Sunday, June 20, 2010

preparation for the race

Saturday, June 19, 2010

my boys' toys

I took my boys to see the new Toy Story movie.

First of all, I took all 4 boys to the movies.
Even I think that is mighty brave of me.
My sweet Max, who is only 2 sat through the whole thing.
And all of the boys, ages 2 to 14, loved the movie!
I was so happy about that.

Second, holy cow, going to the movies are so expensive!
It cost us $44.50 just to go to the movie {not including snacks}.
Ughhhh!  I was NOT happy about that!

And last....the movie was somewhat traumatic for me.
Don't get me wrong, it was a cute movie.
I liked it!
I really liked that Max sat in my lap for 2 hours through the whole thing {snuggling with Mommy}.
However, the whole plot of the movie is that the kid who owns the toys is going off to college.
{that part is in the trailer, so I haven't given anything away, wink, wink!}

At the very end, this 18 year old kid says good-bye to his "mommy"
and to his toys and I was sobbing!

I glanced down the row of my boys {who were staring at the big screen}
and suddenly I had a panic attack...
they will say good-bye to me
and go off to college one day, too.

In the quiet, dark theater I suddenly wanted to scream
"you will never go to college.  you will never leave your mommy!"

Not yet.
I am not ready.

I know, I know...
I pray for them, all the time,
to grow
and to learn
and be strong men some day
{sometimes, I even pray for the one woman that they will meet & marry
but, we must never speak of that again - for at least 20 more years!}

But, I am not ready for my boys to grow up...not just yet.

Oh, right now I want them to play with toys.

More toys please!

So in honor of my small panic attack...
In honor of the tears I cried
for the kids' movie that I paid almost $50 buck to are some of my boys' toys.

This book is a keepsake in our family.
Daddy tells this story like no other and our youngest 3 boys have each been addicted to his charming story telling and addicted to this book.
We have replaced this book twice over the past 6 years because of wear-and-tear.
It is definitely one of our favorite things.  It makes my boys so happy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

black & white wednesday

We have been spending so much time at the pool this week.
Honestly, I have had very little time to take pictures of my kids splashing around.
With 2 little that can't swim independently,
I always usually right there in the water with my boys!

I LOVE close-ups!

As we were packing up to leave the pool today...
I grabbed my camera and zoomed in
on a few of my favorite things!

I love my boys!

Check out more amazing black & white photos...

the long road

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

i HEART faces photo challenge

This is my entry for the I ♥ Faces weekly photo challenge!

This week at I Heart Faces the theme is all about babies.  

I have the most amazing job...getting to photograph newborns...
this time..not one, but two!

Seriously, could these 2 little guys be any cuter?  
Check out that smile of one of their little faces.  
Thanks so much Stephanie & Charlie for sharing your family with me!

Head on over to I ♥ Faces 
& take a look at some amazing images 
by many inspiring photographers
...of some adorable BABIES!

Monday, June 14, 2010

music on mondays

I need to make a confession...

At the young age of 15,
I fell in love with Eddie Vedder.
I have been in love {or lust} since then.

Maybe some day I will find the courage
to actually tell him about my feelings.
Maybe some day our paths will actually cross.

Until then,
I listen to Pearl Jam,
and watch the videos
and dream {and drool}.

PS. Dear Hubby, you were {without a doubt} my first choice.  Eddie was on a 12-month tour the year we got married.  He was unavailable.  {wink, wink}

Sunday, June 13, 2010

preparation for the race

Saturday, June 12, 2010

simple gardening

Since the beginning of spring, we have worked VERY hard in the yard
and I am so ♥in-love♥ with the beauty that continues to bloom
as a result of our hard work.

From beautiful and colorful flowers {I am a color junky}
to a garden full of veggies {soon to be}.

At the very beginning of spring,
Sam & I spent a lot of time {and energy} planting lots and lots of seeds.

bell peppers
habenero peppers

We watched the seeds grow into tiny little plants.

We actually planted so many seeds,
that we had enough little seedlings to give away to Granny & Aunt Tammy, too!
This was a good lesson for Sam on so many levels.

Soon, the little seedlings were big enough to put in the ground.

And now, the garden is big & green
and absolutely on the verge of a vegetable explosion.
Many of the plants have tiny blooms on them that will soon be food.
Some even have little baby veggies growing already.

We have some surprises growing.

These pumpkin plants have sprouted up everywhere in the garden.
Last November, we buried our rotten Halloween pumpkins in one of our garden beds.
Now, we have at least 10 pumpkin plants growing from the recycled Halloween favor.
We will have our very own "home-grown" pumpkins for fall 2010.

Most of the boys enjoy the garden.
Sam likes checking up on all of the plants and progress of our growing veggies.
Tyler is old enough to actually work in the garden.
He actually helped put many of the seedlings in the ground.
One of Tyler's chores is to water and weed the garden every other day.
Max just enjoys being outside for any reason.

Then, there is James...he cares nothing about the garden at all.
Honestly, he doesn't like getting hot or sweating, much less "working" in the yard. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

great photog give-away

OMG...I really want this Kelly Moore camera bag!  
It is fabulous.
It is delicious.
It is sooooo yummy & my camera would look great in it!

I have a weekend girls trip {photography workshop} in Pennsylvania
coming up in July & I would so like to be sporting this camera bag.

The Savvy Photographer blog is hosting a Kelly Moore Bag give-away!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

feeling crafty

We start our summer reading program tomorrow at our local public library.

I decided to make some library totes for the boys to help them keep up with the books they plan to check out.

They turned out great and were VERY inexpensive.

Materials I used for this project:
canvas tote bags that I already had

1/3 yard of fabric {I spent 11.63 to make 3 bags}
The fabric wasn't on sale which was slightly upsetting.

The older boys got help choose their fabric {thus, the skulls}.

This project takes less than a 12" x 12" square for each of 3 fabrics per bag,
that you could EASILY use left over remnants from other projects!

woven wonder {I spent 1.99 for one yard to make all 3 bags}

sewing machine, thread & scissors - which I already had
printed letter templates from my computer
and a few measuring tools - one of the kids book & a mixing bowl from the kitchen

I must say - I way over spent on this project...
that's right...less than $14 for 3 bags and I over spent!
I have enough materials to make AT LEAST 3 more bags.

By may calculation...each tote would cost less than $4...easy!

How awesome is that?

I have the materials to create an adorable tote for the next birthday that comes up.
I can fill the personalized tote with some markers and an art tablet or
a few books and a little flashlight {depending on the kid}
and I'll have an inexpensive and meaningful gift!  {wink, wink}

As for timing...
I made all 3 bags for my boys in less than 2 hours.
I spent about 45 minutes working on them yesterday during naptime and
finished up the sewing part in about 45 minutes during naptime today.

That's right - less than 2 hours to make 3 bags!

10 easy steps for this project:
1.  First I ironed on the "wonder under" to the fabric I was going to use for the bottom square.  Then I did the same for the fabric I was going to use for the middle layer, the circle and then the top layer, the letter.

2.   For the bottom layer, I used on of the kids' square books {roughly 10" x 10"} and traced the outline of the square onto the fabric {wonder under side}.  

Then, on the fabric I was going to use for the middle layer, I used a round mixing bowl and traced the outline of a circle {tracing on the wonder under side}. 

3.  I used my computer {microsoft word} to create a cute letter for each of my boys initials.
I printed them and cut them out.

4.  Then, flipping the letters over, I traced them on the solid orange fabric for the top layer.  
Again, I traced on the 'wonder under' side.

5.  Next I cut out all of my shapes & letters.

6.  Then, I peeled off the 'wonder under' from the backs of the circles and letters
leaving the 'wonder under' on the back of the square. 
{I peeled it off LATER}

Seriously, this was the most difficult part of the whole project - peeling of the 'wonder under'. 
I couldn't get the edge of the 'wonder under' to come up.  
It was hard to grab onto.  
I know...I'm a wimp!

7.  Next, I ironed on the circle to the square 
& then the letter onto the circle.
{following the iron/heat instructions that came with the 'wonder under'}  
No sewing so far - just a little tracing, cutting & ironing!
Simple, right?

8. NOW I peeled off the 'wonder under' from the square!

8.  Time to sew - which took less than 5 minutes per bag.
I sewed the outline of the letter with a straight stitch, just inside the outside edge.  
{This was the second trickiest for me...I don't sew well on curves.}

9.  Then I sewed a zig-zag stitch just inside the outside edge of the circle.

**NOTE - with the stitches being just inside the edges of the cotton fabric...
I suspect, with some wear & tear, there will be some fraying.
{'wonder under' will keep that to a minimum}

A few frayed edges is okay with me.  
It's a kid's bag and I am totally into shabby chic, anyway!

Ummm, this is what the little guys were doing while I worked on this project! 
{wink, wink}
Isn't he cute?

So close to being done...

9.  I ironed on the square {other layers already sewn onto the square} to the tote bag.

10.  Lastly, I sewed a straight stitch just inside the outside edge of the square.  

I really thought this was going to be the hardest part - working with the bag that had the sides sewn together, but it wasn't hard at all.

Viola!  It's done.

All of the bags turned out so cute!

I just love them.

We are all set to head to the library tomorrow to fill the new {inexpensive} tote bags with books!

Head on over to Tatertots and Jello to find lots of amazing crafts!

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up  party!

Monday, June 7, 2010

music on mondays

Just needed to feel a little fun & silly.

summer fun

Today is our first day of summer vacation.

In hopes of using our time together
{without the schedules of school}
in an intentional way rather than being lazy,
we had a "family meeting" to discuss the summer.

We created a list of things we want to do.
{I had to say no to Sam's Alaska trip request.}

Financially we can't take big vacation this year, so we have some "stay-cation" plans.
Even if we aren't counting down the days until we get to the beach {not happening this summer},
we ALL have lots of stuff to look forward to.

I am so excited about this!

I got a little inspiration from Digital Reflections and her list of "100 Free Things to do With Your Kids This Summer."

I have find local activities and event in our community that are FREE!!!

Check this out for FREE movies once a week:

We will going to the movies for FREE once a week.  

We will also be visiting our local library for puppet shows, book readings, magic shows, etc...for FREE!  

I even have a few craft plans for us to enjoy {inexpensive crafts, of course}.  

I bought the kids each a journal.
I have some WONDERFUL scavenger hunts and photo projects that the kids are really gonna love!

I have also implemted Thoughtful Thursday - where we will make a concious effort to be extra thoughtful that day and brainstorm ways we can do that together {like taking lunch to Granny or helping out with the Summer Lunch Program at church}.

We even created a summer chores list for each kid in the family.  
They are very excited about earning an allowance 
{and placing stickers on their chart, too}.

We also had to set some major rules on the amount of TV and video game time!

This is going to be a great summer!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

preparation for the race

Friday, June 4, 2010

I love Stephanie's doodle's!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

give-away for photogs

Fellow photogs...
head over to The Maternal Lens for a wonderful give-away from My Four Hens Photography!
I just found out that she (the "my 4 hens" chick) creates AMAZING Photoshop actions!
I love them and want them all!
This give-away is for a $100 gift certificate to her actions store!
Check it out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

fast food

I am still in the country
seeking simplicity, peace and slow kind of living.

All I got was...SICK!

I have spent the last 2 days in the bed
listening to my hubby take care of the boys
while confined to the same bed, pillow & blanket...
...feeling like crap.

Oh, and I have giggled a little
while listening to the chaos
going on outside my sick room.
Hubby is doing great being the only parent in charge
...but it's wearing on him.
I can tell.

I decided I WOULD feel better!

I got out of bed around noon and threw a pork roast in the crock pot
with a can of soup and a pack of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.

On a side note...I ♥ my crock pot.
I could cook in it every single day!
Chicken, pork, beef...I could go on and on.


Then I went back to bed.

I got up again, feeling guilty for not parenting AT ALL over the last 2 days,
and decided I WOULD put dinner on the table
{like a good momma should}.

I threw the pork on a plate.
I microwaved a pouch of rice for 90 seconds.
I microwaved a pouch of veggies for 4 minutes.
and set the table...volia...dinner!

I will call this fast food
{it took me all of 6 minutes to put on the table}.
And, slightly healthy might I add
{yeah, yeah, I know, minus the sodium from the prepackaged food}.

And then,
I went back to bed.
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