About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wonder or is it Wander sticks?

Something that has been on my mind for a while is how to help the girls, specifically the Noodle, tap into their creative sides.  The Noodle is already pretty good at this, especially where imaginary play is concerned.  If we're outside, just give her some sticks, the bungee cords and one of the vehicles (I'm talking the little red wagon, her bike, a scooter, etc.) and she's in 7th heaven.  She's a knight defending her castle or she's galloping down the racetrack on her thoroughbred or she's a cowgirl on her bucket horse or maybe she's playing "donations".........She also loves to take apart things and turn them into something new.  Last week, when she was at Camp Invention, she couldn't get enough!
"Fred" the horse
Interestingly enough, however, is that she's never been into the whole arts-n-crafts thing.  She could take or leave coloring or drawing, etc.  Every once in a while she'll get inspired to do some crafting, but I think, given a little coaxing, she could really learn to enjoy it, especially the more open ended stuff.  I know that I need to do a better job at making those opportunities present themselves.  And also to just "go with the flow" and allow messes to occur--ack!  Note to self--lighten up!!

So, what's a mom to do when she wants to be inspired?  Go to Pinterest, of course!  I actually started at Meg's blog, Whatever, which is all about nurturing your inner creative self.  After spending a few hours wandering around there (kidding, ahem, maybe not!) I landed on The Crafty Crow.  I found this fun activity.
We have plenty of drift wood and I had just recently scored a whole bag of various colored yarn from a garage sale so all we needed were the bells.  After showing the girls a picture so they knew what we were going to make, we dove in.  This was an easy one to start with, but both of them needed some help with the knotting of the yarn, changing colors and adding the bells.
As we were wrapping and tying, the Noodle kept saying "This is so fun!"  Mei Mei was way into exploring the yarn (read:  holding onto one end and watching it roll away from her, under the couch--live in the moment, enjoy the squeals of laughter, go with the flow...). 
When I asked the Noodle what she thought we should call them, she said "wonder sticks or maybe wander sticks".  "You can wonder about a place or a time like ancient Egypt or back when there were cavemen, and then you can go wander around and pretend it is that time".  Great thinking and creating--let's go wonder and wander!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Big 4-0

J had a "milestone" birthday over the weekend...the Big 4-0!  We talked about what he wanted to do and he said, in all honesty, he just wanted to keep it simple and celebrate with those he loved. Afterall, 40 is just the number that comes after 39, and he's pretty cool with being one year older, so no reason to fuss ;)

No big SURPRISE!!!!!  No fancy party.  Just ice-cream cake, the water and his peeps.  Those were his only requirements.  Low-key and relaxed...just like him.
We had a date night on Saturday and then Sunday we went out to visit his folks.  Grilled eats and treats, a train ride and LOTS of beach time.
Happy 40th birthday My Love!!  I'm looking forward to spending 40+ more with you (even though I can't even fathom being 80!!).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Anniversary of "The Call"

 J and I were on vacation and had just come back from the beach.  The last thing we were expecting was to see an unknown number show up on J's cell phone.
As soon as we realized who the number belonged to, we knew life would never be the same.  There was a little person waiting for around on the other side of the world.  We couldn't wait to get our hands on her!! After we hung up the phone with our agency, we waited, holding our breath for the e-mail to come through.
That little serious face staring out from a sea of red--some things never change.  There she was.  Our daughter!!  Even now, 6 years late, I'm still in awe of God, his timing and his plan.  All perfect for our little family.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer's here part II...bring on the blueberries

 A few weeks ago we hit the U-pick farm for strawberries (here).  July means it is time for blueberries!!
I had originally thought we'd go next week, but the Noodle will be doing a summer camp and I knew she'd want to go with us.  The weather was forecasted to be lovely, so we decided to do it today.
We ended up picking 7.5 lbs. of blueberries.  That was after Mei Mei decided she would "help" by emptying her bucket...into the dirt.  Sigh.  The Noodle and I picked up as many as we could.  After that, she decided she'd rather dig with a stick--ha! :)  At least we knew where she was!  I remember when the Noodle was Mei Mei's age and we had gone--her little trick was to hide in the bushes, poke the berries with a stick and then suck out the insides.  Oh well, it's all good in the end, right?!

Of course our little adventure wouldn't be complete without a stop to the frozen custard stand.  Yum-mo!
After all that picking, it was a pretty quite ride home in the car.  Now, if I can just sneak in a 10 minute nap before I go address that blueberry pie which is calling my name.........

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July festivities

Uncle and Aunt C came in to spend the 4th with us.  Yeah!!  My Nana and aunt also came up from down South.  Double bonus!!
We celebrated Mei Mei's birthday.  Again :)  She didn't mind in the least (once she got over being shy around Uncle and Aunt C)!
We hit the local Independence Day carnival.  In Uncle's words..."This place hasn't changed.  At all.  The rides are even in the exact same location as when I was growing up!"  Ahhh, nostalgia!
We ate.  And ate.  Oh yeah, and ate some more.
We celebrated the freedom that we have been so graciously given (and quite honestly, too often take for granted) and we celebrated being around those that we love.

It was a good great holiday!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kitchen re-do part II

A few days ago I shared part I in our kitchen re-do

Before shots
After he had painted the walls and cabinets, changed out the lighting and switched out the breakfast bar with a bowling alley (seriously!) it was time to hit the counters and the sink/backsplash.
As I had explained earlier, this little project had begun before the holidays and we had gotten our referral for Mei Mei but we were still waiting on travel dates.  Those finally came in January with a travel date of February.  That being said, the kitchen was put on hold while we got down to the serious business of bringing home our little one!  Seriously exciting stuff!!

Once we arrived home and life settled down into a more normal routine, J picked up where he had left off. He sold me on using some retro boomerang laminate for the counters and then the Saturday before Easter, he put in a new sink and faucet.
The finishing touch was to just put up the backsplash behind the sink and voila......
our new kitchen!

I love how bright and cheery it is.  What a change, don't ya think?!

***And in all honesty and full disclosure, the kitchen is never this tidy...but who wants to see a bunch of junk cluttering up the counters?!  Just keepin' it real ;)