Dec 022016

Weekly Highlights

Highlights from the week of November 25- Dec 1, 2016:

  1. Setting up my acct on Bloglovin’.  Follow me!
  2. Sleeping in until 8am all weekend
  3. Extra dose of probiotics to keep my immune system strong
  4. Hanging out with my boys at home
  5. Getting the truck fixed and having it run smoothly again
  6. Starting a new rotation at school that includes my GT kids. Woot!
  7. Adding more books to my ever-growing list of “to-be-read”
  8.  Starting and making it through 1/3 of Pride and Prejudice.  My first Jane Austen novel.  Holy moly, the language is definitely old school and hard to comprehend! Thankful to be reading on my Kindle where definitions of a word are as simple as clicking the word! Very useful!
  9. Catfish and shrimp from Hook. I never knew catfish could be so good, especially with Frank’s Hot sauce
  10. Connecting with old friends on Facebook that I haven’t talked to in 20 years 
  11. Plexus Cyber Tuesday sale!
  12. Watching a Charlie Brown Christmas and full-feature version of The Grinch
  13. Fixing the landing page on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog.  Its been broken for two years and I didn’t even care.  Sad that I’ve let it go.
  14. Posting an update of sorts on the TCRB
  15. Hosting an online party with Usborne Books.  Its open for a couple more days if you want to buy any books for the kids in your life.  Here is the shopping link!
 Posted by at 8:15 am
Nov 302016

Summer….. say what?!

Yep, I know its nearly winter! But now that I am back to blogging, I feel there is so much for me to catch up on.  I’ve missed posting on the blog about things for the past two years of our lives! I’m not stressing about it, but I would like to document some of the fun moments of our lives somewhere other than Facebook.  

So here are a bunch of pictures from Summer 2016….

Fun with Sparklers

This was at Fawn-Doe-Rosa, one of our favorite places to visit in St Croix falls, WI.

Petting Deer at Fawn-Doe-RosaFeeding the llamas

Playing at Barnes and Noble

Fun at Barnes & Noble

Beach at Big Marine Lake

Big Marine Lake

Crusin with Grandpa

Cruisin with Grandpa

Cooler Car

Cooler Car

One of my Monkeys



Bashy on Slide

Reading with Grandma

Reading with Grandma

Fun at Walmart… our home away from home

Bash with Hulk Gloves

Light Sabers

Hanging with Jackson

Bash Dash and Jackson

Playing trains and trucks

Playing trainsBash

CRuisin in their “4-wheeler”

CRuisin in the 4wheeler

Fun at Maplewood Mall

Bash on MotorcycleBretton on Carousel

I have many more photos to go through.  More to come!

 Posted by at 9:08 am
Nov 252016

Highlights from the week of November 18-Nov 24:

  1. Sorting through all our boys’ newborn clothes to sell off or donate
  2. Lennox graduated from puppy school
  3. Burritos at Pineda Tacos (for the first time in over a year)
  4. Finishing up my first rotation of students
  5. A successful turkey dinner (our 1st turkey!! In 18 yrs!! lol)
  6. Facetime with my parents, and brothers Brian and Jeff on Thanksgiving
  7. Rereading To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in 25 yrs
  8. Finally finished Season 4 of Gilmore Girls
 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Nov 242016

I have so much to be thankful for. I’m sure my list looks much the same year after year but its still important for me to acknowledge the blessings in my life 🙂


  • My healthy and smart children, Dash & Bash
  • My honey
  • The boys being able to stay home with their Dad while I work
  • My family
  • A handful of dear friends
  • My career as an educator
  • A specialist job in a school I love
  • Being healthy (thanks in part to Plexus and Young Living) 
  • Helping others get healthy with oils and supplements
  • “Me time” in the wee hours of the morning
  • Our new family dog
  • Our home, working vehicles
  • All modern conveniences.  I don’t take it for granted!

For the first time ever, we are making a turkey at home, with just us.  My parents are in Florida along with Brian, Michelle and the kids.  Jeffanda is in Thailand this year.  The turkey is in the oven and starting to smell wonderful!


 Posted by at 11:31 am
Nov 222016

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I’ve been using Feedly since Gogle Reader went away, however I am going to try Bloglovin’ as well and see which I prefer. I am currently trying to figure out how to import all my blog feeds into Bloglovin’….. I might have to just do it manually when I get a chance.

I’m attempting to “claim my blog”…. if you use this service, please add my blog to your feed!

 Posted by at 8:09 am
Nov 212016

Before time slips away (and let’s be honest….while I am still in the mood to blog), I need to post pics of Dash and Bash on Halloween this year.

Bashy dressed in the dragon costume Bretton wore last year.  A huge hit!

He was pretty darn cute!

Bashy the DragonBashy

Bretton dressed as TMNT Michelangelo

Bretton TMNT

We took them around our neighborhood and into the townhouses next to us.

Some of our neighbors go all-out

Halloween Decor

Halloween Skeletons

We were only out maybe an hour and the boys got a ton of candy.  Only one Almond Joy in either bag.  Sad for mommy! lol

 Posted by at 8:58 am
Nov 182016

Highlights from the week of November 12-November 18:

  1. Birthday dinner at Outback Steakhouse
  2. Taking a day off
  3. E’s 40th bday lunch at D-Spot 
  4. Giving away books!
  5. Pre-conference dinners with my coworkers
  6. First set of parent-teacher conferences complete
  7. My monthly Plexus order
  8. Blogging again 😉
  9. Introducing Lennox via social media
  10. Reading TWO NOVELS in a week
  11. The book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
  12. An unexpected (but welcome!) visit from a former student
 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Nov 182016

Never did I think I would have a dog.  I’ve survived 39 years without a dog and I was just fine not having one.  Don’t hate me because I’m not a dog person….. if you go your life without something, well then, you just don’t know what you’re missing, right? Having a 2 & 3yo is enough to make anyone crazy as it is. Adding a puppy into that mix is something I was extremely reluctant to do. 

Well……. SURPRISE!!!! The dog I thought I never wanted found his way to our home just in time for Sebastian’s 2nd birthday. Once I got over my shock, I have done my best to embrace this stinky, so-ugly-he’s-cute, beast. 

Meet Lennox Hugo…..

Lennox @ 3 mo

Lennox is a Miniature American Bulldog


What does he look like??? Gargoyle? Ewok?? Gorilla? lol. He looks familiar but I just can’t put my finger on it…..


I hate his ears.  I wish we would’ve found him before the breeder chopped them off.  There aren’t many of these breeders around; it is still a relatively new breed, and is not recognized by the AKC.  His parents are pretty famous, pictured below.  Dad is on left and mom is on right.  He is going to grow into one fugly muscle dog.  They weigh about 40lbs and are very short in stature.  Basically he is going to get wider.

Lennox' Dad and Mom

Lenny is a very sweet dog and the boys are in love.  Bash hugs and kisses him all day long.  He is pretty well behaved (minus the leather computer chair and the seat in the truck that he chewed through), and has had minimal accidents in the house.  He has gone to puppy school and has been the star of the class.  He’s famous for his little tongue 😉

Puppy Love

He is playful but not super excitable like many puppies.  He isn’t an athlete by any means.  Our first walk around the block didn’t fare so well…. Lenny was not in the mood to walk that far….luckily we had room in the double stroller! lol

My Three Babies

So now I am the shit-bag-slinging mom of a dog I never wanted but he is growing on me. I hope that with time and more bonding I will grow to love him as much as the rest of my family does.

 Posted by at 10:08 am
Nov 172016

Dear Bashy,

I am a month late in writing this letter to you, as you turned two years old a month ago now, but I really want to document what is happening in your life at this age.

2nd Birthday

These two years have gone so fast. You are turning into such an independent little boy; hardly the baby I still see you as at times.  I miss the little baby you were but I am embracing and enjoying the independent person you are becoming.  You are very animated and vocal, however we are having a hard time understanding a lot of the words you say.  You, however, know exactly what you’re saying.  The word are becoming more clear every day and I am hoping that you will be able to better communicate with all of us as soon as possible.  For the past year your favorite form of communicating with us has been through screaming.  You have found this is a very effective way of telling pretty much everything on your mind…. “I want that!” “I don’t want that” “My brother’s trying to kill me!” “I’m excited!”, etc.  The screaming has earned you the nickname “Bashy the Banshee”.

Sebastian, you are such a little monkey! Always climbing up everything.  Several times daily I catch you up on the desk, on the kitchen counter, on the dining room table at the end of the railing above the stairs, on the bathroom counter, on top of the washing machine, in the bedroom window…. if you want to climb something, you will find whatever device will help you get to a higher elevation.  You are always so pleased with yourself.  It gives me the butterflies watching you, yet you never seem to have any fear of heights.  One of your favorite tricks is pulling a chair over to the kitchen pantry and helping yourself to “crackers” or fortune “cookies”.  You could eat several lbs of each every day if we let you.

Bashy for President

Some of your other favorite foods are yogurt which you often steal out of fridge when no one is looking…. whenever you’re quiet and we have yogurt in the house I am prepared to find you covered with it from head to toe.  You’re such a little stinker, Bashy!!! You also LOVE HOT DOGS.  I have never seen a 2yo polish down three hot dogs (no bun) the way you can. We have even started calling you Kobayashi junior! lol.  You also love pizza, cream cheese wontons, rice, teriyaki meats, pancakes, peanut butter and jelly, french fries, and fruit pouches.  Despite all this eating, you still seem small compared to your big brother.  You are wearing 2T pants and 3T shirts.  67% for height and 91% for weight. Long and lean.

Bash, you are our animal-lover.  Since you were a baby, you would go ga-ga for any animal you would see, especially dogs.  Every time you see a dog you yell in excitement and then stick your tongue out and start panting like a dog.  Its pretty funny! For your birthday, Daddy surprised us with your very first dog… Lennox.  You love him so much!! Several times a day I see you hugging on Lenny and giving him kisses.  I look forward to watching your relationship grow as you get a little bigger.  

Bashy & Lennox

Speaking of relationships, how lucky are you to have a big brother who is just a year and a half older than you?! Lucky indeed! Bretton is truly your best buddy.  I love watching the two of you play together when you’re getting along. You love to kiss and hug each other when you’re in the mood.  Bretton is also very protective of you… if he feels that someone is doing wrong by you, he will be the first one to say, “Don’t yell at my brother!! Be nice to my brother!” He will then pat you on the back, tell you that “you’re okay, sweetheart” and then he kisses you.  Its the sweetest thing ever.  You guys also fight like brothers and often want to play with the same thing at the same time.  You rarely back down and are a brave, strong little dude to hold your own.

Bash & Dash

You enjoy reading books, playing with the iPad, and watching movies.  I have never met another kid your age who has the attention span you do.  If you are watching a movie, you usually sit still and watch the entire movie all the way through.  Some of your current favorites are Madagascar 2, Monsters Vs Aliens, Ratatoille, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Ghostbusters.  You and Bretton both love to dance and LOVE the theme song to Ghostbusters.  You like a lot of music and we often hear you singing along in the car.  Its pretty darn cute.

Every day I am blessed by having you as my son, Sebastian.  I love you so much!!

 Posted by at 11:51 am
Nov 152016

I have been taking video clips daily of each of my boys since they were first born. Here are the videos from Bashy’s first and second years.  The first video starts minutes after he was born and ends on his 1st birthday.  The 2nd video starts on 1st bday and ends on 2nd bday.  I also made of one Bretton’s first and second year if you want to see those as well 😉

I love watching these! I hope they enjoy having these little movies someday when they grow up 😉

 Posted by at 7:54 am
Nov 112016

Highlights from the week of November 5 – November 11, 2016

  1. Positive results of my student engagement survey
  2. Cleaning out my closet of shoes and jackets
  3. A weekend full of BEAUTIFUL, warm, fall weather
  4. Scenic Drive around Lake Pepin
  5. A visit to Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery
  6. Driving the Rustic Road
  7. A cute improptu family photo
  8. Dinner at Smokin’ Oak
  9. Puppy class with Lennox
  10. Facetime with my parents in FL on my mom’s bday
  11. Taking part in Kids Voting at school
  12. Voting on Election Day
  13. Trying to stay positive and gain a different perspective
  14. Giving away many of my old books to friends at work
  15. Deciding to make a blog comeback!!
  16. Dinner at Khan’s Mongolian
 Posted by at 12:32 pm
Nov 112016

One of the things I’ve missed about my blog is being able to document books I’ve read and sharing ideas with all of you.  I often get book recommendations from other blogs I read and I have a very long list of books I want to read on Goodreads 😉

I switched from hard copies of books to digital books about two years ago (how else do you read when connected to a breast pump? lol) and I haven’t looked back. I have the Kindle app on both my iPad and iPhone and they sync up when connected to wi-fi.  Its awesome!!! I use the Overdrive App to connect to my local library system, so I “borrow” ebooks and have them delivered straight to my devices.  It has been life-changing for me as a reader 😉

So what have I read so far this year??


I’ll admit these books were all read before July so I don’t remember every detail of every book.  I give myself an F on these reviews!!! LOL

The Rosie Project- Funny, interesting characters. 4 stars

Big Little Lies- Quick, suspenseful read.  Tons of characters to keep straight but a fun book. Big twist.

The Husband’s Secret- By the same author above, also quick and suspenseful.

All the Light We Cannot See- Wow!! WWII story that was very beautiful.

The Girl on the Train- Again, very suspenseful.  Loved it! Couldn’t put it down

Paper Towns- Young Adult fiction by John Green.  I enjoyed it

Looking for Alaska- Young Adult fiction by John Green

Me Before You- Took awhile to get into it but it has the saddest ending of any book I’ve read in a LONG time.  Made me cry for hours after I put it down.

The Good Father- A young, single father has to make some tough choices

The Nightengale- Another absolutely amazing book!!! WWII fiction. So good!!

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane- Juvenile fiction.  Super fast read, incredible story.

The Storied Life of AJ Firky- Very sweet story

The Language of Flowers-  Somewhat of a Romance

The Goldfinch- This is a Pulitzer prize winner.  It is incredibly LONG.  I almost abandoned it half way through but the premise and plot is incredible.  Really cool story but I think it could’ve been shortened by at least 200 pages! lol

I’m always looking to add books to my reading list.  What good books have you read so far this year??

 Posted by at 7:53 am
Nov 092016

Ahhh, my sweet, neglected blog.  Oh, how I use to love thee.  I miss it! I miss it a lot! 

I have been thinking about blogging again for a long time but Facebook has been the front runner.  Should I let that be the reason I have let this blog go? I miss the intimate audience, my old blogging circles.  It seems all of us have stopped blogging for a few years now.  I still use a feed-reader (I transferred all my links to Feedly from Google Reader before it went away) but it is empty soooooo much of the time.  Its refreshing to see Heather and Nicole are both blogging again…. they have inspired me to get back to it as well!

I have so much to say and updates to make….. my babes are now 3 1/2 and 2yo and they haven’t ever really been a presence here on my blog.  I need to record so much more than the quick status updates on FB.  I want to remember it.

If anyone is still out there and finds this post in their feed-reader, please stop and say hi! I could use some encouragement to get me going!

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Feb 022016
I have been obsessed with books and reading lately.  I have been adding a ton of books to my “To Be Read” list on Goodreads and have also been snooping around on Twitter and blogs during my lunch (when I’m not reading Kindle books on my Ipad 😉
Books that I have already read are in BLUE and books on my “To Read” list are in GREEN
February 7, 2016
1 THE REVENANT, by Michael Punke. (Picador.) Left for dead after a mauling, the master tracker Hugh Glass is consumed by a singular desire for revenge; an inspiration for the 2015 film. 5
2 THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir. (Broadway.) Separated from his crew, an astronaut embarks on a quest to stay alive on Mars. The basis of the movie. 65
3 MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, by Elena Ferrante. (Europa Editions.) The first installment in the author’s Neapolitan series, about the lifelong friendship between two women. 21
4 BROOKLYN, by Colm Toibin. (Scribner.) An unsophisticated young Irishwoman leaves her home for New York in the 1950s. The basis of the movie. 13
5 THE ALCHEMIST, by Paulo Coelho. (HarperOne/HarperCollins.) A Spanish shepherd boy ventures to Egypt in search of treasure. 390
6 A MAN CALLED OVE, by Fredrik Backman. (Washington Square.) An angry old curmudgeon gets new next-door neighbors, and things are about to change for all of them — and others. 4
7 ROOM, by Emma Donoghue. (Back Bay/Little, Brown.) The entire world of the 5-year-old boy who narrates this novel is the 11-by-11-foot room in which his mother is being held prisoner. 42
8 THE CHOICE, by Nicholas Sparks. (Grand Central.) How a North Carolina man’s decisions about love and death play out in his life. 22
9 TRUTH OR DIE, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. (Grand Central.) A lawyer discovers a shocking secret that must be kept out of the wrong hands. 3
10 THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, by Philip K. Dick. (Mariner.) In this alternative history, the Allies lost World War II, and America is ruled by Japan and Nazi Germany. The basis of the Amazon TV series. 9

  1. RADIANT ANGEL, by Nelson DeMille (Grand Central)
  2. ORPHAN TRAIN, by Christina Baker Kline (Morrow/HarperCollins)
  3. 14TH DEADLY SIN, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Grand Central)
  4. THE STORY OF A NEW NAME, by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions)
  5. THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND, by Katarina Bivald (Sourcebooks Landmark)

Have you read any of these books? I’ve heard The Revenant was an awesome movie, not sure about the book?

 Posted by at 12:50 pm
Nov 072015

Highlights from the week of October 31- Nov 6, 2015:

  1. Hanging out with Erin and her boys
  2. Having Stew do my brakes (and saving quite a bit of $$$ on labor)
  3. Having Jeffrey back home for a few weeks and getting to see him
  4. Trick or Treating around the neighborhood with Bash & Dash
  5. Having the boys baptized in front of family and their Godparents
  6. Beautiful tribute to Flip Saunders (RIP, Coach)
  7. A quick, cheap fix at Schmit’s to fix a minor problem with my new brakes
  8. Getting info on our schoolwide iPad rollout coming in 4 weeks!
  9. Committing to creating another school yearbook
  10. Last treats of the season from Pine Tree Apple Orchard
  11. Take-out from Donatelli’s
 Posted by at 8:09 am
Nov 012015

Highlights from the week of October 24-October 30:

  1. Dinner at Teppanyaki Grill with Denise and all my boys
  2. All plans in place for Bretton and Sebastian’s Baptism
  3. Sebastian’s First Year video is all done!!!
  4. Finishing The Mighty Miss Malone
  5. Counting and shipping off Box Tops for Education
  6. News that my colleague Megan had her baby boy
  7. News that two other staff are also expecting babies
  8. Breaking News that they have a “person of interest” in Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance from 1989
  9. Crazy hair day at school
  10. No school on Friday to do report cards
  11. Shopping at Kohls and walking the boys around the mall
 Posted by at 1:26 pm
Oct 242015

Highlights from the week of October 17-Oct 23, 2015

  1. Almond Bark and chocolates from Candyland in Stillwater
  2. Scenic drive to Red Wing and Lake Pepin
  3. Dinner at Smokin’ Oak
  4. Sunday family dinner at my folks’ with Gram and Gramps
  5. Being able to sing Happy Birthday to Gramps (90th!)
  6. Healthy check-up with a new Dr (Fernandez)
  7. Phone talks with Noemy, Bradie, Mary and Leslie 😉
  8. Wearing orange for Unity Day
  9. Stopping at Walmart for $5 pumpkin shirt on my drive into work
  10. Having  Bretton try on his Halloween costume
  11. Hearing about Dad and Brian’s trip to Cairo, Dubai and Milan
 Posted by at 1:11 pm
Oct 172015

Highlights from the week of October 10th-Oct 16, 2015:

  1. Celebrating Sebastian’s Birthday with my mom, Michelle and the kids
  2. Helium balloons from Dollar Tree are only $1!!!
  3. Surprise party for Sebastian with Obachan and Grandpa Dennis
  4. Sukiyaki
  5. Finding a new scenic route on a drive through the country
  6. Discovering a beautiful property on the St Croix River
  7. MEA Break and having two extra days off work to spend with the boys
  8. Finally trying Teppanyaki Grill in Fridley. Yum!!!
  9. Running into a former student from Saturn Riverfront Academy (Vincent & his wife)
  10. Dinner at DSpot


 Posted by at 8:09 am
Oct 102015

Highlights from the week of Oct 3- Oct 9:

  1. Open House at Hugo Fire Dept
  2. Riding in Firetruck with Bretton, seeing helicopter up close
  3. Hanging with Rich & Jackson at Oak Shore Park
  4. Dinner at Great Moon with Rich & J-Man
  5. Playtime at Shoreview Community Center with Mary and the boys
  6. Scenic drive along St Croix
  7. Dinner at the Drive-In at Taylors Falls
  8. Playtime at Teddy Bear Park
  9. Cool fall weather
  10. Rollerskating party for my school
  11. Celebrating Bashy’s birthday with my mom, Michelle and the kids
 Posted by at 10:31 am