Saturday, June 29, 2013


 Sometimes T (5) comes to me with a piece of paper with some letters on it and he asks me if they spell a particular word.  The other day he came to me for "boom,"  "warm" and "pastor."  (Usually he's just one letter off.)  And then he came with a big one, "How do you spell 'weather station dot com?'"  What's that?

"It's just what we call it when we do the weather.  I'm 'Pastor' and M is 'Genius.'"  (Of course.)

For the past week it's been crazy humid with heavy showers most afternoons.  During a particularly ferocious storm the small crew broke out their microphones and went all weather channel.  They made graphs and charts and warned their audience to "Stay indoors.  No convertibles.  Don't even try to go out with an umbrella.  Stay off the roads in case ambulances need to go out."  Things seemed pretty dicey.  

And just like that, it all cleared up.

Until the next day.  When we were at the mall.  It was the most thunderous rain I have ever heard.  Prompting T to take his show on the road (quietly).  It was like having my very own radio. Or, you know, at my side.  :)

Also--this conversation while watching tv in a restaurant:  
T:  Hey, that's funny that our neighbor is named after a sport.  Tennis.

Our neighbor's name is "Dennis."

Friday, June 28, 2013

What I Learned in June

10 Random Things I've Learned in June

1.  My friend, Lize, taught me that painting (with watered down paint) in the white spaces of the background of the little people's masterpieces makes their work pop and creates a more "finished" look. 

The Before and After:
More Afters:
2.  I think I might have a new addiction--wall vignettes. 

The latest one is in the kitchen--it has a fun painting that was a gift to J in Albania last summer, Amazing Grace, a little summery painting I did yesterday and an old sign I made ages (10 years) ago. (I also learned how to create hangers on the back of my scrap-wood art.)
3.  So, we were doing all that painting yesterday because we had to finish listening to The Story of The World: Ancient Times because it was due (no renewals) at the library that day and we still had 2 CD's to go.  We totally LOVED listening to that book--except for yesterday's crunch time, it was our in-van entertainment.  (I highly recommend it if you have a hankering for brushing up on your knowledge of ancient history.)

4.  Speaking of the library--I am also a bit in love with the interlibrary loan/book requesting services.  (I'm not sure that the library is quite as fond of my love.)  I find all of this awesome stuff I want to buy on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble or on Audible and then I just request it from the library.  (J is also a fan of this for many reasons.) ;)

The latest loot for an upcoming road trip.
5.  Some of my recent library books have included tree guides to go along with the whole Botany thing.  A few weeks ago I thought it would be fun to identify the trees in our front yard. 

I also thought that it would be super easy. 

I kid you not, I ended up spending at least 3 hours trying to identify those puppies.  (There are only 2 trees.)  I now consider myself an almost-expert on their bark, leaves, flowers and fruits (I had no idea they had berries on them). 

In the end, I'm pretty sure we have a Japanese Zelkova and Canada Red Chokecherry.
(Who knew?)
6.  I've been listening to Daniel Crawford's Home. album from Noisetrade on repeat.   Also, Fever Fever's (Native Color) Clouds Catch Fire.

7.  Apparently bunting means it's time to celebrate to Beza.  To me it's thrifty decorating. :)  She calls her room the "Party Place."
8.  A giant red circle on the back or your knee will land you with a very expensive antibiotic (a month's supply) for Lyme's Disease.

9.  Reading Pippi Longstocking taught my kids to be thing-finders.  In particular in stores.  And while I completely love the idea of looking for treasures wherever you are, the 100th "Can I keep this little piece of broken hanger?" almost makes me want to ban ALL thing-finding.  

Also, such habits necessitate rules like, "You can't keep anything that could be sold--like an earring."  and "Don't pick up anything sharp."  and "Do NOT TOUCH any stickers that have been inside a bathing suit!"  (Oh, man.)

10.  A little girl playing school bus on the steps makes me nostalgic.
 (M was just 2 and apparently sporting a mullet.  Beza just turned 3. :)
And that's just a little of what I've learned in June. :)

Linking up @ Chatting at the Sky.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Moving Without Moving (At Least That's What It Felt Like :)

The Low-Down on Beza's Big Girl Move to a Big Girl Bed in a Big Girl Room

Our original plan was for Beza to "graduate" from a crib into a shared room with M.  However, God blessed us with two very passionate girls who both have trouble falling asleep at night (especially when they know how to push each others buttons :).  (Unlike T who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere.)  Almost a week of giving the shared room a try prompted some creative brainstorming and this email I sent to J (sometimes writing it all out helps;) :

Hey, J,
Okay, totally sure this is at the bottom of your thought-list--but I've just spent a significant chunk of time working it out in my head and thought it would be good to write it all down. :)

Reasons Why Beza Should Have Her Own Room
1.  She and M are sometimes fire and water. 
2.  Beza needs her own space to play--especially as she'll be heading towards rest time instead of nap time soon.
3.  She'll have a space to play without anyone else bossing her--I think that would be good for her. :)

How It Could All Work Without Spending a Penny
1.  Crib to Attic.
2.  White bed (M's room) back to T's room.
3.  TV stand in living room up to T's room (for his dresser).
4.  Desk in office to living room.
5.  Dresser from T's room to Beza's new room.
6.  Unused bookshelf currently under the basement stairs to Beza's new room for toy storage.
7.  Dark wood mirror from T's closet goes over the new bookshelf in Beza's room to give her a mirror.
8.  White mirror from Office goes to M's room to match her storage bin shelf.
8.  Nightstand in the office moves to dining room to hold the large serving platters currently on the top shelf of the TV stand.

Reasons Why I Would Like The Office Downstairs  (and not in a bedroom upstairs)
1.  I don't think it's ideal to be on the computer while someone is trying to sleep.
2.  As the kids start to use the computer more, having it in an open, easily accessible spot makes it easier to monitor them.

The result?

Beza's New Room
(Her favorite color is purple.)
(Click her for the Office BEFORE.)

The Office
(Click here for the living room BEFORE, More BEFORE)

How's it all working?
 It's been great!  I LOVE having the office downstairs.  (In theory it should make filing paperwork/mail easier--yet, I did move a growing pile to take the picture. ;)  And the peeps each (of course) love having their own spaces.  And Beza's shelves and closet are bursting at the seams with her new birthday presents and books. :) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strike a Pose, Swiss Chard

Somehow J and I have made it 35 years (to the best of our knowledge) without eating Swiss Chard.

But, seriously, could there be a more beautiful vegetable?

And behind all that beauty it packs some serious nutrition and yumminess.

J cooked up some Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese (while also utilizing our CSA garlic scapes).  Delicious.

Hoping there's more Swiss Chard coming our way soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Funnies: Eating the Pyramids?

We had a huge delicious dinner on Saturday night.  
The following conversation (or something like it) ensued:

Pop:  I couldn't eat another bite.  Period.
T:  You can't eat periods!  They're too big!
Pop:  Too big?  No, they're just a tiny dot at the end of a sentence.  You say "period" for emphasis.
T:  No, they're too big.  They're from ancient Egypt!

And just like that the whole fuzzy conversation becomes clear.  Period=Pyramid. ;)


And this picture?  Doesn't it totally look like our little friend Tage just gave Beza the boot and she's flying through the air?  


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Beza!

Yesterday Beza turned the big 3!

Birthday celebrations kicked off on Friday with fun packages.

And a visit with Nana, Pop & Grammy.

On her birthday she woke up to crepe paper decorations (a la M), music, pancakes and her birthday dress.

Then we celebrated some more with a train and boat ride.

(We call this one "Faces.")
(Oops, she (temporarily) lost her shoe over the dock.)

And ended the big day with cake and presents.

(And a supermoon. ;)

The fun weekend wrapped up with a yummy lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and a few more presents. :)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Beza!  We love you!!!