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Friday, May 29, 2015

the homework room

My idea for this room all started with this episode of Fixer Upper. We were still living in our old home and I just loved this house. I especially loved the playroom off the living/kitchen space. I craved a space like this in our house but we just didn't have it. 

Period. 

There was really no space to even create it. She called it a playroom but for me it looked like the perfect homework room. A place for the kids to go in privacy to do homework. No TV's, no interruptions. 

When we found this floor plan I loved the study/dining space because it was the perfect place for our homework room. I know I've said it before but this really is perfect floor plan for our family. I love this space for so many reasons. 

When you walk into the house it's the first room on the right.


It has the beautiful glass double doors that open all the way up.


I wanted this space to be a perfect learning space for the kids. I wanted it to be cute and a place they wanted to go to work. 

Now I have to admit this is the third time I have decorated this room. When we first moved in I just threw stuff in there. Then I changed it with things we had but I just never really liked it. So on the last day of school the creative juices were flowing and now it's perfect. Glad I didn't post pics of it before ;)

A good friend game me this little chalkboard sign and I immediately knew I wanted it to hang on the door. I just love how cute it is!

When you open the doors you are welcomed by so much natural light from the windows. It's so pretty. We got the drafting table Cameron has always wanted and decided it was perfect under the window with a swivel stool to sit on. I hung some family pics on each side because this really was the best place in the house for these square canvases.


I really debated putting in curtains but found these yesterday at Target and they are perfect! It really completes the room. I closed the blinds so you could get a better look at the curtains :)


2 long desks sit on each side of the room with these fun plastic chairs. The desk are so long that when the boys are in there together we put 2 chairs at their desk.


Over the computer desk we are going to hang framed blueprints of the house. We are having those made as we speak!

Like I had shown in another post I found this really nice chalkboard on clearance at Hobby Lobby. It looks perfect over the desk! For the summer we will keep this up but I look forward to changing it each season.


I found the long tool box at a cute antique store here in Georgetown. We have pencils, crayons and notebooks in there so it's easy for the boys to grab.

On each side of the door on the inside wall, I hung a metal magnetic board. For the summer it has their school schedules but during the school year I plan on using it to display work they bring home.


In an effort to keep the room clean we are using the coat closet across the hall for storage of all things we use in this room. We are still working on putting up shelving and getting a file cabinet but when it's done I'll post pics of it as well.

So that's our homework room. So far everyone loves it! I find we all kind of gravitate towards it during the day to craft or play on the computer. I think everyone with kids should try and find a place for them to be able to go off and work in quiet. It's truly made a world of a difference in getting homework done in our house.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

tomorrowland

We are 1 of 3 schools out in our area for summer so I decided to take advantage of that by taking the kids to a movie! We went to see Tomorrowland because no lie, I love any Disney movie. 


And this one did not disappoint. It was so beautiful to watch. The first 20 minutes even Milly couldn't take her eyes off the screen. 


The best part of the movie...there were only 4 other people in the whole theater! It was fabulous considering I really had no idea how little sister would do in the movie. She was pretty good. I did have to whip out the ol iphone and let her watch Peppa Pig videos on YouTube towards the end of the movie but other then that it was a pretty great experience. 

The movie is VERY science based so if your kids aren't really into that they might not like it. My boys loved it and Aiden was so excited to get home and research some concepts from the movie online.

As we were leaving Milly saw her "boyfriend" so we had to take a pic.


She was quite shy since it was the first time they actually met in person! ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

pool progress

With summer in full swing in our house we are soooo ready for the pool to be done! The bad news is we have had record breaking rain this May which has put the pool progress behind a few weeks. The good news is it's still running a few weeks ahead of time and could be done by the end of June instead of the middle of July like previously told. 

Wahoo!!!!

So here's where we are...

All the stone work should be done today. We used the same stone as on the house and am loving it! It's so pretty and matches our style perfectly. We picked a grayish tile for the border of the pool and while at deco I was nervous about picking this tile since I wasn't sure how it was going to look, I absolutely love it! I think we did good.

Next week they pour the decking which I've been waiting for. I can't wait to see all the beautiful deck we will have to hang out on. This pool couldn't be done soon enough ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

end of school year tradition

One thing I started when Asher was in Kinder and Aiden in 1st grade was surprising them with summer gifts when they came home from school on their last day. It all started when I found these cute PB kids summer tote bags on sale. I figured I would just fill it with fun things for them.


Then the next year the morning of the last day I realized that I wanted to make this a tradition and keep it going. So I ran out and just grabbed a few fun things.


This year I knew that I wanted to do this again and I already knew what I wanted to get them. Since this is our "summer of learning" I chose Scrabble Jr and a diary for each boy. They have been wanting a diary with a key since the book fair at school but most ones you find are for girls. I found these on amazon and they were perfect!


Along with the gift I worked all day on the last day of school, redoing our homework room trying to make it the perfect space for summer learning. I found this awesome chalkboard on clearance at Hobby Lobby. Every year we make a list of fun things to do for the summer so I thought this chalkboard would be the perfect place to make our list. 


I also wanted to display it over their desk so they will remember that hard work will pay off! I put their presents on the desk and when they came home from school they were so excited about the gifts and the new working space.


More pics on the homework room and the story on it and how it came about later this week ;)

Friday, May 22, 2015

last day of school!

Today is the day we've been waiting for...last day of school!!!!!


One thing I always enjoy is getting my boy's teachers a really awesome end of the year gift. This years gift I have been planning since August when school started ;) It was then that I found Erin Condren and her line of planners. I absolutely love my planner and it's seriously changed my life. I am so organized and rarely ( like how I said rarely) miss an important date. Plus it's soooo cute! One of my favorite things is that it has interchangable covers. After our Disney trip I just fell in love with the pictures so I ordered a new cover for my planner.



So cute huh?!

Along with planners she also has a line of lesson planners (this is where the teacher gift idea comes in) plus a few other fun things teachers can use. 

And here's another great part...she offers a printable gift card! So just this morning I stopped by her site, paid for the gift card and printed it out! Super easy and fun and I know our teachers will love it because her site is so fun to shop on!

I have another fun end of the school year tradition I'll share tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

our mudroom

This mudroom that I now can proudly call "ours" has been a dream in my head for many years. At the old house there was just no real space for all our stuff like backpacks, purses, shoes...all that everyday stuff. I did my best to try and create different spaces around the house for it all but nothing really came out to be what I really wanted. 

Now I finally have that and it feels oh so good to my little I crave organization heart :)

One of the immediate things that made me love this floor plan for our family was the mudroom. It was small, smaller then I had always imagined but at least it was a room, standing alone that we could create something useful in. It was a complete blank slate when we started. All that was there was the window and mail holder I bought at World Market.



I had thought about using premade furniture for the room (see design post) but after talking to Cameron and browsing Pinterest for months, he convinced me to let him build it out. Now my husband is very handy but he has never really taken on a project this big so I was a little nervous. I showed him pictures, we talked about it and off he was to the lumber store.

Things I knew we needed were:
1. lots of shoe storage. No shoes are allowed on the carpet and being that the kids rooms are upstairs we pretty much store all their shoes downstairs. 
2. a big bench with enough room for all kids to sit on and put their shoes on.
3. lots of hanging space. With 3 backpacks, 2 lunch bags, my purse, Milly's extra stuff bag and reusable bags it's easy to say we are a bag loving family ;)
4. a calendar station and mail station. I have always wanted a giant calendar where I can write all of our schedule for everyone to see. And a mail space because one thing I really dislike is mail everywhere.

So with my ideas and a few of his own, off he went building. 




3 days later I had this!


And after I cleaned and stained it 




we had this!


Oh holy moly!!!!! It exceeded everything I had imagined.





And I finally got my giant calendar.


I bought a dry erase calendar decal I found on PB teen on clearance. Then Cameron made me the frame out of extra wood and I put a light stain rub on it. The beautiful sign was a gift from our friends The Crissey's :) I love this phrase hanging right over our calendar. The rug is an indoor/outdoor rug from Target that brought the pop of color that I love! Plus it's so easy to clean being for outdoors as well.



I ordered the burlap curtain from etsy and love it! Fits perfectly in this room. As for the star, I had mentioned it in the design post as well. It was my inspiration for the whole room. It's from this shop and I customized it to have our motto this year for our family "for we walk by faith not by sight." so beautiful!



This now might be my fav room in the house. I clean it everyday ;) and just love everything about it. My man did such a great job! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

last week of school

I cannot begin to tell you how insanely happy I am it's the last week of school! I particularly love summer and spending lots of extra time with my boys. I love sleeping in, not making lunches every morning, not sitting in my usual morning traffic commute...I mean seriously the list could go on and on...

I was chatting with a mom friend of mine a few weeks back and mentioned how excited I am for summer to find a totally different response from her. She was dreading it. She hated not having a schedule and was completely not looking forward to it at all. While at first I was taken aback by her response I let it settle in. Once it did I realized that while her reaction to summer is different then mine doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it. There are moms all over the country not looking forward to the next 2ish months and that's okay. We are all in this together even if our views are different. 

And I get what she is saying. The first few weeks of summer we are on a high and everything is great. But yeah...a few weeks in my kids are fighting, complaining they are bored and none of that is fun. It's actually quite miserable. Maybe my views of summer are the same when it comes to thinking of pregnancy and childbirth. You only remember the amazing parts, not the reality. So in an effort to try and minimalize our summer meltdowns I am creating a somewhat-very lenient schedule for our family.

I had planned a few months ago to do some sort of summer school for my boys this year. I hate admitting it but every year when school starts back up they have fallen behind in reading and spelling. I used the excuse well they are young it's okay for long enough. Aiden is going to be in 4th grade and his school is very competitive. No more excuses...summer school here we come.

I stopped in Barnes and Noble last week and picked up these workbooks for my boys. 


They cover all subjects and look really fun. Step 1, check!

Next I need a schedule. I have to boys in all kinds of camps this summer.

I mean does our schedule not seem a little insane ;)


So for the first few weeks of summer their mornings are pretty much full. However one thing that I really wanted to get in a habit of was morning devotionals. So I'm going to try and set aside time in the morning (I think while they are eating breakfast) to sit down and read and study a Bible passage in the morning. Seems like a nice way to start the day. Because their camps are all pretty physical I think our "school time" will work best after camp. I think that 20 minutes of school work on one subject a day would be good. Then add in 20 minutes of them reading alternating days to me and then to themselves. After that they will be open to playing or taking turn playing electronics (I'll post a blog about controlling electronic use this summer later). In other words they will have some free time!

Here are some great links from Pinterest that I found for summer school schedules or just summer schedules in general.

 http://www.busykidshappymom.org/diy-summer-school/


And here's just a fun schedule of things to do in case you don't want to do a school version.


I also love this schedule especially because the kids can see it so they won't ask a millions times what they can do ;)


While I am super excited about our schedule I just want to put a disclaimer that I am fully aware that there will be days when nothing gets done. The beauty of this is that I am totally okay with that. It's just on the days that things do get done I will at least feel like I am giving it my all in helping to keep my boys little heads full of knowledge for their upcoming school year :)

5 days and counting until SUMMA TIME!!!!



Saturday, May 16, 2015

an interesting week

Do you ever have those moments when it feels like nothing can possible go your way?

That's been me these past few weeks...I mean seriously if I have planned something it will not go accordingly. I'm beginning to feel very defeated. I know these moments will pass and everyone goes through them and when I am in the middle of these weeks that seem to never end I turn to prayer to help get me through.

It all started with Asher's birthday not really turning into what it should. We got past it, brushed ourselves off and moved on with a positive attitude. Then came Mother's Day. While it wasn't bad by any means it was mostly a day spent driving to and from baseball games with a screaming 2 year old. Cameron and I were determined to turn the day around and headed out to an antique store we have been dying to hit up. And hour and half drive later we find it was closed. So we decided to eat lunch at a cute Mexican food restaurant across the street only to spend our lunch watching said 2 year scream and kick all while laying on the lovely floor of the restaurant. After all that fun we packed up and headed to my mom's house to give her the mother's day present I was so extremely excited to give her (a big Yeti travel mug) only to walk in and see 2 Yeti travel mugs sitting on the table where she so excitedly told me that Dad had got them for her. 

Awesome.

Like the great mother she is, she acted very excited that she now had another one. At this point I was just plain exhausted so we headed home to where my mother's day ended with bug hugs and kisses and I went to bed feeling happy and thankful despite all the derailing in the day.

Fast forward to Tuesday. It was so super rainy outside but that morning we had a basketball hoop installed for the boys. 


As we came home from school and turned the corner to our street as they saw it come in view they started freaking out!!!! It was so fun and I couldn't wait to take their picture. We pulled in the garage and as I was getting out of the car I slipped and fell hitting my tailbone, back, head and elbow on the car. I am not a baby by any means when it comes to pain and I was in some serious pain! I laid in bed the rest of the day barely able to move as Cam took care of the kids. The next morning I went to the doctor to find out I had a few bruised ribs and strained muscles around my rib cage. 

Awesome.

Oh and I love the advice not to lift anything heavy when there is a certain little blond curly haired 2 year old running around. Thanks doc.

Thankful that it wasn't anything worse we headed to home so I could rest. Aiden had been complaining of a belly ache so I ran a bath for him to sit in and rest. About 5 minutes into the bath he stands up and throws up all in the bathtub. 

Awesome.

Cam had run to the store and I was still so sore but found a way to clean it up without having to bend over alot. It was quite interesting ;) 

Cam rushed home but while at the store had bought me some flowers because he knows I love them and they always cheer me up.


And they did :)

I awoke the next morning feeling a little less sore and pretty happy because it was my birthday!!!! The big 3-5, officially in my mid thirties. The boys surprised me with a card these some more beautiful flowers


and an itinerary for the next day which included a morning at the spa, a day of shopping and then a dinner out at a restaurant we've been wanting to try. And of course my mom would have the kids so I could really enjoy it. All day I looked forward to Friday.

2am...Aiden comes in our room to inform me Asher has thrown up. He proceeds to throw up at 4am, 6am and at that point I knew my perfect day was going to be history. Thankfully Cam insisted I go to the spa and he would stay with the kids. 

That was heavenly and a bright spot in my entire week. 4 glorious hours of quiet and relaxing time to rejuvenate my soul. And it was just what was needed because as I pulling in the driveway I see a half naked baby being held by a daddy with a slightly freaked out face. Yup Milly had puked all over the living room. 

Oh my oh my.

This morning I sit here with 3 children who are no longer sick, a husband (along with myself) that are praying that we do not get sick all in a house that desperately needs to be cleaned and scrubbed to get all these nasty germs out. 

The amount of time spent praying this week could go in the record books and I know these are very very minor setbacks in the grand scheme of life. I am keeping my head high and looking forward because even those these setbacks where disappointing I am thankful for this life and all the joys and disappointments that it brings. 

Happy weekend :)