Thursday, May 31, 2012

{phfr} The House Cleaning Edition

round button chicken


I finally hung up the butterflies and suncatchers the kids and I made forever ago.  My view is now really pretty.


My plants are very happy in the shower.  I've mentioned I have a wilting thumb before, but the one thing I've learned from my mom is plants love showers.

But what makes me really happy is pasta salad.  Three of them to be exact.  We had a couple of things to go to which required side dishes to be brought.  Instead of making different things, I just triple chopped veggies.  So easy!  Two for them, and one for us for dinner.  Yum!

We vacuumed the couches today (having a long haired cat in the summer's in Arizona is SO fun), and Fritter made these cushion towers.  "It looks like a head with hair!" he told me.  He is a funny kid.

In case you were wondering who exactly vacuumed the furniture.  This is really how things get done around here!  (He doesn't mind.  He loves to help.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Awe

Some days I just can't believe how much God has blessed me with.  A loving husband, three beautiful children, amazing friends, and so much more.  I used to not "get it" when the Gospels speak of Mary "pondering all these things in her heart".  But sometimes, my loving Father sees fit to allow me to really see, and then I think I understand.  Words cannot express it, nor can they do it justice.  The heart is the one perfect place for awe and thanksgiving.  My cup is overflowing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yard Revamp

Saturday found all of us doing yard work we have been dreaming of since we first moved into our house.  But between long absences, a slab leak, an Edsel transmission overhaul, babies coming and growing, and an idea that at some point we must have a little fun, there never seemed to be any time. 

Our backyard consists of a largish swimming pool, a patch of grass, and what I liked to call, "the wasteland".  We live in Arizona, and what with it being a desert and all, gravel is the landscaping medium of choice.  Except I hate it.

A before of the wasteland.  This picture is from last November.  Fritter and Ladybug are admiring a praying mantis.  Notice the big mesquite tree in the background.

Between Dan and I, and some help from Fritter, and not so much help from Ladybug, and negative help from Sunflower, we managed to shovel wagon loads of the rock out of the backyard.  More on where we put it later.  It took hours of shoveling and my arms and abs are super sore, but it was so worth it.

After.  No longer the wasteland.  I'm thinking I'll call it the "Path to Fairyland", or laundry land, as the clothesline is behind me in this picture.  And those planters are just waiting for something for me to torture.  Notice the mesquite tree is gone.  Our neighbors had it chopped down a few months ago, which kind of broke my heart.  At the same time, we don't have to clean up after it anymore.

We put wood chips in place of the rocks.  It smells awesome.  Someone needs to wrap up that hose.
 What did we do with the rock, you say?  Well, the side of our house, off of the front yard looked pretty scabby.  The grass would not grow, because that spot only gets noon sun, and bermuda grass hates the shade.  So we dumped the rock there, along with another stone path. 

I still don't like the rock, but it's much better than what was there, and we have more plans for this spot eventually anyway, including garden beds and raspberry bushes or something of that sort.  We'll see.

These two things were satisfying enough, but we also found a couple of other surprises.

Remember the picture of this potter from this post?  That wasn't a weed, it was a marigold that decided to reseed itself.  I don't really weed, which in this case was a good thing.  I think my plants tell me that as long as I leave them alone, they'll do as they should.  Although, he looks like he needs some water.

My dear husband thinks this little guy is a baby palm tree that planted itself in a corner of our front yard.  I guess we'll see if he's right.

This is the Bird of Paradise in our backyard that just started blooming last week.  They are my favorites.  So pretty, and I don't think it's possible for me to kill them!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Making Room For Joy

So I have made an important life decision.  One that I'm hoping will leave more room in my life for joy, beauty, and humor instead of stress, worry, and more stress.

I'm done with reading (or watching, as the case may be) the news.  Seriously, why is it my habit to check Fox News every time I check my email?  I say I'm checking it just to make sure nothing has exploded or so I have advanced warning in case we need to head for the hills.  I say I'm doing this in the name of being comforted that indeed, for tonight, we're safe. 

But the reality is, checking the news so often does exactly the opposite of making me feel safe and at peace.  It breeds anxiety.  If my day is permeated with thoughts of the election, or the horrible mandate, or the stock market, I'm doing myself (and my family by extension) no favors.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with keeping abreast of current events, in general.  But for me, at this point in my life, it doesn't fit.  I will continue to pray about those things I'm concerned about.  That, at least, is something I can do and is more proactive than just worrying about them. 

Oh, and I've cleaned up my Facebook feed as well, so intermingled with sweet pictures and funny quips from family and friends, I will no longer see things that serve to tell me that doomsday is coming.

I'm not in denial about the world, and I'm not doing this because I don't care about the issues, quite the opposite, actually.  I'm just trying to create a little sense of peace within my home for all of its members, including myself.  So my home can be a haven from the world that seeks to destroy all that is good and holy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


After a trying day of just being tired and grumpy in general (seriously, what is up with that?!) combined with sick kids, I still had to make an evening dash to Walmart for a (giant) cart load complete with price matching (isn't that just so fun?).  I needed to be home before 6:45, because my husband's men's group was meeting, at my house.  Of course, it didn't happen, because I was not the only mad woman in line trying to price match on a Wednesday evening.  At least there were several men available at my house to carry in the groceries. 

It's been hot here.  Really hot.  It's May, and already I dread going outside.  So hot in fact, that when I got home and the nice gentlemen brought in my groceries, I found my ice cream had already melted.

After several deep breaths, I snuggled next to Fritter and Ladybug in her bedroom and read The Sleep Book.  Two little heads rested on my shoulder, and I felt the stress melt away (kind of like my ice cream!).

This life of mine.  It's not easy, but my goodness is it ever worth it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yard Sale Loot

This morning my dear husband made breakfast for us all and then scooted me out the door for some much needed mommy time.  I did what any woman would do given a few hours alone on a Saturday morning.  I went yard sale-ing.

Besides the normal odds and ends I found and claimed as my own, I hit what I consider to be the jackpot.

An entire bucket of stamp and craft supplies for $5.  As I walked away, the mother in charge of the yard sale told her daughter, who sold these to me, that she should have charged me more than she did.  Too late!  :)

 Paper craft scissors and decorative hole punchers.

A very small taste of the kind of stamping treasures I found.

They are really just colored paper circles, but I know I can figure out something to do with them.

Also, paper craft glue, embossing powder, fabric paint, ink pads, oh me, oh my!

Besides all this, I also found some Kindergarten and Preschool workbooks, a few movies, an armful of children's books, and a couple of books for Dan and I.  When I came home, my husband took one look at me and my treasures and immediately became overwhelmed.  He loves me.  :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

May Crowning

The kids and I went to our local homeschool groups May Crowning event in the park.  The kids prayed, sang, and offered flowers for Mary.  I am so glad to have the opportunity to be part of a group like this.  How awesome is it that my children get to be exposed to a great group of kids whose parents share the same faith and values?

It seems so simple, doesn't it?  Bringing flowers and placing them in a vase next to a statue of Mary IS simple.  And I think that's part of why it is so beautiful.  These simple things have the power to sink deep into our hearts.  To teach us something that couldn't really be taught using words.

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing.
You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King.
Ave, ave, ave Maria,
Ave, ave, Maria!

What would be a get together without food and fun, and a group picture?

Let them eat...crackers?

Let them eat...cheese?

Ah!  Here we go!  Let them eat cookies!  (While pondering the meaning of all that is good and holy, apparently.  ;)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Loosing Teeth

Guess the tooth fairy will be making an appearance tonight.  Tell me.  When did he get to be so big?  Wasn't it just yesterday that he was getting these teeth in, and now he's already loosing them?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - The May Edition

round button chicken


Since it is May, and since I had to cut back the flowers from our front entrance way today anyway, Fritter and I filled up two small vases (or one small vase and one baby food jar) with the leftover flowers.

I'm thinking we'll try to keep these vases filled for all of May.


I don't know why, but laundry (or in this case, sheets and blankets) on the line just make me happy.

 Know what else makes me happy?  This man.  Besides the obvious, in that he's my husband and basically rocks, he also got his Edsel running (he put a new transmission in it) and it is right now in the muffler shop.  Yesterday, the girls and I followed behind the boys to take it there and it was so fun seeing Fritter's little cowlick waving in the wind from behind.


Funny is trying to take a picture of two moving children in front of the tower they built.  I have about five pictures just like this, and no one picture with just nice smiles.


My marigolds are long dead.  This pot sits at the front door and is a testament to my poor gardening skills.  The little bit of green in there are weeds.

Real life around here also entails a freshly swept rug and floors and a little boy who just can't resist the mud.

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter to see all the other contentment captured this week.