Here we go again!

Where have I been?! Obviously not on this blog…seeing that it’s been MONTHS since I’ve posted anything.

Here are the highlights since I’ve been gone:

  • We took some awesome vacations to Vermont and Oregon.
  • Izzy got accepted into a different school, so we switched.
  • School started for both girls.
  • There’s homework in Kindergarden.
  • Bible study started up again, this time I’m teaching kids music and leading adult worship.
  • Izzy’s fall soccer season started.
  • Izzy’s still plugging away at the piano.
  • Jo’s SLOWLY learning to recognize letters, she’ll get there eventually.
  • Cousin Steen is back with us and living in the basement. We all love having him around.
  • Low key family weekends are now a must with our busy week schedule.

  • 20131002-223032.jpg  20131002-223044.jpg

    Haste Makes Waste

    I’ve been reading, actually skimming, through the book One Thousand Gifts with a couple girl friends. One thing that struck me this week as I sped through a few chapters, was when Ann Voskamp says, “Haste makes waste”. She was referring to rushing through life and not taking the time to find joy in everyday life.

    Here’s the excerpt from the book:

    Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out i was throwing it away. In our rushing, bulls in china shops, we break our own lives. Haste makes waste.

    How many days have I rushed through and find that at the end of it I don’t remember anything significant. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and realized I’ve rushed through it; that I didn’t take the time to find joy in the little things and remember the goodness God shows everyday.

    Haste makes waste. I want…I need to be living intentionally. I need to slow down (even just for a milisecond) and take note of the joy I can find all around me.

    Comments Off on Haste Makes Waste

    Spring in Colorado

    Hello friends! It’s officially spring. How do I know that? Because here in Colorado we got 24 inches of snow and 70 degree weather all within 10 days of each other….and it’s almost May!

    2013-04-15 10.59.57   2013-04-27 14.29.14

    I’m excited for summer to come. We’ve been stuck in our normal school routine and it’s getting old; seriously getting old! The other week I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year, and she asked me what was new and I literally couldn’t think of anything that had changed within the last year. It’s just the same old routine: school, dance, piano, soccer, Bible study, church…repeat…for nine months.

    When summer comes our routine breaks up for a few months with a couple trips, lazy mornings at the pool and day camps for the girls. It’ll be a welcome change.

    JoJo is turning three in a month! Izzy’s finishing up Pre-K this month with this class of amazing kiddos, even though this may not be their finest snapshot!

    2013-04-12 12.58.55-1

    Business wise, there’s a new website in town called Ink Jet Willy! Kinoli-ites, the point for this will go to whichever team emails me first saying they saw it here. The rest of you, just go check out the site. It’s our newest creation.

    Well, that’s all I have for you folks! Perhaps I’ll see you back here in another couple months…

    Leave a Comment


    I think it’s a little ridiculous when school registration for fall of 2013 starts at the end of January 2013. Maybe next year they’ll start making parents register a year in advance! Even though I did turn in a registration packet for Izzy to return to the school she’s currently at, we were waiting for calls from one of the two charter schools we put her name in at. Both of these schools run on the lottery system and they draw anywhere from 30-60 names out of something like 250 names.

    Our school wish list went like this:
    1. Maisie’s favorite charter school (Liberty)
    2. Luke’s favorite charter school (Ridgeview)
    3. Izzy’s current school (pricey private school)

    What it really came down to was, if we got a call from one of the charter schools that’s where Izzy would probably end up in the fall. I wished and prayed for Liberty to call, but instead Ridgeview called. So we took that spot and withdrew our registration for the private school.

    I have mixed feelings about Ridgeview. It is the original charter school in our city, the high school is the 4th best high school in the state of Colorado (according to US News), however the elementary school ranks poorly because they don’t teach specifically to the standardized tests. The building is old, small with much to be desired but the academics are amazing. They opt to have no athletic programs which gives their students the opportunity to play at a larger, more competitive public school. The kindergarten class seems too quiet and strict, but the high school classes are alive with discussion and teachers who are passionate about teaching.

    After praying specifically for a spot at Liberty and instead getting a spot at Ridgeview, I felt very convicted at this week’s Bible study. God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we desire. God gives us what is in HIS will, not ours. Sometimes the best things in life are those unanswered prayers. So now I’m at peace with where Izzy will be going to school next year and the years to come. God knows what He’s doing and has a reason for everything!

    Leave a Comment

    Florida 2013

    Since Izzy’s going into Kindergarten next year, our flexibility for traveling greatly diminishes. Next school year, we’ll have to limit our travel to Christmas break, spring break, summer break and government holidays…all of which are peak travel times and everything cost and crowd wise skyrockets.

    With that in mind, we took advantage of the less intense pre-kindergarten year and let Izzy skip a week of school to go to DISNEY WORLD! January is the ideal time to go since there are less crowds and it’s cooler weather. Plus since we were going around her birthday we planned to show Izzy the hospital she was born at and the house she lived in for the first 5 months of her life. We also ended up stopping at a park we use to frequent and did a quick trip down memory lane driving by our old apartments and wedding location.

    Since we don’t get to see Luke’s family often (and Canada is usually under a deep freeze for at least half the year), we met up with everyone in Orlando. We dragged everyone around Animal Kingdom (where great-grandma rode the Mount Everest coaster!) and Magic Kingdom for one day, then just Luke, Izzy, JoJo and I went back for a second day at Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Our last full day there we again dragged everyone around Sea World where we saw some amazing animal shows and rode some intense coasters.


    Izzy’s 5!

    I can’t believe Izzy is FIVE! She’s grown into such a young lady, continually working on building good character, and loving her sister and all others around her. Somedays are better than others, but that’s what growing up is all about!

    We planned a big family trip on Izzy’s actual birthday so her birthday party with her friends was a week before her birthday. She wanted a roller skating party, so we rented out our local skating rink invited a bunch of friends and partied like it was 1990!

    Happy Holidays…

    We survived yet another Free Shipping Day event. It’s a nice thing to work up to, but we always seem to be glad when it’s over and breath again! Here’s one article about how Free Shipping Day 2012 went from LA Times. While Luke and the Kinoli crew worked on Free Shipping Day, I put together our annual Christmas party which we hosted at our house. It was a great night where we could say thank you to our staff and relax a little before Free Shipping Day happened.

    Grandma and Grandpa Knowles traveled from the frigid north and joined us for Christmas. It was so nice to have another Christmas at home without having to pack up and travel anywhere, plus we had the added bonus of having a white Christmas. Below is a picture of some hilarious stockings that Luke and I found for the girls at an antique store. We hope they keep them for a very long time! Izzy surprised Luke and I with a cute little gingerbread man that she made at school for our Christmas gift. She usually can’t keep a secret so we were shocked when the she pulled out the that last gift from under the tree.

    Over the past few years we’ve had a very anti climatic new years eves. (I’m pretty sure that has to do with having little kids…) But this new years eve we packed the house with a total of 6 kids and 4 adults. Three of the adults made it to midnight, Luke wimped out and went to bed 15 minutes before the new year. I’m sure all the kids would have liked to stay up super late but us moms were the party poopers! It was fun to ring in the new year with good friends and spend new years day playing games and generally doing nothing.

    We took the girls skiing the first week of January. JoJo freaked out at first, but then was asking to go faster by the end of the day. Izzy did well too, but it will be awhile before we let either of them loose on a mountain by themselves.

    Izzy’s turning 5 in a couple of weeks! I can’t believe how the time has flown by. We’re celebrating her birthday in true 90’s fashion and having it at a roller-skating rink in town. It should be fun! Work has slowed down quite a bit which has given Luke the chance to relax a little and do some fun things like kick footballs and add some things to our house. I’m keeping up with the kids activities and school plus working one day a week in the office and participating in Community Bible Study (CBS). I just started leading worship at CBS which has been an adventure back into my musical days! This actually gives me an excuse to sit at the piano or pick up my guitar during the week and play. And no, for those of you who may ask, “Nohvembr” is not getting back together for a reunion tour!

    Comments Off on Happy Holidays…


    So Thanksgiving came and went! We headed to Kansas City with our travel buddies. I have very few pictures of our time there, but to hit the highlights…we stayed at Great Wolf Lodge and played in their amazing water park. We shopped, we ate, we went to Legoland, we went to the Planetarium. There was lots of other fun stuff mixed in there during our 6ish day trip.

    And now onto Christmas! I’ve been slowly decorating the house for all our Christmas festivities. It’s finally done and it feels so cozy and Christmasy in my house. I love it! We rearranged our family room to make it more “Christmas tree friendly”. There’s a before and after picture below. It’s amazing what just moving furniture will do to breath life back into a room!

    These next couple weeks will be the busiest time for Luke especially as he oversees Free Shipping Day events in the UK, Canada and the USA. Besides that, Izzy has a Christmas piano recital she’s preparing for, we’re hosting our company Christmas party and getting ready for Grandma & Grandpa Knowles to join us for Christmas!

    If you think of it, please pray for Luke during these next few weeks. Pray that he gets enough sleep, isn’t too stressed out, doesn’t get sick and that we’ll see more successful Free Shipping Days around the globe.

    And now for my shamelsss plug! Remember to shop on Free Shipping Day for some great deals and Free Shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Here are the dates for Free Shipping Day in your country.
    UK: December 7
    Canada: December 12
    USA: December 17


    The Big Three-Oh!

    Thirty! Yikes! I’m fine with it, really, because I look at my thirty’s as just settling into adult life. Since my birthday is on Halloween, we took that day to just let the kids have fun. They got dressed up, went to a couple houses in our neighborhood for trick or treating until a neighbor’s huge, toy, hairy, giant spider jumped out at us and ruined the fun. We then got over stimulated at our church’s fall festival (think thousands of people, sugar high kids, and barely organized chaos). We might just skip that next year!

    Luke did an amazing job planning a birthday extravaganza for me on Saturday. He took me and three other couples out on the town for a REGRESSIVE dinner. We hit all my fave restaurants starting with a cupcakery (for dessert), Indian food (for entrees), sushi (for salads/appetizers) and a cheese/wine bar (for drinks and more appetizers). It was 4 hours of eating delicious food and laughing with good friends. We had a great time!


    Zombies & Witches

    My birthday is on Halloween and recently quite a few people have been asking me how I like my birthday being on Halloween (like I can do anything about it?!). Back in my childhood/teenage years it was kinda fun. I could have costume parties, eat a ton of candy, throw a masquerade ball like this one that I threw with fellow cheerleaders on their 18th birthday, my 17th birthday.

    Well as the years have passed, I’ve realized that celebrating my birthday on Halloween has it’s drawbacks. Instead of having a nice dinner out with my sweetheart, I’m dining with blood drenched zombies and drunk witches. That kinda puts a damper on a nice evening. Now with my kids being old enough to comprehend that on Halloween they get to dress up as princesses and get candy for being cute, they want to make sure they don’t miss out on the fun. After all, I’m more than willing to indulge their childhood ambitions of getting a pillowcase full of candy in one night.

    So all that to say, I’m usually okay celebrating my birthday on any other day to avoid the gore and craziness that inflicts the streets on one night and to let my kids participate in a safe trick-or-treat event or a church fall festival.

    * Disclaimer: While I do let my kids participate in dressing up and trick-or-treating, I don’t support the dark undertones of Halloween. Enough said.