Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tales from the Pics

This is an iris from a group of iris April gave to me last year. I have sooooo loved all of my irises blooming!

The first group I received from my aunt's neighbor about 3 years ago; they are deep and light purples. The bunch that April gave me are all yellow. I ♥ Irises! They are so delicate looking and I love them.

This came from a funny, but gross, story. Our family went up into the mountains on Memorial Day to hike a bit and take pics of Karen and Josh (like the one below). After hiking and playing in the water a bit, we were all starving, and had brought hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over a campfire. There wasn't a fire ring where we were, so we drove back down the canyon a bit to a park. As we pulled into the parking lot we noticed that there were several cars, so Josh complained that it was going to be too crowded. After looking around, we couldn't see any people though, and the park itself was empty.

I found one area tucked back from the rest where we could have some privacy when the other picnickers got back from their hike. I hopped out of our van and went to make sure it had a fire ring. As I went deeper into the trees I started feeling spider webs on my face and arms, so I stopped, brushed them off, and started looking to see if the webs were occupied or old. As I focused in I realized it wasn't spiders, it was caterpillars. Little caterpillars dangling from silky thread dotted the air. I turned around and went back to the van to tell my family about it and Jared & Josh hopped out of the van to explore, just as they have since they were little. Josh called to me from the picnic table telling me I "had to see this"! So I swam to them, brushing the caterpillars away from my head as I walked and found this sight:

Hundreds and hundreds of little inchworm like caterpillars covered the table. As all were standing still, staring at the little critters, I heard: plink, plink, plink, plink sounding like rain. But it wasn't raining. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was the worms falling from the trees. I dashed back to the van and left the boys to explore while I had Steve look for any stow-aways in my hair or on my back. YUCK!

Later we did find individual caterpillars crawling on the boys jeans, and we admired them for awhile, enjoying watching them bring their back feet to their front feet, hunching up their little backs and then stretch out again to crawl away. Inchworms are fascinating that way. Then we smashed them, because no matter how cute they are one at a time, we did *not* want buckets of worms dropping from our trees next year!

Then there is this pic:

This is all of our favorite pic out of all of the pics I took up the canyon. The other's are sweet too, but this one is absolutely wonderful. This one was a combined effort between the three of us. I found the spot, Karen told Josh to take off his ball cap, and Josh said he thought it would look good if they were looking off into the distance. And it worked beautifully.

They are going to be getting their pic taken by Amber's BFF's mom, who has a way better camera than I do and who is a professor of art at a local university. They will also be dressed up, so maybe after seeing her awesome pics they will go with one of those for their invitations instead, but this one is a keeper, just the same.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where I've Been

I have nothing original for you today friends. So I will show and tell you the places I've been lately.

First off, trust me when I say that you have got to read this post at Jen's Creative Kids. I had just taken a bite of my orange and had to quickly spit it out before I choked. I laughed soooo hard! And Jen, just so you know, I totally empathize with her. I always wonder that about Adam! =)

As I read Lisa's post on It's the Little Things, I realize that the pic she took would be at the level that a little child sees things. No wonder they always notice the beauty: it is in their line-of-sight.

Rhubarbsky gave a lot of recipes for healthy smoothies.

Today Stephanie showed some pics of her adorable kids and gave her bloggy friends a tour of her beautiful backyard with its kitchen herb garden, medicinal herb garden, sweet flowers, and a wonderful red chair that I'd love to sit in and drink a glass of lemonade!

April, my "real life" friend, showed us her new quilting machine. I am excited to see the beautiful things that she will create with it!

Maren, also my "real life" friend, has some advice for all children: quit growing so quickly! There is a credo for us to give to them that she has created for us.

While visiting EarthNSky's blog I decided I'd love to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee again. This time I'd love to go aboard the "Southern Belle" and float around awhile. It looks like a great place to relax and to see some beautiful views.

And have you ever heard of the book, The Hidden Messages in Water? I was told about it yesterday, and I'm looking forward to reading it soon. Here is the synopsis found on about the calendar, and the book is also available:

"The Hidden Messages in Water 2009 wall calendar presents the revolutionary work of renowned scientist Masaru Emoto, who has discovered that molecules of water are affected by our thoughts, words and feelings. Using high-speed photography, Dr. Emoto shows that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the world around us. Since humans and the earth are composed mostly of water, his message is one of personal health, global environmental renewal, and a practical plan for peace that starts with each one of us."

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I Got Yesterday in the Mail

Do you know what those are?! First off, I won the Twilight DVD Give-Away from Becca at The Great Mediocre!! Can I tell you how excited I am? I haven't seen the movie since reading the books, and I'm dying to compare! Thanks, Becca!!

And secondly: My dear husband made my blog into a book for my Mother's Day present!! All 374 pages worth of my posting and your commenting are available to me in book form now! Yesterday Steve told me that I am now a published author. =) It is wonderful to look back through the past year and a half and read all of the memories. Thanks, dear friends, for being a part of those memories! And Steve, I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful I think you are. Thank you for being the best husband a woman could have, and for supporting me in all of the things that I love doing. You are the best!

Steve made my book by first going to Shared Book and paying them to make my blog into a PDF file. He then took the PDF info to and had them print the book for him. He did the math and found that it was the most cost effective way, since my book is so big.

Take a look and see what you think. You, too, can be a published author like me! ;-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

It starts....

Anyone who has spent time around here knows that I ♥ my garden! I think it is the single thing that gets the most photo shoots around here. I'm gearing up for the 2009 Growing Fest here at my home.

I went to the greenhouse last week and bought some transplants:

An Early Girl 4 pack, two plants of zucchini, some bell peppers, a 4 pack of roma tomatoes, a 4 pack of cherry tomatoes, and two 4 packs of Jack be Little Pumpkins. My soil adores pumpkins and pumpkins adore my soil. This is the first year in many that I have actually had to plant pumpkins.

See, a few years ago, when we owned our feed store, we had a surplus of pumpkins that didn't sell at Halloween. I kept them around, in case anyone wanted to take a couple home to feed to their animals or to the wild deer, and I did get rid of a few more that way, but not many. So Steve & the kids brought them to our house and put them in the garden to feed to the goats through the winter. Many still rotted, though, and added to the soil in the garden...and also many seeds planted themselves. We had pumpkins galore that next year, and still several the next, and a couple last year. This year we are through with the self seeding pumpkins, so I bought pie pumpkins to continue with our pumpkin tradition!

My sage and lavendar, which are perrenials, are doing well. So is another herb which I need to identify. This pic is of the sage, which is flowering.

And here are the onions that I planted on Easter weekend. They are beauties!

I have been so impressed with my soil this year! I have soooo many earthworms, which proves that my soil has greatly improved through the years! When we moved here, my garden had been some kind of a junkyard. Tin cans, broken up fencing boards, bed frames, chairs, and even an old junker motorcycle were all set in there. The soil was hard and earthworms were rare. We cleaned it up and fenced it in for chickens and goats to live in for a while. Because of the wonderful fertilizer the animals spread in there, the soil is now rich. I am convinced that there is nothing that improves the soil better than organic fertilizer!

Over the weekend we put in more fences to separate the goats into a pen w/ a stable. They have grown a lot, and their doghouses have gotten a bit small (their stable is on the right - the doghouse that you see is for my bantam chickens.)

Nina made me laugh when I saw her sitting in the food bowl, happily crunching on the greens in there!

We also put some netting on top of the chicken coop to keep all of the girls in...but many have found ways out anyway. Maybe I just need to get rid of the ones bent on escaping and just keep the ones satisfied to stay put!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday's Photos

Steve took the kids for a picnic up in the canyon for a Cubscout Pack Night. They roasted hot dogs and marshmallows by the fire and visited with friends. Steve took pics so that he could share the beauty that is up there. Isn't it gorgeous?! I'm looking forward to going up there myself!

Take a listen to the featured song on my playlist today. It's "Everything" by Michael Buble. It is a great song!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pics of Spring

Josh & Karen gave me flowers for Mother's Day. Their homemade-with-love card was my favorite present they gave me, but the flowers were beautiful and make me smile whenever I see them.

Amber always makes me feel loved with her homemade banners.

Emily gave me chocolate! How did she know? ;-) And Matt gave me a pretty little potted plant and a model wheelbarrow to decorate however I choose.

Mother's Day, with all of the love children exude, has got to be the best holiday, doesn't it?

My lilac bush is full of sweet smelling blossoms.

And my bleeding heart plant is displaying its vibrant, delicate flowers.

Don't you just love Spring?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Being a Mom

I've just caught up with most of your blogs, so I have read many Mother's Day posts this evening. It has brought to mind many things that I have loved about being a mom, too.

When I first have my babies, I love eating graham crackers and apple juice. It was my favorite, and traditional, in-the-hospital and during-the-night feedings.

I loved nursing in the wee hours of the morning. It seemed that throughout the rest of the day breast feeding was just another chore: something that had to be done while I sat for 1/2 hour and looked around at the things that needed to be done but that I couldn't find enough time for. In the middle of the night everyone else was asleep, so in those quiet wee morning hours nursing seemed to be the most important thing to be done. It was a great time for pondering and just being still.

Bathtime and bedtime was a wonderful time during the toddler years. I loved their fresh scent and the cuteness of the jammies and diaper and putting them to bed on their clean crib sheets. They weren't old enough to be kid yet, and they weren't babies anymore. Their new teeth smiles were adorable, as they beamed at me. These years were a wonderful time of feeling like I was the center of their world.

The preschool years were challenging. They resisted help during the "I can do it myself" stage, which was usually a frustration because I could do it so much quicker. Potty training usually happened in our house at 3 years old too, which is *not* my favorite task.

Early school age years are sweet. By now they knew how to dress themselves and at least get themselves a bowl of cereal without help. They have moved into independence well, but follow directions more obediently. They still love mommy and daddy most. The pictures and love notes they made were sent with abundance and much love.

Late elementary and middle school age is wonderful. Cub scouts, achievement days, & sports add some spice to their lives and give them self confidence. They love their friends and teachers, but still look to mom and dad to have the final say. They are starting to look more outside of themselves and empathize with others more.

High school youth. What a challenge! They are becoming adults and want freedom, but not necessarily the responsibility that goes with it. This stage is reminiscent of the preschool days all over again: asserting independence even if they aren't quite ready for it. They are trying hard to learn to be adults and look for answers from others than Mom & Dad, which can sometimes trouble Mom and Dad. It is a time when parents pray with earnestness, asking for the Lord to watch over their beloved young ones to be kept from harm as they are learning. It is wonderful to see them stepping up into the adult roles more, but scary to let them do it.

Adult children. I can't speak from too much experience here. My oldest is just at the beginning of this stage. It is scary as they try their wings to fly out of the nest. The transition is scary to watch them fall a little as they falter, but what an incredible feeling when they start learning to fly for themselves.

Motherhood is whirlwind of activities and emotions. To sum it up into one word, I would call it "Joy". Not "happiness" necessarily. Not really "fun". "Entertaining" only if you are a masochist or sadist. But it is truly joyful being a Mom; knowing that because of your personal sacrifice, this person has come into existence, has learned what they need to know to become their own person, and they will go on to make a difference in the world. Is it prideful to mention what a long lasting effect we have on our children, as parents? That because of what we sow, they will harvest? It is a daunting thought, and one that can't lightly be thought of. My prayer is that I will teach them what they need to know and that I will have been power for good.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lookee there!

Take a look at this! A rain gutter garden. Perfect for those without space for a garden. "Lettuce" take a look:

And Becca at is having a Twilight DVD give away! Go enter!


I can't believe how quickly this 18" x 18" block went together last night! I am definately sold on log cabin quilts.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Through the Rambles

I've got writer's block, I think. I simply cannot wrap my mind around anything interesting to say. So I've stayed away for awhile, thinking I'd have some inspiration. But, not so much.

So, I'll ramble. Are you okay to take a spin inside my head for a minute? Buckle up. It might get bumpy.

Last week I bought more material for yet another quilt. Please don't remind me of how many I have started. Or that I was supposed to give Josh's his in December. These will be fun! I'm telling myself that. Psyching myself up. The first one is a collage. Of me. As mom & grandma. Do you think I'm getting ahead of myself, since I have no grandchildren yet? Me neither! Preparation is the key! Or at least that is what Colonel Hathi, the elephant on Jungle Book, said, but I digress. So here are the fabrics that will go into my log cabin quilt:

I've got all of the material cut into strips. All 2 1/2" wide, about 18" long. I hope it works. If not, I'll know better for next time, eh?!

Secondly. I've been thinking a LOT about gardening. I've done very little about it, but I've thought about it a lot! I need to go buy my transplants from the nursery. I know, I know, I could have saved money by planting my own. But this year has been too crazy for me to beat myself up over should'ves. And I'll plant stuff that my family eats. I'd love to experiment...but maybe next year. And I may or may not let the ball drop on planting heirloom seeds that I would then save seed from for next year. Again, life is just crazy. I'll do what I can.

Next: I want to move. My real life friends are rolling their eyes and laughing, because moving has been my preoccupation for the past...well, since I moved here. This old house on 1/3 acre was supposed to be temporary. It was supposed to serve as a stop-over to a house with more land. Six years later.... I'm still looking. I love my house. I do! Along with all of the problems it has, it is also charming. Old houses: you gotta love'em. And if I could take it along to a place with an acre (or 2 or 10 or 100!) I would. It isn't the house I've outgrown, it's the land. So, I'm looking again. But I'm a tightwad. And even though house prices have dropped, they ballooned for a couple of years first, know what I mean? So the prices are still high.

And my animals are definitely on my mind! I need to build a chicken coop. A real one. Not just a couple of dog houses. And I need to totally enclose the thing. Ever seen Chicken Run? Those are my chickens! Seriously. They plan ways of escape. Though I have no intentions of changing my name to Tweedy and baking them into pies, they want to run away from home anyway. So those hens need Alcatraz-like security. And *I* (and hopefully my husband..Steve, will ya lend me a hand?) will be building the prison for them. Or a hotel, if you prefer that imagery.

And the goats are a pain. I love'em, but *man* are they pains! They are harder than chickens! And stronger too. Nina broke the tie-out yesterday. Good thing they are friendly, because she came right up to me and let me put her back into her pen. We've had some that take one look at us and run. As fast and as hard as they can. These are excellent goats by comparison!

And then there is the never-ending housework: laundry, dishes, toilets. Those things never stay clean for long, do they?!

And Michael. Last night Michael and I were going to pick up Emily from dance and we were going to take Meg (our cute little doggy) with us, since she was sad Steve hadn't taken her on a walk too. As I was walking out the door, in ran a cat that isn't litter box trained, so I tried to find and remove her before I left. I left Michael and Meg in the front yard and told Michael to "get the leash". I meant to hold onto Meg, but when I came back out, there was Michael..with the leash. Only the leash. Meg? Gone. Ran off. Yep, he'd let her off the leash. "Here, Mom" he said, handing me the leash. Thanks, Mike. We found Meg a few minutes later. I'm glad Michael is learning to follow directions. Hopefully he'll learn not to be so literal, too.

So that is my life. Hope you held on tight. Some of those turns in my ramblings were pretty sharp!

See ya soon!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fun Stuff!

I have a bit of housekeeping to do on my blog. Not the drudgery stuff either! The fun stuff, that simply got overlooked because of the drudgery stuff that had to be done first. So today is the day for fun!

Over the past month I have been given two awards by my bloggy friends, Betty and Jen. And you all know that I *L♥VE* awards! They make me feel loved and special, so thank you very much ladies! And here the beautiful things are now!

Betty at Keeper of the Skies Wife gave me this fan award early in April

Thanks, Betty! You know I am your fan too!

And here are the rules:

1. Leave a comment or an email for your favorite blogger telling them that you are a fan of the site.

2. Feel free to copy and paste the award, or you can get the code at Sited and Blogged to present to your blog friend or post on your site when it is awarded to you.

3. When you receive more than one fan, put the number of fans you have received under the image.

4. The more fans you receive the better! So, what are you waiting for...tell someone you're a fan of all their blog...HAVE FUN!

And the second one was given to me by Jen at Creative and Curious Kids!

"The Let's be Friends" award stands for this: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.

This is always the hardest part! For the past couple of months I have needed friends to rally around me, and you all are the best! I've loved your comments to my posts; they have lifted my spirits! (BTW - to those of you I give the friendship award to, will you also please take the Fan Award too, and save me some time of me telling you all that I'm your fan on your blogs? TIA!) And the awards go to:

Christy at Farm Dreams
Betty at Keeper of the Skies Wife
Joy at Joy in the Burbs
Tammy at Laugh, Live, Learn, Love
Marvelous Thing at Marvelous Pigs in Satin
Stephanie at Ordinary Life Magic
Becca at The Great Mediocre
Kate the Great at Dear Goodness
Randi at I have to say
and last, but not least, I give the award back to
Jen at Creative and Curious Kids!

Thanks to all of you! You are the best!