Thursday, June 30, 2011


We are very blessed to have two experienced woodworkers in the family, my father and of course, Daddy! We have always taken the boys to the free clinics at Home Depot or Lowes since they were fairly young, but now that they are older, they are wanting to work more with "grown up" tools. So earlier in the year, Jacob had expressed to my dad that he wanted to build something with him in his workshop. He narrowed down his list of projects to a bird house. My dad made sure that it would happen (and he also said that Jacob was quite the chatterbox during their special time together!) It turned out beautifully and he was sooo proud of it. It is a bluebird house and while it remains vacant this year, we are hoping it will be occupied next spring. He even picked out where he would hang it in the yard.

Parker and Blake also participated in a building project with my dad. They made this gorgeous planter out of cedar. I am thinking it needs a matching planter (hint, hint).

Both Blake and Jacob collect mini football helmets and they both needed display shelves for them. Blake came up with this design and worked on it with Daddy. He also decided on painting it red (one of the colors of his favorite team).

Jacob and Poppa worked on his. He is still deciding on the finish, but I have a feeling it will also be red.

The more involved the boys have become in the making of things, the more pride they have taken in the final product. It is such a gift to create something with your own two hands, something that can last for generations to come, something that has a story behind it. And it is such a great lesson to teach them that instead of running out to the store to buy, they can make it themselves! There is already another long list of projects to make and I can't wait to see what they produce.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A walk in the woods

This morning we took advantage of the somewhat cooler weather and headed to the woods for a hike. We decided on a trail that would take us to the lake which is always fun for the boys. We spent a good amount of time exploring the shore and of course, the boys ended up going in the water. We had a great time as we always do!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Why, yes I am doing an entire blog post about our new kitty. That is because we just love her so! It has been a little over a month since this sweet little girl joined our family and she has brought so much joy! She has quite the personality (as expected for a female calico!). The kids are still in love with her as much as they were when she first came home, with one exception-Blake. Being a young kitten, Chloe still very much likes to play using her nails and teeth and that doesn't sit so well with him. In fact, he has become a little bit shy/scared of her. Which seems silly to me because she is so little! I am hoping as she grows out of this hyper playful stage, he will warm up to her again.

It has been great having a kitty in the house again. And she certainly entertains us with all her silly antics, like pouncing on you when you least expect it or popping up on her hind legs like a prairie dog. And she is improving on her fly catching skills...just in time for summer ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Celebrating the Sun

This past Saturday, we gathered together with friends to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Ironically enough, the weather was pretty stormy, but thankfully the rain and clouds let up and we all could enjoy the evening outdoors.

As always, the food was amazing and our hostess even made homemade ice cream as a treat!

I do believe this was one of the highlights of the evening for the kids

And of course, there was the sun pinata filled with all sorts of treats (thanks Carrie for making such an awesome pinata!)

The evening ended with a little bit of fishing at the pond and gathering around the fire. It was a wonderful way to celebrate! Welcome Summer and we look forward to all that is in store to come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Days

Summer is in full swing here and we have been welcoming some of our favorite warm weather activities back into our rhythm!

reading some favorite summertime books

lots of pushes on the swing as the fearless toddler giggles and says "more!"

cooling treats on the front porch (in her new rainboots of course)

clothing optional gardening (okay this one is only for the 2 year old)

water balloon fights!

playing with bubbles

wishing to be just a bit bigger...

so she could join her brothers wwwaaayyy up there

saying goodbye to the last of the spring veggies

and welcoming the first blooms of the summer flower garden!

lots of watermelon eating (they sat like this all on their own!)

So far, summer is off to a great start! At the end of the school year, the boys and I came up with a summer wish list- a list of activities we would like to do during our summer break. The list included things like swim in the lake, roast marshmallows, go horseback riding and fishing. I am hoping we will be able to accomplish just about everything and so far it looks very possible!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Birthday Handmades

I wanted to share a bit more about the handmade gifts we gave MaKenna. This was the first time that I made a birthday crown. I have always found this waldorf tradition to be a wonderful way of making the birthday child to feel even more special, but never got around to making one for the boys. And to be honest, I wasn't sure if they would even want one (but, it turns out "birthday crowns are cool!"). I tried to make something for her that she would enjoy wearing when she was 9 or 10 as well and after doing a little bit of research on the internet, came up with a simple design. The main crown is made from plant dyed wool felt and then I needle felted her initial with green roving and sewed the felted flowers on the sides. At first I wasn't sure what colors to use (she is too little to have a favorite), but I have always tended to lean towards purple for her and so I went with that and yellow as the complimentary color. I am very happy with how it turned out!

I also made her a baby (Molly). She is a 12" button jointed baby (her arms and legs can move more than the boys dolls). And since she is a baby, she only needed a wig...blonde of course like her mama. I also was on the fence about eye color. As a baby, MaKenna's eyes were pretty blue, but as she has gotten older, they are more "gray". However, gray isn't exactly the prettiest color so in the end I went with blue. Molly's sweater is knitted by me...the same pattern used for Jakey's doll. I ended up leaving off the button as MaKenna loves to undress the babies (she is always trying to take the clothes off the boys' babies). And since she loves her babies to be naked, I didn't worry about sewing up clothes as of yet. I still have plans to make a few things for the future, but as we speak, Molly is sleeping naked in her bed :-)

And her gift from Daddy was a new kitchen! This has been the focus of much play since Sunday by all the kids. A lot of love and labor went into it and it turned out beautifully! I smile everytime I look at it! And since it was handmade, we were able to customize it a bit...combining designs from several wooden kitchens we had seen. It is a bit taller and a bit wider to accomodate our tall (and many) children. It is a great size even for Jacob, so I see lots and lots of years of play here. Blake was very excited for Kenna to get this so he spent the night before setting it up with all our playfood and cookware. Of course, now it is all mishmashed, but that's okay.

Since Kenna's birthday, we both have had requests for new babies and a refrigerator to go with the kitchen. Hmmm...I think we can make that happen!

2 times around the sun

On Sunday, our baby turned 2! These past two years have gone by in a blink of an eye and that scares this mama. Oh how I wish I could slow time down! It was a perfect day and we celebrated MaKenna all day by doing some of her favorite things. She was up bright and early, so I took her downstairs and she immediately went to her new kitchen. She was very excited and said "what's this?!" It was sooo cute! She was able to play with it for a while before her brothers woke up and joined in on the fun.

After eating a favorite breakfast (pancakes), she opened the rest of her gifts from us. I made her a birthday crown...a new addition to our birthday celebrations. She wore it long enough for me to take a picture and then proceeded to throw it to the floor. I didn't have any expectations for her to wear it, but it is something she will grow into in the years to come.

Her gift from mama was a new baby. And as predicted, she wanted the baby to be naked and proceeded to take off all her clothes! It's a good thing I didn't make a ton for her to wear.

Later in the morning we headed over to one of our favorite places, Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. We took a nice walk around their ponds hoping to feed some ducks, but the ducks were not there. It turned out to be okay as we saw so many other creatures...turtles, toads, butterflies and dragonflies.

After our hike, we enjoyed a nice watermelon lunch. And we have been enjoying watermelon everyday since ;-) My summer baby loves her fruit!

Dinner was another Kenna favorite, raviolis, followed by a mama made cake. Unfortunately, she did not eat a single piece of birthday cake. It began to thunder and she is terrified of thunder since we had a bad hail storm last month. Poor thing was too scared to eat! She enjoyed a slice the next day though.

It was a wonderful day! She was so happy and I think she understood that it was all about her. I am so lucky to have this little girl in my life and can't imagine it without her!