Wednesday, August 13

first time fishing, so long summer

The other night I did family photos for some long time family friends. It was great. We took pictures, we fished, had pizza and sundaes. Cora and Ada fished for the very first time, and they loved it. It just so happened that we did this on our last official Sunday night of summer vacation, which made me feel a little sad. Summer is over? Already? Max starts first grade today, and Cora starts preschool next week. Ada doesn't do any school yet, and I'm sure she is going to be truly upset about this once it sets in.

Summer went by in a blink. I am excited for all the new things starting up, but of course am a little sad about summer ending. Sigh. Maybe we didn't do many on our summer list, but we spent many a days here at home, on the porch and in the garden. I honestly love home days. Playing on the porch with kitty days. Picking all the veggie days. I love just being with the kids. Not really doing much of anything.

So, so long summer. Until next year...

Friday, August 8

happy

Sunflowers are just so happy. I love them so much, and I don't think we will ever have a garden without them. That first picture is a new one we tried this year: a Teddy Bear sunflower. It is just so cute! Petals upon petals make a very furry little sunflower.

What are your favorite "happy flowers?"

Tuesday, August 5

a {finished} project

I love projects. I guess you could say that I am a project hoarder. I have ideas for days. I love to look at Pinterest and find all kinds of ideas for things: decorating, recipes, quilts, you name it. The only problem with this is the fact that I never seem to complete any of these wonderful ideas I find. Sometimes I even buy supplies for all these ideas just so have them sit around. Forever. Probably about a month ago I bought some frames at an auction. There was absolutely nothing special about them, I just felt like I needed them. Here are my $5 frames:
All three, $5. (Plus two more super ugly and huge plastic ones that I put in the dumpster.)
These frames then sat on the front porch for a few weeks. I finally decided that I needed to do something with them because I was tired of looking at them in their ugly state.

This next picture has nothing to do with this project. It is just my new kitty named Blue, who I think is the prettiest feline ever. Long story: Ada's little kitten Mittens was playing under my van one morning before we ran out to do a few errands. I was in a hurry and didn't even check under the van before we left. Mittens was run over, and I was heartbroken. Ada loved that kitty. So, I texted my friends with the kitties and, yes, thank God, they had more still available. Ada got her a new little tiger kitten, and I got Blue. I couldn't resist. It looks like all of his extremities have been dipped in chocolate:
Back to the project. Lack of time is probably the biggest reason I don't really do too many of my fun ideas. Another reason is that I always have "help". Three little eager helpers. Lately thought, I am trying to include them more in things I want to get done. They, after all, are a lot like me, and really want to do fun creative things. Hello. Yes, it is harder with help. Yes, it is messier. Way messier. Yes, I have to let go of my perfectionistic ways. It is worth it. (Usually!)

So, while Ada was napping, the older two kids and I mixed up a batch of chalk paint. Not chalkboard paint, but chalk paint. I have heard all the rage about chalk paint and how great it is for furniture and other small projects that you want to look distressed. You don't have to prep your surface (sanding) you just paint away and then distress it with sandpaper after it is dry.

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cups paint
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup plaster of Paris

Dissolve the plaster of Paris in the hot water, then mix into the paint.

For the paint I think it would work best to use latex paint like you would use for your walls. {I used leftover paint from our living room.} I bet acrylic paint would also work.

I loved the chalk paint. Covered really well, sanded beautifully. Now, I don't have any experience with "real" chalk paint, so I can't say how it compares to the real deal.

The kids and I covered the frames in one thick coat. Cora used lots of paint. I smoothed a lot of hers out.
Here are the frames finished! It was really fast because it took only one coat, then they seemed to dry quickly too. I roughed up the edges a little with sandpaper.

We put the "new" frames in the little reading corner of the living room. My mom helped me get them all hung up. It was so weird: They all fit perfectly in this little arrangement like I had measured and planned everything out. Nope, just luck! I propped the little bird painting in the corner just for fun. I painted that forever ago. I think it will be fun to put seasonal things in the frames. (Pictures, garlands, etc.)

It feels good to finish a little project. It feels double good to have that same project be so cheap! If you count the Command Strips we used to hang the frames, and the plater of Paris, this project topped out around $15. (The plaster of Paris came in a big tub for $4. I'll be able to use it for the rest of my life probably!)

Tuesday, July 29

lately

Hello! Things have been busy lately!

Our garden is booming (mostly with zucchinis as big as my youngest child), and we are enjoying the unseasonably cool weather. Really cool! The kids and I ate ice cream yesterday outside and we were cold so we finished eating in the car!

We are also starting to get ready to head back to school in a couple weeks, and I have been in a constant state of wonder about where our summer went.

I have been bad about taking pictures with my big camera, but have taken lots with my phone. I'm a little bit sad about this, but cutting myself a little slack. I put a few photos in a local show, and won some prizes! That was exciting.

I have made a discovery that my entire day is much better if I can get up before the kids and just have some time by myself. So hard to do, but so worth it. I am trying to convert myself into a morning person.

Life is good, and I am thankful.

Tuesday, July 15

new kitty

About two weeks ago we got new kittens. They are so cute, and the kids are really enjoying them. Especially Ada:
This picture cracks me up. The cat is making eye contact with me--sending out a slight look of desperation. Ada's kitten is named Mittens, and that little cat is the most tolerant thing I've ever seen. I don't know why she doesn't just run and hide whenever she sees Ada coming for her, but she doesn't. She gets lots of love and squeezes. We are learning about proper ways to hold a cat: under the arms, not around the neck. Hold them tight, but not too tight.

Slowly she is learning. Mittens is glad!


Tuesday, July 8

simple

We had a very simple Fourth of July. Not many plans, really just us at home playing in the yard. At first I was feeling bad, like I needed to do something with the kids in order to truly celebrate. Then I realized that our Independence Day, a wonderfully free day was just perfect. Free to run, free to play.

Andrew did bring home some fireworks "for the kids." All of my kids loved them. Wink. Then, I took these pictures and the day was complete. These make me want to cry. Everyday them at their best:

Hope your weekend was great!

Wednesday, July 2

(fancy) strawberry picking

Sometimes (more like all the time) time goes by so fast and I don't have time to blog. I love this little space, and I miss it when my schedule is crazy and there just isn't time. When so much time goes by without a post I never know where to start! So, today I just found a somewhat recent photo that I wanted to share.

Last year we moved our little strawberry patch from its little spot on the ground into one of our raised garden boxes. They did so much better in the box! We usually only have enough strawberries to nibble on while we play outside, but this season there was enough that I froze a few batches. Honestly though, I don't think it gets much better than a warm little strawberry right out of the garden. My favorite way by far to enjoy them.

My girls love to be fancy, and berry picking proved to be no exception:

Those bruised little legs just say "summer", don't you think? Thanks for stopping by!