Saturday, August 29, 2015


Did you ever get some news about someone that was so horrible you just wanted to purge it out of your mind so you didn't have to think about it and its affects every waking minute?  Maybe unload the information onto other people so they could help carry the burden for you?  I am sure everyone has.  As I get older, I seem to be collecting more of these moments and it just plain sucks.  I know that life will continue to have ugly, gut-wrenching moments because that is the rule, not the exception.   I know that we don't get to pick and chose the people to which these moments occur and I wouldn't want to do that anyway.  I know there are no exemptions.

I haven't done much craft projects lately but when I get ugly news, I am compelled to busy myself making something pretty.  Obviously it won't fix or change anything other than distracting me and that is ok.

A special little lady is turning 4 tomorrow and it was the perfect opportunity to DIY one of those adorable fabric take along dollhouses.  I used this tutorial.  It has pictures of all the steps, which I failed to do and usually fail to do because I am typically in such a hurry I can't stop to bother to photo document the process.

Basically, you cut some pieces out of some plastic cross stitch sheets for the house sides, bottom and roof.  Then you wrap them all with quilt batting and I used duct tape to secure the batting.

Then you layout your fabric after you have sewed your roof material to your house material for the outside.  Place your pieces over that piece of fabric which should be place "right side in."

Then you will need place your fabric for the inside of the house and "garden" over the top "right side in."  It is during this step that you include the sides of the house as well (see linked post above for diagrams and much better explanations).  Sorry, no pic for this step:(  Pin down the long sides and one of the short sides.  Make sure to add some elastic loops for closing the house up (I used elastic hair ties) and rope, ribbon or fabric for handles during this step (I used rope).  Remove the pieces and sew the pinned sides.  Turn "right side out" and place your pieces inside.  Pin along the pieces and then sew the pinned lines so the pieces are each in their own compartment.  Sew up the last short side.  Once that is done, you can fold up the house and hand stitch the sides to the back of the house that does not have the garden. Add buttons for closure and embellish with fabric or felt.

DIY fabric take along dollhouse:

These are so adorable.  I enjoyed just having this sitting on my dining room table the past week.  I am about halfway done with Sully and Sydney's houses for Christmas.  Options for what to put in and use with the houses include Polly Pockets, Disney princess palace pets, animals (if you chose to make a barn) or cars (if you chose to make a garage).  Now to pack up this house for the birthday girl!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I know it has been quiet on the blog lately.  But we have just been too busy living the best.summer.ever.  Don't believe me?  Lets recap.

The first half of summer was very laid back with several cousin sleepovers...

 Neon cousins.

 I would love to hear this convo while making mini pizzas.

We watched Jens' band Take the King play at Brat fest...

They just idolize their cousin:)

We went to the zoo a few times...

And went to the splash pad twice...

Then we had to check out the new trampoline park in Madison...

But it was after the 4th of July that our summer really ramped up.  I feel like we have been going non-stop.  And although I am completely exhausted, we have made some of my favorite memories ever.

 Me and my date watched a movie in the park.

A few days after that, we left for our annual Wads/Groth camping trip.  It brought with it lots of firsts including first time camping with 5 kids, first camping tornado warning and my (and my kids) first trip to House on the Rock.

The day we got back, we headed to the Dane County Fair to watch Take the King.  And eat food.  And ride rides.

A few days later, we had our annual Koslo/Groth weekend extravaganza complete with a homemade fish bowl.

The following friday, we headed to the Milwaukee County Zoo with my side of the family...

And the next day, we headed to my in-laws campsite in Montello, WI where it just so happened to be Christmas in July.  Yes, we camped TWICE this summer.  Crazy, I know...

Sully was so excited, he probably peed his pants a little.

That Monday, I took the kids to see the butterfly exhibit at Olbrich Gardens...

The following weekend, my cousin got married and I had SO MUCH FUN dancing the night away with my family, including my Grandpa!!

 Strolling around the capital after the ceremony. 

And the next day, we were off to the Dells for 3 days where the kids had their first Noah's Ark experience and Wisconsin Ducks tour.

Whew!  See?!?  I told you we are having the best summer ever!  I mean, the fun just never stops!  I also took part in a craft show, made over my dining room, had a successful Craftshop in Milwaukee and had a garage sale!  And we are not done yet.  Oh no, we have two more weekend trips planned along with another cousin sleepover.  So you may not be hearing a ton from me here on the blog until September.  I am kind of looking forward to slowing down this fall and doing a few house projects.  But for now, until the weather starts to change and cool off, I am just going to ride this Big Kahuna wave of fun right out into the sunset.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

18 months

Dear Sydney, 

Hey girl.  Today, you turned 18 months!  I took you and your crazy brother to Olbrich Gardens to celebrate.  

You explored, climbed and tortured your mother together.

You are such a little person these days.  With clear likes and dislikes.  Unlike your brother, you have much more likes than dislikes:)  And you are more easily distracted and redirected than he was at 18 months.

Even though you two are as different as night and day in so many ways, you have a special bond.

He helps you and you help him.  He loves you and you love him.  He annoys you and you annoy him.  Its perfect.

Everything he does, you want to do.  Monkey see, monkey do.

Your vocabulary is huge.  You will try to repeat anything we say.  Currently, my favorite word that you can't even come close to saying but you try super hard is "brother."  And any word ending in "k" or "ck" is said with a hard "CKKK" sound.  It is hilarious!  A lot of German in you:)  Your first two word phrase was, "HI Turbo!"

Your personality has completely blossomed into the silliest kid I have ever met.  You enjoy "dressing up" with beaded necklaces, crowns and hats.  You even pretend to "go bye-bye" by slinging a purse of bag over your shoulder while waving and saying "Bu-bye!"

In the morning after I dress you, you look down, pat your belly and say, "Pretty!"

You eat like no kid I have ever seen.  Sometimes, you have 3 dinners.  It's crazy!  You are our little garbage can.  You also enjoy sharing your food, typically after you have licked it or had it in your mouth.  You offer it up saying, "Bite??"

At 17 months, you took up the Nuk.  I think it is comforting for you since we are weaning off of nursing.  I can't help but think it is adorable:)

You have been and continue to be such a joy in our lives.  You are the perfect piece we were missing without knowing we were missing it.  You shower us with love- continuous hugs and kisses and back pats.

I can't get enough of you and am always wondering what you will do next.  I am having so much fun being your Mama:)  Here's to more adventures together!