What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Green(peas) in the garden

This is the first year I have ever planted peas. They are planted early, as soon as the ground can be worked, and I always FORGOT until it was too late. But not THIS year.

We've been eating snap peas and snow peas in their pods often at dinner, but the little marvel garden peas get plucked and eaten right in the garden and never even make it to the house.

Yesterday, Andrew declared he was camping out in the garden and looked more than a bit sheepish when I asked him if peas had been his main provision.

Have you ever tasted raw, sweet peas? Oh my.

Every single time I bring a colander-full from the garden, I find myself singing this song, a favorite:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Trip

Last weekend we took a wee bit of a road trip.

I met up with an old friend, a new friend and her FELLOW-FOTO-FRIDAY-contributing daughter. It was just so much fun.

Of course, I had to get a freakish eye disfigurement just in the nick of time. Oh, the pleasantness of meeting new people while looking like a monster. I picked a pair of of frames from the 'free' section (read: please take these off our hands because no one in their right minds would actually BUY them section) several months ago, justifying their hideousness with the idea that I would never ever ever let anyone see me in them. HA!

I found out a *little* too late that red raspberry leaf tea is great for my first-ever eye sty.

Here are some pictures from that day. Gross glasses and all.

Glimpses of a Newman road trip:

..............................hand holding (not pictured: not letting GO when baby brother starts to cry)

.........................singing (not pictured: the bickering)

..................................snacks (not pictured: the donuts)

........................crocheting (not pictured: doing it more for the challenge of taking a picture of both hands simultaneously)

......................... sleeping (not pictured: "Are we THERE yet?!")

........................... reading a purposely-fresh batch of library books (not pictured: dropping them on the floor and asking for more 4.5 seconds after opening them.)

.....................a cool picture of movement out the window (not pictured: the 100 other attempts)

......................puckered lips ( a sure sign we need to switch drivers!)

It is pretty obvious by the ratio of car ride photos to visiting photos, I take most of my photographs when I am bored or am in need of some entertainment.

Obviously, the visit was entertaining enough. I had a great time. (And boy can that Amy PLAY.) winky wink

(Ann, Amy and Nanci~ feel free to swipe the group picture/ guitar picture by right clicking on them if you would like your own copies.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last Week of Big Top Prep

If you are new to this blog: you can read what Big Top Tuesday is and how is came about here.

If you want to track my progress: you can access all Big Top Tuesdays here.


Well, the other day I was talking to my sister and she said "So....are you excited about Monday?!" and I said "Why? What's Monday???"

Then she said...."uh----the circus party. dork."

And I said, completely aghast, "WHAT?! That is THIS Monday?"

And now you know how my preparations are coming... :-)

Welcome to my LAST installment of Project Big Top. Next week you will get to see the end result. (Hopefully not a total bomb.)

I have been pretty busy and accomplishing a lot, though there is PLENTY more to do. Of course, Corynn is my trusty sidekick, often asking first thing in the morning what we might do today for the circus party. Sadly, I just realized I don't really have any pictures of her helping. :-( Only a picture of the littler ones making....well, a mess.

When we went to the circus this year I learned firsthand how gaudy flashy anything circus is, so I have been gathering "stuff" from around the house. That bin of florals from my wreath-selling days has come in handy. I don't know HOW I will use them, but it is good to know I can do flashy.

Homemade face paint:
We did a trial run to make sure it doesn't backfire by staining skin or causing rashing. It works great and guess what? It comes off great too!

The recipe~~~~

Mix together:

1 teaspoon of corn starch
1/2 teaspoon of cold cream
1/2 teaspoon of water
drops of food coloring

I think I ought to make up some designs to choose from though, in case children can't think of something spur of the moment. I found the recipe here, though I used CVS stash lotion instead of cold cream. Or maybe that is what cold cream is? I have no idea.

I finished up the button candy this week too, using this fabulous recipe. Oh my. I am in love. The original recipe is:

2 tablespoons meringue powder OR 2 egg whites
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or lemon juice
1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar
ziploc sandwich baggies
food coloring
artificial flavoring (optional)

I didn't use the water at all. And I am afraid if you did, it may not work. And of course, I used egg whites. ;-) Do go to her site, if you plan to make some, as she created a pdf that you can print to make your buttons line up well.

These are such fun and so reminiscent of my childhood. Love 'em. It is taking all my willpower not plucking them off.

Jazzed up some recycling for a tin can game using scrapbooking paper from my scrapbooking days...haven't scrapbooked a single page in about, oh, three years. That stopped when I started going nuts with photography so I gave up. But being the packrat I am, kept all the supplies.)
I made some beanbags but we may use them for a different game and use Matt's hackysack for this one.

I have loved tissue paper balls/flowers ever since I was a KID so the new craze they seem to be causing in the crafting world, is in fact, nothing new. I remember making a bunch of these when I was like 7. I would love to make a bunch MORE for the circus party, but alas, this is all the tissue paper I had in my gift-wrapping stash. :-(

And finally, I did it. I spent money. But I did it before a circus party was even definite. I bought $3.00 worth of rubber duckies for the swimming pool, thinking Adele' would have fun with them in the tub/creek and that they would work awesome for a circus party if I ever had one. Even still, I am going to count it toward the party expenses. As far as I can see, unless I cave on the circus peanuts, $3.00 might be the only expenses this circus party will have accrued.

I believe we have all the plates and utensils to use already still left over from when we moved out here and some other shin-digs we have had in the past. May not be theme-ish or pretty, but they are definitely usable. We may not have enough cups, but I will use canning jars if necessary.

We have fireworks that I bought for last years' Fourth of July party that never happened because I was too cranky and pregnant with a certain little Smooch.

And I am using only food I already have on hand. But a couple families who are coming have offered to bring something as well.

The menu thus far includes:

Lemonade (homemade from lemon juice in pantry)
Mint Iced tea (from homegrown mint)
Good old-fashioned water

beef/chicken spiedies (from our cow and chickens)

rolls (a friend from church gets Price Chopper bakery stuff for free once they have reached their peak of freshness and shares the booty with us (and our chickens/hogs when we had them). I have been freezing rolls and stocking them up for a while.) So yeah. Free.

From pantry:

cinnamon pickles( sound gross but are sweet and delicious)

regular pickles

pickled beets

pasta salad (probably with homemade pesto?)

chocolate cake

sugar cookies (as prizes)

caramel corn/ salty corn (popcorn happens to be our pantry's staple snack)

Possibly some jello?

And that is all I can think of right now. I may add more to the list as I explore my pantry options.

This week is go-time.

I have lots of food to make.

Lots of details to finish.

Gotta plan where/how I am going to set up the yard.

Gotta think about costumes....YIKES.


.... that walking to the creek barefoot, on a trail loaded with stinging nettle, is never a pleasant experience.

(And because I know I have the most observant blog readers in the world: yes, that is a diaper though Miss AddieMae is now potty-trained. Her little barefoot adventure happened two months ago.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Little Magpies

Our household is getting larger with all sorts of babies, about 25 of them actually.

I'll show you them all once I take pictures, but for now~ here are three:

Magpie had her kittens last week.

She is a teeny cat to begin with-but let me tell you, her belly got H.U.G.E. I was wondering when she was EVER going to have them!

But she did. Two gray tigers and one black. No names just yet~

She was perched up on our patio but too many little prying eyes (and fingers) coupled with a few severe storms and rain got Maggie antsy to move her babies INSIDE.

She tried several times and I would move them back inside until one day I gave up.

Matt, out of his sincere love for me, broke his cardinal rule of NO ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE so that she could come inside with her kittens until they are a bit bigger.

Is that not the cutest pink nose EVER?

When the babies were born, Andrew came to me that evening and tapped my leg while I was working in the kitchen and said, with much trepidation in his voice....

"um....Mama. Papa isn't going to BUTCHER the kittens, IS he??"

It was so cute. And funny. And pathetic, too.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Forgive me for this hurried post without any last weeks' favorites, but I am off to meet some fellow bloggers for the day and already running late!

I didn't participate in last weeks' HANDS challenge, so here is my favorite for the week:

Don't forget to link up to your favorite photo of the week, whether or not you participated in the challenge!

Next week's challenge is CLOUDS. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A not-so-nicely photographed dress.

I whipped up a little crochet dress the other day using a bit of cotton yarn and a remnant of fabric from my scrap basket.

I just had an urge.

I thought crocheting a yoke and incorporating fabric as the skirt of the dress might add a cute, almost-modern flair to an old-fashioned favorite.

I love the colors in the yarn, but worked in this way, the stripes seemed unusual and disorderly to my very symmetrical eye.

Perhaps a border on bottom would have helped? Or maybe a rosette of some sort on the bodice?

I put a button closure on back but then thought maybe the button looks cute as a front? I can't decide which I like better.

I was lazy and didn't change my macro lens so I didn't get a single good shot of the whole dress. Laziness, be gone!

As critical as I was of it (above) it is a super cute dress. I think a pattern on the fabric would also be nice but I had nothing that remotely worked.

I think my next dress will be a crocheted yoke in cotton yarn similar to this and have the skirt of the dress crocheted in a solid, coordinating color. Because it was FUN to do.

Oh-and can I just take a minute to vent??? WHY is it that people never make cute crochet patterns for bigger children? I mean, golly. I am not smart enough to figure out how to make a newborn size pattern fit a 7 year old, or even a three year old but surely I can't be the ONLY ONE who would be interested in that. Am I?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A New Grand

You know one thing I really love about my Mom?

She can unequivocally gladden the hearts of babies unlike anyone else I know. And that is one of her main missions in life.

I like to think she taught me that making babies happy, comfortable, and loved is one of the most important delightful, worthwhile things to do in life.

I love that she can make faces and sing songs, without a care of what other people think except for that baby she is trying to coerce into a smile.

And, boy, is she good at getting those smiles.

Case in point:

Thanks, Mom, for making smiles your whole life long.

The last Grand

I got the chance to take a caravan to go see my Opa recently. My mom, her brother, my sister and I all piled into Mom's 15 passenger for the day with a select few children.

There is only so much room in a vehicle, even if it is almost a bus, so only my oldest and youngest were able to make the trip with me this time.

A few pictures from that happy day, now almost a month past.

With Opa being the last of the Grands for Matt and I, each visit is made all the more special... and important.

The last of a generation, hanging on by a thread and a very good-natured smile.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BiG Top TuEsDaY

If you are new to this blog: you can read what Big Top Tuesday is and how is came about here.

If you want to track my progress: you can access all Big Top Tuesdays here.


This past week I had a yard sale, had health issues and had Father's Day pie(s) to bake so I didn't have too awful much time to devote to party preparations. I was able, however, to work on making a few prizes all from things I had on hand. Probably about half done, half to go.

((Haven't bought anything for the party yet!))

Mustaches. These are super cool to make and I think they will be a big hit too. If I were spending money, I would hop to the store and buy black foam sheets for this project as it would make it much easier but since I am NOT: I am using black and brown felt and hot-gluing two layers together to make them firm enough to stay straight, then hot-gluing meat skewers (also had on hand) in between the felt. I haven't made them yet, but I intend to make some clown mouths and maybe a nose or two as well.

Friendship bracelets: the simple kind because that is the only kind 1) I know how to make and 2) have time for. I hope to have about 20 of these made. I have plenty of embroidery thread but I may try to do a few in yarns so they will work up more quickly. Corynn has been helping me with these. She is almost as fast as I am!

This week I am going to focus on FINISHING the prizes and working on party decorations and game preparations.

Here is my (hopeful) To-Do list for the coming week:

~ MAIL/Hand out invites (was supposed to do that last week)

~ Decorate empty soda bottles

~Decorate tin cans

~ Make string balloons

~ Make tissue paper pom poms

~ Figure out the photo booth plan

~ Make a layout in the yard of where everything will be.

~ Trial run the homemade face paint.

~ costumes?