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Showing posts from June, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Chat

What's on your Summer Fun List?

Our summers don't get too wild and crazy. We spend the first part of it consumed with Brynne's softball games and the last half of it soaking in doing as much of nothing as possible because school is on the horizon.

Thankfully God saw fit to give me two little kiddos who like to stay home. They don't really care if we do much of anything except hit the pool once or twice a week. They like to sleep in, lounge around in their pjs, play with their electronics, and venture off to their rooms to play with their toys. Every once in a blue moon they ask to have a friend over, but not very often. So during the week we don't do a whole lot.

We usually go on some sort of family vacation around the summer months. Last year we went to California for 10 days at the end of the summer. This summer's vacation took us on a cruise at the end of May because Kyndal and Collin were getting married on the beach in Cozumel. We had a great time, but the…

Granite Countertops on the Cheap

Last week I posted about the cosmetic renovations we had to make to our house when we purchased it three years ago. We had very limited funds and lots of things that needed to be updated to just make the house livable. We had a faux light wood laminate countertop in the kitchen that was in pretty good condition, but it was ugly. We had put a fresh coat of paint on our cabinets, spruced up the hardware, and put in nice laminate tile flooring. Those things just made the countertops look dingy and dated. But we did not have it in our budget to replace the counters.


My mom found a Giani Granite Countertop Paint kit in Bombay Black on clearance and thought we could give it a shot. It was extremely easy to apply, only took an evening and an overnight drying of the top coat.


For the most part the countertops have held up very well over the past three years, with some scratches in the high-use areas. Then along the front of the countertops it started to really rub off. It has been that way f…

Journey Journal ~ 5 Random Activities for Summer School Week 3

This was a regularly scheduled non-school school week because of all of the activity we had planned outside of the home. We were all. over. the. place. this week! Seriously, I have not been behind the wheel of my car this much in a week since we moved from Oklahoma three years ago. And most days we drove to two different towns. Talk about a random week of schooling! But we definitely counted these activities as schooling. Lots and lots of learning!

Basketball Camp Brynne and I travelled 30 minutes to the University of Central Missouri Monday through Wednesday. She attended the Jennies girls basketball camp each morning for 3 1/2 hours. She learned skills and drills and experienced some thrills. It was a great camp and she thoroughly enjoyed herself!


Book Club On Monday afternoon Eli attended the kids' Book Club for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. (Brynne was at camp.) They had to each invent a unique game to present to the class. Brynne made a board game, with the help …

The Stove ~ Blogging Through the Bible - Women Living Well (Good Morning Girls)

When we moved into our house three years ago, it was completely unlivable. We had one week and a certain amount of dollars available to get it to a place where we could move in. We painted everything, sanded and stained hardwood floors, made repairs, etc. The bones of the house where here, most were just old bones. One of those old bones was our stove.

It was an OLD stove, with only three operational burners. But the house needed other things more, like a floor in the kitchen, so a stove was put on the back burner (ha, ha!!). It was a really ugly and disgusting appliance, but it worked. I realized I didn't even have a picture of it because I have made sure to keep the stove out of any pictures. But then I came across this one with the stove in the background. I cropped it and it's blurry, but you get the picture (ha, ha again!! I am so punny today!)



Strangely for the past three years I have been completely content with this stove, other than the fact that it has been an eyeso…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink? Honestly, not a fan of pink. So I guess I would say the pink shade of the sky at sunset. Or the pink in this wedding bouquet at Kyndal's wedding in Cozumel last month. It sure was pretty!



What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least? In high school girls only took gym class one year, and usually freshman year to get it done. We had a very strange high school gym teacher. She always took our jewelry from us to keep locked in her office during class, then she would come out with it all hanging from her fingers and say, "Jewelry, ladies???" She looked at us all creepy like. We swore she took our jewelry just so she could look at us changing clothes when she brought it back out to us after class. But in elementary school, gym class was fun! I loved when we played line tag and dodge ball.

What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses? Unfortunately, not a g…

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Only two more Tuesday Coffee Chats until the host Leslie takes her summer break (sniff, sniff). Here's this week's prompt ...

Be inspired! Share something that inspired you this week: a quote, a photo, a story in the news. Let's spread some positivity!


I ordered this coffee mug from Cross Training Couture this week. (If you would like some inspiring workout wear, they have some really great stuff!)

I think this mug says it all. I can't wait until it gets here!

Father's Day Weekend

With finances and schedules we had not seen Rick since our cruise!



He stayed in Oklahoma a couple of weekends in a row to recoup and to save us a little money in the back-and-forth gas expenses of coming home every weekend. We weren't able to spend his birthday with him (although his mom and sister's family took good care of him) ...



And he and I were not together on our 14 year anniversary, so I toasted him in a text ...



So this weekend we wanted to be sure and celebrate him for his birthday and Father's Day. We had lots of projects to do around the house .... install window air conditioning units in the bedrooms (in the nick of time as the temps jumped way up on Friday), order a new stove, do some yard work, continue with painting the trim on our house, etc. It's always loads of fun around here, even on holiday weekends. I did put together a little survival kit for Rick while he watched the U.S. Open.



Our way of celebrating usually involves meals, so on Friday night…

Journey Journal ~ Summer School Week 2

We had a pretty quiet week this past week which totally makes me happy, especially with the busy week we have coming up!


Wow. How I love summer school. I am sure that after a long while of it I would finally get bored and be ready for more substance in the way of a deep literature study or science unit study. But for now there is something so glorious about spending mornings on the couch reading great books to the kids, honing up on some math and grammar skills, and then finding learning in the everydayness of summer.


This week we continued to read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. We completed another set of lessons in math (adding fractions with same denominators and then simplifying) and grammar (more of the same diagramming).


The kids were assigned a project at Book Club last week to create a unique game. Dawson helped the kids and they came up with some great ideas. Brynne literally worked hours on her board gam…

Random 5

1. I had my first hummingbird at my feeder last night! I have had the hardest time attracting hummingbirds at our house here in Missouri. I didn't get a photo because I was just stunned when I saw it and just sat and stared (and squealed!).

2. This week I got back into my regular exercise routine. Three mornings I did a 21 Day Fix workout, and two mornings I ran. I hadn't run in about a month so I was a little nervous to get back out there. I put in two miles on Tuesday and a little over three miles on Thursday. And I didn't feel like I was going to die. I have to keep at it because I am running the Wipeout Run in August and a 4-mile run in September.

3. It has been so rainy here for so long. Although I love a good rainy day, and I really do love a good rainy day (even several in a row), I am hoping that we get some sunshine and warmth soon. We haven't been able to get to the pool, have no desire to go to the lakehouse, and my garden is never going to produce any yumm…

Blogging Through the Bible ~ Women Living Well (Good Morning Girls)

When Rick and I got married he wrote this beautiful little passage that we put on our wedding programs called "The Story of Us". It described our meeting each other on a path. We were both walking on it, separately and in the same direction, looked over and saw each other. We decided that the path would be easier to walk together. (First of all, where has that poetic couple gone? It's easy to get caught up in the everydayness of life, huh?)


This week I started a Bible study with Women Living Well whereby we read one chapter of the book of Proverbs each morning (thus a Good Morning Girls study). Then we SOAK it. This is a simple process where you read the entire chapter, chose one or more scriptures that stand out to you (the S), write it down with any observations you have about it (the O), apply it to your life and particular circumstances (the A), and then get on your knees in prayer (the K). It is such a simple but powerful way to study the Bible. 
I am doing this st…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

June is National Great Outdoors Month. Have you spent any time appreciating the great outdoors this month? If so where, and if not do you have any plans to enjoy the great outdoors before the calendar turns? I've spent a good amount of time outside working in my yard, pulling weeds, putting down mulch, planting flowers, cleaning out my raised beds, and planting vegetables. As much as I enjoy doing that, I really enjoy experiencing the outdoors on a rainy day. We have had a lot of those lately, and I grab a cup of coffee or tea and head to my front porch to soak it all in (no pun intended). I love the watch the birds and squirrels when it is raining. It quiets my soul.

What's a current hot button issue for you? Parenting styles, most of which involve the parents sitting on their butts and yelling at their kids/grandkids. I realize I live in a neighborhood with some colorful folks. But I have started to see a trend! Nobody talks to their children, discusses things with them, te…

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Your nickname ... Growing up it was Nikki. When I went to college I ditched it to be more sophisticated with my given name, Nicole. That worked well until we moved back to my childhood hometown three years ago. Guess who I am again? Yep ... Nikki. And there is no fighting it.

Your eye color ... Blue.

Your hair color ... Well, that one's a little tougher. I am a natural dishwater blonde. With a little help, I am a highlighted, sun-kissed blonde.

One fact about you ... Today is my anniversary! Rick and I have been married for 14 years. It's been a great ride and I am excited to see where our journey takes us next.



Favorite color ... Green, mostly lime green. It's my "signature color". Anytime I can buy something in a particular color, I go for lime green. Look ... Rick was even wearing my favorite color in the above photo.

Favorite place ... My house. I could stay here and not leave it ever.



Favorite celebrity ... I have a Top 5: Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Shemar Moore,…

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Happy birthday to this great man! We love you, babe!

Journey Journal ~ Summer School Week 1

I've decided to change my Weekly Wrap-up title to Journey Journal. Kinda catchy, don't you think?!

It felt pretty good to get back to a school routine this week. Even the kids said that two and a half hours of school each day wasn't too bad. Truth be known, I think they enjoyed getting back to it, too.

We leisurely get into our school day at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. We are wanting to finish the books in the Little House series so have been starting our day each morning with about 45 minutes of Farmer Boy.



Next, the kids do a math assignment from Mastering 5th Grade Math, Volume 2 (this week they were doing introductory addition of fractions) and a grammar assignment from Fix-It Grammar, The Nose Tree. That takes about 30 minutes. We also did a fun fractions addition game from Sheppard Software. Do you ever use any of those online educational games? They are really quite good!



Then we go back to reading aloud as we read about 45 minutes out of our library summer…