What Our Drive Looks Like Today

This is an image of what it looks like in front of our garage today.  Anthony decided that he couldn't stand the way it looked anymore and so brought some equipment home and started making piles and leveling things out.  Just a few minutes ago he headed out with the dump truck to get a load of rock with a very-excited Alexis in tow.

I'm a little excited to see what it's going to look like when he's done.  He's even attacked the side area as well.

Do you see that cute little picnic table in the yard?  My Uncle Bill made that and the girls are really enjoying it this summer.  They eat their snacks out there as often as possible.  It's so cute.

I should have some pictures of Anthony's finished project on Monday.  Can't wait!


Women's Retreat

This is where I was last weekend - The Dunes Bible Camp in Long Beach.  We had a women's retreat there with a couple really wonderful speakers.  Donna Buhrow teaches a couple of courses at George Fox University in Oregon and was our main speaker for the retreat.  Her message was titled Revolutionize Your Personal Walk with Jesus and was broken down into three sessions.  I highly recommend attending a retreat or seminar that she is going to be speaking at.  I would love to outline everything she talked about and share it with you, but I'll let her tell her own message.  I CAN tell you it's fabulous.

The other speaker we had the privilege of hearing was Carmen Chugg, a missionary currently stationed in Mestre, Italy.  What a delightful servant of the Lord.  If you would like to learn more about Carmen, you can visit the TEAM website.  Or, if you would like to donate to God's work that she is doing, you can do that here.


Yeah! Some Spring Weather

Finally! Some "leave-your-door-open-because-it's-so-nice" weather.  The girls have been outside a lot today and Alexis thought it would be a great idea to tie a rope to the tree and swing on it.  So, Mommy decided to improve it just a little bit to make it a little more fun.  I went into the garage, found a small board and drilled a hole in the middle of it big enough to get the rope through.  Once I secured the board on a knot and secured it around a sturdy limb, Alexis started jumping off the tree and swinging.  That fun lasted until her next little invention.....

This was the "tie-a-rope-to-the-wagon-and-bike" and ride as fast as you can invention.  I don't know if you can make out the rope or not, but it's one of those yellow ones that I HATE trying to tie.  It worked for a while until she hanked really hard on a turn and it popped off.  Kaitlyn thought it was hilarious and laughed so hard she almost wet her pants.  She made it to the bathroom just in time.

My sweet, sweet babies playing outside.  Oh, forgive me, I mean my little girls (Katie chastizes me everytime I call her my baby - "No, Mommy, me a little girl.").

We got all of our school work done earlier this morning so we've spent a few hours soaking in the little sunshine that graced our neighborhood this afternoon.  I can't wait for Summer.


Great Homeschool Link

One of our good friends at our church has a wonderful homeschooling site that gives great encouragement, advice, techniques, and how-to's to tackle the sometimes very difficult task of homeschooling a generation of God-fearing children.  The site is http://www.homeschool-life-situations.com/ and is a great tool and resource for those of you who have chosen this path of educating your children.

You will find links on homeschooling special needs, making homeschool fun, homeschool planning, and much more.  Being a homeschooling mother myself, I know that it is such a help and blessing when I can find tried and true ideas and methods from other, more experienced, mothers.  Take a peek around the site and see all the goodies that are there.  Let me know what you think.


Jumbo Coloring Fun

Bring out the big tub of crayons!  Grandma has just given the girls jumbo coloring books.  Alexis chose the Princess book and Katie liked the Fairies one.  And off they go ......coloring? .....creating?......nope, arguing over the crayons.  (Insert deep Mommy sigh and eye-roll).  I did, however, get to capture a couple of moments when the room was quiet and all you could hear was the smooth application of crayola colored wax on paper.  Ahhhh...that's a beautiful sound :)

Did you notice what Alexis was coloring?  Yes, that would be a horse....surprised?  Me neither.  She saw that page and did a full-on freak-out.  I told her that if she did a good job I would hang it on the wall.  She nearly wiggled out of her skin in excitement.  So funny.


A Visit from Darby

"What happened to our living room?!" That's what I heard this morning from Alexis.  I told her that Darby, our mischievous imaginary leprechaun, must have paid us a visit during the night and created mayhem.  Of course she wasn't convinced one bit.  "Mommy, I know you did it. What a mess."  Not exactly the level of excitement I was expecting, but, then again she is six and prone to telling things exactly how they are.  Oh well.

Not only did Darby (or, Mommy, as Alexis kept stating) make a green and white mess, but he also left a little treasure hunt behind.

There were six clues signed by Darby ("Mommy, I know your handwriting" *sigh*).  Each one had a little giggle at the girls for not finding the prize yet (which started to make Alexis very grumpy).  FINALLY, the last clue was figured out and this is what the girls saw in the living room closet:

Two really cute pails filled with candy and other goodies (pencils, stickers, notepads, hand-stitched stuffed shamrocks, etc.).  Once all the goodies were gone through, we sat down to shamrock pancakes and yogurt.  Mmmm.

All-in-all it was pretty fun (well, for me and Katie anyway).  Maybe next year the seven-year-old Alexis will have more fun with it.

What kinds of fun things did you do to celebrate today?


Back to the Doctor We Go

We just ended a round of amoxicillin with the girls.  Katie had a sinus infection and Alexis had a double ear infection.  Guess what? It didn't work.  Back to the doctor we go again.  Both girls are still sick and it's been three weeks.  Yikes.  But then again, Anthony and I have had ours for four and a half weeks.  Whatever this new bug is that's going around, it's been lasting a really long time for everyone.

One good thing about the doctor visit is that we'll get to see our doctor who had retired a while back.  He's covering for our new doctor who's on paternity leave.  The girls are very excited.  Dr. Mason is one of the best pediatricians out there.  He gets all kinds of loves from the girls, and they don't mind a visit to the doctor when they know he's going to be there.  They don't even ask if they're going to get shots.  Pretty impressive, huh?


Stuffed Shamrock Sally

This is the little cutie I made the other day.  Katie dubbed her "Sally" and I think it fits quite well.  I am in the process of making 11 more (nice even dozen - smile). It's an easy project for the upcoming holiday, and oh-so cute.

Materials needed:

Light green felt
Dark green felt
Shamrock cutout printed on cardstock (got mine from google images and just copied and pasted onto    MS Word)

Black eyes - 6 mm (got mine at Joann's)
Black embroidery floss
Red embroidery floss

Use the shamrock cutout to trace shamrocks onto your light green and dark green felt. Make sure that you flip the cutout to face the opposite way on one of the colors.  That way you can hide the trace marks when you sew them together. Cutout all the shamrocks. Take the light green shamrocks and figure out where you want the eyes to go.  I put some close together and some farther away.  It's just personal preference on this part.  I used an awl to punch through the felt so I could get the eyes in.  Then put the backing on the eyes so that they don't fall out. Once the eyes are in, use a fine sharpie marker to draw a cute smile and then embroider with red floss. Put the light green and dark green shamrocks together and stick all the way around with the black floss, leaving enough room to insert the fiberfill.  Finish up the stitch and then marvel at the cuteness.


Squishy Baby Ball

I've done it!!!  I have finished the squishy baby ball that I've been working on for my neice.  And, I've just found out that my sister-in-law is going to be having a baby girl in May (yeah!!).  Guess I'll have to make another one. The tutorial for this super-cute baby ball is over at Finding My Way. You know you want to make one.......or 12!

Oh, and guess what my husband has done for me?  Just look and see...

Isn't it beautiful?  I love, love, love, love it.  I'm still waiting for the drawer that goes in the top of that left-hand cabinet.  Oooo, I'm so excited.  A real space to escape when I'm taking a few minutes from mommy-duty.  Glorious! 

If you love the desk and want to build something similar, head on over to Ana White's site and grab the plans.  Type in CPU Base plans in the search box to get the plans for the two cabinets, then type in Corner Desktop plans to get the plans for the top.  My husband is no carpentar, yet look, it's awesome.  Her plans are wonderful.


Squishy Baby Ball

I just love the idea of these sewn squishy balls.  I'm in the process of making one for my neice who has just turned 1.  The picture and a tutorial on how to put it all together is here.  The one I'm making up is with pink and brown material.  Hopefully, I'll have it done soon and be able to post it.

The girls and I are having one of those cyclic cold virus days.  I think the little one got it from a cousin and then passed it to the big one and now to me.  Yeah......building the immunities.  Such fun.  However, it does give me an excuse to sit and craft and not do housework.  Cough, cough.....too sick for housework :).


Stepping Heavenward

If you have not picked up this book yet, may I suggest you do so at your earliest convenience.  You will most certaintly NOT be disappointed. I finished it just a week or so ago and will be reading it at least two or three times a year from now on (it is that good).  If you've wrestled with what it truly looks like to be Christ-like in character, to be wholly loving and giving, kind and self-sacrificing, while maintaining a peace and utter joy of a life for your Lord.....this book will show you one woman's journey to this elevated place.  There are so many treasures and godly wisdoms to be gleened, you can't possibly attain it in just one read.  What an awesome book for a group study this would be.

If you have read it, tell me what you think.


A Book Worth Reading

Head on over to Vita Familiae and take a few minutes to read about this inspiring and God-filled book.  You could even win a copy if you leave a comment of three things your grateful for at this moment.