Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A picnic dinner

Yesterday afternoon, as I finished cleaning up the kitchen from a baking endeavor, I decided to quickly pack up a dinner and surprise my girls with a visit to the creek and a picnic. Leah was very excited, and we headed off. There is a park about 5 minutes from our house and I can't believe we haven't frequented it more. With a quiet little creek, more rocks than you could throw, and a small playground situated on an enormous amount of grass, it's perfect. There's something about water that calls to me. At any rate, with Elyse on my back, Leah and I threw and skipped rocks, chased little fish, walked in the water, climbed "mountains" (rocks in the water), and ran back and forth along the bed of the creek. Then Leah wanted to run across the bridge and swing on the (very large) swings. I wanted the evening to be "all about her," in that, whatever she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. The only thing was... I wasn't expecting her to have SO much fun and forget about eating! I finally was able to convince her that we could stop and eat our dinner and then go back to playing.
Elyse very much enjoyed our picnic dinner! We then played some more, and with the promise of a popsicle (more on those another time) when we got home, we were able to leave. It was a beautiful way to spend an evening, and would have been made more perfect only if Kyle had been able to join us (darn work schedule!). Yes, I see many many more creek trips in our future...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A canal and some balancing!

Our church has two services during the year: a traditional and a contemporary (we go to the second). However, during the summer, they condense the two services into one traditional. While I miss our usual service during the summer, I greatly enjoy being done with church earlier in the day as it gives us a few extra hours to do something. This Sunday I decided I wanted to explore a nearby park that has a nice walk along the canal. We moved about 20 minutes away here about 10 months ago and still haven't checked out all of the "local" things. At any rate, it turned out to be a lot of fun. There was a playground (which is always a hit) and then we found a few access points down to the canal where we threw rocks in the water and saw some little fish.
That night I had Kyle do some crafting. While I tend to at least try to stay on the "minimal" side of children's toys (that is, I don't have tons), I still love to get my kids 'new' things. Honestly, who doesn't? So I had the brilliant idea of building a balance beam. Outside toy, cheap, functional, different. Kyle went to Lowe's and bought a 10 foot pressure treated 4X4 (I think). He cut 12 inches off each end and screwed them onto each end. The result? Lots and lots of fun. Waiting patiently in the grass for daddy to finish building...
A hot air balloon was spotted
And then the fun began...
She had soo much fun, stopping only to run across the yard to "eat some weeds" (lambs quarters). In her night-time prayer she even thanked Jesus for her new balance beam. This morning Leah took Hemmah, her imaginary friend of the day, outside so she could show it to her. It was clearly a success and I highly recommend building one!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Color Purple... and some magic!

In our family, we love purple. Well, Kyle loves purple. When we got married, our "color" was purple (lilac, to be exact). I thought it was only fair that on a day where, let's face it, I got what I wanted, he deserved to have his favorite color showcased.
As soon as people find out that Kyle loves purple, and that's pretty easy since he doesn't go out without his signature purple sunglasses, they start buying us purple things. So of course when we started having kids, friends and family gave us lots of purple baby clothes! Leah at 2 1/2 months old...
Naturally, we now tend to just gravitate toward purple. Last summer I wanted to sew Leah a new dress so I bought some fabric that jumped out at me: purple, believe it or not. I never got around to it. Fast forward to now. A very dear friend of mine is about to get married (read about it here if you're interested) and I decided to make my girls matching dresses from a tutorial I found on pinterest. I thought that it might make sense to have a trial run of sorts before I use the pretty fabric that I ordered. So last night I stayed up and made this lovely dress with that fabric that had been sitting so patiently in my stash. I still have to add buttons, but it turned out so well, although I will have to make some adjustments for the next set of dresses I make (it's a little too low for my taste, but I think the buttons may help- I will certainly make the straps shorter next time!).
And then there was yesterday. Some friends gave Leah an adorable purple romper for her first birthday and I've started putting Elyse in it now. It's a little big, 12-18 months while Elyse is 8 1/2 months old, but it's so sweet I can't bear for it to not be worn again! At any rate, it was the outfit of choice for the day:
Now I am the type of mother who lets her kids get dirty without worrying about the ramifications. That being said, there are still some outfits that I would rather not get stained. Well, as I sat knitting with Leah and Elyse as they finished their dinner, I clearly didn't think at all about what may happen if I gave them frozen berries for dessert. I looked up, and there was purple (and pink... and blue...). Everywhere.
I had to laugh. And once I realized there was no going back, I went ahead and gave her some more berries.
Once she was done, I started to clean up. I kid you not: Purple. Everywhere. Her face. Her hands. Her whole outfit. The table. The porch. And I was disappointed at the thought that the purple romper was stained forever. So I did the only thing there was to do: I googled it (what did mothers do before google?!). So, friends, if you ever find yourself covered in berry stains and want to get them out, here it is. Boil water. Keep clothing taut (I taped it over a large metal bowl as there was no one to hold it for me). Pour water. I kid you not, I watched strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry stains disappear. That romper is now spotless. Magic, I tell you. Magic.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beach Days

After living here for the past (almost) 9 years, I've finally made it to the beach this summer. Twice. And it looks like we're going again on Monday. There's nothing like a beach day with friends and little kids, I've learned. Leah had so much fun with her best friend Wesley while Elyse had ever so much fun, well, eating sand. It was a glorious day... Leah laying in the sand
Elyse eating sand (days later and I'm still wiping sand at every diaper change!)
Best friends
Beach puppies
And my very serious attempt at getting a group shot of the kids clearly didn't work out so well, but certainly gave me a chuckle!
As I said, a perfect day at the beach. Isn't it fun just watching children be children? Rolling around, laughing, playing... not a care in the world...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A New Beginning

I've always wanted to keep a journal. For as long as I can remember. The result? Dozens of journals and diaries with a few pages to a few months worth of writing. That's it. Then I tried blogging. I believe my last entry was over a year ago with the promise of blogging at least once a month. Fail. So here's to a new beginning. A new time in my life. A new space to write. Here's hoping...