Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have been in a whirlwind of summer activities since we arrived home from Indiana. I am loving summer in Virginia, as always, despite the lack of rain and insane heat. Iced coffee and watermelon are my dear friends. :)

For the past several evenings, I have been taking the girls out around 7:30pm to play since it has been quite hot during the day. We water the garden with buckets from the blow-up kiddie pool, feed and water the chickens, and watch the fireflies light up our field. It is really sweet seeing the kids enjoy the little chores of farm life that they can participate in. Today is the first day I am spending at home since we arrived back... I have so much to do, including folding and putting away laundry from our trip!! And hopefully I will get to the stack of crafts I have pooling in my mind! :)

On the note of crafts, call me crazy, but I am already planning out Isabel's 2nd birthday party which isn't until October!! I want to do a bird themed party since she loves "tweet-tweets" so much! Since it is a fall party, I am thinking of doing her party at a local forest and possibly including some owls in the decor because I think an owl party would just be awesome in the fall!!! :) Check out this owl party. I really need that owl pinata!! Anyhow... I was thinking of something more rustic than that party, but the wheels in my head are turning. The hardest part is whoooo (tehehe) to invite? For birthdays 1 and 2, I typically do just family, but this time, it would be fun to have friends to partake in the birdie crafts I have planned, and if its at the forest, I could have lots of friends come and it would be GREAT! :) Please feel free to leave any brilliant owl/bird party ideas or links in the comments, if you have any!!! Its going to be great!

Does anyone else become an extreme homemaker when they are pregnant? Because I am definately feeling crazy nesty, and finally, half way into my pregnancy, I have energy again!! Well, I hope you are having a nice week... time to enjoy a pretty day over here. I'm praying for rain and goats.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trip Pics

I didn't get as many pictures from this trip as I normally do. I don't really know why. It rained or was overcast the first several days. We went to hit up all of our local favorites over the weekend including Cabela's, Sanfratello's Pizza, and Gayete's Ice Cream. We saw all the family and old friends as well. The rain didn't stop us from taking our traditional trip to the city to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Actually, most of my pictures, sadly, are of animals!
And we didn't get to see the polar bear, but the girls seemed to enjoy the zoo. Thanks to the light rain and gray skies, the zoo was quite empty. The cooler weather made it more enjoyable as well. After our first day at the zoo, we enjoyed an AMAZING meal at Connie's Pizza. We eat a lot of pizza when we go to the Chicago region.

Anastasia enjoyed her grandfather (who she takes after so much) on this trip. As she gets older, our trips seem to gain more meaning.

We also spent a day in Shipshewana, an Amish and Mennonite attraction. It was mostly a dissapointment because it was a whole bunch of stores full of fake-country manufactured (in China no doubt), junk. Of course there were Amish people driving buggies everywhere, but was more of a tourist gimmic then a real Amish town. We did see some neat farms and there were a couple surprisingly great fabric stores. And some yummy "Amish" hand-rolled pretzels. It was an okay trip, but one of our real highlights was visiting Annie and Martin and their lovely little girls:Anastasia and Anja hit it off quite well. Isabel and Greta (not pictured) really enjoyed eating. And Annie and I had fun chatting, and taking an unsuccessful walk to a fountain that turned off just as we were arriving (grr). The boys went to the range and went shooting. A good time was had by all! And Annie and Martin made us steaks and watermelon for dinner. And now, I have to cook again and I sort of forgot how.We spent another HOT day in the city on Friday at the zoo which didn't last long. I enjoyed a trip to a nice fabric shop where I spent the little I had in my Paypal account. And we took one last trip into Chicago on Saturday. Anastasia wanted to go "in Chicago" meaning, one of the buildings that make up the city. We took her and Isabel to the huge, grande Macy's which was formerly the famous Marshall Fields. When we had gone a couple years ago, they had an FAO Schwartz inside the store adding to the excitement and marvel for a little one. But it has since been removed. But the huge candy store on the bottom level saved the day: Anastasia got to be a kid in a candy store, and I let her fill a little bag of candy for her and Isabel. It was a priceless moment. Can you believe some of the chocolate was over $50 a pound? Godiva was one of the less pricey candies available!! It was really, really amazing.

I was in love with these otters. I think they were in love with each other. We also went to Millenium Park. It was a blast:

We always take a family picture in the Skyscape (Big Bean).
It was hot and crowded but enjoyed a dip in the HUGE fountain they have:

And we took a long drive through flat cornfields and storms to get home. So glad to be back!!
It wasn't our best trip, there was a little drama, and I wasn't as energetic and excited as usual (thanks to baby #3, and a little constipation) but it was a fun time overall. Its nice to get away and have a renewed since of life at home. Again, I am SO GLAD to be home and getting back into our routine! I will be updating the shop some next week! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stinky Stuff

Soooooooooo we are finally back in ol' Virginia. I am so happy to be home, but it was a bit disgusting finding our refrigerator broken when we walked in our oven/house. Apparently something in the freezer fell, and opened the freezer, and all the heat came in and melted/spoiled EVERYTHING! Then it all leaked into the fridge and clogged something so the fridge stopped working. And the smell was lethal.

I choked on a pretzel in the car on our way back, after 26 years of chewing fine, I somehow inhaled a pretzel, gagged, and threw up a lot on the side of the highway. It was bad. And smelly. If I hadn't thrown up then, I would have when we walked in the house. There were things growing that should not exist in the human world. I think the stench killed the colony of ants that were living in our kitchen. Unfortunately we now have fruit flies, which are far worse than ants. I think the saddest part is that I lost days worth of pitted cherries in the form of frozen pie fillings, as well as 12 jars of strawberry freezer jam in addition to ALL our condiments and frozen veggies and EVERYTHING!!! I have decided to make up for it during peach season...

On the flip side of things, Nick cleaned the fridge better than it has probably ever been cleaned in its life and he learned a lot about refrigerators in the process. I mopped the floor for the first time in months. And it appears today that our fridge is now working after Nick cleaned a few vents and things. There is still quite a smell lingering... but I am not sure that there is anything else to clean... maybe some baking soda will help clean things up a bit more.

Well, I am off to put the shelves back in! I will post pictures from our trip real soon, once I unpack the camera.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Last Minute Crafting

You know you are a crafter when there are so many important things you SHOULD be doing (like packing!!!), and you just have to finish that one project... one last thing before you go or you will feel incomplete. Well, this was my one last project, a travel coloring set. It is a bit lumpy looking thanks to all the crayons, but I think it turned out well. OH, and Anastasia picked out the lovely turquoise fabric for me to make her a rug for her dollhouse. I think she might like what I made instead (with enough fabric for a rug left over!) ;)
It looks so beautiful and quilted when empty, but with all the stuff inside it really looks a bit wonky. But a 1 and 3 year old won't care! I plan to make Isabel one now that she is asleep. It took about 45 minutes... and then I will pack and bake some cookies. In the left pocket is a "travel journal" I made for each girl:
Inside are pictures of places we are going, and things we will hopefully see, as well as some blank pages for whatever they are inspired to draw! I printed everything by loading pictures into Word from Google searches, and printing 2 pages per sheet. Then I sewed down the middle with the loosest stitch on my machine.
I also sewed a pocket in the back for stickers, and hopefully post cards and other souvenirs. I am glad Anastasia is finally able to understand more, so maybe the travel journal will be somewhat meaningful to her! It will be fun to make more of these for future trips, and look back on them when the kids are older!
Anyhow, I know you THOUGHT you had gotten rid of me for a while.... but really, I may not write again until we get back. If I can stay away that very long. Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cherry Pie and Stuff

Holy cow! We got a ton of cherries this year!! I think I pitted 12+ pounds of them! We are leaving for the midwest this week, and I needed to get them done! I made 1 pie, 2 strudels, some dumplings, 11 jars of jam, 4 frozen pie fillings, and 1 extra bag of cherries and juice. It was a lot of work, but worth every bit of it, I just LOVE cherries. The sour ones make the best tasting pies and jam!! Our house of course is a disaster. The laundry from the past week FINALLY got put away. I haven't packed an ounce. The kids are filthy. But I did make some more boxes as little surprises for our drive:

I made Isabel a little forest box. I am going to put a little wooden bunny and hedgehog in it, along with a gnome or two. I don't know how well this will go over or keep her entertained... but it sure is cute!!! :)

And I made a little fairy land for Anastasia. I made it for the Nimble Thimble Fairies and hope to make some more bendy dolls on our trip.

I think she will love it! She has been asking for presents and a cake for ages. I also found a couple nylon butterflies to add as well.

I also have some Color Wonder items, some flower fairy things, some new markers and gel pens, and all kinds of little things from previous trips that will hopefully keep things pleasant for a while. I hope to get a couple of coloring books printed out. Whew. So much to do, so little time!!!

And our well-armed neighbors are watching our house and chickens. So don't drop by or try to steal any chickens or you may never leave. lol. Well, so long my bloggy friends... we'll be back on the 20th! :) Hope you are having a lovely summer!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lemurs, vans, and blocks.

I am feeling so much better!! Yesterday I had a little energy, after my slump and it was great! My mom came over (as I was still without a car) and took us all to Wilson's Wild Animal Park! I forgot my camera, but the cutest things we saw were the lemurs: This picture does not do justice to how incredibly cute the mama ringtailed Lemur and baby were. The baby was so tiny, and rode around on his mother's back! Oh, it was heart-melting! Of course I am pregnant and hyper sensative to cuteness. Not only did my mom rescue us from sitting at home all day, she also brought us dinner, took us to Michaels, and took me to Dulles to pick up our NEW VAN!!!!! yay!!! I feel like I have graduated into the minivan mama club! I thought I would feel so lame, but it feels so good to drive our new (to us) black, 2006 Chrysler Town and Country!! It isn't too loaded or anything, but it feels so luxurious to me after the Jeep wrangler!! It is so nice to unlock the doors with a click, and great that I don't worry about slamming doors into other cars while unloading the kids!! And I still don't know what to do with all that space!!! My life is so much easier, and that makes me feel like a hip mama again. Minivan and all! Oh, and do you know what is AWESOME? The seperate temperature controls for driver and passenger!!! No more freezing for me, or suffocating for Nick. Yes, this is a good thing.
And I made these ocean blocks to go with the mermaids. No one seems to love them except me! I am not a painter or anything but I had so much fun making the little underwater animals! The sea horses and Octopi are my favorites!!! I enjoy making little scenes for the mermaids, even if the kids could care less about them. I was inspired by these AMAZING blocks from the Enchanted Cupboard on Etsy. You should see all of her other items! She even makes lovely boxes like the mermaid one I made!
Speaking of boxes, I picked up a couple more for our trip to the midwest next week. I have one for each girl with a specific theme in mind! I am hoping to make some for my gnomes and fairies in my shop when we get back!
And this picture is a random one from the beach... I am not sure why I love photographing Isabel from behind. I think its just the contrast of her hair with the rest of the world.

Today I am thinking of blowing up the kiddie pool. I got this fancy one at Target last year on clearance for $5 with blow up animals and a sprinkler. If I can find the pump, I will set it up for the kids because I want to take my sewing machine out to the porch table to get some sewing done! You should see my project pile right now! I don't understand how I can't get anything done as a stay at home mom! lol! I should be able to clean the house, make the beds, do all the laundry and dishes, and socialize my kids, cook 5 course meals, watch some crummy daytime TV, drive my minivan AND sew all my children's clothes. RIGHT? I was totally mislead about this staying at home thing... why don't I have any clean clothes and washed dishes? I am so glad it isn't the 1950's because I would have been the lamest mom on the block and all the other mom's would gossip about my unkempt house and piles of dishes and clothes everywhere! Yes, I am glad it is 2010 and I have a crafty blog where people can only see the pretty things I make and my adorable kids and not everything else! lol.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A little crankiness

I have been really, really cranky. I have been feeling like I have a cold, but maybe it is allergies? I am worn down and congested and the congestion is upsetting my stomach. I have a cough in the evenings and my throat is dry and scratchy. bleh. As you can imagine, I haven't been really inspired to post. :(

The good news is there is a lot of good news:

We had a nice weekend with our friends Amy and Peter joining us for a little BBQ. I haven't really hung out with them in years!!! It was really great and completely nostalgic.

We picked out, and have financing for a simple, used Chrysler Town and Country mini-van. I have ideas to make it really nice and cozy inside with handmade pillows, throws and seat covers! Because, I have nothing better to do, ya know?! :)

We discovered another cherry tree in the woods behind our house... its on our land! yay. I made a tartly delicious pie for our weekend guests, and now there will be more! Many more! And I may even make some cherry jam depending on how much we actually get picked. Being sick in the sun and pregnant on a ladder is not where I want to be.

Nick has been working late, that isn't good news, but we are heading to the Midwest soon. I look forward to a little break and enjoying the company of family and friends (YAY Annie and Martin!!!) I have been watching X-Files to get my mind off of feeling crummy. Nothing like a little Sci-fi! Hopefully this bug or allergies or whatever will LEAVE ME ALONE so I won't have to resort to such measures. And I want to cut out some fabric... and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. It was library day, but we have no car... my books are overdue, and ugh today as I had to print, scan and email important documents, my printer stopped working. I troubleshooted for an hour and a half, and found out the problem was my printer wasn't set as the default printer!!!! What???? I haven't had problems before. It was seriously messing with me. I think there are extra terrestrials controlling my printer...

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That's martian talk, for "ta ta for now!"