Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Morning

The Christmas rush is over. The paper shreds have been cleaned up with all the bits and pieces of packaging that found its way under the couch. The toys are out of the boxes, Rock Band is our new favorite, Monkey boy is amazing on the drums. The leftovers have been hauled out more times than I care to admit. We had a lovely Christmas. Lots of fun, food(way too much) and family. The let down is starting to set in. It is inevitable. After the hours of preparation and anticipation, the days of parties, the bulk of our holiday celebrations are over. I can feel the post holiday mood setting in. I have come to expect it, to understand it, to embrace the feelings and then move on. It’s part of how I savor the holiday even the down time afterwards. The kids will have meltdowns, the tears will flow, the sugar crash will happen..... so is the life with 5 little people. But then things mellow out into the beauty that is the afterglow of Christmas. Today the afterglow is starting to set in. We are reading new books, watching some movies having lots of conversations and just spending time together. It is so rare that we have unstructured time together and the last few days have been glorious. I love when we can all just "be" together. I am taking it all in before we head into next week and the crazy preparations for a New Year's Day flight to Florida for some of us and off to family and friends for the rest of us. So until then I will bask in the afterglow, I will just be and I will be grateful for every moment.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sweet Christmas!!!

It is Little Christmas Eve and I am done. I have crafted, papered, printed, taped and beribboned anything that would sit still long enough to be done. The packages for my littles are wrapped in neat little towers all tied up with bows. I suspect Santa has done his end as well. I am exhausted but still smiling. In the midst of it all the princess has come down with something. Some kind of fever, cold thing. Not much fun but she has been very subdued today. Bug is snug in her crib all played out from the day. The boys are reveling in the fact that school is out for 2 weeks. The excitement is palpable and is contagious. I love being around it. I love being in it. These little people have blessed me with the joy of their presence. The holiday season is so much more fun through their eyes.

Although it has snuck up on me again, even though I started planning months ago. Life has a way of catching up with you; and fast. But at this point in the game whats done is done and I just want to sit back and enjoy the rest. The girls will look lovely in their dresses. The boys will look handsome too. I will stop and breathe, take it all in and give thanks. For I know in the depths of my heart how very blessed I am at this moment. How we are so fortunate and so many times that goes unsaid. How getting caught up with the list and all that "is Christmas" sometimes overshadows the true Christmas. I will stop now, it is enough and as we gather together to celebrate the birth of our savior I will give thanks...

Christmas blessings to you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is Upon Us!

Wow!! We are already in full swing of Christmas activities around here. Thanksgiving weekend is my weekend to decorate. I love to decorate and I spend most of the weekend doing just that. Mr. G. brings up all of my boxes from the basement storage room and I start to plan out where things will go this year. I started by remaking some of my garlands. I took some of my older, scrawnier garlands and put them together with some new elements. I added lights and just about anything I could find to my mantle garland. I love how they turned out. Garlands are so much fun.

Saturday morning we put up the tree, we have an artificial tree this year because of the baby. It is hard to keep up with the needles and I don't want Bug ingesting to many pine needles. I do love a real tree though and try to make this one as "real" as possible. Including using potpourri to scent the tree. We put a few ornaments on the tree. The kids love to look at all the ornaments as we take them out of the boxes. Mr. G. helped do the decorations in the foyer because it takes the really tall ladder to put those up. The kids help where they can and as I ask, but I like to do most of the decorating. We plan our tree trimming party for the first weekend in December every year. It gives me a deadline and a goal to get the house cleaned and dressed before that date. Then I can enjoy the rest of the month and concentrate on just keeping up with the cleaning and enjoying the season.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It's early, the turkeys are in the oven and the casseroles are made and waiting to be baked. The smells are starting to fill the kitchen. I have cinnamon rolls ready to go in the oven when my tribe starts to crawl out off their warm beds. Oh to be snugly tucked up tight in our home together, the joy of it fills me up. No hurried agenda, no crazy schedule to attend to today, just good food, family and friends. All gathered round to be thankful, thankful for each other, our many blessings and a day spent together. I love thanksgiving. I love having it at my house. I love the preparations and cooking. There is nothing commercial about this holiday and it is so meaningful to me. I have tried to have an attitude of gratitude and when I do my world is so much brighter. I am undeserving of the many blessings God grants me daily and I am in awe when I take the time to recognize them all. So today as we gather I will try to write the memory deep into my soul, the sights, the smells, the people. It will go in my mental scrapbook of joy.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is it Wednesday already??

The day before Thanksgiving is always a rush around here. I am trying to keep up some semblance of clean and get the cooking started. The kids are running around and it is chaotic. I love every minute of it. I feel so blessed to be preparing for a Thanksgiving with my family and friends. We will have about 25-30 people here tomorrow. Not everyone will make dinner but all will make an appearance for dessert. My sister and mom came up this morning to help me get a handle on the toy room. And by get a handle I mean a major dunging out. Lots of black garbage bags made their way out of the toy room without to much fuss from the under 10 set. I stress the importance of black bags. I can't have them see the toys that don't make the cut in the fight for shelf space. We made huge strides, I still am longing for some more open space but I can only do so much in one day and making the food for Thanksgiving takes priority. So today I will bake the pumpkin, apple and cherry pies. Bake off the sweet potatoes for the casserole and make the filling. Keith will come later to help with some of the cooking. Bird had practice from 1-6 and Einstein has swimming this evening. A busy day but a full and satisfying one. I am so blessed, in so many ways and today I will focus on all of the blessings in my life BIG & small. I tend to get a little emotional and nostalgic around the holidays and it is starting already. So before I start blubbering all over the place I will head back into the kitchen for some more fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Last Saturday Mr. G. and I took the big kids on a bus trip to New York City. My parents, my sister and 2 of her kids plus my brother, his wife and their son went too. It was so much fun. The weather wasn't great at first, pouring down rain actually, but it cleared up after a few hours. It wasn't bitter cold so I was happy. It was Einsteins first trip into the city. Just the ride in was an experience for him. So much to see. We wandered around the city for awhile and did a little shopping. We had to stop at American Girl to pick a little something up for Princess. We had lunch at the Brooklyn Diner. Sooo good!! We ate so much but it was so good. We even tried dessert, the cheesecake was out of this world. Then we walked through Rockefeller Center. The kids wanted to watch the ice skating, it was more like water skating because of all the rain. After that we went to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockette's Christmas Show. The tree in the foyer was amazing. It was made from crystal ornaments and the sparkle was just stunning. The show was fabulous as well. Once the show ended we had to walk a few blocks to go back to the pickup spot for the bus. We found a deli along the way to get bagels for the ride home. It was a lovely day. There is so much to see just walking down the streets. The people, the sounds, the smells, the traffic. It is an experience that every child(country mouse) should have while they still have that sense of wonder. I was so glad we took the bigger two for some alone time. A precious commodity in our house. I spent the bus ride reading the second book in the Twilight Series. I read the entire ride with my little light on. A perfect ending to a great day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Why is it that some days even when I have it somewhat together, I feel so overwhelmed. Just swamped. Nothing out of the ordinary going on, no more than the normal chaos around here and no extra stuff. Today is one of those days. I will say that I like to come home after church on Sundays and stay home. Today we had other obligations. Fun ones, ones I wanted to attend, birthday parties for my niece then later dinner for my dad and sister. But it threw off my normal Sunday rhythm and put me into a little tizzy this evening. I have so much I am working on at the moment, lots of creative Christmas presents to finish. House stuff, trying to stay somewhat under control because we are hosting Turkey Day here. Some projects I want to get off to print this week before the big holiday rush. Just lots of details rolling around in my brain and my brain is starting a revolt. It has completely detached itself and is saying no, I am on strike. You will take the rest of the night off and go do something completely unrelated to any of it. I have been trying to fight it all evening and now I am done. I will start over in the morning with a better attitude and a few more calming breaths. So now I am off to steep in the tub with a tall glass of icy Fresca and a book. Maybe my brain will forgive me and go back to work in the morning....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I had this to post last week, it didn't happen so I will try again. My Littles are off to post. The box was filled up and ready to go. Mr. G. took it to ship to Amy. I was so excited to pack them all up. I had so much fun creating all the littles for Club Little House. I still have so many ideas but I ran out of time. Maybe next time? So here is a little peak ...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ribbon production

I have been trying to fit in some crafting and Christmas gift making. This week is tough because I am doing my seasonal scrub. I pick a week before the holiday season to do a deep clean of the house. It takes me a week sometimes more but when it is finished I feel so good. The house is rid of dust and grime, at least for a little while. But back to ribbon production. I am making boutique style hair bows for the little girls stockings and for friends. They all love hair bows and I make many all year round but I am making some extra special ones for the holidays. My niece is also having her 4th birthday soon. She is having a salon style party so I made hairbows for her favors. My glue gun has had quite a work out lately. The bows are fairly simple to make and are quite inexpensive compared to purchasing them in boutiques. I have seen similar bows from $12-$15 per bow. Some of the bows are lovely satin, simple & sweet. To others I have added corkers, spiral ribbons. The pictures are for the party favor bows but the Christmas presents are similar.

5 miles

Yesterday I ran 5 miles. 5 miles...I don't think I have ever run a continuous 5 miles in my life. I feel empowered that I actually did it. I have been running 3-4 miles for the past few months and walking 5 but yesterday I ran it. All of it and it wasn't to bad. Today I did 3.5 and I am going to try for 5 again tomorrow. yippee!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fresh Eggs

I am so excited! Debbie has chickens and they are now laying beautiful eggs. She brought the chickens home this past spring and wasn't really sure what to expect. The girls started laying a few weeks ago, yippee! Last night she brought me a dozen of those fresh eggs. I want to have chickens of my own but for now I am happy to take any extra eggs off her hands. The eggs look perfect and this morning I used some to make french toast for my brood. Very yummy... And they look so pretty in my red bowl. Mr. G. walked in while I was taking the picture of the eggs, shook his head and smiled. I know I'm a little crazy but fresh white beautiful eggs in my favorite red bowl just makes me smile. Oh the simple things....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkins and more

Last weekend we went to a friends for their annual pumpkin carving. They have an amazing barn that they rescued from a construction site. Tore down and numbered piece by piece and then rebuilt it on a new stone foundation. It is the most beautiful barn I have seen. (I have a small love affair with barns and miss the barn at our old farm.) They also have horses, sigh..

They are so kind to invite our brood along with a few other families to their barn for pumpkin carving, hayrides and yummy food. There are tables set up right in the barn along the gorgeous new stalls. The kids run amock all over the farm and love seeing the horse. The horses get their fill of apples when we go. Mr. G. is the official carver for the family but everyone gets into the act. Monkey picked a design for his pumpkin and helped clean out the inside.
Princess just wanted a face for hers. Bird helped but didn't carve her own. So we sat and scooped then carved for quite some time. Everyone lines up their finished pumpkins on the stone wall for the official lighting. It is so cool to see everyone's artwork. The kids and kids at heart get to go on a hayride around the farm. My crew loved that! We had some yummy treats, including a biscuit baked with a meat filling that was delicious and perfectly portable. The kids made glow stick necklaces and ran around until we had to go. Bug was exhausted and ready for her crib. It was a wonderful fall day and I was so glad we got to go. A big thank you to the OBriens for their hospitality. This has become a favorite fall tradition.

Cottage Update & ......

The roofers and painters have arrived. At first they thought it might take more time than expected until the suporvisor called for reinforcements. The new roof is on and the outside has a new coat of the loveliest pink. New white trim sets off the windows. There is much debate over the color of the front door. I painted it a red but it is not quite the red that I want so I decided to paint it black. Much discussion ensued from the hired (I mean bribed) help. So for now we are leaving it red. I am still searching for the right red. Now onto the inside. I have a new family who is very excited to take up residence in the cottage. They are hoping to be in for the holidays, I am hoping that too!

Then the other afternoon my kids were yelling from the back yard to come look. I always get a little nervous over that much screaming about coming to look. I ran out back to see a beautiful hot air balloon gliding right over the top of the house.
So I ran back inside to get the camera and put on the right lens and.... When I ran back out these were the only shots I could get. The balloon landed in a field not far from the house. It was very cool to see and the kids loved it. These are the moments that prove I should always have my camera hanging around my neck:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today as I pulled out a coat for Monkey boy I realized just how lucky I am. The coat is a hand me down, one of many that we are fortunate enough to receive. It is a Lands End parka that looks brand new. You wouldn’t know it wasn’t new if I hadn’t told you, neither would Monkey. But I did tell him, I told him how it came from his friend and how he should be sure and thank him next time we see him. He was happy to have the new to him coat. He thinks it is cool to get clothes from his cousins and friends and thrilled to be able to pass on his clothes when they are to small. I think it is important for all my kids to realize the value in the things we own. It doesn’t have to be new to be nice. A quality item or piece of clothing can last 10 times longer than a new cheaply made item. I want them to feel good about knowing they are saving things from the land fill by using them and passing them on to be used again. There should never be shame in taking hand me downs or buying used. Quality is quality whether or not I purchased the item new or not. I am thankful my kids don’t really care about where their clothes came from. I am thankful they can see the value in reusing quality things. And even if he doesn't understand all those concepts yet, I am really grateful he doesn't throw a fit about having to have something new from the store. It's new to him no matter where it came from. We are blessed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Technology Glitch

I have a few posts ready to go but can't get my pictures to load so I will keep trying. Sometimes I would like to throw my laptop on the floor. But then I count to 10 (or 20) and try to remember that technology is wonderful at times, and this will be a wonderful keepsake of our days whenever the pictures get loaded. So off to have another smoothie, I found a great recipe for Orange Julius that tastes just like the ones at the mall. The kids love it and it really isn't bad for them. I'll add the recipe later..... Maybe the picture fairy will be on duty later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Today was one of those days where I was bent and determined to get something accomplished. The house always calls for attention and although I do try to keep things in fairly good order sometimes I need to get serious. Time to pull out the apron, put on the dreaded sneakers and get to work (at least the apron is pretty). We didn't have to leave the house until 1:45 so I had some time to get to the ever growing list. I settled Princess on the couch with a snack and a smoothie, turned on Princess Diaries and got to work. Bug just crawls around after me following me from room to room. I opened all the windows to air the house, it has been so mild & lovely out. I stripped four out of five beds, washed and dried the sheets and remade the beds. I love a freshly made bed and in an effort to make bedtime go more smoothly around here, a freshly made bed can't hurt. I dusted the bedrooms. Vacuumed up the dog hair and sprayed freshener on the carpets. Princess took a break from the movie to help me clean up the doll clothes in her room. We had to bring in the trash bin because she loves to cut and paste. There were little bits of rubbish all over her floor. Sometimes the mess seems to overwhelm the people who live in it. We freshened up her room and she was very pleased. I attended to the bathrooms next. And after that I decided it was enough for the moment. The girls and I sat down for lunch. We had a lovely afternoon. Princess learned how to use my heart paper punch and made hearts for an hour out of my scraps. Bug napped and I had some time to work. I finished up the cleaning and prepped dinner. Then I spent some time working on Christmas presents and knitting Einstein's blanket. Overall it was a great day. I had accomplished much of my list and had some creative time with the Princess. When the boys came home from school we made smoothies and did homework. Nothing spectacular or crazy but nice. Sweet family time.... and I feel so content after a day like today. Content and blessed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nature Walk

Tuesday after school I took the kiddos for a walk at a state park near our home. After the initial coercing of the little two that there was indeed some playground equipment even if it is just swings and a seesaw. With Bug in the backpack we set of on one of the trails.

The leaves are just starting to change and we picked a few off the ground to examine. Einstein had the camera and took the shots posted here. He is turning into quite the photographer and loves to use my camera.

I love to see his perspective and what he chooses to capture. I love the close up shots of the mushrooms and mountain laurel. We headed over to an area that has some huge rocks, perfect for climbing and adventure. Monkey boy was all over that

. Princess gingerly made her way up some of the smaller rocks to pose for pictures and look for fairy beds(moss). She is such a girly girl, I love it! We played on the swings and seesaw for a little before we headed home to have dinner. I actually had planned ahead and prepared yummy beef stew earlier in the day. It was happily bubbling away on the stove at home awaiting our return. We loaded up and headed home to meet daddy. It was a beautiful evening, the weather was perfect, the company was good and the food was great. But the best part was after dinner was finished and baths were had, Einstein came and found me to thank me for taking them to the park. He loved it and wanted to be sure I knew. Sooo sweet. Sooo perfect. Just the thing this mom needed. It is those little moments that burn themselves upon my heart and I am thankful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Handmade Holiday

I love handmade gifts. I love to give them. I love to receive them. Handmade gifts convey cozy, warm feelings that say "I care, I'm thinking of you, you are precious to me!" So in that spirit I have begun the task of putting together some handmade gifts. With the thrift drive in mind I tried to plan projects from the supplies in my craft closet. Because lets get real, everyone knows I have enough supplies for a lifetime of projects in my craft closet. There are so many projects I would love to accomplish for the holidays but I am trying to be realistic in how much time I actually have to craft. So as not to allow the house to fall into total disrepair I will have to pick and choose worthy projects. I have narrowed down the list to items which the recipient will be able to use in some way. Blank books, journals, art kits, story books featuring the recipient, hand knit dish cloths, luscious hair bows, fairy jars(not really useful but oh so lovely to look at), aprons in fun prints and yummy treats to eat. So as I pull together my Christmas Planner I am trying to make a workable time schedule. No last minute crafting at midnight for me. At least that is my goal. I will post snippets of completed projects as I complete items. Off to gather supplies....

Thrift Drive

Recent turns in the economy are quite scary. I can't even bear to look at the 401k recap because the number keeps dropping daily. The government bailing out companies who should have known better and no real help for the general public. What is a girl to do? Run and bury my head in the sand? I don't think that will help much. So as my Pap would say I will be watching my pennies closely. Alison from the Vintage Housekeepers and Brocante Home has challenged the group with a thrift drive. A pledge to try and lower expenses by 5% over the next week. I have been working on this for some time now. Getting receipts in order, entering numbers, researching recipes, cutting a few coupons. But now it is time to get serious (I have to order the propane as we are down to 6% left in the 1000 gallon tank, it will be quite an outrageous bill). SO here is what I did today: entered all my receipts into Pear Budget so I know exactly how much I have to spend. Time consuming, yes, but very eye opening. Last month we went way over budget just on little things that added up quickly. After that mind numbing task I had a cup of coffee and Bug had a bottle with a snuggle. Snuggles make the day so much more tolerable. Next up I canceled my automatic coffee delivery, (gasp) , it was hard but I have quite a few pounds stock piled in the pantry. After that I called to research the best propane price in our area and ordered the tank to be filled. We really need to look into some alternatives. And most importantly I stayed home and didn't run around or visit any stores. That alone saved a ton on gas and no temptation to spend. I think I may have already hit my number. Now if Amazon would stop emailing me.....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vintage Housekeeper

I have joined The Vintage Housekeeper's Circle over at The Brocante Home and I am so very excited. I have been lurking around Alison's beautiful blog for quite some time now and I was so thrilled when she announced her Circle. She emails the most lovely ideas for bringing the beautiful home. Little touches and treats to make our homes so much more pleasing to those who reside here. It has been a week and I look forward to that little piece of lovely email each day. Alison's writing is compelling and honest. I love that she embraces the role of homemaker, because isn't that what we all long to be? A true home maker. A maker of all things lovely, cozy, beautiful and yummy at home. I know I do. I want to make my home in a way that creates memories for my husband and children. I want them to know how much I value, love and care for each one. I show them everyday by keeping the house, washing the laundry and cooking up something good to eat. My attitude as I go do these things is just as important as doing them. No, cleaning toilets is not my favorite thing to do by far but it blesses my family so I do it. By bringing little bits of loveliness to these everyday acts adds so much more contentment to my days. I want my daughters to realize that I am not trapped at home, I find joy here. I want my sons to see the importance of Mr. G. and myself setting the priority for me to be home. Home should be a sanctuary, not a 4 letter word. Even amid the daily chaos that tends to reign here I want my children to feel good about home, to feel safe and comfortable and most of all loved in this house. So I am proud to say I am a Vintage Housekeeper. I love being the homemaker. I love all of the modern conveniences available to me but I crave the simple life. I used to cringe when the question of what do you do?? would be asked. Why? I am not exactly sure besides the unenthusiastic responses when I would tell people that I am home with the kids. Oh, the wasted potential that is me... Please. I would rather call time my own and pour the best of myself and my creativity into my family and home. And the more I looked around, the more this Internet brings the world home I realized I am not alone. So many other ladies feel the same way. So many long for a simpler life and a vintage homemaker existence. I have found kindred souls and I am thrilled.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Morning & Teething Baby

Oh my! I try to start off the week on a good note. No one wants to climb out of bed on a Monday and head back to school. This morning was no exception. I always start a little earlier on Mondays. It seems to take everyone a few extra minutes to get going. Bird is pretty easy to get moving although she seems to wake up with attitude. Today she was rattling on about how I didn't wake her up early enough, even though I started a few minutes earlier than normal. She's 12, sometimes I just can't win. I choose my battles. I will not tolerate fresh mouth but she will test me at times. She ate 1/2 off a banana. Only a half. I don't think I ever eat half of anything. Oh well off to school for her.

Next up are the boys. Einstein got moving without to much fuss but Monkey boy was not quite as nice. He has a hard time in the mornings. I had his clothes ready for him and help him get dressed. It smooths out some of his crankiness. Princess got dressed and headed down the steps to wait for breakfast. In the midst of all this Bug woke screaming, not a good start. This is so unusual for her that I knew something was not quite right with her. But no stopping progress now, everyone is dressed and fed and headed in the right direction for the bus and school. Bug and I drop Princess off at school and head home for some housekeeping, or so I thought....

I had quite a to do list planned for the morning but Bug had other plans. She couldn't be soothed unless she was in my arms. I soon discovered that she is cutting 2 new teeth. Poor girl! So I strapped her on in her sling(I love my sling!) and off we went to try and accomplish a few things. It didn't feel like I got a whole lot done but I did make some progress on my list. So here is my DONE list for the day, I like looking at it better than what is still on my TO DO: list.


1. vacuuming downstairs

2. dusting downstairs

3. floors washed up and steamed

4. the front steps washed down (with yummy smelling Method Almond Wood Cleaner)

5. the kitchen put in order

6. 4 loads of laundry

7. bathrooms cleaned and sanitized(Boys are gross)

8. mirrors shined

9. snacks prepared

10. dinner prepped and ready for the oven

11. books read with Bug & Princess

12. a few rows knit onto Einsteins blanket.

Progress made considering Bug was strapped on most of the day. Snuggled close and comforted. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday Love

Today was one of the days I want to remember. Not because anything major happened but because it didn't. The morning started off cool but clear. After the normal craziness of trying to make everyone presentable we headed off to church. After church we came home. No plans, no errands, no running around, just home. That in itself is such a break from the normal pace of this family. Mr. G. headed outside to work on staining the new lattice he installed. Bug went down for her nap. Bird went with Aunt C. to do the walk for hunger for the local food pantry. Einstein invited a friend over to play and they occupied Monkey outside playing in the woods and being boys in general. Little Miss Princess floated around between outside with her daddy and with me as I puttered around the house. There is nothing quite as restorative as a lazy Sunday with not much that I have to do. I cleaned up some messes, did a few loads of laundry, read a few magazines and started on some Christmas presents.

As evening approached Mr. G. started a bonfire in the fire pit. It was the perfect weather for it, cool and crisp. We sat around together, the kids played on the play set. Bug loves the baby swing. We toasted marshmallows. Chocolate marshmallows! They were interesting. Not everyone was a fan of the chocolate marshmallows. I think I prefer plain ones as well.

We then took a ride over to the Diner for a little ice cream to end the evening. The kiddos had their bath and put on their jammies. Then stories and off to bed. They didn't go easily but I didn't care. I wanted the day to last a little longer as well. It was such a sweet day. I know sometime in the future(sooner than I would like) when the kids are screaming and we have to rush to be here or there I will be able to remember this day. Remember and breathe..... it is all so very worth it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


The weather has taken on a fall chill in the air. This morning I had to get up and run around closing windows. I could see my breath, just a little too nippy in the house for me. After I started the coffee I found the thickest, warmest pair of socks I could and donned them with a sweatshirt over the pajamas. A lovely sight I am sure. Once everyone was coerced out of their warm and toasty beds I had to beg them to get into their school clothes. No one was in to big of a hurry this morning. But with some gentle prodding they made it down the steps ready for another day. Walking to the bus stop I could smell that someone had lit their woodstove. That makes it official, autumn has arrived and I am quite excited about it.

With every change of season I have the urge to change things up around the house but so much more so with autumn. The chill in the air, the changing of the leaves, bonfires, caramel apples and pumpkins. All of my favorite things arrive and I like to get ready to enjoy them all. The house needs cozied up a bit. Blankets need to come out of storage. Shelves need cleaned off and organized. The pantry needs a little perking up. Flannel sheets need to be put on the beds. Little things I love so much that signal the arrival of my favorite season.

So today I will tackle the library. It needs a serious going over and rearranging. The books are falling off the shelves on the childrens end. Dust has settled a little to thickly on the mantlepiece. And it needs some fabric touches brought in for fall. I already shampooed the carpet yesterday so I just have to get motivated to tackle the shelves. I am still hunting for fabric to treat the windows, but I haven't found anything I love yet. I keep searching for the right fabric at the right price. I will have to be careful while organizing the books, Mr. G. gets a little touchy about his books but I think he will survive.

I took a few before pictures. Here is my mess and I am actually posting a picture. Oh my!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Bug went to the pediatrician today for her 15 month checkup. She weighed in at 19 pounds. She did great until it came time for her shots. She screamed so loud I think everyone in the office could hear her. Nothing wrong with her little lungs. Oh but it breaks my heart to see her in any pain. She has been a trooper since her visit but she is about ready for bed. So off to give her a warm bath and get her cozy in her jammies. Oh my sweet little love bug.

Bits of Gratitude

So many things to be thankful for happen around here everyday. I try to add them to my ongoing gratitude journal. I have kept a gratitude journal off and on for years but was inspired to start again by Ann at Holy Experience. She is an amazing writer who shares her heart and her faith honestly. As we go through our days I try to point out things to notice, things of beauty, something nice someone does unexpectedly, an unexpected treat. We are given so much to be grateful for everyday. The attitude of gratitude can change your view of life, I know it has mine. Faithfully recording the days blessings has helped me regain that sense of wonder about life. It removes so much of the cynicism from the everyday grind. I am intentional in looking for the blessings in everything I do, even in the chores that never end. It has helped me find contentment.

And no it isn't always easy to look for the blessings in every situation it is possible. Last week I wasn't very grateful when the washer, which is located on the second floor, overflowed sending water down between the walls to come pouring out of the ceiling in the basement onto the carpet. BUT I was very grateful I was home at the time to turn the water off and prevent more damage. Because I was here when it happened there was very little damage after the hours of cleanup. Did it completely throw off my schedule for the day, yes! But since we had to take everything out of the laundry room to clean the mess Mr. G. decided it would be a good time to paint the room. He picked a lovely cheerful yellow to go with my blue machines and white cabinets. While he was at it he put up some new shelving. I love shelving! So in the end I was blessed with a freshly painted laundry, a sparkling clean floor and a reminder not to turn the machine on to wash when I am not going to be home.(A bad habit of mine)

My life is far from perfection. My kids misbehave, laundry needs done, the toy room has exploded all of its toys onto the floor again. But it is my attitude about these things that makes all the difference. If I focus on all the work and monotony of the daily grind I would go crazy. If I choose to focus on the good, the beautiful and the many blessings I have been given I can get through anything and even enjoy tasks that I find distasteful. I choose to see my glass half full. I choose to be optimistic. I choose to smile more. I choose to be thankful for all the children who make the mounds of laundry. When life seems so overwhelming I choose to take a breath and mentally list my blessings for the day. God is so good to me. I choose an attitude of gratitude.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Just by chance Mr. G. and I ended up with a free afternoon. After dropping a few of our brood off for sleepovers we took the remaining 2 to Meemaws for a few hours. We headed off to see the movie Fireproof . A friend emailed me the link to the trailer. What a well done film. I loved the story. Every married couple should see it. After the movie we stopped for a snack. I was hungry for soup. We stopped at a place that serves Cajun style food. I ended up with a bowl of red beans and rice, it was soooo good. Yummy comfort food. It was nice to have a few hours alone with Mr. G.. It doesn't happen very often around here and it was a nice treat.

Friday Night Football

The older kids have been waiting all day to see if the weather was going to cooperate and clear up. It's been raining off and on all day. Now it's about 6pm and I am sure the game will go on but I don't know that I want to go sit in the misty rain. Now that Bird is in middle school football games are a requirement, at least according to her. Being the parent I am, I insist that Mr. G. or I attend to supervise. When the weather is nice we all go to watch, tonight I think I will leave the fun to Mr. G.. I am sure he will be thrilled. So before they head off to the game we are heading to pick up a movie for the little people who will stay cozy and dry with me. Maybe a pizza on the way home...

I love Friday nights.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The wonderful, magical world of miniatures....

My littles have always like to play with small toy sets, animals, cars, dolls that are tiny. Princess has her own doll house that lives in her bedroom. Monkey boy has always wanted to have the tiniest cars and action figures, Peter Pan being his favorite. They will play and imagine all sorts of possibilities for different scenarios. I myself have always had a love affair with the world of miniatures. My nan always had an elaborate Christmas village that we set up every year. Complete with roads and working streetlights. I would set it up as she directed me where to place everything for the most life like setting. Now I carry on that tradition with my kids, we put our village under the tree. And even though it is not as elaborate as hers the kids love it. Which brings me to today... Princess and I have some time alone while Bug naps in the afternoon and the others are still at school. She has the tendency to want to spend to much time planted in front of the TV. So we needed a "project" to work on together. I have been wanting to redo my childhood dollhouse for some time now so we brought it in from the garage.

My nan and pap gave me this lovely little cottage when I was around 10. It seems to have fallen into major disrepair. The family living here must have abandoned the cottage when it was moved to the top shelf in the garage. Apparently they didn't like the location. In fact they must have left the door open because it looked as if a little bird family was trying to make their home here.
After assessing the damage Princess declared " We sure have a lot of work to do!". She is quite right. Our little "project" will be to try and restore the little cottage to her former glory. And so the renovations begin.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Applesauce Days!

Thursday was the start of applesauce days! Princess, Bug and I headed over to the farm store to get seconds(apples). We started with 3 boxes and my sister brought over 4 more. The apples make their way into my farm sink to be washed, then onto the cutting board and into the pots. I do 2 pots at a time. Bug prefers to watch the process from the comfort of her highchair with cheerios to snack. Princess was interested in the washing part but that's where her excitement ends. It's a simple process really, I just chop and plop. Once they are on the stove I cook them until they are mushy. The mushy mess goes into a hand cranked food mill to smooth the sauce. Now I add a smidgen of sugar and some pure vanilla, give it a good stir and enjoy. At this point there are 3 options: eat the yummy warm applesauce, put it in freezer bags to freeze or can the sauce. Today I chose the freezer method. Easy and simple. The best part is how it makes the kitchen smell, a sweet, apple, fall smell. I love to eat the applesauce warm. So does Bug.

I have quite a few apples to go and it will take a few days but it is so worth it. It always tastes so much better than grocery store sauce.


I have written, deleted and rewritten this first post more times than I care to share. I have been struggling with what I want this blog to look like and how much information to put "out there". I think I have come to the best compromise so that I can keep an honest journal of our crazy days, my unfocused creativity and the blessings bestowed on our little family. I want this to become a journal of our days together, a place to share the projects we create and for the ideas we share. For the sake of privacy I will write of my children using nicknames only. So here is my brood: Bird(12), Einstein(10), Monkey(6), Princess(4) and Bug(as in lovebug 14 months). Then there is the love of my life, Mr. G.
Here's a little background. Mr. G. and I will be married 15 years in October. We have lived on both coasts but never in the middle. Our family is the most important thing to us. We love having a big family and a crazy life. I try to look for the positive in every situation. I want to be content in all things and circumstances. I look for the beauty in the everyday things because that is where I find happiness. Attitude is a choice and can make or break the day. I try to find time for something creative everyday. So for today I am going to try and figure out how to make this blog pretty, because you can never have to much pretty.