Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tooth Time

We  had a first around here the other day. The oldest kid lost his first tooth. We have been waiting for that thing to come out for such a long time. Its actually the second loose tooth, the first loose tooth is still in there waiting to come out. I think he was a little nervous about it. New experiences for these kids are a little overwhelming at times. Even new foods can not be tolerated. I sometimes like to change things up and we have started eating grits. Hubby can't eat gluten or wheat (we aren't really sure which as he won't got get a legitimate test but we do know that he gets very, very sick when eating wheat). Its been a hard change but hardest on the kids. When I made the grits I choose to try to get the kids to eat them by putting chocolate chips in it. They hated it and complained that they didn't want them, that it tasted like a desert and that was bad. I tell you I might just pull my hair out over this cooking thing, it used to be so fun. Besides my broken heart at all the things I can't cook that I love like cinnamon rolls, and homemade bread, I have to deal with three very picky pallets that don't like the same things. Its impossible.

I am still sewing up a storm. I made a couple of new nightgowns for summer. They are super cute and I wish I could look that cute in one, but I fear that I would just look frumpy.  We have eggs coming out our ears but I am a little grossed out because our birds got mites, or lice or something from the wild birds that come in to eat their feed. I guess we did pretty good though, first time for an infestation in over 4 years. I just have to figure out how to be a chicken vet in some of my spare time.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

In the Garden

Spring is so bright in the garden. The Lilacs are going to be in full bloom soon, the Tulips are putting on a show and we are planting quite a few things out in the raised beds for eating. I have been doing a good job of convincing myself this year that the Dandelions do indeed look pretty, smatered all over in the front lawn. The English Daisies that grow in lovely little patches all over the grass help. Its hard to be different when it comes to an aesthetic of a lawn in a city neighborhood. It hard to let the old ideals go and accept that a little unruliness can be freeing. One thing is for sure, we have been enjoying the sunshine and the warmer days. I have also found my self hoping for rain even though I don't like the dark, cold and dreariness that the rain brings. I am just hoping for a summer with cleaner air as the past few have been so filled with smoke that it is no longer fun to be outside. Its really hard to be cooped up all winter and then again all summer.

I have been trying to work on taking better pictures as I am wanting a better camera. Mine has been great but it is just not built for action shots indoors, or indoor anything. I normally choose to just be lazy and use the auto settings. I know they are not the best but honestly, with my model of camera,  they often were the settings that can get decent (bad really, but at least not blurry) pictures in the house. It has been hard with kids because there are so many times we want pictures of things that happen inside. I'm talking about birthday cakes, and Christmas morning, crafting, food, and the list could go on.  I figure that I can learn more about digital cameras and practice my skills while I wait to be be able to afford something different it will be a easy and fun transition. The funny thing is that I have a bit of experience taking artistic shots but it was back in the day of the old 35mm cameras. In my humble opinion they were easier to use because there were so many less options and styles of cameras and settings to adjust before snapping the shot, but then you had to develop the film and that was at least half of it.  I loved those things. I am still sad that the world went digital. There is just so much to be had in a nice process. The old film was an art from beginning to end. Digital cameras are so accessible and it feels like everyone is an aspiring photographer these days. Funny thing is that our little old house used to have a darkroom in it. It was down in the basement. I am rambling. Long story short, I don't want to become a camera enthusiast that takes shots for other people. I only want pictures that I like for me.

This was supposed to be about the garden.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sew and So

I have been bitten by a sewing bug. I found out Hancock fabrics was going out of business and went and bought a bunch of fabric and patterns. I have also found the world of vintage patterns on Etsy. the other day I took my kids to the dentist and then afterwards I dragged them to the closest thrift store and found a bunch of patterns for 25 cents each. It felt like a jackpot because they were also vintage and complete and I didn't have to pay shipping for them online. Needless to say my housework has been falling behind because I have become determined to sew all of my girls clothes. There is such a rush when I complete a project and then see them in it. They always make the patterns look cuter than the pictures on the packaging. Now I want a fabric collection, they call it a stash. I don't have room for a stash but I want it to be filled with pretty patterns and florals, dainty prints that are pretty and sweet.  I have all these plans. Plans for things I have always wanted to do, like sew them pretty things and then use the scraps for pretty quilts. I figured that if I don't start sewing the clothes now I never will because they are still so small that its easy. Most of the time the shirts or dresses or pinafores only take one yard of fabric each, but dang fabric can be so expensive. Recently I found a stash of fabric at yet another thrift store and now that place is going to be one of my most visited stores because I will want to see if there is anything I like there since thrift stores can change so fast. They had bins and bins of rolls of fabric. I din't buy any though because I don't want to just buy it to buy it, I want to love the print. .Sometimes I look for sheets and the other day I found one set of white that is nice and sturdy that I can sew some shirts and night gowns out of. I might dye it because dyeing is so much fun. The best part is that my kids are always so receptive and sweet when I make them things. They get so excited and happy. There has been a lot of jumping for joy around here from them lately.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Early Easter

We had a lovely Easter season. We were so happy to have Grandma and Papa here. They spoiled us rotten and it was such a treat. We dyed so many eggs, and enjoyed the early spring weather. On Easter Sunday it was so rainy and cold that we had to postpone our egg hunt for a couple of days. Before we went out to hunt we had a family discussion of the real meaning of Easter. We were so impressed that the oldest two kids could tell us all about it. I felt happy that they knew and were not distracted by all the fun things and gifts given. I hid some of the eggs in the yard instead of dropping them all on the grass and instructed my oldest to find them and save the easy ones for his sisters. They didn't get them all and later my youngest found a few when we went out to plant some flowers.

The weather has been unpredictable with spots of sun that bring warmth and then cold breezes that make you want to run inside. One day will be so nice that you spend all day outside and get your first sunburn and the next day you will want to put your furnace back on and hide under a blanket on the couch and knit while the rain soaks the windowpanes. The garden is starting to grow. We ave garlic, and chives, and lambs ear, and chervil, and parsley, and the calendula and rhubarb are coming up. The leaves are budding out and soon I will have blossoms on the peach tree.  I have started to plant my weekly successions of early spring seeds and dream about buying some patio furniture so we can actually have somewhere comfortable to sit outside in the evenings. My kids have put their first caterpillar of the year in a jar and I often think of the phrase "In the spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

St. Patrick's and the Pirate Treasure

We always celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It started way back when I was first married. My husband likes his Irish roots so we always had a party. We would have a fun feast, friends, and board games. It was really great. When we started to have more kids, and our friends started having more kids it got hard to continue to celebrate that way if the holiday fell on a weeknight. We stated to just keep it simple and have a family feast and a scavenger hunt. We also like to listen to Irish music, read Irish folktales, and just focus on Ireland for a little while. The fun thing is that I have Irish roots too. So I guess it makes sense that we get into it a little bit.

This year my husband decided that he wanted to do a buried pirate treasure scavenger hunt for the kids. I thought it sounded silly but supported him because whenever he gets excited about something he is more willing to help me pull it all off. I left most of the pirate activity to him. He prepped the chest, then made the map and buried it. All I had to do was buy the chocolate. I just used the same scavenger hunt cards that I made when we first moved here, but now that the kids are a little older we can hide the clues more. After dinner I read to them the story of St. Patrick while hubby got everything ready. As it turns out St. Patrick was kidnapped by Pirates and that is how he got to Ireland. He was sold there as a slave. I thought it was funny as I should have remembered that part of the story and it turns out that the pirate treasure was relevant after all!. Then we started the activity. The kids loved it. They had some troubles digging the right spot and my littlest even tried to dig it out with her bare hands. It was so much fun to see their faces and listen to the exclamations when they found the chest and saw what was inside. Happy, happy day of green.