Monday, May 31, 2010

Nathan's Best

Two things I have said before:
1. I live on the world's best street.
2. I am married to the world's most fantastic man. (click on that link if ya don't believe me)

This weekend our goal was to pull off a stay-cation on the cheap.

With that in mind, Nathan came up with his best idea yet -- a backyard cinema. He accomplished it in sweet style, using some industrial sized clips, a white sheet, a MacAir, some killer desktop speakers including a subwoofer, extension cords, and a projector.

We told our neighbors to arrive at 8:45 p.m. But with pre-show music like this, the yard was full by 6:45. Again, I say--LOVE this street and these people.

Pre-movie checklist:
Apply OFF.
Set sun.
Sugar the children.
Check, check and double check.

See Nathan (green shirt) and Ian (orange shirt) in the front, on a blanket?

If anyone was irritated with Nathan/my constant shutterbugging, they didn't let on. Thanks, guys.

Oh, and if you plan to put on a backyard cinema at your house, glow sticks/bracelets, etc. are an absolute MUST. What you see here is seven children in a flurry of glow stick heavenly madness on our swingset.

Since said children spent most of the movie running around with their glowing goodness, we parents are considering a movie for us next time and, since our trial run was successful, we hope even more neighbors (Jenni--that means you :) join us. This night was absolutely delightful and our backyard will definitely be open for business again soon!

What did YOU do this weekend? Did you blog it? If so, link it here for us, pretty please.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Coach Pitch

We are enjoying this new world of "coach pitch" baseball. Three strikes, you're out. Three outs, inning is over. Oh, and they keep score. That's new, too. It's quite the adjustment after two years of t-ball!

With Ian and his buddy Wilson on the team, Coach Brandon definitely has the world's most adorable models to advertise his restaurant. Agree?

But sadly, extreme cuteness doesn't count in the world of coach pitch baseball. Chick-fil-A lost 14-0 tonight to an older team from a more advanced division.

Ian didn't notice. On the way home he said proudly of his team, "Chick-fil-A is FAST."

Awww. He's sweeter than honey mustard with a side of waffle fries, don't you think?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Days

Some days we fight.

Some days we all wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Some days they cry. And I cry. And I say to myself, "I didn't sign on for this. Why didn't I finish that pediatric medicine degree so many years ago?"

But, OH, the other days . . .

THOSE days are magical.

The three of us sandwich ourselves together on the couch while we watch Sesame Street.

We play and I get to be the baby dragon, not the scary skeleton on pirate island. They feed me and I get armfuls of kisses and hugs.

And we wear tutus in the middle of the afternoon, JUST BECAUSE.

Those are the days I never question what I left behind or wonder what is ahead.

I hope you can just BE in the moment today. Happy Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Backyard Discovery

"Mama! Mama! Come see what we found!"

Discovering this little guy created some serious excitement.

I've never seen a turtle move so fast. For real.

But, come to think of it, I did overhear Lilly say after I was heading back inside, "Yet's step on him, Ian." Later, they ran back inside to tell me they guessed the turtle was "just dead."

Coincidence? I think not.

Kidding. Don't jump to conclusions. I have two very kind children. The turtle was fine, he had just retreated into his shell.

I would run my fool turtle legs off, close up shop, and pee and poo (yes, that happened shortly after this photo was taken [sigh]), too with these two after me. She has a sword!

What is YOUR most interesting backyard discovery to date?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lake Lunch

Lunch at the lake . . . ever have one of those perfect days?

First, they got their feet wet, then their knees, then they were sitting in it.

No it is NOT a Phoebe Run. Shame on you.

They rode home in their undies, laughing at their bare bellies.

Goodbye, Carpenter's Kids

Ian's last day of preschool was this week.

Goodbye, Carpenter's Kids. Your preschool program and entire staff have been a tremendous blessing to our family.

We are thankful for you and so grateful for the time Ian spent in your care these three years. Thank you for loving not just him, but all four of us!

Next stop? Kindergarten.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hearing Re-check

**Update to this post: Ian's hearing test went well--he has improved since his last test. Hearing was perfect in his right ear, but still not up to par in his left. So, we are going ahead with tubes/adenoids surgery on June 2.**

Look at that face.

I just want the best for him.

Health. Happiness. And Hearing.

I want my baby to hear. WELL. No fluid. No earwax issues. Just pure sound.

(By the way, Ian's permanent hearing is perfect--all his hearing issues are b/c of wax or fluid--temporary and fixable.)

Tomorrow, he has a hearing re-check. Consider it a do-over before his tubes surgery in a couple weeks. If he passes with flying colors, we may postpone tubes.

Pray for us to have wisdom, okay?

Because I just want what every mama wants . . .
for my son to be as absolutely joyful as he was the morning this photo was taken; the morning of his birthday when he discovered the mega-Star Wars battle scene daddy had created at Ian's breakfast spot.

Having ears that work again might just do the trick.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sewing Smiles

continues to help

around the

For this project, Craft Hope partnered with the Liberia Orphan Education Project to provide educational beanbags (alphabet, number and shape sets) for these children:

To make the beanbags (I think they would be excellent birthday gifts, too):

1. Cut 52 4"X4" inch squares from felt or fleece. I did half of my squares green, half red, alternating colors with every other letter.
2. Invite an incredibly artsy

over to draw and cut out 26 letters. This is my pal, Lara. Thanks for your help, Lara! (Didn't she do well?)

3. Sew each letter to a square.
4. Place the square on top of another the same color and sew around 3 sides.

Here, you see Lara

learning to

!!! She did great!

5. Fill with 1/3 c. beans, popcorn kernels, etc.

6. Sew remaining side closed.

Variations: shapes, numbers, animals--embellish away!

From Lara and Rebekah, to Liberia with love--we hope these bring a

to the faces of some special kiddos in West Africa.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Wrap-Up

The people

and the table . . . I used three different china patterns: 1. My mother's wedding china, 2. My grandmother's china and 3. See the blue square plates? They are exactly like my great-grandmother's china. If anyone ever finds "Fire King Charm Anchor Hocking 1950-1954 Azurite color" china at a thrift store, call me, please! We only have four plates/cups/saucers.

Yes, we have an exercise bike in our dining/hearth room. What? YOU don't?

The place holders (tutorial for dowel rod flowers found here. I stuffed floral foam into these votive holders-Hobby Lobby-$1 to make a base and turn the flowers into place holders.)

The banners (world's easiest fabric banner: trace a cereal bowl onto fabric, cut out, press in half, fold over ribbon and sew around the half circle)

Never ask my children to "pose" for a photograph.

How many of us are still at the kid table?

The gifts for grandmothers--local honey ("You're sweet as honey, Hoo-Hoo."), birdseed, stepping stones; planters (Target dollar stop) decorated with stickers; the kids scooped the dirt and we added a wildflower seed packet and a chenille stem flower.

This was precious. The kids retrieved their gifts one at a time and delivered them around the table. This is the first year the children were really old enough to choose, make and take ownership of the Mother's Day gifts. It was sweet.

The treats . . .

Anyone else a fan of cake bites? They are easy to make, if you don't mind imperfect appearances (obviously I don't mind). Check out this link for different kinds to make and recipes. Although simple, they are time consuming as the process requires hours of freezing/chilling time.

The grand finale

Could this day get any more perfect? No. But, wait! Is that a butterfly? Yep--a magical moment when this little fella came in on our zinnias. The children were mesmerized. Caleb caught it inside a glass and released it.

And now, we turn our thoughts to Father's Day. Have any ideas to share?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Part One

Look what Nathan did!

Mother's Day breakfast (Saturday morning): french toast, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, sausage, juice, Starbucks' new 3 Region Blend


Check out that precious banner he made and hung across my island pendant lights, and the hanging basket of New Guinea Impatiens for my back porch. I'm so in love (with Nathan. Okay, AND the flowers).

We hosted a gigantic and grand Mother's Day lunch at our home Sunday afternoon. More photos of that coming in the next post.

Here, Lilly and I are planting Zinnias for the mothers and grandmothers on Saturday morning, in preparation for Sunday.

Now, some family photos we snapped Sunday . . .

I will treasure this photo FOR.EV.ER. The 11 of us. Yes, ELEVEN. Did you know my new niece/nephew is growing inside sweet Manda's tummy? My sewing machine can't WAIT to get started. :)

Wow. Love this. What a treat for Hoo-Hoo to bring Jess from the Veterans' Home. We love you all.

Left: The three Ruths (Lilly Ruth, Rebekah Ruth, Ruth the First); Right: We are so blessed to spend our first Mother's Day with you, Aunt Manda.

Three generations of gentlemen, the fourth running up from behind . . .

That smile lights up a room.

Photos of the lovely lunch coming soon. How was your special day? How did you celebrate?