Tents and Picnics

School is almost out for our litle boy. My how time flies! It feels like only weeks ago that I was blogging about sending him off for his first day of school. Today the kindergarten classes had a picnic lunch and Mike, Ezra and I sat with him in the warm May sun while we ate and mingled with the kids and parents.

Before we left I found Ezra laying in his "tent" in the living room with a headband flashlight on, reading books. The headband flashlight later became just a headband he wanted to wear but insisted on leaving the flashlight on so it would shine off the side of his head.

This weekend we'll find lots of fun things to do, I am sure. There is a church fair in town we may make a trip to, campfires to be built in the backyard, and friends to spend time with.


After a bit of an absence, I am back. We took a quick trip to Miami (just the hubby and I) for a nice vacation last week.
Now we're back and haven't stopped since. Lots of outdoor play in the summer weather (what happened to spring?) Anyhow, gardening, swinging, water guns,campfires in the backyard, and grilling have been on the agenda from morning till night around here.

A few weeks back we all sat around the kitchen table and each painted a spring tree picture. Even Ezra was able to get in on the action! Each season we'll do one, I think. I absolutely love how they turned out.
I got the idea here
The frames are from Ikea ($2 or so a frame) I used the cardboard backing from the frame as the matte around the picture. El Cheapo and oh so much fun!

More Wardrobe Modifications

I have been neurotic this month about going through each piece of clothing I own and making sure it is meant to be in my closet. You know those pieces that you pull out, put on and immediately take off for one reason or another? Either a button is missing, its too small/big, it has an oil stain from splattering food in the kitchen, or something about it isn't right?
Well I have been going through my things, piece by piece, inspecting them for any damage or sizing issues. I have been amazed at how many of my clothing pieces have "issues"~ I have slowly been working through a really big pile of clothes:
mending, taking in, fixing zippers, shortening hemlines, and replacing buttons. The great thing too is each piece has taken hardly anytime to repair which leads me to wonder why I didn't do this sooner!
Here is one project:

I had found this tee shirt at J Crew a while back. It was perfect with the words "Smith's Pub" on it (our last name ~ and Mike brews here at the house). What was imperfect was the fact that it was a man's tee shirt and was too large and boxy. In a matter of 5 minutes I had cut down the sides and opened up the neck line. Now it is much more fun and wearable!
The pile is now gone. I have finished the last of the wardrobe repairs and it is a great feeling to know that I can grab anything out of my closet and be ready to get out the door.
I just went through my jewelry today (I am having some organizational craziness going on lately~more than usual and thats scary.) Anyhow, got my jewelry back in order and pulled out a few pieces that need repair. My handyman husband should be able to get those back to new tonight!

Hello Outdoors! We've missed you...

Oh how we love our backyard. For years we wanted to buy a home. We looked at hundreds of homes over 10 years...hundreds. We were heartbroken at times when some homes that we had our hearts set on fell through for certain reasons (termites, mold, price, etc...)
But God has so richly blessed us with our little gem. I am thankful each day for this great home to raise our kids in. I am so thankful for the previous owners who so lovingly took care of this place and planted such wonderful ferns, hostas, peonies, ornamental grasses, and trees that make it such a gorgeous outdoor living experience for us.

This weekend we did our "spring cleaning" outdoors. We wiped down the white covered porch that gets dirty throughout the winter. Mike used the chainsaw to cut down the remaining of the branches that were damaged this year in the ice storm. We painstakingly weeded the gardens (3 down and one to go) and planted so many veggies and fruits. The zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, lettuce, spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and herbs have all been planted in the past few weeks.
Even Mike's peach tree that he planted a year ago has about 2 dozen little ping pong ball sized peaches on it!

The boys played in the sprinkler and had such a fun time cleaning right along side us. Canaan has been picking up extra chores to make money for the little 7 year old boy we are financially and prayerfully supporting in India through UMA. He dilligently scrubbed the porch and even cleaned all of the outdoor furniture from pollen without being asked. What an amazing boy he is!

Ezra kept us laughing all weekend long. He is so incredibly animated and hilarious...holy cow, what a great soul he is.

The other highlight of the weekend was the discovery of our long lost walkie talkies. Canaan and Mike talked all day long on those. Mike even got his to work from the grocery store a half mile away which Canaan found to be absolutely hilarious!

Finishing projects...

In my sewing studio / guest room, I have had a pile of "projects" to finish. The pile grows by the week and it stares me down each time I walk in there.
This morning after my morning mug of coffee I decided to tackle them. There was a shirt to mend for Canaan, a button to replace on a blouse, a dress to take in on the sides, a quilt to finish up for a friend,4 wrist cuffs to finish up for the shop, and a cute sweater to work my magic on. (and may I say, these were all accomplished between 8-10am!)

The sweater was a $.50 find on the clearance rack at Gabriel Brothers. It fits like a glove and has a great summer nautical look. Unfortunately the 2 holes in the back made it unwearable. But for $.50 I figured I would buy it and find a way to make it wearable. I ironed some pellon on the inside where the holes were to stabalize the fabric. Then I used some scrap linen to make a heart. I carefully zig zag stitched the heart onto the sweater and voila! a wearable sweater! It took less than 10 minutes although that pesky sweater sat on my studio table for over 4 months.

Next was the quilt. I can't say who its for but they will be getting it soon. I embroidered a bit on it but wanted something other than embroidery to add Bible verse to it. Last night I remembered a set of stamps we had (Melissa and Doug stamps) and the fabric paint I had stashed away. I decided to stamp the verse in the fabric paint and then heat set it. It turned out perfectly and actually saved me a ton of time.

While I worked, Ezra painted. He also discovered the water pouch that goes with our hiking backpack the other day. He carries the pouch around drinking water out of it all day long. It totally grosses me out because it looks like he is drinking out of a cathader (sp?) bag. YUCK!

Hangin' in the boys room

We love hanging in the boys room in the evenings. Ezra loves to play songs for the family and we love to listen.