8/27/15

One Child Left Behind 2015

SOOOOOOOOO many things to post about this summer that were incredible and amazing and I want to remember every moment of that include weddings and new nieces and nephews and trips and fishing and lake days and way too many selfies of my children where they used weird apps and their faces look like aliens.  But, we dont have time for that right now.  Ill be back for that.  Today, we document school for my fourth and second graders (WHAT?!)
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Shea couldn't resist being in the photo.
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And one with Gracie and the isolated toddler.
The only reason we were able to make it to school after an entire summer of sleeping in, was that Avery woke everyone up, made them breakfast, got their lunches out of the fridge and into their backpack and was ready to go by the time I got out of bed at 7:10.
She is amazing.  What would I do without her?! (dont answer that).
Shea was fine the first day because she got to help them walk in and drop them off.  The second and all the days since, she has had the panic cry every time they walk out of the car.  She is devastated.  She misses them so much.
We have tried to stay busy.
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We have taken her babies on lots of walks, changed their diapers thousands of times, and tried to acclimate to life without the big kids.  It has been sad, but I am just so thankful for our school and their teachers and our life.
I read a post that a blogger wrote about attending public school and I shared it on Facebook.  It is similar to our experience, but not completely, but it does reinforce some of the views I have about why we go to public school.  I obviously am pro any type of schooling and think everyone has to do what is right for their own family.  I didnt say that on Facebook and I wish I would have.  I hope no one thinks that I think public school is the only way to go.  But it has been what works for us and something I am so thankful for.
The girls and I got our second grown up pedicure at a real place before school with some of our church crew and it was the perfect start to this year.  I am so thankful for people in mckinney that we have grown to love so much.  Making friends who are as weird as us is so hard.  I feel like it takes me forever to get close to people and feel safe with them, but I feel like we  are there.  We have met some incredible people and I am so so thankful.
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(Ok, I didnt do it.  My social anxiety trumps any idea of a pedicure, even if it includes a massage of any kind.  I just cant do it.  Luckily the girls loved it and my friends are pros.  No way I could have done that shiz on my own.  The whole thing scares me.)
Let's do this school year 2015-16!!
This post was brought to you in part by the word 'thankful'.

7/7/15

Twincraft

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This year for the twins bday we did Twincraft.
(They are obsessed with Minecraft and I have to admit that it makes me insane.  I hate having to monitor their screen time and I never really had to until Minecraft.  But for all intensive purposes, it is the perfect gender neutral theme for a bday and they are obsessed with it, so that does help.)
I tried to make a portal (but they didnt have pink streamers) and made it look pixelated with plates.
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I was not on the ball and barely sent out an invites (ok, not any.  I sent them to school with the kids and few texts with a pic of the invite, but no actual invites went out.  Even to my brothers.  So, thankfully their class showed up and everyone who had gotten a picture text :)
Christopher and Tiffany spent their entire week making this cake that was as incredible to the taste as it is perfection in looks.  My kids could not get over it. They showed everyone who walked in the door the incredible cake their cousins had made.  Truly made the whole party.  (If you have been around awhile, you remember the incredible Noah's Ark cake they made for their second bday)
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Thanks so much to everyone who came and celebrated and sang and stayed late and cleaned up!
Happy birthday to my twins.
I cant believe you guys are 7.  To say that I am proud of you is an understatement.  I could not be more thankful to have you both as middle children.  You handle the job of big, little and twin sibling with such class and patience.  Thank you for your forgiveness as I am trying to juggle all of this.  Thank you for your hard work Sass and your constant determination.  You never need any push or encouragement to do anything.   You are always ready and on the ball and I am so so thankful for that sweet side of you.  Ben, thank you for the kindness that just overflows out of you.  I have never met someone so sweet and kind and just a joy to be around.  You always put other people first and it is such an incredible joy to watch you.  You guys are total opposites and it makes my heart melt to see you compliment and help each other with your differences.  I hope you are always close and always encourage and love each other.
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6/7/15

Barstad's Last Week of School

In pictures.
Field day.
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Someone must have donated these bounce houses because they were so big and so much fun- I think every kid thought they were the luckiest kids in the world.  Seeing them crab walk, run, slide and pour water for their team- it really is a little bit of sweaty (and whiny) heaven.
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sass water slide
Shea even got into it and took all her clothes off.  Its not field day until someone gets naked, really.
Then they had presentation day where they showed us all the projects they had been working on all year.  They gathered information and presented it in whatever way they wanted- there was no teacher involvement at all.  Sass and Jenna did a board game and Ben did a sculpture.  There were "movies" and puppet shows and posters- it was so neat to see their imagination run wild.
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sass and jenna
They also had their awards day.
jenna and madison and twins
their class
the twins class
Avery was Helen Keller in her live museum that all the 3rd grade put on.  They all had to recite information about their character when you pushed the "on" button. Avery did a great job, but by the time Papa and Minnie made it over to her she said she was too tired to retell her speech :)
avery as helen keller
We took our crew to the pool for the first time this summer and I can not wait for many more pool trips.
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monkeys
Lots of bike rides, park times and lots and lots of swinging.
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sass and shea swingin
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And sink baths make the summer heat a little more bare able. (see what I did there?  Im here all week.)
shea sink baths

6/6/15

Celebrate Always Shop (as of lately)

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We can not ever tell you guys how much it means to us when y'all buy our shirts.  It has been the most humbling and exciting thing to send shirts out and then see y'all in them or on instagram.  It is literally one of the very best feelings.  From the bottom or our hearts we thank y'all for buying from us!
We have had so much fun lately.  We made a "This Land is Our Land" tee and tank and we were able to put them into a store downtown McKinney called The Little Red Hen.
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Yes, it was through a connection and we knew someone who knows them really well, but we will count it as our first wholesale experience.  It was so much fun and I geeked out like a crazy person and went inside and hugged everyone.  They thought I was insane but it was just ridiculous seeing them outside like that.  And we know I am not one who often can hold back my excitement.  Especially when I am nervous and dont know you...
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How fun is this? An actual rack!
So, thank you Little Red Hen for making dreams come true over here!
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We did some probono printing for Shiloh Place McKinney that I have worked with for about a year or so.  We did four colors (!!!) which I didnt know how it would go, but it really was great! We have learned so much in all of this.  We did about four colors with Linds for Haley's bday and they went ok but the water based was hard.  So we switched to plastisol for this one and it was so easy! I didnt know we could mix colors with plastisol but once we figured that out and how to cure them and stuff, it was so great.
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Jeff is our secret weapon.  He knows everything there is to know about printing and loves to print as much as we do.  I am so thankful for him and I could not do any of this without him.  We know I dont read instructions or watch instructional videos (and he does.  all of them) and I would have to learn everything from experience.  And since I rarely try new ways to do things, that would probably happen the hard way.  He pushes me to be better and try new things.  He also pushes me to do it right the first time, no matter the time it takes to prep or however insignificant it seems.
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bach party shirts
We did Michael and Caroline's bach party shirts too and that was so much fun.
We worked forever on bachelor party and bachelorette party beer labels that we both forgot to take with us to the actual parties... but they were fun to make and are now a download in our shop if you need one for a bachelorette party or bachelor party or even a wedding!
boy beer bottles
girl beer labels
We did have koozies tho...
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Becca and her kids came over and printed their own designs and designed a BEST CAMP EVER shirt that was a huge hit.
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We made some pins to match too for Becca to send them in their care package.  How stinkin cute is Mary?! Gorgeous.
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We did a whole sale order in Big Spring (Woo hoo West TX forever!) with baby lake days tanks and a few more tees.
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lets go places
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We have a few more designs in the shop too that have been fun when people buy them.  I mean, I assume everyone has seen Dont Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, but then you never know.  SO when someone buys it and instagrams it and includes #thedishesaredonedude your heart swells like only a 90's movie line can make it grow.
We have had a lot of custom orders too.  Allison is working on right now for Anna's salon, we did a few softball jerseys, some more bach tanks, vacation shirts and more.  I really can never say enough how thankful we are to sell shirts and have you guys buy them.

5/4/15

May the Fourth Be with You

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Lately, we have made way too many runs to the popcorn store.  Like I can barely fit in my clothes.  We ride our bikes there, so I justify it, but the ride is so short that it is not even the least bit justifiable.  I am not even kidding myself.  Or my jeans.
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Tiffany and her crew spent the night a few weekends ago and we made the kids paint the playhouse.  Especially Bexar and Shea.  You gotta learn at a young age how to pull your weight.
(and they both have a little more than a little weight to pull...)
And though almost all the kids tried to help, we really didnt let them and it was more fun than I have had in a long time.  Tiff and I talked and laughed the whole weekend and actually ended up getting a good head start on the playhouse.  We had to paint it because we were on the Tour de Coop in our neighborhood where everyone who wants to, can let people come and look at their chicken coop.  Ours is by far the smallest and least exciting of all the coops (some have chandeliers and art and multiple stories...), but we felt like we had an "every mans coop".  It is not that big and shows that having chickens is attainable for anyone.  Its how we made ourselves feel better, anyway.
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And the Coop Tour was so much fun.  We met so many fun people and so many friends came by.  We sat on the porch and listened to music and just hung out while people came and went.  Loved it.
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A few weeks before that, our family went to Abilene where ACU honored my dad for some money he donated to a new science building.
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He is such an incredible person and talked about his mom and his grandad who were also amazing people.  It was really such a moving event and I am so thankful to be apart of a family who is so generous with everything they have.  We also took selfies on the golf carts.
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We also had Carolines shower the same weekend as the Coop Tour.  (I am all over the place.  This is the most confusing blog post of all time.)
It was so much fun to be there to see them get so many wonderful gifts and meet some people that I  hadn't met before.  SO excited for these almost newly weds!
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Theres also been swinging and screen printing with Lins-where we have literally not ever had as much fun.  Except while making up our own lyrics to muppet songs.  Oh and (very little) cooking and (a lot of) crawfish.  We are off to a pretty good start with May over here.
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And the mason jars that dont go in at the top! I mean, why are they so much cuter?  I dont know.  But now I want some and I thought I was over mason jars.  You're welcome for that incredible peak into my brain.
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Also tons and tons of reading.  Shea loves it, Ben is learning a little slower than some, and sass and aves cant put a book down.  It is been a struggle in some areas, but in others it is literally the best thing ever.  Avery doesn't want to go anywhere without her book.  And really, neither does Shea.  And I think Ben is getting back there.  Not to go into too much, but I hope at least his love for it is coming back after some confidence has been lost in the learning process.  And he is definitely improving.
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And looking good doing it, too.
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