Friday, July 26, 2013


This week was a hard week.

Andy's grandfather passed away Wednesday night.

He was 79 years old.

He had a full life on so many levels.

He dressed up as a lion for the kids every year at Halloween and always came to his great grandkids' birthday parties.

He brought me back 10 pounds of green peanuts to boil from a visit down south after he found out about my love for boiled peanuts.

He smiled with his whole body and a true twinkle in his eye as he spoke.

A smile that could only come from the depth of someone's soul.

A soul with a true love and appreciation for life.

He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a Christian, a friend, a neighbor...

He was a southern gentleman.

He was down to earth and loved the little things in life.

He did and was so much more than I could ever capture in a blog post.

My simple words do not do him justice.

He was a person whose life and presence in this world has positively impacted so many lives.

He loved and comforted his wife with a strength and compassion that inspires me to nurture and foster such love in my marriage.

God created man to love and show love.

And I believe that your life is your message.

Ed loved fiercely, showed so much love, and taught others to love.

His love will continue to have a ripple effect through generations to come.

Leaving a legacy.

And that is powerful.

As we honor and celebrate his life, I know he is eternally restored and experiencing the most powerful of all love in God's presence.

Such an emotional week always makes me feel things with a greater intensity. Love with a deeper love...appreciate the beauty in the chaos more thankful for our blessings.

Blessings like being home with the kids, laughing with them, teaching them, loving them, and just soaking it all in.

I love that they get to grow up with a stay-at-home mom.

I love that we spend our days running around the back yard and reading books and caring for the garden.

I love that the kids get so excited to eat a fresh tomato or see a new bloom each day.

I love that Andy supports my passions and surprises me with gifts like canning magazines. Such a fun magazine to flip through and makes plans from.

I love sewing days with friends.

I just love sewing. I love everything from the spark of inspiration a new pattern can ignite, to the fabric selection, to actual process of creating something, to the pride of a finished product!

It's fulfilling.

I made this shirt last weekend.

I kinda love it. It has a fun peasant top/vintage/retro chic feel to it.

Great for jeans and boots this fall.

Which the thought of just makes me plain giddy.

(Ignore the pattern markings on it. They will wash out.)

I love to see AJ's passions develop.

He is currently into Hot Wheels wall tracks.

Which makes for a great addition to our decor.

I love Abby's strong independent spirit.

I came downstairs one morning to find her making herself "a little snack".

Unfortunately for her, mom has veto power over kid made "snacks".

She gave me her very spirited opinion on that one let me tell ya.

I love blasts from the past.

Remember punch balloons as kids?

The fun boom, boom, boom sound they make as they ricocheted off your hand over and over?

Love these things.

They are still as much fun as they were when I was a kid.

Good times.

Love Brody's passion for food.

We always joke about his love of food and how shovels it in. Ha!

That kid cracks me up all day long.

Aunt Jess' bday gift arrived this week.

A worm farm. Totally perfect for a 7 year old boy.

I think it's awesome. Till I see the worms. Then I want to throw up.

But it's still fun. I just can't look at it. Or think about it too much.

We went to the museum of nature and science this week.

We love that place.

It was a fabulous way to spend 4 hours.

The space odyssey never gets old.

Brody loved the dinosaurs.

And kept trying to climb in with them.

I can't take my eye off him for a second.

I just knew I was going to turn around and he was going to be running around in there...and then I'd be running around in there trying to catch him. This kind of thing happens to me.

We pulled out the board games one raining afternoon because the natives were getting restless. It's always funny to watch their thought processes as they play. AJ is always pretty strategic. Abby swings from cut throat competitive to la-dee-dah spastic, impulsive placement of her pieces...sometimes picking a spot on the board simply because it looks pretty. Then we have to deal with the fallout when she doesn't win. It's entertaining to say the least.

We wrote a few letters and thank you notes.
Then we walked across the street and mailed them.
These guys LOVE getting mail. Me too. I don't blame them.

We indulged in ice cream out on the patio.

Now that is one of life's simple pleasures.

Andy surprised me with Starbucks one morning.

Such a lovely way to start the day.

Love that man.

I went school supply shopping.

I love getting school supplies.

I love all the newness of it.

The perfection of a smooth, fresh box of crayons without chips or dull blunt tips...untouched paints without the colors all mixed...ready to create kid art.

The blank, unwrinkled pages in composition notebooks...ready to be filled with kid writing and drawings.

All the promise of a new school year.

New friends. New adventures.

New pencils and clean erasers ready to bring stories to life.

We ate comfort food this week.

That package of cookies only lasted minutes in this house.

But they were joyful minutes.

Abby is really into writing "letters" to her friends right now and was asking for an envelope about every five minutes.

Now she has her own envelopes and is one happy camper.

And I am one happy mama...with a few less interruptions.

Seriously why do we buy fancy toys when a $1 box of envelopes keeps her entertained for hours? They don't need gaming systems, they need office supplies.

Made another lunch box. Love it. Love that tutorial.
Kinda obsessed with making lunch boxes.
We had delicious cinnamon rolls this morning for breakfast.
Easy, fast, yummy, perfect.

This weekend we gear up for a fun filled week next week when two of my sisters come to visit!!! We are talking sorella bonding at the max.

Poor Andy.

Pedicures, skating, movie nights, cheesecake, tattoos...

It's going to be epic.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cutest Fat Quarter Lunch Bag Tutorial Ever.

I indulged in a sewing day with good friends yesterday.

It was so amazing.

90's music, chatting, peanut butter m&m's, twizzlers, Dr. Pepper,

kid-free time dedicated to sewing.


I made that Esme top I bought the pattern for forever ago.

It 's cute.

I still need to add the buttons.

I'll blog it when I get the buttons on.

A friend made the cutest lunch bag ever.

I fell in love.

Like couldn't do anything till I made this bag kind of love.

So I stayed up till almost 1am to make one!

It is reinforced with interfacing giving it a sturdy shape, is lined, and has a fabulous draw string top!

It could work for a lot of things besides a lunch bag.

I can't wait to make about one hundred more.

Check out the inside!

No raw edges!

A fun lining as a little surprise!

Pink Penguin has an awesome tutorial HERE.

I would cut my drawstring fabric about half an inch wider to have a cleaner seam. She mentions doing that, but not till later in the tutorial...after you have cut your fabric.

I also just used fleece interfacing because it's what I had, and it worked great.

Fun project with a super fun finished product!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Amy's Lemonade

I love fresh lemonade.
Every summer we make Amy's lemonade from Little Women.
Love that book.
And movie.

Here's the recipe.

It's simple and delicious.

Makes 2 quarts


1 cup sugar

3 lemons (4 if you want to add slices to look fun)

1 cup boiling water

6 cups cold water


Boil water.

Dissolve sugar in one cup water.

Cut 3 lemons in half and squeeze out juice.

Strain lemon juice in pitcher.

Add in sugar water and mix well.

Add 6 cups cold water.

Add lemon slices for decoration.

Chill and serve with ice.


Friday, July 19, 2013


It's Friday,

and here we are again.

These are my favorite posts.

So many of the simple moments.

Not the big planned outings or parties.

Just us in everyday real life.

Brody busted out his duck face at breakfast one morning.

I gotta say, I don't get the whole duck face thing.

Do people think it makes them look sexy?

I think flaring your nostrils and sticking your lips out is totally unattractive.

But maybe that's just me.

A boy and his dog.

Those two are buds.

AJ gave up the top bunk so Latte could sleep with him on the bottom bunk.

It's a serious bond they have.


Nana and papa's Lillie's.

They have a gorgeous front yard full of roses and a gorgeous back yard blooming with all kinds of flowers.

It's so relaxing sitting back there.

We read the Danny and the Dinosaur book a few times while papa made dinner the other night.

That boy loves dinosaurs.

It was a good night.

Brody was born with a cyst on his forehead.

It has been the great mystery everyone asks about.

We had it x-rayed to rule out a bone spur.

And Monday our pediatrician had us take him in for an ultrasound.

We are waiting to hear back from the radiologist.

Not sure what happens from here.

It's kinda scary to really think about what could happen from here.

Right now we are just waiting and praying it's no big deal.

Brody did great. He just laid there, held still, and looked around with great big eyes.

Then he waved and said bye-bye to the tech as he walked out.

That kid has my heart in his hands.

We are blessed with spending Wednesday evenings with Andy's grandparents. We bring dinner, check up on the gardens, and visit.

I spent an hour cutting up a huge watermelon

to take and leave with them this week.

Then Wednesday evening when I went to pull it out of the fridge,

and it was gone.

An entire gigantic bowl of watermelon just vanished.

Apparently AJ and Abby helped themselves to it while I was upstairs that morning.

It was enough watermelon to feed 7 people!

Guess that explains Abby's tummy ache the other day.

Darn kids.

It has been fun seeing AJ put together and play with all his bday gifts this week. He got cool, truly AJ gifts and has been eating them up! He has awesome friends in his life.
So very blessed.

Brody loves to wear hats.

Sun hats, base ball caps, stocking caps, fire fighter helmets...

He came up from the basement with this hat one day this week.

All his hats make me smile.

Love fresh strawberries.

This picture makes my heart so happy.

There is just something so refreshing and perfect about rinsing fresh fruit in the summer time, with the windows open, kids running around laughing and playing.

Then sitting outside, eating them as a family.

I still remember eating strawberries we just picked from the strawberry patch out of a big silver mixing bowl lined with a crisp white paper towel on grandma's lap, lightly swinging on Aunt's Ruth's porch swing that hung from a huge tree beside her house.

This picture brings me back there.

Back to being a kid.

In the country, with grandma.

Talk about flash backs, I played unlimited laser tag with my Capernaum kids this week and was instantly back in the 90's and a sweaty teenager all over again.

I'm not good at laser tag. In fact, I'm pretty much a spaz with a laser gun...

shooting anyone that jumps out in front of me and having no clue who shot me, from where.

But it was a crazy fun two hours and a $10 well spent.

We spent a morning at the park meeting up with kids that will be in Abby's preschool class this year.
I love that this group is already bonding.
I love this community and our school.
We went and checked out the community garden and chickens at the kids' school last night.

Their school has a garden AND chickens.

That's awesome.

We played on the playground and

met a new friend that will be in AJ's class this year.

It felt so good to have everyone feel so familiar and comfortable just hanging out at the school on a random summer evening.

So at home.

So at the right place, at the right time in our lives.

AJ wrote all his thank you notes this week.
He wrote 3 a day without complaint.
He just took it on as his job.
It is pretty amazing to see that he is big enough and responsible enough to write his own thank you notes. And take so much pride in his handwriting and showing gratitude.
Sometimes it feels like we are doing this parenting thing right.

Peace out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Peaceful Day

We had a lovely day with good friends.

Eating a picnic lunch.
Running around holding hands with BFF's.

Looking at all the beautiful flowers.

Little siblings keeping up with big siblings.
Taking in nature.
And cooling off in the water.

It was a perfect, cooler weather day after the rain.