ribs at once (if we ever need to).

That about wraps up our weekend!  Our outdoor to-do list is shorter, but not by much, new things have already been added!