Easter 2022!

Easter 2022!

Audrey’s due date was initially the weekend of Easter. Easter is a very special day because it’s the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the promise of life he has given us. This is what we believe and teach our kids. Yes, they love the Easter egg hunts and candy, but we do our best to instill in them the reason for Easter is Jesus resurrection from death to life. Easter is one of the most celebrated Sunday’s of the year! I love Easter, and there was no way I was going to miss Easter service short of something catastrophic. Thankfully Jim and Alesia were with us Easter morning to help us get out the door! Everyone was dressed in their Easter best, and we were off to church!

The Saturday before Easter we were busy making some preparations for the big day! Alesia brought some Easter eggs for the kids to paint! The kids had fun painting their eggs, and then later had an egg hunt planned by Grand-mama and G-pa. (I have never been into the whole dying eggs thing. I didn’t grow up doing it, and so maybe I just don’t understand the fun or purpose of it. Maybe I just need to be convinced that it’s something worth investing my time and eggs on! πŸ™‚ )

In the middle of caring for a newborn and everything else, I managed to make deviled eggs, yeast rolls, and my favorite pig pickin’ cake recipe. (This cake has many different names. I can’t remember what my grandmother used to call it, but it is my favorite! I make it almost every Easter because it reminds me of her.) Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to take pictures before everything was mostly devoured. Hopefully when Audrey is a little bigger and things get into more of a routine I can get my brain back, and remember to do things like taking food pictures for my blog! πŸ™‚

Easter service was wonderful! It was revitalizing to hear the Easter music, sit together with my family, and watch the kids participate in the Easter activities. (Audrey did well, and was mostly happy. She remained covered in her seat a majority of the time. It’s a good thing babies like to sleep in those things!)

Easter afternoon Leah and Brandon came over to visit Audrey! Leah and I had fun taking some baby pictures! I should say Leah took some amazing pictures! πŸ™‚ Here are a few of my faves! She’s beautiful! πŸ₯° I know, I’m prejudice!

Love,

PK

Meet Audrey Renee!!! April 19, 2022

Meet Audrey Renee!!! April 19, 2022

I know I am several blog posts behind at this point due to pre and post birth exhaustion. I have not had the energy to do anything other than necessary tasks, but I am starting to feel more like myself each day. We are so blessed, and I am thrilled to announce the birth of mine and Andrew’s fourth child, Audrey Renee Kjorlaug! She was born on Saturday April 9th, at 7:45pm. Weighing in at 9.1lbs, and 21 inches long. We induced labor, so that process always takes longer, but once things kicked in everything went as smooth and fast as expected. There were no traumatic surprises. We are most thankful for a healthy, beautiful little girl!

The kids were in awe as they came to the hospital to see her for the first time, and each one has their own thoughts, understanding, and emotions about adding a new member to our family. David has been through this two times before and he remembers, so he hasn’t really twitched at all. Even though he has asked to hold her a lot more than I expected. He seems to be pretty proud of her. Emma, while she has done this before, doesn’t really remember as much. She was a little hesitant at first to hold Audrey, but finally did. She loves to help pick out Audrey’s clothes for the day. Samuel is the one I worried about the most because he was the baby. He is mommy’s little guy, and the last couple weeks he has not wanted to let me out of his sight. However, he has done much better than I thought he would. He loves giving her kisses, and helping to throw her diapers away. He has only asked once if we could put her back inside my tummy! πŸ˜…πŸ˜³πŸ˜„ None of them like to hear her cry, and so I have had to explain multiple times that babies cry because they can’t talk, and that’s their way of communicating. They try to help sooth her by giving her her pacifier. Audrey then immediately spits it out, and mommy is summoned. πŸ™‚

There were some pretty proud grandparents around too! My parents were able to come and be with the kids while we were in the hospital, and then brought them up to visit afterwards. Andrew’s parents were able to come and help out during our first full week home from the hospital. I’m really thankful to have that kind of family and support system! Andrew has paternity leave for a couple more weeks, and so we are adjusting and figuring things out as a family. I love the pictures of our dad’s holding Audrey. They are always a little nervous around the newborns. πŸ™‚

Here is a picture dump!πŸ₯° (Bringing Audrey home from the hospital. The kids made a welcome home sign with Grand-mama for Audrey. Proud biggest brother. Me and my girls! Emma finally wanted to hold Audrey! Beautiful precious angel!)

Stay tuned for another blog post soon! I am excited to share our Easter adventures!

Love,

PK

Spring! 2022

Spring! 2022

I love Spring time! We are only a few days away from the first day of spring, and the weather while finicky, for the most part is showing great signs of spring warmth. I love it when it is in the upper 60’s! It feels wonderful! I am in the mood for gardening, refreshing, and growing things! Hah! Speaking of growing things, Audrey is only a few weeks away from her due date! We are super excited and ready for her arrival! Me especially. I am ready to get my body back! I know some women cherish and love being pregnant. I do not! Which makes me seem crazy since it’s my fourth time. LOL! What I do love is when they finally get here, I can begin to reclaim my personal being, and fall in love with the person we have been blessed with while watching her grow and change. Hopefully this makes me seem not so crazy, perhaps. 😊

A while back I promised to share pictures of the nursery. We did get it put together. I can’t say it’s completely finished. It is still missing some wall dΓ©cor, but that will come more as we are able to hang pictures. I also have a couple of seashell projects I hope to undertake to hang on the wall. As you can see, the theme is nautical with light pinks, aqua, and gold colors. I love it! πŸ™‚ I found the bedding on Amazon, but was also able to find some accents such as the pillows, the mermaid picture, the laundry baskets, and lamp from the At Home store. (Can I just say how much I love the At Home store! I had never been to one until we moved here. That is both good and bad! πŸ™‚ ) We of course already had the crib, dresser, and rocking chair, but the changing table I bought from someone on marketplace. I sold our other changing table when we were moving, but I am loving this new portable table I found. It feels sturdy, as the legs lock, and so we will see once we actually use it. I’m in love with the nautical theme!πŸ₯°

Hopefully the next time I blog, I will get to introduce you to Audrey!

In the meantime, we have been enjoying the warm spring days as much as possible. A couple weekends ago we went to the Nashville zoo with Leah and Brandon! I love that we live close enough together to be able to do things! We had a great time! While Nashville zoo is pretty small, it works out good because you can see everything in just a few hours. This makes it more tolerable for the littles, and for us pregnant people! (This is twice now that we have gone to the zoo, and they have brought that gigantic albino snake out to crawl around! David loves it!! I wish they would keep it a little farther away!)

When I look at these pictures, I realize that my kids are getting way too big! I need tissues please!!! I believe they are all going through growth spurts right now or something! Please stop! David is looking more like a young tween, Emma is my diva princess, and Samuel–what in the world? He is changing from my toddler baby into a little boy all of a sudden!!!πŸ˜ͺ It just happens without you noticing! At least we will have one more baby to add to this crazy mixture soon!😍

Love,

PK

Upside Down! February 26, 2022

Upside Down! February 26, 2022

It has taken me several days to decide whether or how to write this blog post. The last week has been very eventful, stressful, and a whole new experience for us. Please understand that in writing this post, in no way am I trying to detract from the horrors that are occurring in Ukraine and my prayers are with those people. Also, this is not a political post expressing my views on the actions of our government. This is merely about the events of our family which have always been the focal point of this blog. Thank you for reading, and for your prayers and support!

Last weekend Andrew and I had a romantic weekend planned! We were going to go to Chattanooga and enjoy a whole 72 hours together. Jim and Alesia were coming to keep the kids, and the whole thing was underway. We were really looking forward to this time off together, as we don’t get to be alone very often. This is one of our downfalls as a couple. We get caught up in work and kids, and tend to put off date nights. Thursday around noon the kids were in school, and this is one of the times when Andrew and I try to grab lunch together if possible. I was making my usual call to Andrew to see about lunch plans. He tells me he is on his way home and needs to talk to me. I was already on my way to post to run an errand. I could tell this was not good, and so I turned around and went back home. Once there he told me that all the weekend passes had been recalled, and that he had to cancel our hotel reservation. He also told me that his unit’s “readiness had been increased”. They were to have their bags packed and ready to go by that afternoon. However, Andrew also said that he wasn’t sure if it was a drill or if it was legit, as they don’t always tell them everything. It is very difficult to describe to you any emotion at that point. I was pretty shocked, numb, and went immediately into military wife, what can I do to help you prepare mode! This was our first experience with anything like this.

The next thirty six hours seemed like an eternity. We are blessed in this aspect though, as I will explain. At this point the thoughts and feelings I experienced are pretty selfish and I am a little embarrassed to admit it. My thoughts went directly to I don’t want to give birth to our fourth child without Andrew at my side! I know this has happened to many wives over the course of history, I just don’t want to be one of them! Also the thought of Andrew not getting to meet our child until she’s at least two or three months old or more is hard to fathom! If they were to have to deploy, it will also be different in that the soldiers would not be allowed technology. They could possibly go weeks or months in-between contact. All these types of thoughts started shooting through my head, and my anxiety went through the roof.

In the army there is always certain people who are named rear D (Rear Detachment). This refers to those who are chosen to stay behind to take care of everything at home. Andrew’s brigade chaplain told him on Saturday that he had recommended him for the rear D assignment. So when/if word were to come for them to deploy, he would be the one to stay behind. At least for the time being. I can’t tell you the emotions of relief I felt when he told me this. It was the only time I was able to cry! I know he will be extremely busy when this happens as there will be a lot for him to deal with, but at least he will be here!

We are extremely blessed in this regard. I know many others who are still waiting to hear if/when they will be departing from their loved one! My prayers go out to all these families, as I have only experienced a small portion of what they are going through. Please be in prayer for our military families.

Upside down!

Love,

PK

A Family Valentine’s! February 18, 2022

A Family Valentine’s! February 18, 2022

Typically we celebrate Valentine’s day as a special date between Andrew and myself. This year we decided to have a nice, quiet, relaxing evening at home. Okay, maybe not so quiet and relaxing! πŸ˜„ It was fun and filled with love though! πŸ’—

Earlier in the day the kids and I decorated paper hearts to hang up for decorations. I gift wrapped each of the kids a small gift to open before dinner. I also made special effort to put out a table cloth, napkins, and a special vase with candles. I already knew what was going into the vase! πŸ˜‰

I also made a special effort to cook a very delicious Valentine’s meal! I wished I had thought to document it better with pictures, but I got caught up in the evening. The kids loved the “special” dinner, and getting to open a a gift before! Our meal consisted of French onion soup, sous vid/seared lamb chops, roasted asparagus, and chocolate mousse for dessert. Yes, I pulled out all the stops for this meal! It was worth it though! The lamb (which is a rare treat for us) was amazing. The french onion soup carried so much warmth and flavor to it. On any other night of the week it could have been a meal all unto itself. The dessert, so rich and decadent! We definitely had a fine dining experience right at home! I will share the recipe to these dishes on my recipe page!

Andrew and I shared our gifts to each other before dinner too! As I previously mentioned, I already knew what mine was, but I am always surprised at how beautiful! πŸ™‚ It is a tradition for Andrew to order me a gold plated rose for Valentine’s day. I believe I have eight now, and they are all different. Andrew claims he is going to keep going until I have at least a dozen! This years was rainbow. It looks more red from the top, but if you look around the stem it has rainbow colors. Beautiful!πŸ₯°

I bought Andrew a Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter! πŸ˜„ I never said we were normal! It is actually really cool! I don’t know if we will ever use it, but it sure does look sharp! πŸ˜‰

Love,

PK

Nesting! February 7, 2022

Nesting! February 7, 2022

I have never really liked the word “Nesting”. I’m not sure why, it has always sounded weird to me. However, it is definitely a thing. I have prepared for each of our children in different ways, with different levels of intensity and moods. In terms of actually preparing for the things Audrey will need, this time has been much more low key! I guess because the more kids you have, you realize the less you actually need. Plus you already have stuff put back from previous times (unless you got carried away on market place… just sayin’.) I have however felt the need to organize in other areas of the house though. I think it’s because I realize that I won’t have the time or energy to do those things later. For example in the last month I have cleaned out and organized the kids toys, all their clothes, thoroughly cleaned certain areas of the house such as ceiling fans and blinds and certain book shelves and drawers. There are also things I would like to accomplish outside the house if the weather changes in time.

Leah and Brandon came over yesterday to help us move bedrooms around. In order to create a nursery space for Audrey, we decided to rearrange the way we have our house set up. We moved Emma downstairs into what was the guest room/piano room. The piano was moved into the downstairs living space. So we will have the two older kids downstairs, and the two youngest upstairs. Emma loves her new room set up, and feels big to be downstairs with David! When I get Audrey’s nursery set up I will share pictures! I am doing a nautical theme with pinks and turquoise and other fun colors. It’s going to be fun! πŸ™‚

We have had some snow/ice days recently, and here are some pictures from this past Friday. Emma and Samuel played in shaving cream and paint. They were pretty messy by the time they were done, and so I just stripped them down and let them go play in the shower. We also made chocolate chip cookies! I have shared the recipe for these cookies on my recipe page! Please check it out! The kids approve! πŸ™‚

Love,

PK

Happy Birthday Dad! January 25, 2022

Happy Birthday Dad! January 25, 2022

Over the weekend we were thrilled to spend time with my parents and celebrate my Dad’s birthday! They came and spent time with us on Friday, and then we met up with them and my sister and brother in law on Saturday. We enjoyed a birthday lunch, followed up by a game of bowling! My dad probably won’t appreciate me announcing it was his birthday or putting his picture up. He’s not big on pictures, or facebook, or technology in general, but that’s just my dad! He loves the outdoors! Hunting, fishing, hiking, mowing lawns and yard work. The only exception to being agreeable about his picture is if he has the grandkids in his lap! πŸ™‚ The kids all love Papa! Dad doesn’t look a day over forty! Love you Dad!

Emma wanted to have a tea party with Papa and Nana! She fetched her tea set that she got for Christmas and had them drinking tea and eating graham crackers. πŸ™‚ We also enjoyed the game of monopoly junior together. Anyone who knows my parents knows that they love the monopoly game. When I was a kid we played the full monopoly board game (inventing a few of our own rules along the way πŸ™‚ ). In recent years my parents have become avid monopoly deal players. (If you don’t know, monopoly deal is the playing card version of the monopoly board game.) So Emma was excited to introduce them to Monopoly Junior. It was a big hit!

Leah and Brandon suggested this Mexican restaurant for my Dad’s birthday lunch. The food was fabulous and we all had a fun time. Due to being tipped off about my Dad’s birthday, the restaurant staff brought out a Sombrero, and sung happy birthday. They typically put whipped cream in the face of the birthday individual, but I believe my Dad was saved from that humiliation because he had the grandkids in his lap and around him. πŸ™‚ Dad then let the kids devour his dessert.

Andrew and I have gone bowling less than a handful of times in the past year. I don’t think anyone in our family has gone bowling all that much in recent years. However, there was a time when I was a kid that we went bowling regularly. So much so that my parents bought their own ball and shoes. That’s not to say that we were all that great, but a reflection on how much we loved bowling. πŸ™‚ We had a blast, and I believe a love for bowling was rekindled! πŸ™‚ I don’t typically like to brag, but I had the high score of the game! πŸ™‚

I have added a recipe page to my main menu on my site! I decided to do this because over the years I have blogged about numerous recipe’s. Unfortunately they are mostly lost amongst my blog posts unless you know specifically what to search for. I am going to start adding recipes to the page so all you will have to do is click on a link find it! The first recipe I put up was inspired by Emma! She loves the book Little Ree and there is a recipe in the back called H&R Country Berry Blast Special. She has been asking to make it for some time, and so we made it today! It’s just so cute and fun! I hope you enjoy!

Love

PK

Blog Refresh… January 16, 2022

Blog Refresh… January 16, 2022

Update from previous post: The kids are doing well and have returned to school. Andrew is doing much better and has returned to work which includes early morning PT. I am doing a whole lot better, however I am still struggling with a cough and fatigue. I’m sure being pregnant is not helping me with these issues. I do wish this annoying chest cough would go away soon! I feel like I have had it forever. Otherwise I feel we are all on our way to being healthy again. I am just so tired of this winter and all the sickness around. I want spring time with sunshine, slightly warmer temperatures, and fresh air! Fresh air where we can all go outside and breathe, the kids can play in the dirt, and we can hopefully all stop worrying about viruses and germs!

The last couple weeks we have done our best to enjoy the extended vacation (quarantine) time. We have been cooking, playing games, doing routine housework, and making future plans. I was looking back on previous blog posts because I noticed that I am running low on data storage! HA! Imagine that! I noticed that I have been blogging now for almost five years!!! WHAT?!?!? That is crazy! It doesn’t feel like it at all! I love keeping this blog to look back on! Since it is coming up on five years (not to mention my data storage problem) I figure I need to backup and revamp my blogsite at some point. I would appreciate your input on a particular route. If you have been following and reading regularly, what have you enjoyed the most? What have you found most useful? What do you think my particular niche should be? Is there a certain topic you wish I would focus more on? I have been asking myself all these question the last couple weeks without any real clear answer. So I hope to get some outside input!

Love,

PK

2020-TWO

2020-TWO

Andrew and I have joked that this year sounds like a sequel to the year 2020. It was supposed to be a joke anyway. Then we all got sick. Andrew took a Covid test and it was positive, so the rest of us didn’t bother getting tested because it seemed unnecessary since we all were sick and home at the same time. We avoided Covid for over two years! It’s frustrating that now we happen to get it, after trying to take all the necessary safety measures such as quarantining for a year, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated. We have tried to do all the responsible things. We did feel it was important for everyone to resume a somewhat normal lifestyle within the last five months, so the kids have been going to school again, we have been attending church in person, and we have frequented a few of our favorite restaurants. I know everyone has their own opinions about everything, but we did what we thought was best for our family. I am relieved to say that the symptoms seem to have been fairly mild for us. The kids were sick for literally twenty-four hours. Andrew and I have had a slightly more difficult time in that we still have a lingering cough and some fatigue. I pray that those symptoms will subside soon. In the meantime we are enjoying an extended break together!

We were blessed with snow to help extend school break! This turned out to be a blessing! We all love the snow! Samuel liked it from the inside! πŸ™‚ David and Emma have enjoyed playing outside in it even though it is a powder snow, making it difficult to build snowmen or sled in. The cats were very curious about the white stuff falling from the sky. Fred was more adventurous about going outside than Ethel. He actually went outside and walked through the snow before running back inside. Ethel wouldn’t even go outside. She didn’t like the cold either. Ethel and Samuel felt the same way about it all! πŸ˜‚

Perhaps it’s because of the way it has started out, but I’m having trouble getting motivated for the New Year! Maybe you could help me out by sharing some of your ambitions, goals, and ideas! I would love to hear them!

Happy 2022! πŸ™‚

PK

Christmas Joys! December 30, 2021

Christmas Joys! December 30, 2021

It is our tradition to wait to put up our Christmas tree on Christmas eve, or as close to as possible. I know this seems odd, but it’s a tradition we enjoy. To us it makes the process much more special, as it is a family event. We prefer to go to a tree farm and have one cut if possible. The thing about waiting so close to Christmas is that it makes every year an adventure! You never know what is going to be available, or how much it is going to cost. Some years we have gotten really nice big trees at tree farms that were fairly expensive, other years we have had smaller (Charlie Brown) trees that were inexpensive. One year Home Depot gave us a tree! Hahahaha! πŸ™‚ This year there seemed to be a shortage of Christmas trees, but we did find a tree farm that had a few left. Other than one of those giant trees, there were a few small trees left. We picked our tree, brought it home, and made it look beautiful!

Another one of our traditions is to drive around and look at Christmas lights. This year we went and walked through the Cumberland River walk downtown. The lights were beautiful, the weather was nice, and we had a lot of fun! There were all kinds of light structures, and the kids wanted to have their picture taken at all of them. πŸ™‚ There was also this house down the street from ours that had lights on a program where you could listen to the radio while you watch. It was spectacular and so much fun!

Baking is one of our traditions. This year we baked cinnamon rolls, Christmas cookies, and a birthday cake for baby Jesus! The cinnamon rolls turned out fantastic! I’m not sure, but I think it’s because I made them in one day. In the past I have made the dough a day or two ahead of time, and then rolled them out. This time I didn’t, and I feel it made for a softer dough. Christmas sugar cookies are fun and delicious! The kids love cutting the cookies out and decorating them, and of course stealing pinches of dough here and there. πŸ˜‰ I love making this beautiful white, fluffy, coconut cake for Christmas day. We call it baby Jesus’ birthday cake. It reminds me of angels or fluffy snow. πŸ™‚ It’s so dreamy, and I will be making it for many years to come!

On Christmas eve we were blessed to attend church. I say it this way because in years past Christmas eve has been one of the busiest days of the year for Andrew and sometimes myself. This year we didn’t have any pastoral or musician duties. We were simply able to attend! The worship service was very meaningful, and we enjoyed the peaceful evening.

Reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning before we open presents is another one of our traditions. This tradition stems back to my child hood. We did this every year, and it is a very special and meaningful memory to me. I hope it will be for my kids as well.

We enjoy our family tradition of spending Christmas day at home with the kids. We like being able to spend the day with each other. The kids like spending time figuring out their new toys (it usually takes both Andrew and I all morning to help them unbox and “figure out” their toys! Ha!) One of our traditions when we are at home is to order Chinese food for lunch! It keeps us from having to cook! Then we usually cook one big dinner. This year Andrew’s parents were able come on Christmas day! So after we had Christmas morning with the kids, we had Christmas afternoon with G-pa and Grand-mama! Then we all had dinner together that evening. We cooked a roasted beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes and steamed green beans! Delicious! πŸ™‚

Sunday we drove to my parents house and had Christmas with Papa and Nana! Unfortunately my sister and brother in law didn’t get to come and celebrate with us due to Covid, but we are planning to celebrate with them soon! We had a wonderful Christmas lunch with Dad and Mom, and then the kids opened their gifts. They were all excited about their new scooters and had to go try them out. πŸ™‚ We spent the afternoon playing games, and enjoying the weather outside. The weather has been so warm and pleasant that it has been nice being able to send the kids outside without having to worry about coats, gloves, and hats! We even went for a hike on Monday morning through the woods around my parents house!

We are still celebrating Christmas in that according to the liturgical calendar today is the sixth day of Christmas! We will be celebrating until January 6th!

So Happy Sixth day of Christmas!

Love,

PK