Kids, Meals, Recipes, Summer

Summer w/ kids home + a recipe I like

First of all, just a note to say that I’d forgotten how summertime is kind of….chaotic. It is very nice to have the boys home. I like seeing them more. But, even though they are older and things are much, (MUCH) easier now, having them home still throws me off a bit. Especially at first while we all re-adjust.

They still manage to find ways to interrupt me, and I’d forgotten how driving them places eats up any “free time” in my work day that I would normally spend on a more restorative break (a walk, a workout, puttering around the house).

I definitely have to be more intentional about my time. Also, as I have other summers, I often end up working LATER into the evening in the summertime. Mostly because my days end up being split shifts, with some larger breaks woven in. That’s okay- it all works out. Sometimes the kids are off playing outside in the evenings anyway, or using their screen time with friends. So it’s not really a bad thing. Sometimes it makes the day feel extra long or weird, though, if I start working before 6 am and don’t officially wrap up until 8:30 pm. Total hours are the same, but stretched out….

Yesterday I took a longer break in the afternoon and walked to the gas station with Asher. He got a smoothie, I bought a Diet Dr. Pepper! (As previously mentioned, what I really love is regular Dr. Pepper, but I’ve been trying to curb that habit. This one gas station has Diet Dr. P as a fountain drink, which is a close second (I hate all other diet sodas- Diet Dr. P is pretty decent.). I don’t buy diet soda to keep at home, so this fountain drink was just a little treat to sip on during my afternoon of working. 🙂 )

Last night for dinner I made this Tangy Barbecue Skillet Chicken recipe that I really like. I hadn’t made it in ages. It’s an old one- not sure where I ever got it from. I have it hand-written in a recipe book. The entire family agreed it was very tasty! Easy, too.

Tangy Barbecue Skillet Chicken



  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts or pork chops (I just used a pack of chicken in whatever size I had)
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/8 c. Worcestershire sauce (it says “or 1/4 c soy sauce”- never tried that option though)
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar

Preparation steps:

Combine garlic powder, nutmeg and pepper. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of meat. (Reserve any extra). Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken- cook 2-3 minutes or until browned.

In another bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and remaining garlic powder mixture. (I ran out, so I just sprinkled more seasoning in). Pour over chicken. Reduce heat to low- cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until meat is tender and cooked through. (Chicken cooked in a skillet often seems to take me longer than whatever recipes say? I don’t know. I just cook it ’til it’s done.)

“Serve with mashed potatoes” (per the recipe 😉 )

I have had this with mashed potatoes before, and it really is a great combo. Usually with green beans also.

Last night, I made some summer squash with onion and tomato, and we had sweet potatoes on the side (needed to use them up), though.

Final product

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for butter. I don’t eat a TON of butter, but there are certain things- like, toast…or sweet potatoes…that I really love to put butter on.

6 thoughts on “Summer w/ kids home + a recipe I like”

  1. Split shifts are hard because I so do not want to be working at that time of night. But it’s also nice to have the flexibility to take a break during the day to do something with the kids!

    I have a kid at home again today – Paul tested positive last night. He had a runny nose when I picked him up from school so I tested him and sure enough – immediately positive. He’s totally fine but now he’ll be home for 10 days. So much for a better start to June. But at least Paul is easier to have at home.


    1. I saw your post about this early this morning!! (I woke up in the night and ended up scrolling Feedly…ugh. Couldn’t fall back to sleep, woke up at 3:20 am.) Bummer about Paul!! I know you had that graduation party planned this weekend- glad you are recovered and able to go, at least!


  2. It seems like you make it work, but it does seem like a lot of running around while fitting work in. Have you consider having a summer sitter for a few hours per day to help with running the kids everywhere?


    1. Well, I’m probably making it sound a little worse than it is. I don’t work late every day, just sometimes. And sometimes it’s just because I WANT to take some time off during the day to go for a bike ride with the boys or something. If we don’t have evening plans, it can be a nice compromise. In terms of driving them around, it’s actually better this year than others (when younger, I needed them constantly in camps/activities- now they are able to hang out more independently… and a huge perk is they can bike to friends, to the gym, etc on their own!! Which is SO nice!). Asher does have swim in the mornings, but starting next week it will be back in our local pool, just minutes from home, thankfully, instead of the far away pool they are at this week. And Ethan will be starting his job in a couple weeks! So he will be gone most of the day. Hard to believe that!


  3. having kids around home makes it hard to focus on work i girls will finish school soon and I don’t plan to work from home. hehehe… but i need to figure out what to do with them after their two weeks summer camp.
    your dinner looks so yummy, especially the summer squash dish, so colorful.


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