Life Lately!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy so I’m trying to get caught up with pictures so I least I have some record of fall:)  We’ve been busy with fall sports, camping, getting ready for our church fall festival, and my real estate business has been really busy lately too (great problem to have!!).

We’ve been able to make it to one of my niece’s volleyball games.

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Over Labor Day, we went out to the State Fair.  Some friends were showing pigs, so we went to the pig show and checked out some of the exhibits at the fair.  The kids really wanted to ride the skyfari so we did that too.  It was a little warmer that day than we expected but we still had fun! We’ll definitely be going back.

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My skyfari riding partner…he’s pretty cute:)

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There was a fun firefighter training course for kids – it was fun watching the kids try to do it.

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We had to stop for an ice cream break.

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Ashton was so excited to spend some time with his “girlfriend” Brooklyn:)  She is so sweet and is really great with him and Jayde – Ashton just thinks she’s the best thing ever and Jayde really looks up to her.  She really is a great role model!

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Danika loved spending time with her friends – it made the day that much more fun!

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Ashton may have had too much fun at the fair, so he spent Labor Day on the couch coughing all day – I think it was a combination of a cold and allergies, but the poor kid was just miserable all day!  I felt horrible for him!

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The girls got to do a cheer camp at school and we got to watch them cheer at the high school football game.

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Jayde started volleyball this year, and her team had their first game.  She did great and their team won!

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We’ve been canning lots of salsa with our garden tomatoes.  We planted just 2 tomato plants, and it’s crazy the number of tomatoes we have.  I think we’ve canned 20+ jars of salsa and there is still a ton of tomatoes still growing.

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We had a fun Friday night trip to Costco.  I told the kids they could try as many samples from the sample stands that they could find, but unfortunately on a Friday night the options were limited.  Ashton did find a stand with kombucha and was excited to drink it – Grandma Sandy would be proud:)

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We got to pick the pumpkins from our garden this weekend.  We didn’t really know if any would grow this year because of some spray we put in the garden last year, so we just planted some leftover seeds from my mother-in-law.  Some of the plants died (not sure if it was due to soil or old seeds), but we still ended up with quite a few pumpkins.  We don’t have quite the variety as we usually do, but now that we know they will grow, next year we will plan it out a little better and plant a better variety.  We were still excited to decorate with all the pumpkins!

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That’s our life lately in a nutshell – at least with the pictures I have.  We’ve done a lot of other fun things but apparently I was having too much fun to take pictures:)

 

1st Day of School!

I’m a little late in posting this, but I don’t want to forget the first day of school pictures, because I know it will be fun to go back and look at them later.  The girls started 2nd and 4th grades last Monday – both were really excited about their teachers and so far seem to be having a great year.  They both have some friends in their class, so that makes it more fun.  Here are their first day of schools pictures:

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Ashton started Pre-K last Tuesday.  The daycare he goes to busses the kids to Pre-K and back to daycare after school, which makes it really easy for us.  He seems to love it there, but can’t wait until he gets to ride the bus with his sisters – hopefully next year!

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Ashton rode the bus to Pre-K on his first day since he goes to afternoon preschool, and he told me on the way home he was the only kid that rode the bus and that all of the other parents took their kids to school and picked them up.  Talk about feeling like a total crap parent!  I was feeling horrible, because I could have easily picked him up from daycare and taken him to school, but figured most kids would ride the bus.  I found out later that night that he was totally kidding – note to self – keep an extra eye on that kid as he gets older because his lies are really believable and his face gives nothing away!

I’m sure the school year will fly by just like summer did, but we’re hoping for a great year for all three of them!

Vacation – Part 2

I’m not sure we could top the water park on the second day of vacation, but we thought we’d try!  We got up early Monday morning and drove to Adventureland.  Ashton wasn’t too patient on the car rides, but found this map of Kansas to be pretty entertaining for at least 30 minutes.  We never knew Walmart, and Adventureland could be found on the Kansas map:)

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In years past, Monday’s were never very busy there so we were banking on that again this year.  Unfortunately, I think it’s late enough in the summer that everyone was trying to get their vacations in because when we pulled in the lot, there was a LONG line to park…so much for thinking we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves!  Luckily the weather was really good, so that made the crowds more bearable.  We always hop on the train around the park as our first stop.

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After the train, we hit up the skyfari to take us to the other end of the park.  The view behind me was all of my favorite people.

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We did a couple of rides and then thought we would do the Raging River – along with 1,000 other people.  The line was long but we didn’t gauge how slow it would move.  We thought the wait might be 30 minutes so we decided to get in line.  After 1 1/2 hours, we finally made it to the front to front of the line….Ashton had about lost his mind by that time and we were all pretty cranky.  We decided it wasn’t worth the wait for the 5 minutes of entertainment.  Lesson learned!

We grabbed some lunch and then hit up a few more rides – by this time the people had all moved to the water park so the rides were less busy.  The kids were all about the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler and I was happy to sit and watch – those kind of rides don’t sit well with me anymore!

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Ashton was obsessed with this guy – had to run and give him high fives whenever we saw him!

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We ended our visit to Adventureland with a stop at the ice cream shop and then headed home.  Luckily, the ride home was pretty quiet and the kids got all wound up about 15 minutes from home.  Here’s the response I got when I asked for a picture showing how they felt about almost being home:

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We had a great little vacation…it’s always fun to get away even if only for a short time.  I love spending time with these people and hope that the kids will remember it for a while!

 

Mini Vacation

It’s been hard to find time to get away this summer with softball and 4H pigs, so we decided to do a quick vacation the last couple of days.  We left Sunday morning and headed to Kings Pointe Water Park in Storm Lake, IA.  I knew a few people that had been there before and it had good reviews.  It was a HUGE hit with my kids!  Ashton wasn’t tall enough for all of the slides, but there was one big outdoor slide (the orange one in the picture below) that he could ride down on a tube with an adult (it was fully enclosed and completely dark most of the way down, which was actually pretty nerve-wracking, but it didn’t seem to bother that kid!).  I think Joe and I each carried a double tube up the huge set of stairs to the top of the waterslide at least 15 times (quite the workout!!), but it was worth it because I’ve never seen Ashton more excited.  The girls were brave and tried every slide there – even the ones that went straight down that Joe and I wouldn’t even go on!  We managed to spend the entire day there between the outdoor slides/pool and the indoor ones.

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The kids were pumped to find their own American Ninja Warrior course:)  Apparently, Ashton was happy to tell anyone (even the kids he didn’t know) that fell in the water during this obstacle that they were an American Ninja Warrior loser!

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Both Ashton and Jayde we excited about the diving boards.  Ashton was pretty entertaining to watch running and jumping off of the low diving board.  He really wanted to try the high dive, but Joe and I decided that might scar him for life so we made him stick to the low dive!

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Jayde went off the high dive a few times and then decided she wanted to try a flip like she saw some of the other kids doing.  It started off okay, but then ended in a back flop…she came up crying (which made me convinced that she broke her back or something since I’m a huge worrier!).  In the end, I think it just scared her and probably hurt a little (or a lot!), and Joe was trying hard not to laugh at her!  It might be a while before she tries that one again.

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We ended the day with a little park play time at the park next door to the water park, and we walked up to the top of the lighthouse for a quick picture.

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We had such a fun day!  The kids were excited to spend the night in a hotel (which apparently we don’t do often enough).  I think Jayde would have been happy just staying in a hotel for the night.  Stay tuned for day two of our mini vacation….

Grandma Camp

Last week, Joe’s mom took all of her grandkids for the week and had their annual “Grandma Camp”.  The kids always look forward to several days with their cousins and it’s always a nice break for Joe and I.  This was the first year Ashton got to spend the entire week there so he was excited to be one of the big kids.  They went to the cabin on Sunday night and we picked them up on Friday afternoon.  The kids were busy horseback riding, swimming, miniature golfing, doing projects, and they even got to go to Ronald McDonald House to donate all of the pop tabs they have been collecting throughout the year – they use the money from these to pay the electric bill at the Ronald McDonald House.

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My kids came home tired and that’s always a sign of a fun week!  Jayde told me this was the best Grandma Camp she’s ever been to, so Grandma must be doing something right!  They’re already talking about next year – and so am I because having 5 kid free days never happens!

 

Summer Fun List

2017 summer

I mentioned recently that I wanted to create a Summer Fun List of things the kids want to accomplish this summer.  We sat down this weekend and made a list.  Here’s what they felt was most important for this summer:

  • Water balloons
  • Ruff House
  • Go to Grandma’s lake house
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make our own door signs
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Go to the pool
  • Visit the zoo
  • Visit the Lincoln Children’s Museum
  • Visit the Sensory Garden
  • Obstacle course in the yard
  • Treasure hunt
  • Make slime
  • Play a board game

I love the items they put on their list.  Most are pretty simple and all will be lot of fun!  We can’t wait to get started checking items off of the list!

I’m hoping soon to start adding more home decor projects to the blog – it may be Fall before it happens though as this summer is kicking my booty when it comes to home projects.  I have a ton of ideas that I want to implement in our home, but finding more than 5 minutes a day to work on them has proven to be impossible (and convincing my husband to jump on board and assist me with these projects is also proving to be difficult at the moment)!  So stay tuned for more of that in the coming months!

Happy Birthday Danika!

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Somehow it doesn’t seem possible that I can have a 9 year old!  Today, we’re celebrating this sweet girl!  Danika is the sweetest, most kind-hearted child I know.  She has a soft spoken personality, but yet is so witty and has the best one-liners when no one is expecting them.  She’s the best big sister and cannot wait until she’s old enough to babysit.  Danika loves volleyball and is enjoying her first year of having 4H pigs (she actually spent most of last night writing an “essay” about how to care for pigs because she thought it would be fun!).  We measured her on the growth chart last night and she’s close to 5′ tall – somehow that makes me feel really sad (probably because I know it won’t be long and she’ll be taller than me).  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this sweet girl!

I ask all of my kids the same questions on their birthday each year, and it’s fun to see their answers change from year to year – this year it was funny because over half of Danika’s answers were the same as last year.  Here they are:

  1. What is your favorite color? Turquoise
  2. What is your favorite toy? My volleyball
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries
  4. What is your favorite TV show? I don’t watch TV
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Mac and cheese
  6. What is your favorite outfit? Long pink maxi dress
  7. What is your favorite game? Doctor and spy dodgeball
  8. What is your favorite snack? Cookies & milk
  9. What is your favorite animal? Turtles
  10. What is your favorite song? Fast by Luke Bryan
  11. What is your favorite book? A Dog’s Purpose
  12. Who is your best friend? Gracie Reynolds, Sydney Sagehorn &                                                                                                                                   Adelyn Tenclay
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Practice volleyball, softball and basketball
  15. What is your favorite drink? Milk
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Birthday
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Spot (small stuffed dog) and Big Dog (big stuffed dog)
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
  19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Daycare provider

We plan to celebrate big this weekend with her friends!  Have a great weekend!

Weekend Recap

We had a great Memorial Day weekend spent camping at the Fremont Lakes!  We went down Friday afternoon and started off the weekend with a little fishing.

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Danika caught one fish but it got off the line!  One of the families we were camping with brought a hammock and the kids LOVED it!

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Saturday morning we headed home to get Danika ready for her dance recital.  Her dance studio only does a recital every two years and this was a recital year.  She did an amazing job and it was fun to watch her and all of the other dancers!

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Ashton had a bit too much fun at the recital (or maybe it was the fact that he missed nap time 2 days in a row!) but this is what I saw less than 10 minutes after getting in the car after recital.

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We headed back to the camper after the dance recital and hung out for the night and all day Sunday.  The boys did a little more fishing and all of the kids had fun swimming and playing.  Danika got to have a couple friends come spend the night in our camper so that was an extra fun bonus!

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We loaded up and headed home late Monday morning and spent the day getting the house back in order, doing laundry, and planting most of our garden for the year.  We have a garden of mostly pumpkin varieties with a few vegetables thrown in.  Hopefully it does well!

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We are gearing up for another busy week with softball games every night, and we get to celebrate Danika’s 9th birthday on Friday.  It’s going to be another fun, busy week!

5 on Friday

Instead of Friday Favorites today, I decided to do 5 on Friday….or rather “5 Thoughts Floating Around in my Head!”  I’m mentally (and physically) drained this week and feel like getting some thoughts out of my head might help me regroup…so I’m sorry if none of my post interests you today:)  It’s more for my sanity!

One

We’re only one week in to summer vacation at school, and I’m already questioning whether I made the right decision with summer daycare.  We typically have a high school girl come in and watch the kids at our house in the summer, but this year we decided to leave Ashton at the daycare he’s been going to and send the girls to the YMCA summer fun club.  Both of these are great programs and the kids love it there, but it kills me to get my kids out of bed every morning earlier than they have to for school so we can leave the house by 7:20 am….isn’t it supposed to be “summer vacation”?!?  I’m sure all working parents have been saying this for years, but this is the first summer it’s really affected us (in years past I’ve worked from home or only a couple days a week so summer schedule was always really lax).  Dealing with the wrath of my children at 6:30 am when they don’t get to bed until late because of summer commitments (ball, 4H pigs, etc) does not rank high on my fun meter!  I’m hoping we fall into a better routine as the summer goes on (at least I keep telling myself it will get easier, because it can’t get much more painful at my house this week)!

Two

As I said, this are just random thoughts in my head.  I’ve been struggling with youth sports as of late, and really don’t know how it will all pan out.  I’ve encouraged Danika to play all sports available to her, because I think it’s good for kids to learn to play in a team atmosphere and take direction from someone other than parents.  This spring I will be the first to admit that I overcommitted her to the point of frustration for all of us.  She was so busy that she would have melt downs every night because she didn’t have any time to be a kid and I felt horrible about it.  I’ve promised her that I will not ever make her play a sport if she’s not 100% on board in the future.  She wanted to sign up for softball but we’re hitting the point where she’s not 100% committed so practices are a struggle….I don’t want her to quit because that’s not teaching her that she needs to follow through with her decisions.  I’m putting this in writing so when it comes time to sign up for fall sports, I can go back to this post and remind myself that I will not force her into anything!! 🙂

Three

I’m super excited that camping season is finally here (see this post for some great camping recipes)!  We’re hoping to camp most of the weekend and I cannot wait to just relax…it’s nice being out at the campground and enjoying the outdoors, and then I don’t see all of the to do lists that keep growing at home!  It’s fun family time, and the kids always look forward to it.  Camping is one of my very favorite things about summer!

Four

Danika has her dance recital this weekend and I always look forward to seeing her dance…she really enjoys dance and will be sad when this year is over.  I’m not sure if she’ll continue to dance next year or not, but regardless am so glad that she has found something she’s good at and that she loves doing.

Five

I really want to sit down with the kids and write a summer to do list.  I think it would be fun to have a list of things they actually want to do this summer.  I envision this being both simple things (eat ice cream for supper, movie night, catch fireflies) and also items that require more planning (go on a camping trip to XYZ campground, have a play date with a friend, etc).  Letting all 3 kids have a say in our summer plans and also putting them in writing will help us accomplish at least most of the items on their summer fun list.  I’ll try to get that done in the next week or so and share it!

 

If any of you have any insight on summer daycare, youth sports, etc. I’d love to hear your feedback.  I’m on the struggle bus this week and need to reset as we go into June so that we can enjoy our summer…we need to find a happy balance of free time and commitments!  Enjoy your long weekend – I know we will!

 

Weekend Recap

Last week was cold and rainy for most of the week and the weekend was much of the same.  We had booked camping spots starting on Friday, but with the rain and cold weather we decided to hold off until the weather was a little warmer and dry.  Friday night Joe worked late and the girls were at my mom’s for the day, so he came home late and brought them with him, so Ashton and I enjoyed the quiet and hung out at home for most of the evening.

Saturday morning and had to go to Lincoln for a painting party to celebrate a 7 year old birthday (fun, wild time!) and then had to show acreage properties to a client for most of the afternoon.  We had talked about camping Saturday night but when I got done working it was still pretty drizzly out so we decided that pizza, a movie and popcorn were a better choice!  Apparently Ashton was extra excited as shown by his face:)

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We start having softball games almost every night this week so Joe put some pork on the smoker so that we’ll have pulled pork for easy meals.  I love being able to use this for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, etc.

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Sunday morning we packed up to go camping and headed out to enjoy the day.  We have our camp site through Memorial Day, so we’ll be out there on and off throughout the week (hopefully the weather cooperates).

Have a great week!