Friday, February 26, 2010


I admit it.

I am so eager for Spring to arrive.

That is strange for me. Because I love sweaters and fires and hot drinks and comfort food and scarves and cozy time.

But it is SO cold this year. I am sure not as cold as many people are enduring right now...but the wind. The Wind. It is constant and makes being outside so much worse.

And my children are aching to be outside again. They see the sunshine and assume that it must be a warm day. And then they are so. very. disappointed.

So, spring. We're waiting for you. I'm looking forward to your arrival...and I hope that you take your time once you get here...really linger again this year.

And the flowers. They are an arrangement I made last those spider mums! They last such a long time, so long that the gerbera daisies that I paired with them began to drop I plucked them all off, leaving their bright and happy centers...gotta love extending your fresh flowers!

Is it too early to start decorating for spring?

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We haven't been up to much around here. Just the usual routine. Haven't felt like I have had much to blog about. It's been bitter cold, so I just feel like hibernating in our cozy house, reading, drinking tea, and being cozy with my snuggly ones!

We've been watching lots of the Olympics (which has made me so very tired.) The kids love it. And we love to hear them pronounce "Olympics"!

We've been doing lots of this:
She's read through two readers now (Pan and The Mad Man and Bad Meg) and we're working on the remaining short vowel sounds (i,o, and u). She is recognizing sight words (like this, the, that, is, was, of, and) when she encounters them in new places. Like while I'm reading Farmer Boy before quiet time or when she's looking over my shoulder at a magazine.

Brent told me that during the sermon at church on Sunday, she was sounding out the words in her Bible. Can I tell you the joy that brings to me?

And I'm also doing a TON of this:
That would be trying to keep the younger two entertained and occupied and quiet (enough) to work with Hadleigh.

This week has been better in that regard...but it is a constant challenge. I am trying to embrace the fact that they want to be a part of what we're doing, by providing quiet (and new) activities that they can do independently of me while in the same space.

But we certainly encounter plenty of two-year old tears of frustration (which in turn frustrates my six-year-old who "I can't hear or think with all the crying Mom!")

We're all learning one step at a time!

Back tomorrow, I promise!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Three Little Monkeys

Aren't they cute?
Valentine's gifts from Mimi and Grampa.
(And much loved already!)

Were you imagining these three little monkeys instead???

Yes, indeed.
Monkeys for sure.

Monkeyish things lately:

Monkey #3: She pinches my nose (or hers) and says "Spooooky." I haven't the slightest. But it makes both of us collapse into giggles.

Monkey #2: He said to me yesterday before I left the house "Mommy, if there is a crack on the road, you can drive over it. Your car will be fine. You can do it." Apparently, this is due to his new knowledge after watching a bit of the Nascar race on Sunday with Daddy...something about a pothole. (I think he's just waiting for Lightning McQueen to appear!)

Monkey #1: What's been killing me lately is her "fake-don't-you-think-I'm-so-funny" laugh. Cracks me up. It's so fun to watch children discover humor, doncha think?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Projects with heart

We've had fun being crafty lately...

We have been saving broken crayons for awhile around here so that we could make these heart shaped crayons.
We attached the finished product to some cardstock and made them into valentines (which of course, I forgot to photograph) to send to cousins.

The kiddos were excited to make this flower valentine that we found in the Family Fun magazine.
Even the littlest ones can thread paper onto lollipop sticks!!!

Scraps of paper and hearts are being turned into valentines with names upon them (and colored in the recipient's favorite colors!)

When I saw these embroidered valentines at Studio Calico (originally created on The Purl Bee blog), I knew they would be perfect for a certain Valentine's Tea Party someone is looking forward to on Sunday!
So this little crafter has been stitching away all afternoon on these cards (and just finished). I'll post pictures once they're all complete!

This next project was a Valentine's surprise for me.
My little guy made this for his Mommy at Bible Study...I just love it...especially since it came with a great hug! (Not sure about his expression in the photo...I think he was probably wondering if he really wanted his picture taken!)

Speaking of valentines, my older kiddos have been coming up to me many times throughout the past couple days and whispering in my ear "Happy Valentines" followed with a precious grin. Could I ask for more?

And I wish that I could take credit for the gorgeous photo above...but it's a project from the Secondsister blog There is a tutorial for this button bracelet that I am looking forward to doing with my girls!

A heart-shaped Valentine's banner for my buffet in the dining room is "in process". We'll see if it's finished before Sunday! (But at least it'll be ready for the beginning of February next year!)

Please share your Valentine's projects here...or even just ones that inspire you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This week has passed a blur...

We have
  • done school stuff
  • had snow (but not enough to amount to much)
  • had rain
  • had sunshine
  • lots of laundry
  • played dress up
  • had lots of moments for discipline...sigh...
  • seen consistent discipline bear fruit in our children (such a blessing)
  • made valentines (pictures to come)
  • made rice krispie treats
  • managed to attend all our weekly activities (for the first time this year! It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're healthy and have accommodating weather!)
  • gone to the post office (wish they had a drive thru window.)
  • not gone to the grocery store! (still working off last week's trip! yay!)
  • cooked 3 new recipes (had one of them flop...)
  • talked with friends
  • reserved tickets to a children's play
  • read four chapters of Farmer Boy
  • played dress up
  • enjoyed cozy fires (we're in need of more firewood)
  • finished my Bible study lesson in front of the fire
  • cleaned rooms (the children) 52,349,283,749,328 times
  • had dance parties with Daddy
  • skyped with Aunt Katy and Uncle Alex
  • talked on the phone with grandparents
  • caught up on most emails and cleaned up my inbox
  • not blogged...I'm sure you noticed that one on your own!
  • played dress up
  • planned some craft projects to do with the kids
Thankfully, our weekend looks pretty low-key. Valentine party on Sunday afternoon for Miss H, and Monday with Daddy. Love long weekends!

I'll be back tomorrow with some Valentine projects (some we've done and some I want to do!)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Little loves.

Little girls in pigtails. What could be cuter?
Well, maybe another missing tooth. That's four, if you've been counting!
I think this one is my favorite from this morning. So glad my littlest finally has hair long enough to pull up on both sides! (Now if only that center part came more naturally with both girls. They don't take after me there!)
And I can't leave this guy out...though he's been a bit out of sorts today. But poor guy, he had immunizations and a flu mist we'll blame it on that!
I did manage to get this cute grin.

We sure do love these three. We've been smiling and laughing and just feeling thankful for the blessings they are to us.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society recently. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looked forward to settling into bed and reading it. One of those books that makes me a little bit sad as I near the end, knowing that soon, the story will be over.

Here's what's currently on my nightstand:
A precious friend gave me Stepping Heavenward for my birthday...and I'm just about done with it. Slowing down a bit towards the end...taking it all in slowly. I know it's one I will read again and again.

Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me is a collection of essays written by Andree Seu. She writes my favorite column in World Magazine. Anyway, I bought this for Brent a while back and am just beginning to read it for myself.

A friend let me borrow Supper of the Lamb. I am only two chapters into it...and loving every word. It's a cookbook, of sorts, written by an Episcopalian minister who is also a lover of food and cooking. Fascinating so far. I'm definitely going to have to get my own copy.

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon has been my devotional reading for the past couple years. I have the version based on the ESV translation.

And waiting in the wings is Resistance by Anita Shreve. I just participated in a book swap this week and brought it home. Love book swaps.

Speaking of reading, this young lady just read her first book ALL by herself this week! So excited!
So what books are you reading? I love adding to my "recommended reads" list!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Perfect with tea.

This week the kids and I have been having afternoon tea.
Which is perfect, since we're all a bit under-the-weather again. Colds.

So, we've been enjoying all sorts of teas:
Madeleine likes blueberry.
Nathanael likes Strawberry Vanilla.
Hadleigh goes back and forth between Earl Grey and Apple Cider Tea.
I love a good variety, but Earl Grey is my stand-by favorite. Sipping a cup right now, as a matter or fact.

And what's tea without cookies? Or cake?

This cake is delicious...very moist with a fine crumb. I think I found it in an issue of Cooking Light...or maybe Southern Living. I have made it several times, and it never disappoints.

Chocolate Chip Irish Cream Pound Cake

1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. cake flour
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
baking spray with flour
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine chocolate chips and 1 tsp. cake flour in a small bowl. Toss.
2. Lightly spoon flour into a bowl. Sift with baking powder and salt.
3. Place cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat at high speed to blend. Add sugars and vanilla; beat until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed one minute. With mixer on low, add flour mixture and liqueur alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into a 12 cup bundt pan, coated with baking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack; remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely on rack. Sift powdered sugar over cake.

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