March 26, 2015


Yes.  Delightfully so.  This little guy got down and dirty on the farm this morning.  Apparently, his animals-the horses in particular-needed some love and attention.

See?  Happy.

And yes, that face is inherited from me.  That's my 'I-love-you-so-much-I-could-eat-you' face.

As I snapped away, the animals were fed and watered and patted and kissed.  And then lined up.  And then the farmer decided, as he often does, to abandon his socks.  And then he hopped into the line-up too.  'Cuz that's what farmers do, right?

My heart is full of light and love and happiness.  I caught him being little and captured it forever.

March 7, 2015

What To Do

OK.  So my renewed efforts at blogging fell a wee bit short.  Life happens.  Fast.  I just get caught up in the moment.  Much time passes and a blog post playing catch up (again) seems rather lame.  But, here I am.  Digital files finally dumped from the camera to the computer.  Ready to share.  

We've been cooped up.  The scooters, strider bike, wheelie turtle and in-line skates are permanent fixtures in the kitchen/dining room.  I tried to take a selfie while riding the scooter in the scooter/ride-on turtle parade I had with the boys one evening.  It was simply a blur.  We did have some bitterly cold but brilliantly sunny afternoons spent wheeling about.  It was grand.  And warm.  We like warm.

And then, on a recent day off from school, Megan popped over for the afternoon.  We got caught up in art and snacks.  Jim had to call and ask for her back.  We simply lost track of time.  Watercolor + washi tape + popcorn = good fun.

And then, Channing had two celebrations at school that needed special attire.  He celebrated the 100th Day of School and, the following week, he celebrated Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day.  I whipped up the shirt and the Cat In The Hat costume.  In hindsight, I should have photographed the process.  Both were easily done and the How To would have been worth sharing.  

And then,  Kelly & her sweet family paid an impromptu, week-long visit.  I hardly picked up the camera.  We were simply too busy having fun.  I did, however, make a point of taking pictures of Little Lil with the quilt Grandma Kathy made for her.  Sweet.  Both Lil and the quilt.

And then, we tackled another Kiwi Crate.  I seriously love them.  The boys do too.  I usually let them choose just one activity from the box to prolong the fun.  This day, they did both projects in rapid succession.  My little bakers made chef hats & aprons and then 'baked' cakes.  

And then, because not everyone follows along on Instagram, these things happened too.  

Max is in perpetual motion.  Whether he's on his own during school hours or Channing is around to egg him on.  This boy does not.  stop.  moving.   
Kath & I are part of the Bag of the Month Club.  This is January's BOTM.  I think, for now, we're skipping February and moving right along to March.  The March pattern is by NoodleHead.  I [heart] NoodleHead patterns.  
My justification for this is that it's 'healthy'  And by 'healthy', I mean it has fewer calories than regular peanut butter, plain almond butter or Nutella.  It's great on toast with bananas or berries, better in a smoothie and better still eaten with a spoon.
OK.  Maybe he will sit still.  But only for this.  'Me play choo-choo, Mama.' 
Sometimes the boys from down the street come to play as their mom and dad play Two Ships Passing In The Night.   On their most recent visit, there was a fabulous hour of Lego collaboration. 
One afternoon I went into Maxwell's room to wake him from his nap.  All I could see were his sweet little toes peeking out from under his quilt.  This was one of those moments I knew I would miss terribly at the very same moment it was happening.  That feeling hit me like a ton of bricks.  Why do they grow up so fast??

Channing has mastered the fine art of making Jell-O.  He likes picking a flavor to match whatever he is wearing.  

Maxwellie is still having a bang-up time at MacPhail Center for Music.  On this particular day, we played both the spoons as well as pots & pans.   
I have a confession.  I like ball fringe.  I would put it on EVERYTHING if I could get away with it.  Since I can't, I put some on this St. Patty's Day pillow I pieced together in the last week or so.  
Which brings us to today.  I'm sitting here in my very sunny office with no less than four sewing machines at my back, the cursed coverstitch machine is taunting me as neither Kath nor I can figure out how to get the silly thing to work properly, a mountain of fabric is waiting to be refolded and stashed, muslin and a skirt pattern are at the ready and I've got a hankering for a 'quick fix' sewing project.  Yet a gallon of 'Dewy' paint is whispering from the corner, 'Forget the sewing projects.  Pick me.'  

What to do...what to do...

January 19, 2015

Sweet & Salty

No school today in observance of MLK.  While our usual Monday routine is quite pleasant, it felt good to deviate a bit from our norm.

Our agenda looked like this:
1.  Bake healthy-ish muffins
2.  Take said muffins & lunch to WM & WJ at their now shared office
3.  Paint with WC while MD napped

Simple.  Very simple.  And oh so enjoyable.

My little sous chefs stood side-by-side at the kitchen counter busily chopping strawberries, while I rooted through the pantry seeking out muffin ingredients.  Strawberry banana chocolate chip oatmeal muffins.  Yep.  Healthy in that they had only a tablespoon of honey for added sugar and called for Greek yogurt.  Yet we snuck in those dark chocolate chips so they'd still seem like a treat.  They were delicious.  And still warm from the oven when we indulged in a post-lunch treat.  

I like seeing our sweet boys working together on these everyday tasks.  Helping.  Teaching.  Applauding.  Each.  Other.

I also like these polka-dot measuring cups.  A lot.  If all of my dishes were polka-dotted and rainbow colored (the set has one red, one blue, one yellow & one orange cup), I'd never tire of dirtying the dishes and washing them only to dirty them again.  

And since I seem to be on a rainbow hued kick these days, Channing & I actually did get around to painting.  For an hour and a half.  We sat together at the dining room table & watched as colors bled & blended into beautiful rainbow colored hues.

This technique, found on Pinterest quite some time ago, is simple.  Using card stock or water color paper, draw a design in pencil, trace it with good old Elmer's glue.  Generously sprinkle table salt on the wet glue.  Carefully shake off the excess.  Then, using a very wet brush, gently dab watercolor paint on the salt.  The slightest touch causes the paint to skip across the salt.  When it dries, it has the most beautiful texture & the color intensifies to the point you don't just see it on the paper you can feel it.  

We may have just painted the old fashioned way too.  I painted hearts.  In honor of Valentine's Day being just around the corner.  And in rainbow colored hues once again.  Channing painted an apple. For me.  And I like it so well, I intend to frame it.

There you have it.  Our day in a nut shell.  A little sweet.  A little salt.  All of it good.  Very, very good.

December 31, 2014

Made Me Smile

The final hours of 2014 are winding down.  I'm feeling blessed.  And grateful.  While this blog was sadly neglected much of the year, my camera was not.  Channing just spent the better part of an hour snuggled on my lap as we browsed ALL the photos in the photo library from 2014.  The number is astounding.  There are photos I'm incredibly proud of from an artistic standpoint and then there are those photos that simply made me smile.  They brought me back to a moment, some just ordinary everyday, some more of the milestone type.  Regardless.  I smiled.  I hope you do too.

Channing is turning into quite the little artist.  We've gotten a few books with the words 'how to draw' in the title that have offered guidance and inspiration.  My favorite drawing has graced the refrigerator for much of the year.  It's of me.  It says 'I Love You Mom'.  I've got crazy curly hair and glasses and I'm wearing my favorite yellow and white striped t-shirt.  My cheeks ache from smiling every time I see it.  Every.  Time.  

My folks spent part of the winter enjoying the sun & sand on St. George Island in FL.  We couldn't go that long without some quality grandparent time.  The boys and I made the trek sans Michael which was a little bittersweet.  We had a great time.  He would have too.  Maxwell quickly mastered the art of throwing shells back into the ocean.  Channing was a blur of activity, bounding in and out of the waves, making sand castles and exploring tide pools.

WM & I celebrated our birthday in March with a trip to the MOA.  Even though it wasn't his birthday, Channing obviously had the most fun.

Milestone-Channing lost tooth #1.

We traveled to Tybee Island, GA in May to celebrate Kath's birthday as well as Walt & Kath's anniversary.  The trip was spectacular.  

In June, the boys & I spent time in Duluth.  There are not words for the magic of these few days.  My heart just feels full.

Mom, why can't we go out and play with water balloons RIGHT NOW?  That was so much fun.  Can it be summer RIGHT NOW?  (As I type, it's bitterly cold outdoors.  -25 with the wind chill.  Not a good day for outdoor play.  Definitely not.)

Summer evenings are best spent sitting on the porch eating ice cream cones with your big brother.  

In September, we left the boys behind and spent an extended weekend in Phoenix.  Despite the heat, we hit the golf course a couple of times.  WM enjoyed his game & I enjoyed the scenery. 

Channing originally wanted to be  a zombie for Halloween.  We settled on Angry Birds.  He was OK with that decision provided he got to be Bomb Bird.  They were the cutest Angry Birds I ever did see.

November came with a heavy blanket of snow.  We groaned at the thought of an EXTRA long winter.  Then December came and it all melted.  Believe it or not, we did not have a white Christmas.  Channing's anxious for more snow to arrive.  He's quite good at clearing the driveway with his Tonka Trucks.  

This picture cracks me up.  Maxwell was totally into Santa until he realized there was a camera in the room.  Then he was all smiles for the lady behind the lens rather than the man in the jolly red suit.  

And there you have it.  2014 in a nut shell.  Happy New Year!