it was worth it.

we are home now.
and i lived.
and even had fun.
i am super grateful to have in-laws like i have.
people who i can spend a week with.
and still love, want to talk to and look forward to seeing again soon.
it was a good week and i am so glad that i was brave enough to do it alone.
we missed doug...but my boys got a week of time and love from their family.  and that was worth it.
here's our week in as few words as i can muster.
we swam.  a lot.  i think the average temp for many of the days was 95-100 plus gobs of humidity.
we played with cousins. at the lake that daddy grew up on.
we spent time with Doug's grandparents.  both who are nearly 90.
this photo is precious to me...nearly 90 great-pa having a chat with four of his great grandkids.  precious.
the boys got to see all of their aunts and uncles.
another reason that made me go.
how often would they get the to see them all at the same time?
not often.
the boys had lots of fun and memorable times with grandma...
...who gifted me with these dream bowls of mine. :)
the great grandparents got to see ALL of their great grand kids at once.
and all but three of their grandkids.
i'm so glad i didn't wuss out.
i shared a room with this kid.
i don't miss 5:14am wake up calls.
the boys made memories at a place that is super special to doug.
i learned how to make a norwegian wedding cake.
which moses has requested for his birthday.
norway is a special place to us and we are just heartbroken over the events there.
the wedding cake tastes awesome.
i had it for breakfast on sunday and lunch today.
moses got to have  six hour swim day with ALL of his extended cousins.
it was SO fun to see all these little kids running around with different shades of blonde.
they were a bunch of little norges for sure.
and these four got lots of quality time together.
it was a great week.
lots of memories made.
and i only made two wrong turns the ENTIRE week.
and if you know my lack of internal GPS, is pretty amazing.

somehow i feel ready to get my bum in gear and get to work.
i've ordered lots of new fabrics and plan on lots of hobo's and headbands. :)

thanks for enduring all my photos.
xo
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So far...so good

Well, we made it to NJ safe, sound and without incident.


We left bright and early and snacked, dvd'd and drove along.


I think four pit stops for a 6 1/2 hour trip isn't SO bad considering all things. The boys stayed happy and loved stopping at the rest stops to collect "maps"...known to the rest of us as local attraction pamphlets.


The boys were thrilled when we finally pulled in the driveway at grandmas house.


That night I put Aaron to bed without incident. Only to go into the room an hour later to find him asleep on top of all our luggage on the other side of the room. Silly kid.


We spent the first day visiting a local playground that doug frequented as a kid...


And swimming at the boys pseudo grandmas house (otherwise known as his cousins other grandma).


The boys had a great time with their cousins...swimming, eating, swimming, eating and swimming.

Here's to praying that the rest of the week is as fun and easy!

Xo

Location:W Lakeview Trail,Wharton,United States

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good morning!

it's been a busy week.
i spent each morning 8:30am to 12:30 working with 1-2 year olds for vacation Bible school.
otherwise known as a staple of the south.
i'm pretty sure that, had i a mind to...i could keep my kids in VBS from june through august.
but it totally wiped me out.  call me a wuss if you want but i haven't worked outside the house in almost five years...i think i am a bit out of practice. 
we had some of THE hottest days so far this summer.
days in the low 100's and humidity so thick you can almost cut it.
we spent those days playing in the water in some way. 
it didn't matter what we did so long as it was WET.
these boys had a great week with VBS. 
i can't believe they are both old enough to do it.
awesome and sad at the same time.
my life. 
to a t.
 two family photos in one day.  what?!
please consider this your public service announcement.
i went to the dermatologist for the first time in six years.
he found two naughty moles.
one that had to be removed immediately.
another in a couple of weeks.
that makes three in my life.
tanning is not cool.  sunscreen is awesome.
i try not to think about the "what if's"...like what if i never came to the doctor and...
i'm just thankful for the ability to go...and have it taken care of.
you should do the same.  please. 
you may notice some changes around here.
for one, i changed my feed in reader to be shorter.
i'm hoping this will increase my revenue.
i know that sounds completely superficial...but i get paid to blog. 
and i want to do any non annoying thing i can do to increase that revenue.
will you stick with me?
i'll be spending today, packing, cleaning and organizing.
tomorrow morning i am leaving for new jersey.
alone.  with my two kids.  for a week.  alone.  without doug. alone.
did i mention that i am going without doug?
it's a six and a half hour drive without stops.
so blogging for the next week will be sparse.
unless i can figure out how to post blog entries from my iphone.
any pointers for that?
i'll be taking lots of photos so doug and follow along with us through our week.
i'm kind of jealous of him.
alone in the house for a week.
quiet.  sleeping.  calm.
jealous.
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family days.

this is the busiest time of year for doug.
busier than Christmas.
we've tried to make a point of having at least one fun family day a week. 
where we do nothing but SOMEthing fun together. :)
last week we took the boys to a local safari park.
you buy buckets of feed and drive through an enormous park full of animals.
admittedly, though the boys had fun, doug and i had WAY more fun.
something about two adults screaming and laughing while bossy animals try to steal food out of your car makes for a fun time.
this guy looks nice. 
but bossy.
and these emus?
crazy.
i loved the camels. 
though they would steal the entire buckets of food from you.
 another crazy bird.
once the boys found out that the animals were bossy.
and stuck their heads in the car.
the boys wanted NOTHING to do with it.
and wanted their windows UP.
but they were happy to look at the animals while doug and i fed the animals.

but these animals they were ok with.
something about being in cages i think.
you were allowed to go through the safari part as many times as you wanted.
so i talked doug into going through again.
this photo does not do this guy justice.
his rack was as wide as our car.
and the zebras were gorgesous.
is God not the best artist ever?
thankfully...on the second go round moses got up his courage.
and had a great time feeding some llamas.
 hoho still insisted on his window being UP.
 isn't Virgina the prettiest?
it was a great family day.
we ALL had a great time.
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do this RIGHT now.

i don't know if i am usually the bossy type.
do those people know? 
i don't know.
but i am telling you.
read this.  go to the store.  and start this RIGHT NOW.
you will be happy you did.
okay?
step one: take a pound of ground coffee (i used 8 o'clock bean). 
dump it into a huge container.  big enough to hold two gallons of water and then a bit.
add two gallons of water. mix it around to get all the grounds wet.  cover.
walk away until the next day.
the next day (at least 8-10 hours later) strain the coffee mixture through a strainer and paper towels or cheesecloth.  (look Q i bought paper towels!!! only because they didn't have cheesecloth).
this will get out all the grounds.
if you used the same container to steep and store...wash it good before putting the coffee concentrate back in there. 
put in the fridge. 
leave it alone until it is frosty cold and you are sweating buckets.
i then filled my cup with ice to the top green line and then coffee concentrate to that line too.
then added a fun creamer selection...this one was caramel macciato.
delish.  perfect.  wonderful.  awesome.  did not need to add sugar or anything else.
it went down WAYYYYYY too easy. 

iced VIA from starbucks costs $6 for six servings.
this cost me about around the same amount for ten times the servings.
and i love it more than the VIA.  and you know how much i love my starbucks.

thank you pioneer woman for changing my life.
i will make and keep this idea forever and ever and ever and ever.

you can thank me later.
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