Friday, June 29, 2012

7 Quick Takes - My Quirky Birthday Boy

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of my wonderful and quirky eldest child and we had his party a few days ago.  He asked for a "Lord of the Dance" birthday.  Yep.  Other than a small community ed. Irish dancing class three years ago and seeing the show last year, this isn't something we've had a huge role in...we don't even own the DVD.  The boy just likes the drama and story and heroism of the show and the music.  So a Lord of the Dance birthday it was.

He set this all up.  Tickets were given at the door to be turned in here.

The living room was transformed into a theater.
And his wonderfully patient Grand and Godparents were treated to the show that he has been dreaming about performing for months.  

Uncanny resemblance to the great Flatley, no?  Seriously he started working on this costume in the morning, even sewing his waist piece thing together to look just like the Lord of the Dance cover.  This kid is too much.

Not my best work but in my defense, I was constrained by the theme...

We got him the DVD!  I can just picture him studying the moves and trying to replicate...

My happy birthday guy.  Oh, I love this boy.  Happy 8th birthday, my beautiful, wonderfully quirky John Paul!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along

There hasn't been a whole lot of time to be knitting lately but I did get to begin this Gift Wrap Romper for my cousin's yet to be born little one.  I'm so excited for them!  Her husband had mentioned that they would love some knits for the baby and I more than happily obliged.  Who can resist knitting something that adorable especially when they have the same taste as you in baby clothes?  They don't know the gender of the little one and she likes neutrals and earth tones anyway so I'm knitting this in a variegated Peruvian wool in light tans and cream.  If it wasn't for someone I was super excited for I'm thinking I may have a hard time giving this away.  Did I mention that she using our awesome midwife for a home birth?  Yes, I am excited for them :)

I forgot to take a picture of the little hats I knit last week for Dwija's new baby girl.  Go congratulate her and check out that precious little bundle.  Her name is Mary.  I love her already.  And since Dwija is busy sleeping and nursing and postpartum healing and smooching on that brand new baby, maybe she won't notice if I steal the pic that she took:

I'm sort of proud of the one on the left.  It's a watermelon!!  Who doesn't want their newborn's head to resemble a giant fruit, I ask you?  I used the pattern for this On the Sunny Side hat and got all inspired and happened to have the perfect colors so out it came.  I don't recommend the pattern, to be honest.  It's really picky and has some hard stitches but I kept at it because I just had to finish it.  You know what I'm like when I get an idea in my head.  The hat on the right is yet another Simple Newborn Hat with a Touch of Lace from Ginny.  It's my go-to new baby gift hat.  I really have some pent up girly knitting inside of me that I must get out.  My sister just found out that their newest little blessing is a girl.  I am SO on it.

Anyway, you know what's cool?  I love really love it.  I enjoy it so much and miss it when I don't have enough time for it.  I love being able to create something usable and hopefully beautiful from a simple ball of yarn.  I love that it's a way I can show people I care about them.  I love that I can use the time on the needles praying for and thinking about the person for whom I'm knitting.  I love that it's a way for me to welcome precious new life into the world and show how I excited I am for their arrival.  I love that it keeps my hands busy and forces me to sit down sometimes.  I love that it takes skill and your brain still needs to work and it sometimes even involves math (yes, I'm that nerdy).  I now love that John Paul is playing baseball despite the commitment.  It gives me a designated time to SIT.  I can bring a project along and still pay attention to the game (they aren't that fast moving after all ;) and all is good.  As long as Luke isn't stuffing grass into his mouth which has been his new favorite pastime. 

Reading on the other hand?  That doesn't happen all that often anymore.  If I have that time of sitting, my choice is to be on the needles and knitting rather than reading and there's just not that much down time around here.  Not that I don't want it or miss it.  There's just only so much time in a day.  I just began Kirsten Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset since I've heard such rave reviews from a whole variety of people.  I'm only a chapter or so in so I can see this taking a very long time to get through which is perfectly okay except that I only have one renewal left at the library.  I'm looking forward to seeing what all the excitement is about and sharing in some much needed intellectual discussion with friends.

Check out the rest of Ginny's Yarn Along!  In the meantime, we've got a big fun times ahead...please keep Greg and Caitlin in your prayers as they prepare for and celebrate their marriage! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grasshoppers for Saint John

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist!  Fun catechetical tidbit:  He and the Virgin Mary are the only two lucky saints who get to celebrate their earthly birth within the liturgical calendar of the Church.  St. John because his birth marked the beginning of the new Covenant, according to Scripture.  Mary, because she's Mary and she was kinda important in the whole making salvation available to us sort of thing.  The rest of the saints' feast days usually occur on the anniversary of their earthly death, or if that one is taken, a day close by or of other significance.  

So today we observed the feast of the prophet who dined on locusts and honey with my own version of Grasshopper Parfaits.  (For lunch we had peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  They pretty much have that every day.  But I'm all about finding the catechesis in even the mundane and ordinary so it totally counts.)

So simple and since the ingredients are all organic, it's completely healthy.  Ahem.

Crush a whole bunch of mint flavored sandwich cookies.  I used our immersion blender's chopper attachment which is the awesomest tool ever.  Make the pudding according to the box but add a few drops of peppermint extract and chill.  (I'm getting really gourmet for you now, aren't I?)  Whip up a cup of raw cream with 2 tbsp. confectioner's sugar and a few drops of the peppermint extract.  (Fine, you can use pasteurized cream if you must.  But don't tell me if you're using 'whipped topping'.  I can't take it.)

Layer the cookies, pudding, and whipped cream in a fancy little dish (these ones happened to be part of my recently bestowed heirlooms from my Grandpa).  Chill the parfaits in the fridge.

Before we indulged we did a little bit of grasshopper hunting in order to earn our treat.  

It was hot and the hoppers were elusive.  We weren't able to catch anything but a tiny cricket.  
We didn't eat it.

Instead we enjoyed our treat in honor of the great voice crying out in the wilderness.  
I'm sure he would've liked parfaits.

Friday, June 22, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Did any of you watch the Nick Wallenda walk across Niagara Falls?  I admit, I didn't really think much about it even though it was all we were hearing about in the news out here for at least a week.  But then I watched.  And was amazed.  And just a wee bit nauseous.  I can barely look at the Falls and refuse to take my children there until I can figure out some sort of harness system that ropes us all together.  I can't even stomach the thought of a toddler near those death inviting so-called barriers they have there.

John Paul has requested a "Lord of the Dance" birthday for his big day next week.  What almost 8 year old boy asks for that?  Michael Flatley on a cake?  For sure.  More than anything he wants to perform a show for the guests coming.  His initial dream was to have his cousins and friends join him but I think he may have to settle for just his brothers. He cracks me up sometimes.

"You just sold our couch, didn't you?" 
- Brian to me the other night as he came in from the backyard and saw an unfamiliar car leaving the house.
What, you don't surprise sell your furniture, too?  Good for me that he thinks I'm cute.  Usually.

We may not get any pears from our fourteen pear trees this season because of that early spring and late frost we had.  So so sad.

And in the garden we are having a to the death battle with cucumber beetles.  Again.  I hate these demon bugs.  Any suggestions welcome.  I have been paying the boys a penny for each one they kill but they're tricky to get and there are hundreds.  We will be trying neem oil extract next.  People say wonderful things about it so I'm hoping it will work.  Other than that, the garden has been doing really well so far!

My baby sister is getting married NEXT WEEK!  Lots to get done before then but it'll be fun exciting exhausting times, for sure.  We get to see my sister in law and nieces that we haven't seen in over two years!  So looking forward to seeing them and letting the boys play with their cousins!

It has been hot hot hot here the past few days.  These are the days I'm grateful for a shaded house and somewhat breezy porch.  Even still the house has been 85 degrees which makes for sweaty nursing sessions and not a whole lot of energy to take on the day.  Need to find a pool.

Visit Jen for some more Quick Takes!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

I took a picture of each one of these kiddos in the place where they like to hang out with their Papa most...

And got this:

Inspired by an idea here.
He liked it :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Garden Journal

Oh, the garden!  It's here and there has been much work done but I haven't chronicled any here until today!  Every year I get overwhelmed with how wild the garden is at the beginning of spring until the husband goes in and does some of the bulk work.  Then I love being in there and planting and making it look pretty and neat and organized.  That sounds very us, doesn't it?  

We got a fairly early start doing some work in March during that crazy warm streak and we did start many seeds inside in the basement.  But we still didn't get the bulk of it planted outside until the end of May.  Since then we've been working on preventing weeds and doing a little bit of harvesting.

 Many of the seeds in the basement didn't take but some did.  We just don't have a great place in our house for seeds.  No direct sunlight anywhere in the main house.  We did it under lights but I think it was still too cold down there to be very productive.  Next year we have thoughts of some sort of cold cover so we can maybe just start some outside.

Right Boxes
Front box:  Sugar Baby Watermelon and Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe
Middle:  Celery (from nursery), Carrots (Tendersweet and Danvers), Yellow and Red Bell Peppers, Red potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes  (we got the packs of potatoes from Aldi's of all places for 99 cents on clearance...worth a shot, right?)
Back:  Cherry Tomatoes (from the nursery).   The whole thing :)

Left Boxes
Front:  Broccoli (we have never been successful with broccoli), Marketmore cucumbers, strawberries
Middle:  Mixed gourds on the trellis, Yellow Summer Squash, Black Beauty Zucchini
Back:  Tomatoes (Roma, Lemon Yellow, Brandwine (all from nursery), and a few mysteries that sprouted up from last years crop!)

Along the Back Fence
Snow Peas, Maestro Peas (not doing well), Spinach (didn't even sprout...), Grand Rapids Lettuce, Ruby Red Lettuce, Parris Island Romaine Lettuce, Walla Walla Onions (from the nursery), Yellow Spanish Onions (sown but not sprouted)

Along the Left and Right Sides
Beans!  Bountiful Stringless Snap, Top Crop, Gold Crop, Kentucky Wonder, and Provider
They've been coming up great but the slugs(?) have been working on them...

Along the Front
Corn experimental and yet to even be planted, Lady Girl Lavender, Curled Parsley, Sweet Basil

In front of the fence we hope to put sunflowers soon.  Just need to figure out the precautions to take to keep the resident bunny and hens away from them.

We have had huge success letting the grass in the yard grow, mowing it, then raking the hay to spread around the plants.  It is so worth the initial work with how well it keeps the weeds out and keeps water in!  (And bonus you have a legitimate reason for being lazy with the lawn mowing dutiesl!)

Our zucchini and squash are doing so well so far!  Last year we got barely any zucchini.  Since this picture, it has taken off and so far we've only seen two cucumber beetles that were the culprit of last year's devastation.  Once the flowers bloom, we'll have to be very diligent about squishing duty.  

Michael especially enjoys the work and progress of the garden.  He can tell you all about what is planted where and how they need to be tended.  It's pretty neat.

I tried to get Brian to cut down this sickly non-productive apple tree right in the middle of the garden.  But I have been informed that it is the shirt hanging tree.  It has one more year to prove itself before my request will be heeded.

We were able to enjoy a tiny strawberry harvest before the birds and slugs got the rest.  They're supposed to be ever bearing so we'll see if we get any more this year.  Hoping that maybe the blueberries we planted over in the far edge of the yard last year will give us a little love this year.

Hope to give a few more updates as the growth continues!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Our preying mantises (manti?) hatched!  I'm not sure if both egg sacs or just one because you really can't tell but we released them all into the garden and left both the sacs under the leaves just in case there's more.  They're cute now but they're all creepy and alien-like when they're big, aren't they?  I'm going to get over it, though, because we are counting on them to eat all the other evil crop-destroying bugs.

See 'em?

We went strawberry picking yesterday.  It was good, but it was also one of those things that will be much better lived in the memory than it was in real life.  But at least we'll have jam.

It's like that with a lot of things, isn't it?

I was led to a great article about raising boys and helping them live chastely during the teen years.  It gives very practical advice and I'm grateful for it.  I highly recommend reading it if you have a boy.  Related, I also wish that the age of Confirmation in our diocese was MUCH lower.  Sixteen is far too late, in my opinion.

Today our meat chickens lives will be coming to an end and hopefully by night, our freezer will be full.  The husband and friend will be handling it without the aid of the wives this time.  Can't say I'm too disappointed.  But I DID help last time and gutted most of them (while PREGNANT) so I'm pretty sure I'm done forever.  We're getting some turkeys soon, too!  
I may or may not be knitting the cutest little gift for Dwija's new little girl, who has been dubbed BabyUnseen.  The girl even has her own hashtag.  For real.  She's already cooler than me and she's -1 (or so) days old.  If you haven't already, say a prayer for Dwija during these last days of pregnancy.  Pray for a happy and holy birth and that the poor girl gets some sleep.  You know how much you need them in those last days and weeks!

This is the photo my husband said I should've used in my post about how Luke is the best most squeezable baby ever (in our family this year).  Except it wasn't in my computer and was on his phone. 

Cutest, yes?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On That Blog

I do my best blogging in the shower.  
Oh, if you could see the awesome posts I've written in my head while enjoying those few minutes of quiet, man oh man, your mind would be blown.  But then I get out of that steamy bastion of intellectual prowess and poof!  Gone.  I always find the exact right way to say that something that's been on my mind and then by the time I get around to typing it out (often in bits and pieces throughout a day, if at all) I can't get it back.  Gone.  That's probably good sometimes.  I probably would get myself in more trouble than it's worth.  It also makes me wonder about the bestseller I could write if Apple came up with a waterproof Macbook.

Anyway, lately I've felt the need to explain some things.  So here goes.  I am, however, not currently in the shower so cut me some slack.

I've heard it said multiple times now from other mothers how when reading some blogs they end up feeling inadequate or that they've failed.  And it's said, sometimes snidely, sometimes wistfully, how these blog moms always seem to have it all together and that their lives must be perfect and the reading mom must be doing so much wrong to not feel like their life is so smoothly running.  After all they have a BLOG!  They get all that from a few paragraphs written every few days of a moment or thought that the blogger wanted to capture.

I get it, I really do.  But it's ridiculous.

Here's the thing:  there are a whole number of reasons that people choose to start a blog.  Sometimes, they feel they have something to share with the public.  Sometimes, it's to earn money.  Sometimes, it's because others have asked them to share their ideas.  Sometimes, it's a forum for recording memories.  Sometimes, it's a way to connect with family or colleagues or friends who are far away.  Sometimes, it's a way to make a name for oneself and seek fame.  Sometimes, it's an effort to chronicle thoughts.  Sometimes, it's a way to evangelize or teach.  Sometimes, it's just because it's actually pretty fun.  

I would venture to say that most of the time, it's a combination of some of these and more.

But to take a snippet of someone's life that they have chosen to allow others to see and create a whole imaginary scenario in which the blogger is always happy or always funny or always peaceful or always whatever, is ridiculous.  It is.  We all have issues.  We all have struggles.  But no one should expect others to publish them to the world simply because they don't like to see all the good and it makes the reader feel bad.  

A blog is the creation of its author.  If they want to share good, joyful, wonderful things, that is awesome.  And no one should criticize them for doing so and for leaving out the things they don't feel are worth sharing.  It's theirs.  Who knows?  Maybe it's the only good, joyful, wonderful thing that is happening to them that day.  It's like going to someone's house and then telling them it needs to be messier because it makes other people feel bad to be in a clean home.   Simply because it's clean when you arrive and the hostess is welcoming doesn't mean it's never messy or that they don't lose their temper or that they are perfectly put together in every way.  No.  It just means they cleaned up a bit because they had company coming.  In the same way, a blogger can choose how they will write and what they will write based on their personality, their motivation for blogging, their sense of privacy and respect, and more.  It is not putting on a persona of perfection to self edit.  It is simply using personal discretion.

 Sometimes I think we want to see other people's messiness.  Not because we really desire their good or because we know it will help them sort through something or to support them.  But because it makes us feel less bad.  See?  She doesn't have it all together.  Phew.  While I totally get that there is something beautiful about sharing in our struggles and finding strength and support in that, it makes my skin a bit itchy to think that sometimes it really does cross the line into desiring another person's failures.  That if we see someone doing something well or having the nerve to remark on it or record some joy in her life, we take it as a personal condemnation.  It is a sad and miserable place to be when we cannot find a way to simply be happy for others.

I love reading blogs from mothers who are doing things the way I would like.  They challenge me.  I love hearing them rejoice in their children and praise their husband and share the beauty in their homes.  Oh, sometimes it stings a bit when I know it is something I need to work on.  But you know what?
It means that it is possible.   And rather than begrudge them that, I will rejoice for them.
And I will allow it to give me HOPE.
Rather than look for the imperfections that are not shown,
I will choose to look to them for advice in finding that beauty in my own home.
How BLESSED we are to have others who have gone before us that can teach us a thing or two!  What a GIFT to be able to learn from others who have different gifts!

When it comes to my own little blog, my motivations are now many.

First and foremost, this blog is about the family He has given me and the life with which I have been blessed.  I have a horribly poor memory.  Having this blog and knowing that there are people reading it keeps me accountable for recording the memories that previously evaporated leaving me sad and frustrated.  It's about giving my children their story, our story.  I am ridiculously bad at keeping the baby book updated and when I saw that you could pay to have your blog printed as a book, I was thrilled.  Not only could it hold dates and events but it would hold pictures and thoughts and snapshots of our little daily life from the big moments to the mundane little ramblings.

Because of this primary reason, when it comes to choosing what to post, I've made a conscious effort to not post things about my children that I would not want posted about myself.  They deserve that respect.  It's my responsibility to protect them and that to me means protecting their dignity and privacy and reputation (yes, even when they're little) by only posting things that respect that.  If I wouldn't want it posted (or Facebooked) about me, I won't do it to them.

I also blog to make me better.  I don't want to be that person who is constantly complaining and bemoaning my many sufferings.  Oh, I could choose to.  There are things I've been through I wouldn't wish on anyone and it is certainly my temperament to dwell on those hurts and struggles and pain.  But when I do that, I ignore the blessings.  That is not who I want to be.  This blog, without a doubt, has helped me to live gratefully and deepen my appreciation for living this life that I do not deserve.  It has been an intentional foray into gratitude and joy and healing.  I pray that those reading will not resent that.

There are more reasons I blog, some of them I didn't even realize until I began to do it and saw the fruits.  Perhaps I'll write more on that another day.  Suffice it to say that it has been very very good for me to be here.

  None of this is meant to be critical of people who are struggling.  Not by any means.  This is to give you HOPE.  Real hope.  Oh man, we all struggle sometimes.  Sometimes those periods of life last a long time.  And, hopefully, there are a few times when we feel we have it together, too.  I just want those who are struggling to know that it's okay.  If you feel inadequate when you are reading something or see someone else we have a choice.  We can resent them and become bitter.  We can allow our own insecurities to paralyze us.  We can beat ourselves up.  


We can address it.  If it is valid, we can work to fix it.  If they have something good that would also be good for us, we can learn from them.  We can ask for help.  We can even just simply be happy in another's joy.  And if all else fails, we can simply choose not to read it.  And that's okay, too.

There are so many ways to write and to share and to have a blog.  Certainly there is room for that and I love reading from a variety of styles.  But that blog that gives a window into beauty and joy and looks like she has it all together?

My guess is that you could write one just like it.

Because even the weeds can be beautiful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Six Months

I have never felt six months go faster in my life.  

Luke, I don't even know what to say about you.  You amaze us.  I hope it doesn't sound bad to say that we've been relishing these baby days more with you than with any of our babies.  Part of it is because we realize how these moments pass with a blink.  Part of it is because you make it so easy.

You love to sleep.  From the very beginning you just...slept.  It was strange.  You were content and so simple.  I very much appreciate that, you know, since I certainly wasn't used to it.  You still sleep.  There have only been a few weeks here and there where you've woken multiple times during the night.  You still take two to three naps a day, though they've been getting shorter.

You are sweetness itself.  You smile at everyone.  No matter how tired you may be, you still revel in seeing another person.  Especially your papa.  (He calls you his Lukapotamus.)  I love that you sit and stare at us during dinner just waiting for us to look at you.  And immediately a smile covers your face if we do.  You bring joy to people and that, sweet one, is a beautiful thing.

 You were our only baby who would sit and hang out in someone's arms and not want to be walked and carried everywhere.  (Thanks for that!)  And you don't stop moving and you bounce and step and twist and dance whenever someone is sitting still with you.  You want to fly.

You still love the bath and hanging in the water.  But you've gone from chilling in the warm water to soaking half the living room with your splashes.  You crack yourself up.  We can't get enough.  

You've started to love being outside.  You now get antsy inside if it's nice out.  It's like you know you want to be in the fresh air.  You can spend an hour watching the chickens play in the yard.  It's so sweet to watch.  You've also taken a liking to the cat, who doesn't seem to mind you grabbing fistfuls of fur whenever she passes because she just keeps coming back.   

I've said before how we just want to squeeze you all the time.  Sometimes I'm afraid we will just pop you.  But it doesn't seem to bother you so we'll just keep right on loving on you.  

It has never been clearer to me that you are a gift.  A gift I neither merited or deserved.   I know it is my job, my sacred duty, to take care of this gift because you are first and foremost His.  I have no doubt that your real Father meant for your life to be a gift to the world.  You certainly have been nothing but a gift to us.  

Love you, my sweet Luke-baby.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Making It Count :: The Calming Jar Amidst a Parental Revelation

Ugh, I don't much care for little parenting tricks such as this, I tell you what.    
Sticker charts, time-out tables, complicated chore motivationals...I admit, they irritate me.  I tend to just want to tell the boys what to do and then expect them to, you know, DO it.  Like when they're getting upset or having a fit and I say "calm down" or "stop right now" I want them to do just that.  
Except that's not reasonable on my part to expect out of a toddler or young child.  I totally realize this.  I need to be better at helping them understand and get through feelings.  I'm not even good with my own so I guess it makes sense that I struggle with helping them.  But by the grace of God I hope to not pass my little issues onto my children, you know?  Anyway, tricks such as this seem way too gimmicky to me and I see them as destined to fizzle-out rather quickly.  So I avoid them.

But here's the thing which many of you already just naturally know:  when you have multiple children, chances are high that some or all will not tick the way you do.  That perhaps their temperament may differ from yours and that (shocking enough) the things that come naturally to you don't come naturally to them.  For a melancholic choleric like me, that is sometimes a surprising and frustrating realization.  How funny that I had this post all written up last week and ready to go and then last night had a great discussion with some friends on this very topic.  

  I'm learning, though.  I'm learning that it is not a sign of parental weakness to realize that your children's temperaments differ from yours.  I'm learning that making changes in your parenting style to best suit the needs of the individual child and what will work for them is a sign of sacrifice and love and perhaps, that is how God designed it.  That in parenting, He draws us, motivated by love, to stretch outside of our comfort zones and offer ourselves, even when it rubs us the wrong way.  I hope to work on this more and really learn that one-size-fits-all may not be very effective or very loving parenting.

So with that lengthy introduction, I present to you The Calming Jar.  I saw it on Pinterest linked to this site here.  I was so desperate inspired that I decided to just ignore my gag, try it and see what happens.  (She calls it a "Mind Jar" but that was too much for me.  Even "The Calming Jar" makes me want to throw up just a little bit.  I said I'm working on it.)  The idea is that when a child is upset, emotional, or struggling to remain calm, they shake the jar and watch the glitter fall.  As the glitter falls they can picture their feelings settling and, in theory, they calm themselves down.  I can see that this might actually work (provided I can stay calm enough during a meltdown to actually implement it well).  We shall see!

I didn't use the glitter glue as she did but simply dumped a bunch of dry glitter in a jar, added water, and a few drops of food coloring.  I did have to add a small squirt of dish detergent so that the glitter would sink rather than rise to the top.  So there you have it.  My foray into sympathetic and understanding and better parenting.  Making it count, y'all!

**Update:  As I said, I wrote this last week so I'm sure you're DYING to know if it's worked thus far, right?  Well, I've only had the chance ONCE to see and it was with the newly three year old.  He was having a fit and I was all like "David, do you want to shake the calming jar and watch all the glitter fall and it's just like all these angry feelings but they're all settling and you are going to feel so calm and happy and peaceful now?"  And he was all like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"  So, really, it's going great.  

But in fairness, I don't think this is really for a three year old.  I do think it has the chance of working on the older kids.  Or it might not.  And then it'll disappear and when they're older the boys can be all like, "Remember that weird thing mom tried to do once?  With the glitter?"  And then I'll get upset.  And really wish I had a calming jar.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summertime Splurge

I guess sometimes money can buy happiness...
even when it's a two dollar splurge at yesterday's garage sale stop.

Worth every penny.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Oy, it's been busy around here these days!  
I'm not a fan of these segments where you feel like you just can't catch up.  Which is probably silly to write because nobody is, am I right?  I've been meaning to record this for a few weeks but just have not had the chance.  A few weekends ago my mom and her siblings did the last of the sorting, cleaning, and emptying of my grandpa's house.  The house sold quickly which was bittersweet and it's now empty.  But it still smells the same.  I may have to get over there one last time before the closing just to smell it (is that weird?).  They had a great system and all of the grandchildren were invited to come and label things that they would be interested in keeping, whether practical or sentimental.  The rest was packed up to be donated.  

I love having pieces of the past and my history in my home.  Even the silly things.  Like spatulas and candles.  It means something to me.  In fact, sometimes those things are even better because they are used more and you are reminded more often of the loved one who passed it along to you.  And you can pray for them and ask them to pray for you.  I think maybe it's supposed to be that way.

My boys each got to choose something that would remind them of Great Grandpa.  I love that each one of them chose something that suited them perfectly.

David made a beeline for this little rake when he saw it sitting in the garage.  Why Grandpa had a miniature rake, I have no idea but it has already been put to much use raking hay for the garden.

 John Paul went home with a box of tools and trinkets also found in the garage.  Lots of old nails, an old screwdriver, a hammer, and the like.  He has big plans for building and I'm sure Grandpa would get a kick out of whatever he creates.  (P.S.  Don't you love when I make sure to copyright photos that no one in their right mind would ever want to steal?  Delusions of grandeur, maybe?)

And Michael?  Picked these from the Christmas box.  Because they're golden.  

And I picked this plane out for Luke.  You know when you're a proud pilot, you get lots of plane-themed gifts.  I think this was supposed to be a Christmas ornament but Luke's been having a ball sucking on playing with it.

No one else seemed to want most of the table linens, some candlesticks, a pair of chairs, and a bunch of other random things I took home (you never know when you will need a vintage meat grinder/salad shooter.  Seriously, I will probably use this thing.  It's awesome.  And a bit scary.)  I've never been shy about getting most of our things secondhand and I think it is so much cooler when it is from someone you love.    I did also get this:

awesome shell plane.  And these:

stunning shell flowers.  Shut up.  They are beautiful.  And you know why they are beautiful?  Because I made them in eighth grade for my Grandpa and Grandma when I took my first ever vacation to the ocean with a friend.  And I was so proud to give them.  How cool that they saved these hideous things simply because they were given to them by their granddaughter (or likely because they were stuffed into a drawer and forgotten about until such times as these.  But still.)  It was neat to find them in the house.  Heirlooms.  I'm sure my boys will be fighting over them some day.

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