Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To the creek

Sometimes it is a challenge to get Liam out on the trail lately. He is just in that stage of life where most things need to be challenged and/or whined about. He loves riding his bike and he loves being outside and he loves this creek, but that does not matter. What matters is a good challenge to the mama. Unfortunately. 
Well, somehow I framed it just right and I said, hey let's go to the bridge and play at the creek! No challenge! phew! I got the boy's bikes, the stroller and I got geared up to do a mild run. It was great! All did well and we continued our beloved time outside while the weather is still in the late 50's low 60's. So nice!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Accotink Trail

After all the busy-ness of our Saturday running errands and moving couches around we needed some outside time. It was warm and why not get out! So we drove up to Accotink Lake and decided to go on a little walk. We enjoyed the weather, talking and seeing the kids scamper around until we realized that our little walk turned into a walk around the lake! We just reached a point where turning around was almost as far as finishing, so why not!? Nearly four miles those boys walked!! I was super impressed by Ezra's endurance and determination to keep up with Liam. His little legs walked the most!
We had a great time and even made it back to our car before it was dark. Boy, was everyone tired! But not fall apart tired, but tuckered out! We made up some hamburgers and milkshakes at home as a "Way to go kids" and then we stuffed them all in bed! Saturday Success!

 Check out the snow drop flowers already coming out! Punxatawney Phil was wrong this year! Spring came early!

Taco Couch

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have had a friend in China that was getting rid of their couches for their move back to America. We needed some couches and these looked fine enough and would save us time searching for some decent second hand couches and, obviously, save us some money too. 
The thing is, after a short time we easily decided we hated these couches. Ben and I have debated selling them for a low price on craigslist, building a new couch, donating them to charity, leaving them on the side of the road.... and after every serious debate we just decide to keep them. You see, we are the third or fourth owners of these couches, and although they have been well kept, considering that fact, they are still taco-y. Yes, Taco-y. Anyone sits on this couch and the couch caves into them and sucks them down into an abyss of cushion and backaches. The support of the couch base is shot. It became an attraction in our house. We would invite people over and our kids would say- you want to see our taco couch!? Good thing I'm not easily embarrassed.

What was the last straw? What was it that got me to finally get rid of them? Deciding that my home would be better if there was less malice in it. I just couldn't stand looking at those couches anymore! So I put them up on Craigslist for free and before the next day I had about 10 requests for them. I did not list it as a taco couch, maybe not super honest. But hey, it was free and they got it out of my house for free!

As the day of the pick up came nearby I looked at craigslist again and I saw this couch for sale for $30. Yes! Ben couldn't figure out why I would buy a new couch in our last 5 months here. Let's just go without and use our armchair and Love Sac bean bag, he said. But then we both decided a cuddle couch for reading with the kids would be nice. So I bought a cover at Ikea for the couch (it was missing the $30 cover as the model requires) and here we are.

I am so much happier looking at this couch and guess what? No taco-ing of the couch! I would rather have tacos in my mouth than be stuck in a taco any day.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Jumping in Awesomeville

Our Friday Fieldtrip was to Flight Trampoline Park with our buddies. We love that place and our buddies gave Ezra a gift certificate there for his birthday! We thought it only right to go with them! We had a blast and all were good and tired when we left :).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

In the Sewing Zone

I was looking for some girly girl dress ups online and didn't find what I wanted. Too much pastey pink. There were some cute dress up skirts I saw from "Melissa and Doug brand," but I thought- hey I sew and I have those remnants I bought last October! So I pulled them the fabric and did some quick stitches and bada bing. Shiny, poofy dress ups for my girl! She immediately became the princess in the game they were playing and she was a great rough and tumble princess indeed :).

 A dear friend made this little apron for Mila and gave it to me at my baby shower. I love it so much! Ezra has been extra eager to help in the kitchen lately and he wears his apron I made him for Christmas often. So Mila wears hers, but it didn't cover her shirt at all, so I added a top part! I think it works!
 Finally, we needed another eating apron for Mila. Eating aprons (covers more than a bib) get messy and need replacing eventually and we are getting to that point. So here we go! I love when my kids will play in our stack of pillows and blankets in the basement and let me sew a while. It can last up to two hours sometimes and I relish in it! It is good for them to see a Mama who creates, so that they can have an example to do it themselves. Creating things makes me so happy, I hope they find happiness in creating too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Dress

I bought the fabric for this dress in the summer time and had plans for this dress. The problem was that the dress pattern I had was one that needed to be drafted and the instructions were in Russian. That was a bit intimidating. So it sat. Then I found a free shirt pattern with the same style up top and I knew I could do it! So I got my pretty purple fabric and I set to work! A few hours later I had this dress! I planned on wearing it for our little family valentines dinner, but I couldn't finish it and make dinner in time, so I wore it after dinner. :) 
 Ben got me such pretty flowers this year. He knows I don't mind roses, but I like other flowers better. Iris's and tulips in a lovely color combo were a great choice. Love that Ben!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Infamous Box!

Nana and Papa love to do holiday plates for the kids. I love getting to pull out festive dishes for just about every holiday! This year we got a box filled with tons of paper hearts with loves notes! We got popcorn and super cute heart shaped bowls to put them in! Everyone loves these gift boxes from Nana and Papa! We love you Nana and Papa!

A gift to the neighborhood

There is a wonderful street artist that I love named Katie Sokoler (Color Me Katie). I don't think she is working right now, I hope she is well, but in the past she has done some of my most favorite street art. It is all easily removable and normally has to do with uplifting others. Years ago Katie painted rocks and made them bright and beautiful with little hearts on them. She scattered them around her neighborhood and hoped to brighten up someone's day when they saw these little heart rocks.
 Last week we painted all these little rocks and today we went around the neighborhood and placed them in places we hope people will find them. On stairs, next to trees, playgrounds, sidewalks and benches. We had so much fun knowing that we may be adding some light to at least one person's day. If anything, we brightened the neighborhood with a little bit of our love and cheerfulness. :) 

After nap time we geared up and went to the homes of our friends in the neighborhood and delivered sugar cookies! Some even got hearted on their doors!  It was good fun and we loved spreading love to our friends on the day that reminds us to value and cherish our friends and loved ones a little bit more.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

10 years

Benjiman Bohman and I had our first date 10 years ago this weekend. I am truly grateful to be married to this wonderful man. He is the best fit for me, he makes me feel my best self and inspires me to be more. He is genuine, loving and imperfect. I could go on, but I risk the appearance of sappy and going over that top, so I'll leave it there. I love my husband. 
We decided to celebrate with a family bike ride, and on this ride we found a small valentines race going on for kids (done by "Moms Run this Town")! The trail was decorated on some sections and it was really cute. Afterward, we had some hot chocolate and popcorn and some neighbor friends came over a bit. Then, in our tired state, we sat down and watched "Trolls!" It was a darling, colorful, great messaged movie and we all enjoyed it. I had a great day with my little family that, really, started about 10 years ago. Because honestly, I was hooked on Ben after the first date. :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Valen-times Begins

We had such a pretty sunrise this morning! We have been playing a lot of catch up from "the desperate to be outside warm days" earlier this week and making valentines was one of those catch ups! At least I knew what I wanted to do, but I still had to do the work! So I hustled to get those made and then we jetted over to our co-op homeschool group for a Valentines party! 
 We sang "As I have loved you" with sign language... We did some fun exercises...
 We made Valentines cards for someone who may need it...
 We played "Don't eat Pete," a very fun and silly game...
 We had the most yummy fruit smoothies...
 and then we exchanged valentines! Liam was the popcorn one, Ezra was the play dough ball and Mila was the big heart with raisins in the origami box. It was such a fun time and we are looking forward to the rest of our Valentines fun to be had in the next few days!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


The first part of our week was filled with warm days. We were outside and loving it! All that warmth got me itching for springtime. I started cleaning out clothes, tidying up, organizing and dreaming of the coming season. One thing I had been thinking up and finally got the motivation for was some dress alterations. So instead of doing my morning work out I got to fixing up some dresses! I figured, it was so warm I might as well go run outside with the kids in tow anyway! (and I did!) 
So I dove into my stash of things I had sitting there for such a time of freedom and motivation to happen. I shortened and narrowed the sleeves on the red dress (yup, those are my workout clothes underneath! ha!) and added a waist, I changed a stripped skirt that never fit quite right into a summer dress, and I added a waist and length to the blue flower embroidered dress. Now I have three dresses to wear once it gets warm again! So exciting! Funny enough, we had some snow today, Thursday, so it was mother nature teasing me and telling me to be patient once again!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Oats, walks, rocks

Today we winded down from the weekend with a delicious breakfast of steel cut oats, strawberries and whip cream. Love! I bought a pressure cooker at the beginning of January to help me to eat more beans and whole grains. I have had friends who had pressure cookers and they were so impressive with how quickly they cook! No gimmicks, but super high heat and pressure to cook! There is a lot going around on Pinterest with the 'Instant Pot' and that did look attractive, but I went with this model because it looked less complex, didn't have electricity (which will make it last longer when we are abroad and using transformers for all our American stuff) and it seemed sturdy.
 Anyway, it has been wonderful! We are eating steel cut oat regularly now because it only takes 15 minutes instead of 45 to cook them. We are eating brown rice with our Buddha Bowls (a little something new I have been doing a few times a week and loving!) because it only takes 20 minutes to cook it instead of an hour! I just cook extra and have it in the fridge next to my precut vegetables that I cut when there was a moment over the weekend. It has revolutionized our eating this past month. I love how having these grains is encouraging us to easily eat more vegetables. I feel so much better in my own skin! While I'm talking about all this I might as well mention that I am cutting back on sugar and refined flours. I won't cut them out because it just seems mean to oneself to say "no! never!" and I want treats sometimes- perhaps just not every day... or even multiple times a day. blush.

On with our day! After breakfast we got to work on that homeschool stuff. Sometimes homeschool is really frustrating when Liam is not into it and this was one of those mornings. I'm dedicated and so I find a way to make it work, but it isn't the most fun. Other days are so much better, but I guess there are these days to make the good days even better.

In the afternoon we went on a walk on the trail with our friends/neighbors and enjoyed the warm, sunny winter weather! It has been so cold and a day like this was essential to my metal well being.

In the evening we painted up our rocks we collected on our walk and made sure they were colorful, cheerful and made with love. What we will do with them I will share later.... :)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A note on Sunday

We had a very fun filled Sunday. I had my first opportunity to teach sharing time in primary and I had a fun lesson assigned to me as a special treat. The kids made animal noises to find their pairs and make their way into Noah's arc. Then we talked about how sometimes it is hard to do what God asks of us, but if we ask him for help and act in courage and faith then we can do anything! I loved seeing the kids get excited and have fun with the lesson.
Then I had a cub scout planning meeting and after we finished our basic plans I got to do my favorite thing- gut and clean a closet! The cub scout closet was crazy, but in about 45 minutes four of us were able to get rid of extra boxes, plastic bags and old props to see what was actually useful and give a sense of tidy. Hey, it takes all types to make the world work and I am the type that is really happy with cleaning and organizing. I remember the first time I met someone else who liked cleaning and organizing (and was open about it) and I thought, maybe it isn't so strange after all! Just say it with confidence and you can get away with almost anything. Right?! (that wasn't a Trump bash by the way. Serious.)
Anyway... We had some friends over for a very fun dinner on Sunday night and our whirlwind of fun weekend finished!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Valentines Prep

Today we had some serious prep for Valentines! I didn't finish all I wanted to on my list, but we got to a chunk of it! We cut out hearts to decorate some neighbor doors with, we made cards for the each Aunt, Uncle (they have to share with their families) and grandparent.
Some of my favorites were Mila's frequent hand tracing, Ezra's drawings of everyone that all looked the same and always included himself, and Liam's paper candy and fish mobile!

 They we were very fortunate to have a visit from an old friend, M!! We lunched, made Valentine's cookies and caught up on all the goodness of the past months.
 We made decadent sugar cookies with strawberries and whipped with a whisk whip cream! It was wonderful!
 Then I finished up these babies for our neighbors and stuffed them in the freezer to keep until V day!
 In the coming week we are expecting Valentine parties for both Co-op groups, a legal street art project and valentines for friends too. Valentines was never fun when I was single and wishing I had a Valentine. I realize now that that was the case because I was focused on myself and not trying to make others who I cared about feel loved. After all, that is how love works right? You feel love most when you give it! So now my focus is to show my kids (three of my Valentines) that it isn't just a romantic holiday, but a day to show family, friends, and the community that they are loved. We will seek to do that this next week!