Category Archives: Family Life

Making Memories…..Relaxing at the Lake


It is no secret that the lake is one of our favorite places on earth.  During the summer it is a great place for a combination of relaxation and fun.  Our lake friends are like family and we enjoy spending time with them.   The lake is also one of the only places where all of my family congregates for long periods of time.


This August the lake was just what we needed after a crazy June and July.  We lounged, the kids played with their cousins and friends and we had fun visits from the Lennon Family, Mimi and Grandpa, Auntie Amber and our good friends Joe and Kate.  Scott and I even got to sneak away for a few dates!


Wine Tasting Date

Life slows down at the lake and for that I am grateful.  The only thing on my to-do list everyday is to get in the water (despite the weather) and finish a crossword puzzle….that is my kind of to-do list!


final swim of vacation


Here are some photos from our time at the lake.  It went by way too fast but we have a lot of great memories that will help to make us smile during the long cold winter ahead.


We found this double rainbow when I went out for my rainy swim!


Snow cones on the beach!! A real treat


Double Date for Scott’s Birthday


Great day with friends!


keeping busy on a rainy day


Love our Lake Friends!


Evening Pizza on the boat


Best Friends Jamming by the Fire


Cousins Tubing


Spending the day with Neene at Story Land


She rode the new dino coaster!!!


We had a GREAT day!


Castle in the Clouds with Mimi and GpaJ


Mini Golfing


Z tried waterskiing, wake boarding and kneeboarding this summer!


Auntie Amber came to visit!


It was a great summer!


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A Very Special Princess Camp


Lil’C had the honor of attending a very special princess camp last week.  It was for children ages 5 and up but they made an exception for Lil’C and her buddy J.  This AMAZING camp was the idea and work of two teenage girls.  They created a camp that compared Princesses the girls all knew to Female Saints.  This wonderful camp was a combination of prayer, crafts, games, values and so much FUN.


On Friday there was a “Crowning” ceremony for the princesses.  They started with a song and dance they had worked on all week and then each had their moment in the spotlight. During the coronation they were given a wand with a virtue.  The camp leaders said a nice bit about each princess when she was crowned and Lil’C was given the wand of “Fortitude”.  After the crowning they showed a movie with photos from the week.  It was just beautiful and I felt so blessed that Lil’C had the chance to participate in such an amazing program!


These young girls pictured above are INCREDIBLE.  This Princess Camp was their dream and with the help and support of their amazing parents, they made it a reality.  It is so nice in this crazy mixed up world, to give our girls wholesome role models to look up to and be inspired by.  These girls and the other teens that ran this camp are wonderful role models for our girls and I know that Princess Camp will be something that Lil’C will look forward to year after year!

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So Many Gifts

photo-5I was spoiled with love and gifts this Mother’s Day.  We spent the weekend with my family at the lake and the sun even came out for a bit on Mother’s Day.  Before we left for the lake, there was a knock at the door with two cute little kids, a pink rose and some cookies.  They thanked me for being one of their favorite moms!!  It was so very sweet and I was so grateful for this kind gesture.  The day before we were at a birthday party for a dear friend and the birthday girl handed out roses to all of the mom’s for Mother’s Day.  So very sweet.


Wally came home from school with this beautiful hand panted pot made from his finger prints…..tears they were flowing with this gift!  There was a beautiful hanging plant left on my doorstop by the “plant fairies” and a gift card to buy some new clothes because my clothes are getting baggy these days 🙂  And then hugs and kisses in the early morning of Sunday from my two little cherubs made the day start in a very special way.
I even bought myself a present this year.  My mother had given Eva a Willow Tree figurine holding a bouquet of flowers for her baptism.  I added this to our window which already had a husband and wife, a mother and baby and a father and baby and realized something was missing….Wally!  I had Wally pick out his own figurine and so now the family is complete in the window.  It makes me smile every time I walk by it for it reminds me of my beautiful family.  This job of mother is a gift and the very best job I have ever had!



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A Beautiful Day for a Welcoming Ceremony

The sun was shining down on us yesterday as we baptized Eva at her grandparents farm.  It was a beautiful and personal small outdoor ceremony with family and friends.  The minister was incredible and worked with us to plan this very special time for our family.  During the ceremony the four godparents were asked to each represent a character trait that they possess and to guide Eva throughout her life in this trait.  Amber represents Honesty, Joe Adventure, Andy Reliability and Kristen Thankgiving.  The four traits spelled out HART, a place where we know they hold Eva dear.  Each godparent was given a princess power ring with their letter on it and so when they come together it spells HART.

Eva did not wear the flower girl dress from her Auntie Kiki’s wedding, like I had envisioned two years ago when it was given to her, but that was okay.  Instead she frolicked through the space in her regular clothes, spreading rose petals, picking grass and hiding under momma’s skirt 🙂  The flower girl dress hung on a chair that we had reserved just for Auntie Kiki, a place for her to visit from Heaven and participate in the ceremony.

Each godparent, grandparent and Wally brought a bit of water to contribute to the baptismal water.  The water came from many different places, places that were special to each of them.  We then gave each person in the circle a PINK gerber daisy (my wedding flower and Eva’s favorite color).  The minister then dipped the flower into the bowl of water and I sprinkled it all over my beautiful baby girl.  The baptism ended with my dad singing one of Eva’s favorite songs while Uncle Pete played the guitar.  This was cut short because she was not loving all the attention but we did make it through a verse 🙂

After the ceremony it was time for a Mexican Pink Fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  After the party we got some time in on the beach to celebrate Mimi’s birthday.  The entire day was a gift.  It was a beautiful day in a beautiful space with so many people we love!  Thanks to everyone who helped to make it so special.


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55ish Things to Do During Screen Free Week


Screen Free Week is this week and the kids and I are once again participating.  I do go online once a day and check my email but other than that, we are completely screen free.  What about blogging you ask??  Not to worry, most of my blogposts have been pre-written for the week and are scheduled to go out while I’m off-line.

One of our favorite things to do before the week begins is to make a list of things we can do other than watch TV or play Wii. My children don’t spend a lot of time in front of screens on a regular basis…usually 60-90 minutes a day.  Weeks we are sick that number goes up and since we just got over some week long illnesses and my back being out, it is time to take a break.


The kids came up with quite a few things to do instead of watch TV and these are now posted in front of the TV as a reminder.  I decided that this year I would come up with my own things to do so that if I was tempted to jump on the computer (I don’t really watch too much TV) I’d have something to distract me.  So here are our lists:

The Kids List

play outside on swings, listen to books on tape, play princesses, listen to Sparkle Stories, sidewalk chalk, ride bikes, read books, play Mario K’Nex, snuggle on Mommy’s bed, play dinosaurs, practice for Wally’s School play, work on our May Day project, play Star Wars, play Ballerina Class, Lego Time, Board Games, Art Projects, Bake Cookies, play Dress Up, T-Ball Games, go to the Park, make costumes for Wally’s School Play, Puzzles, Bubbles, make May Day Crowns and Practice Kindermusik, Work on our Summer Passports

Mommy’s (and maybe Daddy) List

listen to podcasts, read the new Sophie Kinsella book, prep for my bookclub meeting this week, spring clean, cook (although I’m pretty sick of this one by now), bird watch, go for a walk, yoga, meditate, call a friend, write a letter, read a homeschooling book, organize the basement, learn tennis, make fairy houses with the kids, do my PT exercises, plan for homeschooling, scrapbook, figure out my Teacher Recertification, play cards, work on my quilt, journal, work on my GAPS recipe binder, cloud watch, listen to the Waldorf Conference from last year (before this one), revisit my Peaceful Parenting Material,  plan for the baptism or listen to Sparkle Stories  (I love them just as much as the kids!!)

Here is hoping that it is an easy week!!!

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When Life Forces You To Slow Down….


It is really funny how life works, I knew that with starting the GAPS Intro diet I would be tired and most likely not feeling well.  Many who have been through it recommend some time to rest but as a mom of two little ones, that didn’t seem likely.  Then life’s events (God’s work?) decided that I needed the rest after all and thus last Monday I pulled my back out.  This slowed me down a great deal but I still had the two littles to run limp after.  Enter Wally’s Fever Virus…..

Wally came home from school on Thursday with no interest in an after school snack, that was my first clue that something was wrong.  When he showed no interest in dinner, I knew that something was definitely up.  I am a bit of an ice princess so when I check my children’s heads with my hand they are always “feverish”, so I ran to get the trusty thermometer.  Sure enough he had a fever.IMG_4236

This fever lasted for 3 days and his energy level was very low.  This meant that we had 3 days of books, quiet games, movies and rest.  It has been a gift for me to have this time to rest.  I have been so lethargic and feel like I am getting over a bad flu.  They call this “die off” and I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband who has been my cheerleader as I go through this difficult transition.

So yes the laundry is piling up, the dishes need to be done and please don’t look in the bathrooms.  This family took the weekend to rest, heal and spend time together.  It was a nice change of pace and I think  because of it we are on the road to recovery.

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Welcome Back……

Well I guess I ended up taking the Summer, Fall and 1/2 of Winter off from this blog!  Where does the time go??  So much has happened in the last 6-7 months, I’ll try to sum it up in a 100ish words and some great photos.

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We spent a week by the sea and a month relaxing lakeside (we are so blessed), my son started Montessori Kindergarten while my daughter screamed as we drove away (she wanted to go too!), the children each had a birthday (Angry Birds and Princess Themes), my husband continued to grow his business, we had a busy but wonderful fall and I got to go on a WONDERFUL Mother’s  Retreat, the holidays were great (but I was sick during the Xmas festivities), New Years came with great plans, goals and reading lists for the new year, we have enjoyed a lot of outdoor time this winter and school exploration has continued.

So I am happy to be back, happy to share the school exploration that has been going on the past few months.  I am even thinking of leaving my other blog (it has been home for 5 years) and move over here permanently.  It feels like the right space to be as I move into the school years with my two little cherubs.  Thanks for stopping by!

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February 4, 2013 · 10:59 am

Taking the Summer Off…..

I have decided to leave this very special space for the next two months and focus on all of the exciting things going  on around me.  I will miss my time here but I need to spend a little more time reading, snuggling, researching, planning, playing, exploring, gardening and dreaming.  Thanks to my few loyal readers, I wish you the best summer and I will see you in the Fall!


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Our Path…

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

This poem by Robert Frost about sums up the way we tend to tackle life’s choices around here.  We often go against the grain and make choices that might not be as popular or mainstream.   We put a lot of time, thought, research and discussion into every big decision we make.  Our path might not be the easiest or the most fun but it is our path…our journey…the one that we feel is best for us and it “has made all the difference”.

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Finding our Path….Following my Intuition

Week one of this Unschooling Summit was like a breath of fresh air for me.  Most of the speakers (I have to admit there were a few that I half-listened to) left me feeling inspired and thinking that Homeschooling might be the perfect thing for my little guy starting in “First Grade”.  The freedom, flexibility, individuality, sense of family and adventure that homeschooling provides are the things attracting me to this journey.  I know that not everyday will be easy and there will be many challenges to overcome.  But something about it feels right, at least at this point in our lives.

One of the speakers last week, Debra Snyder, spoke about energy and intuition and how important it is to acknowledge your intuition and follow what you feel is right.  She pointed out that we know and love our children better than anyone and so we should trust our instincts when it comes to making decisions for them.  I know my son. I know his temperament, his learning style, his sensitivities, his passions and the things he finds challenging.  I know that when he is interested in a topic, he wants to explore everything about it.  I know that he needs to work at his own pace or else he becomes frustrated and shuts down.  I know that he has a huge sensitive heart and cares so much for all of the people and creatures around him.  I know that when life seems too challenging or stressful, he pulls into his shell.  I know that he has an amazing energy, inventive spirit and he is always looking at ways to solve interesting problems.  I also know that he is shy and it takes awhile for him to feel comfortable and open up to new people and situations.  These are all wonderful qualities that make him who he is and I want him to learn how appreciate these great qualities and learn how to utilize them to learn and grow.

The way that public education is set up today, there is little room for children to explore their interests. The main focus is on learning to read and preparing for testing and with large class sizes I fear my little quiet guy would get lost in the shuffle.  His LOVE and passion for learning and life might be hindered and I’d hate to see him pushed to do things that he is not developmentally ready to do.  It would break my heart if he ever considered himself a failure because he is not yet ready to read or write at the level that the school thinks he should be at.

So I continue to research this way of life and learning.  Between this conference and the Waldorf Global next weekend, the many books I have out of the library and on my kindle, the research I have done regarding the laws and procedures of our state, discussions I have had with other families and of course my own family.  After all I am married to a successful product of homeschooling and the wealth of knowledge that is my husband, mother and father in-law and sister in-law is so very valuable.  I am so very blessed!

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