That Week Went Too Fast!

This morning we said goodbye to Nicolas' family after a wonderful, fun filled week together. We are so blessed they chose to stay with here in our home during their visit to the United States. I can honestly tell you it was amazing. You know when you meet someone and there is literally no awkwardness?  No weird vibes or forced conversation? That was us. The very first night, Steve, Peter, Kirsten and I gathered together to visit, and right behind us, our seven children, ages eight to twenty four, sat at the game table playing cards and laughing together.

We had so much fun, and cannot wait until time brings our families together again. Until then, hugs and love and best wishes to our new forever friends.

In addition, Mocha celebrated a birthday this week.
Happy 3rd Birthday to my precious pup!

The Wedding Festivities Begin! The Engagement Party

On Sunday afternoon Steve and I, along with Nicolas' lovely parents Peter and Kirsten, hosted an engagement party for our firstborn children. We were so happy to welcome family and friends to meet and celebrate the beginning of this wonderful wedding season.

Like We Knew Each Other Forever

That is how it felt from the moment our families met in our driveway. It was one of life's moments...One of those special moments you know for certain you will remember forever. It is the feeling that although you have just met someone, you have really known them all along. All these and so much more, my friends. These are the feelings we had when we finally met Nicolas' beautiful, amazing, lovely family on Saturday afternoon. As I hugged the woman who raised the man my girl fell in love with, I knew I had made a forever friend. And as our families mingled, and shook hands and hugged and laughed, I knew we have always been meant to meet and to join our lives through our two oldest children.

We prepared our lower level for their visit by adding some special touches to make their stay extra special. : )

And then suddenly, we were together!
We had a great dinner and hours of visiting and laughing until we finally had to sleep.

Sunday morning brought new friends and an easy but delicious breakfast.

We are so excited to have this week together. We have plans and days without plans. There will be coffee and tea and laughter, I'm sure. There will be movies and food and games as well. The adults will sit and visit and listen to the laughter of their seven children playing card games together. And a new chapter in our lives will begin.

Have a wonderful week!
Thank you for visiting!

Pinterest for the fun pics.

Random Photo Friday

We are on the other side of The Fourth of July, my friends. That can mean only one thing. All the sunscreen, pool toys, and beach towels are quickly being replaced with notebooks, crayons, and pencils at your neighborhood big box stores. And to quote my best friend Marian, I reject that! As much as I love autumn and all things Back to School, I am in no way ready to leave these blissful summer days just yet.

Just what do some of those blissful summer days look like around here? Well, let's see...

We are loving this new beautiful place in which we we live.
The lake, the pool, the absolute beauty...
And in just a few days we will welcome Nicolas' family here to spend some time with us!
We are all so happy to be together in not only the same country, but in the same house!

Have a wonderful weekend with your people, my friends.
Thank you for visiting!!!

In The Morning And In The Evening

Routine. Something I cling to like a life preserver in the middle of a storm. I need it. My children need it. Years ago, when I was teaching sweet second graders, I began every morning by sharing our schedule for the day. Kids need structure, and thrive when they know what comes next.  I am the same way. I function best when I follow a routine. As I grow older, I am finding my routine less structured. But it is routine. And it works for me!

Every morning, after Steve and I have our coffee and tea, and as he gets ready for work, I tidy the kitchen, and throw a load of laundry in the washer. I make the bed, smooth the comforter, and arrange the pillows. Then I fold up any blankets and straighten the cushions on the sofa. During these beautiful summer months, I also head out to the deck and check the plants. I like to sweep the deck too, and arrange the furniture. Usually by this time, the kids are still asleep and Steve is headed off to work. I either exercise...less likely...or hop in the shower...more likely. Sometimes I even hop back into bed. True life here, my friends.

Every evening, after dinner, I help the kids with the kitchen. The kids do most of the cooking now, so I usually clean up the kitchen. They all head outside and go for a walk or play a game of Four Square together. I love that they have so much fun together. Standing at the sink, listening to the laughter coming in from the yard, I am reminded that I am blessed to be living the life I dreamed of. After the kitchen is clean, and every surface is wiped and gleaming, I sweep the floor, I turn out the lights and light the candle. Then I close the blinds and turn on some lamps. I tidy the sofa and fold any blankets, even though I know soon enough we will be using them while we gather together for our evening television time.

My life is simple, I know.
Simple. And happy. 
Thanks for visiting, my friends.
Have a cozy day!

The Fourth And The Seventh Of July 2018

Our first Fourth of July here has come and gone. I must say we enjoyed every single bit of our new celebration. We celebrated twice...first on The Fourth with an amazing lunch followed by a small town parade and fireworks, and again on the seventh with dinner and fireworks by the lake with family. Tradition is very important to me, as I believe it holds the key to lasting memories for our children. This year we began new traditions, ones I hope we continue for many years to come.

Really Random Photo Friday

So Friday is here. I think. I am slightly confused because of the holiday in the middle of the week, but the kids tell me it is Friday, so... it is time to throw up some random photos of the wild and crazy happenings around our cozy home. Minus The Fourth of July pics, because we will still be celebrating this weekend. : )

Look at us matching for our anniversary dinner!
Totally not planned, but I guess that's what happens after twenty seven years together! 
We had a great dinner and visit with our super good friends Heather and Dave.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July, my friends! We love celebrating this most special holiday, and this year is no different. We will eat hotdogs, watch a parade and fireworks today, then do it all again on Saturday! Here are a few photos of Independence Days past, because although time itself passes quickly, pictures allow it to stop forever.

When Your Daughter Moves Home From Denmark ...

With her fiancé and they are going to live with you for an entire year, this is how happy you are while you drive to the airport to pick them up!

Random Photo Friday

Hello, my friends and Happy June 29th, also referred to as Steve and my wedding anniversary! Yep, twenty seven years ago today two very young people promised to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives. Twenty seven years, four children here on Earth, one little soul in Heaven, one cat, two dogs, one apartment, four houses and countless wonderful memories later, we are still as much in love as we were that scorching hot June day. : )

Now, a look back at the past week or so here in our little world...

The Very Best Taco Dip. Really.

Sunday afternoon we were honored to have our pastor and friend over for a visit. I was really excited to try out a new taco dip recipe I had found online. I knew I would have to adapt it because refried beans are just not a thing our house! I planned on browning some ground beef and adding some taco seasoning mix instead. Which would have been great, except I didn't have any taco seasoning mix.