My Favorite Sister

My sis came to visit last weekend! I can’t even tell you how happy that made me. At first, I wanted her to wait until Lars came back from North Carolina because I’m not really the “fun” one and I was worried her kids would be disappointed that he wasn’t there. But she came anyway and it turned out to be the best thing for me. I mean, I really really really needed a weekend of just fun.

And when I hang out with Rachel, I don’t need to worry about entertaining her or making sure everything in the house is picked up and perfect. You wouldn’t think that having four extra people in the house would be relaxing, but it really was!

So here’s our weekend in pictures:



tour of the house and yard

hang out



sourdough pancakes

conquering the dirt hill


Just Dance

I almost die while making popcorn

Rachel posts embarrassing photo of me on Facebook

Wreck it Ralph






Subway sandwiches


we take about 5000 awful pictures of ourselves in order to get The Perfect One

Candy Crush and then MORE Candy Crush

discovered: A Beautiful Mess app

Chicken Alfredo (Rachel’s FAVE!)


singing Everclear’s “Santa Monica” at the top of our lungs




watching my kids leave for school on the bus

Australian Rails (I won!)

Kaiden builds a fort out of garbage

softball game gets rained out

I don’t want Rachel to go home

But she does anyway ūüė¶

So I leave whiney, depressing messages for her to get later.




2013 Projects

We have three projects on our to-do list for this year. There is so much to be done, but I didn’t want it to be too overwhelming or difficult to finish up before the end of the year.

1. Get the fence up.

We have a very large, triangle-shaped yard. Our house sits almost on one edge of the property and towards the front. So that leaves us with a perfect front yard and a huge backyard – which I love. But I really wanted to be able to let the chickens out to wander around without worrying too much about the dogs in our area.We also wanted some privacy and a place for our kids to play away from the road.

The fence was a pretty big undertaking. Lars and I would go out after dinner every night and walk the perimeter and talk about where we wanted the fence to stop and start. Once we decided, Lars ordered the supplies from Lowe’s and we made several runs over there to pick it all up.

We were so fortunate to have Lars’s brother come into town for work – he stayed late and helped us dig the post holes. We completely owe him. That was hard work!


At first, we borrowed a nail gun for the slats. But we ended up buying one – making Lars one very happy camper.



That’s a lotta fence right there.

The slats went up really quickly, but we had to stop for about a week and a half because I came down with the flu. We lost an entire weekend because of it. The next weekend was the retreat for Pixels and Company plus the kids had their spring recital. We were feeling really stressed because we wanted to have the whole thing done before Lars left for a three-week training.

So over the first weekend in May, Lars was able to knock out the rest of the slats on the one side of the house…


…and then we got a small section of fence put up on the other side – between us and the neighbors. Most of the fence was already there when we moved in, but for some reason, they stopped the fencing just short of the property line. We finished it off.

Our plans include two gates. A small one that a person can walk through and then a larger one on the other side of the house that will open up for a vehicle. Lars was able to get the small gate done no problem. But when we started planning for the large gate, we ran into some problems. The area is not level. Not even close. And though we gave it a good effort with the tiller and some of my considerable muscle (HA!), we weren’t able to do a thing. We’re going to need some heavier equipment. So for now, we’ve got a temporary chicken wire fence put up so the chickens and kids stay in the yard.

This project will have to wait until the side and front yard is leveled.

2. Get the garden put in.

I knew right away where I wanted the garden. This was taken before the fence went up.


Way down there, were Lars (in the red shirt) is standing. THAT is where I wanted the garden.

This corner of the backyard is perfect! It gets sunlight all the time, it’s out of the way, and it’ll square off that part of the yard really nicely. This year, we’re keeping it small because I’m not sure how much I can handle. But I eventually want it to come clear out and be the bulk of that side of the yard.


I want to be able to grow all the tomatoes we need for the year – about 300 lbs. Now, I’m not at all sure what that’s going to look like – in terms of how many plants and how much space it will require, but I’m sure gonna try my best!


This year we’ve got pumpkins, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, and green onion.


our pumpkin patch

I didn’t intend to have the little pathways around the garden, but it just sort of worked out that way. I like it very much. And I found a place for my gnome!


So the garden is in! I water it first thing in the morning and then Lucy, Gavin, and I go out later to feed the chickens, collect the eggs, and weed the garden. It’s our routine and it’s really lovely. I just love being outside with my littles, walking in the garden and seeing to those chores. Sounds stupid and sappy, but there it is.

3. Get the front yard landscaped.


Oy. I don’t even know where to start with this one. As I spend more time out there, I kind of know that I want some green perennial shrubs (on the smallish side) to line the porch. I also want to build up the soil where the driveway meets the front walk and put in a flower bed. I think I also want something to go under the front window. Bah. I’m not really any good at this part. We need to get it figured out so we can put in a sprinkler system.

The whole right side will be gravel and we plan on parking the trailer on that side of the house behind the large gate.

On the other side of the driveway, we want to line the fence with trees and that’s all we know for sure. We don’t know if we want a little strip of grass or if we just want to put gravel there and make it additional parking. I’m leaning toward grass.


This is what we’ll be working on once Lars is home.

That’s it for our projects this year! We don’t have any major trips were taking or anything so hopefully we can complete everything by the end of summer.

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Lars is in North Carolina for a three-week training. Ugh. But we still had a fantastic day. I didn’t know that the schools help the kids with Mother’s Day gifts so it was such a sweet surprise when they brought me all their little presents! I tried to get a photo of all of us together, but I don’t know how to work the timer on the camera. Plus, Gavin and Lucy are not always accommodating. Photo Booth to the rescue!


Love these crazies!

2013 iNSD CT Blog Hop!

Welcome! And happy iNSD!

So here are some of my faves from the shop –


Claire by Karen Funk | This was one of the very first kits I ever bought and I still love it so much. The papers are all slightly textured and the kit comes with some lace pieces that I absolutely love.


This Year by Scotty Girl Design |  The colors in this kit are so much fun and so very versatile.


Summer Girl by Gennifer Bursett and Celeste Knight | I love the pretty floral and butterfly papers! And the colors are so soft and gorgeous.


Cut.It.Out. by Robyn Meierotto | This kit blew my mind when I first saw it. The masks give your papers a hand-cut look that you can’t always get in digi scrapping. It’s definitely a must-have in my stash.


The whole Pixels and Company shop is 35% off PLUS some of the designers are offering additional savings on their individual shops. The sale runs through May 5.

Want this pack of journaling cards for free?


Collect all the letters along this blog hop and enter it into the coupon code box when you check out.

My letter is:


Now head on over to Rachel’s blog!

And just in case you’re lost:

Pixels and Company Blog

 Sarah Hemmert 
Katherine Hansen
Mandi Buchanan
Kate¬†Christensen <<< that’s me!
Rachel Alles
Anna Drozd
Jan Fortier
Carey Bridges
Emilie Stevenson
Ronnie Crowley
Amy Kingsford
Jennifer Hignite
Celeste Smith
Melanie Ritchie
Aria Andrus
Jennifer Evangelista
Linda Roos
Christy Carlson
Barbara Unzen
Mary Rogers
Arielle Gordon
Jeryn Carlisi
Indah Permata Sari
Melanie Call
Jen Papadimitriou
Erin Taylor
Kelly Mobley
Kim Hammond
Wendy Bretz