Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Lovin'

I love flowers in containers. On porches, patios, decks, playhouses, etc. etc. etc. I love them here, I love them there, yes! I love them everywhere. A few years ago, my husband built a window box and then we moved to a new house and never used it....until this past weekend. We decided it would be perfect for hanging underneath our kitchen window that faces the backyard. Turns out, it looks lovely. (at least, in my opinion) Here it is in all it's glory. Freshly painted and freshly planted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Days

My little strawberry pickers.

We've been on official Summer Break now since last Thursday afternoon. It's exciting for the girls to have their big sister home now. I enjoy not having to iron school clothes, make school lunch for Miss Picky Pants, try to remember everything I'm suppose to send to school with her each day, sign up for things for her classroom, etc. etc. It's been lovely. And now Monday came and the girls are tired of each other already and bored and sick of PB&J. Time to pull out 'The LIST'. My list. I've been working on this list for a few weeks and waiting for the appropriate time to pull it out. I knew the boredom would ensue just a few days into Summer Break and I needed to be ready. Our first day of S.B. we went strawberry picking. Thanks to our friend, Kylee, I went to the only strawberry patch I had ever heard of around here. It was fun and the girls LOVED it. Absolutely LOVED it. {Did I mention how much they LOVED it?} It took me longer to drive there than it did to pick 2 gallons of berries, but it was so fun....and now I have yummy strawberries ready for me to use whenever I feel the need.

Then, my parents and brother came that night to spend the night with us on their way to the beach for some R&R. It was good to see them and the girls LOVED seeing them. I am glad I live on the way to the beach.

Saturday we spent the whole day outside working in the yard and such. It was hot and humid, but we managed to get enough done and the kids enjoyed playing outside on their slip n slide.

Sunday we were at church most of the day except a few hours in the afternoon in which we declared naptime for all. And we let the girls watch The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. Our oldest loved it and understood most of what was going on. Our middle girl loved it and was entertained the whole time, even though she doesn't quite get what's happening. But I'm glad the girls liked it, it's a good movie for family night every once in awhile.

Today we stayed home all day and tried to get some things done, but it being Monday means grouchy kids at some point throughout the day and it was a challenge to get much done. Hoping tomorrow will be better for them.

Tomorrow we plan to go to a local baseball game in the afternoon which my girls haven't been to, yet. So, I think they will love it and they will be surprised because we won't tell them until we need to.

It's been a busy summer so far and we've only just begun. My list for the rest of the summer includes:
  • Giving the girls a responsibility chart - {Did this today!} so they can have specific duties to perform daily/weekly and contribute to the household to-do list.
  • Frequent library trips to cultivate a love for reading and to grab a few movies here and there for those rainy afternoons that happen. {We've been twice already and Firstborn is currently reading the Little House on the Prairie series and is on Book 2.}
  • Teaching the girls etiquette and practicing these manners in real-life situations. There are some things we need to work on and this summer will be perfect for that.
  • Food Preparation 101 - teaching the two oldest how to measure, mix and prepare food so that they can start helping out with dinner. This will help them to have something constructive to do while I am getting meals ready instead of complaining and whining about starving to death. And it will teach them very practical things that they will use the rest of their lives.
  • Table Setting - they will learn how to properly set the table in a variety of situations. And then, they will be responsible for this chore daily. {They are excited about this!}
  • Grocery Shopping Tips - how to find items in the grocery store - kind of like a mini scavenger hunt to keep them entertained and being helpful in the store instead of fighting with each other and being a hindrance.
  • Picnics, visits with friends, scavenger hunts in the park/downtown, etc.
  • At some point in the summer, the girls will host a tea party for their friends and they will use the manners & skills they've learned and make the food, set the table, serve their guests, etc. It will be the magnum opus of all they learn in the next several weeks. It gives them something to work toward and look forward to, but will also bring great satisfaction {hopefully} to know that they are capable of doing something so fun for their friends.
  • And let's not forget vacation!!!!! {My personal favorite thing on the list.}

So, that will be our summer in a nutshell. I have been brainstorming for a few weeks about all the things we can do this summer for free or very cheap and these were some of the things I came up with. There are others, but I'm too tired to go find my list right now. This morning the girls made a fort under my dining room table and this afternoon when I walked in the dining room I noticed a paper on one of the chairs. It was their 'to-do' list for today and I thought I'd share it with you:

Oh, to be a kid again. And by the way, only the baby slept today, so I don't know why sleep is on the list 3 times!! And 'crat' is suppose to be 'craft'. I thought this was cute and so typical of summer in a child's mind.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Craft Therapy

Thanks to a company {that will remain nameless} not keeping up with their aircraft maintenance, my husband has been having to work many extra hours. This might not be a big deal to a normal family, but to three little girls that absolutely love their daddy {and REALLY miss him when he's not here}, 14 hour days & weekends are not fun. The emotional rollercoaster was really wild around here and I haven't even mentioned my own feelings about it. Let's not go there. So, to make time pass a little faster and to channel the emotional energy that three little girls generate, I had to get creative. I'm not a crafty person. I can sew. I enjoy it. But I only enjoy it when I'm in the mood to sew. I can't just sew on demand. My children, on the other hand, love crafts. My sister got all the crafty genes, so I only craft in desperate being alone with all three girls for numerous hours/days. Forseeing that it would be a very long, tiring weekend I made a trip to the Hobby Lobby. Really, the purpose was to get a couple things for a project the girls and I were making for their daddy's birthday which was this past Friday. But when I got there, I found a few other things that looked like fun things to do over the weekend. We found the stuff we were looking for for Hubs' gift and then began browsing the aisles {which can be very dangerous - too many great ideas and clearance deals!!}. I came across some clearanced canvas tote bags and thought they would be perfect for our many trips I have planned to the library this summer. Then, I realized canvases were on sale and I've been eyeing some canvas art for awhile now, but knew I would never pay the price asked when I could most likely do it myself. So, I put the canvas in my cart along with some paint and some other supplies I thought I'd need and we headed to the fabric department. Found the trim I needed to finish off an apron-dress I had made with some leftover fabric. Then, we decided to head home. These are the finished products....

Here are the girls' tote bags {not quite done, but they loved squirting paint all over them}

This is the apron-dress I made for my Middle Girl. I still need to add some big round buttons below the straps in front, but she likes it.

cowgirl apron flap - hence the name of the dress.

And here is my latest and greatest. This was my inspiration. I have been wanting to add more Scripture to our home in the form of art, and I am very pleased with the results {especially the way the letters are all different shapes/shades}.

I used:

18"x24" canvas

Barn Red acrylic paint (watered down just a little for the streak effect)

Chipboard lettering

Stencil Adhesive

I plan to do more of these in different sizes around the house. So easy and very affordable!