Tuesday, June 25, 2013

my summer saving grace

In my classroom I am super structured. I over plan. At home…not so much.

Delaney likes structure. She likes to know what’s going on. She’s like to be prepared. This summer chaos hasn’t done her any favors.

She gave up naps this past year. And I’ve tried to have her go to her room to play her iPod or watch a movie. But she rebels. Then I found an amazing idea on Pinterest. It’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. Quiet time boxes:

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Each day has a variety of activities. There’s a book in each box and a fine motor activity and a play activity. And the beauty of it…I used things that we already had at home!! I went around the house and gathered toys and games and activities that she had probably forgotten about. And now she’s excited about them! And I get at least 45 minutes of quiet time each day while she enjoys her Quiet Time Activity. Genius!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

there’s a new park in town

Well, technically, it’s a very old park. But it has a brand spankin’ new playground. The play structure has been up for a few weeks, but Delaney has been patiently waiting for the soft surface to be poured and for it to be officially open. This week we finally tried out the new park!

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This is her favorite thing at the park.

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I don’t know how she stands getting dizzy like that. I want to vomit just watching her.

In 2 days, we went to the park 3 times. Delaney gives her approval!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

father’s day

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We had a quiet and uneventful Father’s Day around here.

We just bought a new van this week, spent two car payments fixing Bri’s brakes and are going on vacation later this month. So I went cheap on gifts this year.

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It’s always fun to hear kids’ responses. She was pretty spot-on this year!!

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I saw this on Etsy and decided I could make my own. I think it’s more for me than Jeremy. But I suppose technically it’s his.


Delaney thinks I look like a boy in this picture. I kind of have to agree. What were you thinking, Mom? Where’s the pink?

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

rain out

Last weekend we invited friends over to watch a movie in the backyard. Our backyard movie night has become a fun summertime tradition.

The kids roasted marshmallows and ate s’mores.

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And then it started raining. Boo!

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Our patio is nicely protected by a maple tree. So the kids were able to keep eating marshmallows for awhile. But the backyard movie was a no-go.


We ended up watching it inside. Good movie, good friends, popcorn and candy. And no bugs. Can’t really complain about that!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

painting and other projects

Nearly two years ago to the day, I set out on a little project to update my dining room. I acquired a dining room table from my grandparents and an old church pew from my parents and I wanted to make them feel a little more contemporary with fabric and pillows. Here was the end result.

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Well, for the past two days I have been working hard, with lots and lots of help from my awesome mom. We painted the walls in the kitchen and dining room. See above for the before pictures.

Just a little history…when we moved into our home almost 7 years ago, we chose to paint the brown paneling to soften the room and lighten it up a bit. We painted it a neutral color and it served us well for several years. But I was ready for a change and a bit of an update. See below for the after pictures.

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The paneling is now white and the rest of the wall is gray. Let me just tell you, choosing gray is not as easy as you might think. There must have been 50 shades of grey to choose from!!! Ha…couldn’t resist! Seriously though, I brought home a ton of samples. Some seemed too blue. Others were too green. Gray is a tricky one!! But I’m very happy with the results.

Now, you probably don’t notice, unless you look real close, but the light switches and outlets are white. Yesterday they weren’t. They were a yucky cream color that did not look good with my freshly painted white walls. My mom is an amazing woman and she taught me how to replace every light switch and outlet in the kitchen and dining room. We worked hard to get those suckers out and put new ones in. And I only shocked myself twice! Ouch! I will now always remember to check the outlets for juice and not just assume they run on the same breaker as the lights in that room.

Monday, June 10, 2013

zoo…check that off our list

I kind of feel like today is the first day of summer break. Camp Invention ended on Friday…boy was that an exhausting (and rewarding) week! We’ve had extremely mild temps lately. Until today. Yep, summer is here. And today we decided to go to the zoo.

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We pretty much just take pictures of Delaney with every statue in the zoo. I guess we’ll be able to watch how she’s grown by comparing zoo statue pictures over the years.

Now let’s talk phobias. Cynophobia is the fear of dogs. And Delaney has it. She doesn’t even want to go outside unless we check to make sure there are no dogs running around the neighborhood. She’s never had a bad experience with a dog or other animal. In fact, we had Buzz, a huge yellow lab for the first 3 years of her life. So we have no idea where this phobia came from.

Today at the zoo, this fear of dogs evolved into a fear of any animal not in a cage, including geese, ducks and birds. She could barely look at the zoo animals because she was too busy looking over her shoulder to make sure the Canadian geese weren’t following her.

As if the whole zoo trip wasn’t traumatizing enough, we went to Lowe’s afterwards and a lady was carrying her dog into the store. Mind you, this was a little dog, but to Delaney, it may as well have been a barking and growling pit bull. Poor kid. I hope she gets over these fears and anxiety soon. Her little fingernails can’t take much more of her nervousness.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

empty nests

On Saturday, two of my babies left our safe nest and headed out into the great big world. Allison flew to Costa Rica with the Spanish Club from high school. Now that’s what I call a field trip!!! She will be home Monday, only to leave again for dance camp in Kansas City for 4 days.

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This a picture from instagram. Lucky girl!!

Bri also headed out on Saturday morning. She is on a musical mission trip with the youth group from church. They will go to New York, Pennsylvania, DC, Massachusetts, Maine, and more. These kids are sharing the gospel through drama and songs and will also do some mission work along the way. She will be home a week from Saturday. I’m looking forward to my babies getting safely back to our nest.

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Speaking of nests…


My mom found this on her front porch…looking at her through the window! Aaack!!!!! There is a nest in the decoration hanging on the side of her house. The nest did have 2 baby birds. I noticed this weekend they were gone and thought they must have flown away. Now I’m thinking they may have been dinner for Mr. Snake and he was coming back for seconds. :(

In other news, our little bike rider flies all over the neighborhood like she’s been riding her whole life! Today I even had to suggest that riding her bike while playing games on the iPod are probably not the best idea.

Jeremy and I have been busy this week with Camp Invention, a week-long summer program which focuses on science, math, engineering and technology skills. I’m co-director of the camp and Jeremy is one of our four instructors. This year we have 62 6-11 year olds at Camp Invention. It’s been fun, but super busy. I’ll be glad to have my lazy days of summer back next week!