Oct 13, 2012

Mini Vacation to Duluth

This was one of those rare times when we had a free weekend available and decided to take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather and head up to Duluth.  Duluth is one of my favorites places to vacation, it's almost like it's a different part of the country but it's only a few hours away.  Just driving into Duluth is such a beautiful experience!

We were able to fit in a lot of sightseeing, but it didn't feel like it was too much.  We went to the pier first and let the girls explore for awhile.  We visited the museum there and Emma really got a kick out the documentaries they were showing about the different ships that come it.

After the pier we walked over to Grandma's Saloon and waited an hour to get a table.  We met a couple who had ties to my hometown which was fun to talk with them about.  Small world!  

The food was amazing and the girls loved the atmosphere.  I love showing them places we've been to!

The next morning we got up and decided to take a tour of Glensheen mansion.  I've been there several times and I couldn't wait for the girls to see it.  Of course within about 5 minutes Alayna asked if it was almost done...*sigh*...  After Glensheen we took the scenic drive up the northshore.  We stopped and let the girls wander along the beach and grab some rocks.  The colors were amazing!

Even though it was a quicky trip, we had such a great time, and the weather couldn't have been better!

Sep 24, 2012

Canning Lid Pumpkin

This is probably one of my favorite Pinterest finds so far!  I was happily pinning a few days ago when I came across this and knew I had a fun craft to do.  I have a ton of canning jars and lids from my Grandma Omi that I haven't done much with.  She had all these old lids tied together and I've always thought about throwing them away but never did, thank goodness!!

This is how mine turned out, and I LOVE it!  How simple and cute is this???!  All you do is tie the lids together and spread them out as needed, add some twigs and ribbon, and that's it!  Took all of 5 minutes.  I love crafts like these that can remind me of my Grandma:)

Linking To:

Sep 23, 2012

Rachel's Culinary Skills

This kid cracks me up!  We were watching Food Network yesterday and she saw Giada make this yummy apple dessert which piqued her interest and away she went....Instead of the pie crust, she used crescent rolls rolled out and baked.  Then she tossed the apples in a cinnamon/sugar mixture and baked them until the were a bit soft.  We didn't have anything for making whipped cream, so she decided to make vanilla pudding instead, it was a perfect combination!  And of course no dessert is complete without a garnish of chocolate!  She melted white and dark chocolate, spread it out on wax paper and put it in the freezer to harden up.

It was really a delicious dessert that I will have her make again!  I love seeing her create things in the kitchen, I didn't do this until I was married... I think she will make some boy a very lucky man!

Sep 22, 2012

Fun Filled Saturday

Today started the ever so long season of duck hunting...and then when that's over it's deer hunting...then pheasant hunting....and then it's like summer again.  Just kidding.  I am very used to being the single mom on the weekends, and it's always fun to find fun free fall festivals (holy tongue twister.....say that 10 times).  This morning our local greenhouse had their fall festival with pumpkin painting, snacks, mini train rides and face painting.  The girls had fun painting their pumpkins and enjoying the snacks.  Funny how I came there with 4 girls and left with 5....darn stragglers....

When we got home it was lunch time, so I decided to let the girls make their own mac-n-cheese cupcakes from Giada at Home on Food Network.  I let the girls add whichever toppings they wanted (I had chicken, cheese, carrots and broccoli) and then we baked them.  They were ok, not sure if I'd make them again.  The girls liked them however!

Since little Miss A was feeling left out (the other two sisters had friends over and Alayna was not "allowed" in the hot tub with them.), I let her do the chocolate chip cookies that I had in the freezer.  She was pretty stoked.  Oh, and she was singing Dobie Gray's "Drift Away".  That kid cracks me up, when she doesn't make me want to drink...

It was such a beautiful day, one of those days that puts me in the baking mood....I made Pumpkin Donuts for breakfast and have the dough for Sno Whites Apple Cinnamon bread rising right now.  Yum!!!

Sep 21, 2012

First Day of School

Well, we are now finishing the third week of school and I am happy to say that the girls are loving it!  There is one however (who shall remain nameless) who's listening skills in school have been less than steller already.  Yes, I got that dreaded teacher phone call.  Thankfully this teacher taught my other two and I know her very well, so I think we have nipped this in the bud....

We have a tradition on the first day of school that I make their pancakes into their first letter.  Funny how those little things they remember every year!  

The poor things have to get up at 5:45 to catch the bus at 6:45.  It's not easy getting them up when sometimes they slept until 10!!

Now that Rachel is in Middle School, she requested that I not put her morning picture on the computer...so I obliged....but I have it saved, it's a doosy!

Can you tell which one is the fashion diva??!!

Sep 13, 2012

Girls Day Out!

Typically the night before school we have a "spa night" at home.  I let them take a bath in our big whirlpool tub and we do facials, pedicures and manicures.  I usually make mini sandwiches and they get to drink kiddy cocktails.  This year I thought it would be fun to go out to the lake and have a girls day/night.  We went to the beach and played for awhile, then went back to the camper for manis and pedis.

And no, I didn't have one child missing during these beach scenes.  *sigh*  I have now been instructed to not post any swimsuit pics of Rachel.  Oh the joys of having a 6th grader!

After we were done with our fun drinks and chocolate covered strawberries, dad surprised us by coming out and grilling steaks with twice stuffed potatoes and corn on the cob!  We ended the night with a campfire.  It was a gorgeous night!

Summer Recap

I can't believe I post ONCE this whole summer...I mean with not working and all, I should have been able to crank out at least one a week, right??!!  Oy....

Summer was fan-freaken-tastic!  My last day of daycare was June 5, very bittersweet and exciting all at the same time.  I will admit that I was taken aback by my feelings of being "just" an at home mom.  Even though I was home for 11 years, I was still working.  That gave me a purpose.  I just felt that my purpose was severely lacking.  I really did not expect to feel this way.  It took about a month for me to get over that, thankfully.  Besides that, the summer rocked.  It was so awesome to be able to pick up and head to the beach on a Monday, or meet a friend for lunch, LUNCH!!  It was pretty cool.  Of course I had all these visions of fun crafts we would do, and of course how completely organized my house would be, but...the beach was waaaay more fun!

Here is what we were up to this summer...

Brad and I (along with another couple) mastered the Warrior Dash the end of June.  And by mastered I mean we didn't die.  And by die I mean I wasn't hauled off on a stretcher, thankfully.  I only fell off of one of the obstacles and left with a whole slew of bruises....but I'm good now!

We spent lots of time at the ball field watching Rachel's team learn (aka lose) about fast pitch softball.  It was painful to watch, but I loved seeing how much fun that kid had no matter if they won or not!

Lots of ice cream treats were had by all, in fact we had a sweet little ice cream shop that opened in town, yum!

Of course lake time was featured quite often.  So nice to drive 30 minutes and enjoy boat rides and campfires!  "I'm going camping and I'm bringing...." game was a staple at our campfires

The end of August Emma had the honor of being selected as an Academic Achiever from her school.  The program was held at the Mall of America, we are SO proud of her!  Lots of fun afterwards doing the rides at Nickelodeon Universe.

August also brought a family wedding, my cousin Matt got married in Iowa.  We had a blast dancing and the girls had a blast taking care of the "little" cousins!

And last but not least, many a mornings were spent sipping coffee on the porch with this hunk.  I am blessed beyond measure to have been able to take the summer off.  And with the start of school was also the start of my new job that I love!  I am an office assistant and work Monday-Wednesday from 7:30-4:00.  I couldn't have asked for better hours, or a better company to work for!  God is good!

Aug 15, 2012

Memorial Day Twins Game

We decided last minute to take the older two to a Minnesota Twins game. This is the third year that we've had an outdoor stadium,  and it's kind of nice to be able to make last minute plans based on the weather. It was a HOT day with very little breeze.  Lots of Gatorade, ice cream and maaaaaybe a little beer was had by all!

Jun 11, 2012

Summer is Here!

I never thought this day would come, when daycare would be over with and I would be able to spend my days with just my girls.  It has, and we are enjoying it to the fullest!  Last week was spent in Wisconsin Dells at the Kalahari Resort.  What a blast, ours days were spent doing water slides, laying in the sun and sipping fruity drinks.  The weather was perfect (as you can see) and we couldn't have asked for a better vacation.  Lets just not talk about the car ride home, and how Brad and I were ready to pull our hair out, shall we?  *Most* children would have slept the whoooooooole way home, but not our beauties!  They were revved up the whole FIVE hours.  It was so fun.  Not.  

We came home Saturday night, and spent all day Sunday painting the family room.  That was my daycare room, and I am SOOO excited to be able to decorate that space.  We ordered new furniture for down there, Brad wasn't thrilled about spending time on the furniture we have down there now, with all the snot nose, leaky diapers and drool.  I know right?  Sounds appetizing.

Today was a leisure day for us, I went to the gym for the 8:00 body pump class that two of my girlfriends go to.  Neither one of those suckers showed up.  I survived the class, but I will not be mobile in a few hours.  The class kicked my rear end, I'm so scared to wake up tomorrow!  This afternoon the girls and I are going to the local library for a kids event, should be fun!

Apr 3, 2012


With this being Holy Week, I am really trying to incorporate something everyday to teach the girls about what all transpired this week for Jesus. I found this great blog last week and loved how she incorporated a daily Bible reading and a craft to teach kids about Holy Week.

Ok, so this first picture is not from her blog, but I found this bunny craft on Pinterest and thought it would be a fun one for Alayna to make for her teacher. We will fill it with candy and give it to her tomorrow. And because my child can't sit still and do one thing for longer that 30 seconds, she decided to staple some scrap paper together to make the letter E. She also got the paints out and painted a picture and then got dried beans out to play with. This was all within 5 minutes. Seriously. Summer could be a long three months....

Here is what we did for Sunday and Monday. Very simple crafts, but it makes the Bible readings more real for the girls.

We also decided to make prayer eggs. I had the girls write down several prayer requests and folded them up and put them inside the eggs. Everyday we opened one or two eggs and then the girls would pray for the requests. It's so fun to hear the different levels of praying that each of them have (especially for Alayna who wanted to pray for her bangs because they were going to get cut...) and how much they have grown!

Spring Randoms

With this craaaaazy amazing spring we've had, there have been a lot of fun outside happenings going on! Rachel is big into football right now, and man can that girl run and catch a football! The group that she plays with at school (during recess) makes her be the running back, which is a riot! I know the picture quality here is exceptional...

The two trouble makers posing...

And Alayna gearing up for a hit!

Looking forward to spending our summer evenings at the softball field. The girls have such a blast, and I have so much fun in the stands watching them play and cheering them on. And maybe drinking a beer or two...while getting the latest breaking news from other moms. Just keeping it real....

Rachel's birthday, what we've been up to and I quit my job

My sweet oldest "baby" (she'd kill me if she saw that) celebrated her 11th birthday March 14. Her theme (although at 11, we don't call them "themes" ya know) was volleyball and instead of having a big ole party with her friends, her and I got pedicures and went out to lunch. We did have our family over to celebrate, and enjoyed a gorgeous warm March day!

She decided to also make cupcakes, and decorated them. We are big fans of "Cupcake Wars", so Rach came up with her own design for her cupcakes. They were vanilla cupcakes with a caramel center, frosted with a cream cheese frosting she found on Pinterest, drizzled with caramel and them she melted white chocolate and added some food coloring to add to the top of the cupcake. Brilliant!
We have been thoroughly enjoying our warm spring with being outside playing softball, volleyball, and just hanging out on the patio. I am especially excited for this summer. After 10.5 years of doing daycare out of my home, I have decided to hang up the hat. I will be done with daycare June 1 and plan on taking the summer off to hang with my girls. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am about this decision. This fall I will find something part time, as all three girls are in school. Doing daycare has worked so well for me to be able to stay home with my girls, but I'm ready for my new "venture" in the job world!

Mar 1, 2012

Kid Lunches

My kids are *pretty* easy to feed. Kind of. Rachel (the oldest) will pretty much eat anything, or at least try anything), Emma (the middle) will try anything, and eat most nothing. Just kidding, but she is a bit of a picky eater, she's not a huge fan of meat, but will scarf down double helpings of pheasant wild rice hotdish. I know. Strange kid. Alayna will eat any and all fruits/veggies, but is also not a fan of meat. She is also the one who needs to eat frequently, as in every half hour. Add in the hubs who has gut issues anytime he eats cream sauces, pasta and breads and it makes for a super fun time planning meals! Fortunately I am not the type to make different meals for each kid (hubby included), what I make is it, you can eat it or be hungry.

Now, lunch meals I feel a bit differently about. I make sure they get a nutritious breakfast, but unless I pack a lunch, I am hoping that they eat what the school serves. We are pretty lucky to have a *semi* decent lunch menu. However, with three kids in school, it gets spendy. I am going to try and make most of their lunches, and have now become completely obsessed with these bento type lunches. How fun are those? I love the idea of making the lunches fun, which (I think) encourages them to eat more.

So here was today's lunch:

I know, fancy right?? (umm, no) I had these muffin liners that work great for keeping foods separate. So today she had a hard boiled egg, summer sausage and cheese cubes on toothpicks, goldfish and fresh veggies. I had a separate container for ranch (which I am going to start making from scratch) that I also put in her lunch bag. There are sooooooooo many super cute and fun additions you can add, like little picks, egg molds and of course super fun cookie cutters to cut out fun sandwiches of course! I have a whole pinterest board now full of these fun lunches, and I am excited to get more ideas and stuff to get going!

Snow Day!

We got our first big snow storm here in Minnesota! Yes you heard right...first storm this winter! Crazy right? It has been an extremely mild winter which can only mean we will get slammed the end of April. Oh well...We thoroughly enjoyed our snow day!

Brad took the girls snowmobiling, and only a few minor head traumas ensued...

A snowgirl was made, after having Alayna melt down from not being able to put the freakin carrot nose on...*sigh*...

And all over fun had by all...well, after me threatening to take all their toys away unless they go outside with their sister...

All in all, it really WAS a fun day! The morning was spent decorating shoe boxes into mini dollhouse, I have more strands of hot glue than I thought could be possible all over my floor. But they spent hours and had so much fun making them. I did take pictures, but I was instructed by the oldest to NOT post them online, so I won't. But she doesn't know these ones are here...shhhhh...