Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's been going on

Hi friends! I'm back after a 4 month hiatus. The summer took me by storm with many out of town trips. It was fun, and exciting, and exhausting too! Then school started for both of the kids: Sarah is in 7th grade, and Justin is in pre-school. I've been adapting to life as a taxi mom. Yes, you heard that right, my formal profession is taxi mom. I live in my car and I keep telling myself this won't last forever! I feel like I'm finally adjusting to the life of a taxi mom and it's paying off with two very happy and fulfilled kids. I have about three hours to myself while Justin is in pre-school. I usually either sit in my car and read or crochet, take a walk at the marsh, or walk around town and window shop. It's a nice break and my new goal is to join a gym so I can get in shape and have some alone time.

My camera broke at the end of summer, so I haven't been able to take pictures for a few months. This has put a damper on my blogging to say the least! I have been able to borrow a camera a few times and have a few pics to share. I'm going to be doing some "catch up" posts, but thought I'd drop in to say hello and let you all know I'm still alive and well!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th everyone! Here is a summary of the day in red white and blue. The day has consisted of eating good food, relaxing, doing art and hanging out with the family. My favorite kind of day! Hope you're enjoying your family and freedom as well.
In honor of the French coming to our aide in the War of Independence Ron and Sarah made french toast. It was so delicious!

My mosaic stepping stone made from English bone china. Please tread on me!

Geraniums and allysum I enjoyed while relaxing on the deck this morning...

The prettiest lily in our yard.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Red Cords

I haven't sewn something just for fun in ages, so today I decided it was time. I had bought some navy blue cord fabric to make into pants for Justin a while back but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Yesterday I went out to the fabric store and picked up some red and brown cords and some fun striped fabrics as well. I used my stand by pants pattern "Bloomers and Britches" and whipped these up in a few hours. I like how the cargo pockets turned out and can't wait to make the next two pairs!

A Polly Wog Tale

Once upon a time a family of four went on a walk in search of polly wogs. They walked through a beautiful redwood forrest...
It was dark and the little boy thought there might be bears in the woods...

But then the trees cleared and it was sunny with beautiful fields and flowers. The place there were supposed to be polly wogs ended up being a disappointment since there were no polly wogs to be found. So the family kept walking..

They spotted a lovely pond with beautiful marshes, cat tales and tall grasses.

The girl stopped to take pictures of herself. This one turned out especially good.

Then they happened upon a very marshy area. The mom thought it might be a good place to stop and look for polly wogs. So they did, and they began to notice little hopping bugs all around their feet...wait a second, there were bugs and there were frogs!!

They hunted frogs to their hearts' content and caught about fifteen of the little creatures. They had just turned into frogs because some still had their stubby little tails.

Then they walked the half hour back down the road...and took a few small breaks along the way.

They got home and the little boy helped his dad with their new frog friends.

The frogs were released into their new home where hopefully they will live for years to come.

The End

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day

We had one of the most simple yet wonderful Father's Days ever this year! Ron decided he wanted to just relax and unwind here at home, so that's exactly what we did. Some friends of us have loaned us their grill and Ron cooked up some oh so delicious hamburgers which we all ate quickly. Talk about the best dad ever - what man cooks on Father's Day? Not only that, but he helped out with housework as well since I wasn't feeling well. Now that's what I call a great dad! We are such a blessed family to have a loving and wonderful father and husband. He provides for us, makes a beautiful garden, grows food for us, (check out some of the delish veggies from our garden below), and is an all around giving and great person. Thanks honey, and thanks God for the amazing gift you gave me!
Happy Father's Day Honey!

The kids enjoying their burgers. Check out the coincidental matching striped shirts!
Aren't these carrots the cutest?

We're growing three varieties of potatoes this year. Not pictured are the yellow colored ones, not sure of the name but you get the idea!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Community

When we moved away from our rental a year ago into our new neighborhood we had no idea what to expect here in regards to a community. We had lived in the previous town for 6 years and so much had happened during that time! We had initially moved there to be close to the university for Ron, and we had also joined a faith community. Our church was right down the street, as was the college, Sarah's school, dance studio, and Ron's later place of employment. Our gas bills were very low back then! We ended up becoming close friends with some of our neighbors which was amazing and such a blessing at the time! We would share food, have barbecues together, hang out and watch movies, take walks together, (I miss those walks Allison!), laugh together and cry together. Two of our neighbors were studying to be nurses so we would get free health checks off and on, and advice when we got injured, (I fractured my tail bone, ouch!) It was a community utopia for a time and I couldn't imagine not having that support and love. In fact, I feared losing it...

Well, all good things must come to an end and when it ended it was over, there was nothing left there for us, and we were more than ready to move on. We moved to the next town over not knowing anyone close by really and wondered how God would knit us into this community. We knew some people a few blocks away, but not well, and at first it felt pretty isolating here. As the months wore on we were amazed to see how we found families and made friends in the area; it was uncanny. We've gotten to know the family we knew who lived a few blocks down. They are awesome people, so full of faith and love. They have a boy and girl just like us and I pass down Justin's clothes to their little guy and we switch off babysitting for date nights. Ron knows a co-worker who lives a few blocks further as well. He and Ron both love to garden and we share our veggies with them and they give us home pressed apple juice and awesome gifts for our garden. We have dinner with them off and on and their cooking is so delicious! I met another family through a friend who lives a few blocks away as well. They are on the same spiritual journey I'm on and "get" where I'm at. I'm so blessed to have found them! So a mere year later, and we have three families we're friends with who live just a few blocks away in our little community!

The other day we had a dinner that was mostly from our garden: Potatoes and herbs, a fresh salad with carrots and peas, and spaghetti flavored with herbs from our herb garden. After dinner we went out and picked some lettuce, spinach, carrots and potatoes, loaded them into bags and went on a walk through our neighborhood dropping off our garden bounty and veggie starts to our friends a few blocks away. It was the most wonderful evening! Our hearts felt full and we were loving our community.

That night has gotten me thinking a lot about the meaning of community. I always thought that community was a place you had to set up - a place that had to be painstakingly planned in every way. The element of fear was always there - what if someone moves away?, what if God takes us away from our support system?, etc. What I'm realizing is that God is fully capable of setting up community anywhere! It's a no brainer for Him. We're the ones who add in the complications and strings to the whole situation making things much more complicated and messy.

I look around us now at the community we're blessed with and I'm in total awe. Community has come to us in such an incredible way and now we get to nurture it and see it grow in beautiful ways. I feel so lucky - SO blessed! I cherish our neighbors more than ever because I feel they're a gift God has given me. I don't feel like I deserve it, but the universe has smiled on us and we're blessed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Garden via a Good Lense

I had to share more garden pics with you because we were able to borrow a good camera! I hope to get one like this soon so I can post good resolution pics on my blog finally. What a difference a good camera makes!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Upstairs Hallway

Since I was taking pics upstairs I thought I'd get a few of the hallway. I've made a few changes, nothing big but it looks cute...

I bought this hand embroidered fabric imported from India and wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I realized it was the perfect size for the hall cabinet.

When I was doing the make over on my room I moved this shelf out to create more space. It fits under my Eiffel tower pic perfectly.

I got this cute green braided rug at Target for super cheap for the upstairs hallway.

Upstairs Bathroom

I haven't posted pics of the upstairs bathroom before because it was pretty non descript honestly! You can't do a whole lot of decorating with a postage sized bathroom, but I gave it my best shot. I think the bathroom used to be the end of the upstairs hallway when the house was built. It's a bit of an odd configuration, but it is nice to have an upstairs bathroom. We had the window replaced with privacy glass because the old one was broken and painted...really, who paints a window?! We also had to have the room vented because there was no venting! Someday we hope to expand the bathroom when we make our master bed/bath.

Here it is - don't blink!

We got this cute medicine cabinet at Ikea. I love how it fits perfectly above the sink.

I got this cute Amy Butler fabric at Scotty Dog Quilts to dress up the window a bit. I asked Ron to get me a hanging plant for the window and he got this beautiful fern for it.

Bedroom Mini Make-Over On A Budget

It seems like the bedroom is always the last room in the house to get decorated, doesn't it? I've been wanting to get mine up to speed since we moved in, and I finally did it! I'm calling it a mini make over because the only thing I made over was the decor. I love looking at room make overs in home magazines, which is where I got some of the inspiration for the room. It's amazing how much you can do with low cost decorations, textiles and vintage touches! This make over was done on a very small budget mind you. I think I spent $40 at most. A lot of the decor were things I had stored away that hadn't found a home for yet. The decorating style is a mix between vintage, antique and Asian themes. I love the result! I feel the room expresses me and is a peaceful romantic get away.

The finished product

The foot of the bed needed something to anchor it, so I put together this vintage suit case and trunk collection. The green trunk is from the late 1800's and was my grandmother's, I found the brown suit cases at a local consignment store for $30, and I bought the yellow suit case at a garage sale years ago. I love to travel, so these suit cases are some of my favorite things.

I bought this hand made vintage Japanese kimono a few years back at a local antique store on the sale rack. Decorating with textiles is simple and classy. I hung the kimono with a satin hanger and tacked the sleeves. You can also use a dowel to hang garments.

I had the landscape print but needed a frame for it. I picked up the frame for $10 at Michael's and added a green ribbon to dress it up. The fruit basket quilt top was hand made by my husband's grandmother. I made the pillow cover a while back for the large pillow from fabrics I got on sale.

My dresser has a pretty wooden framed mirror that cracked during our last earthquake. I could have put it back up but decided to hang my vintage purse collection instead. I have 4 more purses I still might add to the collection...I'm still debating whether they might make the wall look cluttered.

This wall looked bare, so I hung the embroidery, (hand made in China circa 1950, from my missionary great grandma), and portrait of Sarah done by me and added this shabby sheik chair.

I had two vintage quilts and an embroidered family quilt stored away and decided they would be cute stacked on top of my wardrobe. The round vintage print was given to me from my mom and the love birds were an anniversary gift from a good friend - thanks again Tracy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Garden In Bloom

The garden is finally starting to come into bloom! We actually had some sun this weekend for the first time in weeks so I took the opportunity to get some pics of the garden. I even managed to get a bit of a sun burn on my face! Goes to show you how not used to the sun we are in these parts. Rain in June has been the norm believe it or not! The rain has caused everything to grow green and lush though - the one very desirable benefit.

The beautiful rhododendron bush behind our pond.

Lamb's Ear and Astilbee color the garden path.

Ron just put in these hanging baskets and planted begonias in them. I love these!

We hosted a going away party this weekend so I dressed up the deck table with oil cloth and a pot of pansies.

Ron put lots of flower pots on the back porch per my request! These are filled with: pansies, lilies, astilbee and lobelia.

Broccoli and poppies
Kale and peas

The rock garden. Not much blooming is happening here yet, but there are wild flowers coming up behind the rock garden that will be in bloom soon!

Our new blue hydrangia planted in the back yard. I love these!
Pink hydrangia in the front yard.

Pretty porch
The lilies are beginning to bloom!