Four Monday Thoughts: Goats, Gardening, Reading, and Matching

It’s the first Monday in August. It feels like a fresh slate for the last full month of summer! Some goals I have for this month:

-Choose a book, topic, or person for my personal Bible study time
-Go on a picnic as a family or go to the Pittsburgh Zoo
-Go through Sadie’s homeschool items + plan when we will start
-Organize our linen closet and bathroom vanity
-Use the sewing machine Jimmy’s aunt gave me

Okay, onto four things I’m thinking about today.

1. Gardening. I’ve been loving not having to buy much produce at the store lately. Our garden is a squash growing machine at the moment, so I roasted a big batch of zucchini and tomatoes yesterday.

Zucchini and tomatoes to bake in oven from vegetable garden

I just slice everything up, coat it in olive oil and spices, and roast at 400 degrees until it’s browned and cooked through.

2. Fun for Sadie. While I was cooking yesterday afternoon, Sadie spent time at my aunt and uncle’s house! They have goats, cows, pigs, chickens, and all sorts of animals, plus lots of land to run around on. I’d love to have a few farm animals and land one day, too.

Kids petting goats

I’m hoping all that excitement and fun she had yesterday leads to her sleeping in this morning 😉

3. Matching. I tried to match with Sadie on Sunday morning for church. We went with the yellow dress theme, lol. Yellow is my absolute favorite color. It’s just so happy and bright 🙂

Mom and toddler wearing yellow dresses

4. Reading. I just finished up The Story of My Life by Helen Keller and was so impressed. I was always awed by how she overcame incredible limitations as she grew up, but was even more wowed that she wrote that book in her 20s, was so tenacious, curious, hard working, and had zero self-pity. Up next, I’m going to be reading this memoir.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Would you rather live in a rural area or city?

What’s your favorite color?

Toddler snuggling with mom on couch

Summer Sniffles + Why I Love Our Neighborhood

I loved all the comments on my last post! It made me feel a lot better to read about your kitchen mishaps and hear that a few of you thought the melted carrier looked like art. Jimmy and I were thinking the same thing! He thought we should name it “Sunday Afternoon in The Zottola House.”

I’m happy to report that my $77 mistake is all fixed! I ran a self-cleaning cycle on the oven yesterday and the new racks came in the mail. I even did some baking and nothing tasted like plastic. I thought all was right until Malcolm knocked my beloved milk frother (which was still plugged into the outlet–eek!) into a pan of sudsy water in the sink. When will I learn to wash dishes ASAP?!

I slept in a bit yesterday and was reading my Bible before Sadie woke up. I spent some time in 1 Peter and read the chapter that our monthly memory verse is in. Since becoming a parent, I truly treasure any quiet time I can get with my Bible and prayer journal!


Once Sadie woke up, I realized she had a case of the sniffles. Poor girl must have sneezed 50 times yesterday. Her nose was running and she was pretty miserable unless I was holding her. 

Toddler snuggling with mom on couch

We made it through the day and did one of my most favorite rituals: we took a walk as a family in the evening.

We were walking past a house that has beautiful landscaping and a garden when we came across this bag taped to their fence. 

Bag of free jalapeño peppers from vegetable garden

The homeowners were sitting on their porch when we grabbed the bag, waved, and thanked them. That is one of the many reasons I love our neighborhood 🙂

What should I cook with the jalapeños?