Category: life

March Reading

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

This was one of the most charming books I have read in a long time.  This was the pick for book group for March and it was a good one. Thoroughly enjoyed the writing style, even if I did have a few issues with ethical/religious themes towards the end.  Definitely worth reading!

Packing for Mars

A few months ago this was a book group pick, but I only managed to have time to read half of it.  So I picked it up and FINISHED it this month.  Definitely interesting, with some funny parts.  There were times though, when the reality of the motion sickness or “elimination problems” were a little too much (ick!).  Overall a good read, but not a favorite.

Calm My Anxious Heart

I picked this one up after reading some good reviews on blogs and surprised myself with how much I liked it.  While this isn’t the type of book I would usually read, I found it both challenging and very calming (I guess that’s a giveaway from the title, huh?) at the same time.

Little House In The Big Woods

This was the read-aloud we had planned for March, but we actually finished it in February.  Autumn loved listening and was so sad when we got finished that she started crying.  I assured her there were more books about Laura and Mary and so then we had to read…

Little House on the Prairie

…which I hadn’t actually planned to read until May.  Autumn gets so into these stories!  She cries when they’re sad, giggles when it’s happy.  It’s so much fun to read to her!

The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Was supposed to be our April read-aloud book, but we got it done early as well. Oh well, I guess if for some reason we have to take a few months off, we’ll still be caught up.  I have read this series of books so many times.  My mom read them to us when we were little.  I read them to myself multiple times. And I think this is at least my fourth time reading through them out loud.  But the first time Autumn has heard them.  She’s in love with the fantasy of these books and can’t wait for more.

February Reading

Actually managed to get all my goal reading for February done!  Since having a kid, I never seem to have any reading time, but I’m trying to make a change.  To start, we’ve cut down our TV time and are no longer watching any in the evening until after Autumn is in bed.  As a result, we’re reading aloud almost every single night.  I made a list of books I would like to read each month, along with a read-aloud.  So far, we have done the read-aloud books for February, March, April, and have started May’s!

What did I read?

Organized Simplicity – I’ve got to admit that after the first couple chapters I was ready to lay this one aside.  It seemed a bit over the top, but I kept reading.  Largely because I was on the treadmill at the gym with nothing else to read on my new Kindle.  And as I continued to read, I not only started to appreciate the writing more, I also started to feel convicted and get some good direction.  We’re slowly trying to work through some of the activities and challenges presented in the book.  (While I can’t take off 10 days to completely declutter and clean my house, I am trying to get it done…just in baby steps.)

The Billionaire’s Vinegar – This is one of those books that I’ve been “in the middle of” for a long long time.   I decided this was the month to finish it.  A fascinating non-fiction story of people with ridiculously large amounts of money that are willing to spend huge amounts on very old wine…and the man who takes them all in with fakes.  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had known a little more about the subject of rare wines, but the plot was compelling, if at times a bit long.  And, hey, it’s finished!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – This was the book group pick for this month. I did enjoy this book, but it is not one of my favorites.  While the mystery and story were fun, unexpected, and well-written, I had a very hard time liking ANY of the characters involved.  I assumed from the beginning of the book that the protagonist, an 11-year-old girl, had Asperger’s or something similar, but maybe not?  She was obsessed with chemistry and, while her character was very interesting, I couldn’t really identify with her. The family was very dysfunctional and the sisters treated each other very poorly.

Homer Price – Our read aloud for this month. This is just a fun book that I loved as a kid.  Funny, charming, off-the-wall adventures of a boy growing up.  DH read parts of this to Autumn as well, and I have to say his version (with voices) was a lot better than mine.  He also caught a lot more of the jokes dealing with classical characters than I did. 🙂

We had a busy week.

An afternoon at the indoor inflatable play-place.

Lots of school.

Got signed up for library and B&N reading programs.

Playing in the pool and grilling out!

Pulling/mowing weeds and starting to re-do all our weed block.  (In laws getting new cabinets, means I get new cardboard! :))



Autumn had fun learning to make scrambled eggs and summer squash.

We visited an animal rescue/rehab park and fed lots of ducks, fish and turtles.



Led book group discussion on my pick…

Autumn ran her first race – a one-mile kids run!

Matt ran in a different kind of race.  After running along with Autumn, he tackled a grueling 9.3 mile race along rough hiking trails through woods, rocks, and constant inclines.  He was bruised, scratched up, muddy, and exhausted by the end, but had a great time.

Let’s take a walk to the garden. The sugar snap peas are finally on!  Above they are climbing out of the top of a 5.5ft tomato cage.

DD is picking strawberries.

The first of the bush beans are coming on too.

Carrots. 🙂

Cinder block bed of tomatillos and tomatoes.  This bed is really happy!

Mainly kale and parsley and onions and peppers here.  I’ll be pulling up the kale soon to make more space.  It’s getting too buggy as we head into summer.

YUMMY.  I planted this bucket of beets and have been loving the greens.  We’ll be planting again…even if we don’t get actual beets.  We love the peppery greens.

Look mom!

Blueberries.  These really need to be netted soon, so the birds don’t get them all. Dont’cha love my berry-stained nails?

Baby tomatoes!  🙂

A couple days before Easter I decided we needed a day off from school and we headed outside in the morning.  Autumn played in the sprinkler (which was also watering the garden)…

…while I played around with some vintage sheet music…

But then she saw all the gluey mess and had to get in on the fun too!

So we made nests and eggs out of vintage sheet music and bits of paper lunch sacks.  And, of course, lots of messy glue.

And the nests made the perfect candy and egg bowls for our Easter celebration!

Started out with a picnic…

…and a look at the water…

…the path was interesting…

…and there were lots of shells on the river’s edge…

…and the water was beautiful.

There were little lizards all over the place.

And the rocks were lots of fun.

We had a wonderful time and will definitely go back again!

Goals for 2011

Okay, so I know this is way later than most people are posting, but with DH’s job, our year tends to start in late January instead of January 1st.  He works a LOT in November and December, since he’s in retail. We take some days off in the middle of the January as our “holiday” and take time then for a mini vacation and usually a nice long planning session with DH.

We planned out a lot of things and made lots of resolutions, but the two I want to share now are:

1) Do/learn a new thing each month. I have way too many projects I want to do and things I want to learn that I never get around to doing.  I think I can handle one thing a month.  The next few months: January – learn to hem pants.  February – sew curtains for kitchen. March – make birch bark vases.

2) Do a “photo shoot” of DD at least once a month.  I’ve found myself taking fewer and fewer pictures lately.  I know I won’t be able to commit to a project 365 or something like that, but I’m  sure I can take a bunch of pictures at least once a month.

And since deciding on those goals I’ve gotten both done for January!  I hemmed five pairs of pants using two different types of hems (all learned from watching youtube videos), so DH has a whole new wardrobe. 🙂  And I got in a little photo shoot of DD the other day at the playground.

Sick, Sick, Sick

We’ve spent the last couple weeks stuck in the house, thanks to some icky viruses that just don’t want to move on. And as much as I enjoy being a stay-at-home-mom and homeschooling DD, those of you who know me know that I don’t LIKE BEING AT HOME.  Especially not for an extended period of time.  Especially not when I’m sick and can’t get anything done. Especially when it keeps me from going to the zoo with a friend I haven’t seen in three years!  Urgh.

So we’re still stuck in the house feeling icky and going stir crazy.

Welcome! :-)

I’m so glad to be back to actually posting pictures again.  Yay for new cameras!!!  Here’s a little peek at the homemade fall decor on the shelf over my couch.  The “artwork” is made with lots and LOTS of glimmer mist and inks.  The banner is all handmade with up-cycled cardboard boxes as the base for each pennant.  Letters are cut by hand and covered in Martha Stewart glitter.