Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello June.

It's the little things. Today, my landscaping is making me happy. Take these sweet little violas: remember this blog post? The kind lady at the greenhouse gave them to me for free; wanted them to have a "good home." Lately, they've raised their cheerful faces to the sunshine with all their might. It's like they have something to prove and they're gonna prove it!!

Day lillies. I like to watch with excitement each spring as they begin to grow, grow, grow, and then when they burst out into dozens of buds, well, it's exciting for me. Little things, remember?

Red yarrow. This guy's threatening to take over my entire yard. Yarrow can be intrusive, but I'll keep this one in check. He's worth having just for his pretty red color.

Gerber daisy. This gal's in a pot on the front porch. Gotta love orange!

Yellow yarrow and deep purple sage at the mailbox. Hello, mailman!

Worthy, joyful, determined, sunshine, and friendly make a beautiful bouquet on my table.

Five years ago when our home was built, Nathan's parents and grandparents came over for a landscaping party. Together, we planted each and every plant, flower and tree on our property. It's a precious thing to see your husband's almost 90 year-old grandfather happily digging in the dirt. Life. Is. Good.

Speaking of plants . . . GARDEN UPDATE:
This is crrrraaaazy out of control! My first garden -- I had no idea how this spot would grow at lightning speed! Must be the manure (remember Ian and the "stinky").

Ian's garden on May 16:

Ian's garden on May 31:

Thanks, Mum (Nathan's mama), for the new baby tomato plants! I promise to plant them soon.

What's making YOU happy this June 1?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hope. Promise. Cherish.

This project took a lot of time, but was oh so fun--MUCH more fun than sleeping! Covering this book with fabric was a cinch when I found this idea online to hold it together with clothespins to dry. Fabulous!

Guests signed in and wrote well wishes on scalloped punched circles (thanks for the circles, Lexi!) and then placed them in the book's envelopes. Following are a few of the pages.

Special thanks to Paula Voris and Ginny Haymes for organizing such an incredible event, and for the large group of sweet folks who attended the shower. Best weekend wishes, everyone!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spidey goes Captain America

Ian: Mom, you need to make me a Captain America suit.
Me: You know, your Spidey suit looks a lot like Captain America's suit.
(Fortunately, the best superheroes all like red and blue)
Ian: Well, I need a belt. And a star. And a mask.
Me: You're right. Let's work on it together.

The similarities are stunning:

I must be doing something right. I've raised two superheroes: Spider-Man and Captain America, not to mention Buzz Lightyear, Luke "Star"walker, Bolt, and on and on. Wanting to hold on to these precious days forever. I don't want to miss a moment.

Still hard at work on John/Amanda shower things. Check back tomorrow for the finished products. I'm excited! Speaking of John, happy birthday, brother!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sweet Time

Pulling a late night tonight. My sweet, amazingly gifted, ultra-talented friend Lexi came to play. And by "play" I mean work like mad into the wee hours on John and Amanda wedding shower goodies. She arrived with grande Starbucks drinks in hand for the both of us, "so we could get our crafty mojo on."

Chocolate mint heart favors? Check.
Guest book sign-in started? Check.
Major mess? Check. (but a beautiful mess)
Sleepy me? Check plus.

Finally finished these envelopes, Lex (in case you were wondering).

Crafting with Lexi always gives me a huge energy boost (pretty sure it's her wonderful friendship and not just the grande Starbucks that does it). I hope you have a coffee toting/energizing pal in your life, too. Everyone needs a Lexi.

Caffeine high just crashed. Good night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ian Can Read

Mom and dad took us to the Branson Landing today (Silver Dollar City didn't work out -- long story). It was a wonderful day! Thought I'd share this project I made for Ian over a year ago after another great day at the Landing. The best thing about this album is Ian can "read" it himself. I keep it beside his bed and his little hands can handle it all they want!

Project idea is from Ali Edwards' Life Artist book.

Start with a 3" X 4" Maya Road chipboard box, album included (found mine at Archiver's).
Paint it green, then gray.
Sand the edges to bring out the green.
Repeat on chipboard letters and glue them to the box.
Open each photo in Photoshop and add one word in an easy-to-read font. Print.
Glue photos to one side and paper to the back of each chipboard piece.
Paint around the edges in green.

Yesterday, I listed an easy-peezy sewing project if you want to learn that craft. Today's project is nice if you'd like to get your feet wet with Photoshop. Add one word -- that's it! Visit this blog post if you need help, or email me.

I Like to Make Stuff

Simplicity pattern #7229 and I have made a decision: Skirts will be my summer fare this year. Mom says before kindergarten I refused to wear anything but skirts and dresses. I still prefer a skirt to shorts or jeans, and, lucky me -- Simplicity 7229 agrees. It promises a new skirt in just one hour. I made two this weekend, and trust me, they didn't happen in an hour (oh well). But, if you'd like to try your hand at sewing, this pattern is very simple and would be a good starting place. Just email me if you get stuck.

Meanwhile, I'll be wearing one of my 7229's to Silver Dollar City tomorrow . . .

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.
--Abraham Lincoln

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Today I finely chopped some chocolate mint I'm growing in a pot and put it into brownies. Yum! And on Wednesday I picked cilantro from my garden and made fresh salsa. So far, this gardening bit is working for me. I'm loving harvesting my own-grown stuff and putting it to good use.

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with patriotic pasta for your kids' playtime. It's fun for stringing on pipe cleaners, making art projects, or just playing with in bowls using spoons, scoopers . . . you name it!

Directions: children put pasta in baggies and squirt bunches of coloring in each bag. Secret -- add a bit of rubbing alcohol to each bag for brighter colors. Seal bags. Children shake, shake, shake! Pour onto cookie sheets to dry.

Enjoy your holiday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Second and Stunks

This week has been huge for Ian. He finished a year of AWANA Cubbies and received his awards Wednesday night.

Today was his last day of preschool for this year.

Tonight was his first official t-ball practice. He had us giggling. The first activity at practice was for the players to line up behind home base and run to first, then second, and so on.

The first player in line ran to first base.
The second player ran to first base.
The third, fourth and fifth players ran to first base.
The sixth player ran straight to second base. Guess who that was?
Right-o. Ian.

Nathan and I are just assuming Ian is confident every hit he makes will be a double.

We had the windows down in the van on the drive home and a terrible skunk smell filled the car. Ian: "Everybody don't like STUNKS."

Saw 15 toads on my walk tonight. 15!!! That's a new record. 15 toads and no blond jogger . . . it's a good day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1. Local favorite:
Sunshine Valley Farm in Rogersville, Missouri is a slice of heaven, right here in the Ozarks. Speaking of slice of heaven, try a slice of their pie after you enjoy a yummy lunch on the wrap-around porch. The grounds are picturesque, with a large orchard and gorgeous landscaping. The fam met there today so, of course, I brought my camera:

2. Check out this article. These sweet ladies have spent decades knitting a replica of their British village. It's incredible, and read it, b/c it's full of phrases like, "God rest her soul," and "the garden was spot on" and "gave us a jolt." Don't you love how Brits talk?

3. Okay, this is a simple one. I'm a simple gal. A $3 Glade candle has changed my life. If you are a mama and frequently experience unpleasant, sometimes unexplained, odors coming from your kids' rooms during the day like I do, try it. I just light it and transfer it from room to room during the day as needed. Just don't burn your house down or put it within your child's reach!: