March 31, 2011

random smatterings and a giveaway :)

Good Morning, Senoritas!
I have a few random things to share with you today...and if you've been here for long, you know that this is a regular occurrence around here.
Random.
And if you knew or know me personally, you'd probably discover our conversations would be a lot the same.
Random.

Soo...on with the randomness...do you remember a post a while back where I told you my lime plant was blooming??  Ok, well check out these little beauties I discovered this week!!!

Can you believe how adorable they are?!?
I can just taste the key lime pie!
(or do you need key limes for that? i'm not sure...)



Also, I forgot to tell you that one of my favorite books is now going to be a movie!
Water for Elephants...April 22nd.
Please please please read the book quick before you go to the movie...I'm sure it'll be a much better book (they always are), but I do remember telling Jarrod while I was reading it that it would make a great movie.




Ok...now on to the good stuff.

I am working on a line of garden things for my shop and I want to make room for them....
I've got a couple items that have been there for a while and I thought I'd do a little giveaway, you know, share the love a bit :)

So here's what you get if you're the lucky girl...


Fabulous journal adorned in the pages of a vintage French grammar book and other embellishments...
(I use journals like this all the time...I use one for a regular journal, one for my shop where I do my sketches and write down ideas, and one where I keep a list of scriptures I want to remember....)

and


This sweet frame and would make a great gift or you can keep it for yourself...whatever!

I gave one similar to Noah's piano teacher...I thought the music would be very fitting :)

SO...how do you win?
Well, if you're a regular reader, you leave a comment.
And if you're not a regular reader, you become a follower and leave TWO comments!
Wahoo!
Also, if you want to share this link on FB or your own blog, you can leave extra comments for that too.

I'll randomly select a winner on Sunday and announce on Monday!

xo
{alicia}

March 29, 2011

free enterprise


I can be a complainer sometimes about living in a smaller community and not having enough fun things "to do."  But we belong to a homeschool group that does some really really fun things, so I'll quit complaining now...because last Friday was a 10!



Free Enterprise Day is a fun activity that another homeschool mom came up with to help show the kids how the free market works.  I'm not sure if that was entirely the case on Friday, or if they just had a blast making cool things to sell.

My kids made play dough and paper airplanes.....




I should have gotten a better pic of their actual play dough because it looked so cute, but I will definitely share the recipe soon because it's the best playdough ever!


Each kid got a bag of play money and got 45 minutes to shop around or they could work their own shop.
Each shop had an "open/closed" sign and if they felt like going out on the town, they'd just close up shop and get to it.



Is it bragging if I said Noah's planes sold out in record time? :)
But does it count if his brother and sister bought several?


These kids were so creative with what they made...jewelry, cards, little purses, baked goods.
Some girls were even painting fingernails.




This was after Jack disappeared and reappeared with an armload of stuff for his sissy.
What a fun day!
And just another reason why I love homeschooling :)


xo
{alicia}


PS: I've gotten several email about homeschooling lately, so I'm working on a "getting started" post for those of you that are interested.  And thanks for asking...I'm flattered that you think I know what I'm doing :) HA!

March 28, 2011

blessings heaped upon her

I feel like my last post was a little, well, heavy.
And it never fails, when I start to feel icky about life, God floods me with reminders of what I've been blessed with.  And as He never fails, He did the same immediately after I wrote that post.
I couldn't very well not share my list with you too.
Here's a little look at what's giving me a little joy right now:


My bebes:



They're just a joy.  What else can I say?  Sometimes I find myself smiling to myself while I'm washing dishes or whatever, hearing them cook up some new game or singing or laughing and I think: "they are mine and I am so stinkin' blessed, it isn't even funny."

SOLD!

Have I ever told you that I l.o.v.e. love running any Etsy shop? 
Well, I do.
I've been really lucky to actually sell my handmade stuff.  I love packaging up my things, just for you.  I also love getting an idea for another line of items.  Right now I'm working on a line of garden things and I can't wait to list them.  Thanks so much for shopping :)

Curriculum shopping:

This time of the school year is just the best.  So far this year, we've made a nice portfolio of all the things we've learned, an array of sweet projects adorning the school room shelves, and Teacher's on to next year...planning, making a list of what she needs, ordering for next year and making plans. 
I love that!

Oh ya, and I homeschool...that is such a blessing to me.  God gave my husband a heart transplant that summer he changed his mind and decided our kids wouldn't be weirdo's if we homeschooled them.  He gave me the go-ahead and I've thanked God repeatedly.

The hope of spring:

It has to come...right?!? Please!
I love looking through my magazines, getting ideas for the garden for the spring.  Again, I make list for the perennials I want to plant, seeds I need to order.

Little projects:

I love getting something done that has been hanging over my head.  Most of the time, I just blew it up to be something harder than what it actually was.  I love a finished project!

This song:
The song playing on my playlist...I love it.  It reminds me of my next blessing....

This guy:

Really, what I wouldn't do if I had him...oh, but I do :)
He supports my every crazy idea.
He provides a sweet life for me and my babies, supports my crazy homeschooling ideas, wants to take us on field trips across the country, agrees to help with my projects, loves me, never doubts me.
Love this guy.



Tea time:


Really, I think I was meant to be born in England.  I think God may have made a minor mistake, but I'll let it slide.  I'll just have tea here. In South Dakota.  Far away from my homeland.  It doesn't happen everyday, but if I can swing it, sometime between laundry loads and dinner time...I like to squeeze in tea time and a magazine. Ahhhh.  Love when this works out for me. :)


 Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.
~Carl Sandburg

March 26, 2011

heavy and hopeful

It's Saturday morning, and I woke up with a heavy heart.
Jarrod's working this morning, so it's just me and the kids...they're watching cartoons, which is just ridiculous because there's no Saturday morning cartoons anymore.  Did you know that?
Well, there isn't.

But that's not why I have a heavy heart.  And I'm really not a liberty to say why, and maybe I can't even put my finger on just one thing anyway.


Japan, housing markets, economies, leaky toilets, late winter snowstorms, no Saturday morning cartoons, comparing others, over-analyzing, undone projects, relationship issues, unanswered questions...what's not to feel heavy about, right?


But Thursday night, driving home late from a day trip just me and my kiddos and the Princess and the Frog, I was able to have a good, long chit-chat with God.  Somehow Tiana, melted away and I spilled it to Him.  Everything.  All my hopes...right now, all my worries.  Not like He didn't know anyway, but still I told Him all the same.

The thought that came back to me after all my ranting and gut-spilling was that His timing is the epitome of perfect and that "blessed are those who wait for him." ~Isaiah 30:18

And wait I will, because I  know He's weaving up something perfect just for me and mine.  And He reminded me that night that nothing even a control freak like me can conjure up will compare in the slightest to what He's got planned.

So I'm waiting for answered prayers, knowing He's got my best interest in mind and knowing that I'll be blessed in the waiting gives me hope and hope is good.   Very good.


And wait you've done too :)
Remember when I teased you with some big news??
Well, I partly chickened out and partly didn't know if I was supposed to share.  So I didn't.
But...next week is the week!  I will share, even if it's risky :)
Have  a great weekend, loves.  And if you're waiting, remember you'll be blessed for it...
Hope.

March 23, 2011

history buff

I may be exaggerating a bit when I say this, but history alone may be my reason for my homeschooling.
I love it...homeschooling and history.
But history is so so so fun to me.
It's always been interesting, but not really until I started homeschooling and reading more about certain things did I start a love affair with it.

So naturally, I want my kids to love it to.
In The Hutchinson School for Boys,
we have a big focus on history and do lots of projects and lots of good book reading about whatever it is we're studying.



This year, it's the Middle Ages.
We took a whole week on studying Medieval books and how they were made.
These pics are of stamps we made, showing somewhat how a printing press would work.

Did you know that up until the printing press was invented, almost all books were hand written by monks?
Can I just say......HOW BORING!! Can you imagine sitting there on your butt for all hours of the day, writing...writing...writing??

Well, I think it would be beyond boring.

Anyway....






The other thing we studied was how most Medieval books had illuminated manuscripts...
those were basically just fancy illustrations around the edge of the pages.
So we made our own.







Their page had to explain one person that we had studied in history this year.
Noah picked Richard III, because he was killed in battle and of course, that's very heroic.
Jack picked Robinhood, because he was a good-guy robber and that is very cool too.
Sophia picked Queen Isabella of Aragon, because she was a queen but also a warrior chick that travelled along with her army...very Sophia-like.

For the younger two, they narrated what I should write and I wrote it.
I love that even Sophia knows what's going on...she explained Queen Isabella to a T!

As for me, I love reading historical novels...did that sound nerdy?
Anyway, these are a couple of really good authors:Philippa Gregory and Michelle Moran
And it looks like I will be doing more reading...I woke up this morning to yet another "beautiful" white blanket outside. AAAAHHHHH!! (that was not a good sound!)
Dearest readers, do any of you live in beautiful climates close to beaches that I should move to?
We would also need a place with plenty of banking jobs available.
If you could let me know asap, so I can start searching Realtor.com for homes that would be GREAT!
Thanks so much :)
xo,
{alicia}

March 21, 2011

Three Years: A Cinderella Party

The party's over.
The candles are blown out.
And my baby is 3.


{warning: prepare yourself for a photo-heavy post. 
supplies needed: hot coffee or tea.}



Following the lead of my daughter's latest obsession, we decided on a Cinderella theme.
And not that I don't looove Disney, I just wasn't real keen on buying dozens of  cardboard cutouts of Cinderella for the table or improving Disney Princess stock in any way, so we went for a much more generic princess party.  And I think we did alright.



All the little princesses were sent home with buckets of cleaning supplies and princess gear.
Target so graciously stocked their dollar section with cute cleaning things just for us, and we bought everything we could find :)




I am not a cake decorator by any means, obviously...but I like doing it.
My mom and I sketched out this sugary castle and then she left me to make it all by myself...
hmmmm.  How do I say it?  There were a few moments when I almost abandoned the whole idea of cake...but it turned out, because hey, when you put SweeTarts on anything, kids think you've created the most tasty thing ever.  So we were golden in the cake department.


My boys wanted to help me come up with games, and after eliminating a few like floor-scrubbing contest and having the princesses dust my living room, we came up with "laundry day."  The boys set up a clothes line and the little Cinderelly's got to hang up clothes.



Um, so ya....I wore a "gown"...to the little girls, I was beautiful...they told me so.
To the adults, I probably looked nuts, but my little girl was extremely glad that I joined in the festivities.
And I am a little nuts when it comes to birthdays :)



Little Caroline, you totally rocked that headband.
Snow White would be proud of you!


All the little girlies made their own "glass slippers."
I'm hoping all those little jewels didn't pop off the moment they left the party, but
they were cute for a second.







I l.o.v.e. love this part of each of my kids' birthdays...the moment they turn a year older.
The moment their candles are blown out.  I love that smile on their face afterward.
Love.



My two princes had an opposite view of the princess party.  One loved all the chicka's in their dresses, and the other would have preferred to be reading and was completely out of his element.  I won't label my boys and tell which is which, but the photo above just might give it away.
And by the way, mister, if you don't knock off all that winking business, you'll be homeschooled till your 35!!



On a sidenote: I was searching my playlist website for "A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes" and in the search popped up a rendition of that song by Michael Bolton...ummm, ok I don't mean to offend anyone, but seriously, Michael Bolton...why would you sing that song?  Just don't do it ever again...ok, MB?  Ya, let's just leave it to Cindy...yep.  Ok...moving on.





We try to not make a HUGE deal of the present thing for birthdays so we only get our kids a few special things...and the bracelet (above) was something I was soooo excited to give her.  My sweet friend, Becky, made it just for her and it's so stinkin' cute! I love how it turned out...so perfect for a little girlie.

We're working on the new fingers....3 whole fingees.




The birthday celebration lasted way beyond the actual party...my princess was danced with, played with, coddled, kissed.

Then swept away in her coach to a banquet...at Qdoba.
Her choice. 
Our b-day dinner tradition is whatever the birthday person wants, be it Shrimp Chowder or McDonalds, they want it, they got it.



My little princes...way to go, boys! You made it through the day!
I'm proud of you! Now go get muddy and break something!




I'm thanking the sweet Lord Jesus that Princess Sophia received a new princess cd...her previous cd, with only 4 songs, was starting to wear on Mama's nerves...just a wee bit.
She listened to the new princess cd for a solid hour...dancing, twirling.
Love that too.

And my very favorite part of Sophie's 3 birthday?
Snuggling her into bed, under her cozy quilt...listening to her breathing become long, sleepy breaths; watching her eyes get droopy and open/close a dozen times; her thumb falls out of her sweet little lips...she's out.  Enough birthday til next year.
My baby is 3, and my heart is all sorts of happy and bittersweet goodness.
I love this...I am so mega-blessed.



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