Summer Projects


Last winter, the kids and I went to a silent auction in town. One of our middle school students was facing a major medical condition and the community rallied around them in support. 

We bid on horseback riding which we did last August, and a 3-pack of model cars. This week, Garth got them out to tackle one and Calder loves the focused work and special time with his Dad!! 

I’m also happy to report that our student has seen a full recovery and is doing very well!! 

Gratitude ~ Day 11

Last night, the kids were enjoying a leisurely dinner long after G and I were done and feeling ready to crash for the night.  I wrote out the 5 jobs they needed to accomplish (choose clothes, go potty, brush teeth, pack lunch, put on PJs) and let them know that we would be on the couch ready for books when they were finished.

On one hand, I felt a little bad because they were left to their own devices.  On the other hand, I think it was really good for them.  It was early enough that we could let them dawdle and take their time, and our only reminder was, “Are you done with all the jobs on the list?”  Plus, Garth and I got to snuggle and I even dozed off for a bit while he played on his iPad.

The next morning, I found these adorable notes!  The English teacher in me, is pleased as punch that Calder is picking up the genre of the lunch note (date in upper corner, name, note signed XOXO!).  It makes it worth printing, cutting, and writing little notes in their lunchbox TOTALLY worthwhile!  I also LOVE that he opted for the word “grand” which is totally like him!

Seneca’s note was COMPLETELY done on her own as well!  I will say it was the source of a bit of morning drama as Calder was displeased with the numbers along the top, which she tried to scribble out, which them caused frustration because it was “scribbly” – but all those complaints aside, I love that they are discovering words and language and expression.


I might seem that this is plenty of gratitude for one day, and yet for me it’s just the beginning.  Today, I was able to travel with five fabulous ladies to spend the day at IKEA, where the laughter was as plentiful as the deals on a few great finds including a few Christmas gifts!  To top it off, we returned just in time to collect kids from school.  Upon arriving home, they persuaded me to retrieve their snowgear from the attic and they spent the better part of an hour playing the “snow” that had fallen in the backyard!

While they played, I worked to surprise Garth with homemade lasagna now that I have the correct version of the recipe he has come to know and love!  The timing was impeccable (which is unusual for me!).  We were ready to eat, just as Garth arrived home from his first middle school basketball game.  It was a delicious end to a fabulous day!


Gratitude ~ Day 9

Today, I’m doubly grateful!  I got the brilliant idea to clean our carpets this week and yesterday, my mom came over to lend a hand.  The process was rather simple, once I got the hang of how the machine worked.  Many refills and emptied buckets of unsightly filth that had been camping out in our carpet later and things looked pretty good.  I finished up about 25 minutes before she arrived home from collecting the kids at school!

Anyone who’s ever cleaned carpets will know that they were still very wet, which meant that we were camped out in our kitchen where we had the dining table pushed to one side to accommodate the temporary addition of the loveseat!  It made for comfy cuddling, but it wasn’t the greatest plan for the entire evening.

With Garth still at practice and Grandma headed home, the kids and I ventured outside to give Carbon some much-needed exercise.  That led to finishing the scavenger hunt we had started earlier in the week, which led to attempting to build a fire in the pit to burn up the last of the old sticks and logs.  We collected whatever paper products we could find (in the kitchen since our paper recycling was off-limits in the laundry room).  We finished off the butane torches from the kitchen and attempted a few matches.  We had some great flames of paper, but nothing would catch that wood on fire.

Finally, with tears and requests for a warm bed, we headed inside to clean up.  That got us nice and warm.  We ate a quick bite in the kitchen and around 7:00, all four of us tiptoed our way across the damp expanse of the living and stairs into our bedroom (thank goodness I didn’t clean every carpet in the house!).  Piled onto the bed, we read a couple chapters of One Dog and His Boy while Seneca promptly fell asleep in my arms (I guess there was some truth behind her plea for bed!).

Everyone settled in, Seneca on a makeshift bed of pillows on the floor, and Calder on the antique couch I’ve had since I found it for my college dorm room.  We were all sleeping soundly quite early.  A few times, Carbon needed to go outside, and at one point, Seneca climbed in with us.  Around 4:00, Calder came over and climbed in as well, at which point Garth took up his position on the couch, leaving me and the kids in our queen bed.

Today, I’m thankful for this house we’ve made a home.  For clean carpets that force us to spend a little more time in closer quarters, and most of all for the amazing man I married.  His love and kindness knows no bounds and his selflessness is beyond measure.


~ Wordless Wednesday – Snow Day ~

If memory serves me correctly, our only other snow day this year also fell on a Wednesday.  Then too, I took full advantage of the time to make some super fun holiday treats.  While I’ve yet to photograph them, today too was spent creating some lovey-dovey Valentine’s confections.  My favorite of which is the super pepperminty popcorn, though I think the kids are going to like the cookies better.  I’ll try to get pictures up soon!

Garth’s been a busy fella keeping us shoveled out, though we have zero intentions of leaving the house today!  We got a good 14 inches of snow since yesterday morning.  The craziest thing is that just MONDAY, knowing the weather was imminent, I opted to push naptime back and go for a couple mile run with the kids in the jogger.  Bundled in snowgear and strapped into the jogger, we enjoyed the bright sunshine and the near 40-degree weather.  We had green grass with odd banks of snow here and there.  Today…well, it’s a much different story…but one we’re enjoying nonetheless.  Today’s gift was even better considering we knew about it last night, so we actually got the chance to sleep in until nearly 7:30!!

Oops!  I just realized this was supposed to be a wordLESS post!  Guess I’m more into Wordful Wednesday today! 🙂  Now, for the pics!

See the grassy spots?!
Pre-Snow 2

These are shots from yesterday afternoon – the kids haven’t made it out yet today, though I’m sure they will!
Snow 1

Snow 2

Snow 3

Snow 4

Snow 5

Snow 6

What’s better than coming inside for nice hot cocoa?!
Cocoa 1

Cocoa 2

Cocoa 3

Cocoa 4

Check out more Wordless (or Wordful) Wednesday!