We were away from home for three weeks. Three weeks! While it was a blast, it is so nice to be home!

We came home to beans and lettuce in our garden boxes, zero bugs in our house (which has never happened!), a nonexistent food supply, grass nearly up to my knees, and our own bed. Halleluiah! We quickly remedied the food and grass issues, and slept good in our own beds.

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The girls have been enjoying breakfast on the porch, having a yard to roam freely in, and all of their own toys nearby. They spend most of their days imagining and playing together.

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They even put a show on for me the first morning we woke up at home! I have a video they’re sure to be proud of when they get older. Ha. They’re so cute.

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We’ve repotted neglected plants, watched wildlife do its thing (we even have new baby birds on the porch! They’re so loud!), eaten almost every meal outside, taken a couple trips to the river, and Zack took Mae to the dentist. She brought home a yellow toothbrush with a mermaid on it. Score!


We set up a restaurant on the deck. They are still loving it, days later. I’m sure it will be a favorite for the rest of the summer.

Mae has been getting creative with her outfits, and one day decided “exercise” was going to be the look of the day. Funny how she came up with such a thing, since we don’t wear this when we exercise, nor does anyone in their yoga / Zumba videos…

Rae found my glasses and could not stop giggling. She’s so sweet. She walked a pretty straight line in them, which makes me wonder about the status of her vision. Hmmm… Zack and I wear the same (strong) prescription, so their time is sure to come.

Rae and I went to the river to collect some sand for our succulents, and the four of us went back the next day just to enjoy it. The sun wasn’t out, and the water was freezing so we didn’t swim, but we had the whole place to ourselves, which has never happened at this part of the river before.


We also found a few of these little guys hopping around while at the river.

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We spent some time at the football field and let the girls run and run and run.


Aaaaand, to top it all off, this girl lost her THIRD tooth! The top two middle teeth are loose and sure to be coming out soon. Guess we better stock up on applesauce, pudding, and ice cream!

We have no plans of going anywhere this summer, unless it involves camping! We have plenty of projects to wrap up over here – including quite a bit of exterior painting, as you can see in that first photo of the window trim.


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Zack and I had fevers all weekend and Zack’s continued until Tuesday, aaaaand we let the girls run wild with a new found independence. Needless to say, our home looked like the last half hour of Jumanji come Tuesday morning.


…on to the good stuff…

Like this little hood rat and her fancy new mod hair cut. And maybe how she feels decked to the nines in this three-sizes-to-big maxi gown, yet poses in such a manner to imply that I forced all that glamour upon her.

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Ah, Missouri.

[This spiel, might need to include the entire country, but since I don’t watch news, I’ll stick to what I know.]

Snow. Rain. Temperatures just warm enough to wear either shorts OR a t-shirt. Snow. Rain. Rain. Rain. Snow. Sweat inducing heat. Snow.

People complain a lot about such things, as if one type of weather is better than the other, but I for one and glad for some variety. Maybe its because I don’t take the time to store away seasonal clothes, and I can dress for any of the four seasons (ALL of which we have experienced in the past two weeks!) at a moments notice. (OK. OKAAAAAY. I wear the same two pairs of jeans and t-shirts all year round, despite my closet telling a very different story.)

All that to say – we’ve had snow three times in the past so many weeks, and its just enough for Penelope to get her fix. Phew. I made that harder than it needed to be.

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Saturday (before we started feeling crummy), we took the girls to the zoo to enjoy the 80 degree weather. You’ll notice I married a ginger, so read as far into that word “enjoy” as you feel appropriate.

The girls borrowed my phone on the way to St. Louis, and took the most adorable photos of each other.

After the zoo, we stopped by Zack’s Target equivalent, Blick. – and he walked out with NOTHING. Maybe Target was too strong of a comparison?

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^ Their garage. ^


Anna was having one of those days.

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We spent all three warm days outside last week.

I managed to clean out the chicken’s room, and the garage, and had a day left over to just BE. The chickens also spent everyday outside, and boy were they happy!

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Usually we save CHiPs for summer viewing, but the girls have been requesting it in our down time.

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Today the girls started learning about snow (Freezing, melting, evaporating, and condensing.) We still have a couple days to go with it, but our snowman has melted and is now working on evaporating. They also enjoyed eating some snow. After this photo was taken we added fresh blueberry juice to it. A very natural snow cone! 🙂



Occasionally Mae skips naps, but over the weekend we decided to stop them all together. She is, for once in her life cranky at some point during the day. I’m not thrilled about this, but she is sleeping a teensy bit better a night. We’ll see how it goes…


Rae: “I swimming!” giggle giggle giggle.

We have a fisher price nativity, and this year the girls have added some characters to the scene.

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“Look, Olaf is praying for God!” giggle giggle giggle.

(She gets “to” and “for” mixed up a lot when she talks.)


A few of the other guests include iron man (red and silver), several ponies and horses, Linus, Elsa, Anna, a dinosaur, and some hotwheels.

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Zack built the girls a tree fort a few weeks ago, and it is still holding strong!

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We took the girls to a Penelope’s restaurant a couple weeks ago when my mom (also a Penelope) came to visit.

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Mae was in the Christmas play at church. She was Townsperson Number One (The finest of the characters!). She did SO GOOD! Way braver than I ever was!

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The girls have become even closer friends over the past month. I’m not sure what is causing their bond to grow so suddenly, but I am adoring watching them together even more than before (something I didn’t know was possible). They are always together, always talking about the cutest things, and constantly hugging and enjoying each others company. Of course Mae plays the roll of Mama Bear, and she does a fabulous job, so I’m not interfering.



We have been busy the last couple of weeks, and at the same time – exreeeeemely lazy.


We have practically move onto the Meremac, and our house hygiene is suffering because of it, but our souls and lightly browned skin are lovin’ it!


We have also taken several  trips to Jefferson City in the last two weeks. Mostly for the beautiful drive, but also because they have a McAllister’s, Target, and sporting goods store all on the same road. Ha!


The rest of our time has been filled with sleeping in, followed by naps, playing card games, and snuggling on the couch. We occasionally get up to cook and do dishes, but its been rare.

Zach starts back at work tomorrow, so we have been stretching the summer vibe to its limits. Tonight the girls and I are going to see Beauty & the Beast at the Muny, shopping tomorrow, and going to a birthday party Saturday. We plan to squeeze in one more camping trip (without kids!!!!) in the next week or two. I am trying desperately to hold off on going gungho with autumn decorations and candles at least until Mae starts back at school closer to September.



Rain. That word could sum up our last few weeks, but I’ll try to expand a bit better.

Also, ^ that little lady is the sweetest!  ^

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Mae made us lunch this afternoon. While she was fixin’ it up, Rae and I went on a flower hunt make the table pretty. A storm was threatening all day, so we had an indoor picnic just in case.


We’ve been babysitting a couple boys every once in a while for some friends. The girls are such good helpers. Mae picked out some Legos at the store as a treat for helping me out so much. Boys are a lot tougher than girls, in my experience, so it was well deserved!


Our power went out last night, so, naturally – shadow puppets and bath-by-lantern!

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Before nap time we went for a stroll, made flower crowns, and picked daisies. Mae has always said her favorite flower is a daisy, but I think this was her first time actually seeing one.



We spent last weekend with Zack’s mom. A late night ice cream date, muffin baking (and batter eating!), a trip to Hobby Lobby, and spending Sunday morning at our old church – where Mae made a flower for her best friend –are just some of the fun things we were able to do.


The girls and I have been fighting some kind of sickness all week. Fevers, scratchy throats, runny noses, and Rae’s molars breaking through swollen gums.


We took the girls out to a bike trail so they could try out their hand me down bike and brand new roller skates. Rae gave up on the bike pretty quickly, so Mae didn’t get much practice in. She did have fun though and I’m sure we will be back a lot this summer!



Mother hen watching over her flock. She is officially a big girl. She talks all  the time, and knows the words for everything. She is officially potty trained (she wears night-time pull-ups, but they’re usually dry)! Finally!

Mae is teaching Rae different tasks, such as shredding cheese, hand washing dishes, her ABCs, sweeping, getting dressed independently, and how to make the perfect splash in the bathtub. I just stay out of the way and watch from the corner of the room (with a HUGE grin on my face). Now, if only I could remember to turn on the video camera…


It has been warm (in the 60s!) lately, which means more time outside and more belly rubs for Rosie. Its all she wants all day long.


We moved the chicks into the coop with the older hens. We had to divide the coop with wire, so the chicks didn’t get pecked. We’re desperately hoping the weather stays warm, so we can construct the large coop for the hens.


The girls have requested oatmeal every morning since October.

Blueberry and brown sugar.

Strawberries & cream (Daddy’s coffee creamer).

Honey, cinnamon banana.

Cinnamon peaches.

Cinnamon baked (steamed) apples.

Brown sugar & white raisins.

Maple syrup & peanut butter.

All with flax seed mixed in. They help me make it each morning (sometimes we have eggs, grits, or pancakes). They enjoy making their own food, and I try to let them help with all meals as much as possible. If I am in a bad mood, I have them color or play instead, so that cooking remains fun for them.

I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures lately. Hopefully I can change that soon. 🙂


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We’ve been busy around here lately. The good kind of busy. Productive I guess is a better word. Mae has been practicing her sewing skills, and is does really well with it! She is so patient with any task we throw at her.

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One of our chickens, Tree, died last week. An hour later, we took a trip to get 15 more. Ha! Zack is such a good papa to our hens. His dad always wanted chickens, and I think the fascination may be in their genes.

Anyway,  on our way to get chicks, we stopped into a Lion’s Choice for some lunch, and they were having a special on their “Bountiful Baked Potato,” and Mae thought I should spread the word.

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We make so much homemade pizza, that we don’t see it as a ‘task’ to whip up some dough. I’m so grateful, for not only a husband who loves to cook, but who is good at it!! Homemade pizza is so good!

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Miss Rae got a hair cut over the weekend, and it is so cute on her! She is just as excited about it as Zack and I are! Mae insists that she too should get a pixie cut, and I am continually changing the subject. She adores short hair, but I think she should at least try it long once in her life.

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We ( I ) have added geography to Mae’s ‘curriculum.’ Her first destination, is China. We’ll be spending at least a week, on each place we study. Our first day of it went well, but I definitely noticed I could’ve prepared a bit more before diving in!

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Rae has been sleeping more than usual lately, due to teething & growing. It has giving me some good, long one on one time with Mae. We read library books, extend our school time, and play games. I look forward to it and try to get in at least a little bit of time with her each day.

The rest of our week is scheduled and full, which hasn’t happened in a long time! I keep thinking I am forgetting to do something.

My parents are coming for the weekend to watch the girls while Zack and I go out. Not on a date but still out,  and the fact that out night out fell on Valentines didn’t occur to us until yesterday. We’re getting lame when it comes to dating! Ah well, at least we’re still the coolest people each other knows, right?!


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^  Rosie  ^

We did not officially get a new dog, but this precious lady has been hanging out on our porch for four days. She has no collar, and sleeps on a hay bale most of the day. Mae has named her Rosie and has become very attached, so I hope she sticks around. If she is still here after Christmas I think we’ll bring her in for the winter.

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We are in major spring winter cleaning mode. I am aiming for a ‘fresh’ home in time for the new year.

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Mae recently received a large case of black olives from someone who took note of how much she enjoys them. Just like her mama, she can easily eat a can a day. She took this photo one day while she ate / played with some.


She is getting so good at writing, knowing and understanding letters and numbers (even simple addition!). I can tell her a letter and she knows how to right it (unless it is a ‘V’- too simular to a ‘U’). She wants to write every word.  I love her interest in learning so much!!!!

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Painting, baking, and Christmas books have filled the moments between cleaning. Thankfully it has been gloomy and cold outside (I will never say that  again!) so I haven’t been bothered by having to stay indoors for over a week.

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Zack’s grandparents gave the girls Elf on the Shelf, and we have had to much fun with it. Since we aren’t telling the girls that Santa is anything but imaginary, the girls know that we hide him (sometimes more than once a day), and Mae even hides it for Zack every now and then.

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^  because I am not in enough pictures…and they had messy faces 🙂

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Mae had her first dentist appointment!! Rae sat next to her the entire time, and they both thoroughly enjoyed their first visit!

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^ ^ ^  The cherry on top of a full week! Zack and I received this catalog in the mail yesterday and we have already circled a bunch of food we want to try next spring! I miss how much labor intensive work we get done every spring. Lazy-bum mode is not my favorite, which is probably why our home gets changed around so much during the winter…okay, okay, *why our house gets changed around so much all year long. 😉

We have company coming this weekend, a Christmas program at church this Sunday, and next week is Zack’s last week until Christmas break!!



With the cold weather taking over and the daylight saying goodnight before supper each day, Zack and I are diving head first into hibernation mode. The girls on the other hand are sleeping less. I’m trying to convince them that sleep is good, but for the first time, their just not interested.

We’re coping with baking a heavy breakfast most mornings (2-3 hours earlier than we had been!), reading books by the fire until Mommy officially wakes up, yoga to warm up before activities (painting, television, games, and schoolwork), and keeping the girls in footy pajamas unless we leave the house – its so cold!!

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Rae and I have been cleaning the house and playing educational games on the iPad together.

Oh, and squeezing in some driving lessons!

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The weather has kept the high in the 30s. Burr. I am increasingly grateful for the fall scenery in town. Thanks for sticking around beautiful leaves!

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aaaand,  we experienced the first snow of the season! It is very pretty, but way too cold for my liking.

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With the weather getting in the teens at night (and a cat-hungry German Shepard hanging out in our yard all day), we have brought Black beauty inside. He is loving it!!

Mae and Zack have caught a bug. I believe they are all better now, I am praying Rae and I don’t get it next! It was hard enough to watch one baby throw up,  🙁

November has been full of sickness for the Rogers’ house. Surely we’ve caught enough things that we can start to get well…right?