The Marshmallows Company

Canaan's first order is due to the coffee shop today. He is obviously so excited about it all. He already sold out of another order last week and has been diligently making marshmallows, counting/budgeting money, and dreaming up new ideas for his company. The logo design is his~and I absolutely love it. That mug is so stinking amazing.
I keep reminding him that if at any point this isn't fun anymore then to let us know. But honestly, he gets such an excitement out of each aspect of the process. Its so fun to watching our budding entrepreneur.

A New Take on Free Ranging

The chickens have decided that they will take every opportunity to venture onto our outdoor porch during the day. I am not sure what nutritional goodies they think they will find there but nonetheless they have made it their afternoon hang-out pad.
Still no eggs. I have given them stern lectures and told them they need to start earning their obviously hasn't phased them.

Potato Stamping

Doing a bit of stamping and sewing today. Trying to get in gear for this upcoming holiday season.
I really love how much fun printing with potatoes are. I do it so infrequently that I forget how easy and rewarding it is.

Occasional Dumpster Divers

We used to be much more frequent dumpster divers in our younger days (newly married, without kids). Once I found an entire set of antique cast iron skillets being tossed away. We've found really nice yard tools, wooden tables, and chairs in years past. Well its been a while since any of that has happened around here...until last week. Mike came home one day from work lugging in 2 large topiary trees (in his suit and tie, nonetheless) he had found at a Norwalk furniture store. They were moving locations and were getting rid of tons of pillows, cushions, and these topiaries. I think they make a nice addition to our front porch, don't you?

3 months and counting...

Only 3 months to go until baby boy #3 arrives to the Smith homestead. We're excited yet completely unprepared for his pending arrival. There is much to do leading up to his entrance. Clothes to buy, diapers, sheets, nursing gear, etc...

Ah yes, and a name for this little guy would be nice too. That will be an ongoing consideration up till the day, I am sure.

Project Done...Finally

We have finally finished the fall project we started nearly a month ago. We wanted to make fall leaf garland from salt dough leaf ornaments. Sounds easy enough, right? Well overall it is, but each step seemed to take us forever.
Baking the ornaments, painting the ornaments, stringing them on twine, and hanging them was a tedious month long process. Oh well...its done and overall we had a great time making it...and it turned out how we envisioned!

Little Splurges

Budgeting is a big thing around here. We don't necessarily call it "budgeting" but we definitely pinch our pennies and try to do the best with what we make in a one income family.
With that said, we still find it important to splurge occasionally on little things. Today I picked up Canaan from school and he, Ezra and I headed over to the ice cream shop for some ice cream cones.

Part of me was doing the math knowing that I could very well have saved a couple of bucks going across the street to the grocery store and buying a half gallon.

But there is something so wonderful and exciting about an ice cream cone, isn't there? To get to choose your own flavor, choose your cone, and walk out with that very special treat.

Ezra has said "thank you" a million times since we arrived back home. Sweet boy...
I love these simple yet special times and they are worth every extra penny.
I love these barrettes made by fellow blogger Regi

She is selling them for a good cause. Click here for details.

Raising Generous Children

I have no idea how to raise a generous child but I do know we must be doing something right because my sweet boys are just absolutely amazing. Truly...

We decided to take off this morning on a little road trip. While Mike and I were getting ready in the back bedroom I could hear the kitchen faucet turning on and off continually. This usually means Ezra is filling up water bottles, or Canaan is washing his rocks from his rock collection. I didn't think much of it and after about 10 minutes came to the kitchen to see what the boys were up to.

What I walked in to was my sweet Canaan standing at the kitchen sink. He heard me walk in and as he turned to look at me he simply said "I emptied the dishwasher and washed the dishes in the sink for you mom." At that point I burst into tears (I won't mention pregnancy hormones as a reason for that)and ran over to give him a kiss and a hug. Of course he thought I was a bit over dramamtic but how could I help it?

He did it in such a selfless and helpful manner too. He wasn't expecting money or ice cream or extra time playing the Wii. He did it because he truly is growing up to be an incredibly helpful and generous person. And I am so proud and thankful and humbled.

A Simple & Healthy Dinner

Dinner was simple, yet satisfying last night. My new favorite food magazine is
Clean Eating.
I don't subscribe but I love to browse the pages when I am at the bookstore. The grapefruit vinaigrette is by far my new favorite dressing. Ezra loves his apples "marinated" in the dressing for a snack.

Apple, Endive, and Grapefruit Salad

The pasta was dead simple and was full of roasted veggies. I wished I had made some homemade marinara but in a pinch, good quality store bought worked just fine.

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I have already started soaking the sticky rice for tonight's thai meal. Satay and sticky rice with mangoes. What will you be having?

Unfinished Projects

Last fall I had grand plans for a fall craft never happened. I have been determined to work on it with the boys this fall in hopes of enjoying it for the fall season. The progress is slow. Weeks, in fact. We are near completion and when it is finished, I'll photograph the final outcome.
This got me thinking about the many unfinished projects I have laying around. It would be fantastic to finish them before the end of the year (albeit a bit unrealistic) and start 2010 with a clean slate of ideas. I have several unfinished sewing projects~ half finished aprons, quilt tops, embroidery, photographs to organize, and paintings to work on.
I am a "completer" by nature (if that is even a personality trait). It irritates me to leave things unfinished. I have been trying, with some success, to retrain my brain to accept these unfinished projects for what they are.
One day when the kids are at college and I am wondering what to do with my time it will be nice to have a stack of quilts and embroidery to finish, right?

Making Space

We live in a quaint home. It is large for us (and most of the world) at 1400 square feet but the American dream~it is rather quaint. We have just one main living space in the house, our family room, which is naturally where our family spends most of the time.
Often I will come in and find the boys have moved furniture around to create more space in that room. Actually, every piece of furniture, including the couch, has felt pads attached to the feet for easy moving by the boys.
This large floor space allows them to use their creativity all the more. Forts are made, games are played, marble mazes are constructed, and yoga dvd's are used for yoga time.
The longer we live in this home and utilize this space I firmly believe that having less has created a much more "full life" experience for all of us. It allows us freedom to move through our home with ease and when necessary~ create space in an instant.
And just as quickly as they can deconstruct the room, they put it back together. In fact, over time I have taught them how to straighten the family room themselves. Nearly each time we leave the house, it is their responsibility to make sure that the room is looking nice (not only does this help me out in the obvious way but it also gives me a few extra minutes to get ready without them begging to get out the door). They LOVE this job. They take pride in laying the quilts over the furniture~ rolling up the yoga mats~ putting away toys. Canaan's new idea is to put one magazine, from our stack of magazines, onto each piece of furniture so it looks like a bookstore (his words).
Although I typically would not drape a quilt over the entire chair or lay all of our magazines out on display it is so heartwarming to see them take care of our home along with Mike and I.
Now if I could just get them to put their clothes away in their drawer..hmm.....