Saturday, April 30, 2011

Best Part of the Morning

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
3 John 1:4

Friday, April 29, 2011

Education Fair

I'm obviously so far behind, it's ridiculous. Between holidays, record-breaking storms, and an infected wisdom tooth and removal (phew) my time was stolen away, bit by bit. In a way, though, it was very nice for Easter. As much as I enjoy hands-on crafty projects and dying eggs, etc... it was not to be this year. I was tired, in pain, and in the middle of a flooding town. And so, our time was spent with family, reading, praying, and watching videos, including The Gospel According to Matthew (which is word-for-word Scripture, wonderful way to share the Word with children--love it) There was more emphasis on WhatIt'sAllAbout, and less on the "candy coating."
It's fine (in my opinion) to do both, but there should certainly be a spotlight--focus-- intensity on the Why of Easter. I feel like we had more of that this year, and it's something I want to retain, cling tightly to throughout my life, not just at one time.
Whoa, now where was I?
We participated in the Education Fair this year, and had a blast. My Oldest did her display on Hanoverian horses. Of course, it would be something on horses! ;)

I'm so grateful that many of the older kids in our group also participate. There were truly amazing displays to view!

If you aren't already a part of a group, consider joining one. The friendship and support is such a blessing!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Skirt from Ecletic Whatnot

A few weeks ago, I won an amazing custom-made little girl's skirt from Eclectic Whatnot

I spent a few hours pouring over the fabric choices at Hawthorne Threads and finally decided on the these:

My Little Lad and my niece:

Scarlett baby, I love you and am so glad you were able to get this.

RuthAnn, it's amazing!! Thank you for the giveaway!!

Friends, you should go to her etsy shop and check out her other fantastic things!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recovering. In Pictures.

My Mouth: On my birthday, just yesterday, the pain was too great to eat my favorite things: pies, poppyseed muffins, banana bread. So they are all waiting for me to recover.
I had the afflicted, infected wisdom tooth removed this morning. So forgive me if this post is weird, written by a drugged-up woman.

Our Town: this may go down as the 1000-year flood. There were water rescues, flooded homes, closed roads, and bridges washed away. We're fine, but others are not. Our town and the surrounding ones will take awhile to recover.

My "Baby": Still the only one with pox, he's getting a lot of cuddling. And screen time. All the rain, all the spots leads to many movies.Plus I was too distracted by pain to plan hands-on activities. Oh, well. Sometimes movie marathons are the only way to get through it.

My Garden: most things survived the storms. Lettuce, potatoes, beans are doing great, coming up everywhere. My peonies, thankfully, had not yet bloomed, and therefore were not destroyed by the hail and high winds & waters.

We're all in recovery mode. Waiting, watching, praying...thankful that we are recovering.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Update in pictures

Awesome photo shoot with my dear hilarious friend Amber and her family:
Lovin' those dirty knees

Two days later, the youngest of my four broke out in chicken pox:

Once-a-life illness, and I'm trying to make it memorable. We're eating spotted foods (think watermelon, yogurt with blueberries, etc) and wearing spotted clothes.

This week we'll have a Pox Party.

And last night, tornado watch & then warnings, severe storms, sirens going off and on, kids in and out of the hallway, covered by a mattress... finally outside to behold the sky.

My Jedi obviously scared the storm away.

And the crazy beautiful sunset clouds last night.

Today's agenda, while the storms rage on:

Craft, Paint, Read, watch family movies, and spend time in prayer.

This day is heavy with hope, anticipation, sadness, longing...

On Easter, Jesus defeated death

and saved us.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Updating The List

Do any of y'all remember my 35 Things To Do Before I'm 35 List? Well, seeing as how I'm about to be 31 (still young, folks, still young!) I thought I'd update it.

1. Write letters. Lots of letters. Make a point to thank children for their help and kindness. DONE; I've been pretty diligent about this, and even reinstated Letter Writing Friday with the kids.
2. Host a Wonderland Tea Party Still need to do this, asap! I have had mustache and polka dot parties, though.
3. Volunteer at the Children's Shelter or Pregnancy Center. I'm going to try to give what I can, by painting the NB resale store at no charge. Must get started on that soon!!
4. Run a 5K. Hmph. I'm no closer to this than I was when I set the goal ;/
5. Host a Cooking Club Night. DONE; I did a Greek night awhile back
6. Canoe. Soon.
7. Finish painting the bathroom and kid's rooms (including mural.) Buggers. I had to restart Izzy's because she didn't like the color. This may take me until I'm 35!! I've repainted the living room twice since the list started!
8. Make my own iron-on transfer shirt designs Sooooon.
9. Paint a very large canvas. I bought it. Does that count for somethin'?
10. Finish the Family Tree
11. Get my bike fixed, and start taking family rides. Well, I did get the kids new bikes. But mine still isn't fixed :(
12. Host another Art Night DONE
13. Take all the kids rafting (so far only three have gone) We're planning to do this in May or June-- woot, woot!
14. Reopen my Etsy shop DONE Nest In the Sun
15. Take all the kids to the beach (only three have gone) DONE We went to South Padre last summer. Simply the best vacation ever.
16. Go rock climbing. I may end up zip lining before rock climbing. And I'm serious.
17. Finish 20 "book portraits" (paintings on book covers-- I've completed two so far) not yet
18. Go with Fred [and kids] to a Walton Arts Center Performance (we've never gone together.) We're going tomorrow, to Imago Theater's ZooZoo
19. Make a scarf. DONE, several times over.
20. Take kids to the Discovery Museum. DONE, with and without the homeschool group
21. Go to another local play DONE
22. Make more of our own clothes. I've made some, but I'd love to do more
23. Organize the baby book contents (and memory boxes, too!) not yet
24. Get back into my favorite jeans. arrgghh not yet
25. Pay for a stranger's meal. ...when we're not unemployed...
26. Go tent camping with all the kids (only three have gone so far, but we have a trip planned this month) soooooon
27. Submit artwork to the downtown art store. pricey than I thought, but I'm submitting to other places.
28. Write and Illustrate a children's art book. in the works
29. Videotape an interview with each of the kids. I'd totally forgotten about this. oops.
30. Sew matching summer dresses for me and Isabelle to wear. She's not really interested, my dear tom girl, so it may need to be skirts...or shorts...
31. Host some bloggie giveaways; share the love. DONE, even on blogs not my own
32. Paint pictures of each of my children. need to do
33. Visit a nursing home. Bring handmade cards and goodies. (I won't risk singing and giving anyone a heart attack!) still want/need to do
34. Send unexpected Just-Because cards and gifts to friends DONE
35. Give myself grace if I don't get this list all checked off. Am doing

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Garden Progress

Would you like to know why I'm falling behind on my blog? This is one of those loaded "how are you doing?" you reeeeaally want to know?

Okay, then. I'll tell you. (skip down to the pictures, if you didn't really want an answer. No hard feelings!) I am in kitchen-painting progress, spur of the moment mini-vacation goings and unpackings, garden work, homeschool plans (for the last 5 official weeks of our school year!!--woot, woot) the usual gymnastics and horseback riding taxiing... and my Harvesters Group...and NWA Mommies Playgroup, when I can make it. And Home Group with church, when I can make it (not the last three times :( boo) ... plus I started exercising again. Phew. So there you have it.

However, I did purposely expose my children to chicken pox last week, and that's a whole 'nother post, so life may slow down for us in a few days. From what I hear/read, it's about a 10-16 day incubation period, right?

Anyway, gardening. Yes, I've been at it, and I'll show you some progress pics. :)

First, Flowers. I have dianthus, blue bonnets, marigolds, tulips, irises, daffodils, begonias, mums, zinnias, peonies, etc, etc, you name it.

I love these purple irises!!! I only have two blooming right now, but more are pregnantly approaching blossom.

In the above picture, doesn't it look like a part of the petal is sewn?? Wow. God puts so much detail into everything.

And the peonies... {sigh} I adore these. I have five plants, and two are heavy with buds, dripping their juice.

My 3-year old peony is up to my 4-year's shoulders now. :)

Next on display: Berries

I have 4 raspberry plants so far. The 2 from last year are all over the place, covering the trellis, and tied to the fence. Flowers are popping up like ornaments on a heavily adorned tree. I expect a good first harvest!

My blueberries are still pretty small. This is my second year with the 2 of them (they stayed inside through the winter, and are now planted along the back fence.) Strawberries

None of mine made it through the winter, seeing as how they were in-ground. Thanks to my Man, my Papaw, and a friend, I now have 10 plants going strong, three of which are already producing berries. Three of them are June-bearing only, and the others are ever-bearing. Okay, and here is my raised cinder block bed (I have a wood one, also.) Thanks, Wade, for the awesome idea!

In the cinder block holes, I've planted some of the strawberries, the garlic, onions & marigolds. (FYI: Would-be animal thieves are deterred by garlic, onions, and marigolds)

On the inside, I've planted cilantro, sweet corn in the middle, and "salad mix" on one side, with spinach on the other. This bed will also house tomatoes and peppers, in a couple more weeks.

Oh, and yes, I did use plastic silverware as my plant markers. ;)

Below, I nailed an old wooden ladder to the fence, to use as my bean trellis. There are some small plants coming up, at the bottom, but you can't really make them out in this picture. More marigolds are planted around them.

I let the kids help me paint a sign to go over our garden. I wrote the letters in pencil, and let them help go over it in black paint. Simple and easy, and a good reminder.

Below, my potatoes are planted in a large tub. I followed Stacy's method (will post the link later, as soon as I can find it!! Or post it in the comments, Stacy!) They're getting so tall, and I keep piling more dirt on. Apparently (this is my first year for potatoes) the crop grows between the first planted potato seed part and the leaves... so you keep adding more and more soil as they grow, keeping 3/4 of the plant covered. The kids and I are learning new things every day! Last, for now, but not least. Here's a little glimpse of my shoe-rack planter, on the inside back of the fence, next to the cinder bed. I got the idea here, and couldn't wait to try it, seeing as how one of my shoe racks was falling apart anyway. Don't worry; I washed it out first...before I crammed it with soil. Mine is planted with several kinds of herbs, one kind of lettuce, some marigolds and dwarf zinnias, and morning glories along the top, so they can hang down the other side of the fence. I'll let you know how this works out!

Next time, I'll try to include pics of our bean tee pee, cucumbers, sunflower house starter, and the other raised bed. I'm always up for new and fun ideas, so please share any links/ ideas/ suggestions that you have!

Happy Gardening!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The papered wall

Oh, papered wall, how I love thee! (overlook the berry juice dripping from the table, the fake butter, hand print on my newly painted white wall, and dirty windows and walls. K?) I also discovered window paint :D (which, yes, is reflecting a rather messy living room. meh. Oh well.) More window painting going on over here. I'll be doing the other walls next. From brown to bright. {happy sigh} pretty papers + modge podge and wallpaper adhesive= my favorite place in the house! Inspiration courtesy of Sara's Art House!! Thank you, girl, I love your space!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Berries, not blood

Fred walked in and freaked out a little. Bwaaahaaa! Blueberries. The kid is obsessed with them, just like his mama. How do you eat your berries?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time of death

Guy Singleton April 3, 1919- April 7, 2011 Honestly, we're sad...but it's not in the way we grieved for my Mimi.

We're sad about the loss of opportunity.

The loss of relationship possibility.

It's hard to grieve without a relationship to grieve, you know?

I'm just hoping and praying that there was time at the end, time for him to accept The Gift....


It's never too late until that last breath.