Photo Friday

Hey, hey, it’s Photo Friday! I know it’s been a quiet summer here on the blog. I’m working on sorting and editing photos so I can at least get those up before the end of the summer. The kids will soon be back in school, and I’ll have time to write! We’ll just keep loving on summer until then. I hope you’re having an awesome summer, too!

Photo Friday Collage




The Twins Beat the Yankees!

And we were there to see it! I asked Ella what she wanted to do with Daddy on Father’s Day this year. She thought for only a moment before exclaiming, “Let’s take him to a baseball game!” So that’s exactly what we did.


The Twins happened to be playing in Minnesota on Father’s Day. And they were scheduled to play the NY Yankees. Such a legendary team. I’ve wanted to see them play for a long time, though I assumed it meant the Twins would not be winning the game. (Sorry, Twins, I have to be honest. But you proved me wrong!) The game turned out to be very exciting – and we won!


We sat way up high in a family section and had an incredible view. Also, we were in the shade for the entire game. It was such a hot day, had we not been in the shade, we certainly would not have made it to the end.


Sam sat in his seat for nearly the entire nine innings! I had thought he might get antsy or bored after a while, but he loved all the activity. However, we did have to block a few items he tried to throw over the railing.


This kid. He’s so much fun.


After the game, we got to run the bases! We waited our turn and ran from base to base, Sam giggling the whole time on Pete’s back. Such a fun memory!


We sure do love our Daddy. Happy Father’s Day, Pete!





This is Summer!

We love us some summa’ time!

At the very end of Ella’s school year, she went on the annual Park Point hike with her school. My friend was along on the hike and sent me this photo. I just love it.


This girl and her style.


Since he now knows how to blow, he’s been loving the dandelions.


A visit to Grandma & Grandpa’s to play with cousins!


Ah, my hometown water tower. The bobber.


My sister and I took our girls to Dru’s Park in the middle of town. Dru was a beautiful young woman I sat beside in choir and was on student council with in high school. Her life ended tragically when we were in college, but we remember her here. IMG_8441

S’mores with Grandma and Grandpa. A favorite, or course!


And hugs with the cousins.


Luke & Hannah got a puppy! Ella and Sam are completely in love with little Bailey. Though she won’t be little much longer!


Sure do love our Hannah!


This is the first summer in our current house, and we were wonderfully surprised to find lots of lilac bushes next to us. Ella took it upon herself to gather jars of them for our table and to deliver to the neighbors.


Summer simply cannot exist without ice cream. It’s a fact.


I’ve taken the kids up to Gooseberry State Park multiple times in the last two months. It’s a quiet hour or so up the shore from us, so the kids watch a movie while I listen to an audio book. Then we have a picnic and hike to the falls. God’s creation is absolutely breathtaking.


Sam is always enthralled by the water.


One of the things we’ve most been looking forward to this summer has been Ella’s lemonade stand. She worked on various jobs throughout the winter so she could have enough money to buy supplies to start her little business. We live on a great road for a stand this summer. We hope to be out many more days as the summer progresses.


It was pretty exciting to have a sweet friend stop by for a cold cup of lemonade!


And Ella voted Pastor Michael as the coolest customer of her first day. A clear winner, indeed!


We’ve really just begun summer here in Duluth, so we’re looking forward to many more adventures! What are you most looking forward to this summer?





Today I’ve Decided to Become a Domestic Goddess

Ok, maybe goddess is a bit much, but seriously! I woke up this morning and decided I want to be a domestic … we need a better word … a domestic … Well, let’s be honest. Even if I said I want to be a domestic woman it would likely be an improvement on how I feel most days. Housework is not my forte. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it. I do! When I can have a morning to pull out my rags and cleaners and make my house sparkle, I am so pleased.


evidence that I cleaned my house today

The problem arises simply because I just can’t stay on top of the mess! Moms of littles, can I get an amen? I adore my kids but they can pull apart a room so fast, they would surely medal if it was an Olympic event. Also, Sam has this thing that we are having the hardest time getting around. As soon as he’s finished with his plate, bowl, or cup, he whips it off the table. We sit nearby trying to stop such actions, but he is seriously so, so fast. And he doesn’t always do it in the same direction, so we attempt to predict where it will be rocketed. Sam typically wins this game. As a result, the floor and wall and radiator next to his seat are usually a sticky mess. Where can I get a disposable floor?

Then there’s laundry. Don’t even get me started. Or do, maybe, just so I can document how horrible I am at this never-ending task. Oh. My. Goodness. Why is it so hard to successfully complete a few loads from start to finish? I know why. Too many steps.

Step One: Gather all soiled clothing. Check under beds, in toy bins, and in all random nooks & crannies.

Step Two: Sort gathered clothing. Don’t mix whites with colors. And if at all possible, sort into strategic, themed piles. For example: kids’ clothes, towels, sheets, dress shirts, scrubs, etc. Makes folding easier. (If, in fact, we make it that far.)

Step Three: Begin the wash/dry cycle. If all loads are to be washed in a timely manner, be sure to set a timer. Without a timer, all hope is lost. One will inevitably get pulled into another task and completely forget about the wet clothes in the machine. This will most likely result in the need to run them through another wash cycle.

Step Four: Fold each load as it comes out of the dryer. Or, if small children are present, make a pile of clean clothes out of their reach and wait until nap time. If this is not done, every beautifully folded pile will be strewn across the room.

// Step Four A: This is often the place I get stuck. I realize I cannot devote time at that moment to folding, so the clean laundry stays in baskets where it is collected on a need-to-use basis. Each morning, dig through the necessary basket to find clean underwear, matching socks, and a wrinkled shirt. Note: This does require more time in the long run and is usually accompanied by the hurried stress of needing a piece of clothing that can’t quite be found in the piles and piles of (clean!) laundry. In the case of Step Four A, laundry will go from clean basket to being worn to dirty basket. Or, as is often the case in our house, the two piles will eventually collide and all clothing will need to be washed since we no longer know what is clean and what is dirty. //

Step Five: Put all clean, folded laundry away. Even in a house as small as ours, this is a task. Actually, maybe it’s such a task due to our lack of space to store our clothes. Pete and I share one small dresser and a foot-and-a-half of closet hanging space. (Not an exaggeration. You’re welcome to measure my closet.) If all of our clothes are clean at a single moment, it’s a bit like putting together a puzzle to get them all in the drawers together.


During Sam’s nap. Nice & tidy.

If ever there is a day I successfully complete all above steps in a timely fashion, I rejoice. REJOICE. And yes, I take pictures. I feel I must, just in case it never happens again. I need evidence that there was a time when I did actually finish all the laundry from start to finish. Because we all know what happens next. Someone comes in during the wee hours of the morning asking if their white dress shirt or polka dot leggings are clean and the entire process starts all over. Oh, laundry. You will be the end of me.

Still, on top of all the laundry shenanigans, I am committed to learning how to keep my house on the cleaner side. I want to live in a place where I hold no fear of someone dropping by unannounced and finding my house an utter disaster. On the other end of the scale, let it be known that I don’t feel the need to keep my house perfectly tidy at all times. One, I don’t have the energy for that. And two, that’s not real life, people. Friends, you are welcome any time. Just know that I may be closing some doors to hide a pile or two. When I do, just look the other way. I promise to do the same when I visit your home. 😉


I set the box by the door to take to small group. My mistake.

I am currently reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker, which if full of all these amazing recipes and dinner ideas, and it makes me want to cook. Cleaning, cooking, and laundry. I’m totally going to do this. Watch out, Pete, you won’t even recognize this house when you get home tomorrow. Prepare yourself, for I am a domestic goddess. (well, something like that anyway)

Update: I just realized that, while writing this post, Sam has completely emptied my bedside table. I thought the door was closed and he was playing in his room. I was wrong.


Disclaimer: I recommend the book only because I’m so enjoying it. I have not been compensate for that thought in any way.

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