Pool Time...

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Have I told you that my kid are fish...yep they pretty much have grown gills...and they are blondes so I fully expect green hair by August (I did when I was a kid from the  chlorine!).  We got pool passes this year so we can go as much as desire...we went 4 times week 1.  It is only 5 minutes from our house so it so easy...they especially love going with Scott so they can go on the slides with us (I cannot take both down alone ;).

Once an hour they have pool breaks and they know that means a snack and sunbathing...

And sometimes Daddy comes after work to join us...

Have I said how much I love summer....don't leave us summer - I love you!

I know where they get the love of water from - their parents.  We love it just as much!
So many fun memories shared poolside...and my kiddos seem happiest in the water.  And Solon is getting to be such a good swimmer (yes I am biased) but I am so proud of his hard work - it is such an important life skill (especially with lake living grandparents).

Little Miss is 21 months...

Friday, June 21, 2013
Cue the tears my baby is growing up to be a sweet, vivacious little girl!  Little Miss turned 21 months June 12th.  She is a delight to our soul, makes us laugh HARD and makes us pull out our hair at times too...WE love you Vera to the moon and back!

What is little Miss up to, you ask...
  • She still weighs a whopping 22 lbs and wears 12-18 month clothes and size 4 shoes and wears a size 3 diaper.
  • She is a picky eater but will eat well when she is hungry.  She loves pepperoni and salami, sometimes PB sandwiches, fruit (loves fruit), raw veggies with dip, mexican food, soy yogurt, applesauce, snacks, and dessert.  
  • She is still lactose-intolerant...but seems to be doing better with soy (now eats soy yogurt).
  • Loves to have her toenails painted
  • Now wears pig tails and side ponies and lets me do her hair most days
  • Loves to shower or take baths - you ask and she starts up the stairs
  • Loves to swim and play outside
  • Loves to dance - it is hilarious!
  • Plays house in her little house, plays with dollies (shushing them to sleep while swaying - adorable)
  • Has a love for shoes and is known to wear them to bed
  • Messy eater and stains a lot of her clothes
  • Really likes her little chairs and rockers
  • Loves to play doctor and give shots and listen to your heart
  • Follows commands and can answer yes and no questions
  •  Working on more and more words...yes, no, please (peas), excuse me, pool, daddy, mommy, bubba (Solon), juice, snack (nack), crackers (cackers), bye, hi, up, car, shoes, poopoo...
  • Doesn't mind when I leave her in the nursery at church or gym
  • Still has a paci (don't judge!)
  • Knows all of her body parts and can point them out
  • Loves to look at books and be read to
  • Prefers to be rocked to sleep 
  • Closes her eyes to pray and bows her head
  • Squeels in delight when she sees her brother, mom or dad
  •  Super compassionate - always goes to see what is the matter if Solon is crying and rubs his back
  • Loves to watch TV in the morning with Solon
  • Plays well by herself or with brother
  • Loves to color with markers
  • starting to jump
  • Good helper - whether it is throwing her diaper away or helping with laundry or the dishwasher...

A stop to see some friends...

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Some of our close friends moved to MN last fall and they had visited us but we had yet to see them in their new home.  They are just about 1 hour and 15 minutes south of my parents and so it worked out for us to stop by on our way home in early June!  It was like we still lived in the same town.  The kiddos played so well together and well us adults chatted like we left off yesterday.  Sarah also prepared a yummy meal complete with strawberry rhubarb pie (Scott was talking about it the whole way home - it was great!).  The weather was even sunny despite the poopy weather just an hour north!
So these next 2 kiddo photos make me laugh - you can never get 5 kiddos to look at your for one shot...so between the two everyone is looking!

And Sarah and I - we never get pictures of us!  We have awkward hands because we don't know what to do with them when we don't have babes to hold - ha!

We didn't want to leave but knew we better hit the road around 7 to make the 3 hour trip home!

And then a miracle occured - both kiddos slept the last 2 of the 3 hours...which is unusually rare for our kiddos!

Casen's Graduation...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
My "baby" cousins all are all grown up (they are probably huffing at that statement) but they are 12 years younger than me!  We headed up at the beginning of June (or by the weather you would have thought April - ugh!) to celebrate.  My Aunt Chris outdid herself with the food and decor.  It was all so delicious and cute.  We pretty much took over the party and when the others left, Solon started an impromptu game of duck, duck goose.  AND everyone played along...and by everyone, I mean EVERYONE.  I laughed so hard, I nearly peed my pants...

Then since we were on a roll with classic kid games, we decided to play a rousing game of musical chairs and my family can be competitive...luckily they have a soft spot for little boys in glasses - Solon won (surprised?).

Here is my blackmail video footage...you will note that the adults are COMPETITIVE (I was already out by this point)

And if that were not enough fun for one day, my Aunt Carol is a great chalk artist and made photos of each of the kids on the driveway...they loved them!  Here is Auntie Ellen posing with the real and chalk version of my kiddos :).

We finished the day at a hotel (long story short the reno at the house had heavy fumes).  So we swam and enjoyed a suite...the kiddos did great.  Solon is already asking when we can go back to a hotel!

The next morning we met the gang for breakfast before saying goodbye...the weather stunk so we could not enjoy the lake (here is to hoping better weather by the 4th of July!).  It is always great to catch up with my cousins from TN - we don't see them as often as we would like!).   Thanks Casen for graduating so we could have an excuse to have fun and laugh - oh did we laugh!

Father's Day 2013...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Hard to believe these 2 munchkins have made us parents and Scott celebrated his 4th (5th if you count Solon in utero) Father's Day.  We started the day by giving him his homemade cards.  Each kiddo made him a cute card and inside I asked the kiddos what they loved about daddy...Their responses were cute.    I will post their cards for memory sake soon!  Solon's was space-themed and he was way excited to show dad his stickered-up card!  We also got Scott a tea pot thingy and some green tea from Teavana...I have turned him into a coffee drinker in the morning but he likes a spot of tea in the afternoon ;).

We headed to lunch after church at Smokey D's (his favorite BBQ place) and then after nap headed to the pool!
Vera enjoyed sunbathing with daddy...
We had snacks and a light dinner at the pool in between going down the waterslides with both kids about 20 times.  (mind you there are 3 flights of stairs for each one - we got a workout).  Our kiddos love the water...

Happy Father's Day to an amazing dad to our two kiddos.  
Our kiddos just adore him (so do I). 

#7 and Going Strong...

Monday, June 17, 2013
This pretty much sums up how I feel about Scott...

I am so thankful for his kind, loving heart.  He is SO patient, WAY laid back and puts up with me and my craziness!  We compliment one another well and love to do things together from travel, to family bike rides, trying new restaurants and food, to watching our favorite TV shows...he is always up for an adventure.  We are attending a marriage retreat this weekend, not for any reason, other than the fact that we want to nurture our marriage.  With little kids, a marriage can take the backseat, but someday our kiddos will be gone (tear ;) and we will have each other...

May God bless us with more years, more memories, more laughs and more love!

This is what I know Today...

Friday, June 14, 2013
I have once again been inspired by fellow bloggers and thought this would be a fun quick post for a Friday....here we go...

This is what I know today...

  • That when I send Solon to time out and Vera follows him to his room, it is probably not a punishment.
  • That when Solon disappears at Kohl's I can most certainly find him in the toy section.
  • That when you set the table for your friends to come over for dinner, it will most certainly be unset by a little spunky girl...
  • You must taste test the blackbean salsa to make sure it tastes just right, it might take several chip dips.
  • Laundry never ends and it is okay if it sits in the dryer until tomorrow and the wash can always be rewashed
  • When you are a mom you have no privacy in the bathroom
  • When you live in Iowa and the skies get dark, your son will ask you if "vornados" are coming
  • PBS Kids saves my life most days
  • Snuggling a sick baby at the hospital will humble your heart and change your perspective
  • I NEED atleast 8 hours of sleep at night
  • Coffee and caffeine are a necessary part of my day
  • I have a serious obsession with chips
  • I love a good deal 
  • Nothing feels better than a temporarily clean picked-up home
  • Quiet time with the Lord is hard to find but taking a moment to pray to Him is easier
  • When a whole roll of toilet paper ends up in the toilet, taking it out is better than having your 3 year old try to flush it down
  • Good friends are a blessing from the Lord
  • Helping others is what life is about
  • Prayer works
  • little people smiles and giggles are fuel for the busy tiring days
  • Our house finally feels like home and we love it here
  • Finding an identity as a stay at home mom can be challenging
  • Finding worth in Christ is a must!
  • Knowing what you do everyday is for Christ even laundry
So there you have it, that is what I know for today...nothing too wise but this is what I know today...what do you know today?

Potty Practice...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Okay so we are totally not even close to even thinking about entertaining the idea of potty training BUT the other day I asked Vera, just to see what she would do, if she wanted to go to the potty....and she shocked me and ran in.  She got the little seat and put it on the toilet and started screaching to get up...NOT WHAT I EXPECTED.  Okay so here is why I did it, before I officially trained Solon, I would put him on the toilet to just get him used to it....

Well she didn't want to get off so we sat there and I sat down and we just hung out...no pee...then Solon came in and peed, she watched, then we re-sat down...no pee...
She never peed but she did do this...

...and potty practice was promptly over!  She LOVES and I mean LOVES to do this...I have to watch her...and she sticks it in the toilet and then Solon flushes. Oh the life of young people :)

Multitude Monday: The Final 10...maybe 11...

Monday, June 10, 2013
I cannot believe I have hit 1000 blessings, wait that sounds bad...

I wish I could say during this time I have become more thankful than before but I do think of this post throughout my week and think "oh that is something to be thankful for" so I guess I have had my senses heightened to the small day-day and big things that God continually blesses me with.  This was never intended to be about "look at me" boasting, etc.  It was more for me to remember in the craziness of life that God abundantly blesses me and our family.  I know I take for granted a lot :)....so this was a way of giving the glory to GOD - so thanks God for all you do for us!   Let's finish this with a bang...cue the band...or THIS

991.  A great forecast for the week (looks like great pool weather)
992.  Safe travels this weekend
993.  Reconnecting with family to celebrate my cousin's graduation
994.  My Aunt Carol and Aunt Chris and their generosity towards my children #Spoiled
995.  Seeing dear friends on our way home (we just pick up like we still live in the same town)
996.  Sleeping children on the way home in the car #neverhappens
997.  a short stop to Ikea (totally was giddy)
998.  Seeing friends at Target and impromptu hangout
999.  homemade blackbean salsa
1000. My family - Solon, Vera and Scott (They are my everything :)
1001.  God - my Savior (Do you know where you are spending Eternity - invite Him into your heart - I promise it has changed my life....)

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!
Philippians 4:4

I love that Paul says "always", it isn't a command for just our good days but a command for all of our days.  AND I don't know about you, but being a mom can be tough...But God abundantly blesses us in tiny ways everyday, I just don't always see them...my prayer is that I will continually seek to see God's face, His teachings and blessings daily and that I will give Him the due glory!


Saturday, June 8, 2013
If you do not have instragram, you should and we are known as @PerfectlyPort if you care to follow us (mom that one is for you...) So if you do follow us you will recognize many of these but here is an insta-update on us...
Oh my word - I love this photo - look at my kids (and not my thighs)....Vera looks JUST LIKE ME in this photo when I was her age.  She is totally starting to cheese it up for the camera and can I tell you how much I love little girl swimsuits :).  They had a fun time running around with their new beach ball sprinkler (thanks Kinzenbaws').
We were getting ready to go and clearly Vera did a great job of accessorizing her diaper, she was waiting and ready to go...spiderman slippers and a backpack, so chic!
The other day I had a babysitter and was going to get my mom's day pedicure but mother nature had a nasty storm up her sleeve so I diverted for home and even had to call Scott as our backyard became a lake-ish river....all is okay now...
Vera LOVES Elefun but thinks it is more hilarious to stick her head in and let all the butterflies fly into her face.
Family Date Night to Texas Roadhouse - one of Solon's favorites - he eats his weight in free peanuts...
...and something I love about our new home that I have mentioned before is that we can experience the western horizon and just beautiful sunsets...#hopeitnevergetsold
Toothbrushing is highly sought after around here...although I have to fight to take my turn at getting their sugar bugs out.  We have a little work to do on "complete" brushing!
Poor buddy broke his glasses again luckily he has a pair of prescription glasses courtesy of Grandpa...so he is still set to go for summer fun!
Yep got my haircut and I do take pictures of myself - I am now wearing earrings too.  I am turning 30 so I figured what the heck I am trying new things - ha!
Scott reassembled the playset and the kiddos are thrilled (and so am I)...we don't have to always truck to the playground (which we love)...and we used up the side of our yard this time...

Candy Land is a current favorite...we are working on sportsmanship and happy winning and happy losing :)  I taught first grade and could tell the kiddo whose parent never let them lose...let's just say we are teaching Solon now, it is not always pretty but we have to learn...
And this little stinker is the queen of hijacking food...point and case she was drinking my smoothie but look at that face?
And here are my clearance shopping buddies...we have been looking for barstools and these bad boys were marked 60% off and I loved the look...they were testing them out to show daddy.  I think they helped sway Daddy!  They have been loving eating breakfast and lunch at the island :).

So there you have it - a whole lot of random and crazy in our days!

Hey Chick...

Friday, June 7, 2013
On our Memorial Weekend trip to the lake, the weather was um....dismal.  But that didn't stop the fun!  My mom had seen the chicks up at the local hardware store and wanted to take the kids.  Think small town hardware store, cute and quaint.  In we walk with all 10 of us to look at the chicks.  I think the adults were more in awe than the kiddos.  Vera wouldn't touch them...notice her scooching back.

Solon thought he was cute until he tried to get friendly with him and cuddle into his neck...
They were SO cute but pretty antsy so we let them rest.  You could take home your very own egg laying chicken for $2.99.  A bargain...my mom wanted to buy 2 for the kids.  I quickly said "no thank you!"  What the heck would I do with 2 chickens in the middle of the city...she offered to buy the coop too.  I do buy my eggs local and fresh...and pretty sure someone similar to these little ladies are laying 'em!
And since no trip is complete to the all service store, we stopped by the motorized vehicle section.  Solon thought Grandpa needed a 4-wheeler to add to the fleet ;).
Gotta love small town livin' and all my kiddos can learn from a trip to the hardware store.  Home Depot's got nothing on this place!

Sneaking Around the Lake House Phase 2...

Okay so last we left, the addition was nearing completion.  Well at Memorial Day they were about 95% complete in most rooms (just missing window coverings and glass shower stall doors) and the renovation in the upstairs was to the mud and taping stage...should be close this weekend so I will be showing you more pictures soon.  I just had to share my mom's great attention to detail in some of the rooms....so let's go sneaking around (she didn't know I was going to do this so see it is really sneaky :).

First stop the mud room...there is a door off the lake and garage.  Outside of the door to the lake will be an outdoor shower so my mom wanted this space to service wet sometimes muddy sometimes clean kiddos.  She wanted to avoid tromping through the house to get a drink or ice cream...insert the refrigerator and freezer drawers below.  You can also hop from the hot tub to these in about 30 seconds!
They look like drawers from the outside...love how everything looks like cabinetry!
She also installed front loading stack able washer/dryer combo.  We used these a ton while were up there.  We just threw the hot tub towels in 
and folded them when they came out and put them away in the dedicated towel storage shelves... we go through A LOT of towels in a day!
Off to the left of the towel storage is a full-service bathroom....
Do you not love the nautical themed light and peep hole mirror...
...and how about the wainscoting and hex tile on the floor...
Solon's favorite part was the mommy n'me shower...a shower head for the adult and a little movable one for the kiddo...you can turn one or both on at the same time...so thoughtful and cute!

And here is the exit to the lake...about  5 steps outside the door to the right is the new hot tub.  We, of course, took it for a spin on Memorial Day during our Polar Bear Plunge (hot tub ---> run to end of dock ---> jump in 55 degree lake ---> run back to hot tub)
Love the tile she chose so as not to show every little hoof print that comes across that floor and there will be many.  Next stop upstairs...you saw some of the details of the bunk room in this last post .  But now it has carpet and 8 twin beds - yes 8!  This is just one side of the room.  We all slept in there on Memorial Day...Vera kind of crashed the party with her failed attempt to sleep but otherwise all was well.
And my mom even thought of the rabbit hole for Solon...complete with a dog bed turned toddler bed and pint-size chair for Vera.  They had so much fun playing in there.  They even have their own light that turns on and off with a light switch.  It is AH-Dorable!  Solon loved sleeping in there every night and he wasn't too far from us...
So there you have it some very thoughtful details that make life even easier for lake living...

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