My Response


I wanted to share my response to the person who sent the nasty letter. I really wanted to tell them to go to hell or f*** off but I restrained myself and this is what I sent. (I really wanted to put the email out there and ask you all to take pictures of your ugly back yard and send them)

Dear Concerned Neighbors,
I am much more concerned that my husband and I have chosen to raise our children in a neighborhood with neighbors who would send such a cowardly, mean-spirited and hurtful email to a fellow neighbor.
In the future please either contact me directly with your concerns, you do know where I live, or file a complaint with our management company:

Community Management

Thank you for your concern,

Mama Says Om: Forgive


I had been tossing around the idea of forgiveness all week, trying to hit the mama says om theme. I am not one to carry a grudge, I get mad, I yell and then I make up with the person. But today I got this awful email from a "concerned neighbor" and I can't get mad and make up because it was sent with no name. But I thought maybe I should try to forgive this person anyway. Read on:

Are you planning on doing anything with your backyard? It is
an awful site to see. You have a tent with no cover that you sit under with just
the frame to eat dinner. You have a rainbow brite painted playset that is an eye
sore, you have toys all over the backyard (we all have kids and seem to be able
to pick up their toys and put them away each night), and you have a rusted out
smoker along the fence. This is a disgrace to our neighborhood and you should be
ashamed. Your backyard sticks out like a sore thumb when driving on . It looks like there should be a doublewide on that lot instead of a
home. Please take care of this.

Here is the said disgrace and the sore thumb playhouse.
I did take down the tent frame after I got the email but that's about it.
So to my concerned neighbor I say to you...
I forgive you...
for being so petty and mean-spirited.
for ruining what had started as a beautiful day for my girls and I.
for making me cry and in turn making my 2 year old cry.
for not seeing beyond yourself and your world.
for choosing apperances over substance.
for not being able to find your inner child.
for being a coward.
for being a mother who thinks it's important to clean up the toys every night.
for thinking that painting a playhouse purple and not cleaning up toys is shameful.
for watching my family as we eat dinner in my backyard.
for buying in to the prefab, preprogrammed set of rules for taste.
for not doing something better with your time then opening up the email account
but mostly I forgive you just because you are my neighboor and that's what I do, I forgive people because no matter what the act is it is not sum of the person. I have seen too many people lose a lifetime with the people they love because they were unable to forgive. I hope that I am never put in the situation where I would rather share a lonely evening with my grudge then a monday night with my family.
Happy forgiving and clean up those damn toys!

Mama Says Om: Saunter


I sat in class that first morning, eyeing the other students in the room. I was a transfer student who knew no one, I looked around for a friendly face. As class was about to start you sauntered into the room. Your hair was a wild mess of long dark wavy curls that you pulled into a ponytail after you sat down. You wore jeans with holes and patches, I wondered who sewed the patches on for you. You sat in the front row, 2 seats up from me and I loved your hair.

Each day I would get to class a bit early and sit in the same seat. I would watch you walk in to the classroom, always confident and always laughing. I would sit behind you and wait to catch your eye and say hello or to be assigned a group project with you. It seemed to never happen. After class we would both walk to the union, me several steps before or after you. We would each get a coffee and sit at different tables. I would glance up from my crossword puzzle to gaze your way. We never made eye contact. Later, I learned that you wanted to meet me as much as I you. I remember the first time I saw you out at a bar. You were dancing, silly fun, I don't take myself to seriously dancing and oh, that hair.

Then one day I watched you walk through the door and I knew, I knew that you were the man I was going to marry, we hadn't even said hello to each other. It was Bob I met first, we worked on a project together, and then he introduced me to you. By spring we were the best of friends. "Are you dating?" everyone would ask. No, we are just friends. You talked me into working at camp with you. Each night we would sit by the fire, first sitting next to each other, then holding hands, later we would cuddle and you would kiss me goodnight on the head.

Then one night a kiss.

Now, 13 years later, I wait each night for you to saunter in through our door. I only wish you still had that hair.

Cheap stuff.


I love cheap stuff. Okay, I really love expensive stuff but it is usually not in the budget so I always try to figure out how to get the stuff I want, cheap. Here is some cheap stuff I have picked up or made lately. Now, if I could only find that cheap Stickley dining room set.


This is a nice little puppet theatre I picked up at a garage sale for $1.00. My family room looks even more like a preschool classroom now.


I had to have this... I had one when I was a kid and it still had all the stencils. Only 95 cents.


I picked this book up a while back at goodwill. Some of the quilts are really fun and are on my to do list...Like this one


while others I am not as fond of....


and this is my favorite find


My new sewing table.

Each year for christmas my in-laws give me a $50 bill. I hold on to that bill like it is gold. I keep it in my wallet until I find that one thing that I really want and can't rationalize spending $50 dollars on. Last year I bought a lovely leather bound journal (spending money on a journal-rational, spending $50 on a journal-not so rational.) So this year it was this lovely little table, a steal at $60. It is an old folding card table. The reason this was so a bit frivilous is that I have a big dining room table that we never use and 2 other old tables in the basement, but they are not this lovely little table that I want to keep jugs of flowers on, so bye bye $50 and thank you Mr and Mrs. Z.

A bit of cheap crafting...

Yesterday, Maddie was quite upset because her green shirt did not have "bugs-on-it" like Annie's so we had to whip up a freezer paper stencil for her. She opted for a bike.

While at walmart we had to get another t-shirt so annie could have another custom shirt. I am not so big on the whole Disney Princess thing so this seemed like a good compromise princess t-shirt.


Sorry about the fuzzy pictures. My camera is not so happy with me these days.
Oh and as an aside if you have not seen the movie Duma- rent it, great for the family.
Hope you find something cheap!

Father's Day


One of the joys of having children has been watching my husband become a father. I always knew he would be a wonderful father, it is one of the reasons I fell in love with him, and he is even more wonderful with the girls than I imagined.


This is him doing what he does; playing, laughing, and adoring his daughters.

I have also really enjoyed watching my father and father-in-law as grandfathers. Both are big men with booming voices, but when they get around their granchildren they are big softies that will do anything for them. It is great to see them make silly faces at a crying baby and lie down on the floor watching santa dolls dance, again and again.


Here is my dad with my Maddie and my niece Lexi. The kids are always on his lap, especially during dessert time.


This is my dad 34 years ago holding me and my two brothers. A young dad himself.


This is my father-in-law, big smile on his face holding is grandaughters.

I have four brothers and 2 brother-in-laws, which are now a fathers, and it has also brought me joy to watch each of them grow into fathers. They each have a special gift for fatherhood and each of their children are lucky to have them.

So to all the men in my life, that are also wonderful fathers, I wish you all a happy fathers day and hope that you get lots of kisses and hugs from all the children in your lives.

Toads, plaster and a baftub.


We have been enjoying summer and playing outside so my posts have been a bit sparse. Here is a bit of what's been going on around here and I promise to update with some crafting and garage sale finds soon.

This toad was hanging out by the hose on Thursday. The girls tortured him for a few mintues and then we sent him on his way.


and some video here

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We also got nice and messy with a bit of plaster casting in the sand box. I love letting the girls use glitter when it's outside. It's a good thing it was hot enough for a hose off.


And this is Madison standing in the "baftub" she was so proud of herself for dumping out all the toys and bathing herself and her "babeeee". Oh well, it was the perfect excuse to sort through all the toys in Annie's room.


Lastly, a bit of strangeness one only finds in a house with a 2 year old doll lover. Just a bit of dolly carnage, gotta love living with little girls. (click on the picture for a bigger view)


Trying some new things.


Hey just trying out a new editor and a new web site.

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Enjoy the little video clip.

A bit of this and that...


Whenever I find cute things or some inspiration on-line I bookmark them. I now have a very large folder of goodies and I thought I would share some of them. Hope you find some inspiration.

This is soo simple and so cute

more of these


I would love one of these in Annie's room to hang paper birds or butterflies.

These make me want to learn to embroider...

and a little coin purse tutorial (for those of us with out a zipper foot) can be found here.

Lastly, some fun stuff from one of my favorite online toy stores,

Hope you are feeling inspired.

Ya just never know


Flickr will tell you how many people have viewed any given photo you have uploaded. It always surprises me which pictures get comments or have the most views.

This picture of my adorable baby -



This picture of soy sauce spilled on my carpet



Go figure...

Blue Bag, Ralph and Seeds...


The last weekend and week as been spent in the garden. We live in a new house and there is so much planting to be done and only so much money to spend, so I went a bit crazy with the seeds.....

Madison has become my little garden helper and loves to stick the seeds in the holes. She keeps finding my seed stash and rooting through them until she finds seed-filled packets. She shakes, listens, tosses to the side or tears open and exclaims "seeeeds". I belive she planted pumpkins in the carrots and corn in the sunflower tunnel.
This morning was a big day in the garden, zucchini, corn, and pumpkins started pushing through. I will update with pictures soon.

Last saturday I did take some time off to share in the joy of a first birthday. I love first birthday parties and we had such a nice time. My friend Sara always calls them a celebration for the parents and she is so right. It is such a milestone and the parents are always so happy and proud of the little one. At 1 the little ones are beginning to become so much more independant and they really start to explore. As the birthday child sits there staring at all those faces singing happy birthday to them, I hope they know that all those crazy people are there to say "welcome to the world little one, we are all the people that love you and will always be there for you". Happy Birthday to Avery and Congratulations to Deb and Mick.
The entertainment for the party was Ralph Colvert from Ralph's World. My girls love him and showed it by singing and dancing (annie) and being super shy (maddie). All the kids (okay, parents too!
) really enjoyed it. Here are some pictures.

I also finished a new little bag. I used an old pillowcase I found while thrifting. This was my first wooden handle and magnetic clasp. I also made a rectangle shape. I love the fabric but I really need an over the shoulder bag. It is quite summery.

bluebag2 Inside of bag with magnetic clasp

Have a happy lemonade kinda day...

Zipper update.


I've been hunting around and it appears I can order a new zipper foot for my machine. Quite exciting. I may also be able to get a zig-zag foot and button holder...oh my stars, all the exciting zippered, buttoned and zig-zagged things that could be in my future.

Mama Says Om: Yo-Yo


"yo-yo sleepover, yo-yo sleepover" sings Annie and I have to hide my laughter. The song she is singing is Yo-Yo Sweet Yo-Yo (Dan Zanes with the Rubi Theatre Co.). The words are "Yo-Yo Sweet Yo-YO", but Annie has always heard it as sleepover. I find that I cannot bring myself to correct her. There have been so many simple pleasures and small surprises that come with having a child and the mixed-up, self-created language they speak is one of them. So please indulge me as I share a few...

In our home you need a "rainbrella" and I am typing on a "perio". Madison screams for "Ah-Knee" and likes to put her "mon" in the "money bank". When putting together a puzzle the last piece is "last but not first". Outside you may use a "delacote" (telescope-this one to me awhile to figure out) to see a "hopgrasser" or a "bun" in our "back-a-yard". "Dayda", (Dasia) the cat, may "wannanee" (want to eat) and Annie loves to wear her "flip-n-flops" in the summer.

Each time Annie corrects herself I try to make her go back to her annie-ism but she will not oblidge me. Annie is slowly growing out of this phase and Madison is just learning to talk and will add her own words to the ever growing dictionary of our lives. In so many ways the trials and joys of parenting are universal but it is these little languages that the experience of each family becomes so unique. I try to record as many of these expressions as I can. They always remind me that every moment of a young childs life is spent figuring out all those things that we take for granted and sometimes singing "yo-yo sleepover" makes much more sense.



Allright, this is just a little post to get something off my chest. I really really really want to sew zippers. I have never sewn a zipper and I my machine does not have a zipper foot, sooo no zippers. For the longest time I never dared to try a zipper, but now, I am really up for the challenge. I dream of little zipper coin purses to go with my bags and fun summer skirts (not being of the flat tummy crowd it is important to have zippers and not elastic waists- it's one of the rules on What Not to Wear) but alas I can only dream to find the perfect zipper foot for my random 12 year old brother sewing machine.
I even bought 10 zippers for $1 at the thrift store. I sit and zip, up and down, up and down. Okay, I feel much better now that I have voiced my need. I wish they had a little sewing cafe where I could use their machine, have a latte and scone and maybe try out serger and walking foot. All right off to bed with dreams of walking feet and zippers.....

Warm is...



sunshine on your back.
dirt between your toes.
a baby sleeping on your chest.
a mug of coffee.
steamy pasta in the colander.
the perfect bath.
the perfect temperature for spreading butter.
a cat on your lap.
a down comforter.
handmade mittens.
wishes for a friend.
footy pajamas.
flannel and fleece.
laying down on the driveway after running through the sprinkler.
bread from the oven.
leftover pizza out of the microwave.
hugs around your neck.
all four of us in the same bed.
Annie's smile and Maddie's curls.
the loft where we had our first kiss.

For Mama Says Om:Warm