Six, Six, Six years for Annie


It's all happened so fast. The crawling, the eating, the walking and even the riding. I stood by you through each of your milestones, cheering, encouraging, supporting and yes shedding a bit of tears. Now you are six. Six years with you in our lives, six years of watching you grow and change and yet you are still my little baby. I wish I could stop the clock so that you will always need me as you do now but more milestones and growing awaits you and really, I love watching you grow. Happy Birthday my little slice of heaven. I love you.






Seriously, she was one darn beautiful little baby. I'm just sayin'.

A weekend of dirty hands.



I am a gardener. Maybe it's having the name Mary and all the "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does you garden grow?" I heard as a kid. I remember the first set of seeds I planted as an adult. It was a mixed flower envelope and the back said to "scratch the top of the soil and mix in seeds". Well, the spot I had chosen was so hard packed that scratching the top of the soil was like scraping a piece of pine wood. I dutifully added the seeds, watered and waited, nothing grew in that patch but my hands had touched the soil, planted the seeds and waited in anticipation and the only thing that bloomed was my need to feel the dirt on my hands. My gardening skills have grown since then but I always think back to that first planting as the time when I became a gardener.


Since that time I have always had some type of garden. Pots of houseplants, small beds of annuals and herb gardens have been planted and tended to. This year the bird and butterfly garden was added to and veggie beds prepared. I often find myself standing staring at my plants. My husband may think that I am admiring their blooms or looking for bugs but, really I'm dreaming. With each handful of dirt and seed or seedling there is a bit of a dream.
I stand gazing at the small leaves of coneflowers poking through the mulch but what I see is a clump of purple flowers calling to butterflies and later their seeds a snack for the goldfinches. Green bean seeds are carefully sown, their tender shoots wound up the bamboo pole. With each new leaf I wait and dream of Annie and Maddie heading out to the garden to search for beans, pull them off and eat them raw right there in the garden. As I stand there, small tomato plants grow to towers dripping with the sweet red fruit destined for salads, salsas and sauces. To be a gardener one must have faith, patience and vision.


When I was pregnant with Annie the doctor told me my due date. May 29Th, one of my first thoughts was Oh, that's planting season. The digging of the dirt, the planning and planting is my favorite part of gardening. Each spring there is a fresh start filled with hope, grand plans and anticipation. I am a gardener and the soil calls to me. This weekend I brought the whole family along and we all dug our hands in the dirt, planted a few seeds and dreamed of the summer to come.


Another handmade gift.


This is from a bit back, Maddie's birthday to be exact. After reading The Creative Family I decided that it would be nice to make some handmade gifts for each other. I had asked Maddie what she would like me to make and she said a little blankie for one of her bears. Nice and easy. I explained to Annie what Maddie had asked for and then mentioned that I thought it would be nice if she made a gift. Her original plan was a whistle, I am quite happy she changed her mind because I had no idea how to make a whistle and a google search of how left me a bit scared that she would really want to make a working whistle, ummm, no easy task. I think a little mommy prodding led her to decide to make a little sleep set to go along with the blanket. She sat for hours working on all her little gifts. There was a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. A sink and a pillow and a basket full of little books. She had to have made 15 little books no bigger than a stamp. Each with pictures and bits of writing. I picked up a little box from Michaels and painted it then bought a bunch of stick on jewels that Maddie could use to decorate, the girl loves jewels. Every thing was tucked neatly inside and wrapped. I stole the idea of the little box from Mama Urchin. This was perfect for Maddie, she is a collector kinda kid with little boxes full of treasures that she hides away- "oh mommy, this will be perfect for my ballection" and off she goes.


The bear with blankie and toothpaste.


Some of the little books.


You can never have too many jewels.


Opening up.

Maddie loved the gift and plays with it all the time. Annie was so darned excited to share her gift with Maddie, I thought the girl would burst. There was nothing crazy or expensive in her gifts, just the few things she asked for (a fairy barbie included) and lots love. Do ya think it will be this easy when she turns 14?

3x's the Love








the love....the Locks of Love that is.

Yesterday Annie, Maddie and I cut off a total of 28 inches of hair. Annie's and my hair were donated to Locks of Love and Maddie's will go to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths (they take 8 inches and you need 10 for Locks if Love.)


We had been talking about doing this for a few months. I've donated in the past and brought the idea up with the girls. At first they weren't so sure and then Annie was fully onboard. She decided that she would look like Snow White with short hair. Maddie never fully committed but the kid only had one haircut in 4 years-(yeah, I know, what sorta mom am I-the kind that couldn't stand to part with the hair that had been on her head since birth. Um, yep, I'm that sentimental.) Once we went to the salon she was game and 4 pigtails were made and measured. The girls were so excited and I almost cried. I was so amazingly proud of them. Annie said "I'll have Snow White hair and some other little girl will have a wig of Snow White hair." Such a simple way to teach kids about giving and so very personal. And well, they look so darn cute to boot. "New short summer hair" - Annie



I had been planning to cut my hair but was going to make an appointment for another day but I got caught up in all the cutting and joined in the fun. I'll post a picture of my new do when I get Dan to take a shot. I'm going to miss their cute little pigtails but I had Annie's hair brushed in 2 seconds this morning with not a single whine. Bliss.

Self-Portraits and a new challenge



The kidmade self-portrait gallery is up and I have posted the May challenge. I was so excited to recieve all the submissions for the first challenge. As it got closer and closer to the end of the month I had that same feeling you get 5 minutes after a party starts and no one has shown up yet. You know that, oh, maybe no one is going to come feeling. Thank you all for playing along it was really very inspiring. I loved seeing the different ways all the kids expressed themselves.
I have to admit that our little self-portrait session did not go over so well. I waited until the last minute, bought canvases and asked the girls if they wanted to paint a self-portrait. Maddie just wanted to paint and Annie was much too overwhelmed and went into perfectionist mode. In the end they both were happy with their work and that's all that matters. I think we will start much earlier on this months challenge.

I also wanted to share a book I picked up recently at the library. Doing Art Together by Muriel Silberstein-Storfer. Well worth checking out. Lots of great info on how children develop through process based art and how to talk to your children about their art.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend. And the picture is just a bit of fun from the zoo a few weeks ago.