Sad Goodbyes! January 21, 2021

Sad Goodbyes! January 21, 2021

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of events! Things have happened so quickly that my head is still spinning! Andrew preached his last Sunday, and I taught my last week of piano lessons. We have moved many times, and saying good bye to people is ALWAYS the most difficult part. This time is different too in that Andrew has already left, but the kids and I will not officially be leaving for quite some time. So we have said goodbye to Andrew, I have already said fare well to my students, and with the pandemic I don’t know if I will see a lot of people before we do leave. I feel like this past year has stolen my time of being with friends and people from our community. It’s so terrible and sad! I will miss everyone here! There have been people from our church community that have been so thoughtful, generous, and shared their friendship with us. Their help in this time of transition for us as a family means so much too! Words cannot express the gratitude we feel!

This is a picture of Andrew preaching at the drive-in service on his last Sunday. I am so proud of him! He has worked so hard this past year. Lately, I have been asking myself if this is the same person I married!? πŸ™‚ In the past year he has made several positive lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, working out, going through the enrollment process of becoming a military Chaplin, trading in his shirt and ties for camouflage, and getting a much shorter haircut! I mean seriously! In the whole of our married life, I have NEVER seen Andrew wear anything camouflage!! It’s going to take some serious getting used to! He has even influenced me to cook a little healthier, and watch my weight over the last several months! So hey, I might lose a few pounds and get in shape this year too! πŸ™‚

Andrew Preaching outside!

We decided to put our house up for sale a few days before Andrew left. We have moved several times, but I have never had to stage our house for selling. It’s intense! I have never told a bigger lie!! πŸ˜‚ Our house was absolutely spotless! I had cleaned out corners, closets, and put away anything that made the house look like it was lived in! The kids pictures all came off the walls, and their toys put neatly away! I had to send the kids to a friends house for a few hours to accomplish this task! There is no way our house would have looked like this otherwise. However, God’s hand was surely at work in this process because I have never heard tell of a house selling so fast! We listed our house on a Friday and by Saturday evening we had accepted a generous offer! Praise Jesus! I could not have managed to keep our house in showing order!!! It was way too stressful!!! God knew I couldn’t handle it!πŸ˜… We had the house inspection today, and so I am praying all goes well on that front. The good thing is that we get to stay in this house until March 15th! This is wonderful because it gives us some time to live a “normal” life in this house. Moving will also be different this time because the military will come pack up and store our things. I’m not sure how I, as a control freak, will handle that, but it does make it a lot less work! Also, if you where worried about where we will live after March 15, don’t! God has had his hand in that too! I will be sharing more on that in a later post!

I cannot really describe the depth of sadness and emptiness I felt yesterday as we said our goodbyes to Andrew. We have spent some time apart over the years, but never more than a week or two. This is an entirely different realm we have entered, and honestly the days cannot pass quickly enough. I’m usually not one to wish my time away, but in this instance, I’m all for the next few months passing quickly! The kids had been talking about it for a few days, and while I know they felt sad, they handled saying good bye really well. We have been talking to Andrew over facebook portal, and Andrew has read them a bed time story the last couple nights. I’m so thankful for technology! I can’t imagine doing this back in the time of hand written letters, and long distance phone calls!

In the midst of all this craziness, David lost a tooth! πŸ™‚ Bless his heart, he is getting a lot better about not freaking out about it! This one just kind of popped right out, no drama at all! πŸ™‚

Love,

PK

Be Anxious for Nothing! January 9, 2021

Be Anxious for Nothing! January 9, 2021

Happy New Year!! I have to say that in past years I have not been a fan of making new years resolutions. For the most part it seems like a definite way of setting ones self up for failure. I hate to fail at anything! So why make goals and promises that I probably can’t keep for all 365 days? However, this year I feel differently. This year has already started out a different kind of year for many many reasons. So I actually did make some resolutions this year. In fact, we sat down as a family and made some resolutions together too! I don’t know if I will be successful at keeping all of them, but hopefully it will help me keep in mind some things I want to focus on.

I also have a scripture verse that I am claiming this year! “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 It has been sticking out at me in various places over the last month, and it has spoke to me each time. I love this verse and hope I can live it this year. Especially with all the uncertainty, and changes that are coming over the course of this year.

Speaking of anxiety…Andrew leaves for training in eleven days! We have started this year by cleaning out our garage, decluttering various places in the house, and we are preparing to put our house up for sale. In some respects I always welcome the opportunity to declutter, organize, and get rid of stuff. Anytime we move I always get rid of stuff. I honestly don’t know where or how we get so much stuff! I pretty much hate stuff! I feel like it multiplies all by itself and I don’t even know! My goal in moving this time is to get rid of as much stuff as possible! I don’t want to take anything non-essential with us. I feel like it would be so freeing to be rid of stuff! Of course the kids are never going to go for getting rid of their toys, so I guess I’ll have to make some exceptions! πŸ™‚

All this cleaning out is actually helping to distract me from the fact that Andrew is fixing to leave for three months. Because of covid we won’t be able to travel and visit him in person! I am thankful we have facebook portal technology! We will be able to see and talk to him that way at least! We will miss him terribly! I worry about how the kids will hold up during this long of a separation. I worry about the emotional effects it could have, and how I can make sure I am supporting them through this. I don’t know how the next several months are going to play out. There are so many things I just don’t know. I am fully putting my best foot forward, and embracing living life on the edge! We could use your prayers…, and if any of you have any life experience of this sort, please share! I would love to hear your stories, experiences, and advice. I am trusting in God, and know that all things will work together for good.

David started virtual school back this week! I resumed preschool activities with Emma, and Samuel likes to sing his abc songs and identifies his colors, etc. πŸ™‚ I have become a lot more relaxed with the whole school at home, and I enjoy the freedom of the schedule. It will definitely be an adjustment for us this fall if we decide to do traditional schooling again. We also enjoyed some special moments of falling snow this week! It snowed pretty hard for quite a while but didn’t stick to the ground. I think there is another chance this coming week for snow, so hopefully it will stick.

Blessings and Peace for this new year!

Love,

PK

It’s A Wonderful Christmas! December 30, 2020

It’s A Wonderful Christmas! December 30, 2020

Despite everything the year 2020 has thrown our way, we had a wonderful Christmas this year! The few days leading up to Christmas eve was spent in preparation for the big day. We made cinnamon rolls, put up our Christmas tree and decorated it, baked cookies and a cake for Christmas eve/ day. This is the first year in a very long time that I have been with my side of the family on Christmas eve and Christmas day!! Because of both Andrew’s and my ties to church on Christmas eve and sometimes Christmas day even, we typically are not able to be with our families until after Christmas day. This year my family came and spent Christmas with us!! It was a wonderful treat, and really the best Christmas gift they gave us!

I LOVE home made cinnamon rolls, and I am always so impressed with them. You probably get sick of seeing my pictures, but I can’t help it. I’m always so proud that I can actually make cinnamon rolls that taste good. πŸ˜‚This year I put a cream cheese frosting on the top, and I will probably always and forever put this frosting on my rolls. I loved it!

Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (or more if necessary)

Emma and Samuel were really into helping me out in the kitchen! They are my taste testers! πŸ™‚ I wanted to bake cookies on Christmas eve, but I didn’t want to stand in the kitchen forever making the dough. This year I made the dough the day before! For the sugar cookies I separated the dough out, and rolled it into three little discs. I then stored it in between wax paper in the refrigerator over night. The kids were able to cut out the cookies, bake, and then decorate the next day. I also did this with the snickerdoodle cookies we made. I rolled them into balls and put them into the refrigerator overnight on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. The next morning the kids rolled them in the cinnamon and sugar, and then we baked them! I have found my favorite snicker doodle recipe too! I stumbled across this snickerdoodle recipe by Modern Honey and thought I would give it a try. It truly is the best recipe I have found!

I am sorry for the overload of pictures in this post, but I have captured so many good memories that I want to keep and share! I simply can’t choose!

Since Andrew and I have been married we have always bought a real Christmas tree. I didn’t grow up with real Christmas trees, but Andrew did. The first couple years I was skeptical, but I am a total tree lover now! πŸ™‚ I LOVE a real Christmas tree! They always look so beautiful and smell so good! Yes, they are a little messy, but totally worth the little extra effort.

David was super excited to put the star on top of the tree. The tree was too tall for him to reach the top to put it on, so the next best thing was getting to plug it in! I love David’s face when he lit up the star for the first time! His facial expressions this year were priceless! πŸ™‚ One of my favorite things is unwrapping all the ornaments and decorating the tree. I love looking at the different ornaments and remembering different people, places, and memories.

Christmas eve was a fun filled day spent with family!πŸ₯° It was wonderful having Leah and Brandon, and Dad and Mom here! We ate tacos for lunch on Christmas eve! We played games, and later that afternoon unwrapped presents from Uncle B and Aunt Leah! The kids are at the perfect age for gifts! Their face expressions and exclamations of surprise are prime television worthy! 🀣 Especially David’s when he opened the packs of PokΓ©mon cards from Uncle B. Later that evening we settled down to watch some Christmas moves featuring The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and finally the Christmas eve service live stream from our church. We missed Andrew that evening at dinner, but he was with us on tv, and then joined us later. πŸ™‚

After the kids were all tucked in bed, we then went about setting out all the gifts under the tree! I like waiting to put the gifts under the tree on Christmas eve because I like to see the kids eyes light up and their expressions the next morning! (Okay, let’s be honest. I am still in bed when the kids wake up on Christmas morning!) However, I could hear the shrieks of delight and imagine the sparkle in their eyes as I lay in bed. πŸ™‚

We have a tradition of always reading the Christmas story before we open presents. It stems back to when I was a kid. I am glad we are continuing that tradition with our children. Since we opened gifts both on Christmas eve and Christmas day, we read it twice. Dad read it from Luke on Christmas eve, and Andrew read it from Matthew on Christmas day. The kids then tore into their presents! Once all the gifts were unwrapped, then came the task of opening and putting them together! Dad started working on helping Emma put her Barbie doll house together, Andrew worked on Samuel’s little people race track, and I put David’s hot wheel Scorpion track together. I had cinnamon rolls hot and ready, and we all just ate sporadically between putting toys together and playing! πŸ™‚

Before we knew it, it was almost lunch time! We made roasted beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans for lunch. I also made a coconut cake for dessert! (Actually I made the cake and frosting on Christmas eve morning. That way all I had to do was frost the cake Christmas day!) I am so thankful that my parents were able to be with us on Christmas day! We had a wonderful time, and it made Christmas feel that much more special!

After my parents departed, we took a nap. πŸ™‚ We then spent the rest of the day relaxing!

Christmas with the Kjorlaug family then took place the next day! We were able to gather with Jim and Alesia at their house along with Chris, Beth, and their two boys. We had another wonderful Christmas celebration! We had brunch! Sausage and egg casserole, fruit trays, ham and cheese tray, cinnamon rolls, and Danishes; it was so good!! I have totally got to start the new year on a diet! πŸ™‚ The kids always have fun with their cousins! We had a great time of adult conversation too!

Can you see David’s surprised expression! I was able to get it on camera! 🀣 Too bad the sound he was also making can’t be heard! Emma got a paw patrol tower, and when she opened it she said, “This is just what I’ve always wanted”!!! HAHAHAHA!!! Samuel just likes opening gifts at this point! It was so hilarious!! I love it!

We had a lovely time opening gifts and visiting afterwards. When Chris, Beth and the boys were fixing to leave, Samuel gave aunt Beth the biggest hug! She asked him if he wanted to go home with her, and he really was going to go! At least until they got outside, and then he wanted to get into our car instead of theirs. πŸ™‚ He’s so funny!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas 2020

Love,

PK

Happy 2nd Birthday Samuel!!! December 19, 2020

Happy 2nd Birthday Samuel!!! December 19, 2020

Happy Birthday my sweet lil’ monkey!

Samuel’s 2nd Birthday!

Two years ago in the middle of Christmas preparations, we had a beautiful baby boy!! Samuel was born around 10 p.m., 8lbs, 8oz and 19.5 inches long. He had a head of dark hair! Samuel’s hair has only gotten more thick and curly. He was the best Christmas gift!! I can’t believe it has been two years!!! He has grown so much, and developed such a personality!! Samuel is such a funny and sweet boy. He loves to cuddle, hug and kiss, is super smart, and can be very stubborn. He tries to keep up with David and Emma and is learning things so quickly because of it.

We had a small party today for Samuel. He loves Curious George and so we had a curious George theme. I made a chocolate sheet cake, and decorated it with yellow frosting, m&m’s, and a curious George figure and candles I bought. The cake is delicious! It is like a fudgy brownie cake. You can find the recipe for it at https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a11901/best-chocolate-sheet-cake-recipe/ ! Samuel loved it, and blew out his candles on the first try!

Samuel mostly loved spending time with his Nana and Papa, and playing with his new toys. πŸ™‚

David and Emma also had fun helping out with preparing for Samuel’s party, playing with Samuel’s new toys, and visiting with Papa and Nana. πŸ™‚ David likes to talk PokΓ©mon with Papa, or anyone who is interested really. πŸ™‚

In other events of the week, we made Christmas ornaments! For the last couple years I have wanted to try making salt dough ornaments with the kids. Well, we finally did it this year! It was a lot of fun, and the kids loved cutting out the shapes, and then painting their ornaments. First we did hand prints. I took charge of the hand prints because I wanted to preserve them for future years. I painted, wrote names and the year on the back, and then sprayed them with a sealer. The other cut outs, I let the kids take charge and have fun!

It has been pretty cold outside this week! I have discovered a new favorite brand of hot cocoa. Land O’ Lakes Hot cocoa mix! Last year I used Trader Joe’s and loved it, but we haven’t gone to Trader Joes this year because of the pandemic. So I had to try something new. BOY am I glad I did!!! It is so rich, chocolatey, and delicious! The kids have requested hot cocoa this week after playing outside! So I had to take pictures of the first hot cocoa drinks of the season. πŸ™‚ Samuel liked it, but really just wanted to eat his marshmallow.

It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away! I am excited for the events of the week; getting a tree and decorating it, wrapping presents, baking cookies and cakes, spending time with family, and taking time to remember Jesus and feeling the hope, peace, love and joy he brings in our hearts.

I hope y’all have a Merry Christmas!!

Love,

PK

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!” December 12, 2020

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!” December 12, 2020

Last Saturday we put up our Christmas decorations! Now let me be clear, we decorated the fireplace mantel, hung up a wreath on the front door, put candles in the windows, and put out some Christmas nick-nacks. Traditionally we wait to put up our Christmas tree on Christmas eve, so we still have that left to do. However, it does still look a lot like Christmas. I love this time of year, and the kids have a special light in their eyes with any Christmas activity we do. It’s so special to see them love Christmas. It is a busy time of year preparing for everything. It is so important to keep perspective and not become overwhelmed by all the to dos. I had to take a step back and remember the joy of Christmas is in the preparation, and the time we spend with our loved ones. I always want Christmas to be a time of joy, laughter, peace, giving and gratitude. A time of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus!

One of my favorite traditions has become our advent wreath. We light the advent wreath before every meal, and there is something peaceful about having the candles lit while we eat.

Something very interesting happened after we finished putting out our Christmas decorations. A little bird landed on our front door wreath. I was sitting on the sofa admiring our work when it came, and I thought how curious! It sat there long enough for me to get this picture! It is almost as if the bird were approving our decorations. I like to think of this little bird as a gift. Perhaps it was an angel peeking down from heaven.

Hello Little Bird!

This weekend we took the kids to see Christmas lights! This is one of my favorite things to do. It stems back to my childhood when Dad and Mom would take us on a drive to see Christmas lights. Some neighbor hoods we drove through would decorate exquisitely, and we looked forward to seeing it every year. Not far from where we live there is a place called the Lights of the Delta! It is on a former air force base, and you drive through and see all the light displays. It is amazing!! Andrew first took me to see it when we were dating!! I was thrilled to get to visit again all these years later with our three kids!

I tried to take some pictures, but with the lighting and the slight drizzle of rain, the pictures don’t do it justice! The kids were in awe! There were “oohs” and “aahs”, thrilled shrieks and “look at that” ‘s ringing through the car. It was definitely a highlight of our season!

Today we decorated ginger bread houses! I cheated and bought the ginger bread house kits. I have made ginger bread before, but I honestly don’t like ginger bread, and it seemed more work than it would be worth. Besides, the kids really just want to decorate and eat the candy anyway! We had a great time and it took us a good chunk of the morning to do it. I helped David and Emma put their houses together, but they did all the piping and decorating. I decorated Samuel’s gingerbread house, but Samuel ate most of his gummies before we could decorate with them! πŸ™‚ This was our first time to build and decorate ginger bread houses. I think it might become a new tradition!

Love,

PK

Thanksgiving Blessings. December 1, 2020

Thanksgiving Blessings. December 1, 2020

We had a great Thanksgiving week! It started off with the kids and I doing some Thanksgiving crafts, coloring pages, and watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show. It is one of my favorites! One day the kids had their “Thanksgiving Feast” inspired by the Charlie Brown show for a snack. We did gram crackers, jelly beans, marshmallows, and pretzels. πŸ™‚ It was a lot of fun, and the kids liked making their own plates.

We spent Thanksgiving day at my parents house. It was great to be around family and spend time with them. My mom did a stellar job on the Thanksgiving day feast. She always out does herself, and goes way above and beyond! Most people are satisfied if they can cook a turkey and a few sides, but not my mom. She not only cooked A turkey, but TWO turkeys (One wild shot by my dad, and one store bought), chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, macaroni and cheese, green beans, stuffed eggs, rolls, a cake and pie!! Talk about being stuffed! πŸ™‚

It was a house full! It was a fill your plate, and sit where ever you can find a spot! (Photo courtesy of Leah πŸ˜‰ )

Happy Thanksgiving!

The kids had a blast going to Papa and Nana’s house. It had been quite a while since we had been there to visit, and so they were super excited to see Nana and Papa. I took some good pictures of them and the kids together. One of the many blessings I am thankful for is my parents! I love seeing my kids spend time with them.

My parents recently bought an ATV, and it was the kids first time to take a ride on it. They of course loved it! Both Dad and Mom “had” to take them for a ride(s). They loved it! I am so glad the weather was really nice on Thanksgiving Day. We were able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Here is a picture of Leah, Mom and I! Samuel snuck in too! πŸ™‚ Samuel doesn’t want to be too far from mommy, plus he’s a ham!

Sadly, Andrew’s family was scattered around due to Covid, and so we missed celebrating with them. We were however, able to have a small thanksgiving lunch with Jim and Alesia (Andrew’s parents), and our good friends Chris and Laura on Saturday. Andrew cooked the Turkey, he spatchcocked it and roasted it. I highly recommend cooking a turkey this way because it cooks in half the time, and tastes amazing! Of course it doesn’t give you the traditional whole turkey look, but if you don’t mind plating the turkey, it is so much quicker to cook! Especially if you are doing a lunch time meal, instead of dinner time. I made steamed green beans and carrots, and heated up frozen rolls. Yes, I took the easy way out this year!! I did make a French silk pie for dessert though! (too bad I forgot to take a picture! It was amazing!) Our guests brought the other side dishes! We used paper plates and napkins! Honestly, I think it was the most relaxing meal I have ever hosted!

We do have a lot of leftover turkey! We did grocery pickup, and ordered about an eleven pound turkey. They were sold out of that size, and gave us a twenty pound turkey! Needless to say, we have a lot of turkey on our menu this week! So far we have had Turkey chili and turkey nachos. We will probably have turkey paninis, and there is this creamy turkey pasta Casserole recipe that I want to try. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Advent is here! It has caught me by surprise this year, and I don’t have a thing planned! I did manage to buy this cute advent wreath with the candles. I love that the candles have the words Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love on them. It’s good for “us” kids πŸ™‚ I did do a quick browse today to get some ideas, and I found this blog about teaching through the nativity. I thought it was a cute idea, and we have one of those little people nativity sets that would be perfect to use. I think I will try it and see how the kids respond! Sometimes I feel like we are the only ones who do Advent. I would love to hear some of your ideas and activities for Advent if you are one of the rare few who still celebrate or prepare for the birth of Jesus in this manner.

We are still attending worship via drive in! Sometimes it helps to get dressed up even though you are sitting in the car! Emma put on her Sunday best this week. She had a new dress from Grand-mama that she wanted to wear. πŸ™‚ I know it is only Tuesday, but it feels like a really long week already! We have had such a difficult time getting back into our routine this week, David especially. I am thankful that so far this week the school assignments have been really light, because David has not wanted to do much of anything. He is already in full swing Christmas break mode!😬 It’s funny how at one point during the day I will want to strangle him, and then later I catch a sweet moment like I did this evening that just melts my heart. David was reading a story to Emma and Samuel! πŸ₯° My three blessings!

Love,

PK

A Break from “Mom” November 21, 2020

A Break from “Mom” November 21, 2020

As I am typing this blog I am sitting on the guest bed in my sister’s house. Enjoying the quiet of the early morning hours. Typically I would be up, showered, dressed, and getting breakfast on the table for my three ravenous children. I love my family! I am blessed to have what so many can’t, and I am thankful for my three blessings. BUT I needed a break!! I am also thankful to be able to come to my sisters this weekend, and have some me time and some sister time. I think especially when your children are of a younger age it is important to take some time for yourself. When you hear the word “mom” ten thousand times a day, when you use the word “potty” ten thousand times a day, when you yell the words “stop fighting” a thousand times a day, and you say the words “be nice to one another” or “don’t be mean to the cats” a thousand times a day, time alone is vital to self preservation, and to remember what it’s like to be around adults.

Leah, Brandon and I watched the movie White Christmas last night! Leah already has her house decorated, and I feel we might all need the Christmas spirit a little early this year! White Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies, and I usually watch it while decorating my own tree. However, it was extra special to watch it with my sister this year! You know, “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…!” πŸ™‚

I also want to say that I am so blessed to have a husband that can take care of our three children while I am away! (I love you Honey! 😘) All three kids were crying when I left! David has been going through this phase of “don’t leave me” for some reason. So he was not happy to see mommy go, and because he was upset Emma then became upset…it’s a cascading effect! However, some Daddy time will do them all good. Andrew had a beautiful dinner cooked and on the table last night when I called, and the kids were happy and eating well. πŸ™‚

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday! I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving however they choose to celebrate. We will be getting together with my parents, my siblings and theirs. I love all the food and family, and food…. I simply couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to have pumpkin pie, so I made a pumpkin pie this past week. I also made homemade whipped cream to go on top! It was amazing! It was also good practice because I am going to be making pies for our Thanksgiving feast! I don’t have a fancy pumpkin pie recipe believe it or not! I simply use the recipe on the back of the Libby’s can of pumpkin! I often use McCormicks pumpkin pie spice instead of using the individual spices in the recipe. However, I have done it both ways and it is good either way. I do recommend making the fresh whipped cream. I love the taste of the homemade better. I whip two cups of heavy whipping cream with about a tablespoon of of granulated sugar and a splash of vanilla.

Pumpkin Pie! Yum!

I took the kids to the park for a picnic this week, and the leaves were heavy on the ground. They loved playing and jumping in the leaves! It made for some really cute pictures.

I will be ready and happy to get back into full time mom mode after this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

PK

Thanksgiving Blues. November 14th, 2020

Thanksgiving Blues. November 14th, 2020

One positive about the month of November so far, is that the weather has been beautiful! I know this can change at any moment, but I am loving this fall! Seriously, we have been spending as much time outside as possible. The kids have been riding their bikes, we have been going on walks, and the kids have been playing in the yard without me having to threaten them to go outside. πŸ™‚

Some of our outdoor adventures have been at the botanical gardens. We love going there to play and picnic!

David has been doing great at virtual school, and I think I can say we have the routine down pretty good now. He has his days, but overall there have been far more good than bad. We did have a conversation recently about which he likes better, school in a classroom or school at home. He couldn’t say at first, but then he said he liked school in a classroom based on his past experiences. I’m not surprised by this as he has had amazing teachers in the past. Plus David loves being around people, and so he misses the friendships. Emma is also doing great at her pre-schooling. πŸ™‚ However, she prays everyday for the virus to go away, for us to stay safe from the virus, and for school to start back. πŸ™‚ I wish you could hear her little voice when she prays. So sincere and sweet!

This has been a tough week for me. I have been hit with the news of two people I know from my college days passing away. They both always had smiling faces, kind hearts, generous souls, and cared about the people they met. It is always tough losing people we care about. This year it feels a little more heavy. Maybe because there has been so much loss already.

I am looking forward to the holidays, but I also wish they were not so close because that means the time for Andrew to leave for training will be upon us. My anxiety about that keeps mounting! My way of coping with stress and anxiety is to accomplish tasks. I have been cleaning out drawers, bins, touching up paint on walls, and etc. way more than I normally do. I know I am not the first wife to have her husband join the army, or be gone for an extended period so I don’t want to be whiny about it, but I can’t help feeling the anxiety of it all. We did find out where Andrew will be stationed after his training! We will be going to Fort Campbell! This is close to my sister and brother-in-law, which I am so grateful for! It will be the first time my sister and I have lived this close together since we shared a room as kids! πŸ™‚ I am thankful that my kids will still live close enough to visit their grandparents on a regular basis as well.

Here are some pictures of the kids from this past week. They have been playing together a lot, and pretty well most days. Notice I said “pretty well” and “most days”! I do have to play referee occasionally, and there are some days where I think they wake up and decide they are going to fight all day. Thankfully those days are fewer than the ones where they get along. πŸ™‚

Speaking of being thankful, notice the tree wall hanging behind Emma in the picture above. It’s a Thanksgiving tree! I ordered this from amazon, and it is made from felt. The kids can write or draw what they are thankful for on the felt leaves that attach to it! The kids have each been doing a leaf a day (or most days, also we started late), and putting what they are thankful for on the leaves! So far we have family, friends, the park, pokemon, toys, blocks, and reptiles up on the tree! I look forward to seeing what else gets put up there!

We were able to go visit G-pa and Grand-mama yesterday! It was also a playdate with cousins, which is always fun! David and Samuel were playing with a remote control car set that is special to G-pa’s house. Emma was being herself on the couch playing behind the cushions. They are so funny! We had a good visit, and the kids were very sad to leave. I had to promise a return visit soon!

I have been dreaming about the beach, and the lunch date that Andrew and I had the last time we were there. I thought I would recreate it a little by making the most amazing crab dip I have ever had! I found this crab dip recipe at Sally’s baking addiction. It’s not exactly like the crab dip at the restaurant we went to, but it was pretty close. I also really love the fried pita bread with it! I served this along with a salad for dinner!

Love,

PK

Parties, Pumpkins and More! November 1st, 2020

Parties, Pumpkins and More! November 1st, 2020

I can’t believe my baby girl is four!! Tissues please?!!! Emma’s birthday was Thursday and we celebrated all weekend long! Emma is sweet, super smart, and knows what she likes. She loves Paw patrol, PJ masks, and Lion King. In fact that is what she wanted for her birthday was a lion king party. She also wanted to dress up as little Simba for Halloween! πŸ™‚ So we had her birthday party on Halloween, and she wore her costume during her party. So cute! πŸ™‚

Happy 4th Birthday, Emma!

On Emma’s special day we celebrated by going to the bookstore, and letting her pick out a book! We went to lunch and then we took her to the ice cream shop. Where she was able to pick out a flavor of ice cream of her choice. She chose Lemon Custard! I think she wanted it because it was yellow, and that is her favorite color, but she said she loved the taste.

On Halloween we had Emma’s party with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins! It was a beautiful day and the kids were able to play outside. We had a safari scavenger hunt. My dad hid stuffed animals all over the yard for the kids to find, and then he offered a prize to the who could find the tiger. I love my Dad! πŸ™‚

Emma had requested pizza for her party. So I created a lion king pizza party and cake! We had Simba tails, Rafiki fruit, jungle animals, circle of life pizza, and sunrise punch! I also made a strawberry birthday cake with cream cheese frosting. The cake decorating didn’t turn out as I had planned, so I had to go to plan B. I ordered an edible Lion King cake topper, but it was packaged improperly and I couldn’t get it to peel off. It just shredded! I was so upset! I ended up decorating the edges and side of the cake. Andrew wrote on the cake. He used to work in a deli a long time ago, and he learned how to write on cakes! He did mess up a little on her name, but overall he did a great job! I was impressed! I hate writing on cakes! Then I remembered that Emma had these little lion king figure toys, and so I used those as decorative toppers! Overall, I think plan B turned out pretty good.

Emma loved all her gifts! She REALLY loves her Paw Patrol Bicycle! She can now, “keep up with David”, as she says. πŸ™‚

Andrew and my parents helped so much with getting everything ready for Emma’s party! Mom helped with the decorations, Andrew put Emma’s bicycle together, and Dad entertained the kids outside while we were busy as bees getting everything ready! I am so thankful for all their help!

Since it was Halloween, we celebrated that evening with ghost cookies, graveyard pudding, hot dogs, and chili! My parents bought me a fire pit for my birthday (It was a belated gift). πŸ™‚ Andrew started a fire, and we roasted hot dogs! It was such a wonderful evening for it…not too cold! We had such a fun evening! The ghost cookies were Nutter Butter cookies dipped in white chocolate with candy eyeballs. πŸ™‚ I had made some instant chocolate pudding and had toppings set out such as crushed cookies, gummy worms, and festive sprinkles. πŸ™‚

(The kids dressed up in their costumes last weekend to do a drive through trunk or treat at the church. Samuel’s Curious George costume has now been worn by all three of our children! I love that! πŸ™‚ )

In the midst of Birthdays and Halloween parties, my piano students had a Halloween piano recital! It was so fun! Almost everyone dressed up in their costumes, and I dressed up as Mary Poppins! πŸ™‚ It was David’s first piano recital too! He did awesome, and dressed up in his Charmander costume. I was proud of all my students!

Earlier in the week the kids and I made Halloween sugar cookies! I think I found my new favorite sugar cookie recipe! It is almost identical to the one I’ve used before, but I learned a better way of rolling out the dough! Sally’s Best Sugar Cookie Recipe is the one I used, and I learned to roll the dough out between two pieces of wax paper, refrigerate, peel the wax paper off the top, and then cut out the cookies! Maybe the rest of the world already knows this, but I didn’t! I mixed up some Halloween colored frosting using Lil Luna’s sugar cookie frosting recipe. I really like this frosting recipe! It’s super easy, you don’t have to mess with egg whites, and it taste great! Besides, when the kids are decorating, precision frosting is not required! πŸ™‚

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Love,

PK

Three Little Pumpkins! October 24, 2020

Three Little Pumpkins! October 24, 2020

Last weekend we visited the pumpkin patch with my brother and sister in law, and nephews. The weather was beautiful! I love the cooler weather we have been having this fall! We had a great time at the pumpkin patch, and we enjoyed the socialization! The kids were excited to go pick out their pumpkins. David loves ALL holidays. I’m not sure which is his favorite, but he goes ALL out. He wants everything decorated, and parties planned. πŸ™‚ He tells me how he is going to decorate his whole house when he grows up, and I can come visit. Apparently I don’t do enough in the decoration department around here! πŸ™‚ At the pumpkin patch we went to this year they had fun photo places set up. The kids loved Spookley the pumpkin! We also walked through a very difficult Spookley corn maze! I didn’t think we were ever going to find our way out. Samuel kept trying to hide in the corn stalks, which was making me nervous. I could just envision us losing him in the corn field! Once we found our way out of the corn maze, we found the pumpkin patch and the sunflower fields! The pumpkin patch was fun! The kids each picked their own pumpkin. Emma and Samuel were pretty easy going. Once they decided on a pumpkin that was it. David is always undecisive, and wants the biggest pumpkin he can find. It took quite a bit of searching, but we finally found one big enough to satisfy him. πŸ™‚ Feeding the animals was also a big hit. The kids always love the animals! It is so cute watching them feed the farm animals. Samuel didn’t quite know what to make of the animals at first, but once he realized they would eat out of his hand, he loved it!

Here are some pics from our pumpkin patch adventures!

Virtual School has been going good, and this week the work load was pretty light. We finished early most days, and so Wednesday I decided to take the kids to the botanical garden. It was another beautiful, albeit warmer day. Even though it is fall, we were still able to enjoy some beautiful flowers and the changing colors of the leaves. It was our first visit to the kid section of the gardens, called “My Big Backyard”. I was really impressed! It is in fact Big! With lots of creative and imaginative areas for the kids to play! We even discovered a little “secret passage”, which I think was my favorite part! There were famous quotes hung throughout. I took a picture of a couple of my favorites. I also particularly liked the xylophone bench! Samuel found it quite fun too. πŸ™‚

Pics of our garden adventures!

Today we carved the pumpkins we picked last weekend. It was a great day for carving pumpkins! The weather was pretty cool, and so it was a good mood setter for Halloween activities. The kids helped me clean the guts out of the pumpkins. I have to say that this year the kids were actually into helping me, even Samuel! πŸ™‚ David and Emma drew on a piece of paper what they wanted their pumpkin face to look like, and Andrew did the carving. They turned out great! Of course we had to light them up tonight to see the spooky pumpkins!

My three little pumpkins! πŸ™‚

Happy Fall!

Love,

PK