We made it back to Tyler Sunday after a two-week road trip to Florida. Truly, there is no place like home! And we were all so grateful to pull into our own driveway.
Getting locked out of our house
Unfortunately, we had to stand outside for about 45 minutes when we first got back, because our son had locked all the deadbolts before he left for church, and we didn’t have a key. So we looked wistfully through the windows. And danced in place, wishing for a restroom. Were we ever glad when he made it home and we could finally go inside!
Sorting through the pile of mail
There was a ton of mail waiting for us on Dad’s desk. Including — my favorite — a box full of books.
Thanks to My Reader Rewards, all six of these titles were FREE. I love being a rewards member. It costs nothing to join the program, and you can earn free books in lots different genres. As you can see in the photo above, I tend to gravitate toward marriage and parenting titles, but they also offer children’s books, Bibles, Christian novels, and even audio books. You can earn a FREE book with as few as 15 points, and you never even have to pay shipping and handling! And here’s a nice bonus! If you follow this link to sign up, they’ll give you 25 FREE points to get you started.
Resolving to shed the extra pounds
One of the first things I did when I got home (besides sorting through the mail) was to weigh myself. I had not stepped on a scale in over two weeks, and I was afraid I might have gained back all eleven of the pounds I lost last month, and then some. That wouldn’t be good, since I’m hoping to lose 50 before my son gets married in May.
Wonder of wonders, I was less than two pounds heavier than when we left town! That’s a win in my book, especially considering the fact I’d gone 16 days without weighing or counting calories. But that’s all about to change, as I’m definitely back on the healthy-eating wagon now.
Cooking quick meals in my pressure cooker
Fortunately, the big box of My Reader Rewards books was not the only package waiting just inside the front door for me. This little beauty also arrived while we were out of town:
I’ve been thinking about getting a pressure cooker for a long time and finally decided to splurge and buy this one. It has an 8-quart capacity, which means I can easily prepare enough to feed all nine of the family members still living at home.
I used it for the first time to prepare dinner last night. It cooked a huge batch of garlicky lentil soup in six minutes flat. Now I’m wondering why I didn’t invest in this game-changer years ago!
Since pressure cooking is totally new to me, I also got a couple of cookbooks: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot and Vegan Pressure Cooking. They’re both full of delicious-looking recipes I can cook in a fraction of the time it would take me to prepare them on the stovetop.
Recapping our recent road trip
Our family had a lot of fun in Florida, but we also enjoyed some educational stops. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting pictures and reviews of some of the things we did while we were gone, including:
- Tallahassee Museum
- Dolphin Research Center
- BlueFoot Pirate Adventure Cruise
- The Holy Land Experience
- National WWII Museum
- Mardi Gras World
- Rebounderz Trampoline Park
- TreeUmph! Adventure Course
I’ll also share some tips on saving time and money at Disney Parks and answering a reader’s question about how we handle housing on road trips when so many of us are traveling.
But all those posts will have to wait awhile longer, because now it’s time for me and the kids to get back to school. We’ve been trying out some new curriculum this year — I’ll continue to share our impression of those products in my Timberdoodle reviews each Thursday.
Sharing a new “If Kisses Were Snowflakes” poster
Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I’ll be publishing more free Valentine printables this week, too, such as this one (based on a graphic I designed and published on my Love Your Husband Facebook page while we were away). It reads, “If kisses were snowflakes, I’d send you a blizzard.”
And, last but not least, I haven’t forgotten my promise to give you a virtual tour of our new house. Let me finish unpacking from our trip and hang a few more pictures on the wall, then I’ll publish that post, too!
UPDATE: Now this “If Kisses Were Snowflakes” design is available in a set of smaller snowy valentine cards, too: