five on friday! (05/29)

There are still a few minutes left of Friday… so why not put together a “Five” post? I have missed doing these consistently over the past few months. Writing out a few good things at the end of the week really helps give me some perspective and renewed gratitude.

ONE. I am SO PROUD of these girls because they finished all five races in our local running store’s virtual series! We did their final mile this week. Eve rode in the stroller for all of it, but she was a great sport, so she gets points, too.I’m grateful we had some extra motivation to get outside in between all the rain we’ve been having!Love these girls. Love holding hands. Love matching Minnie Mouse shirts. Love being outside!

TWO. Daddy, Kaya, and Kaelyn made cookies to deliver to some neighbors this week. The girls were so excited! We all love Great Grandma Teerlink’s traditional “Square Shooter” recipe.

THREE. Kaya and I finished her standardized testing for the year! She did great, and as mind-numbing as giving a test for days can be, I’m relieved to have that checked off for the year.

Yes, all of Kaya’s favorite plush kitties “watched” her take her test. She was also dressed up as a queen.

We also tied up the last few loose ends of our textbooks. It feels like such an accomplishment to check off the last page of a huge book!Cuddling up and reading is my favorite.

FOUR. We’ve had a decent number of warm days lately, so Nella and Eve have been enjoying the water table again. They always seem to end up completely soaked!Nella likes to pretend to cook!Taste-testing is probably not such a good idea, though.

FIVE. Kaya and Kaelyn have become epic fort-makers. They take over the entire living room with their creations and play in there for hours. Usually, they pretend to be mermaids (along with Nella) named “Mirmy”, “Mirmir”, and “Bloomer”.

Happy Friday!

spring hats & pinwheels

We received a box of hats, pinwheels, and Easter eggs filled with candy from Grandma Gina, and these girls couldn’t have been more surprised! They looked so sweet in their hats that I just had to take a few photos. There may have been some bribery with jelly beans, but everyone was generally cooperative, and I was grateful to get some sweet photos of all my babies together. Notice Scout peeking out the window!Eve turned into a complete ham and really cheesed it up.Wait for it…Little goofball.She keeps us smiling, that’s for sure. Nella usually isn’t very willing to get her picture taken, but I still love the few I got of her sweet little face. Kaecakes! I love these girls. Happy Spring!

outdoor fun

Since the end of March, the weather has been nice enough to consistently spend time playing outdoors! Fresh air, warm sun, and green grass bring me so much happiness, and seeing my kids enjoy being outside makes it even sweeter. I love how you can see the progression of the foliage and grass growing throughout these pictures, too!

The girls have had some fun outside in their jammies on cooler days!

Nella is obsessed with these “Ho Ho Ho” jammies and would wear them all day, every day if she had the chance (with her boots, of course)!

Kaya is especially interested in climbing trees this spring!

Kaelyn has tried climbing, too, but isn’t as experienced at getting down yet.

Everyone loves hanging out in the hammock. Nella can lie down on her back and be completely hidden from view because she’s still so little!

Two of Nellie’s favorite things: Daddy and snacks!

We’ve had many days of water-table fun! Usually the girls pretend to bake in it.

Dollar Tree froggies for the win!

Now that Evie can stand and pull herself up, she very much loves the water table, too!

These two are completely soaked every time.

We’ve had some fun with bubbles……and we’ve spent time on walks and at the playground! Nella loved “driving” on this day!Sliding together!

Kaya tried to give Kaelyn a ride home on her back, which only lasted for a couple of minutes, but I was impressed by her strength.

We’ve made homemade sidewalk paint a couple of times now (using this recipe)!

Nella might be the most excited about it! (She’s even wearing some on her face!)Daddy has mowed the grass a LOT…And I have to say, this paint really sticks! It’s rained a few times and it hasn’t completely washed away! I think if we really want to get it off the driveway, I need to use the hose.

Kaya, Kaelyn, and Eve (Nella didn’t want to do her hand)!

Happy Tuesday!



five favorites (06/02)

Happy Saturday! I finally pulled all my recent photos together for a five favorites post. It’s been a busy couple of weeks (partly because everyone in the house caught my cold), but we’ve had a lot of fun moments, too.

ONE. We’ve had a lot of visitors lately… of the insect variety! Kaya called me outside to “come see something!” one afternoon, and I was surprised and excited to see this beautiful butterfly on our deck. After a little research, we discovered this is a male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Aren’t his stripes cool?
We caught him so we could observe him up close for a bit. Kaya named him “Cutie”, and she was probably the happiest girl in the world. She just loves all creatures.I love that they love nature so much! We released him and watched him fly into the trees behind our house. The girls keep telling me they want to go on a walk to see if they can find him again.We also found a little caterpillar! I couldn’t figure out what kind this one was, but Kaya named it “Caterpillary” (after the very first caterpillar she had) and took care of it for a day.A few days later, another butterfly visited our deck! This one appeared to be a Red Spotted Purple butterfly.TWO. We’ve enjoyed the time we’ve had outdoors, especially with all the recent thunderstorms. We stopped to admire some beautiful purple flowers on our walk……played with pinwheels in the wind!…colored with donut-shaped chalk……and tried to eat the chalk, too.

THREE. Drawing on the whiteboard will never get old! I love when the girls make pictures “for me” and only let me look once they are completely finished. Kaelyn drew herself and me, “because we are buddies!”Kaya made our whole family! That’s Michael holding the new baby!FOUR. Kaya and Kaelyn got to go on a little date with Daddy to make these cars at the Home Depot kids’ workshop! It’s been awhile since they’ve done one of these activities, and they loved it.Daddy said Kaelyn was a “hammering machine”…In action!When they came home, they painted their cars. They’ve been racing them all around and having a good time!FIVE. I know I’ve posted pictures of Nella in this Dalmatian puppy costume before… but she wears it semi-regularly, and somehow it seems to magnify her adorableness. I love her happy smile so much!Happy weekend!

five favorites (05/20)

I couldn’t let the weekend go by without getting my Five posted! I’ve actually been sick (a cold plus pregnancy nausea), and even went home from church early because I really needed to sleep. So, while I’m resting, what better thing to do than blog?

ONE. We have had SO much rain this week! It’s incredible how much precipitation the ground can take without completely becoming a swampland (although, the path I usually run on does tend to flood pretty easily). We’ve spent a lot of time inside this week, but it’s been nice to take things a little slower and enjoy listening to the booming storms. The girls are afraid of thunder, but if it’s just rain, they love to tell me, “It sounds like music!” They ate their snacks on the edge of the porch one afternoon and watched the rain fall.To keep it real, here’s the view from the opposite side… Goldfish crackers spilled all over the deck and all! They liked tossing those into the yard “for the birds to have for dinner!”Nella always looks like she’s up to something…

TWO. We did enjoy some time outside when the storms broke. I love how they all always want to go down the slide together!We also had a church picnic this weekend, which included many outdoor activities that the girls loved: tug of war, an egg toss, a water race, and these giant bubbles!It wouldn’t be a normal week without some time in the hammock. Kaya and Kaelyn love rocking each other in it, like a gentle swing. They also love playing “babies” a lot lately, where Nella is the big sister, Kaelyn is the “daddy who goes to work”, and Kaya births and takes care of the baby. I love how “work” involves pretending to type on a toy laptop!THREE. We picked Daddy up from work a little early one day this week after my 32-week appointment, and we headed to the library. Honestly, I kind of need his help to go to the library these days- we always come home with a GIANT box of books, and between carrying those and Nella and the baby bump… it’s challenging! I was grateful for his help, and the girls were excited to build giant block towers with him!
Nella was excited to (noisily) knock them down…FOUR. Snails… they’re everywhere! As in, Kaya only drew snails for a day this week… and I love them. You might not think snails can be cute, but then you haven’t seen Kaya’s rendition of them. First she made one……then two (a mommy and a baby, of course)……and just when I thought it couldn’t get any cuter, she drew some in color and hid them under my pillow. And check out those butterflies!FIVE. This crazy smile of hers keeps me going on my sickest days. I just love her so much. Also, the humidity has done great things for her hair… look at those ringlets!She’s still “our baby” in the family, and sometimes it’s hard to imagine things changing, but I know she’s just going to be a great big sister.Happy weekend!

five on friday (05/04)

Happy May! I can’t believe we’re already in the fifth month of 2018!

ONE. You know your kids have some great imaginations when they can play with a cardboard box for hours and hours. We ordered some patio furniture, and the box was just the perfect size to create a little house for the girls. They spent so much time decorating it with markers and tape, pushing it around, and pretending to “send Nella off to China!” (where do they get these ideas?)
I love seeing them be creative and come up with their own ways to play.TWO. The sunset light hit the blooming tree in the back yard so perfectly that I just had to take a picture of these pretty white blossoms. Spring is in full force (and therefore so are my seasonal allergies!), but I couldn’t be more excited about the warmth, sunshine, and all of nature seeming renewed. THREE. Right along with great weather comes photoshoots! I’ve been waiting for a warm day to put my little ladies in their matching dresses and get a few updated portraits.Being squished by kisses from both sides… this pretty much sums up how life is for Nella these days. I can’t believe we’ll be adding a fourth set of pigtails to the picture so soon!FOUR. We’ve spent every single afternoon out on the deck this week, and I don’t think this will ever get old. My hammock buddy! I think I might just stay out here until it’s time for the baby to come.FIVE. Even with all the sunshine and playing outside, we’ve still been doing some schoolwork. Kaelyn has really surprised me this week by learning to spell and write her name on her own! She can do it freehand, but this tracing page has been really helpful, too.She’s also turning into such a great little artist (this is her, Mommy, and Daddy, with hearts).Happy weekend!

Linking up herehere, and here today!

five favorites (04/28)

I feel like I’m always saying this, but it’s been a crazy week, so I missed doing my “Five” yesterday! We’ve been having as relaxing a Saturday as possible, so I’m happy to have a little time to catch up on here.

ONE. We all missed our favorite guy this week, because he was in Chicago at the GOTO Conference! It was a little rough without him, even though he gets serious credit for helping me with as much as he could before he left. I was super sick the night before he had to go, so he did a lot, including grocery shopping and cleaning up the guinea pigs. He really is the best.A couple of photos from his trip… Of course, he gave a talk on Docker (what else?), so Molly and Moby (the whales) had to tag along with him. Michael had some fun sending pictures of them adventuring around Chicago to Kaya and Kaelyn!TWO. While Daddy was gone, we tried to enjoy being outside as much as we could. I was a little too optimistic about the first 60-degree day, so I filled up the water table (with warm water) for the girls. The water cooled off a little too fast, and the girls got a little too wet, so everyone ended up cold. They still loved it, though!
This was Nella’s first time really playing with it, now that she’s good at walking and standing for long periods of time. I think this will be one of her favorite summertime activities.We had some fun at the playground. Don’t let her sad puppy-dog eyes fool you, Scout loves walks (and always tries to tangle herself up around the picnic table…)I enjoyed some time reading out in the hammock! I love that Nella walked over to me and asked to come up in it too. (Also, check out her bedhead! She seriously has the wildest hair!)THREE. Our homeschool mornings have been pretty relaxed here lately, and honestly, I’m okay with that. It’s kind of a combination of parenting on my own for a week/pregnancy sickness/spring fever/being done with all our kindergarten work besides spelling that has had us taking our time and just doing what we can.

I was so happy to see these girls snuggle and start reading as soon as they woke up one morning. They are obsessed with the American Girl books right now, and although I typically use them as read-alouds, Kaya can actually read a little of them on her own. I’m so grateful that they love learning, and that we all get extra time to spend together because of our choice to homeschool.FOUR. I guess the girls have been doing too much yoga with me lately, because Kaya wanted to make her own workout video (she even told me to “put it on Facebook”)! She came up with all her own exercises, and the theme of the video became “Exercises You Can Do with Your Cat”. Haha! I love her creativity.She wrote out every move before we could start recording…Some moves included planks/pushups with your cat on your back (I definitely would not recommend doing this with a real cat. Ouch!)……and lifting your cat high above your head while doing squats. Yup, pretty sure a real cat would have nothing to do with any of this…I didn’t post the whole video, but hearing her say “Namaste” at the end was just too dang cute, so here’s that.

FIVE. If you tell Nella to “say CHEESE!”, this is the face she makes now. Cutest little smile ever!Seriously, what’s more adorable than a smiling Dalmatian puppy?

Happy weekend!

Linking up here and here today!

five on friday (04/20)

Happy Friday!!!

ONE. We’ve had a couple of good walks this week and actually enjoyed some sunshine! It was even warm enough for shorts one day! The temperatures have still been in the 30s these past few mornings, so late afternoon walks are our favorites. (And this might be one of my favorite-ever pictures of Kaya and Kaelyn together!)This girl with her crazy hair and sly smirk… She’s always so content to sit and watch the world go by as her sisters run down the path.Come on Spring! Kaya keeps reminding me that the groundhog told us we’d only have “6 more weeks of winter”, and it’s been longer than that. Haha.TWO. They’re all growing up so fast that it’s breaking my heart a little… but then I see how much they can do on their own, and how these three sisters really look out for and care for one another. It’s nice to be able to sit back for a moment and just watch them create their own fun. THREE. I’ve been looking for these little “bug boxes” for the older girls for probably about a year, and this week, we finally found some at the dollar store! Now Kaya is ready for the next time we find a caterpillar!Are they not the cutest little entomologists you’ve ever seen? They’ve been searching everywhere for something to catch, but besides a few ants, they haven’t had any luck yet.FOUR. We had a super-simple family night this week, and it was Kaelyn’s turn to pick the treat. She saw some ice cream cones in the grocery store and instantly knew that was what she wanted (although I did have to explain that the cones didn’t come with ice cream already in them like the picture on the box portrayed)! I dipped them in melted chocolate and sprinkles to make things even more fun.It’s the little things that still make them the happiest (including deflating balloons, apparently…)FIVE. We were the only ones at Kangaroo Kids this week, so my girls ran around probably twice as fast as usual because they didn’t have to worry about waiting their turn for anything. And all the bubbles were just for them! They napped really well once we got home, too. 😉Happy weekend!

Linking up herehere, and here today!

five on friday (04/13)

Happy Friday! The sun is shining, and it’s finally feeling like SPRING! I’m so excited for the weekend and some family time!

ONE. We’ve had a few good walks this week! There is nothing like having the warm sun on your face after what has seemed like an extremely long winter. Lately, the girls are obsessed with all going down the slide together. I think Nella isn’t as big a fan of this activity as the older girls are, but she at least tolerates it.Kaelyn and her sunglasses… she just cracks me up. She was also extremely excited that Kaya’s old polka dot hat is now hers!And no, I will never have enough pictures of Nella in the swing. She laughs and laughs the entire time she’s in it!TWO. Michael had a work trip to DC this week! He attended the Docker GovSummit conference and even got to give a talk. He had about 150 people attend his presentation. I may not understand any of his “nerd” stuff, but I am still so so proud of him.The conference building was right down the street from the Capitol. So cool!He was able to walk around for a bit and see the memorials and monuments. Maybe one day we’ll all get to go with him on one of these trips and enjoy seeing the sites, too.THREE. While Daddy was walking around DC, we were bouncing around at Kangaroo Kids! The teachers brought out this new little bounce house, and the older girls were obsessed with climbing over the wall.Nella loves climbing into this big donut-like structure and just hiding. She also collects all the balls she sees!
FOUR. Whenever Michael gets home from a trip, we always try to do something a little extra special (if the girls have been well-behaved while he was gone). This time, we went out for Chinese food. These were some very happy kids!Her “cheese” face just cracks me up.We also enjoyed some family time at the library. It’s always so quiet and refreshing when we go in the evening.FIVE. This isn’t exciting… or at all glamorous… but just a friendly reminder that it’s not a bad idea to have regular skin checks with your dermatologist. This week, I had the tiniest little biopsy (and one single stitch) on a spot that looked like it could have been a basal cell carcinoma on my face, but thankfully, it came back clear. Here’s to using sunscreen and taking precautions against skin cancer.Happy weekend everyone!

Linking up here and here today!

five on friday (03/30)

Happy Friday!!! This has felt like a really long week, but I’m excited for Easter weekend and spending some time with my in-laws!

ONE. Are you tired of seeing snow pictures yet? We have had literally every type of weather this week: winter snow, March’s “in like a lion” winds, April’s showers, and then just plain glorious spring. Phew. I kind of can’t believe that’s all happened in the past few days!

We had the biggest snowfall of the year thus far on Saturday night, so when we woke up on Sunday, everything looked like this:I have never seen so much snow on the trees. Lots of limbs around the neighborhood came down.Church was cancelled, so naturally, Michael asked the girls if they wanted to help him make waffles. They love baking!Mmmmm.TWO. As soon as the snow melted (which was thankfully pretty quickly), we were eager to get outside and get some exercise. Kaya learned to do the monkey bars all by herself!We had another day where we spent the entire morning outside, and the sunshine felt so invigorating. Nella had her very first (albeit slow) ride on the merry-go-round!After all the precipitation we’ve been having, all the streams were full, which just fascinated Kaya and Kaelyn. They tracked the water’s path throughout our entire walk, and when we stopped to play, they were excited to “wash sticks” in it.My only child who didn’t get covered in mud…THREE. Who remembers Polly Pockets? Playing with these is one of the best memories of my childhood, and I’m so lucky that my parents saved them, because now I get to share them with my girls!

It’s been all about Polly Pockets, day in and day out, for the past couple of weeks for these two. I love seeing them enjoy them.I have to say, I am really impressed with how well these have held up. Most of these are around 25 years old! I only allow them to take one out at a time, and so far, that’s been working really well. There are just so many small pieces.FOUR. The girls’ costume parades have continued! The newest theme is “Pets”, which includes a cat, a Dalmatian puppy, and a baby tiger.Also, didn’t Kaya just wear that Dalmatian costume for Halloween yesterday?FIVE. Just because I love these four so dang much (and I love how much they love their Daddy)!Linking up here, here, and here today!