Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back to School Crazies

We have been busy this week.  Busy as in the back to school crazies.  This week we got Charlie and Evan squared away on uniforms and school supplies.  Having two kids to get ready for school this year was a LOT more work that just one.  Charlie is super excited about Kindergarten though, so it was fun to see all of the preparations through his eyes.  He just shone with excitement when he saw himself in his uniform for the first time.  He had a blast picking out every green school supply he could find.  (Apparently green is his new favorite color).

It never fails that every summer around this time I start my back to school nightmares.  Dreams where I am trying to set up my classroom, and my class suddenly appears out of nowhere and the room is a disaster.  Or sometimes I dream I get lost on the way to school the first day.  Or that I make it to school but can't seem to find my classroom.  I think I have anxiety dreams about going back to school because I have such a hard time saying good bye to summer.  I absolutely love being home with my kids.  I love having the time I need to focus on our home and daily chores.  I love not having a frantic schedule.  Besides our financial need for me to work, teaching for me is more than a job.  I truly feel like it is a calling from God.  I know I wouldn't be fulfilling my mission here on earth if I wasn't teaching kids to read.

Monday and Tuesday I will be setting up my classroom, and I know I will feel better after that.  Having that monumental task under my belt always makes me feel better.  I wonder if the students and parents realize that most teachers are just as nervous as the kids on the first day of school ? :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Splish Splash

I am sad it took me half the summer to accomplish this, but I am so glad this is ready for us to enjoy!

It's just one of those above ground pools, but we have wanted one for years.  It took Evan and I 3 1/2 hours to put it together, and at several points it took all the patience I possessed to not swear a blue streak in front of Evan's young ears.  The pool box boasted it would be "Easy as 1, 2, 3!" to put together.  WRONG!  But I had a bee in my bonnet, and I was determined to do try to complete it myself.  I hate having to wait for other people to help me do things.  Jeff and I aren't the handiest of people with tools and projects, and I have to ask my brother for help quite a bit.  I don't want to overburden him, so I am always tickled with myself when I can do things without help.  I proudly texted this picture to my brother and let him know he was off the hook tomorrow.

The boys took their maiden swim this afternoon and loved it.  We are expecting temps this week over 100 degrees, so hopefully this will help us stay cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


This took me 6 days last week, but I am SO glad that I can cross this off my summer to do list.   I was even more glad I painted when Charlie announced, "This is the best room I have ever seen in my whole entire life!"  Here is the finished product:

I learned that perfectionists like me should not paint stripes.  I could have stood there and fiddled with the tape making these stripes perfect for days!  There are a few places where the edges aren't as crisp as I would like, but as my husband keeps telling me, "It doesn't have to be perfect!"

I got rid of their book case and a toy shelf I didn't like in favor of this shelf shown above.  I love the fabric drawers and how they match the stripes.  It seems to work for the boys too, as it has been a lot easier for them to keep their room clean with this system.

I am taking a break this week, and then on to the master bathroom next week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Just popping in for a minute to share this great site with you:

About One

Have you heard of About One?  If there's one thing I love, it's organization, and this offers a new amazing way to help organized your life.  I am IMPRESSED!

Check it out!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Birthday Fun

I had a great day yesterday...I couldn't ask for a better birthday.  We made progress on the patio:

I got three walls painted with a double coat in Charlie and Sammy's room, and (miracle of miracles!) my dryer is fixed and working.  I also got to spend time with my family, which is the best gift of all.  My Mom took Charlie and Sammy to a movie in the afternoon to keep them out of the paint in their bedroom, so I got to visit with her for awhile.  For dinner, I made all my favorites (totally unhealthy): fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and homemade rolls.

I love making a feast for my crew.  It was a fun dinner.  Jeff brought home an ice cream cake, so we had a great desert as well!

Not a bad start to 34.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Today is my Birthday!

One of my favorite parts about me is that my birthday is 7-7-77.  There just isn't a cooler birthday.  My Mom wanted me to be born on the 4th of July.  Not me!  I LOVE my birthday date.

I am celebrating today with home improvement projects.  A repair man is coming to repair the dryer (thank the Lord!!!), men are digging out my patio in the backyard as we speak, and I am painting the boys room. 

I am going to make some time in the afternoon to make myself a fried chicken dinner...mmmmm!  Hopefully tonight, there will also be time for a glass of wine, and maybe an episode of Big Love (I have become addicted to this silly show!)

Here's to a great year of being 34!

Good-Bye Nursery

In November 2006, just before I delivered Sam, my Dad painted and wall papered the baby's room with adorable little frog princes and a calming light green color.  You can see our newly finished nursery with double cribs here.   (Gosh this brings back memories...seeing those two cribs together.  It was so surreal to tuck in my two tiny babies, only 10 months and 10 days apart.  Having Irish twins is not for the faint of heart.)

A couple of months ago, I noticed a small hole had appeared in the wallpaper.  As the hole got bigger over the coming weeks, I knew it was a sign that it was time to update Charlie and Sammy's room.  It made my heart hurt.  I'm sad to say goodbye to the nursery, small toddler stage.  My boys are growing up, and ready for something a little more "boyish" instead of babyish in their bedroom.  I was also dreading having to redo something in the house that my Dad had done for me.  Having that wallpaper in the room was a visual reminder of his love for me and for his grandchildren.

Yesterday I bit the bullet.  I took pictures beforehand to remember the room by, and then I told myself that my Dad's love wasn't just put on the walls, it was poured into my heart.  And no matter how the walls look, my Dad still loves me.  I also reminded myself that a hole in the wallpaper would have driven him nuts, and he would have wanted me to get this makeover on the road.

Over the years the room has changed a Charlie's addition of his "art wall".  He loves to color, and insists on decorating our walls with his creations.

We added bunk beds in 2008.  You may notice that on these two walls the border is missing.  Putting Charlie in the top bunk allowed him access to the border as a toddler, and one day while having a temper tantrum, he ripped the whole thing off.  One of the times as a mother I have been most angry.

Yesterday I took down all the wallpaper, scrubbed the glue off the walls, and repaired wall dings.  We are off to get paint today, and soon we will start the transformation.  But there is one thing I won't change.  Whenever my dad would wallpaper or put up a border in a room, he would take a small square and put it on the light switch.  It added a creative touch to the room, and one that said "Dad" to me.  And so, even though it won't match, this will be staying just the way it is in their room.  A little piece of Poppo to hold on to.

I'll post some pictures when I'm done.  I hope the boys like it!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pine Beach

We spent a beautiful week in the North Woods of Minnesota last week.  It's my favorite place on Earth, and a week of heaven for me.  The weather there is gorgeous, and it usually isn't here in Nebraska.  Omaha summers include many days over 90 with LOTS of high humidity.  Northern Minnesota offers days pleasantly warm enough for swimming, but cool evenings and nights, and rarely any humidity.

We stay at a resort right on the lake called Pine Beach.  This year, we took my Mom and brother, as well as my Aunt Connie and Uncle Dave.  We all stayed in one big cabin, which was really nice.  It was fun to be together in the evenings after dinner.  I love having no electronics.  It makes it easy to spend time as a family.  After dinner each night we played Canasta, and talked and talked.  There is something healing and wonderful about having long talks with the women in your family.  It grounds you, and gives you a perspective of where you came from.

Uncle Dave was the boat captain this year.  He did a great job taking us around the lake, and Charlie and Sammy even got a turn to drive.
Jeff's favorite part is the swimming.  I love that the deck on each cabin leads to your own stretch of beach and the water.


On Tuesday, Mom and Connie and I headed out for a girls day.  We visited a winery, had lunch in Park Rapids, and had pedicures.  It was so relaxing.   Even though we have been there four times now, we always find something new to do in the area.


Mom brought along her "Sorry!" game (which Sammy and Charlie have just mastered) and they spent time playing with Grandma each afternoon.  It's so important to me that my kids have opportunities to spend extended time with their grandparents.  I am so glad that I made an effort for my kids to be with my Dad before he died.  

One thing we didn't do this year was play Shuffleboard.  My Dad and I loved playing this game together last year, and it just didn't feel right to play.  Maybe someday, but  not yet.  In fact, I didn't even walk over to that part of the resort.  I didn't even want to see it.  (Aunt Connie took this picture).

The trip was so relaxing, and healing in many ways.  We had a chance to talk and to remember my Dad.  I'm so glad we went, spent time together, and had fun with the kids. 

**All pictures used in this post were taken by my Aunt Connie Bridges (who is a much better photographer than I am :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Brotherly Love

The best part of my 4th of July was this:

Could they be any cuter?!  I love that these two love each other.  They melt my heart!

Monday, July 04, 2011

The View from My Deck not about fireworks this weekend :) Instead, it looks like this:

We returned on Saturday from a wonderful week long vacation at a lake in my favorite state, Minnesota.  We had a fabulous time, and enjoyed scenes like this:

right from our deck.  (More about our trip tomorrow!)  Unfortunately, I came home to a broken dryer, and piles and piles of wet, smelly lake laundry.  I knew I couldn't let it sit, so we've been drying on the deck.  Even more unfortunately, it's a holiday weekend so it will be late in the week before the dryer is fixed, and our neighborhood doesn't allow clothes lines.  So we improvised.  Luckily, our laundry is no match for the hot Nebraska sun and heat.  Clothes are dry in no time!

Also, don't forget, our next session of Bible in 90 Days starts on Monday, July 11th.  Follow this link to sign up!  I would love to have you join me!  I am reading through for the 3rd time, and am also serving as a mentor.

Happy 4th of July!  I hope yours is filled with fireworks and fun, instead of laundry like mine!

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