Thursday, January 31, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} - Nature's Bounty

round button chicken

See the little birdy?  If you look closely, you can tell it is a perched hummingbird.  I have never seen one sit so still before.
We went to the Riparian Preserve a few weekends ago on a Sunday with some friends of ours.  It was a weekend that turned out good, despite our own plans being uprooted.  We had originally planned to head north that Saturday to enjoy snow and cold weather, but wouldn't you know it, the snow had melted so of course we didn't bother going.  That Sunday we thought we'd try the zoo, but there was a race blocking all paths in, and fed up, we headed home.  But that afternoon, we had the bright idea of calling our good friends for an impromtu trip to the Preserve.  It's close!  It's free!  It was perfect.

While there we found a great little secluded spot that had the best climbing tree.  Even my dear husband took part in the tree climbing extravaganza.  Me?  I'm expecting in a few months.  I took the pictures.  :)


 This big guy was blocking our path at one point, we thought maybe to block us from coming near his ladies.  But instead of a great big HONK to scare us away, he had a really cute little honk that just made us chuckle and come closer.  Although, our goose-speak might be a little off, and he could have just been asking for some crumbs. 

 This is the time of year in Arizona where those with fruit trees are overloaded and gladly share their crops.  We were given lemons from two different friends, plus a sack of the sweetest grapefruits ever.

Because it is not yet summer, and because I am trying to cut back on the caffeine, the lemons were all squeezed and used for their juice instead of saving some and using in drinks as I usually do.

The picture looks decieving but that is a very large jar of lemon juice.  Some will be used for lemon bars (which my husband has been begging me asking me very sweetly to make) and the rest will be frozen into cubes for later use.  I don't like to make lemonade from the juice, because it uses so much of it, and though the lemonade is good, I don't feel it is a great use of the juice.
Also, blueberries were on sale so I bought a bunch.  Some for eating...
 ...some for freezing...

 ...and some for cooking.

 The same day I juiced the lemons, I made a double batch of blueberry muffins.  One batch for freezing, the other for breakfast the next day.

And one (or maybe two) as a mid-afternoon snack.  Yummy!
Go be inspired with contentedness over at Like Mother, Like Daughter

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Night Prayer Music Box {A Review}

I recieved this pretty music box as a review item from Catholic Family Gifts.  They are a family run business and have quite a selection of gifts.  We decided to wrap the music box up as a Christmas gift for Ladybug, knowing she would love it.  And of course she did.

The front of the box has the "Now I Lay Me" prayer, which can also be removed and replaced with a personal photo.  When the box is opened, it plays "Brahms Lullaby".

Ladybug loves to open her "jewjery box" and put all of her little special things inside and listen to the sweet music. 

I would highly recommend the Night Prayer Music Box for any little girl on your gift list.  (Hint: Perhaps this could make a very special gift in someone's Easter basket.)  This is something I think Ladybug will have and cherish for a very long time.  Check out Catholic Family Gifts to get this item or any other item on your wish list.

*I recieved a free music box in exchange for an honest review.*

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Random Thoughts From Ladybug

"Hey mom, I really like to watch Peter Pan."

"Maybe you can make hot cocoa and I can drink it with you."

"I really like marshmallows."

"Mom, if you want to give me donuts, that would be fine.  Just fine."

I'm not sure what to think of this avenue of asking for things.  Is this the beginning of some passive-aggressive bend I need to deal with, or just the randomness of a four year old?  At least she's cheerful when she says it.  :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

{phfr} MOOO!

I'm not sure why but now blogger will only let me upload pictures from Picasa, which I've never used before, and seems to be more of a pain then it's worth.  Oh, well, at least I found the time to blog.  :)
round button chicken
Gratuitous pretty baby picture.


I want to show you a couple of projects we recently finished.  The first is this chair.  This is actually the matching chair to the one we just reupholstered and restained.  I don't have a real before, because this project was started almost six years ago when we first moved to Arizona.  It never got finished and then as time went on it just sat, all lonely and taken apart and stripped, in a corner of the room.  But this is what the chair looked like before we did anything to it:

 And this is the chair now.  My darling husband did most of the initial sanding and tearing apart of the chair.  I did the reupholstering (which was not as hard as I thought it would be) and some finishing touches on the sanding.  He did all the staining and putting the chair back together.  A team project! One chair down, one chair to go (in another six year maybe?)
 The second finished project I want to show you is also in the picture above.  Do you see the kitchen table with the drop cloth on it in the background?  The table top came for free along with the hutch I showed you before.  It was the perfect size for our growing family, and we desperately needed a new kitchen table.  Our old one was small and a little strange in that you couldn't push the chairs in on either end.  Tripping over chairs every time I passed through the kitchen about drove me mad.  The only problem with this new table is that it was missing the legs.  Dan to the rescue!  He purchased new legs from one of the home improvement stores, stained them and put them on.  And now we have a like new kitchen table! 

Finished projects make me super happy.

Kids are just funny aren't they?  About a year ago, Fritter found out about knock-knock jokes and can't seem to get enough of them.  His favorite by far is:
"Who's there?"
"Interrupting cow."
"Interrupting co..."
We hear it over and over again.  And now Sunflower has picked up on the hilarity of it all and started mimicking her big brother.
"Who's there?"
"Cow.  MOOO!"

 These two are two peas in a pod.

I like to call these next two pictures, Wishful Thinking.  Remember we live in the desert in Arizona.

 All signs inside point to snow.  Outside?
 Sunny, with perky little flowers growing.

 For New Year's Eve, we let the two older children stay up a little late.  We played Candy Land.  That game is stressful.  We thought it would be over quick when Ladybug drew the Queen Frostine card and got to skip all the way towards the end.  But wouldn't you know, she stalled out and later drew the Plumpy card and had to go almost back to the beginning.  This was the longest game of Candy Land we've ever played.

Fritter eventually won.  Finally.

To end this long and very random post, I leave you with a deep theological thought (or something like that).  Why are toddlers so attracted to tissue boxes?  Perhaps it is the soft fluffiness of the tissue, or the fact that they can pull them out one by one, but once out they never seem to go back in nicely again.  A metaphor for life?  Maybe. 

Note to visitors: this tissue is safe to use, it's only been pulled out and put back in again so many times that it looks used.  I promise, it's not.

Go visit all the other contented ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

By The Grace of God

There are days where I want to ask God exactly what he wants me to get out of that particular day.  Days where nothing seems to go as planned, no matter how good the intention.  Days where it seems the most prudent course of action is to just give up and go back to bed.  But of course that can't happen, because children still need to be fed and loved, my husband still needs a warm meal when he gets home, and the house still needs to be reasonably cleaned because people are coming over that evening.


I did, actually, ask God that very question this afternoon.  The same afternoon I sent all three of my children to take quiet naps (and would you believe it, they did).  As I asked that question, "Lord, what do you want me to get from this day?" another slat in my front room blinds fell out.  I'm not joking.

You see, we had a major pipe leak in our front yard this past week, which means the whole front yard needed to be dug up and new pipe laid, and really there is a big mess out there.  The leak is fixed and we have running water, even if there is still a big hole, and for that I truly am grateful.  Of course the children have been watching daddy dig a giant hole in the front yard through the windows.  That means they have been moving and playing with the blinds and a couple of them, through the natural course of things, broke.  Silly me, I just turned them around, connected the bottom to the hook thing and called it good.  And it was.  Until this afternoon when I asked God my question.

You know what I think he is trying to tell me?  To accept my imperfections.  To accept the imperfections of those around me.  To be totally reliant upon him for the grace to do what He wants me to do and not what I want to do.  That my children fail, and I fail equally and because I am bigger, older, and somewhat wiser, I fall harder.  (This was shown to me today when the six year dropped the five gallon water jug on the floor in the effort to clear the counter to make room to empty the dishwasher.  Good intention, bad execution.  The jug broke and water went everywhere.  I yelled, I was scared, he could have been hurt.  Later, as I was getting snacks and drinks for the kids to eat at the picnic table, I dropped both BOTH cups of water, which also went everywhere.  Again, good intention, bad execution.  I cried.  You see, He seems to say to me, you fail too.)

The broken jug.  You can't tell in this picture that it is broken, except to notice it is sitting upside down.  That's because when it is turned the correct way, we get a lovely water fountain in our kitchen.  The way it sits now leaks too, but it's more of a controlled drip.  I chose to accept the drip over the fountain.

And when I fail (and likewise when my children fail) I am totally reliant upon His mercy and forgiveness.  And then I pick myself up, clean myself off, and try again.  And there are days where I will do nothing but fall and spill and fail.  And I should be grateful for those days just as much as I am grateful for the good days.  Because they remind me of my humanness.  They remind me what it is to be a child.  They remind me of just how reliant I am on the goodness and grace (and mercy!) of God.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I finally sat down to blog a little catch up post, and what do you know, for some reason Blogger will not allow me to upload pictures from my computer.  It is not a storage issue, at least I don't think it is.  But I wanted to let you know that no, I haven't disappeared, yes I do have things to talk about (however mundane they may seem), I have projects finished I want to show you, and darn it Blogger!

So, when I have another reasonable amount of time to sit in front of the computer, and Blogger decides to cooperate, I will post.  I'm going to go sulk now.