Journal: Summer Break Begins

Outside my window:

Feeling like summer!

Around the house:

Today was laundry day.  I do our laundry and most of my household chores on Monday so that I can focus on other funner things the rest of the week.  I still have a few organization projects that I am working on but it has improved a lot the past two weeks.

The kiddos:

They are enjoying summer break.  The older two start swim lessons tomorrow for the next two weeks.  I took them to the waterpark at the YMCA last week and that was lots of fun.

I took Annika to get her ears pierced over the weekend and enjoyed some mommy daughter time with her.  It is hard to believe she is growing up so much.

Our summer schedule seems to be going well.

In the kitchen:

On the Menu:  Turkey and Rice Casserole, Tacos, Garlic Chicken, Opee Sea Crunch, Pizza, and Breakfast for dinner.  Made Roasted Garlic Cauliflower for the first time a few weeks ago and oh my this is seriously yummy stuff.  This is now in our regular veggie side dish rotation.


I went through my yarn stash last weekend and Annika enjoyed picking out some yarns.  Now that I have everything organized hopefully I can start a few projects.


We have been on a two week break after finishing school and are just starting our summer lessons today.  Working on spelling and math over the summer.  With some fun science and Spanish added in.  Zane is going to keep on with Reading Eggs.  All the kids are signed up at the library for their summer reading program.

Bringing me joy:

Sunshine.  Swimming with kids.  Growing my own veggies.  Taking walks with the kids.  Spending “date nights” at home with the hubby after the kids are in bed.

Thinking about:

How much the kids are growing.  Would like to put the breaks on it sometimes.

Pictures to share:


End of School Year 2013-2014

We finished our school year on May 16th and have been enjoying our break from school the past few weeks.  A couple years ago I came across this idea on a few blogs to do interviews with the kids at the end of the school year, so I put these together.  I am putting these in a folder with a list of what they did that school year and a few of their school projects.

Here is our first end of school year interviews.



I also took the time to put together a list of books, activities, and curriculum for each of the children from the school year.  These will go in the folder with their interviews and some of their projects for the school year.  Here is what they completed this school year.

Annika’s 8th Birthday

On April 8th Annika celebrated her 8th Birthday.  My little girl is growing up so much.  Here is what Annika likes at age 8:  playing with friends and siblings, Webkinz, handsewing her Webkinz clothing, knitting, crafting all sorts of things, making her room messy, animals, nature and various creepy crawlies, being silly, dreaming big, gymnastics, swimming, and living life to the fullest.  We sure do love her bunches!

My Birthday Girl

Annika's 8th Birthday

She decorated the table

She really wanted this barbie

She is beyond excited about having her own tools and the set is purple her favorite color.  She also got the wood and c clamps she had asked for.  She recently read a book about woodworking and is excited to start some projects.

Snorkel gear, something else she has wanted for a long time.  She enjoyed walking around the house like this.
Love this!

Zane’s 5th Birthday

We celebrated Zane’s 5th Birthday on March 25th.  He was very excited leading up to his birthday about turning 5.  It is hard to believe that he has hit that milestone birthday.  We celebrated his birthday with family and he loved his presents.  He had been wanting a Lego set from the Lego movie and was excited to finally have one.

What size likes at age 5:  Legos, play battles with “weapons”, swimming, mom’s day out program, gymnastics, playing outside with neighbors, playing with siblings, learning to read with Reading Eggs, singing and choir, nature walks, going to the zoo and botanical gardens, making potions, and cooking with me.

Zane’s birthday cake.


Blowing out his candles.


Zane's 5th Birthday

A big birthday smile!


Very happy about his Lego movie set

DIY Outdoor Plant Stand (AKA The Plant Crib)

I have been trying to decide what to do with my old drop side crib and of course checked pinterest for some inspiration.  At this same time I was also looking for ideas on what to use outside as a plant stand for my new vegetable container garden.  So after some looking around and seeing others using their cribs outdoors I came up with what we are calling the “plant crib”.  Here is a easy tutorial on how to make your own plant crib.

Materials you will need:

Old Crib
Plastic Drop Cloth
6-8 cans Krylon Paint + Primer Gloss (I purchased at Walmart)
1/4″ Sanded Plywood 2’x4′ (I purchased at Menards)

Here is a good video on preparing your furniture and spraying technique.  The kids sanded the crib and then I went over it again after they were done.  The crib was then wiped down and ready to be spray painted.  I used a plastic drop cloth and placed the crib on this outdoors.  I took the metal part of the crib off and painted it first and I then did the inside portion of the crib.  I placed the metal part back on and finished by spray painting the rest of the crib.

Here is a photo of the crib spray painting in progress.
Since I had some leftover house paint my daughter painted the plywood with this.  I then placed the plywood on and started to use it, my plan is to to finish it with some Krylon soon.  *Since I made this last month I would recommend that you drill drainage holes in the plywood before using the Krylon.  I had thought about that before I did it and as I suspected the water pools too much on the plywood if you do not.

Here is my daughter painting the plywood
The finished project

I love the look of it and I love how it makes the plants easy to water.  I like that mine is on casters because I can push it onto our covered patio when the weather get crazy.   Having the plants off the ground is nice too because I don’t have to worry about rabbits.  I left the drop side rail off and plan to make this plant stand with it next year.  So happy to have this crib not taking off space and making it useful again!

Journal: It’s hot here

Outside my window:

Warm and the birds are chirping.  It’s going to be another hot day.  I am ready for the temperatures to cool down a little and get back to spring temperatures.  We have had some summer weather the past 4 days.

Around the house:

I have some organization that I am wanting to do once we are done with school next week.  Ready to do some more decluttering before summer break.

The kiddos:

We are finishing some of our activities for the school year.  They all had their choir concert last week and did a great job.  Annika had her first Confession last week and first Communion on Sunday.  It was such a great day.  I have some really great pictures that my sister took that I will post sometime this week.  We will be done with our official school year next week and take a few weeks off before we start our summer schedule.  The kids are signed up for most of their summer activities and they are excited about them.

In the kitchen:

I have taken a couple cooking classes this past month with the executive chef of a local vegetarian restaurant.  These classes have been so much fun and I have definitely learned some cooking technique that I did not know before.  I am looking forward to one more class in this series.  It’s been fun to take a class for an activity that I enjoy!

On the menu:

Fish with oven fries and veggies, tuna noodles and veggies, pizza, golden honey chicken with rice and veggies, chicken tacos.


I have all my yarn pulled out right now and added some knitting patterns to my queue on Ravelry, now I just need to commit to a project and start.  Annika and I are going to start working on sewing a skirt together.


As I think about our school year coming to an end I am really happy with our year.  No year will ever be “perfect” but it has been really good.  I have seen them all grow and learn so much.  We really do enjoy learning together and I am very grateful that homeschooling is part of our families journey.

Bringing me joy:

Watching my kids play together.  All three of them have such great relationships with one another.  Seeing my kids play in the sprinkler for the first time this year.  Jude reading like crazy, he is finishing the last Harry Potter book.  Annika receiving her first Communion.  Zane learning to swim and being so comfortable in the water now.

Thinking about:

My prayer life, it has been pretty blah for a little while.  Too many things on my mind make prayer difficult.  Blogging and making time for that again.  My laptop was not useable for a few months and now that I can use it again I am trying to get into the routine of blogging again.

Pictures to share:

Here is one of Annika’s First Communion pictures.  I will share more in another post.  She wore the same dress that I wore.  My Aunt made this dress for my oldest sister 34 years ago and Annika is the 8th girl in our family to wear this dress.


Journal: 4th Week of Advent

Outside my window: 

Very cold and white.  The kids had fun playing in the snow yesterday!

Around the house:

Planning some cleaning and laundry today.  I want everything in good order before Christmas so I can have plenty of chilled out time with the hubby and kids.

The kiddos:

The kids are looking forward to Christmas.  They are done with all their activities for the month and we are on school break so they are looking forward to free time.

We have had a fun few weeks going to the Christmas Symphony Concert, Illuminations at Botanica, and celebrating the feasts of St. Lucy and St. Nicholas.  The kids also had their Christmas choir concert for their homeschool group.  All three kids participated in the concert.  Zane did not do a lot of actual singing but he did the actions to the songs and I was proud of him for getting up in front of everyone.  Annika did an amazing job, she really learned how to project her voice and she received lots of complements on her singing.  Jude did a very good job in his group singing and they all seemed to enjoy the experience.

Zane finally had most of his speech evaluation done last week and we have the rest of it scheduled right after school break is over. I am eager to get him started on speech services and pray that stuttering is something he can learn to manage.

In the kitchen:

On the menu:  Chili, Chicken and Noodles with gluten free homemade egg noodles, Pizza, Tacos, and Beef and Cheddar Melts.


I have been helping Annika with some sewing on her machine and I put together a really cute Alphabet book like this one for my Godson for Christmas.


On school break for the next few weeks.  I always enjoy breaks it gives me a chance to reflect on how our school year is going and make plans or changes for the year.  We are definitely on a good path this year and I don’t forsee much in the way of changes.

Bringing me joy:

Seeing the kids sing in their concert, celebrating the Litugical Year,  our Christmas lights and decorations, taking time to slow down, family, getting all my present wrapping done, celebrating my 38th Birthday, and my new warm slippers!  I have also been enjoying this Advent/Christmas ebook from Catholic Culture.

Pictures to share:

St. Nicholas made a visit to our house.  The kids left him milk and an apple, they figured he was tired of all those cookies.  St. Nicholas always brings books and candies for the kids.  Jude got a Lego Brickmaster book, Zane a Ninjago book , and Annika a Garfield book.





Our Christmas Tree. We decorated on St. Lucy’s feast day. We also made Pepparkakor cookies for our Tea Time and these were very yummy!  Annika and Zane served the cookies.

I liked this picture because it shows our cat eating our tree, which he does every year, yum fake pine needles!


Annika in her dress and St. Lucy crown.
Illuminations at Botanica. Lots of fun every year!