Friday, February 27, 2015

What Happens When You Leave Your Phone Out

This is what happens in my house when my phone is left unattended...

Anyone else ever have this problem?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

I'm so not good at getting craft stuff out for the kids. Although they always have such a great time, I always end up with such a giant mess to clean up afterward. Does this make me a bad mom? Hence my love/hate relationship with the craft cabinet.

For Valentine's Day this year, I decided I needed to put the hate aside and embrace the love.

So...out came the craftiness in me. Oh...don't get too excited. Remember I am a type-A I'm not about to get all artsy and crazy (which would equate to giant and messy in my book). I got out the tissue paper and glue sticks. I know...I'm wild, aren't I?!?

The kids decorated tissue hearts and we hung them up for all to enjoy.

And then...

...then I got out the baking ingredients. What's Valentine's Day without some heart shaped cookies?

I made sugar cooking dough and the kids got to roll it out and use their cookie cutters. Whew...I forgot what a long process it can be to flour, roll, cut shape, peel said shape off of countertop because not enough flour was used, try to repair said shape because at this point it has taken on another form, transfer to pan, and bake. (I'm fairly sure had I remembered how annoying cut-out cookies can be, I would have shelved this whole plan.)

And wait for it....wait for it....

We even frosted the buggers!

And in the spirit of all things sugary...Jason and I took the kids to Hans Bakery for breakfast. The place was packed, the lines were long. The signs of a good bakery, am I right? They each had a blast picking out their own donut and I had a blast watching them and reflecting on how blessed my life is.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Four Eyes

Someone got into mommy's glasses...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

As many of you know, my parents are living with us right now. Their house sold on January 16, 2015 and they are staying with us until they find their new house. It may be existing, it may be one they will build, still waiting for the final answer on that one. They are leaning towards building which means in all likelihood, they will be here for awhile. Now I understand that there are some out there that would go crazy living with their parents, but not me. I'm having the time of my life. :)


Jason and I have booked a vacation to Florida. We leave in 26 days...well, I ...who's really counting anyways? Ok, so yes I will admit it, I have an app for my vacation countdown. We are going to Orlando for a long weekend and are going without the kids. I can hardly believe it as I type it. Jason and I haven't been on a vacation just the two of us for 8 years...and that was for a 4 day trip to Boston to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. Wow...back then it was just Ben and Ella. How our family has grown. I'll admit that I'm a bit torn. Super excited to get to spend some time with just Jason, but I know that I will miss the kids a ton. But what will I like most of all? The warm weather. And palm trees.


Rosie, our doggie, hates the crate. She turns into a freakish mess when we need to leave somewhere and she has to go into it. We always reward her with doggie treats for going into it and praise her when we get home for doing a good job. But nothing changes her opinion of the thing. She shakes something terrible...Ella has coined it "vibrating" because she shakes so bad. Which of course makes all of us feel terribly guilty and cruel. So today, we decided to let her try just hanging around the house while we were gone. We weren't too sure what kind of shape our house would be when we came home, but much to our surprise she didn't chew a thing, scratch any woodwork, pee on any carpet, or generally tear our house apart. Thank goodness...cause I can't handle those pathetic puppy-dog eyes she gives me when I put my shoes on.


I'm trying contacts out this week. Well, to be fair, I also tried some out last week. Multi-focal lenses...can't say I'm a fan. Everything was blurry and I would have to take the things out just to see something. I scraped those and am now trying monovision. One contact corrects the farsighted and one contact corrects the nearsighted. Now just to get my brain to figure out when it needs to use which eye. I'm so hoping that this works, because I am not ready for bifocal glasses. I just can not bring myself to wear those things.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Project: Finish Basement

We have embarked on a very long journey: A journey that involves permits with the city, lots of plaster and sheetrock, multitudes of visits to Menards, and many, many, many man-hours.

After 5.5 years of living in this house, we are finishing our basement. When we moved in, the basement was only roughed in...and now it is getting a breath of air breathed into it.

Since Mom and Dad are hear right now, not only do we need the space...but my Dad has proven to be an excellent helper in the building/finishing process. Okay...I can not tell a lie...he's invaluable. Him and Jason are making an excellent team.

Here are pictures from the first phase of the build-out. Walls were put up and insulation was put in. The sheetrockers (yes, we hired that out) had spent the first day putting sheetrock on the ceilings. I was amazed at what a difference that made, not only in sound levels, but also in appearance.

This is the wall that will separate the bedroom/school room from the family room.

This is from the other direction showing where the corner fireplace will go as well as the under-the-stairs play area for the kids which has now been named "the hobbit hole". 

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I remember when Ella was little, I would let her stand next to the sink and "slop". It would keep her busy for hours. I kept the tradition up with Ben, Lily, and Cora. And as I sat there thinking about it, I realized that I hadn't done much of that with Hattie.

So, I got a chair, found some fun water toys, and filled up the kitchen sink. She had a blast...and it kept her busy for a very long time! Funny how one doesn't need fancy toys or expensive things for your kids to play with. The plain ol' kitchen sink does the trick.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Homeschool Day at the Children's Museum

Wednesday was Homeschool Day at the Children's Museum in St. Paul...which meant that we got 4 people into the museum for free and the rest of us at a nice reduced rate! The kids were so excited when I told them where we were going...they love this place.

We got up that morning, got dressed, and got on the road by 9am. (Which is no small feat for a family of 5 children.) The museum was humming...lots of kids running all around. Although, it was much calmer than I was expecting. I'm thinking the cold had a little something to do with that. You see, Minnesota, this great state that we live in (insert rolling of eyes) was a balmy 0 degrees with a -25 to -35 below windchill. Yes was cold. Cold. But we braved the temps anyway because "free" is a big deal when you have a big family. I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, humming...but not as crowded as I was expecting.

The first stop was "Our World" where they get to play and shot in a kid-sized grocery store. They all had fun putting plastic food into their shopping carts or being the cashier and checking shoppers out. My bill came to $5,000 and some odd cents. I made a mental note that I should buy groceries some where else. ;) (wink, wink) Ella was the busiest of them all...she was running around restocking shelves which made it so fun for all the other kids that were there too.

Next up was the Korean restaurant, SaeMot. Seriously, I think that I could even have fun playing in these kid versions of the real world. I was served many, many dishes of plastic food and I'm sure I completely overate. I really love that it's a Korean's just fun to be able to pretend you are in Korea and even more fun to tell the kids about their birth country and how it really has restaurants that look like that one. I think it's pretty fun to eat at a short table while sitting on a cushion on the floor.

Another fan-favorite of the day was Water Works. They absolutely love this area and I'm fairly certain we spent a bulk of our time in this room. It has various tables with running water. Whether you are learning about the power of water, how it moves things, or how water can be stretchy (ie bubbles), the kids had a blast. There were many wet shirt sleeves to show for it.

We broke for lunch and surprised the kids by having Jason meet us. He had gotten up early (really in 3:30am) to start work so he could leave easily by noon to have lunch with his kids and spend the rest of the day playing at the museum with them. They loved some daddy-time.

Here are some more pics from the day: