and they're off...

Lila and Bennett finally had their much anticipated first day of young 4's preschool today! Yippee!! They were thrilled to go to class and said they had a great day!

I know I am looking forward to settling back into our "school" routine...this year it should be interesting as we are adding an additional dance class for each of the girls, soccer for Lila and Bennett, and a little homework for Elise....I can already see what the future holds...and it is a scary world of fitting in school and extracurriculars with 3. I am up for the challenge, and hope I can handle it!


weekend warriors

As grateful as I am for our much bigger laundry room in this house, it has been driving me nuts for the past two years! The painters (not hired by us) that painted the whole house definitely were not worried about doing the job right. The laundry room was filled with wire shelving, and it was very evident that they did not even dust the shelving before spraying the whole room with flat latex paint. So the shelves looked disgusting.

The shelving also contributed to a very cave-like feel in the room. Even though it was nice to have storage to the ceiling, it made the room feel super small, and just wasn't working for us anymore. I actually spend A LOT of time in this room, and want to enjoy being in it!

One of the biggest issues with the room was the fact that the pantry was in a closet behind the door into the room. It was very difficult to get to, had sagging wire shelves, and could not bear the weight of canned goods, which I had to store in a bin on the floor.

We had installed an inexpensive laundry sink when we moved in, which unfortunately ended up being a mistake. I never used it because it was crammed into the corner, and with the old layout of the room it just was in the way.

Obviously, with our recent bathroom renovation there was no way we could make any huge changes in the laundry room. But, I spent a lot of time last week thinking and planning and trying to figure out what kind of improvements I could make without spending much money. And this is what I came up with:

I spent most of Friday removing every piece of the gross wire shelving. My plan was to caulk the holes and touch up the paint. There were so many holes that I ended up having to paint the whole room, but was able to doing it only having to purchase one quart of paint (we had a leftover quart in the garage which I used as well). This was labor intensive, but as soon as the shelves came down I felt better already!

When David got home he uninstalled the sink for me. We struggled with this decision, but in the end decided it was the right thing to do.

Then we built this free standing unit, which I found at Home Depot. I reorganized and made this our new pantry. It is very easy to access right when you enter the room.

For now I am leaving my old laminate cabinets, which I updated by painting with chalkboard paint a few months back. My Mom gave me a bunch of black frames and I plan on filling the space above the cabinets, pantry, and window with photos and the kids' artwork. I would like it to be a gallery room floor to ceiling eventually.

I added ribbon to my existing roman shade, which I had done already in the girls' rooms and been happy with. Then David installed three hooks under the windows for the kids' school bags.

I reused the bins I had above the desk, but replaced the wire shelves with pieces of wood that we had cut at home depot, and that I painted white. Then I also painted the trim on the front of the laminate countertop white, to make it blend in better. I am still in the process of working on the skirt- I have had this fabric for a while, love it, and was waiting to find the perfect space for it. Still have enough leftover to make some throw pillows down the line.

The old pantry now has two hanging rods, one to store the kids coats on, and one for me to use when hanging clothes to dry. The hamper is inside the closet as well, and a simple brown drape I found for $20 and hung with a tension rod covers it all up when not in use.

David and I worked really hard and I am very pleased with the results. Still recovering from the hard work, but it was definitely worth it. Hoping to start on "phase two"- getting the frames hung- this weekend.

I love accomplishing so much in a short time!


I was uploading pictures from our weekend project and came across these pics of Elise getting off of the bus on her first day of school. I didn't even realize that David was taking pictures- I was just so excited to see her and hear about her day! Even though these pics make me realize I am in major need of a hair makeover, I always want to remember how happy she looks to see us in these pictures! Makes me cry!

2 weeks down and she is still getting off of the bus with this big of a smile daily....can't ask for much more!


a little bragging.....

Elise is adjusting really well to school and had a great first week! I think she is actually handling the change better than I am. Ha! By Friday she was quite exhausted, but from talking to some fellow kindergarten Moms that is pretty normal for the first week.
Each day she gets off of the bus with a huge smile on her face and loves filling us in on what goes on at school. Today she was especially happy because she had good news to share (and because she had her first homework-so funny!)! The school has four key principles (expectations of behavior) that they reinforce in all areas: be kind, be respectful, be responsible, and be safe. And here is Elise's version of what went on today- They had an afternoon assembly and 4 children from each class were recognized for exemplifying one of the "be" rules. Elise was recognized from her class for being responsible.
According to the handbook they do recognize and reward good behavior twice a month in afternoon assemblies, so I am assuming her story is pretty on target. She was pretty excited to share her good news!
And if I can't brag in my online baby book, when can I? So proud of our sweet little girl and so thankful to see her so very happy.


and she's off!

It is a big day around here...as Elise has started Kindergarten in a new school today!

I love this pic!! Even though poor Bennett's nose is all scraped up (he rolled off of my mom's couch onto a sisal rug- bad brush burn!). Lila and Bennett were so excited for their big sister today!

and yes...I followed the bus to school (I promise this is not unusual for kindergarten moms) and watched her get off with a big smile!

With her buddy Reese...

And with Landry and Reese...who are both in her class!

Time to head in for school!!

We are so proud of her today and so excited for all of the learning she has to look forward to! We are very optimistic for a wonderful year and wish, hope, and pray for the best for our precious little girl as she begins her exciting elementary school years!


friday flowers

We were all pleasantly surprised to have the doorbell ring early Friday morning, and even more so when there was a lady standing there with a beautiful bouquet of yellow and white daisies and roses. I wish I had captured the look on Elise's face when the lady said "I am looking for Elise!".
She was sooo thrilled to receive her very own bouquet, wishing her a great start at her new school, from Aunt Mo and Uncle Phillip (and, of course, crazy Buddy/Howie). What thoughtful Aunts and Uncles she has!!

She is also pretty proud of her new (extra short) back to school hair cut. She LOVES it! I do think she looks absolutely precious, although much older than I would like. But I kept my mouth zipped nice and tight and let her have it cut how she wants. I figure I'll save my opinions for much more important battles! :)

Last night she attended her first ever slumber party for her friend Madeleine's 6th birthday! Needless to say Madeleine has brave parents! We are planning to lay very low the rest of the day, because I have a feeling we will have a very, very, tired girl on our hands - and she needs to rest up for her big day Monday!



We had a very uneventful weekend, because most of it was spent just trying to get the kids to feel better. We had our first case of strep, and boy, is it rough. Poor Bennett was soooo sick. It came on rather quickly on Thursday, and by Friday he was in bad shape- fever, vomiting, and a horrible rash head to toe. Never once mentioned a sore throat. So thankful for the wonderful nurse at our pediatrician's office who had a feeling it may be strep and had me bring him in. The girls started with fever Friday night, but luckily we were able to get them all on antibiotics, which began helping immediately.

Today I took this big girl up to school to do some screening with her teacher. She posed in front of the school sign before we went in- so proud to be in elementary school now!!
(for safety purposes I don't plan on sharing her school name on the blog- you can never be too safe).
She was so excited to be back up there, and wishes she didn't have to wait a whole week for school to really start!!

We thought the last haircut was the worst hair cut ever. But this one definitely takes the cake. Poor Boss. Even he is embarrassed. My Mom best described him as one of those reindeer that people make out of logs, with the big heads and skinny, skinny legs. We had NO CLUE he was tiny under all of that fur. I swear he is invisible sideways!!!
He had some knots, so they had to shave him. Let's just say this is all the motivation we need to do a better job of brushing him!!!
We want our living teddy bear back! For now, he is a living cartoon character!

We plan to have a low key week this week just hanging out together, getting some last minute swimming in, trying to get rid of lingering coughs, and just hanging out before next week- when Elise will go to kindergarten!



We had a great week last week participating in the vacation Bible school for our church. The kids have had a very Holy summer- doing three Bible schools- and have loved every minute of it! We did the one at their school together earlier in the summer, my Mom took them to the one at her church while we were in Mexico, and then last week was our home churches turn. It was the first time in a while that our church had offered it, and so we kept it very small and quaint. It was a really neat week for the kids, and for me, and a perfect way to bring the summer to a close. The theme was Children of the World, and each day the kids rotated in groups from Music to Art to Godly Play and to free centers....

Lila and Bennett and their group in Music...

Lila participating in group games...

Reese, Elise, and Constance during snack break/ recess...

Bennett loved to hang with the big boys!

Working on puzzles of the globe...

And two Lilas playing during free centers...

It was a wonderfully long, full, and tiring week, but I loved every minute of it. Trying to soak up each day I can, especially with Elise, because school will be here in no time!