Friday, February 25, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Shower

Last weekend my sister and I hosted a baby shower for a friend. We decided on a nursery rhyme theme and asked my mom to paint us a bunch of decorations.

In keeping with the theme, we played a nursery rhyme game with a tray of objects, each one related to a nursery rhyme -- the players had to guess which object went with what rhyme.

Everyone signed the front of a book of nursery rhymes as a reminder of the shower.

The three blind mice were really hysterical!

We also went around the room and shared our favorite childrens' books.

The food had a nursery rhyme theme too. Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife sat inside a pumpkin shell. I neglected to photograph the pumpkin pie bars that went with the pumpkin.

Cherry tarts for Queen of Hearts:

Blind chocolate mice made a very whimsical decoration:

Emily made nice little pat-a-cake cupcakes:

There were devilled eggs for humpty dumpty and then some brie and white stilton for Little Miss Muffet.

Emily and I enjoyed the evening and it seemed like everyone else did too!

If it seems like party central around here, it was for a week or so. :) No more parties on the horizon, just trying to figure out how to celebrate Michael's 40th coming up in a few weeks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: What's He Really Thinking?

Last month I decided I would sign up again to do a book review here on my blog. The first book to arrive was What's He Really Thinking?: How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life by Paula Rinehart.

I was slightly skeptical of the book because of the high claim on the cover of becoming a "relational genius" with the man in my life. I'm not sure any book can make a woman a 'relational genius' but I agree with Stasi Eldredge's review on the front cover: "for every woman who wants to grow in understanding and loving the men in her life." Yes, I would recommend this book as a great step towards that end.

The book is broken down into two parts: Understanding the Man You Love, and Loving the Man You Understand. The chapters cover: what men do, why men hurt, and how men change; and then go on to discuss: expectations, respect, conflict, getting through, and intimacy (and I really appreciated the fact that the author dealt with soul intimacy here, not just physical).

Although the book claims to be of help with men in any area of your life, I did feel as though it was meant mostly for married women or those in a dating relationship.

A phrase I will take away from the book is Rinehart's admonition to "not let your husband pay for the debt other men have left in your life." A profound thought, and something to keep on pondering through the years.

Definitely a good book filled with good advice from an author who spends much of her time counseling marriages and seeing first hand what works and what doesn't work.

Note: picture from Amazon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rachel's Belated Birthday Party

The weekend of Valentine's Day, Rachel had her belated 10th birthday party. I promised her in November she could have a party but it would have to be in the new year since we were so busy with Laura's surgery. February rolled around and it was time to make good on that promise!

We made necklaces out of salt dough for each girl that came:

We decided on a valentine's day theme since the party was so close to that date. What can be more fun for young girls than red, pink, flowers, candy, silver, teacups, food, valentine cards, etc.

Michael took the boys away so we could be just a house full of girls!

And we stuck to lots of red foods!

Pink icing and red confetti for the cake:

And red finger jello!!

When the girls arrived we started in to valentine card making:

Laura kept busy on the floor:

After cards we sat down to lunch.

Ten precious girls sitting around the table drinking tea, sipping water from silver goblets, and having a delightful time. It made me so happy to go around pouring tea and watching their faces. What a special time in life, just on the brink of growing up. Do they realize how wonderful their life is right now?

Toasting one another!

Rachel seemed very happy. I think she enjoyed herself.

All that was left of the cake.....

After lunch, cake, and presents, we ended the party by decorating valentine cookies.

Lots of icing and lots of sugar confetti!!!

And one more picture of the baby sister.

And so that is it for the 10th birthday party. Wonder what age we'll do the next one? Twelve or thirteen! Yikes! It will be here before we know it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Pillows

I've been having fun lately with my newest art form: embroidered pillows.

It's been party central around here the last week but now things are slowing down a bit and this week I'm meant to get a start (or finish) on several projects in the craft area.

I'm reading several good books at the moment which is giving me a lot to think about. THINK. That's something I've been pondering lately. Thinking is good. I'm getting the idea that most of us probably don't spend enough time is too loud.

I'm thankful for a nice weekend. Thanks to Emily who babysat Laura, I got to go to church yesterday! We enjoyed a baby shower on Saturday evening and when I'm not busy there's sweet Laura always ready to smile and play.

And now to begin another week.....

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Latest Knitting

I've found my new favorite knitting pattern: it is the Plain Vest by Anna and Heidi Pickles.

I first saw it on Posie Gets Cozy here. Once I cast on, before I knew it the vest was nearly knitted.

Since it was so fun, I immediately cast on for another one, since I had just enough yarn. I cut out a few rows, and bound off tightly and ended up with just about 4 inches of yarn to spare.

These vests are perfect for spring when you need something warmer than just a shirt, but a sweater is too warm. Laura is wearing the blue one today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Taste of Spring

It's amazing the joy that a little warm weather brings! How wonderful it is to throw open the windows and breathe fresh air! We even went for a walk with no coats! I'm sure the weather won't last, but it's a taste of what's to come!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

To me, valentine's day is an excuse to send cards to friends, make cookies, play games, have a dinner party and, if possible, bring a bit of light and joy into someone else's life.

Not every year does valentine's day become a big event. Circumstances dictate different approaches to this holiday. This year it was chicken soup for Christmas dinner but a feast for valentine's day.....

Out came the pink (one of my favorite colors), the silver goblets, the crystal, and the valentine napkins I've been wanting to sew for four years! There was also a new box of tea from a friend in the UK:

Chocolate chestnut "pots" in the form of teacups made a fitting centerpiece. They looked adorable!

Heart confetti sprinkled on top:

We had our valentine feast after church on Sunday. It made for a nice Sunday dinner and we could invite friends over.

Christina brought along a delicious apricot stilton appetizer:

And there was a little baby in attendance! Isn't he cute!!!!

We had a red meal: ham, red cabbage coleslaw, cooked radishes, red potatoes, and beets:

Few things make me happier than watching people sitting around a table, enjoying good food and company:

Crazy-haired Laura joins the festivities:

Uncle JK describes something important to Andrew:

Lots of chit-chat going on.

Valentine cards for everyone:

Rachel surprised us with this giant valentine:

Dessert consisted of pink pavlova and the chocolate pots, alongside the rose tea:

John thinks life is hilarious!

After dinner sleepiness for some.....
And now the snow is melting and warmer weather is in the forecast and we have spring to look forward to, and St. Patrick's Day.....