Oct 9, 2015

Happy Friday!

Good Friday morning!  It's been a hot minute since I've posted, yowsa.  If these children of mine would slow down, I could enjoy some computer time, haha!
Linking up with Erika again for Friday Favorites...
It's FALL!!!  I love this season for so many reasons, the crisp air, the colors, the foods, the sounds, love it all!
We are so fortunate to live in the country, this is our back yard, quiet and peaceful...
Our Halloween tree is definitely a favorite of mine , I have a couple trees like this that come out for the holidays and I love it!  And for the record, so does my dad, *snort*!

Who doesn't love fall candles??  I stocked up at Yankee when they had their buy one get one free.

We've been enjoying watching Rachel play volleyball, she is having a blast, and their team is really good (they have the best record of all the volleyball teams in school right now!).  It isn't a season without an injury though, Rachel either sprained or broke her toe.  It's quite swollen and she borrowed Grandmas boot to wear so she doesn't bend it.  She won't be playing tonight which is a bummer, but hopefully she'll be up and running next week!

Love this pic of these 2 BFF'S!

One thing I'm excited about is a guest post I am doing next Thursday, I will share the link when it's up, but it was fun reminiscing about these three hooligans...

And lastly, I am SO thankful for the friends that our girls have!  This is Emma with her BFF'S and they are such a great group of girls, love them!


Sep 24, 2015

Our Newest Addition

No, not MY newest addition!  My sister Tracy and her husband Peter welcomed this sweet little bundle of perfection Noah Gary on Tuesday, September 22.  He is 9 pounds 10 ounces and PERFECT in every way.

I was so happy I happened to have Tuesday off (right now I have Fridays off, but had to switch because another person needed Friday off) and it worked perfect!  

Tracy labored for almost 20 hours before they decided to do a c-section.  She had some complications during the c-section, and we are all so thankful that she is ok and healthy!  She was so disappointed that it ended that way, but honestly, I don't know many women who would hold out that long!

I am so proud of her and especially with all that she went through, she is going to be one amazing mama!  And now she can totally hold that against him when he's naughty, haha!

I am so stoked to have a baby in the family, he is going to be so fun.  I only wished I lived closer, after being with them on Tuesday, I am feeling so sad that I can't just drive there after work and see him...

Tracy, I know you will eventually read this, and I want you to know how incredibly PROUD I am of you!  You went through so much this week, and now you get reap the benefits with this little guy.  I am so excited to see what a great mama you are going to be, and I am blessed that I get to be there for you guys.  Love you all so much!

Sep 14, 2015

Perfect Fall Weekend

This weekend was a PERFECT weekend!  The weather was a bit cool, sunny and just all around gorgeous.  Plus I got a ton of stuff done!  I had Friday off and I watched pretty much any September 11 special that has been made.  Every year I watch the actual footage of the Today Show on MSNBC, still gives me the chills.

I finally got my fall decorations out, I am thinking a trip to Crafts Direct is needed to update a few things...

Despite stopping frequently to watch tv, I got a ton of organizing done.  Feels so good to open cupboards and see organization!  Saturday I got some canning done, got 8 jars of salsa put up.  Brad smoked some ribs and we had friends over that night.

Sunday we went to church came home and after lunch walked back into our woods to grab some apples!

There is an apple tree that is huuuuge!

Of course we had to take some pics (why must she pose for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.)

I was able to connive the family into helping (yes Alayna was there too, but she had a friend over) and was able to get 8 quarts of apple pie filling plus 4 gallon bags full of cut up apples.  I said if they helped I would bake them a pie....

Such a great weekend, I am so ready for cooler temps!

Sep 3, 2015

Volleyball 2015

As I mentioned before, Rachel was SUPER stoked to make one of the JV teams this year for her first year of high school volleyball (insert sobbing here).  There were 45 freshmen  (who all make the freshmen team) and only 8 of those freshmen that either made a JV team or varsity (2 freshmen made varsity!) and Rach was one of them.  We are SO proud of that kid.  She has been obsessed with volleyball since 5th grade, but has really had to work hard to get where she is.  In 6th grade she was the only one out of her group of friends to not make the JO team, it was heartbreaking.  However, that girl has learned so damn much from that experience!

Tuesday was her first game at Princeton and I was excited to go watch her play.  However they had to change the times, and they left 2 hours earlier than expected, I was bummed that I missed her playing, but I got to see the other JV and varsity games which were awesome (JV1 lost but varsity won)!  Thankfully Brad was able to go and watch and I got updates and pics.  Rachel's team won all three games and Brad said she played awesome.

Rachel (and her bff Taylor) started, which was cool, as there are only 4 freshmen on her team and the rest are sophomores and juniors!

She has home games next week, so I won't miss any games.  Her coach told her that if proves herself more, she might get bumped up to the next jv team.  I told her to not get her hopes up, and after playing their first game, I don't think she will want to, she LOVES her team!

Aug 31, 2015

Back to School!

I can't believe that summer is over.  It went by SO fast, but I have to say it was a pretty awesome summer!  However, I am ready for things to slow down, and I have already started saying no to weekend plans.  My house has suffered, haha.

Here are my babies this morning...9th grade, 7th grade and 4th grade, *sigh*.  I cried when they left, I just can't believe that Rachel is a freshmen.  I know that the next 4 years will fly by, and I am NOT ok with that.  

I was up bright and early making them this cream cheese crescent bake, my dad has made it a few times and it is so good!  This is the first time ever that I am not home on the first day of school, and I am feeling very sad about it.  I have no special snack for them, and although I know they will be just fine, it's one of those things I always had for them.  Here are some things I've made previous years:

On Saturday we had a 50th anniversary party for Brad's mom and dad, it was so fun and we had a great turnout!

However, I am completely shot, and this weekend we are gone again, but then after that we are HOME every weekend!!  Yahoo!

Aug 27, 2015

*Almost Friday* Favorites- Exhausted Edition!

We had another great weekend!  (Yes I realize it is Thursday) We went up to my dad and step moms for the annual "Christmas in August" get together with them and all the kids.  The weather did not cooperate, but we made the best of it and had a great time!
This is my dad playing a Native American flute, it sounds SO neat!  I could listen to this all day long...
The funny thing with my dad is you never know what crazy instrument he'll come up with next, so far he's mastered not only the guitar, but a dulcimer, auto harp and banjo!  We love listening to all of them!

Cousin shot!

We got home Sunday and went immediately into town for Rachel's volleyball fundraiser burger basket night.  So begins the life of high school sports!  I would also like to mention that I am a very proud mama...Rachel made the JV team as a freshmen!  They had 45 freshmen tryout for a JV spot and she was one of 9!  So, so proud and excited for her!!

Tuesday night she had her group of girlfriends overnight and being it has been a cool few days, it was most certainly time to whip up the first of many batches of pumpkin scones.  They are SO good!  I got the recipe here and make them about a dozen times during the cooler/cold months!

And in other news...

I.am.exhausted.  August has been unreal.  We have been gone every single weekend, and although it's all been super fun, I miss my house!  I miss cleaning, I miss clean clothes and I miss making a mess in my kitchen (however, thank goodness for freezer meals!).  This weekend we have Brad's parents 50th wedding anniversary party and once I leave work, I will be all over buying decorations.

Add in volunteering for volleyball, Emma's end of summer party, a birthday party, anniversary party and trying to get everything ready for school on Monday (never mind that I now have a HIGH SCHOOLER!!!), I'm tired.  That's where my awesome hubby comes in, he is going to work from home tomorrow to help me out, LOVE that man!  So that's been us in a nutshell...tired.

Linking up to:

Aug 20, 2015

Wisconsin Dells Vacation 2015

Linking up again with Erika, Andrea and Narci!

Our summer 2015 adventures started out with a trip to Wisconsin Dells this past week.  We left Sunday morning and came back Wednesday late afternoon.    The weather was absolutely perfect and we had a blast!

We stayed at the Kalahari Resort, this is our third time staying there and we love it.  There is an indoor and outdoor water park, indoor amusement park, movie theater, gift shops and so many places to eat!
We let Emma bring her BFF Kyleigh with, and it really worked out so well, all the kids got along beautifully.

We also had an awesome outdoor pool that we used.  It was nice because there weren't a lot of people there, very quiet and relaxing!  Our room was like an apartment.  When you walk in there is the bathroom/vanity area and then the bedroom with a king size bed and doors that open to the living room/kitchen/dining area.  We bought groceries the first night and ate all our breakfast a couple lunches/dinners there.  We also had a deck which was awesome for drinks in the evenings and coffee in the mornings!

Brad had a work conference at the Dells, so it worked perfect to make a vacation out of it.  We had him for a while Monday morning until around noon.  We went out to the outdoor park for a few hours and then wen to the indoor one.  The indoor one has a lot more slides and things to do. 

Monday night was family night with the company he was with.  They fed us tacos with all the fixings (we had tacos the night before too, haha!), which were amazing!   
Love this picture of us...

After dinner we got to see the christian rock group Mercy Me.  Oh my word, if you ever have the chance to see them, do it, they were amazing!

And the best part was when we got to meet the band after!  I've listened to their newest cd several times already, so, so good!

A little mommy/Alayna selfie.  She was falling asleep on my lap about 20 minutes after we got there.  Rachel ended up taking her back to the room, as it wasn't "her" type of music.  14 year olds....

A little relaxing after being in the sun all day...

Tuesday Brad was gone all day working the convention, so it was just the girls and I.  We lounged in the morning, I got in a 30 minute workout both days at the hotel gym, I was proud!  We got to the outdoor park around 10:30 and stayed until about 1:30 and then headed back to the hotel for lunch.  We basically hung out in the hotel for the afternoon and then I had to get ready for the dinner and awards banquet.  Dinner was filet mignon and bacon wrapped chicken, steamed veggies and twice baked potatoes, dessert was cheesecake, everything was divine!  After the awards ceremony we met a bunch of people out for drinks, so fun!  

The girls all got their hair braided at a little kiosk in Kalahari.

So cute!  And then they all got airbrushed tattoos.  I am now completely broke, haha!

Wednesday Brad was done working so we took the girls to the indoor amusement park.  We let them each pick out 2 things to do.  One of Rachel's bucket list items was to do the rock climbing wall.  She damn near passed out once we got there, so unfortunately she didn't do it.  Emma, Ky and Alayna did, and loved it!

They also got to go on the go carts, although Alayna was not happy because she wasn't tall enough to drive.  I told if she would eat the food I serve everyday and not complain she could have been tall enough.  She wasn't a fan.

The last thing I let them talk me into doing was getting a picture taken with a baby tiger .  He was so flipping cute, but I can't believe I shelled out $45 for 2 5x7 pictures....Yes they got to pet him at least.

All in all it was a fabulous vacation!  It was such a great mix of relaxing, kid time, mommy/daddy time and lots of activities!