Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Celebrating Spring

We won't be here much longer. By the end of the year we will be in a new location...and I am hoping for an overseas assignment. I won't tell you where yet because I don't want to ruin the surprise, although if you know us well, we have probably already mentioned the locations to you.

Anyways, due to fact that we might not be here much longer I have decided it imperative that we visit places on the east coast while we still have time. So this weekend we headed to Washington DC for the opening day of the Cherry Blossom Festival. What fun! Chloe thoroughly enjoyed the train ride into the city.

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Thank goodness the Family Fun day was inside the National Building Museum since it was a drizzly sort of day out.

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She was a little overwhelmed by the whole thing though. The entire building was filled to the brim with people and kids. They had all sorts of free activities covering the main floor of the building for you to do with your kids and I believe that every single family in the city were crammed around those tables. We painted a bucket hat, decorated a kite and made a Japanese tea house (out of a box) We didn't bother to stand in the long line for face painting. We missed the flower pot decorating because we took too long wandering around decided what to do and they ran out of flowers. (yes...real flowers) We skipped the Japanese calligraphy and the origami paper folding because Chloe said she didn't want to do those. About that time I decided that maybe we had better head out to see the Cherry Blossoms since that was the main thing I wanted to do while we were there.

We passed by the Washington Monument where everyone was flying kites for the Smithsonian Kite festival.

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After a great amount of walking we finally made it to the Tidal Basin which is surrounded by Cherry Blossoms. Gorgeous!

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We had a lovely time. It was wonderful to see the sights. Hopefully I will have more traveling adventures to tell you of in the future. Have a lovely afternoon. I am off to clean for a bit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Lindsay

Lindsay is one my closest friends. She spends mass amounts of quality time with me and follows me around each and every day. She loves me...what can I say?

Linsday is a princess. A princess who loves chocolate and diamonds and purses.

Not only that, but Lindsay is a brat. (Sorry sweetie but its the truth.) I only met Lindsay the other day. Can you believe that? She has lived with me for so long and I never realized it. But golly if that girl isn't a brat! Let me tell you the sorts of things Lindsay does.

Every evening, at bedtime, when I take off my clothes Lindsay drops them on the floor by my closet door. Just inside the door sits my dirty clothes hamper. Do you think she will put them into the hamper? Nope. She just leaves them on the floor.

Lindsay eats chocolate all day long. And cookies. And sweets. (She LOVES candy corn and caramels...oh and M&M's) Lindsay can eat a whole chocolate cake by herself in about two days. (that would translate into 24 hours if you are so inclined to look at it that way)

Lindsay prefers to lounge in her pajamas all day long. She hates scrubbing out the bathtub and she constantly forgets my husband's clothes in the washing machine. (it gets pretty bad around here when its his military uniform that was forgotten for a week and he searches for it only to find it has a funky smell about it.) Lindsay doesn't wear shoes. Lindsay loves to cook and leave the spaghetti sauce splatters all over the stovetop. Lindsay will look at a pile of dishes in the sink and then plop herself down on the couch to browse the internet without even giving the dishes a second thought.

See what I mean? A total brat. Very un-princessey.

So Flylady is helping me to teach Lindsay the art of being a true princess. You see...Lindsay needs to be talked to as a 5 year old child. That is her mentality, after all. So when Lindsay looks at that pile of dishes and heads to the couch, I just simply state to her, "Now, Lindsay. You know you must wash those dishes sweetie. They have to get done. And better now than later, hon. You will regret it in the morning if you don't. And hey! If you wash the dishes...I will let you spend 15 minutes browsing Etsy to your heart's content."

She likes that. She is, after all, royalty and royalty loves to be treated kindly. So, I am in the process of breaking her bad habits and really loving on her. She won't be a brat for long. (and I think James will appreciate the absence of some of her negative comments too)

Lindsay and I have worked hard this morning. We completed our morning routine, showered and dressed to our shoes (Yes...Lindsay put on shoes today) and even dressed Chloe. The house is picked up and we are now getting ready to spend the rest of the morning crocheting a shrug. I will have to show you this later. I had a custom order come through for my Thanksgiving Harvest Ensemble in a size 6 so I have been working on it all week long. Anyways, I hope you all have a blessed day. Ta-ta for now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Etsy Find Friday

Inspirational places and things. That is the theme of my finds this week. I have favorited many paintings, photographs and things that make me smile and dream. I would love to spend an afternoon with a good book and a blanket in some of these locations. I dream of sitting inside a rose, surrounded by its perfect petals. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Forest Path with Bridge by Green Roots Photos

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Always a Rose by Green Island Studio

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Historic Bridge and Waterfall in Woodland by Allison Ostertag

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Clouds by Linn Photography

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Wait by Bella Luce Photography

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Peaceful Garden by Illumnia Photographics

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In The Jungles of San Juan by Posh Gallery

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Peach Blossom by And Shiny Things

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Creative Painting

The other night we sat down to watch Lebron James play a little basketball and I wasn't quite in the mood to just sit and watch a bunch of sweaty men running back and forth. So...I decluttered a few books from the bookshelf. I picked up 1001 Things to do With Your Kids by Caryl Waller Kruegar and was about to drop it in the discard pile when I thought "hmmm...maybe I should read this book." And so I sat back down on the couch and began thumbing through it.

I learned a couple of things in perusing this book. One phrase in the prologue says, "These are things to do with your child, not things to do to your child or for your child or things to get a child out of your hair." I realized upon reading this that I do those very things quite often. Like the paint easel I bought for Chloe. I gather the supplies, set it up, dress her smartly in a smock and then let her go at it herself so I can have a few extra minutes of computer time or get the floor swept in peace. Well, is it any wonder that she paints a few dabs on the page and says she's done?

She needs a little guidance.

So, I thought I would sit down with her and "teach" her to be creative in her painting. Here is what we came up with. First, I asked her what she would like to paint. "A cow" was the response. Okay. So, we need a body. At first I had to help her by drawing a circle to get her started. Once we got that down, she ran with it.

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I helped her out by asking prodding questions like, "Okay...so what else does a cow have?" "A head," she replied and painted the head. She decided to put feet on her cow. Then she added a "dot" (she has a fascination with dots.) The cow felt hungry so she added grass for him to eat. Then she placed a fish in the grass with some toys above the fish. I asked her what else a cow should have...maybe some ears? "No. This cow doesn't have ears," she replied. But then she growled and madly smudged some paint on the tail. "That's a monster," she informed me. "He's eating the cow." Then she dabbed some blue paint on the cow's head and said it was an "ouwie". She took some yellow paint and "fixed the ouwie...he feels better now."

Next she wanted to make a purple pig.

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Again, we have the monster eating the tail theme. We have a fly in the grass and toys floating in the sky. Note that the pig also has an "ouwie" that got fixed.

And we have another cow painting. But this one is not your ordinary cow. Nope. This is a doctor cow. His name is Dr. Brown.

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Dr. Browns ouwie didn't get fixed though. This painting also includes a tree and a blue "shiny" sun.

Chloe decided at that point to paint something outside of the animal world. Our house.

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The blue window in the middle of the house is Chloe's bedroom. The yellow thing in the center of the house is my sewing table. We have a door with stairs. The green blob is the bathroom and the blue on the other side is my bedroom.

We had so much fun painting these pictures. And it lasted for over an house instead of less than five minutes. I am thinking that today we will do something with macaroni noodles and rice. Have a creative day everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

T-Shirt Yarn Rug

I don't recall if I told you all what my mother bought me for Christmas this past year so I shall tell you now just in case I didn't. My dear mother bought me a subscription to Mary Jane's Farm magazine. If I wasn't a farmgirl wannabe before, I surely am one now. This magazine was all I needed to push me over that farm fence and into the cow pasture. Oh ya. I am inspired. My dreams are MUCH more pronounced. I definitely wanna be a farm girl now.

In the city, of course.

The latest issue appeared on my doorstep Saturday. I couldn't look at it during the party which sort of bummed me out, but I waited patiently until Sunday evening. Looking through the magazine something caught my eye. A knitted rug. I read the instructions and lo and behold it was made from t-shirts. I knew immediately that this was something I had to try, only I wanted to crochet it instead of knit. So, I cut up some of James icky, stained t-shirts and a couple of mine as well and this is what came of it.

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I am kind of tired of throwing out old clothes. Clothes that no one would want, even for free. Clothes with arm pit stains or a little bleach spot somewhere. James shirts are much worse too. Grease spots. Holes. Icky old things that should no longer be seen on him, yet for some unknown reason ARE. These clothes pile up in landfills and just sit there for the rest of time. Seems a shame but what can I do? No one would want to wear them. But this rug is almost pretty, don't you think? Very useful and that is 7 t-shirts that won't be filling up the dump. I feel better knowing that. I think I shall make more things from old t-shirts. It was kind of fun.

Belated Patty's Day Greetings

I simply ran out of time yesterday to show you our St. Patrick's day celebratory fun. We were just so busy crafting our goodies that the day flew by. Well, Happy Belated St. Patty's day and here is what we did to celebrate.

First, we made green shamrocks to eat. (or "rocks" as Chloe calls them)

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Refrigerated biscuits and green sugar. (just two drops of food coloring made this intriging green sugar...yum)

Then we baked up some Irish Soda Bread with Herbs. Delicious.

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I don't think I've ever had soda bread before but let me tell you...this was good. Interesting, but good. Chloe and James liked it as well, so we have a hit on our hands. I also tried to make Apple Mash but that didn't go over nearly as well as the Soda bread. Chloe gingerly stuck her tongue out onto the pile of Apple Mash on the spoon and grimaced. "I don't think I like it, Mama." James didn't even look at it. (he doesn't eat mashed potatoes anyways)

Anyways, then we made a "candle" out of paper. I explained to Chloe the significance of the Shamrock while we built the candle out of a paper towel roll. The shamrock represents God. Each leaf represents one of the three persons of God. (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) St. Patrick was the man who introduced Ireland to Christianity and it has been said that he used the shamrock to explain the God triune to the Irish. I think Chloe just enjoyed playing with "fire" and burning my arm with it.

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I hope you all have a delightful day today. We have fog and greenish grass. (very "irelandly" today) On a grayish day like today, we need to paint something bright and cheery. I shall be back later with our creations.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Party of the Year

Whew! That was fast! I can't believe how fast the party went Saturday. Busy and fun...but fast. Sort of like the past four years. I look at Chloe and I can't believe she is now four years old. Wow.

Anyways, you all want to see pictures, I bet. So...here are pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

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The Gingerbread Tree (best I could do short notice)

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Peppermint Forest

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Snowflake Lake as seen through the Rainbow Trail

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It was a great party. Now I gotta start on next year. Just kidding. I don't know where we will be living next year so I can't start planning yet. If we are in Hawaii, maybe we will have a beach party (with bubbles) and if we are in Germany...well...golly. I don't know. A puppet party? That would be cool. Hmmm...I gotta think on that one and see what I could come up with. I do think I should be a party planner. I only have one child and not enough birthdays for all my party ideas.

I have something to show you all later. Something very cool and eco-friendly. Yippee! Have a great day everyone. Chat at you later.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Candyland Cake

This has got to be the best cake I have ever made. By far. I can't wait for Chloe to see it tomorrow. (she has seen the icing but not the decorations on the cake. I wanted that to be a surprise) First, here is the Candyland board game so you can see what I tried to recreate.

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Chloe helped me make the icing. Yes...that is my daughter pouring a bag of powdered sugar into the kitchen aid. I am very trusting. No...actually, she has been cooking with me so long that she knows the drill and is very careful with things.

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And now.....The Cake.

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I am off now to create Candyland in my house! We are preparing for a sugar overload tomorrow. (don't worry...all kids are being sent home with a toothbrush in their goodies bags. I am not completely evil.)

Etsy Find Friday

Golly, but the week goes by so fast, doesn't it? Whoa. I feel like I just posted an Etsy Find Friday yesterday or something. Can it be Friday again already? Ok. So I just checked the date at the bottom of my computer screen and yup...its Friday. So...in honor of dear Chloe's birthday this weekend, here are some of my favorites that I wish I could get for her.

Craggy Arches and Crooked Houses by Pretty Dreamer

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Wooden Baseball Player Dolls by The Enchanted Cupboard You know why I picked this one...of course. (but it would need to say Yankess instead of O's)

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Little Miss Race Car Driver Playmat by Miss Pretty Pretty. Okay. So I am a tomboy (can you believe that?) and Chloe takes a bit after me. She loves playing with cars. So, it doesn't get much better than this. A PINK race car mat. How cool is that???? (yes...even girls can play with cars)

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Tea Time Party Time Teaset by The Enchanted Cupboard. Another cute one from that shop. And its tea...fitting of course for us girly girl tomboys.

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Fairy Baking Set by The Fairy Ring. Now this is just plain cute.

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Fairy Woodland Set by Small Town Toys. More fairies. I seem to be on a fairy kick lately.

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Baby Monsters and MegaBytes by The Hookery. Gotta have these finger puppets. Oh yes. We are sooooo into monsters right now.

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I Love You Wall Sticker by paigemtyler. Because I say this to Chloe at least once a day every single day. It is true and I want her to grow up knowing that no matter what, I will always love her. (and I do mean always)

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And now I better end this post and start my next one. I have finished The Cake and I would like to show it to you all before it gets devoured tomorrow. Be back in a minute.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some Yummies!

Yummm...this is gonna be one delicious party.

We have gumdrops...

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...and gingerbread...

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...and lollipop flowers.

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And tomorrow??? The birthday cake! It is baked and ready for icing and candy. Wooo Hooo. I can already taste all the sugar dripping from my tongue. Oh boy...this is gonna be so much fun. I can hardly wait to get all those delightful children wired with sugar and send them home to their parents. Oh yes. I am that mother...and I LOVE it!!