New Bathroom

DSC_2907While cleaning the main floor bathroom I notice that the mirror had lost part of it’s mirror-i-ness due to cleaning for the last 20 years. After many years of watching HGTV, I consider myself a bit of a remodeling expert (insert sarcasm here). Everyone on pinterest is doing it, right? So I took that mirror down to see how much damage was done to the wall behind it. Lucky me, no damage. I set it in the hall so that I could go get a new mirror. Dan was afraid it would break in the hall so he moved it… and broke it. So lucky me, there was no going back it was a new mirror. I bought a new mirror, brought it home, hated it, so I decided the counter-top had to go. I think you can see where this is headed. When all was said and done, bringing down that mirror resulted in a whole new bathroom. Let me tell you $84 for the Costco toilet was the best money I have EVER spent. 2 trips to the store for a light, 2 trips for mirrors, paint, toilet, faucet and of course a new granite counter-top and sink and the room is now my favorite 15 square feet in the house. Thanks to my fabulous husband and his new found remodeling skills, he is the best. Too small of a space to get a great picture, I still need to touch up the paint on the walls where the sink banged it up going in and put one more coat of paint on the cabinet.


Sky Zone, Zoo, Hocking Hills and Cousins

Let’s wrap Spring Break up in a nice little photo bomb. Plans changed at the end of our Spring Break with a surprise visit from Eva and kids. Cousins make everything exciting. We took them with us to Hocking Hills and hiked for hours, lots of stairs and cliffs made it even more exciting. We had a picnic lunch and were freezing, I worried that it would ruin the whole trip down there. Once we started hiking we all warmed up and had a great day.

Saturday morning we got up and took care of some chores and shopping and then colored eggs, had an egg hunt. Painted nails, braided hair etc… Eva lovingly referred to me as a drill Sargent, but we got through everything. Emma and I snuck off that night for the YW conference. We stopped by Chipotle for dinner. When we got home and opened the garage we found Eva standing in there hiding eggs. She made me hide 108 real eggs for Easter. Yikes, I would have never attempted that with church being at 9:00 the next morning. So we woke everyone up at 6:00 am and found all of the eggs but 1. It was found later after church.

On Thursday we had a photo scavenger hunt at the zoo. Emma and Aubrey partnered up, Tanner and Alyssa and Danny and I teamed up with little Hallie. They had a list of 24 things they had to find and 1 animal couldn’t be used more than one time. Some things on the list were an animal sleeping, longest tail, animal that starts with the first letter of your name… They had 1 hour to complete their list. We met back at the merry-go-round. Tanner and Alyssa won with the most complete, but a few of us believe he cheated, not so much cheated as he interpreted the rules different. Emma and Aubrey got the most creative and accurate interpretation of the rules. Hallie won the craziest picture, a picture of a monkey eating poo. I wont post the picture–really gross.

Hallie at the zoo



Hocking Hills














Blowing out eggs with the girls















Rough Start

After so much excitement last night, we awoke to 3 inches of snow. Not the end of the world we knew it was coming and we don’t anticipate it staying for long. It was the sounds of someone vomiting that killed the buzz of great day. Aubrey is sick, and old enough to understand what that means for her Spring Break. Looks like plans are going to have to be altered a bit. Sigh…



Again, no Hallie pictured. She was sleeping because she was up multiple times in the night.



Notice in this picture of sick Aubrey she has a note on her dresser telling us what she wanted in her crepe for her breakfast in bed. “No cream cheese” is what is says. Poor baby, she was so excited and now is too sick to enjoy it.






Spring Break Staycation

I have spent all week torturing the children. See spring break is this week, and due to it being so close to Easter and a huge snowstorm we decided to do a stay-cation. Only I told the kids that we were having a Spring Clean-cation. I carried the story to the very end, even printing up spring cleaning check lists for the kids to follow. They rebelled and shredded the check lists on my bed tonight. I just smiled and told them they would be eating liver and onions for a week and sent them to bed. It was all in fun, they knew I was up to something, just not sure what.

After the kids were all in bed, I went downstairs and blasted some music. They were all puzzled and came down the stairs to see what in the world was wrong. There sitting in the living room was their Stay-Cation Survival Basket. It included their itineraries for the week. It was also loaded with new sunglasses, soda, gold fish crackers, and candy (all things banned from our house). Candy isn’t always banned, I just don’t buy it often. Here are their reactions.

You can look at our itinerary here:

Staycation Itinerary 2013








Poor little Hallie, she was so exhausted tonight she was asleep in the 5 minutes it took me to go downstairs and get things ready. She will have to learn about our week tomorrow. Kids are back in bed, and I’m hoping for a week full of fun and adventure.




Dreary Winter

Our first winter in Ohio was terrible, our second winter bearable, this winter wins the dreary award. There hasn’t been a ton of snow, and what we did get quickly melted away with a rain storm. But the sun has been missing for a very long time. Monday we had a very nice day so Hallie and I went on a walk to the lake to bask in her glory.


We listened to the sound of the cracking ice and played with the thin shards as they moved up on shore. We haven’t see the sunshine since, and the kids are all sick. It’s been a miserable week, but I know Spring is just around the corner.

Hallie has been taking swim lessons

A picture from outside our living room window.

I’ve lost 17 pounds, but had a rough week sticking to my eating habits. Time to renew my commitment.

Emma is taking a sewing class and Tanner just started a class to be able to compete in swim team. Everyone is ready for Spring Break, and I wish I had somewhere amazing to take them, but I’m afraid a staycation is our future this year. Of course, last year we went to Great Wolf Lodge, and it was 80 degrees, and this year it’s dreary and miserable and I don’t have a us planned to go anywhere to get out of the muck. Pray for a heat wave that week.



Musical Mayhem

I am not musical. I have never had a piano lesson, don’t sing particularly well, can’t read music, but I am easily moved by music. Nothing touches my soul, confirms the feelings I have of the Savior, moves me to action like music. Playing music in my home changes the moods of my children, gets them shaking their little booties and motivates them to action as well. I love music!

I feel strongly about my kids having music skills, and I invest a great deal of time and money to this cause. I recently bought Alyssa a recorder and started her in recorder lessons with Emma and Aubrey’s flute teacher. She is the first person I have heard play a recorder and make it sound beautiful, beautiful enough for me to put down my book and listen to her. If anyone can teach Alyssa to make beautiful music out of a recorder it is her. She had Alyssa blow and blow and blow and make the ugliest sounds possible on her recorder, and then swore her to never do that again. It is a musical instrument and will from now on be treated as such. Alyssa has done a good job of following her rule.Wish I could say the same for Hallie.

Last weekend Emma competed in Solo and Ensemble. We traveled to a little town called Granville. What a charming and stunningly beautiful place. She had one flute quartet to play in and one solo to play. I have seen her practice the solo hundreds of times, she worked endlessly on it and it was perfect. She was up to perform and in walked her band teacher, who she has this strange fear of. Then her accompanist was late and her judge had to wait. Combine all of this together and she was found herself in a panic.

She played her piece, but later told me that the only way she got through it was because it was memorized she couldn’t even see the notes she was so nervous. She didn’t rock it, she rushed it, missed some big runs and overall gave a less than perfect performance. She knew it too. She was disappointed. Come to find the judge gave her a 1 on her ensemble and a 1 on her solo, so it must not have been as bad as she was thinking. Happy Ending.

The whole experience reminded me of an time in my life where I didn’t handle disappointment well. I was on the swim team, and swam everyday. I ended up getting sick, tonsillitis and was out of practice for almost 2 weeks. I showed up to my meet the following week, and had to swim a long swim. It should have taken me 15 minutes. I dove in and found myself out of breath and unable to compete, I kept swimming, but when I finished the race I realized that I was the last one in and people had been waiting on me to finish for 5 minutes. I was so embarrassed. I never returned. I quit. I don’t think I even ever told my parents, they didn’t usually attend the meets and wouldn’t have seen my catastrophe.

Emma’s experience reminded me to encourage her to continue even though she bombed it. Even though things looked bleak. She is braver than I am, and I am thankful to her flute teacher for telling her some of her own nightmare experiences with nerves and for providing Emma with her favorite book on dealing with nerves and performing.

Recently Danny and I dropped all television in the house. With the money I saved from what we were spending on TV, I have joined the YMCA and have started swimming again. They have an old folks swim team, and I plan on joining them this summer, after I have brought myself up to speed. I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter.

Birthday Princess

Alyssa loves her birthday more than anyone I know. She agonizes over every detail of the day and NEVER wants a birthday party because that would mean she would have to share her day. On the flip side, if it’s your birthday she is completely loyal and treats you like royalty.

Alyssa had school on her birthday, she requested that I come to lunch with her. We brought ice cream to her classmates at lunch. While I was signing in at the office, my cell phone rang. I answered it and there was my little 6 year old. She had gone to the nurses office and convinced her to call me, she was so worried that I was going to miss her birthday lunch. When I informed her that I was in the office at that very moment she was so relieved. I’m sure the nurse got a good chuckle out of her. If you know Alyssa, me missing her day, would have physically made her ill, so the nurse was probably the best place for her to go.

After lunch, Hallie and I came home to make her requested cake. It was German chocolate with peppermint whip cream and a chocolate ganache and topped with crushed candy canes. Alyssa LOVES that her birthday is near Christmas and even hand picked the Christmas paper that her gifts were to be wrapped in.

Alyssa wanted her ears pierced for her birthday. Right after school, Danny and I took her to get them pierced. She was super brave and didn’t even flinch, totally in Alyssa fashion. She did break down and cry afterward but quickly put herself together and picked out necklaces and bracelets for her sisters. We came home and opened a few more gifts. I sewed Alyssa a sleeping bag, pillow w/pillowcase and matching jammies for her American Girl Doll. She also picked out an outfit for her doll so she knew all about that gift as well. After dressing her doll we went to dinner at The Cracker Barrel. Aubrey and Alyssa put their dolls at a separate table and the manager came out and took their order. They really went all out for my princess. It was pretty cute. Home for cake and to put the tired birthday girl to bed.

You will notice in the pictures that Tanner has picked up a new hobby and that is photo bombing everyone’s photos. You will notice how unimpressed Alyssa is with his new talent.

Alyssa and her best friend Lizzie

Hand- picked wrapping paper

Tanner photo bombing the picture

Alyssa and her “perfect” cake

 Another photo bomb by Tanner, good thing Alyssa hasn’t spotted him

 Emma getting in on the action, Alyssa is getting annoyed

 Alyssa and her perfect birthday!


The Baker

This is all I’ve got, I’m hoping to get some video soon of his performance. I’m proud of my boy. I would not have been able to perform in front of my peers at that age. He didn’t even vomit–smile.

Tanner and two of his best friends

 Tanner and his Father

 Tanner and his wife