5 on Friday

Happy Friday!  We made it through another week, which is reason to celebrate!  I think I’ll go mix myself a drink…

Another random assortment of thoughts on this Friday:



If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that our pumpkins started coming up this week.  This makes me so happy – we were holding our breath that they’d grow since Joe sprayed something on the garden last year that prevented anything from growing in our garden.  Our tomatoes that we planted several weeks ago area still doing well too, so I’m hoping we can keep everything alive.  I love decorating with all of the pumpkin varieties in the Fall and it’s one of my favorite things to watch them grow all summer long – and the kids enjoy it to which makes it a fun family project.



It’s supposed to be crazy hot this weekend (like 100 degrees hot), so I’m hoping to enjoy some lake time with the family.  We never seem to have time in the summer to spend a lot of time at the lake, so it’s fun to squeeze it in whenever we can.  If you need me Saturday afternoon/night, you’ll likely find me at the lake with a drink in my hand relaxing!  This is the first summer where I don’t have to worry about the safety of my kids in the water – Ashton proved to me last weekend that he’s very self sufficient at the lake with a life jacket.  I think he went down the water slide into the lake at least 20 times and swam back to the dock while I watched from the patio.  I’m SO excited to actually be able to relax and actually enjoy the lake this summer!



I think we’re halfway through ball season – not that I’m counting – but actually I am!  We are 100% into game mode, and have games 3 or 4 nights a week, and typically one of the girls has at least one practice thrown in there too, so we spend most of our evenings at the ball park.  It’s fun and I enjoy watching the girls play, but definitely look forward to ball being over and having our evenings free again.  Somehow I’m sure those evenings will quickly be filled with some other activity (probably walking the 4H pigs which are currently being neglected due to this crazy ball schedule).



All of a sudden my 4 year old seems like a big boy.  I’m not sure when it happened, but this week it hit me.  There is a buzzer/door bell at daycare to get in the front doors, and all year he hasn’t been able to reach the button.  This week he reached up and pushed the door bell with no problem – he was so excited (and so was I because otherwise he makes me lift him so he can be the one to push the button – because all hell breaks loose if I even think of touching that button!).  After proving he’s a very capable swimmer and learning to ride his bike without training wheels last week, he’s showing that has no use for me anymore.  I’m sure all too soon he’ll be hopping on that school bus for Kindergarten!  Now, if only he can figure out how to get up and ready for daycare in the morning without an hour long fight…a girl can dream right?!?


What’s with this “make your own slime” craze lately?  I feel like it’s everywhere and my kids keep asking to make it.  So – it’s hopefully on my agenda for this weekend.  But I need your help!  Have you made it and is there a good recipe that isn’t going to make a huge mess??  My OCD personality can’t handle projects that make a total disaster which is why I’m dragging my feet a bit on this one!  Help!

Have a good weekend – and stay cool!


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!

Weekend Recap

We had a fun weekend of celebrating Danika’s birthday.  Friday night she had softball practice, and it was hot out so we brought freeze pops for Danika and her teammates to enjoy after practice.  We grabbed some takeout for dinner and headed home.

Saturday morning we ran to Omaha for a few quick errands and to visit my niece who had surgery this week at Children’s.  Danika invited a few friends to my parent’s lake house to swim and then over to our house for pizza and a sleepover.  They had the best time and were truly the best group of girls to have over.  They’re all so polite and well behaved – I almost forgot they were even at our house.





The girls each chose a country that they wanted to be from and then raided my closet to dress like they were from that country – it was pretty entertaining!


Sunday morning the girls played for a bit before we took them home.  We spent some time in the air conditioning most of the afternoon and then headed outside to get some yard work, etc. done late afternoon.  I found the kids playing a game in the yard.  As you can tell, Ashton was thrilled to be involved with this game.


I started watering my flowers and somehow that turned into a water fight – the kids loved it but Ashton was really worried Daddy was going to get mad that he was all wet.  I assured him he was safe!



We grilled out for dinner and declared this another fun weekend!  We love summer!!

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.


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!


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!




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.


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!



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!


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!


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)!


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!! 🙂


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!


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.


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!


Camping Meals

We’re camping throughout this week and into Memorial Day, so I thought today I’d do a roundup of some campsite meals that I’ve tried or want to try this summer.  When we’re  camping, we are always looking for easy meals that can be thrown together quickly and put on the grill or over the fire.  Here are some ideas that are worth trying:

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Campfire Chili Cheese Fries – I’ve never tried these, but when looking through Pinterest for camping recipes, these chili cheese fries kept popping up.  They look like the perfect snack food/appetizer to munch on throughout the day.


BBQ Breakfast Scrambler – I’m always looking for new breakfast recipes, and this one looks like it will not disappoint!  I’m putting this on my list to make this weekend.


Grilled Pizza – one of our favorite camping meals (and actually favorite summer meals in general) are grilled pizzas.  It’s so easy to buy a pre-made crust, add your favorite toppings, and throw it on the grill for 10 minutes and lunch or dinner is served!


Bacon Ranch Grilled Potatoes – My family really enjoys grilled potatoes, but this recipe looks like a yummy twist on our standard potatoes.


Hobo Dinner – These “hobo” meals are so easy, and the clean up is a breeze!  You can literally put anything you want in these, wrap them in foil and put them over the fire.  It’s the perfect camping meal!


Fudge Striped Cookie S’mores – these look like a yummy twist on your traditional s’mores.  I definitely will be trying these!

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Apple Pie Packets – Sometimes it’s nice to have a dessert option that isn’t smore’s and these apple pie packets look amazing!

I’d love to hear your family’s favorite camping meals.  Please comment and let me know if you’ve tried any of these or what your “go to” meals are when camping.  Happy camping season!

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:)


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.


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!

Friday Favorites

Today I’m linking up with Andrea and Narci to share my Friday Favorites!



On Monday, Jayde had her 1st grade field trip to the zoo, and I got to go along as a chaperone.  It was a hot one (90+ degrees) but we had a lot of fun anyway.  The misters along the sidewalk were our best friend after lunch!  It’s always a fun time to get to spend special one on one time with her!



We’ve started walking Danika’s 4H pigs daily this week, and that’s been a favorite of mine to watch her really enjoy doing it.  The first walking experience was an adventure, but it’s been really fun every other day.  We all find it kind of therapeutic to let them out and walk them around for 10 minutes each evening.  Danika does way better with them than the rest of us…we’ve decided it’s because of her calm personality.  They never take off running for her like they do for Joe and I – but I consider walking them a form of exercise, and having to run after them is just a way to burn a few extra calories:)



Summer vacation started for the girls on Wednesday – it’s crazy how fast the year went!  I now have a 2nd and 4th grader (and I think that makes me officially old!).  We can’t wait for late summer nights, lots of swimming and camping!


Jayde was awarded the Raider Award for her class – it’s an award given to just one kid in each class….she was so excited and we are so proud of the good student and classroom helper that she is!

We’re hoping the weather clears up this weekend so we can go camping again this weekend through Memorial Day.  It’s been a cold, rainy few days and it looks like it will continue for the next couple of days.  Have a great weekend!



Repurposing Old School Lockers

I’ve always loved the look of repurposed lockers as home decor, but the problem is that old lockers are somewhat hard to come by (and if you can find them they tend to be kind of expensive!).   When I found out my old high school was getting rid of some old gym lockers at a pretty reasonable price I jumped all over it (not sure my husband was quite as excited because he was the lucky one that got to load/unload them…and they are not light!).


I had so many ideas running through my head as to how I could repurpose them in my house, so they hung out in the garage for a few weeks.  These lockers came in sets of 4 lockers (2 wide by 2 tall).  I have a long wall in my dining area that definitely called for a statement piece so I decided to combine two sets of lockers to create a storage unit/cabinet.  Because of the height I wanted, I had my husband cut them vertically in half so that they were only the height of one locker.  The edges were rough, but I knew I’d be covering that anyway so it wouldn’t matter.

After they were cut, I power washed the lockers to get rid of all of the dust/dirt that had collected on them over the years.  Once dry, I spray painted them with a fresh coat of dark gray paint (I removed the little metal locker number pieces because I wanted to put them back on after painting).  After the paint was dry, we reattached the number plates and then moved the lockers into the house and put them where we wanted them (this resulted in a broken finger after my husband dropped the lockers on my hand…but it didn’t even matter because I was one step closer to this project becoming a reality…okay, it did matter and several choice words came out as a result of his actions!).  Lesson learned – find some strong men to move lockers in the future – it’s not worth ending a marriage over!

Moving on…once the lockers were in place, we screwed the sets together so that they wouldn’t move around.  I knew I wanted to wrap the lockers in wood, and ultimately decided to use pallet wood to cover the top and sides of the lockers.  We just screwed the planks to the top and sides o the lockers and I love how it turned out!  It’s the perfect mix of industrial and rustic.


I decided to add some shelves made out of pallet wood with metal rod brackets on the inside of the lockers.  I purchased some metal baskets from Walmart and spray painted some stripes on them to add some color.  It’s the perfect place to store craft supplies, coloring books, markers, etc.



I ultimately love how this project turned out and have a feeling it will be a central piece of our home decor for years to come.