8/22/16

Barstad First day of School 2016

We missed meet the teacher and the home visit, but at least we all got up together, ate a healthy breakfast and had most of our school supplies on time.  And found our classes.
5th and 3rd grade here we come!
(Well, and the playground.)

Andddd the rest of our trip with Kai

 She looks scared, but I promise she loved us!

Ben found a snake in the hot tub and it loved him.  She let him hold her and he was in heaven.
 The next day when we found her we actually saw her give birth to two live snakes.  It really was so unbelievable.  He and I were the only ones out there and we were just in awe.  We ran to get everyone else once we realized what all was happening and we could all not get over it!




We went and fed the ducks while Ben fished and Kai loved all the animals!  And Shea was always concerned with how hydrated Kai was.  You can never be too careful in altitude ;) 
 Family walk that was actually super short, but since we are out of shape so bad we ended it with lunch.

Ben caught four fish and jeff cooked them and they ate his fish for dinner.  ("Were having fish tonight!!") They have gotten so good at new recipes and making all kinds of fish that they catch. 
 Then we went to the Bettners and explored their backyard and all of sundance.
Saying it is gorgeous is an understatement. 

Perfect ending to the summer.

8/17/16

Cheers to a Dozen Years

We went to Utah with my parents and Kai over the weekend, and on the 14th Jeff and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary.
I have no idea how that is possible.
You get married and start having kids and then all of a sudden you have less time left with them at home than you have had with them so far.
It just blows my mind.
 And sometimes when I should be feeling so happy and grateful, am actually feeling l like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
This life that I have with this husband who loves and supports me and drives me crazy, and these healthy, beautiful, unique, and fun kids, and parents, and brothers, and family, and friends, and church and school friends.  I can not ever be grateful enough.
I dont want to keep living in fear and waiting for all of this to blow up.
I want to be grateful.  SO grateful- and peaceful and overflowing with thankfulness.


It is not always easy for me because I carry a lot of guilt about how much I have been given.  And I am learning to let go of that guilt and just trust that God is using me and has me here in this place for a reason.  Even if it is the best place in the world and I dont understand why everyone cant have this same life that I am so undeserving of. 
 I dont want to give the wrong impression- it's not all rainbows and sunshine over here.  We have hard times and depression and struggles, but there are truly no other people I would rather be going through all of this with.
And it seems like I am reminded more and more often of how very fleeting this life is, and how little time I have with everyone who I love.

I hope they all know how much I value them and how grateful I am to be in their lives.


And I hope God knows how incredibly grateful I am for the life He gave me.





Here's to dozens of years more.  And may my attitude of gratefulness and thankfulness grow more and more as each year passes.

8/15/16

First Day of School!

This is one of my favorite traditions that Bob does with the girls! He takes them to get their nails done the night before school starts. Best part is that he joins in on the spa fun too! They have yet to talk him into an actual color but I have no doubt one day he will walk out with matching zebra print on his nails:)

Ella reading The Night Before Kindergarten to sweet McKenna.
I can't believe I have two full time students this year! McKenna is starting Kindergarten and Ella Second grade. I love these sisters so so much! 

Since they missed the first two days being at family camp, we rocked the 3rd day of school just like it was the first! The traditional first day of school apple and caramel dip treat. Super easy and so yummy! Mix 10oz of caramel with 8oz of cream cheese. Put it in a mason jar, top with a layer of plain caramel and then sprinkle it with toffee bits. 
First day of school breakfast. The girls requested pink chocolate chip pancakes, sausage rolls and their favorite cereal. The first day is about the only day of the year that we all wake up to our alarm clocks the first go around. It's downhill from there. 

Both girls had a great first day and love their new teachers! 

Sweet McKenna did have an accident on her first day and it just broke my heart. (and made me laugh to the point of tears.) I'm that mom that giggles in moments where laughter probably isn't the best response. 
When I went to pick her up the office pulled me aside to let me know that she had peed in her pants. I was shocked because McKenna has never really had an accident. They said that she was at her desk and didn't say anything but the teacher saw and took care of it without the class all knowing. The sweet receptionist took McKenna to the nurse to get her a change of clothes. McKenna is so tiny that her uniform skirts have to be altered. They didn't have any skirts that fit her, all they had was a pair of boy uniform shorts that were a 3T. They told me that McKenna looked at them and just shook her head no. She was not going to wear them. They found a pair of princess panties that somehow made her ok with the boy shorts so she put them on. She rocked them! She looked absolutely adorable in them! I wasn't sure how she was going to be when I picked her up but the very first thing she said to me was "well...I had an accident today!" She had the best attitude about it and didn't let it get her down. I was so proud of her and like to think that my occasional pee in my pants from laughing so hard has prepared her for moments like this in life. 
So proud of my girls and so excited for this school year!

8/9/16

Tie Dying Pillows (again.)

I am not an artist.
I wish I was.
I am creative.  I will give myself that. I like to create things. They do not all turn into things that are worth keeping, but I do like to make them.
I feel like the term "maker" is kind of new, and I like it.  I dont know how long its been around, but I like referring to myself as a maker.
I like to make.
I love to use my hands to create something. I dont know what it is about making something with your hands that is so appealing, but I know that it is more satisfying than I can put into words.
And I need it.
If I dont make something, I get depressed.
Or if I happen to be depressed, it will bring me out of it and fill me with so much joy.
I am so thankful that all of my kids are this same way.  They enjoy creating and they do it all differently.  Sawyer loves having directions and rules and then making it within those parameters.  Ben creates from any random object around him and makes things so beautiful that he puts together.  He can see things that no one else sees.
Avery creates with words and scenes and drama.  She doesn't need tangible things to make- she can make with her mind and her imagination.  And she can also draw and is very good at it.
Shea likes to draw and paint and build.  She creates worlds for her babies and safe places for them.  She loves on them and creates things that happen to them.
Jeff also loves to make and create.  He is very gifted at it.  He can make music and art and draw and build and sew and-all of it.  He has so many skills.  He can make pretty much anything he wants.
All that to say, the other day I saw this tutorial to tie dye pillows and it was so much fun.  Sass helped me and it was just a few steps but it was a blast.  It just took the afternoon and we had these beautiful fun pillows.
Then I did a million dish rags and blankets and now I want to do banners to print on.
I cant stop.  But it is so much fun.


I found the tutorial on A Place of My Taste and she just made everything so easy.
I also googled a million shibori tie dye methods and it was so inspiring to see how artistic everyone is with their tie dye.  The secret it in the prep, I found.  
So theres really nothing to this post except that I think I had forgotten how fun and life bringing it is to make things and I just dont want to forget.
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