Goodbye wallpaper!

I’ve been slow to get back to house projects, but I knew that eventually I would get there. While James worked more on our raised bed, I was getting tired of the kitchen and its clutter and the half gone wallpaper patches. So, I started scraping wallpaper again! I’m focusing on the eating area for now, though I did clean up the backsplash area between the stove and sink as well. It’s the first room you see when you walk in and it is need of some real color!

Let’s take a look!

I’ve got a little ways to go, but I’ve figured out a really fast way to get it off, which is a happy byproduct of diy-ing! All the wallpaper should be gone by next week and then the painting can begin! The vinyl banquette seating should be replaced as well and eventually we’ll get a new light fixture for this space as well (I have my eye on an inexpensive Ikea one!). For now though, some fresh paint will spruce up this area quite a bit and I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the kitchen!


Spring Break!

We’ve been taking care of things at home – checking our April budget, cleaning gutters, sleeping in (until 7am, it’s glorious!), reorganizing rooms, pulling wallpaper in the kitchen and most lately – getting the yard ready for what we’re planting this year!

I leveled and started to plan out the small side (where the mailbox used to be) since at the end of April, we’ll receive our hydrangeas! James hit Menards and bought some cinderblocks and began leveling and laying those out – check it out!


Tomorrow is supposed to rain alot and then Friday we’ll be gone, but this weekend! We’ll be able to get some stuff done over the weekend for sure! Happy Hump Day!


Whenever we arrive at Alice’s house or they come here, it’s a flurry of greetings and then all the kids disappear…’s awesome! We try and take turns with our visits, to equally distribute the traveling and it works out really well. I forgot to take any pictures until the girls decided to climb a tree. They use a stepstool….it was kind of cool!

Today we’re just going to lay low and get the house cleaned up and in order. Whew!

Happy Easter!

We had a lovely Easter today! We got dressed up in our duds and headed to D’Andrea banquet hall for a yummy brunch (though Conrad kept calling it munch) and then hit the market nearby and then home to lay low and watch a movie. I didn’t manage to get pictures before we left for brunch, but I sure got an awesome photo session after! The kids really hammed it up (ostensibly since our infamous Christmas shoot….) and went through an emotional gamut without any initial prompts from me!

We’re taking a break from tv this week – except for when we will watch a movie as a family – and so far it’s going great! We’re also visiting lots of people this week! Tomorrow sees us heading to Wisconsin to visit some of our favorite people, Wednesday sees us going for a day hike to get out and enjoy the spring air, and Friday sees us visiting Evanson and my Mom! Yesterday, the kids visited Halmoni and Gohmo, today we spent Easter brunch with my Dad and Pat – we’re on fire!

We’re also rearranging the playroom since the kids are getting older and we don’t find that they necessarily need an entire room dedicated to their play. When guests are here, the kids all disappear upstairs anyways, and the kids spread out when it’s just the two of them, so we are making some changes and I’ll be posting those pics soon!

Happy Easter!

It’s almost Easter

I keep forgetting that Easter is happening on Sunday….I think it’s because once the holidays are over, we get a mini breather, followed by almost 6 weeks of birthday celebrations and I’m just really worn out, so it totally falls off my radar. We’ll do an egg hunt and baskets, though we’ll keep the baskets really small this year. We’re doing that for a few reasons: our kids have a serious case of the ‘I wants’ and it’s driving me INSANE. My solution is to give them less stuff, take away stuff they aren’t even using and give them more chores. My other solution is to change the focus and do things instead of buy things….so we’ll be visiting people over break and planting some veggie seeds and wandering around and going for a day hike. Simple things.

We are going to brunch this year and I realized that the kids needed something nice to wear! We seldom ever dress up, so for a hot minute I panicked and then I remembered that we have been blessed with LOTS of hand me downs, so Nat has 5 very fancy spring dresses to choose from and Conrad has about 6 sweater vest combinations to choose from (well I get to choose his outfit, haha). So done and done! I’ll be sure and take pictures so that everyone can see just how cute they look.

James is off this week, so we’re hoping to tackle some things – like building one raised vegetable bed! We have seeds waiting for us…and the kids are anxious to get planting! I’ll also need to measure our yard and get a few planting beds ready for our plant shipments. Fun stuff!

Here is the front and a little concert

Natalie had her very first school concert on Tuesday night and she was very excited! Until she wasn’t…..the very first thing she said to me when I picked her up from school on Tuesday afternoon, was that she didn’t want to go to her concert. We talked about it on the way home and we talked about it some more at home. There have been many times when Nat hasn’t wanted to do something and we’ve nudged her to do it and it’s turned out ok, but only because we can tell that she’ll be ok. This seemed different, she genuinely didn’t want to go. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal – there will be plenty of other concerts throughout her school years, so we’re not super anything about it. The kids played outside for hours yesterday, they hit the school playground for a little while and played in the yard even more. She was happy as happy can be. She did mention, during her bath, that she was sad that she missed her concert. My follow up question was, ‘well, do you wish you would have gone?’ Her answer was an immediate no, she was still glad she didn’t go. So, while a lot of times we are merely doing our best guesswork as far as parenting goes, this one seemed to have worked out for the best.

Once she was all settled in her room for goodnight, she did let us know that she didn’t want to go to school tomorrow. James and I exchanged glances, wondering if this had something to do with missing the concert, but upon further examination, she told us that there is a test at school tomorrow and she was very nervous about making mistakes. I hugged her and told her that we don’t care how she does, that who is she is and will be is way more important than any test, period. We know that she is bright and capable and that mistakes are totally fine with us. She seemed reassured and even more so after James and she discussed it a bit further after I left her room. Just to be sure, I checked the school assessment calendar and there is no district testing going on (she seldom even mentions this, so I think they are doing an excellent job playing it down) and so she is just nervous about a class test. She is a perfectionist, so she does have a hard time and we’re working on this with her.

Rest assured, she was jolly this morning and happily sent off to school, haha. Natalie really enjoys school and we’re glad that she does and we genuinely love the staff there, they are all involved and invested, it’s really great. I do think though, that Nat does get overstimulated and overwhelmed sometimes from school and how loud it is and the general energy of the kids. This is why we don’t ‘do homework’, so that she has plenty of time to decompress and play and play and play. She is excelling at reading, and she can add and subtract 3 numbers in her head, so she’s really doing ok. It’s all just hard, isn’t it, haha.

Here is a final after for the house….before we then start using it as a ‘before’ when we plant our new stuff!