It’s the most wonderful day of the year!

I love back to school. 

The new lunchboxes, new clothes, return of routine, fall weather, pumpkin spice lattes….

For the first time ever today I have to be at work before the kids leave for school.  I’m hoping they brush their teeth!

Here’s the traditional first day of school cookies!

I may have enjoyed some cookie dough.  Shhhh!

Have a good one!

-Heidi Jo

Last dayof my summer break: Does everyone have clean underwear?

Today is my last day before I start my new job. 

It’s been wonderful.  We’ve been to 2 different camps (liv went to 3), enjoyed the pool, day trips exploring our area, a camping trip, VBS, late nights with friends, binge watching Chuck on netflix, sleeping in, grilling 90% of our food, and cleaning out the garage. 

I’m really excited to get into my new routine, meet  the faculty, see the kids, and most of all decorate!

The educational director (ED) has it set up so I do a rolling start so I’ll be working 4 hour days until my kids stay school on the 31st. Then bam….full time. 

I’m pretty organized about how the house runs.  I’m gray at meal planning, routine and making sure the girls have responsibilities.  We already do a family chore time every (ish) Saturday.  So I’m not too worried about keeping the house going.  

I just seem to have added extra night time responsibilities this year.  I’m going to be mentoring/discipling a gal who was baptized last week, we’re adding a small group to our house in October and the normal commitment of youth group/kids club begins soon. (We live 37 miles in heavy portland traffic from church).

So I just need to remember when I’m totally stressed out that my new definition of success is answering the following questions with a resounding yes:

1. Did I spend time with Jesus while drinking my coffee today?

2. Does everyone have clean underwear?

3. Did everyone eat dinner today?

You know, the important stuff!

I need more cute mugs.  Thrift stores here I come!

Have a grand day

-Heidi Jo

A new job…eeeek!!!

I unexpectedly got a new job this week. 

Last year, I was a recess teacher for the local school district.  I enjoyed it.  I loved seeing the kids, being part of a wonderful team of educators, taking supplemental assignments in the kindergarten classes. 

 But being outside 4.5 hours a day in heat, ice, rain, sleet….not so much (I would make a terrible terrible mail carrier).

I longed to get into a classroom.  Not even be the teacher, just a support. But alas my level of education prohibits that in a school district setting. 

But my new job?!? I’m lead teacher in a private preschool.  My almost but  not quite associates degree is enough credits if I can prove I’m enrolled in A CDA  (child development associate) program.  Wooooooohoooooo

Mama’s got her own classroom again. 

So now I’m obsessed with pinterest. Checking out class decor, room arrangement ideas, fun projects, etc.

So, this year I’m working full time. I’m going to need lots of advice on how to balance it all while staying sane.  I have a feeling lots of coffee will be recommendedūüėČ.

So until next time

-Heidi Jo

Jazzercise: mother daughter bonding 

All summer Mike and I’ve been trying to talk Liv into joining a sport when school starts.  Liv isn’t all that athletically inclined and 8th grade is the last year of no cut sports so we thought it would be a great time to try sports again. 

Friends, there were tears, glares, silent treatments and negotiations.  There was even a coin flip.  We narrowed it down to volley ball or cross country. 

More glares. 

So a compromise was made.  

If she joined me for Jazzercise then we would consider that a sport. 

I found a fantastic deal with no joining fee and no dues until October.  That’s 6 weeks free.  Also, a few years back I was a member at the local jazzercise gym so I know the owner and she made me an amazing mother daughter package. 

So yesterday was our firstday. 

I took a grumpy teen in her new school gym shoes (I had to bring out the big guns in negotiations) to an afternoon jazzercise class.  

We got all signed up and Emma’s best friends mom (Lives 5th grade teacher too) walks in, then our neighbors arrive.  Somehow having people skew knows made jazzercise became cool in my 13 year olds eyes. 

After an hour of shaking our groove things, she was smiling and making fun of my back sweat.  

Whatever it takes to make her smile with me even if it means I’m sweating buckets and looking a hot mess. 

Now I’m hurting in places on my body I didn’t even know existed.  But my legs feel fine.  Must be all that playground walking. 

So if you’re looking for a great mother daughter bonding activity I recommend jazzercise!

Yes, I spilled my coffee this morning. 

Have a great day!

-Heidi Jo

Summer Fun

Oh my are we having fun around here this summer! So much fun I forgot to blog. 

Emma got to help paint the sets for camp!

We deep cleaned Emma’s room!

We went to family camp. Liv looks so grown up here!

We had cookies for dinner

Pretty crystal clear creek at pleasant valley

Pizza with Liv

Silly selfies at NW Trek

Feeding time at the zoo

Picking peaches

Best yard sale find ever!

Yummy food

We are having so much fun and have 2 more weeks until school starts.  Maybe then I’ll finally develop good blogging habits?!?  A girl can dream. 

Until then, enjoy your coffee!

-Heidi Jo

The pool adventure continues

We bought a new pool.  We researched, measured, comparison shopped, and found the perfect one. Even better, it was an opened package so it was deeply discounted.

The girls helped put  it together.



Yes.  It takes up all of our grass.
The girls look happy  though.


I see a summer of fun ahead! I even bought myself a floatie and have enjoyed some pool time.

Adventures of a Backyard Pool

20160510_064221.jpgFor the last few summers we’ve enjoyed a ¬†small above ground pool in our backyard. Last year we bought a new one. The only one we could find in a middle of a heat wave that would fit our 17×17 patch of grass was 12×36. Seeing that my daughter is almost 5’5″, this summer it would have been interesting to see her try to swim in it.

But, alas, we are a frugal family, choosing to live off of one income in the summer months due to my school district job and desire to play all summer, so I set up the tiny pool. The girls were excited and I let them play in the pool before adding any chemicals to it.

It was a fun night. The neighbor girl came over and played, we cooked burgers on the grill, and just enjoyed the simplicity of backyard family time.

That was Saturday night. Fast forward to Monday morning. Liv wanted to check the chlorine and ph levels of the pool. Since she’s 13 and has handled mere complex things in science class, I figured she would make an excellent pool¬†girl this summer. I sent her outside to begin her new responsibility. She¬† rushed back¬†in the house with a look of panic on her face. The pool had lost half its water.

I went out to investigate, and found several places in the seams that water was leaking from. Then, the pool imploded and water went everywhere. Our tiny pool was no more.