Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunshine & Warm Days

We have had such a beautiful stretch of warm days the last couple weeks.  We have finally made it out to the garden.  Oh, our garden.  It's current state is a bit overwhelming.  It is positioned in such a lovely location where our veggies grow beautifully, but as you can see, everything grows beautifully there.  Gardening is something that I have attempted most years since we first bought a home 11 plus years ago.  The last couple years it has gotten away from me.  This year I'm planning on planting less boxes and spending any extra garden time working on a few garden projects to make the whole process easier.  The kids were such good helper on this first venture out and they really are old enough to make a difference in the work load.  We are planning to weed it all by hand, add manure, and rotatil.  

It was so enjoyable to be outside.  With our fenced yard, the kids can run and play in-between weeding and helping.  Beckett is loving the outdoors and would like to spend his days outside.  Now that it is warming up, I'm planning for more walks and outdoor adventures with the kids.  Of course, living in Oregon, I know that the rain will come back and sometimes stay for stretches in the spring.  I remind myself though that the rain is what brings us the green and what makes gardening easy (well, if you don't let the weeds get away from you.)  So far this spring we have enjoyed our first week of soccer, a lovely spur of the moment alfresco "summer" barbecue on our porch, a walk to the store, and our weekly family night on the trampoline.  Oh, I love when the weather begins to warm and the sun comes out.

I headed to Montana this past weekend to celebrate in my cousin's wedding.  What a beautiful day to spend with family and to enjoy this wonderful moment with them.  My mom and I met in Billings and spent  a few eventful days together.  We GPSed and googled and planned.  We were able to attend all of the events for the wedding, eat out at some yummy, yummy places, do some shopping, and drive cross country to the reception (a 3 1/2 hour drive, 7 hours round trip) through inclement weather.  It was so fun to spend time with family, reconnect, and share in this special day.  The wedding was in the Billings LDS Temple and was beautiful event.  The couple was charming and oh so in love.  I was so glad I could share in their day.

Chatting without interruption with my mom for a few days was another highlight of the trip.  Between kids, family activities, and busy schedules, we haven't had that for a long time.  It seems that many of our conversations are peppered with interruptions or nestled between events and commitments.  We make it work, but oh how wonderful it was to talk and talk.  I loved waking up at 5am and chatting until well into the morning and that drive flew by as we talked, shared, and remembered together.  

I'm looking forward to this coming Easter Weekend.  We have spent some time each day of the week talking and sharing about the last week of Christ's life.  It is always strange to think of all that took place that week, to imagine what it would have been like to be a part of those events.  To wonder how it would have felt to have been there.  Would I have understood what was coming?  The significance of it all?  We have been watching videos, listening to music, and sharing scriptures.  I love the peace that surrounds us as we share and discuss.  I'm looking forward to these next few days of celebration.  Springtime, Easter, warmth, sunshine, rebirth.  Such a delightful time of year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In My Kitchen

|| beef stew for dinner

|| a simple meal on the table,

|| my well used popcorn popping pot

|| my little helper loves my spice drawer

|| afterschool snack popcorn and nut mix

|| green beans and sausage

|| lilacs and potatoes

|| chopping

|| keeping it real dirty dishes in the sink

I"m joining Heather this week for her This Week In My Kitchen series.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Report | March & April

Just reporting on my reading over the last couple of months.  I have so enjoyed these books that I have read/listened to.  I would love to hear from you, if you have read or are planning to read any of the titles below.

The Secret Keeper
Loved this book!  A sophisticated mystery.  I loved the back and forth between modern day England and World War II England.  The story was enthralling and I adored the characters.  This was my first book by Kate Morton.  When I finished, I wanted more, and dove right into The House at Riverton.

The House of Riverton
I was so excited to read this book.  I was told, if I liked Downton Abbey, I would like The House of Riverton.  Another mystery set in modern day England and 1920's England, with the upstairs/downstairs of Downton Abbey.  I didn't like it as well as I liked The Secret Keeper, but I enjoyed the read.  

The Lovely Bones
Wow, compelling story, enthralling read.  The story begins with the horrific murder of a 14 year old girl.  It focused on this girl while in heaven watching over her family, her friends, and her murderer as they tried to cope with her disappearance and death.  Because of the subject matter of this story, I was surprised at the hope that was laced throughout the pages of this novel.

Motherhood Realized
Such a great read.  A collection of essays on motherhood that celebrate the authentic, imperfect, joyful, and messy mothering moments.  I was on the book team to promote the book and posted about it here.  It is inspirational.  A great Mother's Day gift.

The sequel to Divergent.  This sequel began where Divergent ended and followed the character's as they try to live in a futuristic faction society.  I didn't like it as well as the first but am hopeful for the third.  

A Million Little Ways
I'll finish this one soon.  A book that celebrates our deepest desires, what do we want most, and how can we celebrate God in the way He intended us to.  I thought this would be such a quick read, but there is much to think about on each page.  

Ballet Shoes
This was such a fun read.  If any have little dancers, this book is a must have.  Three sisters, very different, attend a dance/acting school together.  They struggle through different experiences, learning valuable life lessons along the way.  My daughter has enjoyed it and I even caught my 10 year old son at times listening as I read.

The Well-Educated Mind:  A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
This is a study guide for those that would like to achieve a classical education.  It takes you step by step through a series of activities that directs you on how to read and study the classics.  I loved it and am hoping to incorporate a way to use it in the books I'll read (and study) in 2015.

Shadow of the Hegemon
I'm reading this right now.  I have read a lot of Orson Scott Card and thoroughly enjoy his novels.  This is the sequel to Ender's Shadow.  It follows the character Bean.  I'm really enjoying it, no surprise there.

You can find my January & February Book Report here.

I also did a great post on Spring Picture Books here.

Also, you can find my 2014 Book List here.

Joining Modern Mrs. Darcy's Twitterature and the Simple Woman's Book Club this month.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Project Life 2013 | Weeks 27-30

I knew that I hadn't posted a lot of scrapbook pages from 2013, but I was mildly shocked when I looked back and realized I only had 2 posts that hightlighted my 2013 album.  I recorded weeks 1-3 in this post and my title page in this post. I've decided to share them, month by month.  You can find my other project life post here.
Here are my July 2013 Project Life pages. 
These were some busy summer weeks for us.

Details | I used the Seafoam addition of Project Life and cards from the Studio Calico monthly Project Life kit.  I actually printed out the grid photos on photo paper on my computer and just put stickers directly on the photo paper.  Simple, quick, done.  I also added some embellishments from the Just Add Color addition of Project Life.

A Spring Day Walk

We headed outside on a cloudy spring day.  It was the only day of the week that it was not suppose to rain.  My baby boy walking ahead, Karter following behind.  We pulled the large stroller out of the shop and strapped Beckett in and Karter climbed and squashed in beside him.  We started down the hill.  We walked and breathed in and out, we chatted and drunk in the warmer day, the leaves, the green grass.  We were headed to the grocery store, we love living so close.

We passed a lovely trail that led to a little park, we saw a school bus waiting to pick up little ones, we passed our neighbor's yards bursting with spring flowers.  Karter had to get out to push the button at the crosswalk.  We hurried through our purchases to make sure we would get back in time to catch the bus.  Tucking the bag of groceries in the back of the stroller, we headed out, and were quick enough in the store to enjoy the walk home.  After we dropped off my big boy at the bus stop, we headed back up to our house, slowly pushing Beckett up our hill.  When I took him out we both walked around the yard, both of us exploring, me taking photos.

I'm noticing I have lots and lots of photos of my baby boy.  I don't know what it is about this stage, this age, but this little guy gets a lot of camera time from this proud mama.  I think it is his smile.  He smiles like he knows, you know?  He smiles connection and love and silliness.  He smiles and it warms our days.

Finally we both headed inside, saying goodbye to the outside world, until next time.