Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We are plotting and planning

we've had an AMAZING break so far. christmas was fabulous in storm lake. always so fun to spend time with the burbacks. every single time i am beyond thankful that i not only LOVE my in-laws, but i LIKE them. we laugh hard. we have a blast.
i barely got my camera out at all. i'll download pics a little later. i was just happy to enjoy our time together.
then my brother and his family arrive later this week. we will celebrate christmas and new years together over the weekend. SO looking forward to that as well!
paul had monday off from work. we did NOTHING. had a fire going. drank a bottle of wine and dreamed about 2012. we have been planning a vacation as soon as school gets out. and we got that all finalized yesterday! we are heading to the upper peninsula in michigan to kayak/bike/hike for a week!! and we are pumped!! we will be renting this house for the week...

it has been so fun to plan! i LOVE planning trips. seriously. i think i missed my calling as a travel agent. in the midst of all this planning, we realized we would have to bring along our kayaks and our bikes. we had purchased the kids an inflatable kayak for christmas, but still have 2 kayaks that we need to transport outside of the car. we found a kayak rack for the top of our car. we were kind of giggling about how we would look driving down the interstate with kayaks on top our car. and then we remembered we needed to purchase a bike rack for the back of the car. we hit up amazon and started looking. we found one for a very reasonable price and then died laughing when we looked at the photo....

for real. it's going to be hilarious. 2 kayaks on top and 5 bikes on back. a family of 5 PLUS a golden doodle inside. oh my word. one day i will miss this. i know i will. but for today, it was just hysterical. feeling so so blessed. truly. my cup is overflowing. and i cannot wait to take pictures of our own gear gracing the outside of our van this summer. it will be a blast.
(oh...and did i mention while we are in michigan, the dirks family will be just down the road from us? can you imagine THEIR car with a family of 7?? so fun! can't WAIT for this trip!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


She had a solo at our Christmas program at church today.
So sweet.
Brigg, Lani and Ayla were all in a little play as well.
And after that we rushed to a local nursing home so Lani and Brigg could play piano in a Christmas recital.
Here's a video of Lani singing...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011


have i really be absent that long? wow. that's forever.
i feel like i start every blog post out with a big "we have been BUSY".
but it's true. every time i say it, it is true.
and i am thankful.
because we have several kids who love to GO.
and a dog that loves to eat. and run. and chew tissues.
and i have a job that i LOVE.
and my husband has 2 jobs that he doesn't hate, too. :)
all really happy, good stuff.
so i am thankful for it all. bring it.

since i haven't updated in a while, i think i'll just give a quick run down.
paul is doing great. he is still working 2 jobs. mpw and home inspections. his home inspection business continues to grow. i have a love/hate relationship with this business. i love it because HE loves it. and he is GOOD at it. and it brings in a nice little extra income for us. but i hate it because it's all done outside of regular business hours. so i get a little up tight when he is gone ALL DAY LONG and then working on his computer all night long finishing up a report. we are working on getting some new software that might eliminate some of that extra time in the late night hours. but they call it moonlighting for a reason.

i am also doing great. busy busy at school. still so thankful that i got a job in the 5th grade. i don't think i could possibly do those younger grades. we had to show the puberty video the other day. that was great fun. something i didn't really think about when taking this position! good times indeed. we strategically planned it the last hour of the day on the day before thanksgiving break. we are smart. worked like a charm. haven't heard them speak a word about it since their return.
i love my students and my co-workers and my parents. i can't imagine walking away from this job. although i have days where i daydream of staying home with the kids again. then i remember that 2 of them are in school all day and ayla is a holy terror. :)
we are going to mexico in march!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
leah is getting married. i only have 2 personal days a year. i am taking them both for this trip. it will be a QUICK trip. leaving on an EARLY flight on a thursday and returning on an afternoon flight on that sunday. i wish it could be longer. but it will be so awesome to be in that beautiful place and watch leah and jeff tie the knot. SO FUN!! SO HAPPY for them! can't wait!!!!!

brigg is still taking piano lessons and playing basketball right now. oh...and his music teacher taught him how to play the recorder with his nose. true talent. :) she also taught him how to wash the recorder in the dishwasher. ha!
he is growing like crazy. when he stands in front of me i can rest my chin on the top of his head. wow. i'm dreading the day when he no longer wants to give me a kiss and hug goodbye in the morning and before bed. love him so much.

lani is doing horseback riding lessons and piano lessons. she loves them both. she is great at them both. i tear up every time i see her on that horse. for real. she is so happy in those moments. i'm so grateful she has found something she loves. as any mother would agree, i'm sure, it's so amazing to see your child happy and thriving.
she is doing great in school and her reading is finally taking off. she loves to read. and i honestly was very concerned about her reading for a long time. then suddenly it just clicked. so fun to witness.

ayla. oh ayla. this child is refining us every.single.day. by the time she leaves our home we will be THE most patient people on the planet. honestly. there will no others in existence who will have a greater amount of patience than we do. we will have had years and years and years of practice with her. :) she is hot or cold. and it can change with NO notice whatsoever. she dropped out of preschool. it was just too many changes all at once. and now she's fine. she is doing great at daycare. she never complains about going. but she is always ready for the weekend. she knows what it means when i tuck her in bed on thursday night and tell her "tomorrow is FRIDAY!" she loves the weekend and her time with all of us. oh...and she is so funny in the morning. INSISTS on kissing and hugging brigg and lani goodbye. it drives them crazy. but she won't let them out the door without it. cute.

willow is huge. and shaved. but honestly, that dog is getting SO GOOD. she's getting calmer by the day. but she still loves to find tissues and chew on them. i do not understand that. i think if you are not big dog people, golden doodles are the dog for you. we haven't done much in the way of training, but she is really pretty well-behaved for a dog of 1.5 years!

we are heading to storm lake for the holidays. i am really looking forward to our break together. one of the HUGE perks of teaching. i get all that time off with the kids over the holidays. makes me happy!! my christmas shopping is done for the most part. couple little things to pick up, but really not too much. thank you trusty online shopping. i love you.

and it's still not too late to pick up a stove for christmas. they have been FLYING off the shelves the past couple of days! so fun!

i'm off to play with brigg's christmas gift....a kindle. i've wanted one for years, but somehow my 10 year old is getting one before me. how does that happen??
happy weekend to all....