Fireplace Update

Hello!  Ok I’m a few days behind on sharing as things have been bananas but I wanted to quick check in with a picture of the finished fireplace I talked about in my last post that Joe had to re-do for a client!  It turned out beautiful as Joe added some uplighting (thanks to Vanderstappen Power Plus) as they only had two can lights…Stone thrives when lit up as you can see below!

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I have so much more to share just feels like the days don’t have enough time in them but expect to see more over the next few days!  DIY, Kids, pretty much everything but the kitchen sink!  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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Lisenby Week in Review

Good Morning and Happy Friday Followers!

This week has been all over the board for me as far as having any sense of what day or time it is!  Ugh I hate when this happens as I like to be in control of just about every aspect of my life; I know I need to chill a bit but it’s me.  So when I’m freaking at Joe about running late, garbage going out, house being a mess when friends are coming for dinner, blah, blah, blah (I’m sure this is all he heard the whole time) and he responds with IT’S WEDNESDAY! NOT THURSDAY! ARGH! That freaking just spins me as then I’m like oh crap and FANTASTIC as the same time!  A slight apology is given to the clearly brains behind our operation aka Joe and we move on with the day!  So here I am Friday and just connecting.

Not sure if I shared but next week K turns 4!  I know first I’m seriously not old enough to have a 4 and 5 year old!!! LOL! Second when the heck did this happen and how did March creep up on me so fast!  As we have discussed I LOVE birthdays I think they are just a great day to make someone know how special they are to those around them.  WELL…I totally forgot his special day was so soon so guess what we are celebrating at the same place we had S’s party!  With how crazy last month was time just got away from me😟 I have known how he wanted a Lego party for some time but to do all the details and get entertainment I just don’t have the time to feel it would be a success.  Joe said the kids loved S’s party let’s just make it easy on everyone.  So I am still going to do a Lego cake for him and he asked for Lego and Minion cupcakes to take to school.  I found a really cute print out for Lego invites for free (see below).  We will do goodie bags keeping in Lego theme.  I also found a cute print out of a Lego man that I’m going to do on the birthday boys shirt!  So yes, 2016 so far has started with two toddlers sick multiple times and having the EASIEST birthday parties you can think of to date.  You know what?  I’m am totally good with this I’m realizing I’m not super woman and life happens.  We can’t always maybe do exactly as we plan but that’s ok!  So we will celebrate the weekend after again another deep breath as I couldn’t get invites out with only a week and a half until his party.  I just didn’t think that was good party invite etiquette?!  That’s just me!  So I will share a few pics when K’s big day arrives!  For now here is the invite and link so you can use!  I did mine out of primary color construction paper and the inside paper I used cardstock  so these cost ZERO!  I appreciate hubpages for sharing and allowing the use!

 

http://hubpages.com/holidays/lego-birthday-party-ideas-2#

Let’s chat about food quick as I don’t think we’ve gone there in a week!  So this week dinner along with everything else has been shot!  But a recipe I have done and everyone enjoyed was a ground turkey taco skillet!  We had a cousin sleepover and I realized I hadn’t really planned for dinner so I pulled this recipe out of my “Food” board on Pinterest quick. My kids love when we have taco’s as as to having them in tortillas I buy scoop style chips and spoon a bit into each.  Yes some may say this isn’t the healthiest but let’s discuss healthy for a minute!  Is having your child not eat any dinner and being a grazer on snacks throughout the day healthy either?  I think this is a choose your battles and provide sufficient amounts of healthy items within the meal this then counters the “unhealthy” item on the plate; what do you think?  So this recipe has ground turkey, corn, and brown rice as well as other ingredients.  I also give the kids an applesauce cup to have as I’m preparing their nacho’s and a glass of milk.  For this recipe itself I was out of salsa as well as lettuce so we did without.  My nephew and S loved them; actually had seconds!  I typically do 6-8 chips on their plate.  K on the other hand he didn’t like his corn warm so yes I picked it off.  He then ate his plate as well!  The recipe does call for green chiles I did have the 4oz container when I prepared and once the kids were served I added the remainder for Joe and I.  So if you have a picky eater but they love a good chip I absolutely say try this route!

http://tone-and-tighten.com/2015/09/ground-turkey-taco-skillet.html

https://www.pinterest.com/sidnee2011/food/

On to Joe I have promised to share an update of all that has kept him out of the house…some call it a J-O-B!  Joe does not refer to what he does as work.  He is a firm believer if you do what you love its not work at all.  So he has completed some really fantastic projects recently.

Including a 1846 farmhouse restoration project using all original materials and erecting a new traditional firebox!  The homeowner also had him do restoration tuck pointing on inside walls.

He is also in the final stages of finishing up a new build home that he has used a total of 180 tons of stone on!  Which in layman’s terms is the outside of the home, built-ins in the great room, a powder room, six fireplaces with floor to ceiling stone and a roof terrace!

He recently completed a phase of a home remodel!  This client is huge fan of nautical so he wanted a 650 gallon saltwater tank built into the wall!  Joe loves these types of requests!  He currently is finishing up the homeowners spa and designing his wine cellar!  Pictures to come soon!

So these are just a few things Joe has been focusing on…I honestly could share for pages all he has going and has currently completed but this gives you an idea of the passion he has for the work he does!  I’m updating our houzz page often so please do follow us there!

http://www.houzz.com/pro/moonlightmasonry/moonlight-masonry

Well the weekend is here so make it a great one!  I look forward to the kids finishing up their spring crafts and sharing VERY soon!  Cheers

 

 

Where do the Days go!?

HELLO Friends!  Things are crazy busy and I do think a big part of this is due to the fact that our summer just started July 1st!  So for us we are sucking up every day of hot weather we can.  S starts 4K in just a few short weeks and K starts 3K.  I truly can not believe I am going to have a child in “real” school!  I am also so very excited for her to start her journey in life of learning all the world of school has to offer…First best friends, first homework assignment, first field trip!  K will be heading to the Montessori school S attended last year.  With him being my child that appreciates perfection I think he will do great.  Tonight was his first time doing a new chore of putting his laundry away.  He did amazing and was so proud of himself.

Besides what’s ahead let’s chat about what we have been up to!  The 4th of July party was a huge success!  Unfortunately I was so wrapped up in the day I failed to take pictures of the set up but do stay tuned I will get these to you!  I think every kid went home on a sugar high and holding a small glass bowl with a goldfish as well as having a subtle hint of camel smell attached to their clothing.  We are so very excited for next year’s party.  Now the challenge is topping this year!

As I mentioned our summer truly began in July so that meant it was time for us to hit the beach we are fortunate to have passes to our local beach so it has become a once if not twice a week hot spot!  Usually Grandma and Papa join us one of these days!  We have also spent many days with our cousins doing fun things including swimming, sleepover, farms, rodeo’s and bike rides!  We have had a lot of fun!  Joe has been working like mad so all projects that require him at our house are completely on hold.  Yes I agree BOO, BOO, BOO!  But as I know but still like to pretend I don’t being a business owner can sometimes or should I say always have you putting your projects on the back burner.  We are grateful that Joe has been such a success but the up at 530 and home at 11pm has been rough.  We are almost through it.

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Here’s a few pictures of what Joe has been doing…A salon, a lake house, and a hand forge which K was able to go help one evening!

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We had planned to head to one of our favorite spots of Door County for his birthday a few weeks back but unfortunately had to post-pone.  But new grandma came down from Hayward to give us a night out which was fun and we are happy we were able to do but our time with her is always too short.  The kids had a blast as new grandma spoils them rotten!  S ran to the grocery store with her to grab me hairspray when she arrived.  They were gone for what seemed to be FOREVER!  Well, they came back without the hairspray.  My mother in law said we couldn’t find the kind you like we went to three places.  I said “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I will use whatever I’m not picky”  she said “ok we will run back.”  Well they came home and S had worked her four-year old magic on grandma…As they were in the grocery store S told her “usually when we come to the grocery store with mommy we get a little something”.  My mother in law said “Oh you do?  What would you like?”  S said “I would really like some chocolate”  So what does S come home with two milky way bars!  Then she told grandma she needed a little something more as she hadn’t seen S in a long time!  WHAT!  So grandma also bought her new hair clips!  I mean seriously who is this girl!  After Joe and I left for dinner she took the kids to their favorite restaurant where they have a game room.  New Papa was recently very sick so he had to forego coming down but he made sure to send Grandma with a roll of quarters for each kid.  I know they are too good to these two!  Then Grandma even took them to the park to play for a bit before coming home.  Which unfortunately Grandma was doing underdogs and slipped and hurt her leg/foot.  Grandma had to leave pretty early the next morning to get back to Papa but the kids had an amazing visit which is what matters!

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As I said Joe isn’t able to work on any of our home projects so I am here enjoying my landscaping duties!  I love mowing the lawn when I can’t go running this is my other mind off life activity.  Some say pulling weeds is a stress reliever for them which I completely get but I find pulling vegetables out of my garden and fruit off my trees way more rewarding.  Everything here has been crazy late in arriving except our snap peas or green beans.  Those two I have an abundance of.  My tomatoes are now to the point of letting me share with family as well as bell peppers.  My lettuce I didn’t give proper attention to on its first growth but second round has been wonderful and we are now producing our third batch.  Our pear tree has produced a good amount this year but our darn puppy runs past the tree enough to knock them off and enjoy them himself!  We also discovered that we planted two plum trees as they began producing this year.

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I know I mentioned my transplanting of many flowers as we were due to start renovating so I had to do a quick fix around the back of our house before our 4th party.  I love the way it ended up looking with just a few bags of medium height wildflowers, twelve clearance pansies at Wal-Mart, and sunflower and marigold seeds we got from a friend!  Patients is key with these bags of seed…

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We just were able to complete the walkway off the bridge in the backyard as well.  So I guess Joe has been able to help me a bit!  I transplanted all my hostas (which get a daily trample by the dogs) and we grabbed some geraniums and lilies to do along the walkway!

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I don’t think I ever shared the completed play set project either.  So here are a few pics of this space.

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My current projects include chalk paint and my sewing machine!  My mom has done a lot of furniture with this and I have bought furniture over the past year for VERY cheap but haven’t gotten beyond sanding.  Joe is asking if my furniture purchases will ever move out of his shop and to a completed project home!  So I did my first end table.  I purchased the table at a garage sale a few months ago and just got to taking the time to complete it!  I do like the final product and it has gotten me excited to do more.  Maybe get the two chairs in the shop done!  I did however purchase a kids papasan chair today that I started while at mom and dad’s this afternoon.  Picture of this completed soon!  We have friends expecting their first bundle of joy in October they do not know the sex of their baby but they own a local boat rental company so I decided to make a few items for them in a nautical theme!  Here is the reversible bib, burp cloth, and changing pad.  I also made bibs and burp cloths in three other fabrics!

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Well I know so much to share I promise to check in as soon as I get these projects complete.  We have planned to head to the zoo and I’m sure a few other things before summer ends.  I look forward to sharing with you!  Until then be well!

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!

Summer Has Taken Over!

HELLO! Well summer has officially arrived in the Lisenby home or at least I am back to myself 100 percent and its been non stop! As we prep for our annual 4th of July party as well as have some fun with the kiddos the days have simply gotten away from me!
We arrived this evening at my in laws summer home. Joe stayed back as summer is his busy time and there are still a few things to do before Saturday! So we drove six hours with my sister and brother-in-law to have a long over due visit!  As we all know these things are VERY necessary just as I’ve mentioned in the past about going out with friends for adult time.  Just getting out of dodge for a couple of days is always a good thing.  Wish Joe could join but as a business owner I appreciate and respect why he couldn’t come.

Things around the house are coming together nicely despite a ton of rain! BOO! As the Koi pond and fountain were completed last time I checked in last week we were finally able to lay sod! Joe and I laid 2400 square feet and he and two others laid the remaining 1200 square feet! Honestly I had no interest in doing this at 8p.m. but I do love working together to create a place to enjoy with our family and friends.  So I enjoyed helping!

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Keeping things moving Joe put in our fire pit this past week as well! As he took on doing a design he had not done before I was excited to see the outcome! Being the wife of someone who has so many ideas you never really know what he will want to do next! I think he nailed this. He was inspired by the wood boats we see on the lake. The beauty of them is something a boaters or non boaters (as we are) can appreciate! Also known as Woodies…here is a few pics of start to finish!
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The kids have also not slowed down; I actually feel like we’ve been on a carnival ride that just as you think is slowing down to stop the operator accidentally hits go and back at it you are! We are loving the ride so far! Busy means happy babies as well as exhausted! Which in my book is a double thumbs up! We went to a bi-plane fly in breakfast that K loved! We started rookie sports which both really love! We went to an amazing free zoo and we also have simply enjoyed turtle, Koi, Frog and Goldfish watching in the back yard!
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The kids have still been enjoying every minute of Aunt Connie time that they have had…playing salon and coloring have been just a few of the highlights! We also took them out on their bikes for the first time! I was impressed they made it two miles. I’m pretty sure S’s legs were jello but they had fun riding where big kids do! We also squeezed in pictures as Connie is an amazing photographer based in Georgia. So when she visits I love having her get summer pics of S and K!

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I’m sure I will have plenty to share after these next few days! Until then enjoy the 4th of July holiday! Keep it safe and take many pictures creating memories of the fun you had!
http://www.cslisenbyphotography.com

https://www.vilaszoo.org