Family Zoo Trip

We didn't make it out to the Zoo at all this summer, so I wanted to make sure to go before it got too cold. So yesterday morning after my race (which I'm still pumped about!) we headed out to the Louisville Zoo. The place was packed! I think everyone had the same thought and were trying to get a visit to the zoo in while it was still nice.
Despite the crowd, we had a great time! The girls loved seeing all the animals, although Kirsten told after we got home that her favorite part was the playground. Go figure! Kara made sounds imitating the animals at every stop. She's got a good little lion roar : )

They had all lots of  fun displays and decorations up for Halloween!

The gorilla started walking right towards us! Both of the girls backed away from the glass real quick at that point :)


Giddy up!

I am loving the new fall like weather! We've been taking advantage and spending a lot of time outside. The girls love riding bikes and taking walks around the block. I push Kara in the stroller and Kirsten rides her new big girl bike!
Today after naps I took the girls to our neighborhood park to play. We brought our snacks and had a little picnic and then spent a long time playing. It's so nice now that Kara is big enough to climb and slide by herself. They have a blast! I forgot my camera so I took pictures with my phone but they're not any good so I'll just share some other pics from last night and today instead.


Kirsten loves pretending to be a teacher and Kara is her little student. She gets out paper and has Kara do her "work". We've had this step stool out since we're doing a lot of painting and other things. So the girls have started using it as a little desk. I got back from a run last night and found them playing like this :)

washing off her hands after she's all done.

Kirsten loves pretending to be the mommy too. Sometimes this gets her in trouble, because she can get a little bossy! But generally she is very sweet and helpful. She especially loves helping with all the chores. Here she is helping me do the dishes last night. 

Going for a horse ride around the house. They're loving having a little more space to play!
Kara says "diddy up!"

Out on the deck playing with bubbles and eating popsicles! 

I'm super excited for all things fall! Trips to the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, sweaters, crunchy leaves, painting pumpkins, pumpkin pie...pretty much pumpkin anything!

What are some of your favorite fall traditions?


What I feed my family.

I've been talking to a few different people lately about meal planning, menus, and not knowing what to fix for dinners. It's really easy for me to get stuck in a rut of fixing the same meals all the time. I know how to make them, I know my family likes them, we have the right ingredients/spices already on hand, so that's what I plan on making. And then we end up eating out a lot because whatever I have planned doesn't sound good because we eat it ALL the time.
So I decided to share what I have planned out for us this week, maybe if any of you are like me and looking for some new ideas this might help. Most weeks look very similar to this, sometimes I throw in a new recipe or something, but like I said...I'm kinda in a rut. So if you have any awesome recipes to share or family favorites pass them on :)

Lunch - Cobb Salads.  The girls will probably have a sweet potato, grapes, and cheese roll ups.
Dinner - Grilled Salmon, Penne with sauteed Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese.

Lunch - Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Chips, and Carrots
Dinner - BBQ Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Corn

Lunch - PB and J's, Apple Slices, Broccoli (raw)
Dinner- Enchiladas (we usually do chicken but this time it''' be beef and bean)

Lunch - Toasted Ham and Provolone Sandwiches (we sprinkle Little Caesar's zap pack spices on them, try it! It's very yummy!) with Pretzels and Grapes.
Dinner - Spaghetti  and Green Beans

Lunch - Leftover Enchiladas or salads
Dinner - Mediterranean Chicken, Brown Rice and Peas
 (I've been making this for a few years, it's a recipe I found on Kraft's website. We really like it and it's easy to make. Here's the link if you want to try it out.

Saturday is leftover day and Sunday we eat out after church, which ends up being a later than normal lunch so we don't ever eat a real dinner, like tonight I had popcorn  :)


What are you eating this week? What's one of your family's favorite meals?


Just some stuff going through my head...


I'm running another race at the end of the month. It's a 5k for a program called Refuge for Women that my church is hosting. I really wanted to run a longer race this year (maybe a 10k or half marathon) but I strained my hip and that put me out for a month or more, so I missed the 10k and the half marathon is in October. So now that everything has finally been feeling better for the past couple weeks, I don't have enough time to really train well for a half. So anyway, right now I am just trying to commit to running regularly, at least 4 times a week, and getting faster. This will be my fourth 5k this year and I REALLY want to set a new personal record this time. The last 2 races I went in really unprepared and still finished pretty well, so I'm excited to see how I can do with some real focus and effort.

Kirsten might be growing out of needing a nap :( This past week there were a couple days that she just would not sleep and after aboout 45 min of her calling for me every few minutes asking if she could get up I just let her get up. She is 4 now so I know I should be happy she has napped as long as she has, but I really love having that time to myself in the afternoon so I'm not ready to let it go. I'm thinking I might buy her a little clock and tell her that if she doesn't want to sleep she can have quiet time in her room for an hour instead. Have any of you dealt with this with your kiddos? Any suggestions?

Since buying this house I feel like my to-do list is a mile long. Just keeping up with the day to day stuff keeps me busy enough, but then there's all the things I want to do to fix up the house too. My kitchen and dining room have been half painted for a week now. I just want to get it done, but I don't want to do it...Someone want to come paint my house and decorate it for me?

I've been going through the girls' clothes trying to box up the summer stuff and anything that doesn't fit. Kirsten pants are all too short and her shirts too small. She has really gotten a lot taller since last year, but still has absolutely no bottom so it's really hard finding pants to fit her. I've gone to a couple consignments sales, bought some clothes for Kara from a friend, and now I'm shopping Old Navy's baby sale for the rest of the stuff we need. They have some really good deals going right now. Kara doesn't need too many things since she gets all the hand-me downs from Kirsten. Poor second child.

Kara is talking so much now! She will repeat almost anything you say and knows how to communicate really well. She loves to sing and dance! She's learned a couple songs from her class at school. The tiny turtle song is her favorite :) Her and Kirsten have so much fin being silly together and running around. I love watching them play together and interact. I hope they are best friends forever!


Master Bedroom redesign (Before and After)

Well, we got one more room checked off the to-do list. The master bedroom wasn't too horrible to begin with, just some tacky wall border and lots of nail holes to cover. We went with grays for the walls again, using the same gray as the bathroom for 3 of the walls and painting one accent wall a dark gray.
I got a little crafty with this room, creating wall hangings for above the bed, painting some accents for around the room, and making the throw pillow on the bed.

                                                      So here it was before:

And now after:

We bought blank canvases from Hobby Lobby and covered 2 with fabric, the middle one I spray painted white and then painted a wood "love" cutout (also from hobby lobby) black and glued it to the canvas. The whole project cost less than $20.

I took a couple clear glass vases I had and painted them teal blue to match the room. We poured the paint into the vases and then swirled them around and let them drip upside down until they were completely dry.

The previous owners left this owl on the back deck but he was brown and normal looking. I spray painted it white and gave him some teal eyes. He watches me while I sleep! I maybe going a little crazy from all the paint!

I made these little signs for the wall. I just printed off pieces of lyrics to some of my favorite worship songs, modpodged them on to scrapbook paper, and popped them into frames.  

Before we moved we refinished our headboard/foot board and one of our dressers. They are both old hand me downs we got from my parents. Here's a picture to show what they looked like before.

We stained them black and added new brushed nickel nobs to the dresser. It's like a brand new set! And to think we lived with them this way for 7 years, when it only took about 50 bucks and a few hours of our weekend to make them look 1000 times better! :)

So there you have it. Next up...putting the finishing touches on our living room!


School is COOL!!!!

School started back two weeks ago, and I'm just getting around to a back to school post. I didn't even take any first day of school photos :( Thankfully the girls' teachers take alot of photos and post them on shutterfly for us to see!

Kirsten is in the Rhino room (all of the classes are named different animals) and Kara is a Monkey. Both of their teachers are AMAZING! All of the teachers in the program are, I feel so blessed to be a part of the teaching staff and even more blessed that my girls get to have such awesome teachers!

Kirsten's class is a Pre-K class, getting them ready to enter Kindergarten. Her teacher, Ms. Joni, does a really good job teaching the kids and helping them learn all they need to know. Kirsten has only been going 2 weeks so far and I am already amazed at some of the things she is telling me that they are learning. For example, just yesterday Kirsten told me all about who are president is, the first lady, vice president, and where they live! I was impressed!!

(With Ms. Angela, showing her box she made to share with her friends about herself.)

She asked me the other day if she could be 4 forever so she could always be in Ms. Joni's class. :)

Kirsten has some sweet friends in class with her too! It's so fun to see how excited all the girls get to see each other and she talks about them all the time at home.

They have chapel once a week where they get to see songs and hear a Bible story! It's one of Kirsten's favorite things in school.

I think it's safe to say Kirsten LOVES school! Hopefully that feeling never goes away :)