Cakies and Ice Cream

Following the blog of a stranger is rather interesting.  If you follow long enough, you kind of feel like you “know” them.  Of course, you wouldn’t continue to read unless you felt a certain connection.  All that to say, last week I read on one of my favorite blogs that the blogger was going to be at a city nearby me doing a little craft to promote her sewing book.  I was excited not only about doing a free craft, but meeting the sweet lady behind the blog Cakies.

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She is the real deal.  Very sweet, and a lot of fun to talk to!  It was pretty crazy seeing her adorable little ones that I’ve watched “grow-up” on the blog.

She also happened to recommend an ice cream shop around the corner, and it truly was incredible.  I highly recommend A La Minute!  The orange honey and the salted caramel were both incredible.

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We decided to take this opportunity to visit with some dear friends who  also happen to be “pen pals” with my girls.  (2 of our 3 girls even share the same birthday!)  They met us for ice cream and then the kids had a blast just playing and window shopping through the fun historic district.

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Fun craft.  Meeting a blogging “friend.”  Yummy ice cream.  Seeing good friends.  It was a blessed day!

Hail in August!

Yesterday was one of the craziest weather days ever.  The day before it was super hot.  Then yesterday it was much cooler, but totally sunny.  We spent the morning cleaning up the backyard.  That afternoon; sudden thunderstorms including hail!  (And we were just about to go swimming!)  Instead of grabbing swimsuits, we grabbed umbrellas.

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Back to School 2014

It’s no wonder the kids get excited about back-to-school.  New supplies, new incentives, and on the first day… new treats!  In previous years, we’ve done rolo pencils (2013), homemade donuts (2012), apple oreo pops (2011), and pretzel crayons (2010).  This year I decided to do rice krispy apple treats, as well as the pretzel crayons.  Last time I made them, Natalie was 3 1/2.  She is now 7 1/2.  The day before school, we went to Trader Joe’s and I subtly grabbed a bag of pretzels.  Immediately, Natalie exclaimed, “Are you making crayons?!?!?”  Obviously, they made an impression!

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I had one child who had a tough time going to sleep, so preparations didn’t begin until 9pm the night before.  I almost skipped the pretzel crayons, but poor Natalie would have been so disappointed!

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My kids are big on making origami “fortune tellers.”  So, I was super excited to find these.

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They look like “normal” pancakes… but these were a new adventure for us.  They are Russian Oladi with apples.  (You can get the recipe here.)  They were really tasty; kind of reminded me o sourdough pancakes with apples.  We won’t make them often, because they take an hour to rise and of course my kids woke up at 5:40am they were so excited about school.  Crazy children.

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Last year the kids each chose a style of washi tape, and then made their markers their own.  This year we did the same thing because it worked great all year.  If there was ever a marker on the floor, I knew exactly whose it was.

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Oh, how I would love to be a perfectly planned mama.  But, even on the first day I found myself coming up with things as we went.  This year, I am having the kids go through a morning checklist before school starts.  One thing it includes is either reading a devotion and writing one thought in their devotion journals, or reading a chapter in Proverbs and writing one of the verses in their journals… all before breakfast  Of course, this being the first day I hadn’t told them about this yet.  And, since they were up at the crack of dawn and the Oladi needed to rise for an hour, I had to think of something for them to do while waiting for breakfast.  I had them each read a chapter in Proverbs and pick a verse to write on the board for our first day.  God is good!

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On their own they decided a parade was in order to commemorate this day.  (Notice one child is missing… ’nuff said about that!)

And, that was our first day of school!  As always, I hope to share lots more in the school year to come!

School Pictures 2014

We did it… we made it through the first day back to school!  Honestly, it went really well.  My kids are a blessing, and I am so thankful to be their teacher!  I am beat, though.  When is Labor Day?  🙂  Ok, ok, here are their school pictures with signs designed by them:



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Oh, Sweet Seesers.  I promise the tongue was her idea and she has never seen Miley Cirrus.  This is going to be quite a year!  More pics and stories to come…

It’s THAT time

Sierra woke-up this morning with a sad face.  What could possibly be wrong after a good night’s sleep?  She told her sister, “Mom said yesterday was the last day of fun.”  Awww….

What I said was it was her last school day with total freedom to do what she wanted before we started school on Monday.  Perhaps I didn’t phrase it the best… I definitely want to make school as “fun” as possible.  Not through entertaining, but by my demeanor and excitement for learning.  Of course, I have some fun planned to kick-off the first day, as well.

To be honest, I am (finally) excited myself.  Just a week ago I was afraid I would never be ready for school this year.  But now I think I am finally ready for a bit of a routine, and all things fall-ish to begin.  Back-to-school supplies are ready, the classroom is as clean and organized as it will be until next August, and I think my preparations for our new journey are ready.  What is our new journey?  We will be joining a Classical Conversations community this year.  I am excited/ nervous for so many reasons.   I felt like last year I finally had a good system down for school.  Why change a good thing?  Then I heard about Classical Conversations and knew God was tugging at my heart.  I know it will be great for us… this year was going to be different anyway, as my youngest girl will be joining us for school.  But it is the unknown, and I am ready to get started!

One preparation that was suggested to me by my incredible friends who have already been on this Classical journey was to use dividers in my teacher book… specifically 25.  I went to Target and found nothing.  (Well, nothing I needed, but everything I didn’t need.  Darn Target!)  Then it hit me… I could make my own!

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I have a 3-ring punch.  I have card stock, washi tape, and Sharpies… and that’s all it took!

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On a side-note, we finished up our last week of vacation with a family bike ride.  This weekend I plan to tackle the laundry and meal-planning, and then we’re set!  Hooray for a new school year!

Ramen Burgers and Future Husbands

Dear Girls,

Tonight at dinner I told you I thought marrying a man who makes ramen burgers and grilled peaches is very important.  You laughed.  (Sort of)  Of course I was kidding!  (Sort of)  You promptly responded with how you were going to marry a Christian and how that was most important.  I smiled on the inside; (and out!)  You are correct.  SO correct, my darlings!  Having a Christian Worldview and knowing Jesus personally are THE MOST important characteristics in your future husband.

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That being said, let me tell you what else you should look for.  Just look at your Dad.  Today he paid for a housekeeper to help keep this place clean and to give your mom a break.  While the housekeeper was working away, he took you bowling… and to Costco… and to lunch… AND to Chuck E. Cheese.  He got brought you home just in time to make dinner.  All the while, he allowed for me to have an entire day to organize and plan for school.  What can you gather from his actions?

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He is a HARD worker.  He loves his wife very much.  He loves his children very much.  He is fun.  He is an excellent cook.  He is not selfish.  He is generous and kind.  He is extremely patient.  He is cool-tempered and not easily angered.  Children, your Dad possess a lot of incredible traits that I pray you will look for in your future husband… even if you don’t care about ramen burgers!  (Though I know a ramen burger-making husband is high on Natalie’s list!)

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And ladies… I know you will make wonderful wives and moms some day if that is God’s plan for your life!   Keep seeking Jesus and trust Him with all of your hearts, and He will give you the desires of your hearts. (Ps. 37:4)


If this were my first child,

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I may have cried upon encountering this scene.  Now?  I run for my camera.  It’s these moments… the precious, silly, messy, 2-year-old moments that disappear so quickly.

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This boy loves all things building/ messy/ science-y.  Toys?  Planes?  Trains?  Not so much.  His favorite pastime is to find household items and “fix” them.  He wants to b just like his daddy.  He is just like his daddy.  It’s hard to get mad at this little face:

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