Sunday, June 24, 2018

K & K's Clubhouse

When Kate was around 1 and a half, we bought a used wooden swing set off of Craigslist. It was perfect - for a 1 year old.  Over the years both Kate and Karsten have loved it, but honestly, they've outgrown it. We kept saying that we would add on to the set, but never really got around to it. Sounds like life, huh?

Well, back in April I was on Facebook and saw someone in my hometown post an ad for a spiral slide for sale for $50.  They are usually hundreds and hundreds of dollars, so I quickly said that I wanted it without even talking to Kevin.  Clearly everyone else saw the value too because the lady told me I was like 10th in line and she'd only posted it 5 minutes earlier!

Anyway, long story short, she sent me a message the next morning and said that they had gotten tons of messages, with people saying that would pay way over the asking price, but since I was next on the list that I was welcome to come get it. Um, yes please.  So after church that morning, Kevin and I drove to pick this slide up.  And then that gave us (Kevin) the motivation to get the swing set addition rolling.

So without further ado, here is Kevin's masterpiece. Karsten has started calling it her Clubhouse.

This was all him.  I mean I helped hold things, and probably put in my opinion a little more than he wanted, but he came up with and basically built it all himself.  The girls are IN LOVE. 

Today after church, we added a little plastic kitchen set and I mean, their faces say it all. (Sorry for the blurry/dark iPhone pic.)

We got them changed out of their dresses and then it was back outside to play. 

Probably one of the best things about this is that the entire thing is in the shade pretty much all day long. I can see lots and lots of fun being had out here over the next few years. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day 2018

I don't often write blog posts about Kevin.  Usually this cyber space of mine is filled with little updates on the girls; their milestones, school progress, and development.  And of course, I give updates about our open adoptions and what those look like since let's be honest, that's probably why most of you are here reading in the first place.

Today is Father's Day though so I want to take a moment to share this guy.  He is my best friend. He's the one that encourages me and motivates me.  He knows that when I have problems, I don't usually want him to give me an answer; I just want him to listen.  He knows that candy is my love language, and he'll fill my snack drawer at work with kit-kats, twix and snickers every busy season. Hey - unless you are a tax accountant, don't judge!  He's my person and today is his day.

Kevin is hands down, the best Daddy ever for Kate and Karsten.  He is a provider for our family and takes care of us in more ways than we can count. He grew up having very little and so his mentality has always been a "do it myself" kind of mentality.  If there is something that he can do (or something that he can look on YouTube and figure out how to do), he will do it.  He is handy.  He will change the oil in our cars, rotate our tires, and do all kinds of car stuff that I know nothing about. He builds swing sets for our girls, tucks them into bed at night, and reads them stories. And the icing on the cake?  He knows how to fix BOTH of their hair in the morning. He's pretty great.  And we love him.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

First Grade Completed!

On Wednesday morning, I drug Kate out of bed for school for the last day of her first grade year. Nearly every school morning has been the same, so I'm pretty concerned at what the teenage years my hold!  It's not like she is a late sleeper, she just doesn't like to be woken up (but who really does??)

She specifically asked to wear a dress for her last day of school.  Love my girly girl!

In the past year, Kate has learned a crazy amount with her awesome teacher.  Her reading level just keeps going up, she loves math, but of course her favorite part of the day is recess!  They've done tons of science experiments and I often find myself riding with Kate in the car and hearing "Mom, did you know __________".  Up until this year, it was usually things that I DID know but lately, the kid knows more than me! 

What a difference a year makes! 

And on the very first day of summer break, Kate was up out of bed and watching TV before my alarm clock even went off.  Typical, huh?  Such is the life with kids.

Happy summer, y'all!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Favorites

I thought I'd do a quick catch-up of some of my favorite things that have been happening around our household in the last few weeks.

First up is the swing set addition.  For a while now, Kevin and I have said that we wanted to expand the swing set because Kate was sort of starting to outgrow it and we knew that Karsten would be in the same situation before too long. I found this purple tube slide on a Facebook buy/sell site for $50 and knew I couldn't pass it up! Because our weekends are always filled with activities (or laundry), we spent a few week nights and got most of the addition built. The girls love it so much! We still have to add a roof (and in this picture, the floor wasn't done yet). When we're finished, there will be sort of a clubhouse on the bottom and they will have a roof on the top.  We're determined to have kids that love to play outside. And even if they don't love it, at least they'll have somewhere to go when we tell them that they HAVE to play outside for a while.

FINALLY it is warm enough to start our after church tradition on Wednesday nights.  Last summer we started taking the girls to get ice cream after church on Wednesdays pretty often. We'll sometimes go to Dairy Queen or Sonic. These pictures weren't on a Wednesday night but just a random weeknight. We'd eaten dinner and Kate had already put on her PJ's to get ready for bed when we told them to go load up in the car. I think they approved.

I lead a women's small group Bible study that meets about 3 times per year.  We do 6-8 week studies and meet in the fall, winter and early summer on Mondays at 8pm. It is such a great time of fellowship. I'm so excited for our upcoming Bible study that starts next week! I can tell you, this is one that I definitely need. I mean just listen to the descriptive of the study: 

Women today are in bondage to busyness. One of the greatest challenges among women in our culture is taking time to cease from all the activities and just breathe. We constantly strive to complete the limitless to-do lists that hinder us from experiencing all that God has for us. This June we'll be starting a 6 week study by Priscilla Shirer called "Breathe" to explore how we can build margin into our lives for God. If you are weary, worn out, and exhausted, the concept of Sabbath will change your life.

Kevin and I are part of a small group for 20's and 30's.  We have been together for so long, this has actually turned into the "20's, 30's and then some" small group since some people have aged out!  Anyway, Kate caught a yucky stomach bug that had been going around and so she and I missed our last meeting before we break for the summer.  It was Mexican night (my favorite!) and thankfully our sweet friends sent home food for me so I didn't miss out!

Karsten has become the queen of excuses for getting out or bed at night.  You name it, she has used it.  On this night she said she needed some cuddles, so who am I to complain about that? I mean she isn't going to want them for too much longer so I better take them while I can and just ignore the fact that it was 10:30pm. 

Kate and Karsten will soon be wrapping up swim lessons for the year and yet again they have had a BLAST.  Here they are, ready for their 2nd to last lesson!

Ever have a song that just speaks to you every single time you hear it? This is one of those for me. I love it. 

Y'all.  Last Wednesday as we were leaving church, I got a taste of the teenage years. I looked over to see Kate (who is SIX), propped up against a car, talking to her friend Connor.  They are 4 months apart in age and go back and forth between being best friends, and fighting like cats/dogs. You'd think they were siblings.  

And that's just a taste of what's going on around here. Life is busy, but FULL in the best possible ways. And just THREE more days till summer break! Woohoo.


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