Neighborhood Cruising!

February 8, 2017 by

  I’m happy to report that Ginger (7) and I went for a bike ride just the two of us this past weekend. ¬†As much as I love having little babies and toddlers, I’m finding that as these kids grow, they just get more and more fun. ūüôā This was Paprika’s bike that we bought at Goodwill for $10 (believe it or not!) – and now it fits Ginger just fine. ¬†I’ve been taking bike rides with Paprika (10) for awhile now – but since Ginger just learned, we decided to cruise around just the two of us. ¬†We had so much fun. Riding bikes with Paprika is also fun…however, Paprika likes to ride¬†as slow as molasses. ¬†She goes at such a snail’s pace, you almost fall off the bike if you’re following her....

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January 16, 2017 by

  We’ve been up to a lot of fun happenings lately – but mostly, we’ve stayed close to home. ¬†This is such a magical time – the girls are SO happy, and they are a joy. ¬†They love being together all the time. ¬†It’s wonderful! ¬†Ginger (7) and Violet (5) play Barbies together for about 6 hours/day (not joking). My Uncle Rob and Aunt Jackie gave us a HUGE bin of Barbies from the 1950s-1990s, with great accessories, etc. ¬†At first I was freaking out because of ALL the tiny pieces that get scattered everywhere – but they love it so much, I can’t deprive them of that joy. ¬†I’ll have to take a picture of them playing Barbies – they are so creative; it blows me away!     Miss Ellie Belly (23...

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Hi There!

December 16, 2016 by

  Hello,¬†there! ¬†I hope you are having a happy December. ¬†We have been up to so much – trips to the Science Museum, the Harry Potter Party at Barnes and Noble, and a bunch of other things I can’t think of at the moment. ¬†Ha! We’ve been getting quite a lot of rain lately. ¬†This is the playground (park) where we go often. ¬†It was flooded!     Thankfully, the swings were still dry. Ha!     Our old McDonald’s got a make-over. ¬†We kind of missed the old, retro decor. ¬†But the new decor is nice, too. ūüôā     Paprika and I have been to a bunch of movies. ¬†We usually have a Tuesday night date after her violin lesson. ¬†We go to the late show and have the theater all to...

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Little Adventures!

September 26, 2016 by

  The beaches are totally empty now that it’s late September. ¬†The weather is still hot – and it’s almost surreal to have the whole beach to ourselves while everyone else is in school! ¬†It’s definitely one of the perks of homeschooling.     The girls really love being at home. ¬†On most days lately, we’ve been staying home and doing school work. ¬†We do a lot of playing the backyard, making food in the kitchen, reading books, and playing pretend. ¬†Using their imaginations is one of the biggest subjects in our homeschool! ¬†Ha!     Even though we’re mostly homebodies lately, Violet (4) had been asking to go to the beach for awhile. ¬†So,¬†I decided to take the girls for a day at the beach last Thursday. ¬†It was so refreshing to have...

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Oh No, My Toe!

September 14, 2016 by

  Now that Bachelor In Paradise is finished for the season, Mr. M has moved on to working at Dancing With The Stars.¬† The schedule for DWTS is different (bc it’s a live show) – so Mr. M had his day off this week (his “weekend”) on Tuesday. Violet really wanted to go to Mulligan’s Family Fun Center for the day. ¬†We hadn’t been in months, and all the girls really love it there. ¬†They have go-karts, mini-golf, paddle boats…that kind of stuff. The place is always packed on the weekends. ¬†But…because we homeschool, we don’t have to go on the weekends. ¬†We can go on a random Tuesday afternoon, when everyone else is at school! ¬†Yay! ¬†This is what the parking lot looked like today:     I think the¬†other cars in the...

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Well, Hello September!

September 8, 2016 by

  In case you’re wondering, I didn’t fall off the face of the planet. ūüôā Two weeks is the longest I’ve gone without blogging ever (or at least since I started this blog 10+ years ago!) I don’t want to let that happen again. We do SO MANY things that now I feel like I have to play catch-up. ¬†So this week, I’ll probably do a few more blog posts than usual. Get ready. ¬†Ha!     Today was MY BIRTHDAY! Yay! I really love my birthdays and getting older. It’s just wonderful all the wisdom and self-confidence that comes with age. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m excited about the years to come (if I’m lucky enough to get years to come). Life is truly a wonderful gift – and I’m so...

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Fiddler on the Loose!

August 23, 2016 by

  What a fun week we’re having and it’s just starting. ¬†ūüôā ¬† On Monday, Paprika’s birthday present arrived – a violin! She’s been asking for at least two years (probably more like five years…eek!) to play the violin. ¬†I always kind of shrugged it off because she already takes piano lessons, and I didn’t think she was really serious about playing the violin. ¬†Well…she finally wore me down! ¬†Haha. I spent the last month staying up all night¬†researching violins – so I know a lot more about them than I used to know. I wanted to get the trifecta: High¬†Quality Low¬†Price ??? ¬†I guess there are only two things I wanted in my trifecta. ¬†Haha.   After I narrowed it down to a few¬†options, I let Paprika choose which violin she wanted. ¬†She...

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Back To School?!

August 19, 2016 by

  It’s Back To School week! I’ve seen so many adorable photos this week from parents sending their children back to (traditional) school. I guess that signals the start of a new school year for us, too! We had a great “end of summer” with Paprika’s birthday celebration. (I realize I rambled on way too long last night in my post about Mermaid Linden. I went back and read it after I got some sleep and realized it was verrry wordy. I was just so exuberant – I’m sure you could tell! Ha!)     Anyway, it’s Back To School time now. It’s that time of year when regular¬†school families are forced to buy lots¬†of school supplies from ridiculously long lists (I know, because I had to do that when Paprika went to kindergarten)....

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A Decade Tomorrow!

August 15, 2016 by

  (Photo: Me and Paprika on a “date” last week at Islands) Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Paprika’s 10th Birthday! Can you believe it?! I started this blog when I was 17 weeks pregnant with her. Wowza! She was the size of an orange¬†when I first started writing here and now she’s this big. ¬†Geez!:     I don’t know about you, but we’ve been watching The Olympics non-stop! ¬†This is the first time in many years that we’ve owned a television. ¬†During the 2012 Summer Games, we tried to watch the events online using our computer, and it just wasn’t the same. ¬†There’s nothing like relaxing on the couch, all together, watching synchronized swimming (Paprika’s favorite!) – or gymnastics (Ginger and Violet’s favorite)! ūüôā I am going to be sad when the Olympics are over,...

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Almost Paradise!

August 5, 2016 by

  What a week it’s been! ¬†Bright and early Monday morning, we got our copy of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in the mail. ¬†We pre-ordered it back in December, and Paprika (especially) was so excited for the book’s release. Right when it arrived , she ripped open the box and read the whole thing in one sitting! I remember when the original Harry Potter books came out, and you had to wait a year (or more) in between books. ¬†This is the first (and only) Harry Potter book like that for my kids. ¬†The book’s been passed around all week, and hopefully I’ll get to read it soon – if the kids will ever let go of it for long enough! Haha.   This week was the premiere of Bachelor In Paradise...

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One Small Step!

July 22, 2016 by

  The big star of the week is Miss Ellie – who at¬†nearly 18 months old – has taken her first steps! ¬†Yes, she is walking! ¬†ūüôā She is a very cautious person and gets freaked out by any sort of physical danger. ¬†I am sure that’s why it’s taken her so long to walk – she is terrified of falling!   Slowly, but surely, she is overcoming that fear. ¬†I do lots of practicing with her around the house – holding her hands and making sure she feels safe and comforted. ¬†It’s helping a lot. Big Sister Ginger (7) has been a huge supporter. ¬†Ginger is always patient and¬†happy to encourage¬†Ellie’s walking practice.     One of her first steps:   Ellie is¬†still not a fan of walking (or standing) – but she’s...

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At The Drive-In!

July 14, 2016 by

  On Saturday, I picked up this little car at Goodwill. We’ve driven it¬†all over town these past few days. ¬†The¬†girls think it’s the best thing ever. (They really do!) Today we went on two long walks with the toy car. On the first walk, Violet pushed Ellie. Violet felt so grown up! Ellie was so excited to “Go!” (as she says it) in her little car:     Getting a book at the Little Free Library:     On the second walk, Ginger (7) pushed Violet (4) for almost two hours! I was behind them¬†pushing Ellie (17 months) in the stroller. ¬†Paprika (9) walked with us, too. ¬†We were all happy to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.     I was so happy My Little Jelly Belly was not...

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Happy Friday!

July 8, 2016 by

  (Photo: Paprika – age 9, Ginger – age 7, Violet – age 4, Ellie – age 17 months) Our weeks have been so full and fun lately. I’m not going to be able to cover everything we’ve been up to – but here are a few snapshots of life at the moment. Movie Nights with Paprika: I’ve been taking Paprika (9) to the movies for a date just the two of us about once/week. We usually go on a Tuesday or Wednesday night to the late show, after Mr. M gets home from work. Me and Paprika on our movie date this week:     Mr. M¬†took Ginger (7), Violet (4) and Paprika (9) to see Finding Dory a few weeks ago (when it opened) – but the whole experience¬†was a little too...

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Easy Like Summer!

June 23, 2016 by

  We’ve been back from Indiana for a week now – it’s really flown! Remember how I said that I was streamlining the girls’ wardrobes and only putting them in elastic shorts and t-shirts? ¬†Well, that lasted ONE day. ¬†Haha. ¬†Pretty much the second after I hit publish on that blog post, they were asking to wear their favorite dresses and skirts! ¬†So, I went to the garage and unpacked everything. ¬†Turns out these girls think of “summer dresses” when they think of summer! ūüôā     We’ve been keeping busy with lots of walks: to the park, to the library, and all points in-between! ¬†Ellie (16 months) loves the swings – she can’t get enough of them. ¬†When Paprika was this age, all she wanted to do in the swings was GET OUT!...

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LOL Detective Club, Book 3 Is Here!...

June 20, 2016 by

  Oh my gosh – I know I just said that my next¬†book in the LOL Detective Club Series would be released in the next few days, but Amazon went and put it up faster than I thought! ¬†I’m so excited to share the latest installment in my kids’ Mystery Series – LOL Detective Club, Book 3: Cubnapping in Kenya! It’s available NOW on Amazon!!!! ¬†Please go buy it and leave a review! ūüôā¬† For right now, it’s only in eBook format. ¬†The price is .99 JUST for the launch, and then the price will go up soon! Each book in the series is a stand-alone, so you can start with Book 3 even if you haven’t read the first two books!¬† They’re¬†similar in reading level to Magic Tree House books and¬†Nancy Drew and...

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Hello, Summer!

June 17, 2016 by

(pic above: ¬†backyard at my mom’s house on the lake) We are back from a two week trip to the Motherland, my homeland…Indiana! ¬†We weren’t sure if we would be able to go this year because of Mr. M’s work schedule on The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise – but we made it work! ¬†This is our second year going back to Indiana to visit family – and we all look forward to it SO MUCH! We stayed at my Dad and Nana Nancy’s house (Nana Nancy is my step-mama, who I LOVE!) ūüôā ¬†Ginger (6) loves their backyard chickens, so collecting eggs each morning was a huge treat for her.     Breakfast with fresh, out of the backyard eggs:     Grandpa and Nana Nancy’s house is within walking distance of everything...

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Girls’ Party Week!

May 30, 2016 by

  I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend! ¬†Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to lately. ūüôā Dancing With The Stars finished last¬†Tuesday (almost a week ago)! ¬†Mr. M was working 80-100 hour weeks up until the Finale, which meant I was holding down the fort here solo pretty much. ¬†His next show he’s working on is Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise. ¬†I love watching it to see what’s going to happen next, so I never let him tell me spoilers. ¬†Ha! Right after¬†DWTS wrapped, Mr. M went on a guys’ trip with his buddies from high school. ¬†It’s his tight core group of friends that he’s had since childhood. ¬†He flew up to Seattle to see his friend Rey, and then they drove to Oregon to meet up with the rest of...

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Because We Have Each Other!

May 18, 2016 by

  Oh, hi! Can I tell you a cute story I want to remember? Please stop me if you’ve heard this one before… A few weeks ago, Ginger (6) was at two-hour gymnastics practice on a VERY hot day. The coach let the kids go get water, and Ginger let everyone go in front of her in line (she always does that). The coach blew the whistle just before Ginger had a chance to get a drink of water, and she asked him if she could go back to the drinking fountain. He said no. It was probably 95 degrees in the gym on that day, and Ginger was drenched in sweat. She had a full-on panic attack in the gym, and I didn’t know what was wrong (because I was on the other...

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The Fashion Police!

May 15, 2016 by

  On Friday, I took the girls to the park for the afternoon after we were done with our homeschool lessons. Ginger (6) insisted on wearing her Daddy’s shirt – and would not brush her hair (of course)! ¬†It’s not worth the tears to get her to wear regular clothes¬†¬†– even though we have a small army of beautiful outfits¬†she could wear (passed down from big sister, Paprika). ¬†But nope, it’s got to be Daddy’s shirt! ¬†It makes me long for the days when she would only wear pajamas in public. ¬†LOL     Violet (4) at the park on Friday:     So, on Saturday – I jokingly told Ginger that if she kept wearing her Dad’s shirts in public, the Fashion Police were going to come arrest her. (Totally joking). Well, I...

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Daughter’s Day!

May 9, 2016 by

  Hope you had a wonderful weekend! ¬†Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course. ¬†I have mixed¬†feelings about Mother’s Day because it tends to leave so many people feeling left out (for lots of reasons). ¬†And, of course, I always miss my twin daughters in Heaven especially on this day…and the fact that my own mom, stepmom, aunt, and Grandma live so far away! ¬†So, I try to make the best of it and just have low expectations for the day…which always helps! Also, I try to stay off social media on holidays when I know I’ll be alone with the kids…it helps me to not be a “compare-bear” – as I like to say. ¬†I really do think it’s true: ¬†Comparison is the thief of joy. Mr. M had to work on Mother’s Day...

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