Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy Days

Happy Days | Inanorchard

I hope you are ready for a heap of pictures and a very long post.  It can’t be helped.  The last three weeks have been so much fun!  Filled with events, celebrations, family vacation time, friends running around together, and relaxing down time at home.

It started with a Thanksgiving Feast at the kids little co-op school.  They had a traditional Thanksgiving feast and got a chance to brush up on, and practice their best table manners.  Which was a very good idea!

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The school also put on a darling performance for the parents and grandparents.  It’s always fun to see them all together and looking so clean.  Mrs. Jolliff once again outdid herself, and put together a wonderful program.  It’s also been fun having a daughter in school.  She actually comes home and sings the songs they’ve been practicing, and she talks to me about her day!!  It’s a whole new world I’m telling you.Happy Days | Inanorchard

 

We took a quick little trip to Monterey with the cousins and friends.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts home-school days every year.  You sign up in advance and the admission is free.  Which is great because taking our whole family to the aquarium would be pricey!  Our reserved date was for a Monday, but we decided to get a hotel and stay Sunday night.  They had so much fun!  We huddled up in each other’s hotel room eating cookies and watching The Lego Movie.Happy Days | Inanorchard

The next morning we woke up to a gorgeous day.Happy Days | Inanorchard

We hung out at the piers and strolled along the walking paths that stretch out between all the waterfront attractions. Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

These girlies took their time strolling.  They chatted and picked flowers and climbed rocks…Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Miss P was proudly showing me her cookie.  We were waiting for our turn to get into the aquarium and she was peeking into the service window of the cafe in the aquarium.  The head waiter saw her and was completely delighted with Miss P.  He sprinted back to the kitchen and came out with a chocolate chip cookie for her :) Happy Days | Inanorchard

This is a sight that never, ever gets old.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The water tunnel is always a hit with the kiddos!Happy Days | Inanorchard

The dads; with their “are we almost done yet?” look.
Happy Days | Inanorchard

 

I finally got out to the garden.  I had 50 daffodil bulbs and 5 varieties of sweet peas that needed to get in the ground.  The beds needed a good turn over and some bulb food added to it, so I spent one Saturday morning happily working in the garden.  There is something so satisfying about planting things in the fall.  They are all tucked away in their winter beds, and just when you have nearly forgotten them they start pushing up through the earth.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

This is my fancy bulb planting stick.  I wanted to make sure I was getting them in at the right depth so I used this broken stick to measure.Happy Days | Inanorchard

My oldest three children have all had the pleasure of having the same kindergarten teacher; our beloved Mrs. Boone.  I look forward to all the little projects that I know are going to come home with Miss E.  They are the same wonderful projects that J and G brought home when they were in kindergarten.  This is the apple turkey they make the day before Thanksgiving break.  I insisted on a photo.  Can you see the little fingers creeping in at the bottom of the picture?  She was so eager to devour that apple turkey she could hardly wait long enough for me to take a picture!Happy Days | Inanorchard

And to top off all our fun, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in a very long time!  My brother and my sister-in-law had a busy Thanksgiving week planned so we celebrated with my family the Saturday before.

It was a perfect morning.  We woke up to rain on the windows.  Music was playing.  The house was clean!  Ah… a clean house as a way of making a girl feel invincible.  Justin got up and prepped the turkey while the girls looked on in fascination.

Happy Days | InanorchardJ helped me make our table cloth.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

We had a kids table and a grown-up table.
Happy Days | InanorchardI made these little Mayflower place-holders for each of the kiddos.  They are so much fun to make!  I saw the idea on Pinterest… love Pinterest.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The grown up table wasn’t as cool as the kids (how can you beat paper boats and honeycomb turkeys?!) but it was no less colorful.  Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | InanorchardThe only trouble with hosting Thanksgiving is the pictures get a little sparse once the celebrating has begun.  I managed to get a few.  This is what it looks like to squeeze ten cousins into our small house.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

See what I mean, sparse pictures.  But if you’d like to see a little more of our Thanksgiving you can stop by my sister-in-laws blog and see her post.

Well, if you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this long rambling post, you can give yourself a big pat on the back.  Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family and good food and beautiful memories.  ~April

An Accidental Early Christmas Gift

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

At Christmas, I like to make one hand-made gift for each of my kiddos.  I try to keep it simple.  Someday they will not want hand-made gifts, but for now they all think it’s pretty cool, so I’m going to keep the tradition going.  This year I decided to make Miss P some wooden peg animals.  She loves animals and she likes carrying small-ish things around in her pudgy hands.  It seemed like a good fit.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I picked up a set of 8 jumbo wooden pegs at Hobby Lobby.  The set was on sale for $3.99.  I like the jumbo size for lots of reasons.  One: they fit well in Miss P’s little hand.  Two: they’re not so small that I worry about her choking on them.  Three: the bigger the peg the easier to paint!  I started by making a quick sketch of each animal.  I was mostly wanted to figure out what their faces would look like, and what types of animals I thought I could easily replicate.  It’s easier to figure out a design on a piece of paper than a round wooden surface.
Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardYou can see from this picture that I used regular tempura craft paint, that you can buy at any craft store for about a dollar a bottle.  I started by painting each peg a solid color.  Once the main color had dried completely I carefully painted in the tummy and face shape.  I let that layer dry completely and then added the face details last.  For the eyes and heart shapes I used a small metal stylus tool.  It is a metal rod that has a small metal ball on the tip.  It makes it possible to paint tiny perfect, round shapes.

As I said, they were supposed to be Christmas gifts for Miss P.  I thought I was being so clever by starting on my hand-made gifts so early!  It was also nice to make gifts for someone who wasn’t tall enough to see onto the work table :)  Miss E would come in and watch me while I painted.  She was itching to get her hands on those peg animals.  She kept asking, “Do you think P will share with me?”   I got a little to careless though, not realizing exactly how observant and quick Miss P has become.  I was getting ready to snap a few pictures of the whole set when Miss P walked into the kitchen.  She took one look at those little animals lined up, gave a delighted squeal, and scrambled to get up on the kitchen table.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Oh well… the girls are both having so much fun with them!  It’s hard to tell who likes them more; big sis or little sis.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardMiss E likes to match them all up and pretend that they are married.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Miss P likes to do this…

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I used tiny bits of felt to make little ears for some of the animals.  I did use super glue to attach the ears.  It was such a small amount of glue that I wasn’t really concerned about the girls playing with them.  They’ve been playing with the peg animals for the last several weeks and the ears have all held up perfectly!  The only thing I would do differently, is add a layer of clear protective paint. Some of the colors (particularly the white) have chipped a little.  In fact I might touch them up and apply a clear coat to this set.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardI had so much fun making these peg animals!  Miss E is going to get a special set of her own in her Christmas stocking.  I’m making her a set of peg people that look like all the members of our family. There are Etsy sellers that sell “family sets” of peg dolls, so I bought a family set of 6.  I think she’s going to love them!

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your home-made gift ideas!

PS.  If you’d like to follow InAnOrchard on Facebook you can find me here

 

The Girls’ Room

The Girls' Room | InanorchardI thought I’d take a moment and resume the house tour I started a few months back.  Up next: the girls’ room!  This first picture is the view from their bedroom door.  You’ll know it’s their room by the half dozen drawings hanging haphazardly on the door, held up by no less than an entire roll of scotch tape.

The Girls' Room | InanorchardThis is the very same trundle bed I slept in when I was a girl.  And just like me, my daughter sleeps under a quilt made by my mama.

This is the little shelf we use to store the girls’ toys.  Justin picked it up from Home Depot a few years ago.  I love it but I’m afraid they’re going to be growing out of it soon.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

Their room is a bit crowded right now.  Miss P’s crib takes up a lot of space.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

This is Miss P’s crib.  She sleeps in the same crib that all my babies have slept in.  She also sleeps under a quilt made by my mom.  And that beautiful crocheted blanket at the foot of her crib, is a labor of love, that was made by my best friend Stephanie for Miss P when she was a newborn.  She loves burrowing under her crocheted blanket every night.  You’d think that a baby who has a mama who loves to sew would have handmade crib bumpers and pillows but alas… it’s rather bare.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I have next to nothing hanging on the walls in the girls’ room.  The closet if full of darling pictures, embroidery samplers, name buntings, and vintage paintings that I’ve been collecting, but I can’t bring myself to hang them yet.  I know that I’m going to completely rearrange their room when Miss P moves out of her crib, and I hate the thought of having to move and rearrange a bunch of wall hangings.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I think that almost every piece of furniture in their room was bought second-hand, or was a hand-me-down from other family members.The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

These are the curtains I hung in the window.  I bought the cheapest sheer curtains from Target and made a garland out of tissue paper flowers.  That sounds a lot more impressive than it is :)  The flowers came from a Martha Stewart kit I bought a few years ago at Micheal’s.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

This is the little hand-me-down desk Miss E got from her big brother.  The girl loves to draw!  If there was anything I’d like to change about her room it would be her desk.  I’d love to have a proper art station set up for her but that will have to wait… maybe after the crib is gone.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I love coming in and seeing the remnants of their play.  It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

The Girls' Room | InanorchardI don’t put a lot of thought into what I put in their room.  It’s pretty mix-matched.  I like it to be full of things that fuel their imaginations.  I like it to be soft, feminine, and comfortable.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | InanorchardNext cleaning day I’ll try to snap a few pictures of the boys room and keep the house tour rolling.

Thanks for stopping by!  ~April

 

Lately

Inanorchard

It takes a while for Fall to catch up to our corner of the world.  But November brought our first real rain of the season, colder nights, and even a little snow in the mountains.

Inanorchard

Life is humming along with all of its comforting routines.

Inanorchard

I spend my mornings looking at this face…this precious face.  We settle in at the kitchen table, with a stack of colorful text books, a pencil box, and a second cup of coffee.

Inanorchard

Inanorchard

Speaking of books, we just finished this gem by Farley Mowat, “Owls in the Family”.  The boys begged each evening “for just one more chapter!??  Please Mom?!”.

Inanorchard

Hello my loves

Inanorchard

 

We went for a hike in the foothills one gorgeous Sunday.  We thought we’d hike for about an hour and eat an early lunch.

Inanorchard

On the map, the looped trail we chose didn’t seem that long, but somehow it wound on and on and on…

Inanorchard

Miss P looks a little skeptical of her father’s map reading skills

Inanorchard

Towards the end, Justin and I had to work to keep the kiddos moral up.  I’ll admit towards the end I was working to keep my moral up :)  My hiking boots had sat unused for too long and were rubbing holes in the back of my heals.  At one point I fond myself humming the theme song for “Gilligan’s Island” in my head.

Inanorchard

It was a gorgeous hike though!

InanorchardJust as we came over the last crest Miss E took a spill, so Daddy scooped her up and carried both his girls down the hillside.

And our reward for hiking over 4 miles?  A delicious picnic lunch that tasted extra satisfying.

Inanorchard

It’s the middle of November.  How did that happen?

PS thanks for sticking with this seriously disjointed post :)  What can I say, it’s a pretty good reflection of my seriously disjointed mind.