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Scattered Sundays

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Two weeks ago we welcomed four new chickens to the family. And at the time, Troy could not decide what to name his.

Troy and I make decisions at very different speeds…and he is still trying to decide between two names. Two weeks later. Still can’t decide.

So we need YOUR help choosing!

One of Troy’s favorite movies is Tombstone. We don’t have cable but if he ever comes across it on TV, he will absolutely stop and watch it.

With that in mind, Chicken name option one: Wyatt Chirp. Chicken name option two: Bawk Holiday. What say, you dear readers?

a boy standing next to a deer in the grass

We got back from our trip to the ocean on Thursday afternoon. It was the longest time we have ever spent there. It was so nice to get away. We’re incredibly blessed to have this house as a free vacation option.

There’s no internet which is not a bad thing. Unless you’re self-employed and work from home. 🙂 I managed to work about three hours a day using my mobile hotspot but it was touch and go most of the time.

The boys had an amazing time and by 4:30 pm each day it was a struggle to keep Bennett awake until bedtime. If you’ve been in that stage where kids should not be napping but things get pretty “Hurt Locker” when they don’t, you know the constant parental battle deciding if you should let them sleep and thus ruin bedtime.

It got to the point where he’d be nodding off no matter where he was sitting. So, we used a tried and true parenting tactic – we bribed him with candy to stay awake. 🙂 We gave him a piece of saltwater taffy (Jack got one too) to stay awake and then made sure we served an early dinner. Everyone slept well from all the activity.

Troy or I walked/run solo every day, and the boys and I did some epic bike rides. We pulled Troy along with us a few times to ride to this cute little planned village called Oyhut Bay

2 people on a bike in front of a beach house

The boys also became obsessed with fishing during this trip. Jack caught the only fish of the week, and it made a whopping two fish nuggets that Troy cooked in cast iron over a campfire.

3 boys cooking a fish over a campfire

Jack is rocking my MIL’s clogs.

It was a good trip, other than the boys constantly torturing me by wanting to play in the ocean every day. My ONE parenting fear is strong water, and these children are psychos who have zero fear of the murder waves. 

2 boys and a dad standing in the ocean

True, this looks calm, but the waves were out of frame. Just waiting to harm my children!

Jack started skimboarding a few days in, and the first time it was a bit of a hot mess. Jack is my rage-quitter kid because 99% of things come easily to him.

When he has to exert any effort to learn something new, he’s instantly frustrated. We basically ignored his tantrums and he got it figured it out and had a fantastic time and got really good.

a boy on a skim board with birds behind him

It was during this trip I realized we’re a bit of an odd family. I mean, I knew that before, but our traveling habits probably aren’t super normal. Why? We packed cloth napkins, our Soda Stream, and reusable metal straws to use. The boys love straws for water, and I use it for my morning iced coffee.

I grew up using paper napkins, and you have no idea how many you throw out every day. Don’t even get me started on people who use paper plates daily…

Cloth napkins are our jam and I finally replaced our nine-year-old set with these from Etsy (supporting handmade is always cool). Thankfully, they all made it back from the trip.

We decided that next time we’re also taking our air fryer. Yep, we’re those people who travel with an air fryer now! 🙂 We used the oven for a few meals and couldn’t believe how much longer it took to cook. Easy to clean and lower energy bills = air fryer love forever.

2 boys in beach grass

Troy and I finished The Umbrella Academy before we left for the ocean, and started Ted Lasso when we got back. It’s adorable and I freaking love Jason Sudekis (he was recently on one of my favorite podcasts, Majority 54) and he’s wonderful in this role. It’s on apple TV and I think most people can get a two week trial for free (that’s how we’re watching it).

Movie night this week was The One and Only Ivan on Disney+. Jack has read the book at least three times and was so excited to see it was released on TV. It was really cute.

Jack has middle school orientation this week. Kids are organized in small groups for a 90-minute timeslot by last name. We’ll dash in with masks, get his school photo taken (which seems weird because it’s usually an October thing), get his textbook and then get TF out of there.

What a crappy way to start a new school for all these kiddos. I know the teachers and staff are trying so hard to make it special, but this whole year is just a giant dumpster fire for everyone. 2020 – one star. Do not recommend.

2 boys running in beach grass

My mother-in-law and I are going to IKEA this week. Current plan: pick up a desk and (safely) drool all over the kitchen and pantry stuff. 

I currently work in a corner of our bedroom with a janky laptop desk while sitting on the 11-year-old rocker we used with the boys. It’s an incredibly comfy chair for cuddling babies, but an ergonomic nightmare for computer work.

We also store all our office stuff in a rolling island organizer thingy in our repurposed eat-in kitchen. That part of the kitchen will become the heart of the kitchen once we remodel this fall, so I’m clearing stuff out now while I can.

The island cart cannot work as a desk because there is no place to put my legs, and I’m ready to have actual desktop space so I don’t have to write with things balanced on a chair arm. #firstworldproblems.

We were going to get rid of the rocker but realized that our big giant nerd Jack would love it in his room as a reading chair. He currently reads on his bed or in a pile of blankets on the floor like some long-legged weirdo. We’re happy this cozy chair is sticking around a bit longer.

In the Garden This Week

We were gone most of the week, but our neighbor who was chicken-sitting was able to harvest lots of tomatoes and blueberries.

Getting home Thursday afternoon I was shocked at how many ripe tomatoes we had. The whole time we were gone the weather was (Seattle) HOT and the garden exploded. I simply do not have time to can tomatoes right now, so I’m freezing some for later.

With a freezer full of tomatoes, I’ll eventually can tomato soup sometime in fall or winter when I welcome turning on the stove and standing near a giant pot of hot water.

We also harvested some summer squash and cucumbers upon our return. Bennett is my cucumber-fiend, and I’m also going to make a batch of my Nana’s Cucumber and Onion Salad to have in the fridge.

Saturday morning the boys and I went to the pandemic theme park, AKA the bark and mulch store. When you never see anyone but family and don’t go anywhere, watching topsoil get loaded into the truck is about as exciting as it gets. 🙂

The soil got loaded into the new raised beds that Troy finished up a week ago. I’m going to be planting fall starts this week. Garlic will go into the bed holding the squash and cucumbers in early-October.


Depending on where you live, back to school is so weird this year. But a few “new” outfits can help even the school-at-home kids feel like something is normal.

ThredUp is the world’s largest online thrift store and you can find kids clothes in amazing condition for a fraction of the price. You’re even able to sort for items with the tags still on them. Sign up here and get $1o to shop.

What I’m Listening To This Week

This episode of How I Built This features the founder of sunscreen brand Super Goop (not the wacky lifestyle brand “Goop”).

The interview was so compelling I actually bought the sunscreen and I love it! I have very pale acne-prone skin and so far, the sunscreen is fantastic and stays on all day.

I bought the tinted sunscreen (not an affiliate link) and I love the coverage it provides. It’s not full “makeup” but it is the version of pandemic effort that I can get behind right now. I used it on the boys at the ocean and they walked around looking like they had Instagram filters on their faces. HA!

If you end up ordering any, make sure you have a Rakuten account because Supergoop offers 3% cashback. 

What I’m Reading This Week

I had planned to finish up Tell Me Who You Are…but it got returned off my kindle by the library. Whoops, back on the waitlist to check it out again. This has been a LONG read, but a good one. I think it may have been better as an audiobook.

Since all my other books are waitlisted, I downloaded a quick easy read – The Guardians by John Grisham. I can knock out a Grisham book in a few days.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Mary Beth left this five-star review on our Blackberry Syrup tutorial. {Pin this recipe}

I wanted to try this recipe out so I cut it in half, just enough to put in the frig for waffles or angel food cake. It was sooo good. We have tons of blackberries, so many I’ve been having to freeze them every day to keep up. I made blackberry jelly with the surejell and it’s so sweet. I love the taste of the syrup so this morning I got more berries out and wanted to try cooking them longer than the syrup to see if it would set up as jelly.

jars of blackberry syrup and a basket of blackberries on a white board

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Freezer Essentials {How to Stock Your Freezer on a Budget}Freezer essentials are your go-to items to make healthy eating realistic f0r your family. A well-stocked freezer is an insurance policy for last-minute dinners and go-to healthy snacks. Learn about the must-haves from a family that loves to cook from scratch. {Pin this list}

Air Fryer Chicken FajitasThese juicy and flavorful Air Fryer Chicken Fajitas come together in just minutes with only a few ingredients. This easy one-pot wonder is a speedy paleo, Whole30 compliant, or gluten-free dinner. No air fryer? You’ll find oven-baking instructions too. {Pin this recipe}

a white bowl with air fryer chicken fajitas, a tray of toppings, and a bowl of corn on a white board

How to Stock Your Pantry on a BudgetGet tons of ideas for pantry essentials and pantry organizing for the home cook. Learn about the staple items that can help anyone whip up a healthy and homemade dinner for their families. And yeah, there’s some chocolate too. {Pin this list}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

NERD ALERT: All my top posts this week were canning-related. Preppers gonna prep and now is the time!

  1. Canning Peaches {Pin this tutorial}
  2. How to Can Pears – the official sign that fall is coming! {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Dill Pickle Relish – because sweet relish is the devil’s condiment. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Canning Tomato Soup Base – a down and dirty tutorial on how to can tomato soup base that lets you doctor it up when you’re ready to cook it. Think healthy Campbell’s without 50 days worth of sodium. {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Canning Whole Tomatoes – One of the easiest canning projects for newbies and pro canners.  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Air Fryer Tofu, garlic rice, and salad.

Tuesday::  Baked potatoes and salad.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Homemade Ramen and Air Fryer Potstickers

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs and salad.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.


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27 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Hi Sarah! Please tell me, what would you cook in your air fryer on vacation? Headed to Colorado next month for 7 nights, and my MIL offered to bring her air fryer. I don’t think we would use it? But then again I don’t have an air fryer, so what do I know.

    • We use our daily! It’s great for veggies, fries, crispy tofu, toast, etc. The boys LOVE potstickers in it.

      Lots of people use it for burgers and steaks but we haven’t tried that yet. It does a great job with hot dogs though!

  2. I vote Wyatt Chirp.

    Also, with Kindle books you check out from the library, if you put your Kindle on “airplane mode” after you’ve downloaded it, you can read it for as long as you need. The electronic copy will still go to the next person on the list, but yours won’t get returned until the internet is turned back on. It does mean you can’t download other books until that one is finished.