Friday, February 29, 2008

Our Extra Day

I noticed that this will be my 100th post! How exciting! And a good day for it too -- February 29th, our Leap Year! Here are a bunch of pictures from the last few days. I think I'm on the road to recovery from these nasty colds, and perhaps that's why I'm feeling up to blogging. :)
It's very hard not to take lots of pictures of David. I think he knows he's cute.

Thanks to an idea from a friend, I finally pulled out some bulbs that I found in the garage and we're going to see if we can force them inside. At least it felt like we were doing something "spring" orientated.

Rachel had a friend over to play this week. Watching the two of them have fun together reminded me of the wonderful, wonderful times I had with friends when I was Rachel's age. In particular, I played with two sisters named Kate and Carrie. We had such great times sewing doll clothes, playing in the woods, baking, riding bikes, etc. We still keep in touch.

These are Em's flowers from before Valentine's Day. At first I thought $5 was a bit exuberant to spend on 5 gerberas, but, they have lasted nearly 3 weeks! I guess that's pretty good value!

The boys have a new bed, thanks to some friends. They love it! Rachel was so intrigued that she decided to move in with the boys for awhile.

"Anyone want to play monopoly?"

This is a fun scene to come upon during the day.

"Hey mom, you don't mind me eating food in the living room, do you? I'm just so cute that I'm sure you'll let me get away with it."

So, now that my blogging is over, it's time to return to the tax return. :) I'm working on that while Michael is away.

One last note, my mom has decided to start a blog! Yeah! She's just getting it up and running, but you'll be able to find it here: Watercolor

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Waiting.....for Spring

I think we are all ready for Spring to begin appearing, and then for the full serge of Spring to burst forth in flowers, trees, bushes, and green grass. It seems to be taking awhile this year.

Perhaps the days are seeming more drab just now because we are fighting several rounds of colds at our house. It's no fun when they seem to drag on and never go away.

I suppose that's why there has been nothing very significant to blog about recently. Oh well. Time will change all that, I suppose.

Michael will be away for the next few days so hopefully by the time he returns we'll be heading back into good health. (And I must mention -- Michael is off to Florida for business! Definately a wise decision! Maybe I can convince him to bring Spring back with him.)

Friday, February 22, 2008


In between school, household chores, and the rest of our schedule, we have been working on a few new crafts! This was my first attempt at a felted flower. I'm eager to do some more, but I do need to get a few more colors.

Rachel came up with the idea of a teacup cozy all by herself and then made one up, complete with an embroidered sunset scene.

Our Rosebuds group met again this week and this time we learned locker hooking. This produces a very similar result to rug hooking, but one uses a locker hook and cotton strips rather than wool. Rachel managed to finish her trivet the next day -- she loved doing this! I'm excited to try it myself. The supplies are much cheaper than wool rug hooking, and the process of locker hooking is quite relaxing.

I also recently finished a sweater for another baby -- I was quite late. The baby was born in November. But, fortunately, the sweater still fits!

And, as you may have noticed, I did get a few tea cozies sewn up out of the material I had hanging in my workroom. We all love this brown and green one. It is now sitting in my Etsy Store, waiting....

That's all for now. I've got a bag on the knitting needles just now -- to finish for my Mom. It will have to be felted once the knitting is finished. And then I have some fine, blue yarn to get going on another little sweater.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Food, Shopping, and Nigella

For once I'm going to just blog -- no pictures, nothing very exciting, just thoughts. :)

I've been reading Nigella Lawson's most recent book "Nigella Express." As with the rest of Nigella's writing, it did not fail to make me hungry and desirous of a trip to the supermarket.

Nigella has always intrigued me. Here is someone vastly popular in the foodie world, and yet she isn't a trained chef, nor is she exceptionally talented as a cook. I've spent a number of years just observing her, reading her books, and trying to figure her out.

I think Nigella's secret to success involves several things, but for one, she LOVES food! And, she can write about food in a way that makes your mouth water, your eyes visualize, and your nose twitch with excitement.

I could go on with more observations and deducements, but not now. And I don't really want to bereate Nigella. After all, she's proof that anyone that really loves food and is able to write, can make a name in the food world (okay, so she does have connections, and good looks, and that definately helps). Nigella never fails to inspire me.

All that to say, I was reading Nigella this weekend...... I felt I just had to go to the store on Monday to feast my eyes on ingredients and let myself get inspired to cook something good! It was very exciting just to be able to go up and down the aisles and look to see what was available, making mental notes of things I could put on future shopping lists. I came home with some fun ingredients -- limes, cilantro, pesto, red onions, frozen okra -- and my "shopping desire" satiated for awhile. (It's slightly dissappointing to realize that Nigella's food budget is unlimited compared to one's own.)

As for the book itself (Nigella Express), it felt strangely as if it itself had been "expressed" through the production line. Nigella's writing was choppy and convaluted, as if she had put her thoughts down on paper and never gone back to read through and smooth them over.

However, Nigella wins some points with this book that none of her other books are eligible for. This is the first book of Nigella's that can be rated G for General Audience! I have no idea what made the difference, or why there was a change, but I was delighted to see that Nigella left out all the unnecessary "gastro-p*rn" in this book! Way to go Nigella!!! And the book is not lacking in any way because of it. Long may this continue!

Just a few thoughts.......

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Mom Walk

I recently read The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson and must highly recommend it! I think it is the most encouraging book on being a mother that I have read. The Mom Walk is a book meant to encourage women in their relationship with God and how that is walked out in the everyday demands of being a mother. She is honest about the aches and pains of life and how that will be part of each mother's journey, but she also focuses on the joys and delights of being a mother.

I thought I would give you a few excerpts from the book -- not really in any order, just some things I particularly liked and wrote down. It is hard to summarize the whole book in a few brief sentences -- you moms out there will have to find a copy (our library carries it) and read it for yourself!

"No one will have the same walk or journey. Our personality, skills, background, husband, financial status, theological underpinings, children, health, place of birth and residence, relationships, stresses, and so on will be different than any other mom's. We will have a unique, individual path to walk."

"We are not to follow a formula, but to live in intimate relationship with God as we learn to walk with Him as our guide and close companion."

"God wants us to enjoy Him, His creation, and His love. He wants us to lead our children into celebrating life with God and taking time to notice beauty. We bring God pleasure by responding to His love all around us, celebrating the joy of life. We are conductors of joy, happiness, and celebration."

"Ideals and the desire for beauty are simply the echoes of God's design in our hearts. We choose to bring light into the dark times -- to forgive, to hope in God -- all by obedience."

"We must teach our children that we are all servants of the King, that they are called to serve Him, teaching them to understand the part they play in history, and grasp a vision for serving God."

"There is freedom in a family where people are free to fail."

"We are the hands of Christ to our children."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Week in Pictures

This past week seems to have been very full of Valentine celebrations of one sort or another. I think we are well-steeped in festivities and perhaps a few weeks of quietness may be in order.

We began the week with a Valentine Tea with Auntie C. Rachel made the cake:

There were plenty of valentines to go around:

And a lovely hand-stitched table cloth from my Grandmother to brighten the table:

The next day the children attended a Valentine party filled with fun "themed" activities

The table filled with 14 children was quite a sight!

There were shapes and stickers to decorate bags:

And sweet nothings of every color to sprinkle on cookies:

There were even little heart pizzas to fill the hungry tummies:

And very tempting cupcakes alongside irresistable finger jello:

David wasn't quite sure what to think, but managed to enjoy his food:

What a delightful surprise to have dear Aunt Em get up early to make us heart-shaped french toast, bacon and strawberries for a Valentine breakfast!

"Hmmmm..... what do you think? Should I try this strange looking food?"

"I must go for the best part first -- the middle"

And now, I think we will head back down to real life and a regular little routine. Of course this year, Easter is just around the corner!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Scissors, Paper.......Valentines

Valentines Day was something we always had fun celebrating as children. We never did anything fancy, but Mom always had us make our own valentines. Our favorite memory was the year we decorated a big box and "mailed" each other valentines for several weeks leading up until V's Day. I think that was the year we wrote our very own valentine stories too.

I am very happy to say that this year I managed to get the kids making valentines! (It doesn't always happen)
It was a good activity for Saturday -- something to occupy us for awhile, and no need to worry about the mess until dinnertime.

Such sweet, chubby hands working hard to make about 18 valentines!

David entertained himself with the crayons and the leftover cardboard
Rachel was very creative and came up with her own designs

A whole display of Rachel's cards:

Putting cards into envelopes is such a rewarding activity!
Here is James' artwork. Andrew was hard at work too, but his were all in the envelopes before we remembered to take a picture.
And I finally got around to attempting to make some felted balls today. They are hard work! Think about taking very chilled cookie dough and rolling it into balls -- I'll be waiting to see how my muscles hurt tomorrow.

I think I'll make these "as needed". And I think my ball of roving (I think that's the term) will probably last forever!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cutting and Pasting

The kids and I had some time to cut and paste this week. Cutting beautiful pictures out of magazines is really, really fun.

James managed to find a good collection of masculine things like cars, trucks, and gadgets in my "girlie" magazines.
After we cut out the pictures, we glued them into our journals.
This is definately a fun way to get another use out of a magazine before sending it to the recycle bin.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Catching Up

It seems I have nearly a week of photos to catch up on. Friday we decided to have a "Snowman Day". Each of the older children wrote a story about a snowman, which was copied into a proper book, and illustrated.

For lunch we had snowman pancakes, which were really fun.

James, the picky eater, had to finally be told to stop eating pancakes. :)

After cozy, snowmen rest times, the kids had snacks of snowmen pieces. They ended the day with snowmen heads (icecream with smarties (M&Ms) for eyes and nose). It was a fun day!

Saturday I cracked an egg into my bowl and was delightfully surprised to see this! I can't remember the last time I've had a double. I thought it was so cute. :) I suppose it's not too surprising as this was from the free-range eggs we get locally.

Rachel had fun making a molasses cake on Saturday. Do they say the messier, the more fun was had?
Last week Rachel and I went to her Rosebuds group (a local group of Mothers and Daughters that get together to learn various homemaking skills). This month we learned to make biscotti.

The results were attractive and delicious!

And now we are off into another week already. February has arrived!