So, I’m not an advocate of social media. I think it’s a HUGE time-waster and you always have the “I wish I hadn’t seen/read that” experience. Having said that, I checked out pinterest after recommendations from multiple friends and found-I LOVE it!!!! I love the pretty pictures and great recipes and have had lots of inspiring ideas for decorating, etc. It still has it downfalls. (like a semi-nude celebrity on it’s home page the other day, which I reported!) I also don’t pin stuff and I’m not into adding friends and all that junk. But still…great ideas!

Fall wreath-thank you pinterest! Took me 30 min and I love it!

Fall leaf lit mason jars-another thank you!


I’m not going to stop looking on pinterest and I’m grateful for categorized ideas all in one place. But my life is not going to revolve around it-a.k.a. Facebook-style!


One Saturday, the girls wanted to use the play makeup and have some fun. Kevin was feeling very left out, so I told him this ONE time he could let the girls do his makeup. Of course, then someone wanted to do my makeup too (Annika!).

Here is the very lovely result:

Aren’t we gorgeous?

Annika’s First Day of Preschool!

Annika was thrilled to start her first day of school the day after Labor Day. She got ready incredibly fast on the morning of the first school day. I didn’t have to prod or poke or nag and BOOM! She was ready! She picked out her outfit all by herself and requested pigtails for the big day:

Posing, as always!

Ahhhh! I’m so excited! Can we go yet?!

Me: Annika, do you want me to walk you to where the bus picks you up?

Annika: No, I’m fine. Bye, Mom! Big smiles, hugs and kisses and then the three kids walked across the parking lot, hand in hand, just like the picture-to the bus pick up spot! She’s too old for her age!

But aren’t they sweet!?

I don’t have a photo from when Annika came home, but she took at least 15 min to tell me every minute detail of her day with great enthusiasm and hasn’t stopped loving it ever since!

First Day of School

The 1st-5th grade kids started school a week earlier than the preschool/kindergarteners this year. Annika wasn’t so thrilled with this plan, but she and I had a fun-filled week before she went to school.

Kevin picked out his shirt (and it was on sale!)

Being a goofball as usual

Laughing at himself!


Working the sock bun (you cut off the toe of a sock and roll the sock up like a donut an then roll her hair around it! )



We’ve only camped twice this summer, which I guess is once better than last year. Though it’s still kind of pathetic for people who love camping and practically live next to a gazillion good camping places. Oh well..

We kept planning to go, but the weather was not cooperating. One Friday we said to heck with it and went anyway! Our camping place was about 75 min away, unknown to us, but looked pretty online. We got there only to discover that it’s also a giant pasture to lots of grazing cows! Interesting feat with two dogs who’ve never seen cows up close. We managed though. Eventually the chasing of the cows got less exciting. (notice I didn’t say NOT exciting….just less. As in, if you bribe me with a piece of beef jerky, I’ll stick around instead of chasing them)

Ammon’s yummy tinfoil dinners were on the menu, with lots of s’mores and watching the sunset over the lake. Only after climbing trees and getting a soccer ball and oneself completely muddy (ahem, Kevin). This camping trip was also the first time the kids had really let us stay up after they were in bed so we could chat. Ammon and I sat by the fire and did some star gazing and lots of chatting and thoroughly enjoying our grown-up time.


A different kind of monkey

Brave Tasha Monkey

Helping Daddy with the fire

S’mores with the sunset


Pooches enjoying the wilderness


The next day, we took a hike around the lake, played fetch with the doggies in the water and just generally relaxed. It was lovely!


The kids were hilarious! Kevin REALLY wanted to go fishing, but we didn’t have any fishing stuff. So, he put a piece of marshmallow on a stick and sat here on this rock, waiting patiently. (until the marshmallow dissolved and floated off the stick!)

I like this pic from under the tent canopy

My little poser at it again!

I couldn’t decide which one I liked better!

Ammon doing his best Annika impersonation!


Rocky’s Girlfriend

Almost a month ago, we welcomed Kar-kar (Karen IV is her real name, but that’s just silly) into our home. She’s a service dog in training for Canine Companions for Independence. She’ll be with us for 6 months in which time we need to train her and work on exposing her to numerous different places and situations so she can learn to be a good service doggie in those said places.

Though, we’ve known her for 7 months and played with her a bunch, she was different when she came to live with us and at first we weren’t sure she was our kind of dog. She didn’t care much for attention and never got very excited to see us. But….we discovered it was simply an adjustment period. She now greets us with great joy and body wagging and eats up the attention whenever we give it to her. She’s been to all kinds of stores, the library, a church activity, camping and lots of car rides. Tomorrow she’ll come to a parade and rodeo with us!

Here she is:

Passed out after a long walk

Willingly subjecting herself to kid torture

Hoping the dinner I’m making in the kitchen is for them

Annika was very happy to pose for this picture in her new sweater tee-cardi.

I love that Kar-kar just so happened to be yawning when Annika made this face! It looks like they’re mimicking each other!


I was looking for some creative school lunch ideas and came across this on a blog.

The kids thought I was THE coolest Mom ever! And they ate everything in there. Now, this isn’t something I’d send for lunch to school, ’cause it would get all messed up, but it was fun for a change at home. I was wondering what to with those ice cube trays I never use!

Furry Friends

We’re lucky to have lots of cute, furry friends to keep us entertained around here….chipmunks, big bunnies hopping around, wild turkeys, etc:

Sweet little doe taking a rest under our tree

Spooky the cat loving on Rocky…whenever he hears Rocky walk outside, he comes barreling a million miles an hour from wherever he is to snuggle with his big, black giant friend. Rocky likes it too.

Rocky’s not even paying attention to him, but Spooky doesn’t care. He just LOVES Rocky.