Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Fever

There is nothing quite like the sweet earthy smell of an emerging Springtime. The cold mornings that force you to keep out the winter coat that then warms up into a sunshine that wraps you in its rays of delight.
Mother nature calls out, "Come to me! Dance on the lawn in delight and spread your arms to my warmth!"
Gardening begins to edge it's way back into my mind and I cry, "please let me run my fingers through he cool ground and smell the musty earth!" With the help of my littlest, we've begun planting season indoors. Pudgy fingers pushing at the dirt and learning the joys of God's creation cause my heart to do somersaults.

Each child peruses the seed aisle and picks out 2-3 packets of wonder and waits with baited breath for the day their little plants will emerge from the dark earth.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sweet Baby Face

Can I say it enough that I am really enjoying drawing, sketching, scribbling again after taking a 9 year hiatus?

It's not because of marriage that I basically quit.

It's because babies got ahold of my pencils or squeezed out a $20 paint tube or I was simply too tired to stay up late and be creative.

Then I found other hobbies and interests and excuses as to why any real art work was a thing of the past not to be pulled out again until my kids got older.

Well, at least a couple of them ARE OLDER and due to many scribbling, fingerpainting, coloring, glueing and general gloriously messy and sticky craft and art sessions my kids are liking art (at least the older 2 seem to).

One of mine (as well as the other on occassion) still eats the paint.

I still have a lot of work to do on the above pencil sketch, but it's turning out how I want. (Which is important if I want to submit it to the Sketchbook Challenge.

I still need to work on the hand looking much older. Right now it looks like my hand, and well, too young.

(I figured if I posted my un-completed picture that would help me to acctually finish it on time.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

American Girl Doll Clothes

I have to brag on my sister a little bit. She has begun sewing doll clothes for Precious Jewel and both of my nieces.
I can't sew worth anything. I mean I can sew a straight seam and mend or repair things, but that is the extent of my sewing abilities. Not so good for making anything worth while.
Precious Jewel has the now expired American Girl doll Samantha. We gave it to her for her 7th birthday last year. Then for Christmas this year (surprise to us) Grandmama gave her another AG doll. This one was the 2010 Lanie doll. Neither are sold anymore and getting clothes for them that doesn't cost an arm and a leg is almost impossible.
Hence, my sister's sewing abilities (and time) come in very handy.
She is wanting to start looking into selling some of these doll clothes and we have access to patterns for several of the American Girl dolls.
So far, he's what she's done! Lanie's play outfit.
(she cut apart an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt to make this)

Samantha's birthday dress.
You can put the apron on other dresses as well.

I love the detail she put into these! She got the books and made sure they looked like the pictures.

This was another one of Samantha's day dresses I believe. You can put the apron over this one as well and it's really cute!

Samantha's Christmas dress
She made this for Precious Jewel for Christmas

Samantha's nightgown

She wove the ribbon into the lace just like the picture in the book

Samantha's winter cape, muff and hat

The boot covers that pull over her shoes.

This outfit is my personal favorite.
I just really like the rope and detail she used for the cape and shoes and I love the fake fur cap and muff!

OOPS! I accidentally deleted the underclothes picture! If anyone is interested, I can post those at a later date.
So, what do you think the marketability of her doing this is?
We'd like your input.
She's taking orders too if anyone is interested.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baby Goats

They have finally arrived!
It's like Christmas all over again at our house.
We thought they were due 3 weeks ago and finally we went and counted the exact days back to the week we had Tree bred. They were due this week and they came right on time.
Luke and I had planned to go out for our Anniversary this weekend and we've been waiting anxiously for the babies to arrive.
Literally 10 minutes before our babysitter showed up to keep the kids for the night, the little rascals were born.
Needless to stay, we left late for our weekend away (and we didn't mind).
The black and white baby is a boy and was very appropriately named Oreo by Mr. Smiles.

The little girl who is a beautiful mixture of brown, black and white is still as of yet un-named. The kids have tossed around the names Belle, Emma, Flower, Adalea,

Oreo is spunky and very curious. He loves shiny buttons and zippers and is pretty bold for a newborn baby goat.

This was the first sign of curiosity that "little girl" showed. She has been very timid and shy. But this afternoon when Nater Mater was climbing around their pen, she thought he smelled "interesting."
Yes, yes, he needed a diaper change.
Ah, all babies are a little smelly.
The kids have each claimed a goat for themselves, but we have told them that the only way they get to show one at the fair is if they take care of it.
Today they got the first "opportunity" to clean out a smelly stall. Needless to say, they thought it was gross.
But oh what motiviation to get a cute baby. ; D
Let the real chores begin!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day Honey

Ok if you all received a blank post or one with just a picture, my computer keeps publishing before I'm ready for some reason. This is what Good Lookin' and I made for Luke while everyone else was napping today.
They are mini cupcakes.
I have to say I love Luke.
Even when I'm mad at him, he's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
I'm watching him right now running around in the front yard with Good Lookin' (who obviously doesn't nap) having a snowball fight in 60 degree weather.
Yes, a snowball fight in 60 degree weather. There is still a good 6 inches of snow in our wooded yard and it's gloriously sunny and warm outside.
(I'll be heading to Wally World later for a couple more pairs of rain boots for the copious amounts of mud that are rapidly appearing everywhere.)
He's home for Valentine's Day this year.
Last year he worked the late shift and we sorta didn't celebrate until that weekend when we just combined our anniversary with Valentine's Day.
He picks me up when I am down.
He gives me hugs and kisses me every day "just because."
He's the ENCOURAGER to my melancholy personality.
He can walk in our house at the end of his busy work day and drop a bad day of work at the door and re-energize just by being with the kids and I.
He's not complicated (like I tend to be).
He's rational when I am not.
He's the steady to my emotions.
He's the VISIONARY when I want to be the planner.
He's a Giver.
He's can get on the ground to play with the kids and enter into their world.
He's a Listener when I want to talk.
He's kind to everyone he meets.
He's my LOVER and my FRIEND.

Caught In the Act

This is a little update on Nater Mater and our issues with his sleeping habits. We've stopped giving him naps much of the time. This day though, he'd fallen asleep about 5pm and slept for about 30 minutes before I could wake him. He thought he'd had a full 2 hour nap I guess, because these pictures are taken at 10pm that night. He's obviously still WIDE AWAKE. He thought I didn't know that he was up and in the hall outside his room. He is quiet but not THAT quiet. I snuck around the corner and took a picture. He's got one little foot propped up on his other knee to support his book. He looked so darn cute!
I made a little noise and then took another picture.
He's trying to look asleep. Sorry little guy. Momma knew what you were up to.
I left him alone for another 30 minutes. He simply pulled out book after book after book until he got tired, crawled to his room and climbed back in bed.
Night! Night!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Record Snowstorm!

Yes, yes, this is another "Snow post." You just have to understand that our average winter snow-fall is less than a foot or so. Last night; once again, it started snowing. The weather channel yesterday said 2-4 inches of snow for our area. Ummmmm....they were a little off. Like about 20 inches off. In just 12 hours we got about 3 YEARS worth of snow on the ground outside! This is my dear husband standing out on our back deck with a very inaccurate but fun way to measure the snow we'd had by 9am this morning. Our back deck is half covered by the eaves of our house, so we're not really sure how much we got but check out below....

SERIOUSLY CRAZY for here! In case you can't see too well, it shows just over 20 inches.

This was our deck after during last weeks storm. Scroll back to the top of the page and behind where Luke is standing is where that chair still is laying tipped over. Can't see it? Neither can we. It's buried!

This is the view from our bedroom window looking across the house to the back deck. The chair us under that pile there somewhere.

The kids begged to go outside to "play," so Luke took them out. We weren't about to let Nater Mater go out when we saw how deep it was. He's only about 2 feet tall himself!
Good Lookin' waded around in the snow that was waist deep on him and then fell down right after I took the above picture and totally disappeared.

This is the year I am REALLY WISHING I had snow boots for all the kids. For now, these are "Southern Snowboots." Ya gotta have someway to keep your tennis shoes dry!
We were blessed to be loaned a coat just yesterday for Mr. Smiles. He was so excited and Good Lookin' was happy to have something waterproof when we handed him Mr. Smiles coat.
Good Lookin' was just a "tad bit" cold after falling face first into the snow.
Our front porch where I had just finished chipping away the last of the ice yesterday.
Those 'thigh high' little hills are our azalea bushes that are now buried. You can't even see the snow fort the kids had half done because it's now buried!

Precious Jewel trying to make a new path through the snow.
She didn't last too long.
The kids had fun "plowing" their way to the shop and goat shed. We're a little worried about the lean to. The weight of the snow is making the roof sag inward and we don't have a good way to get up and clean it off. I offered to climb up on Luke's shoulders and try and sweep some off with our big shop broom but he didn't think that was such a good idea. Something about me hitting him in the head or kicking him in the face or something.

We've made sure our pets are dry and even the wild cats are in the garage with our dog. (They are keeping an ever-so-respectful distance by staying under the car and away from her). We've made sure everyone has fresh food and warm water.
We didn't forget the little birds in all this. About every 30 minutes I'm taking pieces of stale bread crumbs and dropping them out onto the back patio where w usually feed them. They've been flocking right next to the window for the crumbs. I have to keep throwing it out because the snow keeps burying it!
I'm beginning to think the kids will be going to school all the way up until July. There certainly won't be any school for the rest of the week!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sledding Days

The little "dusting" that the weather forecast predicted yesterday for our region of the South turned out to be a little over 6 inches of heavy snow. That is on top of the 5 inches we got Tuesday and our country roads are still not cleared.

It has been beautiful though! It reminds me of winters where I grew up in the Midwest. My kids (and husband) have been beside themselves with all the powdery whiteness. Luke has still made it to work every day. Today was the hardest day to get out of our drive. Twelve inches of unploughed snow and no 4-wheel drive make for some, shall we say, exhilarating driving. ; D

"Hold you momma?"
He could hardly walk!

Our front yard looks like a winter scene from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

The two older boys made "snow paths." Good Lookin' blazed a new trail and Mr. Smiles crawled behind. I think Mr. Smiles got the short end of the stick!
We do not own snow clothes. You know, the slick waterproof pants and waterproof snow boots and waterproof gloves. No, I don't bother buying them because we usually get only 1-2 snows A YEAR! What is the point of spending all the money on 4 kids who are going to only wear them about twice and then outgrow them?
This year, I wish I had. But, it's too late. Everyone that even has them around here is sold out as far as I can tell.
So we layered, and layered and then layered some more. Good Lookin' doesn't even have a proper coat, but with long underwear, hooded sweat shirt, Long-johns jacket, big brother's size 6 Spring Jacket and then a wind-breaker to help with the moisture, he was good to go.
He could hardly walk at first!!
Rain boots with 2-3 pairs of socks inside work well too and thank goodness for itchy long underwear that has been given to us, but never worn until now!!

We made it slipping and sliding down our country road to Grandmama's house this morning. The snow was too powdery to make snowmen in the morning, but her drive is steep and a perfect sized sledding hill for smaller people. With half an inch of ice underneath 6 inches of snow, it was slick!!

I love my dear hubby! He's big. He's strong, and he could push the kids much faster than I!

Snow Angels deep and beautiful

Good Lookin' trying to wade through knee deep snow in Grandmama's yard

Sledding down the Play set! It was fun all of about once. His face says otherwise. But, he got to the bottom and declared it to be too short.

That's all folk!
Happy Winter!
I am ready for it to be over and the kids back in school!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine Flowers

Our school cancelled for the day yesterday and again for today. We've done cleaning, baking, laundry, a lot of TV and a lot of playing. The natives were beginning to get restless by mid-morning, so I went back to the Family Fun website and let them chose another craft that I already had supplies for.

Valentine Flowers! Start with stacks of whatever colored paper you have on hand. Luke's mom had given us a batch of paper for the kids, and I pulled out my printed scrapbook paper and gave the kids all the scraps to choose from.

We cut the printed paper into strips. I have a child-safe paper cutter, so I gave this project to the kids. They were in "happy paper cutting land" for a good 20 minutes.
This time it was Nater Mater who thought it would be grand to blow all the scraps across the table and onto the floor with Good Lookin' cheering him on. It took just about as much time to clean it all up and back into a pile on the table for us to use.

Then came the bag of 300 Dum Dum lollipops that I've had since Nater's second birthday. (If I knew how to link within my own blog, I'd let you just click and see what I did with the Dum Dum's initially. You'll have to fine Nathaniel's 2nd birthday post).
I've gotten tired of this bag and wanted to get rid of them. Viola! Flower Centers!

Naters really likes lollipops. "lolpop anyone? No? I'll eat 4 when mom isn't looking." Oh well, on snow days where it is in the negative digits and they cry when they step outside, what is a few "lolpops?" Just don't tell our dentist.

Next we cut out the hearts. Only Precious Jewel and I had the skills for this part of the project, so she and I kept pretty busy and even she lost interest after about 1/2 a dozen. I did the rest.

We cut a little notch in the hearts.

Thread the strips onto the stick. (The kiddos could do this part mostly themselves). The younger 2 boys needed more help. Heck, Nater just ate the "pops;" there was no threading involved for him.

Why are there no pics of the mysterious 2 middle boys? Because they honestly were more interested in cutting up strips of paper to use as sword and kept jumping down from the table to fight each other. My camera isn't so good at action shots.

Here's your cute little flower center with just 3 strips of scratch paper!

Then on go the notched hearts and the flower petals.

(A whole lot of tape is used on the bottom to hold the whole thing together by the way).

And here are the cutest ever use for the ridiculously giant bag of Dum Dums!

Our little Valentine's Garden!