Saturday, May 28, 2011


My sister and I are leaving in the morning for Joplin. Please pray for the city, those who are coming to help, and God's leading.
Thank you.

Garden Progress in late May

Remember my cinder block garden, shoe rack garden etc? It's time for a progress report.

Below, cilantro and chives, from seed! I'd never tried it before and, honestly, I think I'll stick to plants next time. I had to replant seeds once because of flooding.


Front flower bed. My friends on facebook helped identify these as Campanula 'Pink Chimes.'

Tomatoes and cauliflower in the veggie garden. Plus a missing frisbee. See it? I planted some heirloom tomatoes from seed (and they're about 5 inches tall now) but these Better Boy tomato plants were bought at Aldi's.

Chile peppers

And an update on the shoe rack plants!

Below, my beets are thriving. :)

This is edamame.

Also planted in the shoe rack: cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, marigolds...

and some other stuff, that I've now forgotten. ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surrounded by twisters, twisting inside

We are grateful for safety again today.
Last night our small town opened storm shelters, sent out warnings and alerts. We took it seriously and went to my parents' house, with fun stuff packed for the cellar, if the sirens sounded. They did indeed sound, over and over. Tornadoes hit towns to our north and south...west and east. I kid not. Our little town was safe, but there is so much loss and destruction around us.
This was our street on Sunday night, during the first round of storms and tornadoes. It's tough to take decent photos at night, in the rain, while keeping the camera dry... but you can see that the cul-de-sac was full of water.

And then, while we watched the crazy whipping of wind and pounding of rain, there was a loud crack, and our tree went down....

....on our car.

If you recall, we do not have a garage. Back in 2007 or so, we converted it to the playroom/schoolroom. It's more play/sleeproom now, and less schoolroom after I realized that they'd all congregate at the kitchen table anyway. But I digress.

At 7:15am the following day, one of our neighbors came on over with his chainsaw, and helped us cut the whole thing apart. The little boys and I dragged the pieces to the backyard for firewood. Amazingly enough, we had NO damage to the car!!

I'm teetering on how to feel. Part of me is so grateful, happy, blessed that we are safe, that there was no damage, that those I love are all okay. And then I feel almost guilty. My car is okay. But others lost their homes. Everything-- clothes, favorite toys, keepsakes, photos....
some people lost loved ones...children....
There's such a painful overshadowing of my joy.
And, when I was mulling this over, wanting to be joyful for the sunshine today, and my children running through puddles, laughter, raindrops on the flowers...
the ripping inside was painful.
How can I be so grateful, joyful while others are so torn?
I read my Bible and Ann, and that was soothing.
I know the pain calls us to action.
We can be grieving for others,
hurting for their pain,
and that propels us.
While still rejoicing for what God has done for us
in all of the big and little things each day
we pray that He can use us to help.

How have you fared through the storms?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

My way of life

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Picasso

I'm trying.
I'm trying to journal and/or sketch every day, even if that means a 10-minute slot when I'm a passenger in the car, or waiting for water to boil. A little sketch here, a little sketch there. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. In fact, the imperfect holds character.

(yes, I'm going to start "signing" my pictures. A friend's photo was recently snagged without permission or the time has come to take a little precaution.)

Today I am thankful that I get to stay home with my kids
that God has somehow made everything work out
for the bills to be paid, the mortgage never late, all of our needs met
even if it doesn't look possible on paper
even when my husband has been looking for so long
I'm thankful for constant provision
I'm thankful to be a part of this
Learning, creating, bonding,
watching the light bulbs flicker on brilliantly.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


When we went to Lake Fayetteville a week or so ago, my middle boys got interested in the honeysuckle that was covering every tree and fence on the trail. (Never mind that it's also growing all over our back fence at home.) For the first time, they wanted to try it. YAY! Another thing I can share with my kids, from my childhood.
After showing them several times how to pinch at the bottom of the flower, and slowly pull the "thread" through to the end, pushing the nectar out the bottom, they got the hang of it... And stopped every five seconds or so to eat more honeysuckle.

May we never stop enjoying the "little things" that really aren't so little.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”
Walt Streightiff

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pour Jons

My coffee lovin' friends had brought me fantastic cups of joe from Pour Jons in Siloam Springs, and I finally visited it myself about a week ago. And I've been three times since that first delightful trip...and will be there again in a few hours, with another friend. It has such a relaxing atmosphere, and so many nice touches, from the ladder-like bookshelves, to the glass dishes on the counter, to the low-hanging bulb lights. Not to mention the coffee. Oh ~ the coffee ~

And the brick. Oh, my. Can't forget the brick either.

Chai Latte, one of my new favorite drinks.

This unassuming little place sure packs a lot of punch. I sincerely hope they beat the coffee-shop odds in this town, and survive for a long while.
I'm trying to single-handedly keep them successful, with my raving reviews and repeated visits. ;)

Oh -- and check out the walls. Yes, they papered them, like I did!! And with none other than pages from a loved copy of Robinson Crusoe. I {heart} papered walls!

And look, above, at the picture on the left. See the cup of permanent markers on the wall? They're there so people can sign and draw on the walls.

Yes, sign and draw on the walls. :D


Below, View from my table

When I stopped by last weekend, a woman was inside spinning.

Spinning. Awesome. Something I don't get to see every day.

They often have live music, artists & crafters of various types.

Again, *love*

Maybe I'll sit and paint sometime.

Seems like the perfect place for it.

Go, visit, drink coffee, and enjoy. I hear they have sandwiches now.

Give me some feedback when you try one!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Noni's dresser

My Mom (Noni, as the kids call her) took this idea and ran with it:
A papered dresser!!
She's redoing her entire third floor in the colors of the painting.

The paper pieces came from scrapbook paper, magazine photos, book pages.

And, while most of my pieces were square or rectangular, my Mom took a step beyond that and just clipped and modge podged to her heart's delight, here and there, layered, and in all shapes.

She bought various un-matching, yet coordinating, knobs from Lowe's and Hobby Lobby, and painted some of the wood ones herself.

I love how unique, colorful, cheerful it turned out!! Can't wait to post more pictures, as soon as her furniture arrives. The room is looking amazing. It's a "guest/quiet floor" now, with a seperate bathroom, built-in bookshelves, etc. Love it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lake Fayetteville- another great playground

See the new tag? "Localish places of interest"? I'm going to, slowly but surely, go back and tag some of our outings and field trips, etc. If you live in northern Arkansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma, you might want to check some of these places out. Okay, maybe not every playground unless you live very locally or just love to travel, but some places around here are really worth a hefty drive! There's SO much to do, all around us, and most of it is free! Why not take advantage of the beauty of our area?
Anywho, we took the kiddos to one of the Lake Fayetteville playgrounds the other day. It was chilly (in mid-May!) so there were no other kids on the equipment. There were two structures-- one for the tots and one for older kids. All of my kids stayed on the larger one, though, and enjoyed their rip-roarin' hootin'-n-hollerin' game of tag.

I used to keep an old towel in my van, just to dry wet slides, but we had *just* cleaned out the vehicle to load all the bikes. Sorry, son!
The paved multi-use trail around Lake Fayetteville is 4.3 miles long. The soft surface natural trail is 5.5 miles long. After our playground time, we unloaded bikes and scooters, and rode over the dam, down by the lake, explored trails by foot, and then rode back again (pictures of all that in a later post.)

They were good and tuckered out by the time we headed home.
You know what they say, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." Psha. I don't believe that. There IS bad weather and I can't stand being cold, however, we did make the best of it, and bundled up. It was in the 60's and I dressed in layers. Gah- I'd never survive in the north! ;)
I'm determined here in Arkansas, though, to beat the weather. We WILL go hiking, camping, caving, exploring. And we WILL enjoy every minute of it, by gosh (shaking fist at hovering clouds!)
Okay, Seriously. The weather should be back in the 80s by the weekend. I'll make it until then.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A little person with BIG personality

First things first, in case you saw my facebook plea for help/info last week, I should fill you in-- my darling's hand is not fractured. She has a wrist sprain and is wearing a brace for a week. All is well! My heart is relieved. I can carry on. :) Thanks for the prayers for her. She was hurting.

Speaking of beautiful, precious girls...
The other day I had my little niece and nephew over for a few hours while my sister studied for her finals. I try to leave art supplies out and available 24/7, and Miss Scarlett knows this. She always asks for some face paint and art time. YAY! A little girl after my own heart.

Owers, on the other hand, was much more interested in rough housing with all of my little boys, which was just fine. Also, why he is not in these artsy pictures. ;)

We used her foot prints as "stems and branches" and she painted on the flowers. Then we did her hand prints just because she wanted me to paint her hands. Naturally.

For a little thing, she sure packs in the personality. What a ham!

Little daughter and little niece, you both melt my heart!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Painting with flowers

1) Pick flowers, leaves, pieces of grass, stems, petals, any other nature items that you want...
2) Get your paint ready on a plate...a bit watery is fine. We used watercolors and a few acrylics.
3) Dip in paint, and press on your paper... Enjoy! :)

They all really enjoyed this activity. Little Lad's painting time lasted all of 5 minutes, but the older kids spent a good half hour or longer working on multiple paintings.
Does it get better than this?

Enjoying God's creation with flowers, kids, paint... COLOR, creating.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Resting in the Word

Genesis 2: 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Couldn't resist. I {love} my sweet kitties, Chloe and Calvin.

Enjoy your day of rest, my friends.