A Decorah Day!


A post from Kelli–


Last Friday, Kalissa and mom had a few check-ups in the morning.  They were a little worried because their appointments were at the same time and they were going to drive together, but didn’t know where to take Carver.  As they were telling me of their woes, I told them that Carver would be hanging with me and we could run them between their appointments–I am one of his favorites after all!  Atleast that’s what I tell myself.

I had a super busy work week, but was looking forward to Friday all week.  I didn’t really need much in town–except for my Carver fix!   We met Kalissa at the hospital and them ran over to pick mom up from the other clinic and met her at the door.  We then went back to pick up Kalissa, followed by a visit to the Depot.

I decided that it must have been a sewing machine day because they had probably 5 or so sewing machines just waiting for a new home.

Girls Day 3 (300x400)I think that they were mostly priced between $30 and $50 or so, but they all appeared to be in pretty good shape with all of the cords and such.  They were marked on their sticker that they worked, however that usually means that when they plugged them in, they turned on so the quality of the stitch or the machine is still unknown.  A few even had manuals and additional accessories with them.

Girls Day 4 (300x400)After checking out the sewing machines, I headed over to the book section and found this.  I happen to love books that are perfect for reading on the toilet, and I believe that this one will serve that purpose well.

Girls Day 2 (300x400)After that, we headed over to the other used store and found a few deal there too.  When that was done, mom had an eye doctor appointment.  Kalissa and I ran to Walmart during her exam to pick up a few things and then met her back at the Optometrist to pick out some frames.  Carver (and I) weren’t too interested in the paperwork part of frames and measuring for them, so we sat in the waiting area and worked on practicing our selfie skills.

Girls Day 1 (300x400)Isn’t his onsie so cute!?!?!?!?  I ordered it of Etsy.  If you can’t see, the name tag has Betsy’s name on it.  We also grabbed groceries, switched cars and then headed home.  When we got back to Waucoma, we stopped over at Kalissa’s house to help her get a few things done around the house to prepare for her upcoming LuLaRoe launch and then I got a call to work the overnight.  While it was a busy day (and night), I got to spend time doing things that I love–Hanging out with my family, bargain hunting, and seeing my residents–So I’m going to count it as a good day!





Keeping a Little Home Cooking in my Heart!


A post from Kelli–


I don’t know about anyone else out there, but there is just something about church cookbooks that I love.  It seems as though no matter what page I open it to, there’s some good recipe that I want to try.  While there are a few things that seem a bit odd (I saw a recipe for pork and beans used in a dessert once), most of them are great, simple, hearty recipes that I usually have most ingredients for.

This one is no different!

Cookbook 1 (300x400)

This cookbook is from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Lawler, Iowa.  As you can see, it’s likely seen it’s better days, but this is the original that my mom bought when it first came out in the 90′s.

When I was younger and would cook, Mom always yelled at me because I would slop whatever I was cooking all over the cookbook in question.  This one was no exception!

Cookbook 2 (400x300)


As you can see, there’s lots of little “love marks” all over!  It was loved so much that a lot of the pages have even fallen out!

A week or so ago, Jason requested tacos for supper with homemade shells.  I knew that the recipe was in the Lawler cookbook as we call it, but because I knew that it was in a million or so pieces, I wasn’t sure if I had the page or where that specific page was.  Luckily, I was able to flip to the bread section and find it pretty quickly!

Cookbook 3 (300x400)As you can see there, we made multiple batches of these when I was younger and I did a little experiment to see if there was another measurement for the 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil when making a triple batch.  When I was younger, I also remember giving mom a hard time about writing the recipe to take a “glob of dough the size of a small hamburger.”  After I was razzing her about it, she asked me how I would have written it.  I couldn’t think of a better or different way!

Needless to say, I’m on the lookout for a new “Lawler cookbook,” but I’ll always keep this one around.  I think those little “love marks” give it a little personality!


Meet my Friend Carolyn!


A post from Kelli–

When I went back to school to get my RN degree, I was really worried about getting back into the swing of school things, studying, and the like.  I quickly found out that I would be just fine, but when I started the nursing program, it was another whole kind of hard.  Rather than just using the memorization techniques I had previously used, I now had to know the material inside and out and be able to apply it to lots of different situations.  I didn’t do so hot on the first couple of tests, but eventually got smarter about studying–Mostly in part to this wonderful lady!

Carolyn 1 (400x300)


Meet Carolyn!  Throughout the last two years, I’ve met with her almost weekly with a group of my peers to study for our nursing exams.  I’m very lucky that the college that I attended (yes!  I’m done) offered a wonderful resource called the Learning Center.  Students are able to go there free of charge and get help in a variety of subjects–including nursing!  When I started the program, Kalissa said that if I was going to do it, I needed to meet Carolyn and I’m so glad she actually marched me over and made me meet her.

When we got together with Carolyn for our study groups, she would review any information that was iffy or that we didnt’ understand.  She’d reexplain and sometimes reteach the majority of the unit.  She always had a ton of extra questions, diagrams, and other wonderful information to share with us to help us learn the material.  Needless to say, she’s one of the major reasons I have been able to complete the program successfully.

Throughout the past two years though, Carolyn has been more than a tutor for me.  She’s listened when I was frustrated, provided me with Kleenexes and candy when I was crying because I didn’t think I was going to make it, and congratulated me when I was successful.  She’s been a great friend and mentor to me.  It’s people like Carolyn that make me extremely proud to continue on my journey as a nurse.

To commemorate her greatness and wonderfullness, I decided to gift her with a quilt on one of the last days we met with her.  I chose Easy Street which was a previous Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt as she didn’t quite make nursing school easy, but she surely made it easier!  I told her that there was one stipulation though–She had to use it!  And from what I hear, her husband is holding her to that!

Carolyn 2 (400x300)Our class also gifted her with a beautiful bouquet to thank her for her outstanding help and guidance the past two years.  Northeast Iowa Community College past, present, and future nursing students are extremely lucky to have you Carolyn!  You are truly a backbone of the program with your vast knowledge and wonderful, helpful personality!

Thank you sooo much!  You’ve helped me more than you’ll ever know!


A Sewing Day with Mom


A post from Kelli–

Last Saturday, I had a day off…kind of. I had originally picked it up, but found someone to cover it for me because I needed a mom day.  We had mentioned going shopping at the Amish and a few other things, but just decided on staying home–And it was surely the best decision ever.

Before when mom and dad lived at the farm, mom worked on her early learning website Makinglearningfun.com and blogging full time.  At the time, I worked a 8 to 5 (or whenever I wanted, as long as it was 8 hours a day) Monday through Friday and had 3 weeks of vacation to use.  I’d come home most weekends and took a few days off here and there just to come hang out.

Fast forwards a few years–Mom is doing in home childcare 10 hours a day, still blogging full time, and working on her website.  I’m in nursing school full time working as much as I can on the weekends, odd shifts and picking up hours as much as I can (mom recently banned me from picking up more hours than I was already scheduled for).  Needless to say, we both are stretched to the max and don’t have tons of extra time.  There have been a few days that I’ve stopped over after class and hung out with the kids, but haven’t really had a chance to just hang with mom and have a girl’s day.

It’s been a really long time since I’ve even touched a sewing machine, much less actually made progress on a project.  So when we decided to stay home, I was really excited!  Who wouldn’t want to stay home and sew on a quilt in sweatpants!

I brought with my Garden Party quilt that it seems I’ve been working on forever!  I have all of the  colored blocks done, but haven’t quite finished the red and cream ones.

Garden Party 2 (300x400)But Saturday, they got finished!

Garden Party 1 (300x400)
I even brought Puppycat with for a play day with Ruby and Betsy!  She had to take a break a few times from playing and wrestling to come hang out with me and get a pet or two!

Garden Party Puppycat (300x400)
Overall, it was a pretty wonderful day.  There’s not a whole lot that a day with your momma can’t fix.  When people ask me what I’m looking forward to after graduation, I would say that hanging with mom is definitely at the top of my list.  I’ve really missed her!