Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Yesterday was goodbye. I am trying to muster up the strength to post a tribute to our Harley boy but for right now our hearts ache...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

We had a wonderful Memorial Day yesterday! We were thankful Cody was off to spend the day with us and with Harley. We enjoyed a relaxing morning then got ready to go eat lunch.

I had no intentions of being in this photo but Scarlett got upset when Cody sat her down for the picture (because she was ready to! Cody did a very good job at capturing this sweet picture of us girls!
We had lunch at one of our favorite spots, Willies Icehouse.  I love the margaritas...

and the girls love the sandbox!

After the girls took a nap we headed out to the backyard for some family fun! I decided to take a picture with Harley since I can't remember the last picture I have with him. It was a very bittersweet day as we had fun and celebrated but also knowing that Harley would be leaving us the next day.
Cody set up a splash park for the girls including a water slide!

Bailey wanted in on the action

I got splashed on this one!

What a landing!

Scarlett didn't not think this was a good idea

Torpedo baby!

After that, Scarlett stuck to the safety of the baby pool! I love her "cheese" face - makes me smile no matter how I am feeling!

Harley spent time loving on the girls...

Harley had such a good day watching the girls splash and having fun!
Cody grilled us some delicious kabobs for dinner and we enjoyed eating outside on the patio. It was a great day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Preschool Setup

I wanted to post about our preschool set up since I struggled finding inspiration at the start of all of this. I wanted it done as "nicely" as possible without being too over the top "daycare" feel. We do so much entertaining at our house between holidays, birthday parties and play dates that I didn't want primary colors and ABCs all over the game room! Yet, it needs to be "fun" for the kids or they won't want to be there. It's a fine line.

I knew I wanted a framed chalkboard but I wanted it magnetic because we were going to be limited on wall space for our lessons. I didn't want a bunch of push pins in my wall so having the chalkboard be magnetic just made the most sense.

Here is our DIY giant magnetic framed chalkboard (tutorial of how to and how not to build one here)!
framed magnetic chalkboard
We connected two 22.5" Fintorp rails from Ikea for the hanging bar and attached 2 buckets and 1 oblong bucket with matching hooks.
Mammut Children's Stools from Ikea

What kid doesn't love sitting on a stool? My girls love pulling them out from the wall a bit to sit and read a book! 

My favorite part is the "library wall"! I've seen this done a million times on Pinterest and finally decided to go for it once we decided to preschool at home. What I love is that once we done it will being a book display we can easily flip it into a photo gallery of framed photos sitting on the ledges (the original use for these Ikea ledges).
homeschool set up
The bookshelves are 45.25" Ikea Ribba Picture Ledges
We have 2 Pink Mammut Tables with 4 Chairs

I plan on adding letters above the library wall to spell out "READ" and then put the 4 square framed photos of the girls reading that we already have above the chalkboard. 

We had already owned 1 Mammut table with the 4 chairs and LOVE it so much we added a 2nd table. It allows for the girls to have more elbow space than trying to cram them all at one table. They wipe up easily with clorox wipes (crayon, marker, name it). Oh, and they work great for birthday parties too!

We also mounted a magazine rack to a small side wall (which can easily be removed by sliding off the nails for entertaining purposes). I use this to organize the preschool paperwork for the week. I designated the bins Monday-Friday from top to bottom.

We also got 2 bookcases from Ikea and turned them sideways for storage under our archways (this is the area behind our couch in the game room).
The 4 bottom storage bins in the picture above are for supplies (art, paper, etc) and I don't let the girls get into them (although Scarlett is still testing me). 
Expedit Shelving Unit in Black-Brown from Ikea

The 4 bottom bins in this unit are the girls' "learning zone" bins. The 1st is full of puzzles. The 2nd is full of music (xylophone, maracas, whistle, etc). The 3rd bin is fine motor skills (games, lacing, bean bags, etc). The 4th is our cookie sheets, ABC magnets, and Power Magnets. 

After first we bought ITSO bins from target and they fit but they were SO snug I struggled getting them in and out. Plus we didn't agree with the polka dot pattern once we got them home so we exchanged them out for these (below) and they fit perfectly!
Storage Bins are Threshold from Target

The rest of our game room is the normal set up - couch, coffee table, tv, toys, etc. So we basically do our work in this corner space of the game room. We do any painting downstairs in the kitchen our on the patio.

When we need to stretch our legs we typically march around the game room during our Bible songs. The girls go play "centers" in their rooms (kitchen, dollhouse, etc). We also have outside play twice a day for the girls to burn some energy!

So far after 2 weeks of preschooling at home this set up is working great! We may add a circle rug under the library wall at some point but hasn't been a problem not having a rug for them to sit on.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Harley's time with us on earth is getting shorter. He is not doing well at all. He is having syncopal episodes (where his heart is out of rhythm and is not providing oxygen to his body) several times a week now and last night he officially had a seizure. Last night I told Cody "it is time".

We didn't want to ever get to this point but we are here. I don't want him suffering and I don't want the girls to see his attacks - which they haven't so far.

Last night I prayed for God to take Harley peacefully and that we will be ok although it will break our hearts.

This morning I didn't know what I would find when I went to let them out. I couldn't arrouse him at first but I saw him move so I knew he was still with us. He had no desire to get up and go outside so I had to do a lot of convincing.

Today we told the girls Harley was "very sick" and Reese understands he will be dying soon. She also seems to understand he won't be coming back. The girls focused on loving on him during our outside play so that we could get some last pictures.

Cody called the vet and talked about our options. It is not good he is having seizures now. She was surprise he survived the one last night. She said his heart condition is depriving him of oxygen which is triggering the seizure. Her suggestion is what we already knew in our hearts needs to happen.

Cody & I are trying to come to terms with this and will call back to schedule it when the time is right. I think a small part of us is praying he will turn the corner and be fine. He can't handle too much more of this and neither can we.

Reese & Harley

 Emma & Harley

Scarlett & Harley

We don't want to say goodbye!

We love you Harley with all our hearts!