Kid Tested, Mother Approved-FOOD!

Hello Friends!  So I thought it had been a bit since we have talked food!  Out weather here in Wisconsin has been all over the board!  We were at 50 earlier this week and today I think we have a high of 24!  I know we are so ready for spring heck I’m ok with jumping straight to Summer!  I thought I would share some recent recipes we have made that have received thumbs up by the two biggest critics in our house and if you have kids I’m sure you agree.  If the kids like what you cook it can make dinner more enjoyable!  I will also mention we did do “Hello Fresh” for a few months and absolutely loved the variety and the quantity was perfect.  It got me out of my funk of feeling like I was cooking the same things each week.  Plus, it had all of us trying new things and again the kids really liked I would say 98% of the dinners we made.  So if you haven’t tried it I would recommend it as I think they are still offering a first week free.

Let’s talk soup as Joe loves soup and I like making them for a few reasons.  Many times the recipe makes enough to freeze and have another meal next month.  The Chicken Tortilla Soup was the first recent one I tried.  Everyone enjoyed it we added Frito’s to it as well as cheese and Joe and I added jalapeños!  It was filling and there was an entire second meal to freeze with the left overs!

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8d/14/79/8d1479e7cea224cb93cacad07cc282c1.jpg

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup was the next soup we made!  I honestly had no intentions of making this soup but realized I had to bell peppers in my fridge that were about to be expired.  I hate when I buy food and forget about it or why I bought as I’m sure I saw a recipe I wanted to try.  But then life happens and there went that idea!  This soup wasn’t an all day process it took me about an hour and a half from start to finish as it simmers for 30 minutes.  Joe loved this soup as he said when we have stuffed peppers they can be a pain and sometimes there is more bell pepper than you want and not enough filling.  With it in soup form you decide the balance.  Flavors of this recipe were good we added cheese.  The kids aren’t big bell pepper fans so they ate the filling only.  Which I am fine with as they ate what I made and a side of bread with butter.  We are a big dipping family so bread and butter is often on the table at dinner time!  This one had leftovers too but I decided to enjoy this for lunch for a few days as to freezing.

http://www.toneupgirl.com/single-post/2016/1/26/Stuffed-Pepper-Soup-21-Day-Fix-Approved

For those of you that aren’t in soup mode I recommend trying Potato Chip-Crusted Spicy Macaroni and Cheese.  We love a little spice in our life so I knew this would be a hit.  S is the only one that prefers things a little more bland so I didn’t put as much jalapeños in but still but a good amount.  You can always add spice but can’t remove.  This was a quick recipe and again all the ingredients were on hand.  The portion of this was maybe more enough for a family of 6.  Or of 4 with kids that have larger appetites.  This too was lunch for me for a few days.  I will also say I’m not a macaroni leftover kind of person.  I just think something happens when they get cold that just doesn’t make them work the day after.  But I think there is enough going on with this recipe that I was happy to eat it as leftovers.

https://www.tastemade.com/videos/potato-chip-crusted-spicy-mac-n-cheese

Last is the recipe that I LOVED but I am a goat cheese fan.  The creamy deliciousness of this cheese is just so good to me.  Joe is not a huge fan of goat cheese he’s definitely the less adventuress, more traditional one when it comes to food.  But I will say he did have two servings so you decide how much he really didn’t like it…I think he secretly loved it.  Ok so the recipe is One Pot Chicken Rosemary Goat Cheese Pasta.  Oh ya I am not a huge rosemary person so I eyed my portion as in everything but know I did a bit less than recommended.  Yes, all the magic happens in one pot who doesn’t love this?  After a good meal who wants to be doing a ton of dishes?!  Not this girl!

https://www.tastemade.com/shows/healthy-af/one-pot-chicken-rosemary-goat-cheese-pasta

Ok well here are a few recipes to get you warmed up!  Have a fantastic weekend and until we meet again, cheers!🍻

S is SIX!

Hello Everyone!  Well this past week S turned SIX!  I can not believe that we have a six year old.  Then again most days I’m shaking my head as it seems more like I have a twelve year old.  There are honestly days it seems she’s driving the bus around here!  This past year she has grown so much.  Having her reading words everywhere we go.  Reading step one books on her own.  Last night she wrote her note to Joe and I on our valentines wall by herself!  Her math skills have the potential to surpass me if she keeps at the pace she’s at. She can be super thoughtful & encouraging over the smallest things; K why don’t you have a few chips of mine?  K your heart is getting better by the end of the month you are going to be doing them perfect! Ok so I know your probably now thinking I get it your kids pretty great let’s get to the party!  I just had to go off on that little tangent as I rarely do and I’m really proud of her.  This year S got Lea Clark for Christmas from Grandma and Papa, if not familiar she was the American Girls Girl of the Year in 2016.  In the book about Lea she and her family go to Brazil.  So S decided she wanted her party around this and she wanted live animals!  Always up for the challenge I got to planning and researching!

First I went to Etsy I always find great party invites, etc. here and at an affordable price.  I typically print my own or have them printed at the local print shop.  One Love Designs, LLC. is who I used for this party.  She had the cutest sloth watercolor amazon looking invites and thank you cards among other items.  I have a secret obsession with sloth’s don’t ask questions because I don’t have an answer! LOL! But S really liked them so we ran with it as I do know one thing she is a direct take charge girl but she unfortunately has the indecisive gene from me.  When she does decide on something we run with it!  Next we had to figure out entertainment!  She wanted live animals so I went to a site that I have grown to LOVE!  Gigsalad where you can find anything in regards to party entertainment needs.  We used this site for Santa this past Christmas as well.  We used the company The Animal Express out of Illinois.  They were so great and easy to work with.  They brought seven different animals including a red fox as well as a hedgehog, a skunk, a albino snake, a tortoise, tarantula, and a ferret which we joked was google mapping its location trying to find an escape route!  The owner did a great job telling the kids about each animal and letting them hold, feel and touch them.

On to decorations for the party!  With Lea heading to Brazil in her story we tried to create the feel of amazon/jungle/rainforest for the girls to enjoy.  I think we did a pretty good job I had a vision of animals swinging from trees by vines as well as a waterfall.  Nothing a bit of tulle, a sound machine, craft and construction paper can’t recreate; right?!  S was awesome at helping cut out all the leaves.  Joe was great at hanging in high places.  K was great at testing the swinging capability of the vines!  Our friends are HUGE Jimmy Buffet fans and they borrowed us a parrot the size of our front door for guests to arrive to!  The library rocks in our town and they allowed us to borrow as many of their large stuffed animals for our decor as well!  Point being use your resources!

Now we had to add in a bit of the American Girl side of things as we seemed to have covered the amazon side.  So the girls moved to our kitchen where we did pictures of them as American Girls in a cut out from tri-fold foam board and painted dollar store stars with each girls name printed on them.  At the table we had the girls set up to make bead bracelets for their dolls which they brought!

Last was dessert!  S wanted a jungle theme for her cake and Lea Clark for her cupcakes.  What my girl wants is what my girl gets!  I’m again not nor do I claim to be the cake boss but I do try my best when requests are made.  As far as the Lea Clark side of things I again went to Etsy to Edible Party Images and ordered edible cupcake toppers with Lea’s picture on them and they said Happy Birthday Sidnee.  They were perfect!  I unfortunately did not take a picture of them😥  For party favors I found cute little bags in S’s favorite color Aqua at Target.  We put fun colored clip in hair, adventure note pads and pens as well as S made each girl a bracelet from beads with their name on them!

Well there you have it another successful party at the Lisenby Mad House!  Remember birthdays are the one day a year that usually is only about you (unless a twin, triplet, etc.)!  So make the day as memorable as you can no matter what your budget the smallest thing can make the day the best one!  Cheers🍻

The Struggle is Real

Ok I love this saying it just cracks me up!  My siblings and I use it often when referring to just about anything that affects us as adults.  You know making creative dinners, being a disciplinary to our kids when that’s the worst part of being a parent, when jobs have us pulled in more directions than we know what to do!  I’m sure all of you have said or felt this at one point or another?  The struggle for me clearly is sitting myself down and sharing my struggles with all of you!  Things have been absolutely bananas over here.

When the kids started school and S started full day and K started half days I had so many amazing plans!  I was going to have all this free time for myself that I wasn’t going to know what to do with myself!  Well that is a total joke!  I find myself accomplishing less.  I had planned to run daily or at least three days; nope isn’t happening.  Planned to make one day for just working on our business; that’s not happening.  I also thought I would have the cleanest house you could imagine without extra hands messing everything up three steps behind me;  umm now they are just a few hours behind me doing it!  Last I thought I will be hanging out at the local coffee shop with my girlfriends discussing all the things are little ones had us stressed about over the days up to our coffee clutch; this I have completely mastered some times its alone but do you know how enjoyable it is to go into a coffee shop ALONE and get a delicious pumpkin spice latte and not share it!  I do have to say other things have come in to play in which my “other” plans haven’t quite happened.  Most of these things have been positive with a few negatives.  But no one says being a wife, a mom or business owner was easy or always going to be lollipops and gum drops!

First things first being a wife…We’ve touched on this before Joe has crazy hours and the biggest heart of anyone I know.  He wants to help everyone from the smallest things such as offering to build a barn wood partition wall to big things like renting a lift to try and help a client fix a problem on their home that a different masonry company created.  Then there are the things I require you know be home at a time that the kids can enjoy you before bed.  Dad reads books way better than mom does!  Then I have questions about the business.  Usually at this point I’m not sure he’s even coherent as exhaustion is on strong! But there is one new thing we incorporated into our family.  It is the addition of Hello Fresh being delivered to our door each Tuesday.  This has changed our life in a few ways.  The biggest pertaining to Joe and I is we are having date nights.  Yes, I have been cooking our meals so it is ready when he will get home.  This way we can sit down together and talk about the kids, work, life just as we do when we go to a restaurant and spend triple the amount of money.  For the kids yes it has pushed dinner back for them on some of the nights and also has them in the kitchen cooking with me!  If it is something I know they will be in udder disgust over I plan accordingly by cooking something else for them weather it be chicken or pasta.  The overall experience has been very positive for our family.  So I do recommend trying Hello Fresh out!  Now let’s talk being mom…

I wish I could say things have been easy but until last week the mom role was quite challenging.  I was struggling with a VERY strong willed little girl that was challenging everything.  Meltdowns over small things were happening daily and some days multiple times.  Going wild when she was asked to do anything from take her bath to eat dinner to lastly homework.  S is a very smart kid and she kept telling me about things at school but most ended with “I’m Bored”.  I had to do something quick as Joe was ready to seek outside help and honestly I was at my wits end.  After speaking to a few people I learned of the Love and Logic methods.  I went to the library and checked out the book that seemed to pertain to what we were going through.  The biggest change in our home was the removal of ipads.  Yes, our kids were turning into raging lunatics that’s lives were being controlled by mind craft and youtube!  As discussed with my brother my kids were suffering from the ipad hangover.  They NEEDED it to feel content, they just needed to see one more how to video or build one more room.  If they didn’t get it they were total wackadoos!  At school they have started a color behavior chart which in speaking with S’s teacher we have begun at home for both kids.  Ipads were just reintroduced this past weekend for a short time.  Lastly, I have used the love and logic options method.  So far both kids are making the right choice.  Kids like choices as they like to feel like they are the ones in control.  It’s such an easy concept in almost every situation I give them two options; they have to choose one.  I will say I have not finished the book yet but the bits and pieces I have been using I think are so easy and I wish I would have started them years ago.  Oh well better late then never, right?!  I’m happy to report S has ended each day at school in either purple or blue which are the two highest behavior options!

Last lets talk about being a business owner.  This time I’m not talking about my husband!  Mom and I have been full swing with finishing furniture.  We were just asked to sell our items in a new shop near me.  Last week I was hired to come to a clients house and teach her how to refinish her 16 person dining room table!  We have brought my dad on as part of our team too!  Dad has done a beautiful cedar headboard which I finished with chalk paint and light distressing.  He also has built a few couch/entry way tables for clients.  Next endeavor will be for him to do some night stands!  I truly think he is loving it.  He and my mom are retired and this gives my dad something to do which he loves and also make some extra money!  We all loved to be appreciated and my dad hearing the wonderful feedback of those that have bought his stuff has been great!  Mom and I have been working on a few things.  I unfortunately have been sick with a few different things.  My migraines have come back in full force which have had me in bed for a week at a time resulting in an upcoming neurology appointment.  I went in to have a better look and hopefully remove any endometriosis found.  Which I was diagnosed with a year ago.  My results came back that they were wrong and I didn’t in fact have endometriosis so I had a urology appointment this past week which we did discover that I have Interstitial Cystitis which is the cause of almost all of my abdominal pain as well as overactive bladder.  Hope with meds we will have luck in getting this under control.  We are giving it a month then we will move to the next steps.  Lastly, I was moving furniture with my mom yesterday and lifted a heavy piece up which provided the pop in my back and I fell over immediately.  ER doctor told me thankfully nothing is broken I pulled it and its spasming which is causing me to not be able to walk upright.  They gave me two shots a pill and sent me on my way.  With this last little hiccup I’m thinking I will take this week off from rehabbing anything; or maybe just do some things while sitting😁

Well it’s been far too long and I promise not to keep you waiting to hear from me again!  I look forward to showing you the new dressers we are doing as well as end tables and holiday items!  Oh ya my good friend and I are doing a vendor fair in November and mom and I were asked to participate in one December 1st!  So the holiday juices are flowing and you will be the firsts to enjoy all we have come up with!!  Until then have a wonderful Monday and remember lift with your legs not your back!  Cheers🍷

Let’s Talk Shop

Ok so your thinking “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Well, it’s a very easy or many days not so easy answer!  As a mom you are torn thirty direction every twenty minutes of every day.  How do I achieve mom of the day status when I am trying to start a small business with my mom and your husband has a large small business that takes him from home up to 9 hours a day 7 days a week…Oh ya and it’s summer break!  Let’s not forget I really want to sit down and share with you all we have going on!  Well, the struggle is real!  LOL!  I am obsessed with this saying on so many levels and my family and I use it often via all conversation types!  So as you know my mom and I refinish furniture whenever time allows.  Well it’s recently gotten real as we now have clients coming to us with requests for specific pieces we currently have on hand or something they are looking for and want us to refinish.  This is fantastic I agree but then there are the days were you’ve been focusing on pieces  as you have a deadline for three days straight literally coffee in hand sander or brush in other hand or mouth!  Another problem only two hands; darn I need a third most days!  Anyway, I have a four and five year old that have requests, demands, passions of their own they need me to help nourish.  Well, it’s been a juggling act I’m very lucky to have two kids so close in age that adore one another at least 98% of each day!  Daily has been a breakfast of substance pancakes, oatmeal, fruit.  Then the day begins in the shop and when I say shop I mean my garage that is stacked with shit or as I prefer to tell people it is mom and I’s place of controlled chaos!  Country radio is turned on which mom isn’t a fan as I learned just today but she hums to herself most of the time so says it doesn’t bother her😩  This week we turned latex colors of mud puddle and wandering creek into chalk paint!  We also got some Rustoleum Country Grey!  Now what are we about to tackle?  Seems a common question or look we give each other most shop mornings!  The kids hit the legos for a bit!  This week we had a few pieces that we needed to get started as clients had ordered!  Currently we are booked two weeks out to start anything new.  When I say this I have to also say mom and I suffer from the real struggle of staying focused and when we can’t feel a pieces we start or work on another happy place piece.  These are pieces that aren’t ordered or sold but pieces that make our heart happy and allow us to re-group/re-focus so we can get back to the task at hand!  This to us is SO important because if you aren’t feeling a piece it will show in your work.  Crap work results in Crabby clients and that is not ok.  Honestly, we haven’t had this happen and I’m not being pompus but we have always been this way.  If you remember my mom and I had a bakery at one point together and in baking you learn the hard way!  YIKES when your cake crumbles because your were in the wrong mindset so you have to re-do!  Another thing I’m learning as I’m typically the one that deals with booking of the biz is keeping your clients in the know!  I love and so do they love receiving text message updates on their piece and including pictures so they too can see the transformation!  Before and after’s are a must.  With that being said sometimes I get sooo excited to do a piece I start and an hour later say “oh shit” I forgot a before picture!  Well, the pieces we had this week were a dining room table, a living room cabinet, living room dresser turned focal pieces, a patio set, and my fun piece was two wrought iron chairs and table-I had a vision and mom’s was two side tables-she always has visions!  So, below I am sharing where we are as of today!  The dining room table you will have to wait until it is set up in the homeowners house to see with the legs for transporting purposes but you get the idea.  The cabinet it an old piece that had side shelves that slid out but we added a new top on the original laminate top so these will no longer open this still has to be distressed.  Living Room dresser turned living room focal piece was done in Rustoleum aged grey and waverly elephant and our made white chalk paint.  The patio furniture set we have had and threw many ideas around about but always had our version of Annie Sloan’s Arles latex turned Chalk Paint for the color.  The cushions I had and they fit perfect for the table/foot rest we wrapped the foot rests in burlap and added a hole to the table to add an umbrella!  The wrought iron chairs were vomit yellow with black wrought iron in rough shape.  The table was just 80’s this piece still has to have a bit more paint but I have to share!  Mom’s tables while be layered and have a bit of beach feel when completed!  They were done in latex wandering creek which we turned to chalk!  Now your saying and the kids are where when you did all this?!  They bounced around playing school, building zip lines throughout my living room with yarn for their lego guys to go on, to agility training for our two shepherds which they said were amazing at rope jumping!  Dinner each night we had as a family so we could talk about our days and then head to the trampoline to jump before bedtime!

 

To Be A Father

Well my title is a struggle because I am a female so I don’t know the challenges of being called dad,daddy,pops,father.  But I do know the genuine joy that is felt by being called Mom!

I think fathers or at least many fathers challenges are those of being a superhero! Having a wife and kids expect things from you including financially, emotionally, and physically is different then being a mom.  I should mention I say this from my perspective.  As personally I know mothers that are the only superhero in their kids lives.  Those moms I applaud daily.  I don’t know how I would do all the things that two toddlers throw at me in a day alone! So to you moms who are both roles awesome job!!

To those dads that choose to not be active in their kids lives I’m so sorry for you.  Such a loss it is for you.  Missing seeing a child to show you all the joys their life brings including first steps to becoming an incredible baseball player.  There’s even those times when they need their dad to help them as challenges arise for them as being a kid at times can be rough.  A dad’s perspective is sometimes different from mom’s.  Frankly, dad sees things differently then our mom’s like sports or learning to ride your bike.  Maybe it’s that physical aspect.  No doubt those father’s that have chosen to be transparent in their children’s life I’m sorry!  If you are reading this there’s no better time than the present to make a change.

Those dad’s that are rocking this whole daddy thing or at least giving it their all; hats off to you!  I grew up with my dad in my life and yes I have memories with mom but I have very specific memories with my dad.  Him calling my sister and I his pumpkins after kissing us goodnight.  Or he and I dancing in our living room to The Allman Brothers Band on Friday nights!  That embarrassing nickname he gave me but deep down loved that I had.  Dad’s just are different in their relationships with their kids.  Joe may not have nicknames for our kids yet but he always kisses our kids goodnight no matter how late he gets in.  He once a week surprises them with a special note and a donut for breakfast.  It’s the little things that kids remember.  Celebrating dad is such a great day that many times seems like it’s pushed to the wayside.  Not celebrated as Mother’s Day is.  Don’t know exactly why but I hope those of you out there made yesterday extra special for the man your kids call dad or the man you call dad.  As mom’s always seem to cover the big stuff but dad gets the joy of celebrating the small moments they create!

I hope all you Father’s out there had a great day!  As a mom and daughter I thank you for all you do!

Bread, Muffins, and Dinner OH MY!

Hello Everyone!  Well per my last post it’s been crazy around here as furniture refinishing has been going on daily.  But I actually have been doing other things!  COOKING!  I know, I know we all cook but due to the fact that I have let grocery shopping get away from me I’ve had to get resourceful.  By this I mean open the fridge and pantry and work with what you have!

First up I’m sharing my newest and favorite addiction making my own bread!  I had a great conversation with my uncle a few months ago.  He shared that he was making his own bread!  I was intrigued as I’ve always had an interest in this but one I don’t own a bread maker and two kneading is a pain the you know what!  So first things first he said there are no machines and no kneading!  WHAT?!  He now had my attention and supplies for the basic recipe are minimal.  He shared with me the Jim Lahey method of bread making.  So I borrowed the book he had given to my mom and read.  I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Problem was I didn’t have a cast iron pot…hmmmm!  Mom always has the necessary supplies for my random needs.  She finally said I could borrow hers as long as I returned it! My first go at it I burned the bread but out of curiosity I cut it in half.  It was super soft and delicious.  So I didn’t give up I prepped my next loaf.  Using bread flour, active yeast, salt and water you drop it all in a bowl give it a quick mix and cover it.  Now’s the trick WAITING & WAITING & WAITING some more.  EIGHTEEN hours to be exact.  Which I just set my phone timer.  Then you remove it and place it onto a floured cloth (lint free) form the dough by tucking then cover it for two hours.  Thirty minutes prior to this rise completing you start the oven once ready you warm your cast iron pot then it’s time to bake the bread!  Here’s the quick part!! Thirty minutes with lid on then they say twenty-thirty lid off.  This is where I had my issue, my oven runs very hot so for me six minutes with the lid off is perfect!  I’ve now made fives loaves and looking forward to my next one being with kalamata olives!  Would eventually like to do as my uncle not purchase store bought bread and use all homemade.  As the cost is minimal and really it takes no time just patience.  So if you are considering baking your own bread I strongly recommend the Jim Lahey No Knead Method!!

 

http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/#/cookbooks/

Next is these delicious little breakfast muffins that were all gone within 24 hours of making!  If that says anything for how they taste I suggest you get in the pantry.  This recipe was one I found on pinterest the only problem I had was I was out of milk.  So what does one do?  Well I grabbed the heavy whipping cream I mean heavy whipping cream makes everything delicious if you ask me!  I also used whole wheat flour as to white flour. Then I started not paying attention to the recipe just the ingredients (which I never do being a baker).  Putting all ingredients in and mixing.  It seemed thick and lumpy like cookie dough.  Hmm didn’t expect that!  Oh well three scoops per muffin and into the oven they went.  Out came some delicious cinnamon and sugar muffins!  I hadn’t even put the topping on yet and they were great!  once I rolled them in some butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture they went from great to phenomenal!  I typically don’t recommend many substitutes who am I kidding lately I’m substituting up the wahzoo!

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http://pinningeveryday.com/2012/10/pinterest-muffins-cinnamon-sugar-old-fashioned-donut-muffins

Next is a great little dinner that everyone enjoyed!  I had a breast and a half of chicken left from the three pack I purchased and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  Then I remembered I wanted to try these mini pot pies.  I boiled the chicken while the kids ate breakfast.  Then shredded it put in a bowl and put in the fridge.  Grabbed the bag of frozen vegetables out and put them in the sink to thaw.  We ran out the door doing the days plans.  Several hours later we got home and I grabbed the crescent rolls out of the fridge, the now thawed veggies and shredded chicken.  Then I looked at the recipe…once again crap I didn’t have any garlic and herb soup?!  Never had seen it to be honest.  So cream of chicken it was and I added a pinch of garlic salt, pepper, and I believe Italian seasoning a pinch of that mixed with chicken, thawed veggies viola I had my pot pie insides!  Rolled out the crescent rolls placed them in the muffin tins.  Which I’ll be honest the crescent rolls didn’t work so great so I ended up using a roll of pizza dough I had.  I know random but I had it and thought why not.  That worked much better!  Stuck them in the oven and once ready added a sprinkle of pepper and served.  I ended up having six extras to put in the fridge and ten that I bagged and froze.  I have no idea how they will be when I defrost so stay tuned.  The important thing here was the KIDS loved them.  I think because they were just their size.  S is on a broccoli kick too so she was happy they were loaded with this!  I will also say I likely would not have this much left over but Joe wasn’t home for dinner hence the abundance left over!

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http://princesspinkygirl.com/mini-chicken-pot-pie/2/

Ok so there are my food shares for this week!  If you have done any great recipes lately please share as I love to try new things!  Another thing to remember just because you are out of one of the ingredients doesn’t mean you can’t make it.  Get creative I always say the pizza delivery never messes up if it comes out horrific!

Have a great rest of your day!  Cheers!

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!🇺🇸

 

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!  As I mentioned in my last post things have been bananas around here.  Not at the fault of anyone only at the fault that my brain can’t focus on one thing so we have 21 things going on at all times around here!

Teacher Appreciation week was last week and I was super excited to do gifts each day for S’s teacher and K’s on the two days he went.  As I agree with many our teachers are the people that provide our children many of the necessary tools to be successful in the educational journey.  I also think there are teachers out there that are truly amazing, I’m not saying all teachers aren’t great but there are those few that have that special gift.  I truly believe both of the kids have a teacher that has this.  S truly lucked out her teacher is stern but passionate.  She has taught S so much this school year Joe and I couldn’t be more proud.  She’s counting to 60, doing addition, and starting to spell words!  Granted maybe this is totally normal in 4K but I’m pretty impressed.  So I wanted last week to be special for her teacher.  I completely can not claim any of these adorable gifts as I’m Pinterest queen for finding these type of things!  So each day S brought a little something and I will tell you I spent very little money as much of it I had on hand!  I think in total for the week I spent $13!  So here are pics of everything.  The only thing I didn’t get a picture of was Friday which she gave her a potted flower and card saying “thanks for helping me grow!”

S had her 4K Circus play/musical at school which she was an acrobat!  It was great to finally see the kids perform the songs S had been singing daily around the house!  The teachers did a great job as I heard one parent say “how do they get them to do all this?”  I can’t even get mine to get dressed!  I completely agree but then again they are their teachers not their parents!

Soccer has continued and K started his cooking class which he made donuts (he ate before I could take a pic)!  He absolutely loves it.  I barely get in the door with him and he’s saying ok see you later mom!  I have to say he has come so far since the beginning of the school year.  As I used to have to stay with him for a bit each day of school.  Now, I can almost drop him at the door and he is completely happy to go see his friends!  Fingers crossed this continues into next year where he will go to “BIG” kid school with S!  S is definitely progressing at soccer she loves the sport and is doing very well.  Tumbling, well tumbling is different she loves it but it is more of a technique sport (if that’s even how you say it?).  There are a lot of parts to remember in doing just a somersault; arms tight to ears, legs together, butt down, chin tucked…I mean I’m exhausted typing the steps!  Soccer you just get out there and get at it! K on the other hand loves practice but they had their first scrimmage and he didn’t understand why they were taking the ball from him, why doesn’t he dribble the ball to the goal alone.  That whole team sport concept will take a bit of time I think for him!  Either way they are both having fun and that’s what matters!

S’s school had a fun fair which the kids and I went to.  I wasn’t sure going into it how it would be as it seemed like they were going to be short volunteers, short on raffle prizes, etc. by the notes sent home.  I was able to donate two baskets I made up.  As again I thought crap that would be terrible to go and have no stuff to bid on.  We got there and it was fantastic!  They had a ton of donated bidding items, games galore set up and all staffed, face painting, food!  Your typical fun fair and one for our community that everyone goes to and makes a night of!  It was great to see such a great community supported event! The kids had a great time as we of course got our faces painted, played a few games and ate ginormous pieces of pizza!

 

One fun and I say fun today as a few days ago I wasn’t sure they would survive!  The kids had a robin build a nest in their play set which I was not wanting to happen as I thought for sure the mother would abandon them having so much activity in there.  But I am happy to say she has not.  She has been going in there in the evenings to care for her now 4 babies!  The kids love checking in on them and seeing them hatch was quite an experience too!

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Speaking of mothers and babies!  Mother’s Day happened just a few days ago!  I hope all you mom’s out there had a wonderful day!  I spent it with the kids putting in my garden which has kind of become a tradition.  This year they painted rocks for us to label each plant we placed!  I also went to dinner with my mom and one of my sisters the Saturday before to celebrate with them!  The day was beautiful and the time was great!

Ok well I’m finishing up some DIY projects which I’m excited to share so we will talk again very soon!  Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Cheers!

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!  Well where do I begin things have been completely crazy around here. Between Joe working 10-15 hour days and the kids starting tumbling, soccer and cooking class!  YES, cooking class!  I’m all over the board these days not sure if I’m coming or going and as they say this is just the beginning for my journey of chasing from sport to sport!  I actually enjoy seeing them at these activities the timing isn’t always convenient (right at dinner) but we are figuring out these minor details!

Let’s quick chat about Joe as I haven’t really seen him in a few weeks as he’s been jumping between jobs like a mad man!  If you remember he did a salon last year.  This year they asked him to do their new bathroom.  So this meant late nights which would be fine if that was all he was doing…LOL not my husband still up and out around 630am and off to a residence then heading to the salon in the evenings until between midnight and 2am!  Then back at it the next day, I’m not sure how he did this for a day let alone three.  Then it was on to getting a home up to speed and finishing up another home and another fireplace as well as completing a outdoor spa.  So the long days continued but not until 2am closer to 11pm.  His final big project he is working feverishly to finish up is a home’s fireplace.  Joe was asked to look at this fireplace as the homeowners thought the original mason’s may have as they put it “put too much sand in the mortar mix”.  Joe went to the residence having no idea what he was getting in to.  After sharing three videos of homes that ranged from theirs 8 years old, to a 30 plus year old home and a three month old homes mortar and seeing within seconds of gently scratching the joints with his chisel it was crumbling off Joe knew this was more than a too much sand in the mortar issue.  This was a safety issue the fireplace was not structurally sound.  As he showed the owners the other two homes which took much more time to even get a small amount of mortar to come off from the joints.  They were as expected disgusted but wanted to have it done right.  This was poor masonry at it’s finest.  Joe had to make a decision if this was a job he was willing to take on.  As there is risk setting up scaffolding and beginning to remove stone what if the wall crumbles taking down his scaffolding and those on it.  Joe also felt terrible for these homeowners that someone would provide such poor craftsmanship.  As you might have been able to tell by past post’s Joe is VERY passionate about stone and the craft of masonry.  He wanted to fix it for them.  A few things that also went along with it.  They had a three week window as they were hosting a party at their home.  But within that three weeks they have to also live at the residence first and foremost, next they have to still replace carpeting, deep clean and have the house ready for this event.  So really Joe had two weeks to tear the entire inside fireplace down which is 22 feet tall using care as they wanted to use the same stone to re-do it, fix any issues within the fireplace, then put all the stones back up the right way.  As the saying goes when it rains it pours!  Once they got into the it they discovered a few problems…the hearth was pretty much set on a pile of sand!  Yes, as to concrete placement the amount of sand used under the hearth was so much that the concrete literally crumbled at the touch.  The stones when tapped with the chisel had all mortar drop off them; which I will say made the cleaning of them much quicker than expected! Then for the final NO WAY when the gentleman came to check the gas line he revealed that the line wasn’t put in properly and had been leaking!  Joe said in his career he has never seen a fireplace like this.  He plans to have the inside done by Sunday leaving the homeowners two weeks to get the inside back in order.  Then next week he will move to the outside which is 40 feet tall.  Who knows what this will bring as it has faced the elements of the midwest.  So, Yes Joe has been busy as everyone has a deadline and these one’s all happen to be within a week of each other.  If anyone has discovered how to re-create a person so they can do their exact talent please let me know as I need three Joe’s right about now!

Back to the kids and I!  S & K started playing soccer which S has always had a thing for the sport since I can remember we have been saying she will be a soccer player.  K well he’s getting there.  He’s enjoying running around and learning.  He was so nervous the first day saying “Mom it’s just practice not a game, right?” He was very concerned about this.  So each week I make sure to say we are heading to practice so we can get better and some day play a game!  Last week he said “I think I will stay in the car and watch a movie, I don’t want to play”.  I said “OK” we arrived and he got out sat down and ate an apple and drank water.  As soon as he heard the coaches whistle he jumped up and said “I have to go the whistle blew!”  It made me so happy as I don’t ever want to pressure my kids to do anything especially sports.  When I was a kid my parents didn’t and I tried stuff I stuck with what I felt I was good at and they supported me.  I think sometimes parents get wrapped up too much themselves and forget it’s not about them it’s about the kids.  Anyway, he’s getting the hang of it and last week one of his classmates was there which he thought was very cool!  So now he’s excited for this weeks practice.  S also started tumbling which we are on week two and I’m not just saying this because she’s my daughter but I can definitely see improvement.  She practiced everything she learned from week one to week two and I think that helped.  She so very excited as all she wants to be able to do is a cartwheel!  I’m thinking we will get there but the coach works a lot on form and being a disciplined gymnast.  Which I think is great as it’s a very easy sport to get hurt in.  I also think S loves the cute outfits!!  K will start cooking class tomorrow which he is sooo excited for!  He loves to bake and cook with me and when I saw that our local YMCA was offering this I had to sign him up.  He’s been talking about it for weeks so I will let you know what my little chef whip’s up!

Other than all this which after I read it I guess maybe it’s not that much.  It’s more the kinks of figuring out when to feed the kids dinner on sports nights as of course they are or when to keep the kids up late to visit with Joe.  As that is one thing we have gotten back on schedule with.  BEDTIME!  Joe almost always let’s them stay up later than I so since he has been working late bedtime is back to 7:30/7:45 and you know what they pass out in minutes and stay asleep until 7 the next morning unless of course S hears Joe then she sneaks down to have breakfast with him!  Or like last week we surprised them by getting up and all going out to breakfast together.  It’s the little things that matter and you really realize that when schedules in life get crazy.  I wish you and yours an amazing evening and we will talk soon!  Cheers

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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!