I have run into work a few days in June to move my office and then in July and early August to do interviews.  Today was the first day I could sit back and just work… slowly chipping away at all that needs to get done in the next 3 weeks.  It felt so good.

This school year is going to be  much different than those in the past, but I think I am getting emotionally ready for it.   I have so many ideas I want to implement and get started… now I just need to roll them out.

I spent about an hour tonight prepping food for a Wildtree workshop tomorrow night.  After the party, I will have 10 freezer meals…they all sound so tasty!  Then in preparation for all these things that will need to be frozen tomorrow night, we “defrosted” our chest freezer downstairs.   We ended up throwing away about 3 bags of food…. the longest date from the bottom of the freezer was 2008.  Yikes.   Felt good to get that done!  My freezer is READY!

Punky’s football season has started.   Practices 4 times a week for 2 hours.   It’s a huge time commitment, but this kid LOVES it!   He is so cute studying his “top secret” playbook he got form his coach last night.  Makes me smile.  I hope he has a great season!

It felt really good to come home tonight and spend some time with Kirby.  His giggles, antics, and smles just melt my heart.   He told me tonight, “I can’t like your necklace.  Punky and Daddy can’t like it either!”  When I replied, “WHAT?!??!”  He promptly said “Just teasing!”  LOL!

It just feels so good to be getting back into a routine.  Granted, right now, the routine is a bit “roughed in” but we’re getting there.  I so loved my time with my boys this summer!  They just keep me grounded in what’s really important in life.  The little things we all do together as a family.  I look forward to a few more days that I will have with them over the next 2 weeks.

Tonight, I sign off with a happy heart and my brain swirling a million different ideas!   Good night!

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Another Ketchup Post

Where does the time go??

Sometimes I think I should give up this blog, but then other times I think about how cool this is for my kids when they get older.  With Facebook and Twitter, I definitely post lots of things, but I guess I never really get to really delve into any one post very deeply…so then here I am back at the blog!   ;)

Kirby turned THREE last week!   I can’t even believe how fast time is flying!  He is such a spark of happiness and joy around our family!   His little personality shines through with every sentence he speaks and every action he does!  He is different from his brother, Punky, but yet at times, it seems as though they are similar.  I love watching them interact.

Here are a few photos from his birthday party in illinois.   Tomorrow, we’ll catch up with his Minnesota family!

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Somehow, summer is running away from me.  I have so enjoyed my time with my boys and I thank God every day for having a job that I can spend so much time with them in the summers!

The next few weeks will bring us plenty of more football practices and soon games, workshops, planning and organizing….Summer is ending!   :(   I can’t believe Kirby is now THREE and Punky will be in 4TH GRADE!!!!!  What?!?!?!?!?

The things I have most appreciated this summer is the time.  Time to snuggle.  Time to sit and tickle Kirby.  Time to listen to Punky’s baseball and football facts.  Time to build train tracks and towns.   Time to build castles and race cars.  Time to play catch in the backyard.  Time to make breakfasts and lunches.   Time to just talk with my kids.  One on one and two on one.   These boys are amazing and they continue to WOW me every day.

My goal this year is to cherish more of this time during crazy evenings after work and weekends!  They are growing up too damn fast!   :(  Makes me sad!  Sometimes I wish I could stop time and just listen to the giggles and the conversations that go on around here every single day.

I love being a mama to these boys!

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I’m out!   Talk again soon!



11701092_10206995474588751_285731469564508892_nI attended an awesome conference last week.  One of the quotes that stuck with me was “If you’re too busy to reflect, you are too busy to learn.”  I could go so many directions with this blog post, but I am going to move forward.  I lost one of my friends to suicide in April.  Another coworker died in June.   This spring has been hard.  WHo am I kidding, the past year has been hard!   Starting with my Grandma’s death in June.  We lost 7 people this year…

But, as I sit and reflect on all that has happened, and reflected on all the good things in my life,  I have started to pull myself from the deep dark place I was in this spring.

Surrounding myself with my family has been key.  Watching Kirby laugh as he runs away and hides from you is priceless.   Watching Punky pour his heart and soul into baseball is priceless.  Watching Hubby play with the boys out in the backyard and hearing the giggles through the screened window is priceless.  Right now, right here, life is priceless.

So, from here on out, I am moving forward…moving up… I can do this!   This week, I started back at the gym.  Punky has joined me.  He keeps me focused and on track.  He definitely pushes me out the door each day to go!

I have lost control of my house.  I am slowly getting things posted to our  local suburb’s garage sale site on facebook.   The thought of having a huge garage sale is overwhelming to me right now, so I am selling things through this facebook site, and then I will also be donating a lot to goodwill.  Just “cleaning” up my life is the most important thing right now.

As far as “cleaning” up goes, I am also on an organization journey.   I have my new Erin Condren planner, my markers, my washi tape, and my information, so I just keep planning away!   Loving the fact that this seems to be working for me right now.   :)

Wanna peek into my colorful planning world?

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Pretty cool, right?


Anyway, all these little “tricks” are helping me move forward… I have lots of ideas and lots of things I want to get done both this summer and in the fall as we head back to school.

Amidst all this change, I hope to be updating on here more often as well!  :)   Goodnight!   So happy to be “back!”


And Spring Break Ends…

Ahhhh.  Great Spring Break!

I have so enjoyed this break!  It was a fabulous break with my family and friends.  Now that it is coming to a close, there are some things I just cherished so much and can’t wait for summer so I can experience these again on a daily basis.  (Hover over each picture so you can read EXACTLY what I will miss with each photo)

I will return to work tomorrow…because I know summer is coming… and I will have many more GREAT moments like these.  I am so truly blessed.


Happy Easter!


Where does the time go?

Where do the weekends go?

Saturday we did some spring cleaning around the house… and then we actually made progress out in the garage.  Hubby drove over 4 boxes of stuff to Goodwill.  I threw out a lot of things, and I even unpacked the last 3 boxes from our kitchen ordeal last April!   I found my long lost Rachael Ray orange serving pieces.  :)

Saturday night, we had friends over to watch the Champlin Park Rebels play in the championship state tournament game.  I had fun with the food and the kids!  It was an intense game.  The Rebels ended their undefeated season with a loss – by three points to Apple Valley.  Sad to see them lose, but WHAT A SEASON!  Here are some pictures from the evening.

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And one quick video of Kirby cheering on the Rebels and mixing in a little Bob the Builder in there with it!

Sunday, today, I worked for quite a few hours on the MCA testing accommodations calendar for my department as the state testing window draws nearer.

I also made a yummy lunch for my boys when they returned from church.  They were tasty sandwiches!  Here’s the recipe:

Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches

3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
24 mini sandwich rolls (I used Hawaiian buns)
1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
2. In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.

This morning, I also started the crock pot with our corned beef in it and a crock pot with a whole chicken in it for another recipe this week.  I made Irish Soda Bread to complete our Irish feast tonight.

My grandma and my mom always made corned beef and cabbage dinner for St. Patrick’s Day.  This year was weird not being able to call Grandma as I always have a question.  So, I called my sister and we chatted for quite some time.   Mom and Grandma always decked out the meal with green butter and sometimes, the leprechauns would dye our milk or water in our glasses!  I didn’t do any of that this year…but our meal was tasty.

I was saddened on Saturday as I was busy cleaning in the living room and I heard Punky sobbing.  He had been playing games on my laptop and then had discovered my video I had made of my grandma singing Happy BIrthday to me.  He was listening to it with tears streaming down his face.  My keyboard was all wet.  The poor kid has so much heart and grief.  He cried for a good half an hour about Grandma Smart and Grandpa Kenny.

He did ask me if I would make him a video of her singing Happy Birthday to him (I have it on my voicemail) along with pictures of him with her.  That’s now on my to-do list.

I have to say that I am loving my oils.  I’m waiting for my new Thieves to arrive this week.  Our favorotes by far are Stress Away, Thieves, Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.   I do use Joy every day even though it stinks.  ;)  My Marjoram came last week (the one my Zyto scan suggested….) and I love it.  I have been sleeping hard with my lavender, Cedarwood, and Valor.  Wow!  Cannot wait for more Thieves to get here….my diffuser misses it!


Have a great night!  I CANNOT WAIT FOR SPRING BREAK!!!!


Essential Oil Exploration

I am loving my essential oils!  If you follow me on Facebook, or heck, if you see me in real life, you know that I am LOVING my new essential oils!  I got the starter kit from Young Living…and I haven’t looked back!

My favorites of course are lavender, stress away, peppermint, thieves, purification and lemon… but I’m sure the others will also fall into my favorite category as I continue to explore them daily.


There they are…all eleven of them!  I have a few more ordered…and they are on their way!  I’ll post about those beauties when I get them!

Anyway, there are a few things I have made for our home as well as using them topically.  Just a few examples of what I’ve done.


are made into these…


There is an air freshener (Distilled water and Purification)

Sleep Spray for the boys’ room (Distilled water and Lavender)

Thieves Cleaner (Distilled Water and Thieves)  Another one I have has thieves, water and purification in it,

Cooling Spray for my sweaty boys when they get hot running around the house or outside. (Distilled water and Peppermint).

I use the Stress Away every day multiple times at school…..it makes me feel like I’ve just spent an hour at a spa!

I use Lemon every day in my water bottle (Has to be a glass bottle so the oil doesn’t eat through the plastic!).  I have also used Peppermint in water and also in my coffee for a refreshing pick me up in the morning!  I even tried Stress Away in my water…it was tasty.

I have diffused many different combinations in our house.  The boys love it.  (I can’t always read Hubby).  Thieves and Purification at least once a day.  Today I did peppermint and Purification for a refreshing, clean scent.  Punky loves lavender at night.  I diffuse it as well as spray his sleepy Spray in their room.  I also use one drop of Lavender to rub on his pillowcase at night.  He loves the smell.  It relaxes him and he goes to sleep quickly.

His favorite bedtime concoction is his new Bedtime Balm.


I whipped up coconut oil is my KitchenAid mixer until fluffy.  Then I added 5-6 drops of lavender oil and whipped it again until very fluffy.  I store it in one of my new pretty glass bowls.  We use it every night on the bottoms of the boys’ feet!  I tried it a few times, and I sleep like a rock those nights.  I will have to start wearing socks to bed and do this nightly as the boys do.

To say I am loving  my oils is an understatement.  Yesterday I had a headache and used peppermint and Panaway on the back of my neck and my temples.  It was gone within minutes.  I can’t wait to keep exploring the power in these little bottles.


I’ll keep you posted on my journey!