Friday, June 24, 2016


Our front yard is perking up! It is so neat to see it come alive! I have early May pictures and then just today pictures for our carrots...



And our front yard plants!

Our new kid Tower

We had a "Learning Tower" before we moved to Virginia. It was fantastic in my big kitchen in Papua New Guinea with Liam, but it was only ok enough on the other side of the counter in our house in Beijing for the boys (tiny kitchen). Here in our little townhouse there wasn't any space and the odds of having similar space in future postings is good. So I sold it. Since then Mila has become a toddler and she needs to see what is going on in the kitchen. Depending on her mood a chair could work, but I could tell she felt insecure on it. My arms were number one choice, but this girl is getting bigger and heavier!

I remembered this petite homemade version of the tower on Pinterest and decided it was time to try it out. Yesterday we went to Ikea and got the stool, then Home Depot for the wood and screws. After two other shop visits (I save up a lot on my lists so I don't have to go to stores often with three kids. More than not I just use Amazon.) we headed home and put away our miscellaneous purchases, got naps and lunch underway and then I set to work!

I used these instructions from "IKEA Hackers" to build it, but did my own measurements since they said the stool size has changed in recent years.
In the evening Ben helped me finish sanding and holding things steady to assemble it all.

Here is my finished product! It is so gratifying to seeing it all constructed!
In the morning Mila climbed right up and giggled. That smile made this project even more gratifying!!
She loved playing with her own bowl and spoon while I made bread this morning. Here is to hoping it continues to be a success!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Art/craft night

Last night I hung out with the girls like I was still in college! We snacked, laughed, talked and made freezer paper stencil shirts late into the night! What an amazingly fun time!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Popsicles

My dear friend J sent me a recipe for watermelon mint strawberry Popsicles when she saw my new supply of mint. Genius! Why didn't I think of that?! So I made them up yesterday with the kids and we had them for dessert after dinner. 

After the kids went to bed I made peach-raspberry and coconut milk, lime mint Popsicles! We are them for snack time and it felt indulgent but it was actually healthy! 
Mila was eating a string cheese until she heard Popsicle and then she spit her last bite out and threw it on the floor and ran to get a Popsicle. She loves them!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ben's present

I wanted Ben to have a new family picture in his office. So I printed one out. Then I thought how it would be cool to draw one out too! So I did. It was a fun project and it gave me lots of ideas for other projects. 
Happy Father's Day!

Snow cones!

We have started to watch a new pbs show called "ready, jet, go!" It teaches about space and we love it. On one episode they sold snow cones for 50 cents to earn money to rocket to space. They were unsuccessful in meeting their goal, naturally, but we learned all about the ice moon of Saturn. Then I realized these kids have never had snow cones. 

So before I could come to my senses I bought a snow cone machine! I only had leftover Hawaiian Punch from our cousins so we used that, but we will make proper ones soon. The boys were still excited and we can make them for our friends and neighbors! Maybe even sell some for 50 cents this last week of school for the neighbors. :)

Father's Day Campout

It has been time for some camping for a while now. This weekend was our first opportunity, and it is perfect-Father's day weekend! 

We arrived Friday night and set up camp, are dinner and then relaxed by the fire. In the morning we woke up with bird song under the trees and ate summer oatmeal. 

Then we grabbed our bikes and road around the lake! I'm so proud of Liam, he bikes the whole 4.7 miles with out a whine and did an amazing job!!

During our break we saw this tiny frog!

Then, since Burke lake us so close to home, we drove back and grabbed some things we forgot and decided to go for a swim at our community pool.

Back at the campsite we cooked dinner and roasted marshmallows with our neighbors who met up with us. 
It was a fun day! Our church starts late so we decided to stay one more night....We woke up and made pancakes with Mexican hot chocolate! Then cleaned up camp and went home!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Preschool field trip

We went to a fun little place called Jammin Java today. The magician, Great Zucchini, was performing for little kids and it was great. 
Liam got to be apart of the silliness and magic...
And so did Ezra!
I love it when my boys hang like that :)
Even Mila laughed along with the kids and wanted to be a part of it all. It was so cute to see her venture into the kid crowd!
Then we drove over to Duck Donuts and got hot, custom made donuts! If you eat a donut, it had better be good for all those calories! These ones were definitely good.

It was a great morning indeed!