Arbor Day


I was inspired to make myself a little bag by all these japanese craft magazines and images that are floating around online. Here, here and here .

So, I pulled out some leftover linen and scraps and laid out the bag while Annie was at school. It looked like this.

Annie, quickly, decided that it was not right and started moving pieces around. It seemed annie needed a bag of her own. I cut out some pieces for her and let her make her own bag. It came out really wonderful. Here is her bag and the two bags together.

It just goes to show you that if you try to make a childish design you should let a child design it. I finished the bags just in time for our trip to the arboretum to celebarate Arbor Day. Have a wonderful Arbor Day and don't forget to plant a tree.

This picture is of a goldfinch and house finch feeding from our homemade bird feeder. Just a bit of the fun that has been going on around here.

Sofia in the Summer


I came across a blog titled Wanna Be Hippie and of course I had to go there. Her writing is great and I love hearing another mom talk about the same struggles as we have here. Well, she has a second site Mama Says Om with some other ladies that has a topic each week. They added a flickr group to post pictures on that topic. I submitted a picture for the delight topic and it was the friday photo feature.

This is a 3 year old picture of Sofia and Katie, my nieces, at their block party. I have always loved this picture. It is a perfect picture to look at in January when the wind is blowing and it is 10 below. I really enjoy taking pictures and this is one of my best efforts. I think it was all due to the models.

Don't forget to check out Mama Says Om or Wanna Be Hippie.



I ran out to the thrift shop the other evening looking for some yellow fabric for this months tie one on challenge. It appears that either no one discards their yellow or eveyone is attempting the tie one on challenge this month.

I did find some good stuff and walked away with all this for only $10.00.


I seem to be channeling my old hippie days and had to have these 3 dresses. Yes, that does say 45 cents. None of them really work for me. The purple floral thing is more of a housecoat and I don't think I am ready to wear a housecoat. I may use the fabric for a dress for the girls or a skirt for me. The 45 cent dress is very cute on, but completely see-through. It would work with jeans underneath, but not sure if I can pull that off. The cute green dress will be shortened for Annie.


I picked up the bag for $1.50, I figure I can use the bags or take the handles for another bag. Maybe a bag made from the background fabric, two great king-size pillow cases.

I always like to grab a few books for the kids.


Some stencils for future freezer paper crafts. Let's See the Animals was for Annie because she loves books about the zoo. This is a great old book that shows a 1960's field trip to the San Francisco Zoo. The children get to feed the seals, giraffe and elephants and there is a baby zoo with baby elephants for the children to pet. I love these old books.


Feeding the giraffe.

Congratulations TomKat on the birth of baby Suri and John and Meghan on the birth of baby Mike.

Maddie's Birthday and other stuff


Madison's Birthday was very nice. We had the grandparents over for dinner and cake and a nice visit. Annie and Madison have many cousins and don't get much one on one time with the grandparents so this was a great visit. Dan grilled dinner and we had a yummy strawberry shortcake.

I think the best part was Maddie learning to blow out the horn.... she was so proud of herself.

On Monday, this arrived from wonderful Auntie Linda and family.

I waited for Dan to open it but the girls couldn't wait to play sooo they made use of the paper packaging-they were all action shots because they didn't stop rolling in the paper for 30 minutes.(thanks auntie linda)

And yes, those are crayons and pajamas in the mix. And no, my children never wear pants.

Given all the above excitment and the easter holiday (we finally dyed eggs at 6:00 p.m. on sunday) there has been very little making of crafty things. There has however been lots of making of smiles, laughter and memories.

Madison Is Two!!!


My creation

Today my sweet maddie is two years old. And today this is who you are Madison. You are the one who keeps a giggle tucked in pocket so that it is always there when you need it. You are the one who shrieks when she doesn't get her way. You are the one who stands up to your sister and demands that she "share". You are the one who is always pushing your limits but knows what your limits are. You are the one that strokes my hair and knows when I need kisses. You are the one that flirts with her dada and knows he will give you what you want. You are the one that loves green beans, strawberries, cereal with milk and yogurt. You prefer juice to milk and you devoured salmon on your birthday. You are the one that always steals a sip of my pop and a drink from my water. You are the one that tells me to "sit" when you want me to play and pushes me out of a seat when you need something. You are the one that loves bikes, books, balls, kittens and horses. You are the one that loves to dance to Ralph's World and always gets me to dance with you. You are the one that has to take everything out of her crib every morning. You are the one that makes sure Annie has a cup if you do and will always give her one of your cookies. You are the one that made me a better mommy. You are the funny one. You are the blond one with curls and blue eyes. You are the one that brings joy to my heart each morning and night. You are the one that is no longer 1.

Help me wish Maddie a Happy 2nd Birthday.

One Fine Day



Yesterday was....

sleeping in until 9:00 a.m. and being woken by kisses
having to make a second pot of coffee
blue skies and sunshine at 10:00 a.m.
the hubby doing yard work
"pishing" Maddie on the swing and listening to her giggle
the feel of sand on your toes
taking pictures of annie in her paper bonnet
clearing out winter from the garden and annie finding the hyacinths
a walk around the block
daddy making lunch of fried mortadella and feta cheese
naptime for maddie and rest time for annie
planting herb seeds with my little gardeners
mudpies in yogurt cups
annie singing "I'm planting my seeds,I'm watering my seeds, I'm taking care of the garden like I should"
daddy pushing maddie on the tricycle
bean bags and Blue Moon
sidewalk chalk
a barking dog
a mouse in the bird house
a long walk around the lake
ducks, swans and a woodpecker
the perfect rock by the creek and standing on it together
grilled pork chops and zucchini
dinner outside
being told to "sit" and handed my sudoku book
maddie riding on my shoulders and holding on tight
a tantrum
annie and daddy holding hands
strawberry banana shortcake with lots of whipped cream
bathtime and the smell of clean babies
books snuggles and bed.

Wishing you your own fine day.

Mailorder Bonnet

The amazingly talented Amy at Kingpod has this great Mailorder (a craft activity club) she is offering. Mailorder #2 came this week and included a pattern for a bonnet, a lovely bannana bread recipe, gift tags and other goodies.

I wasn't sure if we would get to sewing the bonnet from the pattern so Annie and I crafted one from brown paper (look for more fun brown paper crafts to come).

Annie cut out all the pieces and helped me assemble and then decorated with paper flowers. I think the pink ribbon is the finishing touch. I know this would be lovely and a bit more practical in fabric, but I really love making paper hats with the girls.

This was the perfect little project to get us in the easter mood and I may make the banana bread for easter morning. Yum.


Our house is lacking in Easter decorations, so the girls and I have cooked up a messy little project. Check back for an update.  Posted by Picasa

Please welcome Myrtle the spring Chicken. This cute little chick just started roosting in our house. We are hoping she lays lots of pink and yellow Easter eggs. Posted by Picasa


Playing with some new software. Hopefully my pictures will look nicer. Posted by Picasa

A Walk in the Woods with Annie.

I am really enjoying the changes in Annie as she grows from a toddler to a preschooler. Her pretend play has become so developed and she loves to be the director. She is beginning to write and think more abstractly. One of the things we have been working on this spring is a field journal. We are focusing on signs of spring and recording our observations. Some of these are things we are doing at home; growing bean seeds and planting lettuce, others are signs of spring from nature walks and trips about town.

The journal is providing us with many opportunities to explore. It gets me in the mind to take more walks and hikes so we have something to journal. It encourages Annie to use her observation skills and then to reflect on what we have seen. I try to pull out field guides or print pictures of plants and animals we see so she has something to look at. Annie is just beginning to write and this has been a great opportunity for her to work on not only writing words, but also forming her thoughts. We often do our journaling after dinner or before rest time, when Annie needs to calm down and focus on a task. I started the project on a whim (looking to redirect some evening energy) and it has really been enjoyable for both of us.

Here are a few pictures from the journal. (looking at the pictures it looks a bit like a jumbled mess, but she really is taking the time to draw the pictures and write the words. I am looking forward to keeping this up so that I can see the development in her drawing and writing.)

These are drawings of pole bean seeds we are growing in a jar. We have been recording the changes in the plants and Annie is choosing labels for them. We usually journal when she observes a change and brings it to my attention.

This is an image of a flower we saw out on a nature walk at the park. We came home and I printed a picture of it for annie to use as a reference.

We saw the crocus at the library and then used a field journal as a reference. I love how she drew both the open and closed version, such the little botonist.

Today was a beautiful day; a bit chilly, and we had a great picnic by the river.We played at the park for about and hour and then had a picnic lunch by the river. After that we walked to the same area where we saw the snowdrops to look for new flowers. Annie remembered where they were and spotted 1 new flower, spring beauty, and some garlic mustard. We also saw and heard a kingfisher. We will journal these tonight or tomorrow.

Here and here are a couple of links to books about exploring nature with your kids and some nice field guides. Happy exploring and journaling.