Archive for April, 2009

Lovely Day

April 29, 2009

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My sweet husband gifted me with a spa gift certificate for Christmas, which I had not used yet.  Then a sweet friend (see a trend–I have so many sweet people in my life) offered to keep all 4 of my children for the morning AND serve them both breakfast and lunch so that I could go out.  So today was a day for luxury…A pedicure, dark chocolate, and shopping alone.  What a special time!

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Enchanted April at our Local Theater

April 25, 2009

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Last night Billy and I went to see a sweet friend perform as Lotty in Enchanted April at our local playhouse.  What a treat!  The story was great, the acting was wonderful, and it was a really fun evening out.  This was the first time I have ever been to a play of any kind (church skits excepted) and I know I will love going back again.  What about you?  Do you go to plays?  Or are they not your thing?

Beauty in the Laundry Room

April 20, 2009

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I think ugly packaging is a homemaker’s scourge, especially those items that need to be kept in sight.  I have open shelving above my washer/dryer where I keep my laundry extras.

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I hated the way all the spray bottles and the oxyclean bucket looked.  The solution?  A pretty basket and a clear clamp-top container I swiped from the kitchen cabinets.  Much better!

Victory Garden

April 18, 2009

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We took the kids to a minor league baseball game last night with 100 people from church, and lots of my friends asked, “Where did you get all that sun?”  (Or as one diplomatically put it, “your California tan…”  Ha!  More like lobster boil!)  In spite of 2 days at the beach, my nice sunburn actually came from working in the garden yesterday!

I grew up with a garden, and although Billy and I have had a little one now and then, this is the first one we’ve really done together.  What fun.  Many of our fun family activities are all new to me, but it’s refreshing to have one that feels familiar.  I know a little about gardening.

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I’ve noticed that many people are gardening this year who have never gardened before.  The economy is a big factor, I know.  Seeds are inexpensive.  Out of one package of lettuce seed, which I experimentally threw in the flower bed, I got a large quantity of delicous, fresh lettuce, grown free of herbicides and pesticides.  Did you know that often children will eat veggies they normally wouldn’t touch if they have watched with fascination as it grows?

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I’m not a political person, and I don’t feel that I’m fighting any particular war with my garden.  I do love the graphics on old Victory Garden posters though.  And I know that many people are fighting want with a backyard garden.  As for me…I am growing a garden not only because it’s an inexpensive way to supplement our food source, but because I appreciate knowing where my children’s food comes from, and that it’s grown responsibly.  Not to mention, garden veggies are so much more delicious than those from the store.

Random Favorite Photos

April 16, 2009

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~::~azaleas in vintage pitcher~::~

I miss my old computer and my old blog!  I really need to get my techie husband (he is as techie as I am totally and completely technologically clueless and ignorant…it’s that bad…) to show me how to upload photos onto this borrowed computer so I can share photos again.  Till then, here are a few favorites I posted on my blogger blog, in random order.

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~::~sweet basil~::~


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~::~white skirt and mud boots~::~


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~::~sweet baby hand in mine~::~


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~::~pretty skirts, pretty clothespins~::~


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~::~my mom’s sheep in Texas~::~


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~::~New Orleans window~::~


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~::~tea and a good read aloud~::~


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~::~planting lettuce~::~

Five Minutes at a Time

April 15, 2009

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Recently I visited with an old friend, a busy young professional woman.  She told me that she had taken up quilting again, something she’d enjoyed years ago.  I said, “I would love to craft more than I do, but it’s so hard to find the time.”

She then reminded me:  “I just thought about what your mom always used to say.  Work on it five or ten minutes at a time, and it will get done eventually.”  Oh yes!  How is it that I so often forget this!  I often think that since I can’t sit down and craft for an hour, I can’t do it at all.  Silly me.  “Five minutes” is my new mantra!

April 15, 2009

florida

A couple days before Easter my husband called me with a happy surprise.  Friends had been offered the use of two condos on Panama City beach for free, and we were invited to join them on their vacation!  Our only expense would be gas and food.  Although we could only get away for a couple of days, it was a fun and refreshing time.  I’m so fortunate that my kids are great travellers.

We bought a ham before we left, ate in, played in the sand, swam, and enjoyed the sun.  What a wonderful impromptu trip!

Calendula

April 11, 2009

Blüte der Ringelblume

This afternoon the kids and I planted calendula.  (Plans to plant the whole garden fell through.  I had to console them somehow.)

Calendula is a cheerful flower with amazing wound healing properties.  The oils in the petals keep wound edges soft to minimize scarring; at least that is what I’ve been told and what I’ve observed.  I’ve recently experimented with making simple salves.  I look forward to adding calendula to my recipe!

Lovely Things

April 7, 2009

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I’ve journaled faithfully since I was about 8 years old. Writing has always been my most effective way to process things. I’m a big believer in staying positive, so over the past few years, I’ve stayed sunny on the outside. However, I’ve used my journal as an outlet to vent about my homemaking woes. Virtually every entry spewed frustration over all the things I wasn’t getting done, how my house wasn’t as clean or orderly as it needed to be, how weary I was, how upset I felt that my meals weren’t up to my standard (or probably anyone else’s) and on and on. It helped, I thought. At least I wasn’t taking out these frustrations on everyone else.

Finally I realized that my journal was no longer a healthy outlet that helped me process my frustrations, but rather a tool that kept me stuck in them. Rather than being therapeutic, it had become toxic. For awhile I contemplated giving up journaling altogether, but after so many years of writing, that made me feel really lost. So I decided to try a different approach. A few months ago I began a new journal, based on Jewels’ beautiful inspiration journal, and I have just one rule: It must stay positive. I don’t want my kids to find these books one day and have a lopsided view of me as a strung-out, upset, frustrated, tired mama who is overwhelmed by my life. Although I feel that way at times, that’s only a tiny fraction of my whole existence. Most of my life is amazing. I’m happy most of the time, and more blessed than most people I know.

On the first page, I wrote this verse as a reminder:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)

Guess what? Journaling is once again a joy. And since I am not allowing myself to write negative thoughts—in my life, the most powerful confirmation of feeling—I no longer feel so frustrated. Dissatisfied with my shortcomings as a homemaker, yes, but I think I am moving in a better direction, slowly but surely. A life focused on the best things is so much sweeter!

Slow and Steady

April 5, 2009

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A little under the weather today.  I have a mountain of laundry, dirty kitchen, dirty bathrooms…Things that must be done.  I remembered Uncle Levi’s advice from one of my all-time favorite books, The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody:  “Slow and steady goes far in a day.”  Slow and steady.  Work a little, rest a little.  Little bit by little bit.