Aug 31, 2015

Back to School!

I can't believe that summer is over.  It went by SO fast, but I have to say it was a pretty awesome summer!  However, I am ready for things to slow down, and I have already started saying no to weekend plans.  My house has suffered, haha.

Here are my babies this morning...9th grade, 7th grade and 4th grade, *sigh*.  I cried when they left, I just can't believe that Rachel is a freshmen.  I know that the next 4 years will fly by, and I am NOT ok with that.  

I was up bright and early making them this cream cheese crescent bake, my dad has made it a few times and it is so good!  This is the first time ever that I am not home on the first day of school, and I am feeling very sad about it.  I have no special snack for them, and although I know they will be just fine, it's one of those things I always had for them.  Here are some things I've made previous years:

On Saturday we had a 50th anniversary party for Brad's mom and dad, it was so fun and we had a great turnout!

However, I am completely shot, and this weekend we are gone again, but then after that we are HOME every weekend!!  Yahoo!

Aug 27, 2015

*Almost Friday* Favorites- Exhausted Edition!

We had another great weekend!  (Yes I realize it is Thursday) We went up to my dad and step moms for the annual "Christmas in August" get together with them and all the kids.  The weather did not cooperate, but we made the best of it and had a great time!
This is my dad playing a Native American flute, it sounds SO neat!  I could listen to this all day long...
The funny thing with my dad is you never know what crazy instrument he'll come up with next, so far he's mastered not only the guitar, but a dulcimer, auto harp and banjo!  We love listening to all of them!

Cousin shot!

We got home Sunday and went immediately into town for Rachel's volleyball fundraiser burger basket night.  So begins the life of high school sports!  I would also like to mention that I am a very proud mama...Rachel made the JV team as a freshmen!  They had 45 freshmen tryout for a JV spot and she was one of 9!  So, so proud and excited for her!!

Tuesday night she had her group of girlfriends overnight and being it has been a cool few days, it was most certainly time to whip up the first of many batches of pumpkin scones.  They are SO good!  I got the recipe here and make them about a dozen times during the cooler/cold months!

And in other news...  August has been unreal.  We have been gone every single weekend, and although it's all been super fun, I miss my house!  I miss cleaning, I miss clean clothes and I miss making a mess in my kitchen (however, thank goodness for freezer meals!).  This weekend we have Brad's parents 50th wedding anniversary party and once I leave work, I will be all over buying decorations.

Add in volunteering for volleyball, Emma's end of summer party, a birthday party, anniversary party and trying to get everything ready for school on Monday (never mind that I now have a HIGH SCHOOLER!!!), I'm tired.  That's where my awesome hubby comes in, he is going to work from home tomorrow to help me out, LOVE that man!  So that's been us in a nutshell...tired.

Linking up to:

Aug 20, 2015

Wisconsin Dells Vacation 2015

Linking up again with Erika, Andrea and Narci!

Our summer 2015 adventures started out with a trip to Wisconsin Dells this past week.  We left Sunday morning and came back Wednesday late afternoon.    The weather was absolutely perfect and we had a blast!

We stayed at the Kalahari Resort, this is our third time staying there and we love it.  There is an indoor and outdoor water park, indoor amusement park, movie theater, gift shops and so many places to eat!
We let Emma bring her BFF Kyleigh with, and it really worked out so well, all the kids got along beautifully.

We also had an awesome outdoor pool that we used.  It was nice because there weren't a lot of people there, very quiet and relaxing!  Our room was like an apartment.  When you walk in there is the bathroom/vanity area and then the bedroom with a king size bed and doors that open to the living room/kitchen/dining area.  We bought groceries the first night and ate all our breakfast a couple lunches/dinners there.  We also had a deck which was awesome for drinks in the evenings and coffee in the mornings!

Brad had a work conference at the Dells, so it worked perfect to make a vacation out of it.  We had him for a while Monday morning until around noon.  We went out to the outdoor park for a few hours and then wen to the indoor one.  The indoor one has a lot more slides and things to do. 

Monday night was family night with the company he was with.  They fed us tacos with all the fixings (we had tacos the night before too, haha!), which were amazing!   
Love this picture of us...

After dinner we got to see the christian rock group Mercy Me.  Oh my word, if you ever have the chance to see them, do it, they were amazing!

And the best part was when we got to meet the band after!  I've listened to their newest cd several times already, so, so good!

A little mommy/Alayna selfie.  She was falling asleep on my lap about 20 minutes after we got there.  Rachel ended up taking her back to the room, as it wasn't "her" type of music.  14 year olds....

A little relaxing after being in the sun all day...

Tuesday Brad was gone all day working the convention, so it was just the girls and I.  We lounged in the morning, I got in a 30 minute workout both days at the hotel gym, I was proud!  We got to the outdoor park around 10:30 and stayed until about 1:30 and then headed back to the hotel for lunch.  We basically hung out in the hotel for the afternoon and then I had to get ready for the dinner and awards banquet.  Dinner was filet mignon and bacon wrapped chicken, steamed veggies and twice baked potatoes, dessert was cheesecake, everything was divine!  After the awards ceremony we met a bunch of people out for drinks, so fun!  

The girls all got their hair braided at a little kiosk in Kalahari.

So cute!  And then they all got airbrushed tattoos.  I am now completely broke, haha!

Wednesday Brad was done working so we took the girls to the indoor amusement park.  We let them each pick out 2 things to do.  One of Rachel's bucket list items was to do the rock climbing wall.  She damn near passed out once we got there, so unfortunately she didn't do it.  Emma, Ky and Alayna did, and loved it!

They also got to go on the go carts, although Alayna was not happy because she wasn't tall enough to drive.  I told if she would eat the food I serve everyday and not complain she could have been tall enough.  She wasn't a fan.

The last thing I let them talk me into doing was getting a picture taken with a baby tiger .  He was so flipping cute, but I can't believe I shelled out $45 for 2 5x7 pictures....Yes they got to pet him at least.

All in all it was a fabulous vacation!  It was such a great mix of relaxing, kid time, mommy/daddy time and lots of activities!

Heart of the Lakes Triathlon

I know I already included some of these pics in a post, but I wanted a separate post to keep track of my races.  (Yes all 3 of them, haha!)
Last Sunday Cory, Tonia and I did a triathlon in Annandale, and it was so much fun!  Honestly it was way more fun than I thought it would be.  Cory has done (and placed) many tri's, and somehow talked Tonia and I into doing one.  He is a phenomenal swimmer, Tonia is a biker and I run, so it worked perfectly!

Cory started the swim at 8:03 and finished his 1/2 mile swim in just over 12 minutes.  That's insane!

Tonia was up next with a 22 mile bike.  She was so nervous that morning, but she KILLED it!  She was hoping to finish in an hour and a half and her actual was one hour 12 minutes!  I was so happy for her, but now I was terrified, because everyone else came in under their goal time which left little ole me to run 5.3 miles in the heat, ugh.

Time to rock and roll!

My goal was to finish in under an hour, and I finished in 55 minutes, I was SO freakin happy!

Long Weekend on Lake Nisswa

We had another gorgeous lake weekend!  Friday we left to head up to Nisswa to stay in a cabin with 2 of my high school friends and their families.  The weather was PERFECT, hot and humid Friday-Sunday.  We spent most of our time in the lake, floating, tubing and just hanging out.

The kids all get along really well, and these 2 cuties below are besties!

Sunday morning Brad and I went fishing for an hour, well he fished and I read.  He caught a couple good size bass.

Monday we took the kids into town to shop, I LOVE Nisswa's stores, so fun!

It was a SUPER relaxing, fun weekend!

We got home Tuesday afternoon and came home to wind, rain and 55 degrees!  I promptly got my booty in the kitchen and whipped up some of Pioneer Woman's tomato soup and parmesan croutons.

Both were delicious!  I also made some apple crisp with the last jar.  This cooler weather has me ready for fall!

Aug 11, 2015

Weekend on Lake Osakis

We spent last weekend with 3 other families at a cabin on Lake Osakis and had a blast!  The weather was perfect and it was a great mix of food, fun, and drinks!
Jeanie and I took the girls up on Thursday night, we got there around 8 and played cards.  Everyone else got there around 2:00 on Friday.
This was my view Friday morning drinking coffee.

The kids had a blast fishing, kayaking, tubing and just hanging out.

These four ladies crack me up.  They hooked up the tube to the kayaks and took turns pulling it, haha!

There was a platform in the lake so the kids had fun jumping off.
Emma and Alayna LOVED the kayaks!  I seriously think Alayna could win kayak races!!

It was a really relaxing getaway, I made sure that I kept my eating (and drinking) in check and got some workouts in everyday.  Nothing like running by the lake!  This weekend we have abother cabin weekend in Brainerd, and I can't wait!

Aug 4, 2015

Back to School Traditions

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Stephanie to talk about Back to School Traditions!

I love, love, love back to school for many reasons:

I love getting ourselves organized again, and being on a schedule.  I LOVE the no routine of summer,but I also love being on a schedule.

September is like January to me, it's a fresh start.  I like to get all my fall deep cleaning done, closets cleaned out, etc.

I do love knowing that my girls are using their brains for more than just playing Minecraft or on Instagram...

So here are some of our back to school traditions!

  One thing I started when Rachel started first grade, was to have a spa night.  The night before school I make our bathroom (I call it Spa La Zimm)a relaxing oasis and we do facials, pedicures, manicures and snack on little shaped sandwiches, fruit and kiddy cocktails.  It's become a little less the older they get, but we still do manis and pedis and drink fancy drinks.  Look at how little they are!

The first day of school I always made them pancakes in the shape of their initial.

I also liked to make their teachers a little gift, this year I had them make apple stamps on cardstock for note cards!

I love finding special treats for them to have when they come home.
Emma's first day we made this super cute bus cake.

Another year I made these apple cupcakes (these got featured on a blog I used to frequent!)  I have also done a pencil brownie and whoopie pies too.

And if you know anything about me, you know that I decorate for  I still do!

I love how my back to school decor turned out!

I also take each of the girls school shopping, just them and I.  It's such a nice time to relax and enjoy each of them without having a sister there, haha!  So there you have a little idea of how we celebrate back to school!