Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Need Your Input!

Alright y'all, I need your help.  I've been writing this blog since October of 2007, and keeping track of all the silly little projects I've done. 


Well, now someone (I'm not naming names...) at church started reading my blog and LIKES those projects!  I know- right after she told me, a pig flew over our heads.  

She then sheepishly admitted she'd volunteered me to teach a 5-minute lesson at an upcoming church ladies' night on...I'm not sure what.  How to make gifts for really cheap?  *grin*

So this is where I need your help:  take a look at my projects on the left...and what would YOU include?  The theme for the evening is "Retreat to Abundance" so we're looking for things that are frugal and fabulous.  

You know, like making your own ricotta- just takes a few minutes, is really inexpensive, tastes 10 times better than the store brand...and your friends are completely impressed with your mad skills.

Thanks for your help! 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Team EtsyRain Challenge

Hey there, I'm back!  My mother-in-law always says that for a few years when the kids are young, mothers never get vacations, because it takes so much work to get OUT the door, STAY somewhere, and get BACK into life when you return.  Got that right!  The girls were champs on this trip, and we had a fabulous time with Wonder Daddy's family.  

Nana has three of these eyeglass-chains now, and she LOVES them.  In fact, she wore out all three sets in the past year, so I took my beading supplies down to perform corrective surgery.

While I had everything out, I created this piece for an EtsyRain team challenge.  The theme was "Seattle Summer."  Team EtsyRain is for etsy sellers in the Pacific Northwest (which is a rather loose term), but I thought this piece reflected everything I love about our summers: lots and rain, and beautiful vibrant colors in between.  OK, I don't  love the rain...but I do love how these beads sparkle!

What do you think?  If you were to make something to remind you of local summer, what would you make?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beautiful Life: Over the River (and mountains, and the state of California)

Welcome to our friends from Melissa's Beautiful Life linky fest- glad you could stop by! Won't you say hello?

(Wonder Daddy and Uncle Fireball cleaning the bike)

It's 6:30 in the morning, and everyone is still asleep. BUT, since Mimi woke up at 5:15, and just went back to sleep (and we share a room), I'm out here while she's in there. That's OK, though. When you're visiting family, sometimes it's nice to have a quiet morning.

(Wonder Daddy heading out on a long bike ride)

We're here at my in-laws, on a trip that is soon to draw to a close. Their house backs up to a large grassland, and I'm watching cows, rabbits, and dun-colored birds eat their breakfast. We've never visited here in the Spring, and we've discovered that high desert is beautiful in May. The tumbleweeds are green and growing, and there are tiny wildflowers dotting the vacant lots. This is kind of a boom town, created a few decades ago in the middle of the desert.

(Getting ready to ride with Grandpa)

With this economic down turn, after a huge housing boom, there are too many "master planned communities" at quarter-occupancy. But, it's a nice town with lots of good schools. Cold, sunny, winters; mild, windy, springs; just-hot-enough summers (complete with monsoons a few afternoons a week), and I haven't been here in the Fall yet!

(A very hesitant and careful thumbs-up from Ernie)

Wonder Daddy's family used to live just a few miles from us. Holidays were always busy- mornings at home, afternoons and evenings spent shuttling between my grandparents and family, and his grandparents and family. It was kind of crazy, but always worth it. Two summers ago, Grandpa J was transferred/moved his family to where the Spirit prompted him. All but a few of his former co-workers have or will lose their jobs in our area, as that particular location is shutting down. So far, we've been able to come down to visit once or twice a year, with his family coming up once or twice a year.

(Mimi contemplating the slide)

It's been a beautiful, fantastic week with Wonder Daddy's family, and I'm grateful we've had the chance to visit!

(Making cookies with Nana)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beatiful Life: A little spot of earth

Welcome to our friends from Melissa's Beautiful Life linky festival- glad you could stop by!

Alright, maybe a lot of "spots."  I have a beautiful raised bed in the back yard, built by Wonder Daddy and my own Dad and brothers.  Problem is, it doesn't get a whole lot of sun.  So, it's fine for chard and bush beans, and perhaps carrots, but really doesn't get that warm.  I'm hoping my motley collection of pots will get the heat I need to grow husk cherries, green onions, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, leeks, mint, radishes, basil, and gau lak.  Because I REALLY want all those seeds and starts to work this year!

Funny thing about this mint- I planted the seeds last Spring, and NOTHING happened.  I went down last Saturday to clear the weeds from the pots and get new dirt in them, and ....well lookit that.  LOTS of mint!  Looks like there's a strawberry in there too, inexplicably.

Here's an adorable basil my mom started in her green house- I wish you could smell it!

Ah- ground cherries.  Husk tomatoes.  Little berries that grow in husks like tomatillos, dry very well, make good pies...and I've never tried before.  I'm excited to see what these do!

I picked up a bunch more pots today, so my little deck garden will be growing soon!  What are you growing this year?  Tried and trues?  Something new?  Giving up on the whole thing and firmly embracing the produce section?  Do tell!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Hi all!  Just a quick shout out to say that yes- I'm still here!

Mimi is crawling, eating spaghetti by the fistful, pulling to a stand, trying to walk, blowing raspberries on all the windows, and sleeping through the night.  Oh, and climbing stairs.  

Ernie...even though I'm with her every day, I still have a hard time believing she just started speaking English 5 months ago.  Seriously, the child is amazing.  She has so many questions, so many opinions, so many sweet things to say... and SO many "why?" questions :o)

I have two student recitals a year, and our Spring recital was Tuesday.  Goodness gracious- ALL of my students came (well, excepting the one I started last week, and one I plan on starting in two weeks) plus their parents.  I think we had nigh on 40 people in my living room!  10 students, 8 sets of parents, plus a handful of siblings...OK, maybe it was 35 people.  I didn't count.  Nearly every family brought a plate of cookies to share, though, and I made a chocolate cake.  Unfortunately, all the leftovers stayed here.  *sigh*  I sent the cake with Wonder Daddy to work, and shoved the cookies in the back of the freezer.  I have 8.5 pounds left to go!

Wonder Daddy...has his last CPA test on Friday.  If he passes this section, we are DONE!  Remember, I met him when he started his Associates Degree.  We were married when he left community college, had Ernie by the time he had his Bachelors, and were in our first house when he got his Masters.  Then he started studying for the CPA exam in all his spare time.  I have NEVER KNOWN HIM when he wasn't studying for something!  To say that Ernie is excited is an understatement.  "Daddy, you going to study, and then take test, and then...and going to come home and PLAY WITH ME!"  

Saturday, we are leaving for Nana and Grandpa's house!  We are so excited to go somewhere sunny, and be with Wonder Daddy's parents.  Nana is especially excited- she flies in an hour before we land, so she gets to meet us at the gate and get that first Ernie Hug :)  

So....I'll catch you guys in a little bit?  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Art Exhibit- Reflections of Christ

If you're in Washington or New York state, you NEED to go see this art exhibit! It's on tour right now- Mark Mabry is a photographer, and has re-created scenes from Christ's life and ministry. It's free, and the art work is just amazing. (He has a book out, by the same title I think. There wasn't any mention of it at the event, so I'm going on memory.) Even my three-year-old was whispering. When she saw the picture of Jesus on the cross, she climbed down from her Daddy's arms and looked up at the photo and sadly said "Daddy, Jesus died."

The joy and pain the photographer has captured is just riveting- not only of our Savior, but of the people around him. If you can make the drive to one of these locations, you won't be sorry.

Check out this website for a sample of what's on tour

Here are the tour dates:

Bellevue Washington

  • Sunday, May 3rd, through Sunday, May 10th
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends (Saturday and Sunday)
  • 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays (Monday through Friday)
  • Location: Bellevue Stake Center Chapel, 114536 Main St., Bellevue, Washington

Olympia, WA - May 13 - 19

Downtown Seattle - May 21 to the end of the month.

Everett Washington Stake

  • May 23 (Saturday) - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • May 24 (Sunday) - 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • May 25 - 29 (weekdays) - 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • May 30 (Saturday) - 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Vestal, New York - May 26 to June 14
Vestal Chapel: 305 Murray Hill Road, Vestal, NY 13850
Oakdale Mall: Corner of Harry L. Drive and Reynolds Road, Johnson City, NY 13790
(Chapel and Mall dates to be determined.)

Another Pair of Earrings

I'm loving simple loops of wire with pretty beads. Lately I've been choosing the gold wire, because I've found myself with a bag of fifty sets of gold leverback earrings!

I made these rounder than the previous pair- I love the soft "hoop" look.

The green beads are 10 mm (I think) Swarovski crysals (I think it's the "5000" shape) in peridot color. Pink were freebies with a purchase from Auntie's Beads, so I'm not exactly sure WHAT they are! Wire is by Beadalon, of course.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beautiful Life: Spring in my Yard

Welcome to our friends from Melissa's Beautiful Life linky fest- thanks for stopping by!
I love spring. I love spring. I love spring.

I love putting Spring things in our year-round wreath.

I love the birds that come up to say hello to this wreath.

I love this plant- it's called lungwort. The flowers come out purple, blue, and pink, and the leaves have lovely light spotting. The flowers will stay for a month or so, and then the leaves will stay until January. Then, everything will die and blow away and you'll think you've killed it. You have no idea where it was in the first place- everything is gone. In April, the leaves will start popping out of the ground like cabbages, covering more area than they did the year before, and you'll think of your grandma again and how glad you are she gave you a cutting. This plant was actually at our old house, and I went back right before we sold it and brought the plant here. I love it that much, and I've never seen this plant anywhere besides my grandma's yard and a local arboretum.

I love these tulips. Wonder Daddy planted them for me last year as a birthday present.

Have I mentioned that I love Spring?

How about you- what's beautiful in your yard and home right now?