Picked up our first seed catalog of the season. Trying to stay present in the Winter moments but I am drifting off and dreaming of Spring!
Friday, January 28, 2011
When one drives to the library, one does not expect to have a welcoming committee.
At the back of the parking lot there are probably close to 100 of these birds. I am guessing that they are turkey vultures. If anyone knows for sure, please correct me! They are quite large, could carry off a small dog or small child. When Chaiya went to get closer for a picture, Quayde made comments about dinner arriving.
Honestly, he's so ugly you kind of feel sorry for him.
Once upon a time...there was a magical place called the Ronald McDonald House. This place sheltered, fed and nurtured our bodies and souls for almost three months while Lydia was an infant. I will be eternally grateful for all the volunteers and everyone that makes those 'retreats' possible. There was a feeling there, a little bit formal and yet whimsical. We felt nothing but love emanating from the walls there. When I first saw pictures of the formal dining room in our new house I knew I wanted to try and re-create that feeling. There is not much money for decorating right now so I am starting with little things here and little things there. I had a Target gift card and was able to get the huge vases for only $3.74 each. I heart Target clearance!!!
We have two of these areas with the black vases. I found the fun disks sticks at Pier One. Now the steal of the day was these frames! Pottery Barn used to sell these exact frames for $20 a piece. I found these at this store up in Waldorf called the Christmas Tree Store. It has nothing to do with Christmas trees! Kind of like a Ross or TJ Max mixed with the dollar store. Okay that description probably isn't very good but anyway, I got these frames for $2.99 apiece!!! Oh yeah. I then just took pictures we took at our beach, turned them black and white, and now I have a little gallery. The top two are still waiting for pictures though.
Crate and Barrel doesn't carry the rug that would have matched all this anymore. Not that I could have afforded it right now
or ever. This area makes me smile everytime I go into that room.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Our weekend included the simple joys of gathering and splitting firewood. The boys honestly love this. It creates a sprinkle of happiness in my soul to see them learning a life skill. My momma heart did a jump, right after I took this picture and saw that no one had eye protection on. After a simple scolding I ran back in as temperatures have been a little chilly for my Arizona blood.
As a child I, my family lived very briefly in Arkansas. I recall my Dad saying something about it being hell. One thing I do remember was the black walnuts there and the mess they made. When Michael and Thayne were out cutting firewood, they found a walnut tree. Oh how wonderful!
We are studying up on how to harvest and dry them for this year's season. Isn't it exciting what the land can provide!
Quick ingredients for simple firestarters; old egg carton, dryer lint and wax. Currently I do not have any old candles etc.. to melt down. I wouldn't normally use my good beeswax but it is what is available right now.
Another bounty from this nurturing land that surrounds us.....wild onions!
Homemade foccacia bread dough. It was the perfect dough to knead and shape. Although I let my Kitchen-Aid do most of the hard work, after its first rising I love the pleasure of kneading and shaping the dough.
What I had intended to become just part of our supper ended up constituting the main. We dipped pieces in marina and enjoyed a simple meal that was just right for our hungry tummies.
We have so much to learn about our new area. I am eager for Spring but still am wanting to stay present in the moment and enjoy this season for all it is.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wow! Quayde, how did 15 years go so fast? My oldest son is turning into a man little by little but 15 seems so mature, so not a child anymore. His only request was to have a large breakfast that included real eggs and real bacon; with Lydia's allergies these items are not frequently in our home. Early in the morning at the time when he was born (okay I cheated and used AZ time) I crawled in his bed and relayed once again his birth story and my joy at having him. This is his favorite part of his birthday celebration! Guess what? There is becoming less and less room to share in that bed. Then he started his day with hot chocolate in bed. Coming downstairs he found his bacon!!!
Zack, his best friend is flying in next week to celebrate so we are waiting for more partying when Zack gets here. Quayde and I went out for his birthday dinner in the evening. Which, for him, included a big hunk of steak. Oh I have a happy boy! What an amazing person he is. I watched him as he pushed his sister in the swing and bent down to talk to Thayne kindly while we were at the park. He has a strong, sweet spirit and I am so blessed to be his mother.
Happy Birthday Quayde! I hope this year is full of new fun adventures for you and lots of things that make you happy!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
When I first saw these plates at Target, I fell in love with them! At the time we were still living in Prescott and I already had three different sets of (old) dishes so I very well could not justify purchasing something if I already had more than enough. Hello... give away everything to Goodwill...move across the country and all of a sudden I need new dishes..oh darn. Well, since our budget is really tight right now, I redeemed half of my points at MyPoints for a Target gift card. Whooo Hoooo! Two sets with the gift card only costs $5. Bonus: the colors match all the rooms that we might possibly eat in. They just make me feel all happy inside when we eat. I'm easy to please I guess.
Next fun thing: Contraband! Our government, seems to think the American people are just stupid. So they outlaw amazing incredibly fun things like Kinder Eggs. For the past seven years these great eggs have been part of our holiday celebrations. They are becoming harder and harder to acquire because well... they are not allowed to be in the United States anymore. They are chocolate eggs that are hollow and inside are these great little toys. In Europe the toys sometimes become collectibles. You would be amazed at how they can have little airplanes and tops all crammed in to such a tiny container.
I tried multiple ways to acquire some this year. All of my efforts had failed. Oh yeah for a husband with European connections. Although they didn't make it for Christmas, we have had a great deal of enjoyment playing with and eating them now. I have a major thank you note to write to our secret supplier. Feels good to be a little bad. hehehe
ps: the other one next to it is a little bit loose too!
Monday, January 10, 2011
My heart has been very heavy in trying to figure out how to respond to a reaction. I must respond because this is my blog and what I write here is based on our family's activities and life together. The hard times and the good times are both included.
In August, I started trying to incorporate in my thoughts each day the concept: Noble Intent. That is I try to approach every one and every action coming from another with the thought that these people are acting from their highest self and from noble intent.
Now, I know this isn't really always true. Since I have started this there has been much peace that has come to my soul, my heart has changed and has truly helped me love others so much more. I am learning how to more deeply love even those that I do not know. Some times it is not easy to imagine what someone's highest, noblest intent might be when they are being selfish or petty. I imagine scenarios or how they might be afraid or feeling insecure; that way I can send loving energy their way. My deepest desire is that I might be more like my Savior Jesus Christ, that someday I might be able to see everyone and automatically feel love. I have a long way to go I am sure. I believe though that my heart's intent will help me grow to be better.
Honestly, why wouldn't you want others to feel loved and appreciated in all ways. Loving others never, ever takes away from loving someone else. Love always grows, it does not diminish.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
It has been quite warm here over the last weekend and this snowman is no more. Thayne and Quayde worked really hard last week on creating him. In the end a small boy and a large one destroyed him bit by bit and all that remains is a memory.
Chaiya created some stunning earrings that Nana received.
Chaiya danced around the family room with her new chair on her head. Just like the mushrooms in the old Fantasia movie. It was great!
BEST GIFT of the evening!!! Maliea asked to have a donation to Heifer International given in her name. She received a letter telling her to check her email that contained a thank you card to her. She gave a flock of ducks and a flock of chickens. Maliea just glowed the rest of the evening. She said it was the best present ever!
The rest of the evening was spent playing games, eating treats, having lots of fun with Nana! We had our traditional poppers that make us all look a little goofy with our paper crowns.
I just love this crazy boy of mine!
Oh what fun! Nana brought the Mexican Train game and taught all the kids how to play.
We laughed at jokes and then Lydia ended up with just about every one's little prizes. There was a lot of little girlie type ones and Lydia was thrilled. I love this picture of Nana even if she doesn't.
I honestly think that Maliea was the happiest all evening long. She has a true service heart and was just so touched by the animals that were donated. I think she will shine all year long.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Amazing things are happening! Yesterday we took our Nana, who is visiting, down to our beach. We packed a picnic lunch and were excited to show her our new magical place. Before we sat down to enjoy our meal, a hike down across the sand was in order. Coming from Arizona, the beach...well any beach, feels special. The fact that we now have a beach in our own backyard is amazing. I am overwhelmed at all the possibilities of exploring nature that are surrounding us.
Michael had just mentioned hearing something about horseshoe crabs being in the area. Not even ten minutes later, Quayde starts yelling for us to come see what they found.
It was really cool! Of course it wasn't alive anymore, just its shell. While we were investigating all its pieces and parts, we found something else.....
A Shark's tooth!!!
Apparently these are to be found commonly around these parts, if you know what you are looking for. We had hoped to find some but were so surprised when we actually did. This just was a great highlight to a perfect afternoon. It was 50+ degrees and just right for spending a afternoon together. We have been having an amazing time learning about our new 'neighborhood'.
ps.. he really loves it here!