Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Evie is growing up too fast! I keep telling her to stop, but in true 'Evie' fashion...she doesn't listen to me! :(

Just last week we put the baby swing back into storage. Evie swings like a big girl now. She's even trying to pump herself while on the swing.

I'm about 99.9% sure Evie is our last. So these milestones hit the heart a little harder. But then I imagine what it will be like to be kid-free and I smile. Only ten or so years and I'm guessing the grandchildren will start isn't that a crazy thought!?'s our little swinging monkey!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


John was away on a work trip last week and while he was away- I redid the mudroom. Painted and reorganized. One of my favorite things is the blackboard door.

It's the door going to and from the garage- which I covered completely in chalkboard paint. And to make it even better...its a metal door! Evie can use her magnet letters on it and I can pin up important school papers so we don't forget them. 

I really wanted chalkboard paint because I thought it would be a fun way to leave notes and info for the kids. Its only been up a few days and I love it more and more! 

Saturday was the first day we could use chalk on it (you have to wait 48-72 hours after the last coat). I was so excited to use it, but didn't really have any info to write on it. So I just wrote "Love you"- thinking it would be nice to see that affirmation when leaving the house. 

Everyone has been adding to it all weekend long! It makes me smile every time I use the door! 

Its started with John writing in blue: Love you more! Then Corynn wrote in yellow: Love u most!

The writing at the bottom: Then I wrote: to the moon and back. Then McKynna wrote the white writing underneath it which says: Which grows everyday as the moon slips away from Earth's gravitational pull. Kwynn wrote the orange writing to the left of that and it says: I don't do science- 3.14 (which is the mathematical integer of pi..which goes on for infinity). And of course the my little smartie pants had to add their two cents...of YUMMY onto the pi comment and 3.5m per year to the fact of the moon and earth moving apart. 

Love them girlies and John! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

learning to drive

The twins are studying for their Learner's permit test. I'm taking them in Wednesday morning to test and hopefully get their permits. It's time to start teaching these chickies to drive! Did I just say that!? My kids can't possibly be old enough to be driving? pure craziness! 

Yesterday they were taking practice tests through an app on their ipods. It was interesting to see how much John and I know... and didn't know. yikes

The girls have a kind and brave Gpa who has graciously offered to teach them to drive. And next summer they will take driver's ed and test out for their official license. Although its provisional for a year until they are 17. How things have changed since we were kids...and that wasn't all that long ago! We just went in and they gave us our learner's permit. No tests. And when we turned 16 we took our birth certificate down to the DMV, took a written test and driving test and that was it. Didn't seem them again until renewal time 5 years later.

I have to admit it will be nice to have two extra drivers in the family! It will definitely cut down on my 'kid runs' everyday. What will I do with all my time? 

Anyway- just wanted to give you a heads up people of Lincoln Land...the Kelly girls are driving!

No not this one, silly! 

 They will do great! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nebraska sky

I've mentioned before how much I love and sit in wondrous awe at the beauty of Nebraska sunsets. We truly have some of the most amazingly beautiful views.

We also get some seriously awesome summer storms, which are equally as beautiful! Last Sunday John called us outside - there was something we haven't seen in awhile.

Thunderboomers! Our word for forming thunderstorms. You can see the clouds growing and puffing up as the storm is forming on the inside. Its so pretty!

Unfortunately, these blew off to the east before any rain was made. Bummer...we could have really used it. But the view was spectacular and something to marvel!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

garden goods!

This is our fourth year of trying our hand at gardening. And I think we are starting to really get the hang of it.

THE best part about having a garden is being able to plan your weekly menu to include fresh garden goodies!

Just the past weekend we had these two yummy meals...

Flatbread pizza with wet mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil

And this is more of a 'prepping' picture...but it turned into Pepper Chicken. Which is basically chicken breast strips, Anaheim peppers and cream cheese all wrapped in bacon and grilled! SO good! 

Monday, July 22, 2013


One of my favorite flowers are hydrangea. They have huge, pillowy blooms that are just gorgeous! My giant white ones are starting to die...which means they are perfect for drying. AND that means I can enjoy these beautiful flowers during the fall and winter!

Here are a few of the arrangements.

 The white ones turn green when they are ready to be dried. I love the color! These are in an oblong basket on the dining room table.

 These are in a rustic tin bucket in the library.

 And here are some pink and blue ones on the bakers rack. 

So so pretty! 

Friday, July 19, 2013


Corynn is finishing up her softball season. Unsure if there will be a next year. We don't push our kids into sports and extraciriculars. If they want to participate- great! We support them 100%. If they don't want to- that's fine too! We do have a rule though that if you sign up for something- you have to see it through season and can re-evaluate the next year.  I only say this because Corynn has her up days and down days. She likes getting together with her team mates and playing, but doesn't like all the pressure of games. Some people take youth sports WAY too serious.

Corynn is a wonderful player. Especially at bat! She regularly hits doubles and it makes this mama proud to see her confidence when at the plate.

Here are pix from the last game...

Practice swings

At bat ready to knock it out of the park! 

Running to like a cheetah!  

 Coming up on first as the coach is telling her to round the base to second

GO! GO! 

 Notice the chalk flying up behind her? Fast I tell ya! Fast!

 Safe on second! 

Corynn has had a great year. Always room for improvement, but she's definitely coming into her own. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


It hasn't rained a measurable amount 'round these parts for 4 weeks. Not good, people! Not good.

Our neighborhood uses a private well for irrigation purposes. The past few years have been hard on the pumps and well so we have water restrictions. This makes 'watering' days all that more important! Our grass is getting crispy. The clay is cracking and I fear we will lose more plantings. :(

Yesterday was one of our assigned watering days and Corynn and Evie took full advantage! One of the perks of having such a huge yard- is running through the sprinklers! Remember this!?

Anyway- here's some of the fun from last night.

And an action Evie's face! Love it

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The girls went to the book store with my mom. I was not surprised by what they came home with. I could have mixed them all up and matched to them to the appropriate child.

See if you can too!





Now two of them are really don't have to know the girls that well to figure them out since they are pretty age specific. But the other two even made me smile. Those are my girlies!

A. McKyna   B. Kwynn  C. Corynn   D. Evie

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

these two

Kwynn and Corynn have been opposing forces since the day Corynn was born. Not sure if it's their personalities, astrological signs or what...but Kwynn and Corynn just don't mesh. They get along fine, but Corynn knows how to push her sister's buttons and Kwynn has no problem voicing her opinions.

Last night at dinner, we had a salad with iceberg lettuce.

Corynn was putting some salad on her plate and said 'Watch out! Iceberg ahead!"

Kwynn's immediate reaction was a scowling "Too soon. Its still too soon." as she shook her head at Corynn.

We all laughed. Except for Kwynn.

(Kwynn is a Titanic history buff and fanatic. That's what made this so funny!)

Monday, July 15, 2013


Our twins, McKynna and Kwynn, turn 15 today! They are amazing daughters. Smart, kind, witty and beautiful! Couldn't have asked for better children. They are growing into wonderful young adults as well.

We started celebrating yesterday with lunch out at their favorite burger place, shoe shopping with the grandparents, friends over, out to a movie and birthday cake!

I love the pictures above- so representative of their personalities. McKynna is pretty straight laced, logical and intelligent but has a quick wit. Kwynn is artistic, creative and more outspoken. McKynna keeps them in line and Kwynn adds a little excitement. Pretty much like yin and yang.

LoVe these girlies to the moon and back. We really couldn't be more proud!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

our tufted

Meet Otto! Our newest DIY project. I have always (well for the last 4-5 years) wanted to make an ottoman and they are all over the internet. But I could never find the perfect coffee table for the base. I wanted something squarish in shape rather than the long and benchy.

By pure happenstance we came upon this huge behemoth of a coffee table. And I told the guy if he was just going to junk it...then I wanted it!!! "He" happens to be a friend of my husband. He graciously brought it over and gave it to me! FOR FREE!  YAY!

This is not a tutorial...just an overview of our project. It was a family affair!

Kwynn drilled holes for the tufting

Kynna helped me grid the top so our tufts would be consistent. 

Evie helped mark lines too. 

Kynna covered the buttons. 

Lots of foam to make it cozy! 

And here he is again! What a beauty! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Almost 2

Can you believe that little Evie is almost TWO YEARS OLD!? Wowzers!

She keeps us all very busy. And she is going to miss her older sisters immensely once school starts (which is in like 6 weeks! Crazy!). 

Anyway..I thought I would give you a little catch up on what this little stinker sweetie is like!

  • She wants what she wants and there is no swaying her. 
  • She has to have every single item she can find in her swimming pool with her. That includes water hose attachments, watering cans, bug catching nets, an occasional rock or dog toy. What ever is in the courtyard...ends up in the pool. And of course she's in there too! 
  • She likes to watch cartoons in our room on the big bed. I think its more for the fun of playing on a big tall bed than watching cartoons. Because she does alot more playing than sitting. Oh and she's only fallen off once! :)
  • She adores her sisters...especially Corynn. Follows her around like a little shadow. 
  • Evie still doesn't use words. Well some, but they are hard to understand. She communicates well with pointing and understands every command we give. She know what items are and can pick out some colors, shapes and animals. I was concerned about her lack of verbal usage, but several educators and other well qualified people have said let her be. She's fine and it's normal for a child with older siblings. So we'll wait. 
  • She likes to play the piano. At least once a day she sits at the piano and plays a tune (an Evie original composition). She really uses her fingers and doesn't pound on the keys. 
  • She likes people to sit next to her. She will slap the seat next to her and give you a look...a look that says "Sit down here! NOW!" And more times than not someone does. No wonder she doesn't use words! :)
  • She loves being outdoors...still! 
  • She loves going to the zoo and watching the birds, squirrels and rabbits in the yard. The other day we visited a farm and she tried climbing in the chicken coup. She wanted to get in there and pet them. 
  • She does have a temper and is easily frustrated. 
  • She loves her naps. And is usually the one telling us its time for bed. She will grab her blanket and pacifier, start waving goodbye to everyone and head for the stairs. She then waits on the bottom step (usually for me) to pick her up and put her down. Such a blessing!
  • She loves looking at photos of herself! So funny! It could keep her busy for hours! 
  • She loves little kids! Smothers them with hugs- even strangers. Like the random little boy she nearly knocked over at Cabela's. She ran up to him, stopped right in front of him, edged in closer and then attacked him with a hug. He gave us a look like "HELP!" but let her continue the hug. She finished and then giggled. He gave her a little smile and then hid behind his mom. He was 7. 
Our lives would be crazy different without this little girl! Couldn't imagine it, really! Even the twins have been known to say "Our lives would be so boring with out Evie." Yes. Yes they would! 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Today is the quintessential summer day in Nebraska. Temps are expected to be in the middle to upper 90s with 73% humidity. Which makes the mid 90s feel like anywhere from 104-108 degrees. And the humidity also adds greatly to the discomfort factor. Its muggy and thick. You can feel when you breathe. Your clothes instantly start feeling heavy and wet. You break out into an instant sweat just walking to the mail box. And its not just armpit sweat, people...its sweat from everywhere! I mean your eyelids even sweat. Its crazy! You seriously feel like you just stepped out of the shower, but with your clothes on.

And another indicator of the how intense the humidity is -   I walked out of the garage for maybe five seconds to see if the sprinklers were running and my glasses completely fogged over. Nice, huh!?

I like summer weather, but high humidity factors are such a kill joy! My cottage in Ireland looks sooooo much more appealing around this time of year.

Anyway, I'm thinking about this lovely hot weather because tonight our daughter has a softball game. And the weather for last week's game was P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Dreamy with a slight breeze! Seriously wonderful. And tonight won't be. :( Good thing it's a later game!

Here's to channeling cool thoughts of fall weather to get us through the day! 

Ahhhh. Crunchy fallen leaves, sweaters, cotton knits and boots. Can't wait! 

Friday, July 05, 2013

Independence Day 2013

The Fourth of July was a fun filled day spent with family and friends! My grandparents and mom came up from GI town and John's parents came over from just down the road! (they live in the same town as us now! YAY!). I love spending the Fourth with family!

 Cheese burgers! 

Red, white and blue cake

 This was the inside!

 mini fruit pizzas with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries...they were a hit! 

McKynna made these yummy sweet treats! 

The table all decorated! 

 The house all decorated! 

 Corynn lighting off some boomers... 

and then running away! 

Two of my loves!

This silly girl would ride around on her trike...

pick up smoke balls (used and unused) and put them in the 'trunk' of the trike...

and ride off to find more! We called her our little street sweeper! 

By far the funniest firecracker I've seen! 

Sisters cuddling

Corynn finally caught one of her parachutes! The first two ended up in trees.

My mom, grandparents and the girls

the twins with John's mom

It was a great day! We finished off the night by heading over to our neighbors and lighting off all the big night time stuff. From their front lawn you could see fireworks from half the city. It was very cool! The whole horizon was exploding in beautiful displays! Definitely a superb day!