five on friday (07/03)

Happy Friday! We’ve been enjoying our long weekend by balancing some house projects with having fun. There has been a lot going on here lately, with milestones, birthdays (last week and next week), and resuming our schoolwork already. Here are some of our favorite things lately!

ONE. Kaelyn lost her very first tooth this week! We noticed it was very loose the night before her birthday, and then it came out three days later! She was reading a book and it just popped right out. We never found it, and she said maybe she swallowed it. Oops.The tooth fairy still came and brought her a dollar!TWO. Kaya met a big milestone this week, too- she learned to ride her bike without training wheels! It was really no big deal for her. Daddy took her pedals off a few weeks ago to get her used to balancing it on her own, and when he put them back on this week, she zoomed away without any trouble. She loves riding her bike even more now. THREE. Nella needs her little tricycle fixed, but she’s been having fun driving her puppies around in the toy car. She was looking so cute that I just had to take a few pictures. Look at her toes peeking out underneath! And she was wearing her Elmo shirt, of course. THREE. We took about a month off of school, and it was so much fun to see what activities the girls came up with for themselves during the break. There was A LOT of art, crafting, playing outside, and Calico Critter town-building.

I just love seeing them be so creative.
Eve’s version of watercolor painting is literally just painting with water. I gave her her own paints, but this is just how she preferred to do it. Paint until the paper falls apart! I showed Kaya and Kaelyn how they could use crayons to draw and then paint watercolors over it. They had some fun! Nella asked me to paint some fishies with her. I love when she asks to do things together. FOUR. What’s better than puppy snuggles in a hammock? Probably not much!

Our poor Scout has been having some extra vet visits and treatment for what could be early kidney disease. We did some subcutaneous fluids at home with her, and she goes back for bloodwork in a couple weeks. Hopefully, the levels that were elevated will come down. We sure love our puppy. FIVE. I painted everyone’s toes for the first time in a very long time. It was actually a first for Evie! She loved it so much. There’s just something extra sweet about chubby little toddler toes with sparkly colors on them. So many toes! I love these little things with my girls.

Happy weekend!

five on friday (09/13)

Happy Friday! It’s been a much easier week than last, especially since all of our girls have gotten past the sickness that lingered around here for nearly two weeks. It’s such a relief that they aren’t congested anymore.

ONE. Our Nellie is officially a big girl now because she got her own comforter this week! We had already moved her into a “big bed”, but seeing her bed all made up like this really seals the deal. She was beyond excited when I pulled it out of the box and said it was for her! I would definitely be tempted to have a blush pink bedspread on my own bed if Michael hadn’t already vetoed it years ago, haha.

TWO. Bike rides near sundown are some of my favorite childhood memories, and I love seeing our girls enjoy them, too. Kaelyn is still kind of nervous to ride, but after about half a mile, she calmed down a bit and actually enjoyed it. Daddy passed us on the way home from work, and decided to go the rest of the way home with us. We were laughing about how funny it must have looked to any random onlookers that all the rest of us were getting some exercise and he was leisurely riding his moped.

THREE. We still have Halloween on our minds… and the girls already have their costumes picked out. They decided, all on their own, that they wanted to use costumes we already have from years past. We always buy them secondhand, anyway, but I’m excited to save a little time and money by not having to go costume shopping. Also, yay minimalism.

Plus, it doesn’t get cuter than this, anyway.FOUR. If we’re not talking about Kaya’s upcoming birthday or Halloween lately, it’s usually Uncle Karl and Kaitlyn’s wedding! Because they aren’t brides, I think it’s okay to show off their flower girl dresses. They all look so grown up and gorgeous that I might cry a little when they walk down the aisle. Eve has one, too, but she was asleep when we tried these on.FIVE. Sisters. These ladies are best friends 85% of the time, and I’m so grateful. Disputes do happen, though, like this morning, when one sister bit another on the face. It took a long time to get her to apologize, but eventually, hugs were given and giggles were heard. I love these happy faces.Please, girls, stay best friends forever.Happy weekend!

five favorites (07/17)

It’s not even Friday, but there are always so many little things going on that I’ve been really eager to write here. I could probably write another “Five” in just a couple days (maybe I will!), and there will always be things that I didn’t get to!

ONE. For the past few months, Nella has been obsessed with being the “helper” at mealtimes. When I say, “I’m going to make lunch”, she runs over to the table, drags a chair to the counter, and says, “helper!!!” She sometimes helps put cucumbers atop salads, but mostly, being the helper means she just stands there and eats at the counter.Croutons are a definite favorite of hers right now. TWO. We finally got Kaya a bike! She was just riding the tricycle before now, but she’s really been too tall for it for a while. This one was a lucky Craigslist find that my dad picked up for me. We have a thing for banana-seat bikes around here.
We put it out in the front yard one morning and surprised her when she woke up. She ran to it and wanted to ride right away.It’s been a lot of fun to ride around (mostly just culs-de-sac) with them! Now I need to find a similar one for Kaelyn.THREE. These lucky girls have had some pretty fun daddy-daughter dates lately. I had a meeting, so Michael took all of them out to dinner at Wendy’s (their favorite)!Messy, happy girl.Messy, silly girls!On another day, Michael took Kaya out on some errands with him. Kaya saw this cat swimsuit, and Daddy just had to pretend to try it on!FOUR. We also have some pretty big news around here- Kaya lost her two front (top) teeth! One of them was loose for over a month, so we were all very ready for it to finally come out. She is not a big fan of the actual “falling out” process, but once it’s gone, she’s always excited to get money under her pillow at night and try to put food through the gap at lunchtime.FIVE. Scout is always resting at the top of the stairs, keeping an eye on things. She’s ready to run down at any moment if you drop food or she hears the slightest noise outside. We love this goofy (and loud…) dog!

five favorites (03/02)

Happy March! I am so excited that we’re nearing the end of winter. Hopefully, most of the cold temperatures and snow are behind us now!

ONE. It’s been nice enough to go outside for walks a few days this week! Evie had her first stroller ride without having the car seat attached. She loved sitting up, looking around, and kicking her little feet the entire time. (Also, can we all just take a moment to admire those cheeks and her double chin? Definitely some of the best baby features. I just want to eat her up!)Our little “hoodlum” (what we call her when she wears this) was so glad to go outside, too. She always likes to wear this particular shirt because it has “a hat”!Kaelyn was excited to ride the tricycle for the first time! She made it about half a mile.
TWO. Kaya has started her first round of swim lessons! She always looks forward to it, and I’m so proud of how well she has adjusted to doing something completely new, with people she just met.

THREE. After she was always taking Kaelyn’s Minnie Mouse to play with, we finally got Nella one of her own. I ordered it online when Disney had a good sale, so when it came in the mail, we were all excited to surprise her.

Daddy started opening the box……and it was love at first sight.It was fun to have something special just for her.

FOUR. These sisters… are just crazy! They have moments when they fight or don’t get along, but the majority of the time, they’re best friends. They’re always coming up with some silly game to play, and I love seeing them do it all together. They were dancing (which looks a lot like running in circles through the house) while holding hands. These laughs are real! They also love hanging out in Kaya’s bed. Nella only stays up there for a few minutes (with Daddy or me supervising). Nella seems to think her big sisters are a little crazy! This one cracks me up.FIVE. Evie might be too little to run with her sisters, but she has a tummy time buddy! All the girls adore Eve, but Kaelyn has a special place in her heart for her baby sister. I think it’s because Eve is the only baby she remembers (and she also likes that their birthdays are close together)!I love these silly princesses.

five on… monday?! (06/12)

We had my in-laws in town for the weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to write my regular Five on Friday post last week! Spending time with family is the most important thing, and we had so much fun that I’m more than happy to write my belated “five” today.

ONE.The weather has been glorious (although still wavering between summery warmth and a cool, almost autumn-like briskness at times), so we had some quality playtime outside.

The girls randomly came up with having Kaelyn ride on the back of Kaya’s tricycle, all on their own. They’ve been doing this for a few weeks now already, actually. I think Kaya is truly ready for a “big” bike, so before long, these rides might come to an end, but I’m soaking up seeing these sisters bond for as long as I can.And when you see pretty flowers on the side of the road, you definitely have to pause your bike ride for a photo with them.

TWO. We did a lot of sidewalk chalk last week, too. My driveway was covered in tiny drawings and words (a result of our outdoor phonics lesson that day). I love having our own little space for playing like this, and of course, these little people to play with.

THREE. This hat is about two sizes too big for Nella’s head, so I spend half of our outdoor time pulling it up so she can actually see, or rolling it up all awkwardly, like so: … but then she gives me a smile that’s two times bigger than her face, and I just melt into a giant puddle. There are no words for how much this princess brightens my every day.

FOUR. Lately, Kaya and Kaelyn are in love with the game, “Thin Ice”. It was one of my top three favorite board games as a little girl, and I love seeing them enjoy it, too! It’s a little easier these days, since this newer model has plastic balls instead of real marbles, but I think that actually works better for this age group.FIVE. Sometimes, you’re just too tired to wait for nap time. Nella is so easy-going and will still sleep just about anywhere she needs to.Happy Monday!

tour de cure (2017)

At the end of April, Michael completed his seventh Tour de Cure bike race! I almost can’t believe he’s been doing this for so long already, but I’m still just as proud of him as ever for helping to raise money for diabetes research.

This year, he did the 65-mile loop, and he got to ride along with Lelia’s mom, Mary!The girls and I ended up staying home again this year (I think we’ve only actually been to two of these races in the past five years, so we don’t really have the best track record)… I always want to go and be there to support him, but it is a long car ride for the kids, who were already unhappy about taking another “big” trip when we originally told them about it. We decided it would be so much easier for Michael to go on his own- he could drive there faster without having to make so many stops, and he’d be able to get a little more sleep the night before the race without having kids there to wake him up. We definitely missed him though.
Thankfully, he took pictures along the way for me!It was a super hot day (probably the warmest of 2017 thus far)! Michael wasn’t able to get much training done before this year’s race (he did only two rides in the weeks leading up to it), so I was a little worried about him in the heat. Thankfully, they have aid stations all along the way, and he was just fine.
He caught up with his mom just before the finish line! This year had the most participants from our family! Lelia’s mom posted this picture on Facebook and I had to share it here too. Michael, his Aunt Liesl, Grandma Gina, and Mary are all hardcore! While Daddy was gone, we enjoyed the warm weather by taking the kiddie pool out for the first time this season! (But seriously, when did Kaya’s legs get so long?!) She loves splashing down into the water, but hates getting any of it on her face. It makes for an interesting experience!Kaelyn didn’t like sliding, so she just played in the pool.

Michael came home late on Saturday night, so everyone was very happy to see him when they woke up on Sunday!

five on friday (07/01)

ONE. We’ve had gorgeous weather and a whole lot of outside playtime this week! Kaya has asked to ride her bike nearly every afternoon.

Sadly, her old tricycle was broken when we moved, and we haven’t had any luck finding the replacement part we need. Grandpa Peter just sent her a “new” tricycle, similar to the old one, and she has been loving it. This is one happy girl!_MG_3410 TWO. When big sister is out with Daddy, Mommy and little sister will make cookie dough! Kaya is always my helper in the kitchen, so while she was gone, I eagerly gave Kaelyn the opportunity to pour, stir, and even hold the mixer. She was so excited about everything (especially licking the dough off the beaters)!_MG_3444 THREE. I picked up these dry-erase pockets for $1 at Target last week, and we’ve used them every day that we’ve done preschool this week. The girls love them, and I love that I don’t have to laminate everything that I want them to practice doing multiple times. Totally worth $1!_MG_3413

FOUR. You know you hit the jackpot as far as husbands go when he brings you your favorite bakery brownie after you go to the dentist… Mmmm.

FIVE. This sweet girl… I can’t get enough of her. I managed to get in a couple of good naps for myself this week (all I want to do lately is sleep), and after Kaya woke up and used the bathroom one afternoon, she said “I don’t want to go back in my bed, I just want to cuddle with you. You want some cuddles from me?”

My heart melted… I will always want cuddles from you, Kaya. She tucked me in with her favorite cat blanket and even scratched my back. She’s going to make a fabulous mommy herself, someday.

Linking up here!

tour de cure 2016 weekend

Michael completed his fifth Tour De Cure (Race for Diabetes) on April 30th! He chose to do the 65-miler this time (you know, only 65 miles instead of 100 like last year… to me, either is a huge feat)! He honestly didn’t have a whole lot of time to train for the race this year due to his schedule, so the shorter ride ended up being perfect for him.

He found a great group to ride with along the way.26778061266_42d0a271bd_o (1)

My awesome mom-in-law raced again this year too! She did 25 miles!Michael’s total time was 3 hours, 53 mins, 23 seconds for 65.44 miles. That’s an average of 16.85 mph!

Once again, I wasn’t at the race this year. It just seems like we always have some other life event going on right around the same time as the race… this year we were preparing to MOVE, so there was plenty to get done! Also, taking the kids in the car for 10 hours within a 24-hour period never really seems appealing._MG_1689We did a lot of packing while Daddy was gone, and also hurried to shampoo the carpets at the new house before he had to leave with the car. I surprised the girls with some new Duplo blocks while I cleaned, and surprisingly, those kept them entertained for most of the 4 hours we were there._MG_1676We were so happy to have Michael home again on Saturday night! Even when he isn’t gone for long, it’s always a relief and a joy to have him back with us.

five on friday (03/11)

Happy Friday!!!

ONE. We’ve had the best spring weather this week, and we soaked it all in as much as we could. It’s been so long since we’ve played outside without our winter coats on! Riding in the swing was as exciting as a completely brand-new experience for Kaelyn. I love her happy squeals._MG_1176Kaya still loves riding her tricycle! We need to build up her speed and endurance again!TWO. Kaya loves to have her picture taken next to trees, and will insist on sitting next to one if I want to photograph her. This golden, warm light has me excited for outdoor photography to really begin again._MG_1163THREE. I have wanted western boots for forever… and thanks to some birthday money from my mom-in-law, I finally bought some! They came in the mail this week, and Kaya was so excited that we can match now.

FOUR. My little fashionista started clipping bows to her shirt as an accessory. This has got to be a new trend, right? I love how she loves everything to be colorful and bright._MG_1184 FIVE. I taught preschool today, and these little best friends just melt my heart. Kaya loves Mia so much and always wants to do what she does (i.e. Kaya saw that Mia had her bracelet on her left wrist, so she switched hers to the left, too). I love listening to their little conversations and the questions they ask each other while they’re working on their crafts.
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Happy weekend all!

Linking up here!

five on friday (11/13)

Happy Friday!!! 🙂

ONE. We’ve still been enjoying amazing weather here lately, and Kaya pleaded for me to let her ride her bike this week. The catch was that she also wanted to go to the playground, which meant that she’d be riding for over two miles. I wasn’t sure if she had enough stamina to go that far (or if I could help her on the hills while pushing the stroller), but I always try to give her opportunities to have fun, learn something, and get stronger… so I said yes. To my amazement, she rode for 2.25 miles, only fell once, and figured out how to walk her bike up the hills.

TWO. We had Karl and Kaitlyn over for a small (belated) birthday celebration on Wednesday night. There were tacos and Wii Party and brownies with ice cream. That’s pretty much the ultimate birthday shindig, am I right? I love my goofball brother. Happy 23rd, pal!_MG_0042THREE. We started our co-op preschool group this week, so for the first time ever, I dropped Kaya off and left. I was worried about how it would go, but she was just fine and had a great time.

Kaelyn and I then had some time to run errands all on our own… which really means that we ended up at the fabric store for forever because it was busier than I have ever seen it in my lifetime. Kaelyn loves these little “beanie boos” (beanie babies) and gets so excited anytime she sees them anywhere. Naturally, she had to cuddle them all (and tell each one “hi!” as she hugged them).

Aaaaand we might’ve come home with one… because my kids are only going to be little once, and sometimes it’s fun to give them a surprise gift for no reason. “Blue Kitty” hasn’t left her side all week. 🙂_MG_0035Of course, we brought home a surprise for Kaya, too- a baby dragon!collage11102015FOUR. That moment when you’re folding and hanging laundry, and look over to see your baby wearing underwear on her head… Hahaha. She has another pair halfway up her leg because she wants to be just like her big sister and wear undies (only over her diaper, of course. No way are we ready for potty training again)!_MG_0009

FIVE. #awkwardselfie award. I won’t tell you how many of these are on my phone, just from today (maybe because there are too many to count… haha)!

Linking up here today!