Monday, January 11, 2021

life lately

 Love the little pigtails.

My dad had built these storage cabinets a couple years ago, and we wanted a little more storage so Doug built me a shelf. 

Extra space! Maybe someday I'll get pretty baskets. But maybe not, it's just the laundry room so it's not really on display. 

August got a needed hair trim. (no picture of the after, but nicely trimmed). 

He was obsessed with this little airplane thing, it even made sounds.

This daddy is adored.

Cuties playing.

This girl loves books. 

Play doh fun!

Monday, January 4, 2021

Reflections on 2020 Goals

If 2020 were a word, I'm pretty sure it could be summed up in one: "Covid". Well at least as I'm looking back on my 2020 goals:

- Read 2 books, then discuss and apply.  You & Me Forever and  Tactics Yes! We both read them, had some discussions here and there, but probably could have had a more thorough chapter by chapter discussion and lengthier application talks. 
- Lower my cholesterol into normal/good range! I did have a 3 month post-January recheck and my levels were lower, but still above normal. I will have another physical with blood work later this month, and recheck again. 
- Dance lessons. Um, yes? We bought the lessons! We did one so far, it was actually really fun, we just need to plan more "home dates" and do them. 
- Buy our second rental property and get it rented. Sheesh, again no. Last year we had an accepted offer, but then backed out after the inspection came back with tons of expensive repair to do. 
- See a financial adviser. Nope.
- Do a 5k together. Nope. Also, thanks to Covid, all 5ks this year were virtual. Lame. 
- Walk the Mackinac Bridge. No, this was also cancelled this year due to Covid, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do this thanks to my work schedule. If I don't work the actual holiday I'm required to work the day before or after so that would give no time for traveling up there :(
- Talk with our neighbors about building. We did chat with our neighbors about building, but also my desire to stay in this neighborhood has increased and there is no land available. We actually wrote several letters like "we like your house should you be thinking of selling!" and put them in mailboxes in our neighborhood, but no bites yet. 
- Learn to play a piano song. Nope. It seems like my free time is always during the kid's quiet times or after bedtimes, so I can't be plunking around on the piano :(
- Read through this stack of books:
I read Surrender to Love, and Retire Inspired, but the rest of those need to be read still. I did read 12 additional "fun" books, one a month for book club that I seem to have no problem whizzing through, but these "self-help" and application books take so much longer as I try to absorb the information and take notes. 
- Travel. Thanks to Covid, my host-brother in Germany ended up postponing his wedding to August 2021, so no international trips for us. But we did do some stateside traveling. Jeanie and I went to Colorado to visit my brother and his family in February; we did a weekend trip to South Branch, Michigan in June; and a long weekend in the UP in July. Glacier National Park, Montana in end of August; and Sedona, Arizona in October. And a couple times up North to see my Grandpa as well. 
2020 went differently than many of us planned, but it was a wonderful year of learning to be flexible, letting go, and trusting the Lord!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Christmas celebrations

This year I had to work Christmas, and the 2 days following so we celebrated early. 

First a Christmas dinner at my parents with my sister and her husband. 

Christmas Eve day we had Doug's parents over for lunch and presents.

Mama got her her first doll. And she ended up loving this Feliz Navidad singing and dancing cactus that was from G & G V to big brother.

Hoping this helps to jump some of his jiggles out!

Christmas Eve we went to the traditional church service at my parent's church. It was nice. It ended up being very healing for me as well, as this summer I had written a letter to someone that I had wronged as a teenager, and I saw her after service and we talked a bit. I asked, "did you get my letter? I'm sorry" and she said "you are forgiven!" It was one of those things where I could've just let it lie, but I had felt the Holy Spirit prompting me, so I had to obey! It is really an amazing feeling to be on the receiving end of grace and forgiveness. It is very humbling. 

The next day was Christmas and I had a pretty slow day at work. 

The next 2 days I was supposed to work, but it's been so slow at the hospital I actually got called off both days!

So Saturday we went over to Doug's parents to sled in their yard and see his brother. 

snowball fight shield 

She liked being held by grandpa more than sledding.

Sunday we went to church and had a pretty relaxing low-key day. Doug saw a movie with his brother and my parents came over for dinner (after they had also seen the same movie!) And now it's back to reality :) But it was a very nice break and wonderful to have those extra days with my family. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

sweets and Elf party


Made cookies for the neighbors and delivered them.

Then made some candycane peppermint bark. SO GOOD.

Made the same recipe without the mint extract and added peanuts at the end and OMG delicious.

We have a new member of our family, "robot vacuum". Thank you for the early Christmas present Santa! We debated if we needed this as we already have a couple vacuums, but this thing has been good so far. It has a timer, so everyday at 2pm it comes out and just does it's thing for about 1.5 hours before it goes back to it's base to re-charge. It just goes randomly, so it does miss spots sometimes, and it has gotten stuck several times in the same spot (which makes me wish it was "smarter" to remember and avoid those spots) like my brother said he has one that "maps" the house and then makes the same route every time, but this one seems good. It's the Eufy I saw some blog girl has and recommended. I chose one without a wi-fi and app and all those tech options.

This was after cleaning today, (and mind you, it cleaned yesterday too, so it seems like we do need daily vacuuming!) I still use our other vacuum for the carpets, this isn't great on those, but it has been good for our hard floors which do get dusty and crumby quite often. 

Nice! I wonder how long it will last with daily 1.5 hour vacuuming?? But it works well for now. '

This weekend we had a little Elf party. Our friend usually hosts one every December and invites tons of friends. With Covid, and quarantining to see her in-laws over Christmas, she didn't host. So we had a little one with just us and two other families. I made a vegan 7 layer bean dip, white chicken chili, cornbread muffins, Rachel made a cheese tray, and Liz made a yummy spring salad with fruit and pecans. 

The elves decorated and gorged on sugar cookies. 

My little elves standing on chairs eating theirs. 


The elves enjoyed some time all piling on Mr. Mark Elf and jumping on him repeatedly from the futon. 

Our babies!

It was nice that we could have a little get together and celebrate time together. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

life lately

 Kids jumping off the coffee table and onto mama, great fun. (I made her little pants out of an old smartwool sweater)

Friends over for dinner and matching shirts.

Homeschool: gross motor skills- pumpkin rolling on a line

On a curvy line!

Riding a bike on the lines!

Fabric for crafts:

Used this pretty bee fabric to make an easy blanket for a friend having baby #4. 

I liked it :)

More homeschool fun, this boy loves to cut (and glue)

We made "snow" out of baking soda and conditioner

Reading time

Playing in the toy cabinet

Love my girl

Outside fun

This boy loves books

Starbucks at work, peppermint mocha, what a treat!