Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sunday August 29, 2010

 I love this kid.

With Jude gone to school three days a week; Gideon had entered a new stage in his life.  He has started opening up when we are at home, chatting happily with me through out the day.  He seems to be flourishing in our new routine.

He will play like this for hours.  

His imagination is amazing and so amusing.  He has imaginary friends.  Two of them actually… Aunt Karen and T.J. Max (yes T.J Max is not just a discount department store).  They have become regular guests at our house in fact they are starting to feel like family.  Gideon, Aunt Karen, and T.J.Max go on lots of adventures together and we get to hear all about them.

T.J Max is Gideon’s big strong “tough guy” friend.  They ride motorcycles together, and monster trucks and they often have scary adventures together but no matter what happens the stories always end the same way, “…and then we went to my Mall and me and T.J.Max got lots of candy!”  That is Gideon’s version of “happily ever after”.

Aunt Karen (who is a real person, not just an imaginary person) is Gideon’s adult imaginary friend.  He will often use Aunt Karen to try to veto one of my decisions. 

He will say, “Aunt Karen says I don’t have to wear pants outside” or “my Aunt Karen says I can have gum for breakfast…” 

“Well Aunt Karen is not in charge around here.  I AM!”

He’s such a great little guy.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for him.

In other completely unrelated news~

We said goodbye to the garden.  It wasn’t quite finished but we are tilling and spraying in an effort to start planning our landscaping.  The thought of green grass surrounding the house makes my soul happy!

It was fun while it lasted and there is always next year’s garden to look forward too!

I took these pictures of Eliza this week.  She has been a little extra tired this week.  I was cleaning the house and found her in my sewing room trying to pull my pin cushion off my desk.  I snatched it from her grasp just in time.  She responded by throwing herself on the ground and crying.  I ignored her.  Soon she stopped crying but when I hadn’t heard a peep from her in 10 minutes I got suspicious.  I came around the corner and saw her lying just like this.

I made lots of things this week~


A few more Noodlehead clutches.

And for the first time all summer I made some new posies for my Etsy  shop.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day of creating!

I’m also having fun experimenting with the pictures and props.  I do not have a natural talent for photography, so I experiment a lot and take LOTS of pictures.  Out of dozens of shots I usually get one or two that are decent.

That has been the challenge of having an Etsy shop.  It’s not enough to just have a cute product, you have to have great presentation too.  Photography is key in attracting business, so I’ve had to work harder on my pictures than my product, but I’m starting to figure out what works and what doesn’t.


If you get a few minutes stop by my shop!  Let me know what you think.

Monday August 23, 2010

I blinked and the week was over.

Only it wasn’t that easy.  When I say that it makes it sound like I just batted my eyes and magically… the children were taken to swim lessons, the special orders were made by elves as I slept, the house got cleaned by singing mice and other musical woodland creatures,  grocery shopping, school volunteering, Sunday School lessons all just took care of themselves… no, not quite like blinking.

I suppose what I really meant was it all happen so fast.  I felt busy and breathless most of the week.

But the breathless week started out very pleasantly.  Cupcakes and cookies in a beautiful backyard with  good friends.

For those of you who don’t know, this is Jama.  One of my oldest, dearest friends who married the man of her dreams, moved all the way to Brazil and now has a beautiful little baby girl.  Her sweet husband was good to share his girls with us for a few months which is a great reason to throw a party!

Holly’s beautiful backyard.

It was so good to smile at friends and love on each others’ babies.

The children ran and hollered until they were tired, sweaty, and red-faced.

The other quest of honor being adored by Rudy or as I like to call him “the Baby Whisperer”

Such a blessing to be able to meet Miss C. in person!

I have so many pictures just like this one.  Jama in the middle, Stephanie and I at her side, smiling to the camera.  Our ages, hair styles, outfits, and the settings change, but our friendship is the thread that runs through it all… unchanged.

Friday August 20, 2010

I was up at 5:30.  Dressed, showered, packed lunches, laid out clothes and waited while the children still slept in their beds.  Jude woke up and was of course, too excited to eat very much.  I managed to get him to eat a half of a banana and a few bites of toast.  He was dressed, hair perfectly combed, teeth brushed, shoes on, bag packed… a full hour before school would begin.  So he paced and waited.

Finally we went outside and took a few pictures.

I love those boys!

My good lookin’ guys

Mrs. Boone was there to greet him when he walked in the door.  We found his desk and his cubbie box.

Grandparents, cousins, and friends all came up to show their support and love.  Grandpa and Grandma W. were there too, but I didn’t get a picture of them with Jude.  I never got a picture of Jude and I on his first day of school either!

New friends were already being made.

Mrs. Boone and her students: past and present… once again life goes full circle.

We loved on them, prayed over them, and then we left them; bright and eager ready for this new adventure.

Wednesday August 18, 2010

Stephanie and I have done things side-by-side for a long time now.  We got engaged months apart (to our future husbands, not to each other), she was married in May, I got married the following month and 5 years later we were both pregnant with our first children. 

Elizabeth arrived first and Jude came three months later.  Considering the amount of time our families spend together, there was really no getting around it… Jude and Lizzy would have to be friends.  But from very early on it seemed clear that being good friends would come naturally to them.

This picture is terribly blurry but I love it.  The two of them sitting in their car seats holding hands.

It has always been the two of them.  First birthdays, first day of Sunday School class, trips to the lake, apple farm, vacations… 

… and today they had their first day of Kindergarten- together.

As the first day of school got closer and closer I could tell the Jude was nervous.  One morning as we sat on the couch reading books I talked to Jude about kindergarten, hoping that talking about it would help to ease his mind. 

“You’re going to have so much fun Bud!  Mrs. Boone is going to be your teacher, we will get a new backpack and lunchbox, you will learn so many fun things”

He looked at his knees and nodded.  He looked up at me and said, “But Lizzy will be there right Mom?’

“Yeah, Lizzy will be there Bud.”

He smiled and and said “Okay Mom!”

He doesn’t know about “best friends”

He just knows that if Lizzy is going to be there…

… then everything will be alright.

Lots more pictures of his first day to come.

Tuesday August 10, 2010

For about 18 years our church has been going to Camp Chinquapin for family camp.  Children have grown up, married and are now bringing their own children to camp.  Old cabins have been replaced by new ones, outhouses exchanged for bathrooms with showers, but one thing never changes… this is the place were good memories are made.

We went up a day early with a handful of other families and spent our extra day at Lake Alpine.  Snacks were packed, boats unloaded, rings inflated, and armloads of towels, beach chairs and ice chests, were dragged down to the lake shore.

~lovely ladies~

Snuggled up in warm towels

Sitting around talking, laughing and eating Diana’s “World famous Face Book salsa”. It is seriously good!

We got to take a tour of the lake in one of the canoes too!

The boys loved it.

And Eliza could not resist the gentle rocking of the boat and was sound asleep 2 minutes into our boat ride.

The barrel train was a highlight for the boys!

Gideon decided this was the best place to be and happily sat on the swing with Kathleen and Leola for almost a half an hour.

The “Minute to win it” demonstration.  I like how Evan is just standing there staring at this strange group of people

“The boys”

Proof that making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was never intended to be a group activity

Lots of fun campfire skits every night!

I missed out on taking so many pictures but such is life with little ones who need naps and like to run off.  Jude worked up the courage to try the rock climbing wall and learned to stop and start all by himself on his bike.  I also missed pictures of the fun water balloon toss that turned into an intense water balloon fight!   Pictures of walks with an old dear friend and her baby girl, and Eliza and Gideon decided to finally take a 2.5 hour nap during the “Minute to Win it” contest… thank goodness there is always next time!

Wednesday August 4, 2010

We did not spend the entire weekend playing in the redwoods.  Saturday was just a fun day hanging around the house.   I was out watering the garden and I noticed some of our sunflowers were looking ready to harvest.  The large center heads were bent over and looked withered.  I have never harvested or roasted sunflowers before, so I ran into the house and did a quick search on the  internet.  I literally cannot remember how I obtained information before the internet.   After reading up on the subject I gathered some supplies, rounded up some helpers and headed back out.

I stretched to reach the tops of the sunflowers, and handed them down to the boys to load up in the wagon.

This is his “I’m a serious worker-man” look.

The boys hauled them to the back patio so we could get them ready to dry.

We hung them with twin and then placed paper bags over them to keep the birds away and to catch any seeds that fall as they dry out.

The children also helped me pick two big buckets of zinnias and cutting sunflowers.

Other milestones

A few months ago Justin had been working with Jude, helping him to ride his bike without training wheels.  Jude obliged his dad occasionally but he really wasn’t that interested, so Justin decided to give  bike riding a rest.  Last week Jude asked to get his bike back out and try riding again.   In less than a day he was buzzing everywhere!  The bike he learned on was a small used blue bike we bought at the thrift store for $8.00.  Justin decided it was time for him to get a new bike, so after dinner one night we left the dishes in the sink, threw our shoes on and went to Toys R Us.

He was a bit overwhelmed at the number of choices so we narrowed it down to a specific price range.  He and his Dad picked out the orange racing bike and loaded it in the van.  We made a quick stop off at Wendy’s for celebratory Frosties and made it home just in time to try out the new bike before dark settled in.

Green slime~ a must have for country bikes

Then he took off!

Do you remember that feeling?  I do.  Riding your bike for the first time, feeling like you could go anywhere, pedaling like mad with a big grin stretched across your face…  the very best times in life.

In the Sewing Room~

I also squeezed in a little time to try a new pattern.

My very first Noodlehead Gathered Clutch and it certainly won’t be my last!  I found this free tutorial on a wonderful sewing blog.  I am so happy with the way it turned out!

The pattern has simple, easy to follow directions and I loved the beautiful little details on the clutch.  It’s a great pattern for using up extra pieces of fabric that clutter up the sewing room.  The clutch only takes 2, 1/4 yard pieces of fabric and an even smaller amount for the coordinating band across the front.

I only had on small hiccup with the instructions.  The pattern calls for one, 8 inch zipper which is not a standard size zipper.  I checked at Joanne’s, Beverly’s, and Walmart and none of them carried 8 inch zippers.  No big deal though.  If you want to make a clutch just buy a 9 inch zipper and shorten it by following the directions on the zipper package.  Shortening the zipper was simple, but it was an extra step.

I found that it was best to cut out and make several at one time; only a little extra effort for double the reward!  I already have three more stacked up on my sewing table, ready to be assembled (when I can steal a few more moments).

Just one last thing; a little plug for Noodlhead sewing blog.  Anna is a very talented woman who is not stingy with her patterns and tutorials, and is quick to respond to questions regarding her (free) patterns.  So if you like her site; tell a friend…

Tuesday August 3, 2010

This weekend we played in the cold, clear waters at the base of a waterfall, in a redwood forest were ferns grow along the banks of the creek.  It’s not everyday I can say something like that but… that is exactly how we spent the first day of August.  The first day of August~ I can hardly believe it…

We took in all the beauty, the smells, the sounds

We shivered

Got soaking wet. 

She has absolutely no fear.  Which terrifies me and delights me all at the same time.  I love how she rushes headlong into any situation with a wild grin on her face… but she never seems to learn from all of her bumps and bruises.  She seems to think the laws of nature do not apply to her… her mother would beg to differ!


Found treasures


Floated.  He had the best time collecting things and floating them back and forth across the creek.

Fearlessly plunged into the waters (before her mother had a chance to remove her own shoes )

And snuggled up into warm towels

Oh but that’s not all we did!

We met Grandpa and Grandma W. at Mt. Hermon.  We had a picnic, and explored some of the trails around the conference center.

She tolerated the pack very well but she wanted so badly to get down and run along the path with her bothers!  Next summer she will be.

He loves collecting little “treasures” and cramming them into his tiny shirt pocket.  That green stripped shirt is his favorite for that very reason.

Finally!  A little freedom.

We did lots of other very ordinary things this weekend too, and now that I have a clean photo-upload-slate; I will be posting lots more pictures of our everyday adventures.