Thursday, July 31, 2008

thankful thursday

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:6-8
one - old friends - I got a call from an old friend the other day and today she came by for a visit. We live near each other but never seem to find the time to hang out. I'm so glad she came was nice to see her again.

two - new friends - Because we have been at the pool every morning this week for swimming lessons our normal routine is a little out of whack. If you know me, you know I thrive on routines. However, I have had the opportunity to make some new mom friends that have little ones like mine, are homeschooling like me, and generally are really nice women. I have enjoyed the time I've had with my "old" mom friends at the pool, but we all have made new friends.
three - swimming lessons - I can swim and have tried to get my girls to be comfortable in the water but I haven't had the chance to really push them into learning more. Boy, oh boy, these swimming lessons are so great. They are having fun and learning a lot. Both girls have reached the milestone of putting their heads completely under water. This is HUGE people! I mean, seriously, I still struggle with hair washing sometimes because they don't like water on their faces. Now, I can't guarantee that they'll do it again, but at least they did it and I caught it on film memory card camera. Oh yeah, you know I did!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

how about you?

I came across this funny little test and thought I'd give it a try. I got a 98...what do you think you'll get. Go ahead, give it a try. It'll only take a minute.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

If you take the test please leave a comment and let me know what you got. Oh, come'll be fun!

how do you read?...

...for pleasure or knowledge?
Well, as you can see on the sidebar, I joined the Summer Reading Groupies. My goal was to read 3 books by the end of August. Now, let's be very clear, the general rules did not require the reading to be novels. The reading could be magazines, novels, anything....just find time to enjoy some reading. Okay, so I started the book called The Innocent Man by John Grisham. The story is a true one about an unsolved murder in a small town then the wrong guy sent to jail. Well, now that I am a mother, I have a hard time reading about, hearing about, or watching anything that has to do with some one's untimely death. I know, complete wimp. It's just that the victim is always some one's baby. So, needless to say (but I'll say it anyway...the whole accountability thing), I did not finish that book. There were just too many details for me. Had it been a fictional story maybe I could have finished it. I do have the newest book by Barbara Kingsolver on hold at the library so I should have a regular book to read soon. What have you been reading? you ask. Oh, I've been reading. I generally like to read for pleasure, pure entertainment really, but lately I've been engrossed in some great books that are all for the sake of gaining more knowledge and skills. I am so glad that my library is so are the books that I have been taking with me everywhere I go.
This book has been so helpful. There are all sorts of great techniques and tips on how to better use the camera you have so you can take wonderful, focused, pleasing-to-look-at photographs. I hope it's not on reserve, because I'd like to renew it again!
I've also been reading these two books.
Okay, I love this book! Sew U has so much great stuff. Since I have been sewing a lot more lately, and have more questions than answers when it comes to the details, it has been very, very helpful. It also has some patterns in there so you can try out your new found skills. Oh, one more explains how and where to measure yourself so you can make clothes to fit you just right every time!
So now the finale! I absolutely love this book! It's full of fabulous aprons...and the patterns to make them all! I think I will be an apron wearer. I always make a mess when I cook or wash dishes or do laundry. Aprons just might be the thing to help me not ruin my clothes. Plus, they are super cute. I've got some fabric just screaming to be a cute apron! I am so thrilled that the library had this book. They just got it and I was the first one to check it out. I'm not returning it yet, but when I do, I may have to wipe the drool off first :o)
So there you go...the books that I have been reading. I have learned a lot, I have been able to apply what I've learned, and have seen some great results. Now, I'm just waiting for the library to get a book called Sew What! Skirts. I can't wait to get my paws on that one!
And yes, the girls had a fabulous time in their swimming lessons today. After the lessons we stayed at the park and had a picnic with our friends and then went to the playground. Lots of fun...but maybe poor planning...the hottest day so far....104 degrees! Note to self: take more water to drink so my little delicate flowers don't wilt in the heat.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

tins, treks, and tricks

Why do I love alliteration? I don't really know, but I always seem to find myself trying to come up with the perfect words to get my point across. Maybe it's the teacher in me!...If so, let the wondrous words willfully wrestle their way wittingly into my winsome writing. I couldn't resist. The truth is out.
Tins - Yesterday we had another fun was Muffin Tin Monday. Again, a huge hit!
Treks - Lately, the girls and I have been going for a nice long walk in the afternoon. Of course, if I know it's going to be a scorcher, we walk in the morning. I took my camera and captured some things that intrigued the girls. I always enjoy capturing what they find fascinating because they see the world so differently.

Tricks - Once again our most fabulous library has brought us
joy! The hosted a "magic show" for the kiddos. Fish the Magish was his name. He was very funny, had some good tricks to share, and kept everyone entertained! He started the show by explaining what an illusion was so that the kids knew it was a "trick for their eyes" and that he wasn't really doing any magic. It was a great show.

two little fishies swimming in the pool

"Mom! I TOTALLY swam!!!"...
were the first words miss O said to me after her first swimming lesson. Why didn't I do this last summer? I don't know. I didn't even think about it. I can tell you this...the girls will be having swimming lessons next summer, too. I love to swim (in a pool). I love to race my husband and any other willing participant (in a pool) because I usually win. There aren't many things that I win, but race me in swimming...come on! Okay, so it's not the prettiest swimming to be seen, but it's fast. Oh, wait, this post is supposed to be about my girls. I am thrilled that they are loving their lessons. The instructors are great! Encouraging, yet not wimpy. They have really gotten the girls to overcome their natural fears. We aren't around pools much unless on vacation so it is nice for them to gain some confidence and some skills. Putting their faces in the water...even dunking their heads in the water....practicing some kicking....learning to relax enough to back float. Oh the fun they will have when they are swimmers. The girls are not in the same class, which I thought might be a problem for miss E, but she's been doing great! Initially, on both days, she said she didn't want to get in the pool, but when I walked with her to the area where her class would be she let go of me and got right in the water with her instructor. Yippee! Miss O never missed a beat! She couldn't wait to get in. At the end of the two weeks of lessons I hope they have a love for the water....and a want to learn more. I've tried on several occasions to help them relax in the pool, relax enough to float or to try swimming...they've always enjoyed it, but remained a little tense and apprehensive. As much as I hate to admit it, I think it helps them to hear it and learn it from another person...a "real" teacher as they like to call them. Hey, as long as they learn to swim, I'm long as they don't learn to swim faster than me!
Aaahhhh...summer! Don't you love it?
Seventy-five percent of our planet is water - can you swim? ~Author Unknown

Monday, July 28, 2008

oh boy! another giveaway!

Rebekah over at Sunnybrook Farm Designs is having a giveaway! She is celebrating her 200th post by giving away a sweet tote bag. Oh, and if you love it, like I do, you'll also love all of her creations. Just check out her Etsy shop!

Friday, July 25, 2008

reversible bird seed skirt giveaway!

Reverisble Bird Seed Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

photo from Grosgrain

I am loving this skirt...and I really want to win it (for my girls of course)! The giveaway is being held over at Grosgrain. There is some serious sewing talent going on over there. You really should go check it out...just click here if you want to see more of her handiwork. Okay, okay, if you like the skirt you can enter to win, too.

before & after

Today is the big day! The goal was to complete the to-do list by July 25th then post the before and after pictures to show the world what was accomplished.

I must confess, I didn't complete everything on the list, but I did make good progress.

Here goes....

THE new, super cute, soft and fuzzy, pink polka dot RUG!

THE newly sewn, simple but beautiful, white eyelet with periwinkle ribbon, bathroom CURTAIN! All of the painting is done, the window curtain has been made, and the shower curtain has been purchased. The only thing left is the floor. Oh, you're time is coming, mr. floor.

THE growing like crazy, easily transplanted, filling in the empty places MONKEY GRASS! This stuff is great. Full sun or shade, it just grows and grows. We have cleared out the back corner of our yard and needed to move the monkey grass. I put some in the front yard where nothing else would grow (as you can see in the picture below), I also put some around the base of our deck. There are still a few more plants that need to be moved, so I still have a little more digging to do.

Not too bad, huh? During this time I also made a few doll dresses, finished a skirt for myself, and made my girls matching shirts. I hope to get the girls' room painted while it's still warm...still searching for "cosmic pink" paint. To the girls, that means pink sparkly paint or mother-of-pearl-ish paint. Ever heard of such a thing?
It's nice to check things off the list! Go ahead, try it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

thankful thursday

You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God. I extol You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Psalm 118:28-29
one - cool morning breezes - This whole week has been really hot and humid, but this morning when I went outside it was actually cool and breezy. It felt like the beginning of fall. It was very refreshing.
two - successful sewing - I haven't always had the best results when sewing. Lately though, everything has turned out pretty good. It's so nice when my machine works, my thread doesn't get tangled, and the end product is just as I had hoped it would be.
three - sweet girls and sweet treats - Yesterday the girls and I made a yummy dessert called Chocolate Marshmallow Truffles. They are gluten-free, quick, and easy. It was fun for all of us...and I must say, very yummy!
The recipe is from Gluten Free & Fabulous. You know I have pictures, right?!

Melted gluten free Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips, large marshmallows, chopped pecans. Okay, the recipe called for almonds, but I like pecans more :o)

Miss O taking charge of the dipping process. She is quite the pro!

Miss E was in charge of the topping station. She was very particular about how many pecan pieces were on the top!

The finished, delicious looking, begging to be eaten right away, product!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

pizza, playdate, & poor little birds

Can you smell that? It's pizza...Mmmmm! Pizza is such a normal thing for us to eat, and it's something that we take for granted every time we eat it. I mean, when you want pizza the biggest concern you have is which toppings to get. Am I right? Well, Tim has been on a gluten-free diet for about six months. So, not only has he had to live without buttermilk biscuit ( it pains me just to think about it), but he's also managed to survive without one single slice of pizza. Amazing! Okay, so he has been know to steal the toppings off of any unguarded slice he sees...but it's just not the same. Well, oh happy day...I found gluten-free pizza crust mix and made Tim a pizza. We all had a little slice but the rest was for him. He devoured it. Really it was quite good. It ain't pretty, as you can see by the picture, but for a first try at making pizza with this incredibly sticky dough, it turned out alright. Next time I'll make two pizzas so that the crust will be thinner, and per his request, there will be more cheese! Thank goodness for Bob's Red Mill!

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Yesterday we had a play date. Our friends came over and brought their 18 inch dolls so that I could make them some cute dresses...while the girls watched. The goal was to see how interested the girls were in the sewing process. I think they really enjoy it. Although the most fun part was probably choosing just the right fabric :o) I made a couple of dresses for Miss O and Miss E's dolls last week... they got to help with the sewing while I was in charge of the pedal. I wish I had taken pictures, but sewing and taking pictures at the same time that a 5 year old and 3 year old are helping me sew is just a little much. I did, however get pictures from the play date. It helps having another mom around...thanks Heather! Okay, so while I finished up the doll dresses the girls had lots of fun playing dress-up. I didn't have a doll pattern so I just drew a picture of what I wanted the dress to look like...a wrap-around dress...then I measured the dolls and made a pattern on some of our school paper. It seemed to work pretty well. I'd do it again :o)
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Okay, now for the sad part. Last night we had a pretty bad storm. Lots of wind and heavy downpours. Although the storm didn't last too long, while it was happening, it was pretty rough. This morning when I got up, and like every other morning, I made my way to every room and opened the blinds. When I got to the kitchen window and opened the blinds I peeked down into the bush to check on our cute little birdies...the nest was gone, or at least most of it...and there were no little birds in sight. I opened the window a crack to see if I could hear them, thinking maybe they were deeper in the bush or on the ground. The only sound I heard was the mama bird squawking angrily from the power line. I watched her for a while and she finally flew down to the ground by the bush. When she finally flew away I opened the window again and raised the screen so I could look down on the ground. Sure enough, one little broken bird. So sad. I didn't see or hear the other two birds, so I am assuming they survived. I never got the perfect shot of the three little birds in the nest, but I did get a few more while I was making dinner yesterday before the storm.

This last picture is my favorite because although this little birdie is sleepy, he is obviously still hungry so he's keeping one eye open so he can be the first to see the mom coming back with the food!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

vbs and a little bird's nest

Okay, as promised, I will fill you in on VBS. Our church doesn't do the normal one week of fun. We do a few Sunday evenings with a catered meal for all of the families to enjoy and fellowship, then the kids are off for some VBS fun. Well, if you know me, I can't just drop off my girls, so I am always the snack lady. Not a bad gig really. I get to hang out, and usually have time to play with Miss E and any other kids too small for VBS. This year Miss E is old enough for VBS, but since she won't even go to her Sunday School class it was doubtful that she would go. I brought the regular bag of entertaining things: a doll, a magnadoodle, a flap book, a coloring book & crayons. Last summer she had a blast hanging out with me in the gym, but while each group came in to have their snack she had to go and sit down for a while (so as not to get trampled). So here we are. She's 3 years old now. I took the bag of toys just in case, all the while hoping that she would take that leap into "big kid" fun and actually go to the class. Then I found out that the 3 year old class has no no class. Bummer! Then she says she wants to go with Miss O in her class (4 & 5 year olds). I offer that suggestion to the teacher... she's all for it, plus if Miss E flakes out, I'm easy to find....I'm in the gym the whole time. I anxiously watch as she goes through the door with all the big kids.Holding her big sister's hand.Never looking back. *sigh* Is she a big kid now? Miss O did a great job including her in the games and crafts. (you know I had to sneak down the hall and peak in the window of their classroom) They were having a lot of fun. I thought that maybe when their class came in for snacks that she would start to crumble and want to stay with me, but alas, she was strong and happy, and excited! When snack time was over and they were lining up to go on their next adventure she hugged my leg, grabbed Miss O's hand, and went happily hopping down the hall. Wow. This may be the corner around which we shall turn. preschooler + confidence + big sister security = VBS fun with the big kids!

the abandoned toy bag...poor little Tallulah looks a little lonely
lesson and craft about God's the big kid table
snack time after getting hot and sweaty outside
her face says it all

Both girls had a great time, although they wanted to stay a little longer to play some more. It was late and the tears of tiredness were mere moments away. So off we went. We are looking forward to the next VBS night.

Oh yeah, the baby birds. I have this crazy bush outside my kitchen window. I don't know what kind it is but no matter how much I cut it back it seems to grow and grow, not evenly mind you, but crazily, with long sprigs sticking out everywhere. Very Dr. Seuss-ish. Anyway, in the spring I cut that sucker waaayyyy back. Just the other day I was thinking I need to trim it again, but Tim looked out the window and saw a bird nest in there with three little birds in it. Catbirds...mocking birds. Needless to say, the mother bird is not at all happy that we discovered her nest because I am forever trying to get the perfect shot. I mean, seriously, the nest is like 2 feet from my window. I raised the screen a little so when I open the window a little bit my camera can focus without the problem of the screen. Here are a couple of shots...these are still not what I'm hoping to capture, but at least you can see how cute they are. The mommy bird was coming with a little food...every time she's near they all open their mouths like crazy, I love it. The little guy in the front was just eye-balling me, probably because the mom was stalling. She doesn't really like it when I open the window.
When I get the perfect shot I'll be sure to share it with you. These little guys have changed so much just since the other day. I hope I get the perfect shot before they learn to fly and leave the nest.

i won!

One blog that I enjoy reading is Hurrayic. She has lots of crafty things going on, plus some real life stuff, too. You should go visit her's great. Anyway, she's having a Dress-Up Giveaway right now, and I WON giveaway #2!!! I'm so excited! I never win's really fun to win!...I'm a winner! The only condition is that I make something for the girls' dress-up box with all the goodies she'll be sending me. I'm so excited, I can hardly wait!! If you want a peek at what's coming my way, just click here. Oh, and just so you know, Dress-Up Giveaway #3 is going on right now. So, if you want a chance to win the next pile of goodies just head on over there and leave a comment.
Man, what a great way to start the day! Happy blogging!