the most creative kids in the world!

girls-doing-arti am so proud of my girls!  they are all imaginative, bright, and confidently creative!  we do art everyday…literally all the time…and while some the the traditional school disciplines may take the back seat, i have to say i feel so good about it!  they love to express themselves and art is such a healthy and constructive way to do just that.

ok, so they may not  know how to add, read or write (wink, they are actually super smart)…but it’ll be ok, because they will be the dreamers, the music makers, the inventors, and the explorers.  my girls will learn how to climb mountains and then paint the sky!

they created these amazing pieces of art when given the phrase, “the world would be a better place if…” for an assignment and art contest.

here is their work:

reagangrowloveby reagan kress

grow love

“i believe the world would be a better place if people could plant and take care of trees instead of cutting them from forrest and rain forrest to build things like stores and large cities.”

irealandsanctuaryby ireland kress


“i believe the world would be a better place if people did not kill animals to eat.  i think it’s bad to kill any animals.  it hurts their feelings and they feel pain.  i love animals because they are friends.  they deserve the same love as a human gets.”

irelandspeakpeaceby ireland kress

speak peace

“the world would be a better place if people expressed our feelings with our words instead of actions like angry actions and fighting.  that is violence.  those things would be better worked out with words.”


by paisley kress

lions and tigers

“the world would be a better place if people would not be rude to tigers and hunt animals for taking thier fur.”


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on being grateful for now…


i woke up before the family today…the house was quiet…

my day began.  i walked past the book room and saw calico critters spread across the rug. i glanced in the front room and saw art supplies all over the table. i quickly sneak a look out over the water, and realize its going to be rainy, my favorite kind of day. then i  got to the bathroom where toilet paper was draped all over the floor and toilet. i looked over at the stack of parenting and unschooling books on the fireplace mantel and wondered if i could get just a few pages of reading in.  i started a load of laundry, straightened up the kitchen (which means collecting up all the toys, bike helmets, and ballet tights, among other things, that were left from the day before).  i cleaned up a spilled bag of loom bands, wiped off the counter, and cleaned up the high chair.  i made 2 dozen gluten free banana muffins, and started on the full sink of dishes…i always intend to do them before bed, but frequently falls low on the priority list after a long day. i started to edit the music the girls chose for the much anticipated ice skating recital (reagan chose young blood, ireland chose free like a bird, and paisley chose king and lion heart) i heard the ducks tooting from the brooder, telling me they want to be let out for morning foraging. then i looked in my purse to find my phone and charge it for the day…but instead found two pairs of dirty socks (that didn’t match), a tap shoe, a spilled bag of almonds, and an uncapped orange marker…oh, and no cell phone.  that’s not all, but you get the picture.

i heard the pitter patter of tiny feet, and not before long, two of my four sweet girls were flanked at each side of me snuggling in tight and peering over my shoulder as i reviewed today’s events.  the conversation of mermaids and dragons started, and i heard the other two babes over the monitor, who ended up in our bed last night…again.  they were laughing and cooing entertained by each other.  the hunger cries followed from all parties…then the day really began…

one day i’m going to wake up, pull clean clothes from my drawers, (instead of  the counter in the laundry room) and get ready for the day.  then i will stroll by each tidy room after another on my way to a sparkling clean kitchen.  one day i will reach into my spacious purse and find a fully charged phone next to my organized bill fold.  one day i will sit down, look out over the water as i sip on a cup of tea and quietly read some meaningless novel. i can imagine that on this day, i will nostalgically listen for the pitter patter of those little feet, but all will be quiet.  something tells me that on that day…i will miss my circus of a life!

so today my heart is full as i am beyond grateful for this exciting season of life i am in.  grateful for  spills, young talk, and busy schedules.  grateful for constant motion, little sounds, and unbridled energy.  grateful for my little flock and all the beautiful chaos and unmistakable joy that comes with it!




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be…open to change.

once upon a time there was a girl who had it all…or at least she thought she did.

a beautiful house furnished with pottery barn, a cool car, a handsome husband, two darling daughters, and an exciting career traveling the world.

with it came, a house keeper, a stack of bills, a room mate, a nanny, and lots of frequent flyer miles.

what the girl didn’t know was life was about to change….and when it did,  it changed A LOT!

at first it was hard…really hard, in fact it broke her for a bit.  and some days are still hard, but most days are wonderful…magically wonderful!

now the girl wipes away gluten free toast crumbs from the counter while she home schools her very creative, energetic, and talented children in the beautiful but very lived in house.  she drives a 1987 volkswagon vanagon across town, to and from, and all around.  she fights hard but then makes up just as hard with her still very handsome husband, as they figure things out as a team.  she adores…like literally adores, her now four darling daughters.  she humbly tinkers in her quiet and dusty little studio from time to time.

and with this comes, a home, a paid in full mode of transportation, a partner, a flock, and freedom.

with this comes…the little moments, the invaluable ones.  the moments that simply can not be replaced by any thing material. the challenges, tears, pain and struggle. the victories, laughter, joy and accomplishment. with this comes the satisfaction that she has created and belongs to the greatest organization established…the family.

with this comes…peace.


so girl, don’t forget to stop and be open to change…it may just surprise you how delightful it is!

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the best day of the year!

how is it october already? well for team kilo (and the academy for great girls) it is the best day of the year!  we always put life on hold and go to the pumpkin patch to celebrate the beginning of our favorite season!

handsome-dadwe spend so much time together, but this is one of our ritual tradition, we do the exact same thing every year…and it never gets old!

go out to breakfast…(this year we found a gluten free place because everyone, except ryan who has an iron stomach, has celiac or grain intolerance.)

breakfastthen we head to spooner farms…

spoonerhousefirst, we tackle the maze…

cornmazenext comes the duck races (which has gotten fairly competitive over the years)…

duckracesneakyirelandonto the farm…

reaganonfencedaddyandsilvertentthen we choose our pumpkins, squash, and autumn decorations…


kidsonscalestop in the gift shop…

paisleyinstoredo a quick family photo (everyone is maxed out by now)…

familyand of course, the final stop…pumpkin shooting.  (which we WON this year!!!!)



another great season started!



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how to train your dragon party

oh happy day miss ireland!


my ireland is totally into dragons!!!  from the second she saw how to train your dragon, she was hooked.  we were so excited this last spring to do a how to train your dragon party to celebrate irleland’s 6th bithday!

we decorated our entry way to welcome each of our guests to dragon training.



of course we had all sorts of yummy goodies.  sweets, little gifts, and tasty drinks.




there were lots of fun games and activities. we made viking helmets, had a dragon egg hunt, and painted dragon eggs.




it was a blast! i love you ireland!  you are growing up so strong, so inventive, with so much imagination, and with an unwavering zip for life!



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a new adventure for team kilo!!!

ok!!!  we are doing this!!!  we are taking a year (maybe longer) to homeschool. ahhh….for real???  yep!  today we had our first official school day…and this was our classroom!

firstdayofhomeschoolso honestly, i always thought homeschooling was a little…or maybe a lot…weird…and never dreamed i would become so enthusiastic about taking such a a journey. i have thought long and hard about this…it’s kind of a big deal, and i have confidently decided it is the best option for our family at this stage of our life. i am super excited and i think i can provide the girls with a pretty rich experience…


we even came up with with a name for our little school!  so…may i introduce…wonderquest  academy for great girls.  stay tuned!

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a frozen birthday party

frozen birthday party

frozen is so loved right now by cute little girls everywhere , and our reagan is no exception!  to no surprise she chose to have a frozen birthday party this year…and it was a blast to do!

frozen party sisters

of course no frozen party would be complete with out elsa and anna themselves!

frozen party games

the kids enjoyed making jeweled headbands, playing pin the nose on olaf, and creating snowflakes with glitter glue and ear cleaners.

frozen party treats

…and let’s not forget the treats!  we had plenty of them.  the dessert table had cupcakes, dipped marshmallows, wrapped ice gum, colored candy, jello and lots of chocolate goodies.

frozen party birthday girl

it’s really bittersweet each year when we celebrate my sweet babes. closing one chapter of their life, yet leaping in to the next… i love how my dear reagan is growing, and what a beautiful little woman she is becoming.  i love how full of spirit she is. she whole heartedly dives into each new stage of her life…she is brave, she is strong, she is creative, and she is alive!  that being said…i try to cling to every memory and my heart certainly stings a bit as they grow…its just so darn fast!  i cherish every minute i have with this little babe…simply put…i love her!



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little summer skirts



this summer has been jam packed with little adventures! (ummmm…our biggest adventure: one of my favorite friends was looking for a new home for some unexpected ducklings…and they landed at our house!)  we have been on the go non stop…gymnastics, swimming, parks, hikes, shopping, the beach, etc… the girls love to stay fashionable, and we have found that skirts are the greatest thing because they slip on over just about anything.  they keep these little babes modest (because…yes they would go everywhere in nothing but a swimsuit if i’d allow it!), they are easy to pack, and they look adorable!


today we did a totally spontaneous photo shoot wearing some of the skirts that we have made this summer.  it has been fun to let the girls pick our their favorite fabrics, trims, and threads, and teach them some basics about color matching and design.


the possibilities are pretty much endless, and they are so fast, easy, and take so little fabric.  hmmm….maybe i should make a skirt for me…


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how can so much happen in just one blink?

seriously, how is it that so much can happen in just one blink.  they dance, they sing, they live, they play, they learn, they grow, they go…they go go go, they stumble, they fall, and they get back up.  and as they do, i hold their hand.  i wipe their tears. i sit by their side.  i watch, i listen, i cry, i breath, and i cherish it…trying ever so intently to soak up every minute i can.  yet even with this awareness…it goes by so fast.  too fast.  a day older, a week…almost a year.  eight years.  and then one day i blink…and open my eyes, only to discover they are, well…becoming little women.


today i’m feeling a little (ok…a lot) guilty for not documenting more…i simply can not forget this magical time. (thank goodness for instagram!) there is so much i love about my beautiful little flock, our circus of a life, my sleepless imagination and i gotta start sharing again.

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fun in the tub

i was spring break this week and although i am totally laid up with this foot surgery…i had a couple surprise activities planned for the girls.

rainbow-bath-fun-webok you must know…liquid watercolors are the coolest thing ever!

liquid-watercolor-webthey can be used for a variety of different activities from art to play.  i suggest you get a few colors and have them on hand! (be sure to buy washable!!!)

first, i present the rainbow bubble bath!

four-bath-play-webwe just did a normal bubble bath using dish saop for the bubbles (because the bubbles are stronger than with a bubble bath soap) and then squirt the liquid water color onto the bubbles.

rainbow-bubble-bath-webnext, i present rainbow shower paint!

rainbow-shavingcream-paint-webalso very simple…get some shaving cream, and simply mix in the watercolor and paint till it is the darkness you like! (i did about 2 teaspoons)

rainbow-shaving-cream-paint-webbecause the liquid watercolor is washable, the clean up for both is really simple.  everything just needed a good rinse!  

clean-baby-girl-weboh…and instead of playing=messy kids…it’s playing=squeaky clean kids!  

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