Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Walking Dead

We love the cable tv show- Walking Dead. Partly because the special effects are amazing and partly because its interesting to see an 'end of the world' scenario and how people might act. Its fake and could never really happen- yes I know. But you can't help but wonder what types of people are going to survive. And if their moral standards will change according to the situation. AND then there's the fact I really like Darryl! I shall learn the crossbow just because of him! :)

The show is gruesome and violent- so John and I usually prescreen the episode before letting the kiddos watch. That way I know what parts to fast forward through.

Last year we attended the local zombie fest. It was interesting. I'm definitely not a die hard zombie person. Some of those people are boarder line crazy...but think its totally awesome! And zombie walking down town with hundreds of people- so very cool!

For Christmas we were given a zombie pet as a gift. We lovingly named him Steve. He hangs out in our family room and has startled a few unsuspecting guests. We're thinking he would look awesome in the courtyard this spring and summer...maybe scare away solicitors!

And here's little Miss Evie getting in on the action

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Have you ever been asked "What's your style?" whether is be style of clothes, music or the way you decorate? Its really hard to pin point and select just one.

I've been thinking about it lately, well mostly my home decorating style. And when it comes down to it I think you have to be true in two areas to make decor work. One - be true to the house. If you live in a turn of century tudor- do justice to the house and its history. Show off the wordwork, use vintage inspired fixtures, play up its originality. Because they certainly don't make houses like that anymore. I wish I had photos of my sister in law's home. They live in a tudor and have done a beautiful job of integrating an updated traditional feel without having it feel like a museum. When decorating these houses, I'm not saying settees and chaises with paisley patterns and fringed lamp shades. It doesn't have to be full of victorian antiques- just be respectful of the era to which the house was made.

I really love (which I've seen on all the decorating/house selling shows) mid century modern homes. I could never live in one- modern isn't me. But I think they are beautiful! I always see these contemporary homes built in the 60s and so wish I could just go in and see how they've been decorated. Hoping to high heaven that the owners took full advantage of era. I've always secretly loved the colored ovens and frigs from the 50s!!! My great grandparents had an original pale yellow one with the freezer on the bottom that would pop open when you stepped on a peddle. So cool! Colored appliances! sigh!!!

I've always wanted to buy a loft space in an old downtown warehouse. Obviously that's not feasible right now with children and Emma. But someday, I think it would be fun! I love the industrial vintage look! The metals mixed with rich woods. Very cool!

I've mentioned how I want to buy a cottage in Ireland. Simple cotton and linen, natural colors, lots of light and flea market finds. It would be splendid!

NOW our house is interesting. It was built in the late 80s and has a lovely brassy essence to it. Handles, hardware, fixtures, towel rods...everything and anything is brass! Blech! We are slowly but surely remedying that situation- thank goodness! We didn't necessarily fall in love with house as much as we did the location and property. The house was adequate and had mostly everything on our want list. I say mostly because I convinced my husband we didn't need a 5th bedroom...oops! :) I'm not saying the house isn't nice, because it is! Just need to give it our touch.

I would say our house has a country inspired feel to it. Lots of oak woodwork and a traditional floorplan. The previous owners updated the kitchen with whites and blues which really plays into the country feel.

John isn't a country boy. He likes modern clean lines...which just isn't going to happen here. It wouldn't look right. But he's comfortable with what we have because so much of it is family oriented. Which brings us to the second area of truth. You have to be true to you. Family is important to me. Our house if full of family photos, heirlooms, hand me downs and kid creations. I also have it set up to function and be comfortable. We are a family...with kids...and a dog. Things and rooms need to be comfortable and inviting and accessible. I don't ever want the kids to not feel welcomed in a room because it the nice room or because they feel its off limits. I want our home to reflect us - our loves, our hobbies and our lives.

So I've decided to give a little tour of our front room.

Yes- chevron panels! Loving chevron right now...we have it sporadically placed around the house. Its youthful. We are still a young family and want that to be reflected. We also have a bench tucked under the table to allow for extra seating when needed. 

(bummer that picture is crooked...I know that is going to annoy some people. And not sure why the walls look pinkish. They are a basic off white...which will eventually change)
Sitting area: Our genealogy wall. Photos of ancestors, silhouettes and documents. The silver frame above the lamp is the marriage certificate of my great great grandma. I also like to add texture so I went with the burlap lamp shade. The reed chairs, driftwood wreath and neutral colors help cut down on the formality of the room. I don't mind mixing and matching either.  

Heirlooms and collections- this secretary belonged to John's grandma. I think of her every time I see it. The center shelf is filled with her Czech books and journals. The other two shelves display my milk glass and hobnail collection. Vintage globes for a touch of fun on top. 

Basically everything in our house has a past or reason for being displayed. Very rarely do I just go buy accessories or nick nacks to use for decor. When we go on trips, we like to buy a piece of art to display to remind us of that particular vacation. In this room, we have a water color from a local artist in Colorado that we purchased our first year vacationing there. I also use lots of photos, kids art, items from parents, gifts etc. I like to look around and have an object evoke a memory or a feeling. Our kitchen table was handed down to us by John's parents. Its the one he ate meals at growing up- and now he's sitting at with his kids. Its things like that - that I love. It is what makes a house a home. 

Monday, February 25, 2013


Our twinnies had their very first Science Olympiad competition this past weekend. They competed in several events including Astronomy, Chemistry, Creative Design, Write it Do it, Forensics and will be adding Thermodynamics to their events in April.

It was a regional highschool (9th-12th graders) competition held in Omaha. It isn't grade specific so they can compete against 12th graders in any given event. It included 30 different highschools.

Now our twins are brainy rather than sporty. Kwynn is into Astronomy, writing, languages, arts and robotics. McKynna is more into the mathematical sciences like Chemistry, Forensics, biology etc. Both have their strengths and both are exceptionally intelligent. Not like 'skip grades and complete college before 20' smart...but intelligent, quick learners that have the ability to excel in whatever they put their minds to!

They were a bit nervous and not sure what all was involved. I could feel the anticipation and anxiety as we drove to the school for pickup. We talked about how it was just a learning competition. Take it in, learn, figure out what you need to study or adjustments to you need to make for the State competition in April. Set no expectations and have no disappointments.

I thought of them all day. Hoping all was well and knew they were doing their best.

I finally got the text to meet them for pick up at the school. I quickly texted back wanting to know the details.

Both did great. Learned alot and feel much better about April's contest.  Kwynn took third in Write it Do event she hadn't even practiced for. But their highschool didn't have a team competing in that event and Kwynn had an open spot on her schedule. So she partnered up with a friend. AND they got THIRD...craziness!

The other events were learning experiences. The twins chose events that consisted mainly of 11th and 12th graders. The twins chose them because they like the subjects. Other students chose them because they are science classes offered to upper classmen. Like McKynna is doing a Chemistry event- which isn't offered in highschool until 11th grade. She still did really well and has a new a partner thats helping tutor her.

So so proud of them! Love them! And are blessed to have them as kiddos!

Friday, February 22, 2013


This post is way over due! Homecoming was actually in October, but I wanted to include it in my blogging journal.

The twins don't get over the moon excited- ever. They are pretty chill about things. So I wasn't sure if homecoming was going to be a big deal. They mentioned they wanted to go with a group of friends and might need dresses if they couldn't find one that fit right in their closet.

hmmmm....what about what I want! As a mom, I wanted to take them shopping for dresses, help them get ready, get pedicures and manicures, possibly wrist corsages. They weren't so sure.

But as the dance came closer, they showed a little more excitement. Once we went shopping for dresses- their personalities and anticipation finally appeared! I let them choose whatever dresses they wanted, but gently nudged them towards dresses that could be easily altered. You'd be surprised, but almost all the dresses were strapless. So we added straps to their choices. Can't have their girly parts falling out! sheesh!

(our bathroom post getting ready)

The night of the dance was filled with the getting ready ritual of make up, painting nails and getting hair done. Once again, individuality and personalities shown through. McKynna is very subdued. She chose a black, fairly simple dress with no fluffy skirt. She wanted her hair in a braided bun low set to the side and natural makeup in browns and rose. Nothing heavy or bright. Even her nails were painted nude.

Kwynn wanted a black and white dress and desperately tried convincing me that straps were not necessary. She lost. She swapped out the black waist ribbon for a purple/pink one. Her hair was pulled up in a ballerina bun near the top of her head. She had eye shadow and nail polish that matched her ribbon. To finish off her look and to remedy the chilly evening...she wore her black leather jacket.

A friend of theirs invited them over for dinner, she lives near the school so the group then walked over to the dance.

The girls came home excited and chattering up a storm. Two friends came home with them to stay over and all were talking at once. McKynna gushed about how a senior girl complimented her hair and dress. And Kwynn was getting looks from some older boys. To which Kwynn replied- if they didn't ask me to dance- it was their loss. I love how the girls took the evening in for what it was. They placed no high expectations or fairy tale hopes on the event. It was night of fun with their friends. There will be plenty of time for boys and the drama they bring. I'm just happy they had one high school experience void of all that.

Such lovely ladies. They are growing up much too quickly for my liking! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow day(s)

Rules of a snow day:

  • Wearing pjs all day is perfectly acceptable
  • showering is optional
  • eat what you want- when you want
  • no less than 3 movies
  • nap at will
  • baking cookies
  • hot chocolate after playing outside
  • video game teamwork
  • board game championships

We love snow days! Hopefully we get all the snow we are supposed to- so that John can be snowed in with us tomorrow! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

summer...3 month countdown

We are in the bulls eye for a weather system trekking across the country. Its been nicknamed snow-ma-geddon. It supposed to bring anywhere from 8-20 inches of snow. The moisture is desperately needed around here! We've only had one substantial snow fall this season- which is following a summer drought. So I say let it snow! I don't mind the snow really- its the bitter cold and piercing wind that has me longing for spring and summer.

Things like

sharing snowcones

green grass and bare feet

Corynn hitting homeruns

fishing adventures with my brother. 

These lovely little memories will get me through the next few days as snow blankets the midwest.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Last week I shared how Evie loves her blanket.

She also loves fingers! In fact, she demands them. Every morning when we get in the car for the school run, she holds her hand out to McKynna (who is usually in the seat right next to her) demanding her hand. Evie will hold her thumb and pick at the nail all the way to school. And then when she gets dropped off- its Corynn's turn to move up and share her hand.

Kind of funny. Kind of cute.

Funny that she does this every day and its routine. I've looked back and seen Mckynna writing a note with her right hand and Evie holding her left.

Cute because its so sweet! We carpool some children home after school and she'll demand that they share their hands too. She's not picky. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Evie love

Sure do love this little person! So glad she was sent to us and is a part of our family. She makes me smile everyday and brings joy to us all.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day! Not for the chocolate or the flowers or the gifts but because its a great day to go above and beyond for those you care about especially those you love! Like a day overflowing with kindness and love.

I was also in charge of organizing the Valentine's Day parties for all three fourth grade classes. The requirements for the party are: 66 kids, 30 minutes long, 4-5 parent volunteers per room, 2-3 activities (including a game with prizes and a craft/project they can take home)...all for $30 or less. A cookie and juice will be provided by the PTA.

Crazy little challenge, huh!?

You'll happy to note I did it...ending in a grand total of $24. Pretty sweet! The kids made cootie catchers, played a candy relay that involved mittens and hershey kisses and filled out mad libs aka mad lips. Prizes were valentine sticker books from Walgreens, bought them this week on sale for 20 cents a piece. SCORE!

I didn't hear any complaints from the class I was helping so I think all went pretty well! And Corynn gave it 2 thumbs up!

I also made a special breakfast dinner for the family, complete with heart shaped pancakes and bacon. Well, actually I tried to make heart shaped bacon and it didn't quite turn out. Another pinterest fail. They wrinkled up in the oven and made shriveled hearts. Kynna was sweet and said "Hey, my hearts usually look like this!"

Heart pressed french toast, drinks garnished with maraschino cherries

A giant kiss for my lovelies and a little gift in the heart shaped box

 Giant strawberries for dessert

I heart Valentine's Day! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Evie has been super attached to her blanket lately. Which really isn't her blanket- its Corynn's but right after Evie was born and I was still vegging out nightly in a big comfy chair for hourly feedings, I asked Corynn if I could borrow her blanket. It was warm and big enough to cover all that needed to be covered. Ever since then though, Evie has used it. I have a feeling that it will be her blankie for the foreseeable future if not forever more.

Corynn had a blanket. And a baby doll. She couldn't sleep with out those two things. They traveled with us everywhere! So this blankie attachment thing isn't anything new.

Evie loves the tassels. She'll rub them between her tiny fingers when she gets tired, And she sticks one up by her nose - tucks it in just above her pacifier.

She has always like things being up by her face. When she was a tiny baby she would fall asleep with her face buried in the palm of my hand. I'm sure it looked like I was smothering her, but it was only thing that would calm her down. Maybe because she spent 9 months all squished up...who knows.

And since it's a large blanket for such a little person- it inevitably drags while she carries it. And because its fleece, it attracts a lot of Emma it gets washed alot! But I've had to get sneaky with washing it. We have a front loading washing machine with a clear door. And one day she was walking by it and noticed her blanket going around and around and around. She screamed, cried, beat on the door and wouldn't leave until the cycle was done and she got her blankie back. She wouldn't even let me dry it...good thing the washer has good spin cycle!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

go to meal

9 times out of ten I have a weekly menu filled out and hanging on the frig. But on occasion we have crazy hectic nights where cooking a meal just isn't going to happen. It is those nights we either order pizza or grab some chinese.

There's also the occasional few days that John is away on business and the girls and I are home alone. The last thing I want to do when running things solo is dirty up my kitchen, make more dishes or cook. So the girls and I either have chinese or smoothies from our local juice shop. There are times when John will be away for a few days in a row...we are good for the first two nights, but any subsequent nights are on a fend for yourself basis. Usually sandwiches, mac and cheese or salads. Something light, easy and hassle free.

As you can see, chinese is a favorite at our house. John introduced me to green bean chicken and I am in love! So so so good! Ask for it the next time your out! You won't be disappointed...unless you don't like green beans. In that case, you might want to try something else.

And why is it once you've found the chinese restaurant - it's the only one that's an option. We live in a city with probably 20+ chinese restaurants, but only one makes the grade. Sadly though...even that one can't compare to our one and only favorite all time yummiest of yummy chinese places in Grand Island. Hunan's...out by the malls. Seriously some of the best you'll have. Didn't truly appreciate it until we moved and found that nothing quite measures up.

One of my favorite memories that makes me smile even to this day: 

The twins were probably 7 and Corynn was 2. We were eating chinese and the girls ordered their favorite, crab rangoon. They would pull them apart and eat the gooey centers and soft fried parts, leaving the crispy ends on the plate. Corynn held her hand out motioning for them to share. McKynna looked at Kwynn and said "Give her the legs- we don't eat them anyways." The legs!? What legs? Apparently the crispy ends are the legs. Because if you flip the crab rangoon on its ends with the puffy side up- it resembles a crab. This was of course before the girls knew there was crab in crab rangoon. They assumed the name came from the shape. Silly girls. Even to this day, the crispy ends are called legs around this house.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


We usually find a cute valentine idea in the February issue of some magazine for Corynn's teachers. The twins weren't ever big on giving special things, but I have my hands full with Corynn. Most kids have a teacher or two, but with Corynn its every teacher she has and more. So that includes all three 4th grade teachers, her PE teacher, music teacher, art teacher, librarian, school counselor, the two office ladies, the principal and the vice principal. In case you've lost count - that's 12 special items for Christmas, Teacher appreciation and Valentine's. Its crazy and I'm not sure how it started but I kind of feel once we've started we can't just not the next time. She only has one more year- so that's good!

Anyway this year she forfeited the magazine ideas and let me pick. I chose Hershey Kiss Roses. They are super easy, fairly inexpensive and amazingly cute!

I had all the materials except the Kisses. There are around 72 in each bag so really you only need one bag to make more than enough. Each rose takes 2 candies so that's roughly 3 dozen. I used a roll of clear film wrap that I bought super cheap on clearance a few years ago. I thought it was solid and wanted to use it as a photo booth back drop for a party we were having. It was actually translucent and shimmery metallic...which wasn't so great for the original purpose- BUT perfect for the roses!

So here's what you'll need:

  • Kisses
  • tissue paper or film wrap or even scrap material (3 inch by 3 inch squares)
  • tape or glue dots
  • fake greenery (pull or cut the leaves off, leaving enough stem to allow attachment)
  • scissors
  • wooden skewers
  • floral tape

You can google or search for tutorials- there are a gazillion! Here are the basics:

Tape/glue dot two kisses together on the flat ends. (I taped all the doubles before moving onto the next step)
Poke the tip of the skewer into one end of your doubled kisses. (not all the way through- just enough to hold it in place while you wrap the tape)
Wrap the paper around the kisses and secure to the skewer with the floral tape. 
Add leaves onto the skewer as you wrap the tape down the stick 

When you're'll have these little cuties! 

We bundled them into bouquets of three, wrapped them with ribbon and attached a little note. 
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Happy Valentine's Day
from me to you! 

Corynn loves them and is super excited! So I consider it a success. Not to mention it only took me a half hour to make 36. Double score! 

Monday, February 11, 2013


We spent Saturday afternoon at our family acreage just north of the city. We love our acreage! (you can read more about our little piece of heaven  here and here and here and here and here and here and here etc etc etc)

It was a typical winter/spring day in Nebraska...upper 40s with a biting wind that about blew your face off. But that didn't stop us from enjoying time together. John's brother and his family were also at the homestead enjoying the country life.

Evie ran

and ran

She discovered snow or what little was left and wasn't impressed.

 She thought about laying down on the driveway

but decided picking through rocks and throwing them was much better! 

(Luke and Ryan)
Our nephew's motor bike was great entertainment! Corynn even took it out for a few spins. 

Kynna still loves her climbing tree! 

(Corynn and Sam)
We set up shooting targets

and took turns knocking them down. 

She's a natural! 

Our nephew, Ryan aka Corynn's shadow

Fun times!!

Friday, February 08, 2013


So I have a cold. I nasty, head splitting, ear ringing, go through a box of tissue a day kind of cold. I'm rarely sick. Maybe a cold a year if that. Definitely never had the flu or any other version that may need antibiotics...and I'm really hoping this isn't one of those. So far the kids and John are all good- even Evie. So we're crossing our fingers.

Now - I'm a blower. There are three different kinds of people; a blower, a sniffler and a wiper. I blow my nose every time it runs. I hate when people sniffle is back down their throats- blech! And wipers...that's just a lost cause. You end up just wiping all day long! Might as well stick a wadded up tissue in your nose hole and plug the leak. Well, Wednesday night was pretty bad and I kept having to get up and blow my nose. I was in the privacy of my own room, I'm sick and I'm tired so I got kind of loud blowing my nose. I was just trying to get it all out so I could breathe and hopefully get a little bit of sleep. John didn't stir from his slumber or say anything after the first I just kept at it...all night long. I apologized in the morning for being so loud. The sweet husband that he is said "No big deal."

Evie has decided she is blower too! The other day she came over, grabbed a tissue, held it up to her nose and then blew a raspberry into it so that it sounded like me blowing my nose. Then she wadded it up in her tiny little hands, walked over to the trash and threw it away. So funny! She did this like ten times, with a straight face and very serious. She makes me smile.

Remember how John said "No big deal." to me honking my nose all night. Well, last night he mentions how he was conversing with a co-worker about my fog horn blowing and inability to hock a lugee. Can you imagine my horror!? Thank goodness the co-worker's wife is the same way and the consensus made was that it was a girl thing. I sweetly reminded John of little promise he made - something about " sickness and in health".

Um ya.

I know he loves me...and my fog horn honking snot spout too!

love ya, babe!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

fresh air

Yesterday it was 54 degrees outside...which was amazingly nice for this time of year! We took full advantage and enjoyed some outdoor fun.

Evie loves her balls. She'll kick them and throw them. Then run after them and throw them in another direction. Kind of like playing fetch with herself. Whatever it made her good and tired and ready for a nap. The cool air and sunshine had me longing for spring!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Nebraska evenings

One of my favorite things about this time of year is that the sun sets about the time I'm in the kitchen working on dinner. Which means I get to admire the fiery array of colors just about every night! It can be amazing! Here are a few shots I've snapped just in the last month...

Just one of the many blessings of living in Nebraska! 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Emma and Evie

This is our Emma

This is our Evie

They have had a awkward relationship since the beginning. (you can read about it here.) Not much has really changed since then. Emma still avoids Evie. Evie doesn't really care. But now that Evie is mobile and has food in hand more often...Emma is warming up to Evie quite quickly!

For example, the other day Evie had a bowl of fruit loops. She was sitting chilling on the couch next to me as I finished a book I was reading. Emma came up and perched her head on the couch right in front of Evie...begging for a nibble.

Evie was not impressed.

But then Evie took full advantage of Emma's closeness and reached our to pet her. I thought for sure Emma would do her little growl (which is all for show- she'd never bite Evie), snarl a little and then walk off and plop down somewhere.

But to my surprise (and Evie's too!)... she licked her hand!

Maybe there's a budding friendship there after all! 
Or Emma likes fruit loop crumbs...