HELLO!

Hello Everyone!  Ok so I’m not sure what has went on these past two weeks…oh wait spring has happened!  Which means I’m trying to accomplish oh about 1,000 things!  School gets out for the kids.  People are ordering furniture from mom and I and the yard needs attention.  It’s a juggling act as Joe has been working crazy hours again or should I say still!  The past two nights have been after 11pm and he has left I think somewhere between 530am and 630am…I’m asleep but he’s gone when I have gotten up and I know the alarm goes off at 530am!  I’m looking outside to a sky covered in black which I am happy and sad about.

My garden I put in last week to only wake to slight frost days later.  I dropped preen in my beds and walkways to get rid of weed re-growth.  So this says a few things I weeded almost all areas already and my fingers are crossed I won’t have to do again!  My garden I think may be ok.  My tomato plants are the ones that look to be struggling.  My snap peas are sprouting 🌱 and my bells and jalapeno plants are growing!  I did less plants this year as last year it got out of hand.  My brussels were only for me and didn’t do great so I skipped them this year.  Carrots were awesome so I did more this year.  I am also doing a pot of onions.  Onions are completely an experiment as we use them but never quick enough when I buy at the store.  I had one sprout in the pantry.  So I split it and dropped it in a cup of water until they got nice roots.  I then took an old large pot and put some soil from the yard and bagged soil in then buried their roots.  We will see they seem to have taken as they are now next to one of my raised beds outside.  I’m happy for the storms coming and the ones we’ve had overnight as the preen needs to get in the soil.  My flowers and vegetables need the water too!  I also dropped some spot grass seed.  All of which I have been watering daily but nothing in comparison to a good rain bath!

In other nature news our baby birds have learned to fly and left the nest.  Which we were very happy for as Saturday we decided to have our first campout.  We had it in the kids tree fort!  Joe and I completely expected this to last a few hours so didn’t plan very well for our bodies needs being on a wood floor.  At midnight the kids were still snoring and my hips were screaming and Joe was tossing.  He ran in for more blankets!  The dogs slept in there with us!  Nala was pretty much on top of me so I was sweating the entire night.  But, it was so worth it.  K woke at 630 having to go potty VERY bad!  S and Joe slept until 730!  If the rain clears and mosquitoes aren’t too bad we are going to do another round this weekend! But bringing yoga mats out to go under us this round!

Furniture and other home re-habbing has been happening almost daily!  We have sold a few pieces and had requests to find pieces to re-do for people.  This is all super exciting as we need to move some of our finished products.  We are planning to have a tag sale next weekend!  Everyone who does this I’m sure understands the wish to have a little shop and make this their full time successful gig.  But for us that time isn’t now for many reasons so having our version of a garage sale but with new items so calling it a tag sale with refinished pieces for the home including furniture and decorations we hope to feel that same success without the overhead.  Stay tuned for an update on how it goes!  Here are a few pieces completed over the past few weeks!

The kids are doing great!  S has pushed a bit but learning quickly that losing prize possessions is so not worth giving an attitude to me.  I think they are understanding that it’s just me a lot and I appreciate them especially when they are helpful and respectful.  Not that I don’t always appreciate my kids but when it’s just you it makes that appreciation show through more when they are good, not pushing buttons just to push buttons, etc.  K had his last day Tuesday which I don’t think he truly gets that many of these kids he will not see next year.  Which I am sad as I truly found some little ones in his class that were such sweet kids.  But I’m sure at 4K there will be just as many if not more little sweeties!  For his teachers I went with the “Orange you Glad it’s Summer bags!”  I found cute tote/straw bags at Target and filled them with Orange LaCroix Water, Orange Trident Gum, Orange Straws, Orange (mojito scent) Diffuser sticks and bottle, Orange citronella candle, Orange notepad, and Orange Pencils.  Of course topped with Orange and White Tissue Paper.  For S I ordered Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and found a cute saying on Pintrest to send to her teacher with it.  Having her teachers write a note in it each year until she graduates high school and giving it to her graduation day!  If you would like a copy of the note as the one I found you could not edit to personalize please message me and I will send it to you.  I couldn’t figure out how to link for you directly on post.  (Thank you to whomever wrote the original)!

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Well I think this kind of sums up where I have been or at least gives you an idea!  I promise to check back in over the next few days.  I wish all of you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!  Thank you to all those that have and do serve our country!🇺🇸

 

One Grandma, Two Grandma’s, Three Grandma’s OH MY!

Hello All!  I hope your week has been great!  It’s been busy over here as the weather changes we are so happy to be finding ourselves outside ALOT!  Plus the kids started some sports this past week so life of doing as we please is now turned to doing as the coaches schedule!!  We will talk on that soon!  Last week we had quite the busy couple days with visits from all grandma’s!  S & K are super lucky to have not just two grandma’s but three!  As I’ve mentioned in the past Joe is adopted and his adoptive parents always allowed a relationship with his birth mom.  His birth mom lives about 3 1/2 hours away so not too far but her and her husband are crazy busy at a youth camp that they are the caregivers at so we see them usually twice per year.  Joe’s other mom and husband have been snow birds until just a few weeks ago!  Now we get to have them here about 6 hours away from us full time!  We see them a bit more.  Then of course my parents are 30 minutes away and they probably see us more than they want and my  mom comes up a couple times a week!  Last week just happened to work out that we saw all three!!!  The kids were ecstatic first up was Grandma Gail and New Papa!

They sold their home in Sunny Florida to live full time in the North Woods!  Their home sold much quicker than they had anticipated…1 DAY!  So, moving up happened a bit sooner than they planned so on their way up we were able to see them.  We did dinner at one of the kids favorite restaurants as there is a game area.  Grandma and Papa always come with a roll of quarters to play!  Air hockey is one of the games they all play against each other.  Papa and Grandma get quite competitive when it is their turn to play one another!  I love the seriousness when they play.  We also decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with her as we won’t see her on the day!  I decided to do flowers and a picture we had taken of Joe and the kids!  You might be thinking flowers WOW Amanda how creative of you!  LOL!  But these weren’t your everyday die in a week flowers.  We made hand painted bottles and construction paper flowers!  So these can go on a dresser or shelf to enjoy all year!  No water needed!  Sid also wanted to give Grandma Gail the previous project I shared with the egg carton flowers and pipe cleaners.  The visit was great and we are so very excited to have Joe’s parents back in the same state all year!  We look forward to heading up this summer for a vacation!!

Next up was spending the day with my mom!  You might be thinking you spend many days with your mom!  You are absolutely correct and we will spend Mother’s Day with her and her gift isn’t yet complete so when it is I will share.  We just enjoyed a beautiful day at the forest preserve hiking just under four miles.  Again, we weren’t celebrating anything it was just enjoying the day with another Grandma and Papa that we love!

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Lastly, Joe’s other mom (birth mom) Anne and her husband Brian were able to get away from the camp they are at for a few days.  Our house was the first stop on their trip down!  This was great as last time they visited was last 4th of July and that day is always crazy so I didn’t get to talk to them too much.  The day was beautiful so we had the sprinkler set up and the kids played in that with Grandma doing quick runs through with them!  They also enjoyed ALOT of time on the trampoline with both of them!  I made those fantastic skinny lasagna roll ups with salad and garlic bread.  It was great to sit and talk with Brian as I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to talk to just him.  Getting to know each other a bit better while Granny Annie enjoyed her time with the kids!  S had her doing everything from playing dolls, to watching her moves on the rings on play-set to flying with her down the slide.  They also discovered we have the start of a birds nest in the play-set!  The evening ended with Joe making it home to spend a little bit with them before they headed to their next stop on their trip!  We also gave Granny Annie her flowers and picture which she loved!

Overall, it was a busy couple of days but those are the best as a lot of new memories were made and as the kids get bigger they are remembering these moments.  I’m trying to be sure to get pictures as they are happening as they are so very important to all of us!

I hope you have a great Monday and we will meet back here again soon!  Cheers!

A Little of This and a Little of That…

So the past few weeks have seem to fly by and the weather has been all over the board.  Which this has matched whats been going on in our house!  Kole has started to attend preschool/daycare two days a week, Sid has graduated from 3K, my fingers and feet are almost 100% green from the gardening going on, Joe is averaging less sleep time then I could imagine being able to do anything on let alone run a company and when he has a free window building the kids playhouse!

First things first…K started his two day a week preschool two weeks ago!  So far he is absolutely loving it and they are loving him! His teacher told me last week that he is “the sunshine to her days!”  She said “he is such a good kid and makes her smile often!”  As a mom who enrolled him in this program as I was concerned for how he would do among his peers in the fall at Montessori.  As we were having many days of battles and when we attending playgroup he was having a hard time; not always but often.  My sweet little boy was changing so drastically before my eyes I wasn’t sure what to do.  Our good friends immediately said he needs seperation and they weren’t meaning from me.  They said all he knows is S and she manages him and he’s moving to an age of showing his independence.  Which having a sister that is four wanting to provide direction for all you do all the time even know it’s usually out of love can get to be frustrating.  I of course immediately thought of when I was a kid and how to this day my little sister and mom remind me of how much I managed her in all we did!  Well as the saying goes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!  As my grandma said when I shared with her what K’s teacher said she said “Well mom, this is your report card saying you are doing something right!”  It was sweet as my grandmother isn’t doing well and I have tried to have weekly brief chats with her as growing up all of us where at her house and now for various reasons she only sees my kids on holidays or special occasions so I think she enjoys hearing about them grow.  So it seems these few days for K to find himself and meet others his age without S there to assist him is just what he needed.  The tantrums and frustration still show up but not nearly as much as we were facing before.  A little breathing room is good for everyone, right?!

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S finished her first year of school and as she says now it’s time for her to go to “BIG kid school”!  She is super excited for this change.  Many of the kids she bonded with at Montessori will not attend  the same school for 4K as S but that is ok this year has been great!  She learned so much from her teachers and peers.  Sharing, spelling, counting, alphabet, writing, organization, cleaning…just a few and yes you may say well she’s now four she better be able to do these things.  Yes, she went in knowing her ABC’s and could count to ten but as most kids at three they don’t always do perfect skipping numbers or letters or mixing them up.  Now, she is confident in them and the biggest is how she loves to be organized and neat in what she does.  We have her chore chart which we have altered from time to time but currently she is working towards a new Elsa doll!  So daily we get ourselves dressed in the morning and night, brush our teeth, clean our room if played in that day, clean the playroom, and feed the dogs!  She has been so great at this as the days she says she would really rather not do I remind her of the goal she is trying to reach and she doesn’t miss a beat on starting them!  Which has been really refreshing!  She too has said some things to us lately that crack us up but of course we hold a straight face at the time.  She was putting her dolls to sleep the other night and Joe brought up her favorite doll.  She says “You can just set her on the bed, I’ll take care of her when I’m done!”  Like really ok!  Then she tells me “Mom, I have a red bowl with no strawberries left in it, can you come remove it from my hand?”  I was like umm no you can go put it in the sink! I’m not your maid and your dad is not your servant!  K and her lost two of their favorite toys as they were hitting each other so S stands at the garage door and says “Santa do you hear me?,  please give us back our toys!”  She thinks he is god and speaks to him often.  Usually on shopping trips when she is told we are not buying today she says she is going to have a talk with him so he makes sure it’s on her list for Christmas this year!  We are very excited to see what “BIG kid school” brings in the fall for Ms. S!

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I have realized this spring that our yard is ALOT of work and it must have been due to the fact that last year was when we really got in to gardening and getting the property looking how we wanted so we didn’t experience the maintenance of all the planting we had done.  Let me tell you I am daily in the yard tackling some section!  I did do my vegetable gardens again this year.  But I scaled back a bit.  But I decided to try things I have not tried!  We have the usual variety of tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapenos, but I have also planted romaine, snap peas, broccoli, basil, brussel sprouts, science fiction blend of carrots as well as one blueberry plant!  We will see how it all does I see it as if I get enough to enjoy for the summer it was all worth it!  If I can can some and freeze some then I did it right!  Keep you posted as it’s all starting to flourish!  I also had the treat of re-doing three of our beds.  As we had planned to start renovations on the backside of the house and complete them before our 4th of July party but due to Joe’s work schedule we have decided to put this off until after.  Which I am completely fine with except when I was given a date that this was all to begin I went through my back gardens and transplanted everything!  Well, having three mud spots now for the dogs and kids wasn’t going to work for me!  I have simply put in some marigold and cone seed that was given to me as well as the cheap spring wildflower mix.  S picked out a few bulb plants too!  So fingers crossed these areas will flourish into great little gardens at a very low price before our party!

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Joe has been crazy busy lately between his companies accounts he handles during the day and those he has taken on as side jobs. Currently his side job is doing the stone work for a restaurant opening next month!  This is a different job for Joe as he usually does residential work.  The owner is someone I’ve know for ten years and he really wanted Joe to do the stone as he appreciates his work and passion.  Joe was excited to be a part of this as our friends current location due to his rapid increase in demand in his few short years of being open it was necessary for him to build a bigger place!  A farm to table restaurant in Illinois and for those in the area should definitely look his location up but I will say go earlier as there is typically a hour minimum wait by 6pm!  The name is Ad-lib Geocafe in Lindenhurst, Illinois!  Anyway, back to Joe!  This and other business has meant very long days for him.  But we committed to getting the kids a playset but after we researched and looked at them for the price we were looking to spend Joe decided it was best to build his own.  So here we are a few weeks in and man this project has been challenging but as of yesterday we are at the point that the kids can play on it safely.  We still have to change out railings, do the interior both siding and decorating, paint the outside and hang the swings but funny enough the slide and excitement alone has been a blast for these two!  I’m so looking forward to a summer with something for not only our kids to enjoy but their friends and cousins too!

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I know there is more to share but time to get to cooking as these two crazy kids are starting to get hungry!  I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

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I look forward to sharing with you the final of our current projects very soon!  Happy Tuesday to you all and thanks for checking in!

Lisenby Week In Review

Happy Sunday Everyone! It’s a beautiful morning and I don’t know about you but it finally seems our yard is in total bloom! We have been in our home for a bit over three years and I will say all of the work the previous owners did looks the best this year. Maybe the harsh winter helped our landscaping…odd but we will take it! This week was one of simply enjoying the weather with a bit of baking of course!
We enjoyed a picnic with one of our play date friends. Which started at one of our local beaches with sand play and toes in the water. I knew going into this what it would end with…yep S fell right in and not long after K was soaked and full of wet sand; yuck! But we collected shells and decided we will start a summer necklace and collect a shell each visit to add to it!

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S has been in love with horses since I’m pretty sure she could talk. Any chance she gets she talks about them and I have been researching someone to do lessons or at least introduction of horses to her. This week we went to a local petting zoo/stable and she was able to ride as was K. The manager then took S around the property talking about each horse, etc. Total heaven for S! K was more concerned with who was going to pick up the poop! Lol! I’m hoping the manager will take me up on my request to give S lessons. In the meantime we have two other contacts that have invited her to ride their pony and palomino so we will soon know if this is truly something to pursue! I would love this as I grew up loving horses and rode for a bit. I think K will continue in his love for trucks, tractors, and trains!

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Other exciting news is we received our permits for our addition this week so one last stop by the building inspectors office and we will start our home addition. I did hope to have our waterfall, pond and fire pit further along to show pictures but due to business for Joe this will be underway tomorrow so check back in just a few days! For now I’m still staring at a ginormous mound of dirt:(

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Our neighbors sons graduation party is today so I made him his favorite cheesecake I make which is a strawberry champagne no bake! Yes no bake and champagne how could it not be amazing oh yeah and strawberries! We had extra strawberries so we had to make something else! S and K helped me create a new cupcake. We made strawberry lemonade cupcakes which Joe said tasted like sugar cookies and a strawberry cream cheese frosting. Which I didn’t love the cupcake so I piped frosting in the middle which definitely fixed the what I felt were dull cupcakes to a nice summer treat!

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Well we hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day! Tomorrow being Memorial Day please remember our countries heroes past and present.