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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Big Purge of 2010

Lately I’ve been consumed with The Big Purge. I’ve let things pile up in our basement, and a recent episode of Hoarders got my attention…..Our basement could have been featured on that show. Yikes.


People are generous. Over the years, good neighbors have seen our big family and have wanted to donate to us. Suddenly we’ll look outside and our neighbor has tossed something over his fence into our yard as a gift to our family. We’ve received everything from small sized swimming pools to entertainment centers from our neighbors. Our fellow church goers too, have given unexpected trucks, dolls and cradles for the kids. Factor in a few years of birthdays, Christmases, Easters and all the rest and it becomes out of control. If I am not diligent, these things pile up as they end up becoming more than what our five children can possibly play with in the course of a day.

We are grateful for these generous donations to our cause. We really are. But too much is too much.

Ever feeling the need t…

Sewing for Dummies

Just a Day in the Life.......


Thinker:  Mom, Can I see the new patterns you just bought?

Mom handing some over to her:  Sure, here's a few new ones.

Thinker:  Why does this one say it's for "Dummies"?

Mom laughing:  Hum....I guess they think Mom's a "Dummy"....

Thinker hugging Mom:  No way!  You're NO Dummy!  That's mean!  They shouldn't call people that!  Maybe they should call these something else.

Mom:  Yes, you're right.  What name should they call these patterns for people new to sewing?

Thinker:  Hum....."Sewing Patterns for.....Hum.......Sewing Patterns for...... Newbies!"

Summertime Fun

I love summer. We take time to enjoy these little things, the baby Robins, a lonely red flower amidst the weeds, the bold drangonfly....and the anticipation of tasty red tomatoes.  As we all work on the great virtue of gratitude (see my Gratitude Post), appreciating these 'little' things, hopefully it will prepare us to appreciate the big things too, and not always be looking for the "more" in life, but to appreciate the beauty that is all around us....

Nest of Baby Robins Have now been pushed out into the world


The Neverending Weed Pulling Task


Our Friendly Neighborhood Dragonfly

Waiting for Red

Small Successes Thursday - It's All About The Numbers

1.) Sorted THREE kids' school cubbies, created a FOURTH for the next one in line for Kindergarten.

2.) Started Massive Basement Purge - Accumulation of clothing for SEVEN kids in TWELVE years (my kids and sister's kids) counted FIFTY bins, Hum.......think we like to shop?

3.) Rid backyard of THIRTEEN munks. Good riddends. Finally the flowers and vegetable garden are safe....Now....about those bunnies...


To participate in Small Successes go here!.

Fostering An Atmosphere of Gratitude

This summer a very large gift will be presented to our family, and ordinarily I accept gifts happily. I've struggled to accept this one. Have you ever gotten a gift that seems extravagant beyond expectation and have you struggled to accept it? Perhaps it's a good problem to have.
I found that in the formation of my children I have struggled with the world around us to set a good example for them. Society today has a sense of entitlement and immediate gratification. "I don't want to work for it, and I want it now" kind of attitude is just not what I want my children to learn.

This gift, this summer is beyond what HH and I could afford to provide for them. It's a gift for us as well as for the children. While HH and I know clearly the financial situation, we can recognize this gift as a truly grand one, one that will probably never be duplicated again. The children, on the other hand, don't know that. I don't want to raise their levels of expectation …

Frugalness and Faith in My Fellow Man

Having taken a sewing class at my favorite store, Jo Ann's, I have gotten up enough courage to start a few sewing projects here or there. (I'll post on those another day!) What I have done, though, is find great deals on fabric from all our trips to Jo Ann's, finding summer crafts for the kids, and always seeing what cute fabric is on sale. For a while there, I had these grey Jo Ann bags, scattered throughout the house, some in the laundry room, my bedroom, even on top of my sewing machine.
I'm an organizer. When these things start to pile up, I FEEL unorganized, and I simply can't function until these things are put in their proper place. It's a little OCD, I admit it. I looked online for something that might work as an organizational structure for fabrics, crafts etc....and most of what I really liked were so expensive, that I just gave up hope. I went to the Container store online, boy I love that one!, and never really found something that would work.
I want…

New Blog Design

Let me tell you, I drained myself of any creative juices, used Photoshop and all, and just couldn't get it to look the way I wanted. I played around with the HTML...thinking perhaps the widths just aren't right,....OH MY GOODNESS.


Finally, I sat and really thought about what I am trying to do with this blog.....well, as my JPII quote states, I really do believe the world will go as the family went before it....and so I got a bit more simplistic, and took an old picture of mine, turned it black and white, and stopped forcing something that I just don't have: the gift of artistry.

I wish I could mesh those colors together, create something truly pleasing to look at...but I relent. It's just not my talent. And so I have made this simple again.

In a lot of ways, my blog-break-time, has been a time to get simple again.....back to the simple pleasures of life: examining the bugs the children bring me, or watching the hummingbirds fly passed me in the yard, or even just sitt…

A Feast Fit For A King.....of His Home

Happy Father's Day!!
"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man! "  Count of Monte Cristo


Blog Procrastination

There's only one good reason to be procrastinating on blog posts.....time with the family. And that's just what I have been doing. It has been so good to spend time with them, have those important conversations with them, and get to know them a bit better these past few weeks....
And so I do apologize, I am later than ever in posting something of worth, but here's a few pictures to enjoy. This is just a taste of our time outdoors lately, raspberry tasting, flower smelling, basil sampling and taking some time to swim. 
I have taken some classic black and white of the children and I wish I could post them here. They turned out beautifully, but I have long been firm on the anonymity of this blog, using nicknames and cartoons to represent each member of our little family.  But I tell you, simply taking pictures of them, capturing a moment here or there has been good for my soul.
I can see I am slowing moving out of grouch mode, and to a much better place of peace and joy....and …

*Waging War* Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. To participate go here!


1.)  In the battle of Man vs Chipmunk:  Us: 6.  Them:  3 flower beds, 1 cracked concrete porch, 1 basil pot.
I *think* we're winning.

2.) In the battle of the moods:  Am back taking multi-vitamin - I'm winning the war against malnutrition - hello IRON for energy!

3.)  In the battle of the Screaming To-Do List.  Half way done.

Grouch

Yep, that's me. Grouch. I haven't posted anything of substance lately because I have not been in the disposition to write anything uplifting or motivating....and that's the stuff I usually like to concentrate on....


It's the end of the school year, and for some unknown reason, the school has decided to make the last few weeks a time of cramming in all they forgot to do in the last few months. I don't mean school work, it's those social activities that are being compounded at every turn, which regrettably cost $20 here or $60 there, or require baking for three grade levels....I am going nuts just to keep up. And my complaints around the house have us all in an Oscar the Grouch type mood.

Truth be told, perhaps it isn't the costs of these things that have me grouchy....it's the last minute-cram it in- no forewarning that I just don't appreciate. I'm a planner. If I can plan it out, all will be well, and prepared for. If you surprise me, I am out …

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Mr. Carefree's 2nd Grade Artwork

A Curious 9 Year Mind

As the children get older, I find that I am shifting in my normal responses....What once was 'We'll see' or 'I don't think so' has turned into, 'I don't know if I have all the supplies for that', or 'That's an interesting idea'!


Recently our Thinker, has been doing just as her nickname suggests, pondering the possibilities. She has been studying in her Science class about how fruit gives us the nutrients of water, as well as all the rest....carbohydrates from bread, protein from meat and nuts and so forth.
She decided to make an experiment. Can a seed grow using only the water from a piece of fruit? What a concept. When she asked me this question, I had no idea, perhaps it could. She came up with her plan, asked for a piece of fruit, a small amount of soil and a few seeds to create this experiment, and away she went, planning and documenting.
I am guessing the fruit will mold before we see any life come from the planted flower seeds in the…

Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. To participate go here!


1.) Cleaned out master bedroom, including nursing wear from over a year ago. Time for an ebay auction!

2.) Taught Entertainer the difference between 'double' and 'devil'....Darn that 'b' and 'v'!

3.) Made low-cal / high sodium seafood dinner last night. Yummmm, shrimp!

In Progress:
4.) After they dug up my just-planted-flowers, I have declared war: made chipmunk trap, am awaiting first capture.