Friday, May 25, 2012

Anna’s Birthday

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Anna turned six a few weeks back.  We had been talking about a Strawberry Shortcake party for months, but at the last minute she changed her mind to Pixie Hollow.  I was relieved just because Pixie Hollow seemed like a lot more fun to me.

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The party went very smoothly.  There were a lot of activities and I had some great helpers so everything just clicked along.  The first thing we did was sparkle-up some fairy houses.

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Sean got in on the action and turned out a little house fit for a true tinker (it was my favorite).

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We made Pixie Dust lip gloss.  I bought these little pots at the craft store in the beading section.  They hold about one tablespoon of Vaseline that we mixed with a sprinkle of Kool-aid  powder and a pinch super-fine glitter.

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I love this picture of Anna with her little hand cupping her grandma’s neck.  It speaks volumes about their relationship.

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The last hands-on station we did was fairy cake decorating with all things purple and green.  They turned out some very yummy confections.

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Above is one of my yummy confections – isn’t she scrumptious!  (I promise she started the party with clothes ON.)

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Anna, I hope you had a wonderful day.  And I hope you know how much we all adore you.  You touch my heart daily with your thoughtfulness and kindness.  You are gentle and helpful with your sister in such a way that inspires me to be a better mother, to be more like you.  I cannot possibly express how deeply I love you, my little Angel Anna.  I hope life is sweet to you this year. 

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


First I said “no.”

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Then I said “yes.”

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Because really, what harm can come from your kid squeezing his own orange juice?  Yes, it was late, and they probably should have been brushing their teeth . . .

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. . . but I’ve been reading this book.  And this book is reminding me that life is all about discovering and exploring, especially when you are a child and everything is still so fresh.

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So I am trying to say “yes” a little more often.

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And trying to remember that my children learn about life by trying it out.

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And if I don’t let them try it out . . .

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I will undoubtedly miss some of those fresh-squeezed moments in life that just . . . happen.

Monday, May 21, 2012


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I have to start this post by saying that we have the awesomest neighbors in the world!  They are fantastic.  They are so good to our kids.  Case in point:  they scared up some tadpoles for us on their daily dog walk last week.  We started out with 25 tadpoles in a bucket.  Before we knew any better I let the kids play with them (this is apparently very hard of their thin skins).  We have since learned our lesson and only handle them when it is time to clean out the pond.

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We have been reading and researching and observing and having a wonderful time learning all about tadpoles and their remarkable process to frog.

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I have been impressed with the diligence the kids have put into cleaning the pond and feeding the little critters twice a day.

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They check on them often and are proud to show off their little pets to visitors.

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We lost three the second day, and one the day after.  Erik and I happened to be planting flowers when the first three were discovered so they earned a spot in the ground, enriching the soil.  Djeryd made the little grave marker.  I was just glad no one got emotional (we have a history of crying over random animals that wind up dying on our property – and sobbing is probably a more appropriate term).

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It’s a remarkable thing to watch these guys popping out legs and arms and growing their big mouths, seeing some of God’s ingenuity up close an personal. 

We have wonderful neighbors.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sweet Things

I have been doing lots of little crafty things lately, but not taking pictures.  Yesterday I forced myself to go get the camera before these sweet things walked out the door.Kids and Rice Bags 020

These are little rice bags you can either keep in the freezer for a cold pack, or pop in the microwave for a minute to turn into a nice little heating pad.  They are pretty small; about 4x6”.  I did not use a pattern or anything, but I was inspired to do the project by this tutorial.  I made some for the kids for Easter and we have used them many, many times over the past month-and-a-half.  I keep them in a Ziploc in the freezer so they stay clean.  And I only put them boo-boos that have been washed off.  They are the perfect consolation prize when a band-aid is not really warranted.

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And the sweetest things of all:

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. . . the absolutely most delicious part of my life.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


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A quickie post to catch up on the myriad goings on around this place:

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:: Anna can proudly ride her bike across the lawn without training wheels.

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:: We have some visitors staying with us for a while (special post coming soon).

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:: Lu insisted I do her hair the other day, and this gorgeous little ringlet came to say “hello”.

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:: I finally finished my nephews birthday present and it was only five months late (Anna took this picture – sorry for the blurriness).

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:: Anna got “ballerina hair” courtesy on an unnamed benefactor.

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:: Lu wants to kiss you with her lusciously lipsticked lips.

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:: And the biggest news of all . . .

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::  Anna finally lost her fist tooth!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Things I’m Loving

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:: my girlies and all their girliness

:: Erik’s newfound fascination with the video camera (discovered, perhaps, because his big brother is off at Outdoor School?)

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:: my first poppy ever – grown from seed I planted, no less!  oh joy and rapture of my soul!  one of the most gorgeous flowers ever created!

:: watching “Leave it to Beaver” and being reminded that kids are kids

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:: the promise of strawberries in my garden in just a few short months

:: seeing my cover crop mature enough to actually benefit my soil this year

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:: this glorious machine that provides me with so many opportunities to grow and serve others

:: only a month-and-a-half left of school – summer is on its way

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Daddy/Daughter Dinner

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I was a little under the weather on Sunday, so Sean and Anna stepped up to the plate and made the family dinner.  I was particularly pleased because they actually made what was on the menu.  Usually when Sean is pinch-hitting we get one of his stand-bys (i.e. waffles, pancakes or hamburgers).  But they rose to the occasion and made sweet and sour meatballs (so yummy!).

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Of course, what made me happier than them following the menu was being able to watch these two interact from my cozy nest on the sofa.  Anna insisted on stirring the sauce while Sean made meatballs.  They worked and chatted and made a delicious dinner.  I hope Anna can see in her daddy all the qualities to look for in her future husband – I know I see them.

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And yes, I know I am an incredibly lucky woman.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


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We experienced a small miracle last week (at least I think it was last week, maybe the week before): the thermometer hit somewhere above seventy-five degrees!!!!  In order to celebrate the little Styrofoam cold caps were taken off the hose bibs and our little plastic sprinkler head got to herald in the new growing season.

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Anna is my sprinkler girl.  That lady wants to don her swimming suit and dash outside into some water whenever the sun is shining.  She believes that any day the sun comes out is summer, even if it is below freezing.  This leads to some disappointments through fall, winter and some spring months, but pure elation on warm spring and summer days (oh, please let us have a decent summer this year).

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She always wants her little sister to join in the fun. 

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And after some coaxing, Lu obliges.

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That is, until a water droplet finds its way to her skin.

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Anna is not deterred, however.  I am grateful that even if her invitation goes unheeded she has enough joie de vivre to soak it all in herself.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Subconscious Plate

Sometimes I think I put too much on my subconscious plate.  For instance this stack of books has been sitting on my nightstand for a month, virtually untouched, but nevertheless reminding me of all the things I’m not doing something about right this minute.

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Too much?  Yeah, I think so, too.

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