Thursday, May 30, 2013

Using up the stash

I have a rather large stash of fabrics and craft supplies...something our apartment will not have room for.  So, rather than passing it on or packing it in boxes, I'm trying to finish up a variety of projects I thought up, purchased supplies for....and then left sitting in the closet.  I have a list on my inspiration board that is continually growing and of course time remaining in our house is rapidly coming to a close. 
In two months (to the day), all of our belongings will be in boxes, waiting to be loaded into a truck the following morning.  We've spent our entire married life knowing we would not stay in Newport News forever, knowing there was no way in hell we would send our children to the public schools here, and wanting them to grow up in a different environment.  Now that the time is nearly here, it's surreal.  I have never lived anywhere else half as long as I've lived here (can you follow that statement?), so despite not wanting to stay, it's still hard to leave the most familiar place I know.  Plus, as un-ideal as NN can be, we've met some great people here.
Anyways, I'm off track...back to crafting/sewing.  So, yes, I have lots of projects and not a lot of time.  As I finish things, I hope to shard them!
Matching skirts for myself, Töchterchen, and Töchterchen's baby doll.

Reusable snack bags.
A quilt that was finished just in time for 90 degree heat!  Oh well, the intent is it will keep us warm next winter in our baseboard heater, basement apartment with tile the mountains...brr!!!!

This *darn* wreath took years to complete.  Saw the idea online and fell in love.  But those pinwheels take FOREVER to make and I can only fold so many pieces of paper in one sitting.  I put it up for Memorial Day, but I might take it down until the 4th of July.  After all that work, I don't want the sun to bleach it out in one season.  Maybe it should be more of an inside decoration than front door attire....
Hopefully in the next week or two I'll have several more projects to share!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcoming Summer

Here in Virginia, summer is creeping in.  Some days are warmer than others, but when we look around, we are definitely noticing the signs of early summer - roses, hydrangeas budding and starting to bloom, all the spinach and swiss chard started to go to seed and thus were quickly eaten up, the summer crops are thriving, we are constantly discovering new bird nests in our trees (and catching glimpses of the babies starting to leave the nests), and there is plenty of time for backyard play in bathing suits.


Ah, summer!  We are so excited for all this summer brings!

Friday, May 17, 2013

{ this moment }

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Inspired by Soule Mama.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Strawberry Pickin' Time!

Today we made our first of several trips to the local strawberry patch.  (We traveled a little farther last year to a huge patch and made a large batch of jam.  This year that patch isn't as plentiful and is only open on a more temporary basis.  Today they were closed, so we may try again next week.  They had a great price and we were able to pick oodles.)  We have been eagerly awaiting ALL the berry seasons this year!  First for Virginia is strawberries - this mama's favorite!  This year we hope to make enough jam for gifts and to last us the full year, freeze berries for waffles, and eat plenty of fresh ones along the way.
I wanted to be in the moment with my children while picking.  Plus I needed to herd both of them to the patch, while carrying the containers for the berries.  Carrying a camera was just one thing too many.  They were adorable, and excited, and Töchterchen finished the picking with her sweet little face covered in strawberry juice, as it should be.  Mannchen is an excellent berry picker and our Töchterchen is an excellent taste tester/plant squasher.  While she may not have contributed many berries to the boxes (and took out a plant or two in the process), she did provide endless entertainment as our very own strawberry fairy and made friends with several ladybugs we found in the patch.
After we finished picking, we took a break on the old tractors set up around the farm stand.
The strawberry fairy on the tractor.  (And yes, that's a church in the background.  When you live in the city, even the farms are surrounded by churches and storage facilities.)

"We need to hook that tractor up to this one."

That little woman is in charge.

Big brother, you shift the gears.  The wheel is mine.

My babies. 
Compare today's photos to this flashback from Oct 2011.  They're a little bigger now and Töchterchen still hogs the wheel.  Why must they grow so quickly?!
Finally, the tractor enthusiast had a chance to drive the tractor on his own.  He couldn't have been happier!
I also wanted to thank you for the kind words and prayers yesterday.  I am learning (yet again) to be patient and trust God's timing, not my own.  Our house will sell and we will make the new apartment work.  It's hard to let go of a home that we love so much, but our happiness does not lay in our earthly possessions.  Our family, the true sources of happiness and joy in my life, will all be on this journey together and our precious family will fill the tiny apartment will all the love we fill this house with.
In an attempt to clear my mind and brighten my mood yesterday, we went for a walk on a nearby trail after naptime.  The kids love walking there because it surrounds a lake and on sunny afternoons there are always plenty of turtles and other wildlife to observe.  Yesterday was an extra special day because not only did we get to see FOUR dinosaur (i.e. snapping) turtles, but we discovered a fairy trail!  When we began the trail was dusted with glitter!  We knew right away that meant the fairies had been there the night before.  We looked closely for the treasures they left behind and we were able to discover hidden flowers all along our path.  It truly was a mood brighter with my favorite little people.  I am so thankful for their gentle reminders to focus on the here and now and to stop worrying about the future.  Right here, right now, is so beautiful.

Friday, May 3, 2013

{ this moment }

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Inspired by Soule Mama.

(I prefer we don't use coloring pages in our home, but my parents just visited a dinosaur park and museum in Utah and sent postcards to the kids.  Since then, there has been a high interest in all things dinosaur around, dinosaur coloring pages it is for a day.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Friend

One of our favorite things about our house is the generous backyard.  It's not huge, but it's bigger than most in this area.  We are so happy to spend as much time as possible out there.  I'm thankful my kids enjoy the space and all the time we have to just play in the dirt.  It's going to be a big adjustment for us to no longer have this space waiting for us right outside the back door.
We've really enjoyed the spring weather lately and have spent a lot of time outdoors.  I'm very thankful it has been a cool spring (who needs 80s in April?!).  We'll get plenty of hot in June and July I'm sure.
Some of our latest adventures in the backyard have included discoveries of new spring life.  Mannchen loves frogs/toads - his most treasured possession is a stuffed frog that goes most everywhere he goes and sleeps in a bed next to his bed at night.  He has been asking to look under the dog house for weeks now with the hope of finding toads living there like we did last summer.  Needless to say, he was ecstatic to find this little guy right in the flower bed by the deck!
It's difficult to see him in the shadows, but he's hiding under the hydrangea bush. 

We were able to get him to jump into our net for closer observation.  Mannchen was so gentle.  I think Töchterchen traumatized the poor creature.

All that time outside = two hungry kids.  After dinner we were cleaning up and looked over to see this - just shoving more noodles in her mouth as fast as possible.  Töchterchen is so prim and proper. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rough start, Great finish

I've been trying to wake up before the kids with the intent of doing three basic functions before they rise - shower, get dressed, and drink coffee.  Sounds great right?  Well, epic fail.  Every. Single. Time.  I don't know how they know, but every time I wake up early, they wake up early too.  I'm not going to lie, it makes me grumpy.  And they are grumpy because 5:45 is just too early for them. 
Today was one of those days.  I missed facebook because I wanted to complain that "It's only 7:45, we've been up for two hours, and I've reheated my coffee multiple times.  Is it too much to ask to just get a shower and coffee ALONE each morning?!".  Facebook was great for that immediate encouragement from all my other mama friends.  But instead of whining to the FB world, we put on our raincoats and boots (over the PJs because it was just so much easier) and ran around the yard.
Fresh air.  That was all we needed.  A little nature.  A little tree climbing.  A little sidewalk chalk.  (A cup of coffee in a travel mug.)  Just an hour of peace in the great outdoors, before the rain started back up again.  It was so good for our souls.
These little ones, they remind me to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the simple things in life. 
"OH!  Mud!!!"  Töchterchen loves the mud.
Mannchen is really getting the hang of climbing trees!  Now the world is his playground.
He figured out it was easier without his rubber boots.  Once he realized that, he was able to get himself up there fairly high.
The neighbors had a tree cut down yesterday, so naturally ours needed a little "work" today.  He's "cutting" branches with his pliers.
Where one goes, the other must attempt to follow.