Mini Swap makes it to Cinncinati.


Our Mini Swap package made it to Ohio. We were paired up with a family of 3 little girls Susannah age 6, Grace age 3 and Evelyn 16 months. I wanted the girls to be involved in the making of this swap. We came up with the idea of homemade books with activities packed into little totes. I originally planned to have the girls do some of the tote sewing but, well you know, it was just easier for me to do it. I did get them to do some of the drawing on the books and managed to keep Maddie from defacing most of it.



For Susannaha: A tote filled with origami paper and a little book of origami folding directions. There was also a little art book with inspirations such as: Draw a bird, Draw something that swims. Annie wrote these out.


Inside the book. I found the illustrations online, when I find the link I will post it.

For Grace a handmade "I Spy" Book. The girls put together four vingettes from stuff around the house and we took pictures and then picked a couple to look for. I really enjoyed this project and will keep it in mind for future gifts. I think the execution could have been a bit better. I wanted Annie to do the writing but she was not cooperative at this point.


For the littlest family member, Evelyn we made a clothespin can with painted clothespins and a book of acitivites to do. Some of the activities were from the book The Busy Book for Toddlers.


The little totes also had some giant lollipops, stickers and giant bubble wands. It was fun thinking up ideas and putting it all together. I hadn't sewn much lately and it was nice to get back to the machine. We also tucked in some chocolate for mom and a jar of homemade blueberry jam. Our swap box should be arriving soon and I'll post on what came our way.

She Reads.....



In the last week or so Annie has really started to read. She had been able to read a few words and began sounding words out but it was really just too much for her. I mean too much as in not easy. None of those pesky letters follow the rules she has learned for sounds. "But mommy if that word is Ja-raffe then it should start with a J or we could say gee-raffe." Math is much easier, those numbers always follow the rules.

I have been through this several times with her- "oh, mommy I'm never going to learn to swing" or "Tying my shoes is too hard." I once read a blog where someone talked about her daughter and that she never did anything until it was "easy for her". Wow, that is Annie. Everything has to be done on her schedule. She used the potty on and off for a year before deciding that "I won't wear diapers after Maddie is 1." Sure enough a week after Maddie's birthday she said "No more diapers."

It has been difficult for me to hold back and allow her to develop this skill at her own pace. I want her to read. I want her to have the experince of spending an entire warm summer day hidden in your room under the covers because you couldn't put the book down. I want her be whisked away to Oz and Chincoteague Island.
I love to hear her sweet voice carefully sound out the words and make corrections.
"If wallow means play in the mud then why didn't she just write play in the mud?"
Soon enough I will find her curled up in bed leg across her knee lost in some faraway place. I can't wait.

Thinking Spring


Well, I have been trying to keep spring in mind this week. The 6" of snow that came last night is not really helping with my mindset. We have been working on one little spring project-more on that later and I have started with some spring cleaning. The kinda cleaning that involves moving bedrooms to free up a new craft room for me-one with a door that closes and my hubby never has to look at.
Our town has a big garage sale each year and this year I am going to do it. I usually run around and buy lots of stuff, anyone remember the two ice cream makers I bought last year. This year it's all about making a bit of cash. Really it's all about getting rid of all the crap in my house. I am a horrible pack rat and I can't pass up furniture being tossed out so now my basement is the home way to many unfinished projects. The girls have so many toys that I may toss the whole lot of them. My big plan is to make a bit of cash and plant it in the garden. We really need about 10 yards of mulch this year and I want to put in raised veggie beds and get a load of compost. Seems fitting to sell some of my crap to buy some crap. Maybe I can call it my big Crap Sale. So, sorting,cleaning and organizing are all part of thinking spring.

The other thing that always make me think spring is the planning of the girls birthday parties (April and May). Maddie wants a butterfly party and Annie is asking for a sleepover. I said that's fine but family only. Good thing she has 8 girl cousins. I stumbled upon this site with these little cuties. Perfect for a spring birthday-or any day really.

What's got you thinking about spring?

Soup and Painting


A little soup on the stove. Recipe from Rachel Ray here. Very yummy. I added extra zucchini, didn't have any celery, and used dry basil and cooked it a bit longer. Annie said "this is the best soup ever."


While dinner bubbled away we had another little painting session. Nothing like the smell of dinner, the sound of the Juno soundtrack and a bit of quiet painting together. (Oh and take a listen to track 18, Maddie's favorite. She starts bopping around and all I can imagine is that one day she will have purple hair.)

:: The subject

:: Maddie

:: Annie

:: Me

Another cold, snowy walk to the bus stop.....



I'm usually pretty good about the winter. I don't mind the snow and really the cold isn't so bad, but this week I decided I'm done with it. Ready to move on to spring. Ready for grass and sidewalk chalk, walks and chirping birds. If only it was so easy; wish upon a star and all that.

I was thinking that I needed to do a little something to pull myself out of the February Funk so next week will be devoted to Think Spring. Maybe if I will it it will come. Anyone want to play along? Just try to do a little something every day that makes you think happy spring thoughts and post about it.



Hi all, not sure how many of you use bloglines or other feed reader to check in here but I think I did something a bit back to mess it all up. Anyhow you may want to update your feed. I have added two links at the bottom to get a feed. Seriously I would love to explain all of this better but it is completely beyond me. All I know is that I hit the nice little orange button on my tool bar and say yes to something and then I get to check in on all my favorite people when they update. Unless I am stuck logged onto my hubbies account and am to lazy to switch over.

Okay so hope I didn't just confuse you more.

and a bit more of this headed our way.....


maybe we'll be able to do a bit more of this.


Finding the time.....


I seem to be finding a bit of time for doing some of the things I really want to be doing.....

Painting with the girls



Reading Maeve Binchy - lovely for a bit of escapism

Watching Lost

Getting my weekly fill of cuteness in 2 hours at ballet class.


Having dinner most nights as a family. Dan was never home before 6:30 at his old job. Hooray for the 5 minute commute.

Why is it that I have found time for these little pursuits.....

Ummm, because I can turn a blind eye to a craft room that looks like this.....


and there has been no sewing going on around here because I'd have to clear this all out first. Tommorrow I swear tommorrow.....

Being a mom means always having the best seat.

We've been putting on a lot of shows lately. A lot of shows. I have no idea what is happening in most of them. A bit of dancing, some singing, and lots of the most important part, the getting it all ready.


My fellow guests are always so attentive and quiet.

Super Tuesday.


Did ya vote?