Wednesday, August 31, 2011

JAX with Irene

 

Over the weekend we took our little family to Jacksonville to meet up with good friends and surf the effects of hurricane Irene.

We drove over on Friday night and went straight to bed.
On Saturday we spent the better part of the day at the beach. The boys had a blast playing in the water and sand. Tim had a blast surfing some waves. Ethan even took a nap in my arms, which is unheard of for this little guy.
 

Saturday night we went out to eat at Chipotle. My friend, Steph, is pregnant, and that is what she was craving. You always eat where the pregnant person wants to. It is a very strict rule.

After dinner we walked around a shopping area, but most places were getting ready to close. We found a frozen yogurt place, and I was very excited. I ended up disappointed, though, because it was seriously the most disgusting frozen yogurt I have ever had. It tasted like . . . I can't describe it. Just gross. Be careful of places that advertise frozen yogurt, but serve whatever it was that we tasted that night.

On Sunday we walked around another shopping center and went to lunch at Five Guys Burgers. Ethan also had his first introduction to "Pop Rocks." He was unfazed, as he usually is with most things.

We drove over to UNF on our way out to visit a former student. She lives in a dorm called "The Fountains." It should really be called the "Ritz Carlton: College Edition." There was a stinkin' lazy river outside her dorm, plus a regular pool, gym, pool room, convenience store and cafe. Are you kidding me?

We walked around UNF for a while, so she could show us all the places she has classes and such. It is a pretty place, but I have to say that I like the older colleges better. It seems like they have more character and history. Some people aren't into that stuff, but I really loved Florida State and all the background there.

We began our trek home around 2:30pm. Around 4:30 pm out of nowhere I see a car coming straight at us. I yelled, "Oh my gosh, that car is going to hit us." Sure enough, it did. Totally rammed into the side (my side) of the car. Long story, but we ended up having to sit on the side of the road for four hours dealing with cops who never showed up, the road patrol, and a car we thought had run but was actually at the next exit and had to be brought to us to identify. It was pretty easy to identify, considering the huge tire mark in the side of their car.

We finally made it home around 10 that night. Needless to say, I am still recovering from the eventfulness.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sesame Street Pom-poms: My first tutorial

Starting the blog was something new for me, and today I am going to venture out even more. I am going to post my very first tutorial. One of the things I think I am pretty good at is copying. I can usually see something and figure out how to put it together.

Case in point - these Sesame Street Pom-poms.
I saw a picture of these on Pinterest, but there was no tutorial. They were connected to an etsy website, so someone was selling them. I googled how to make the pom-poms, and then I went to work.
First step is to lay out four sheets of tissue paper. (I bought a multi-colored pack at the dollar store, so each pom cost me 25 cents). You need to make sure they are lined up exactly.

Then I cut the paper in half horizontally.

Put one half on top of the other half. Then begin folding like a fan - back and forth.

At this point if you are making pretty pom-poms you can cut the ends into half circles. Since I was making monsters I cut the ends into points or triangles.

Next, you need to tie the middle of the tissue paper with floral wire. You can find it at craft stores for pretty cheap. I cut a short amount and tied it around the middle.


Then you need to separate each side of the fan. Fan it out as so:
Lastly, you will separate each sheet of tissue from the others. This takes a little patience because the tissue can rip easily. Just separate one by one until your pom puffs out into a pretty little pom-pom.

For the faces I just used construction paper and mod podge to attach it. It was pretty easy to duplicate, and you could really do any character or theme. It was a big hit at the birthday party.
 

Let me know if this was understandable. Like I said, this is my first attempt. I was trying to take pictures that would explain each step. I hope someone could put these together from my directions.

Party on!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan 8/29 - 9/4

It's time for Menu Plan Monday.
I think I have said it before but making a menu plan is so, so, so helpful for so many different reasons. It has really helped me save money by only having to go to the grocery store once a week. It saves time, and it definitely saves stress. I don't have to worry about what we are eating everyday. I just get it all out of the way in one thinking session, and then I can live in glorious bliss for 6 days until I have to plan again:)

Breakfast:
Same old - waffles, bagels, eggs with sausage or bacon, banana bread (recipe at the end of this post) yogurt, fruit

Lunch:
Grilled Cheese
Tuna Sandwiches
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Macaroni and cheese
leftovers

Dinner:
Monday - Pasta with Tim's special sauce (we skipped this on Sunday because we got into a car accident on our way home from Jacksonville and didn't get home until almost 10 pm.)
Tuesday - Taco night with all the fixin's, homeade salsa, and Mexican Rice
Wednesday - Chicken tetrizzini (in the freezer from when I made it the last time)& bisquits
Thursday - Tortellini Soup (also from the freezer) with garlic knots
Friday - Pizza night
Saturday - Steak on the grill, twice baked potatoes, and broccoli
Sunday - Pasta again

BEST BANANA BREAD:
Ingredients:
• ½ cup butter
• 2 eggs
• ¾ cup white flour
• ¾ cup wheat flour
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 cup mashed banana (between 2 & 3 whole bananas)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ tsp. salt
• ½ cup sour cream

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mix. Add bananas and sour cream. Bake in greased loaf pan on 350 for 45 minutes uncovered. Then cover with foil loosely and bake for an additional 15 minutes. May need to cook an additional 5 minutes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter 9

Almost to the end of this book . . . I am a little sad but ready at the same time. It is some deep stuff.

A lot of this chapter was about recognizing how much God wants us to have a childlike faith. On page 167 she says, "That all wonder and worship can only grow out of smallness." She is talking about the ways her small children see the world. Everything seems to be full of wonder. We should always feel that way about God. He is magnificent and wonderous. We need to feel small to understand how large he is. We would want to worship even more if we were continuously reminded of our size compared to his.

On page 175 Ann says, "God holds us in the untamed moments too." Can I get an amen? Not to sound like a southern preacher, but man, that hit home. What a confort to know that God is still holding me, even when I am going crazy. I tend to get crazy a lot, so I need this reminder to give thanks for His constant strength and security.

The List . . .
71. Spontaneous trip to see a best friend
72. Baby's shoes
73. Quiet time in the afternoon
74. A big car
75. Bright blue toe-nails
76. My hair straightener
77. Making it through my first week of graduate school
78. The promise of all I will learn
79. Friends who are pregnant
80. Kisses from my big boy

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Birthday Extravaganza - Part 2

If you missed part 1 - go here.

Once Elmo left the building we broke out the pinata. We bought an Elmo pinata for the bigger kids to take out all their frustration on. They really enjoyed it, but that guy could take a beating. I think we had to go through all the kids four times before Elmo broke open to let out all the candy. He really tried to keep it inside.
 

After the pinata we decided to round all the kids up for cake. We sat the two birthday kids in high chairs and sang to them. Then we gave them each a smash cake. Being the mean mom that I am, I smashed our cake in Ethan's face. He didn't seem to mind one bit.
 

After the cake, everyone went back in the pool even though it was raining. They had a good time. There was no lightening, so they got to swim for a while with water in and out of the pool. I relaxed a little bit and got to hang out with my hubby for the first time all day.

 

The party went on until about 8 pm. I really think everyone had fun, which was our main goal. We wanted to honor our kids, but let's be honest, at one year old they could have cared less. We were glad all the guests seemed to enjoy themselves, and we were so grateful for all who took the time to come celebrate the milestone of one year old.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My favorite color is . . .

This is week #5 for me participating in "Gussy Sews: Inspiration Workshop." I have really enjoyed these little prompts and creative writing exercises each week.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

This week we needed to portray our favorite color through pictures and words. When I was young I used to always say my favorite color was purple.
via pinterest

When I think back on it now, I am not sure that was true. I feel like that was one of my first experiences with peer pressure. Everyone had to have a favorite color, so I just picked one and stuck with it. In reality, I don't think I have ever had a favorite color.

I am a good decision maker. I make decisions quick. I also try to stay try to those decisions even when I come to a conclusion that they were wrong. I seem to have a small (maybe big) pride problem.

But this post was about colors, so moving on . . .
Right now in my life I like different colors for different things. My walls are sea green, and I adore them.
via pinterest (not my house)

My kitchen walls are yellow, and the cabinets are white. That is my absolute favorite combination in a kitchen. I could spend all day in that bright, happy room. Somedays I actually do spend all day in there with all the meals, snacks, drinks, and whatever else I have to put together for my family.
my house . . . mess and all:)

My favorite color to wear is turquoise. I absolutely love to wear it when I am super tan. It seems to accentuate the bronze in my skin.
via pinterest

My favorite colors for bedding are classics. I love a good khaki or navy bedding. I like the crisp look of the classics in the bedrooms with brighter walls and pillows.
via pinterest

All that being said, I obviously still have no favorite color, but I like it that way. I love being free to like different colors at different times and not feeling stuck in a go-to favorite. Maybe this makes me fickle, but I say it like it is. Take it or leave it . . . unless you are my husband, who is required to take it and like it:)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To My Determined One

Happy Birthday to Ethan, Happy Birthday to you!
 

Ethan, you are a true joy. Your personality is no sort of sensitive, and we laugh at your toughness. You hardly ever cry. You usually just scream or yell to get our attention and tell us what you want. You are so cuddly after you sleep, and we savor each moment when you lay your sweet head on our shoulder because it doesn’t happen very often. We know your baby days are becoming a thing of the past, and although it makes us sad that you are growing up so quickly, we are so excited to see all the things God has in store just for you. No one could ever be exactly like you, little boy. You are our one and only Ethan. You are our precious gift. Always remember to put your trust in Jesus and allow him to guide you. Your father and I will always be cheering you on in all your pursuits.
I love you, my determined one,
Mommy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Birthday Extravaganza - Part 1

I don't even know where to start with this explanation of the party we threw Ethan for turning one year old. We decided to do a joint party with our good friends who live a few blocks away. They have an awesome house with a pool and a HUGE backyard.

I want to preface all this by saying . . . I struggle with birthday parties. You will not get that vibe from the pictures seen in this post, but it is true none the less. I really do not want my children to have an entitlement problem. I want the things we do for them to always be gifts that are recieved with gratefulness. I think extravagant birthday parties can lead to a bad attitude on years that doesn't happen. That being said . . . we went all out for this puppy. Waterslide and all.
 

Debra (the second one year old's mom) and I decorated from 9 to 5 on Friday to get everything as ready as we could. We wanted to have fun at the party, so we were trying to get as much out of the way as possible. I also had graduate school orientation on Saturday morning, so I wouldn't be able to do much that day. I made quite a few decorations for the party, so I will be doing some of my first tutorials on this here blog in the near future. It was a "Sesame Street" theme, so I (with the help of my lovely and very talented sister in law) made these cupcakes.

The party started at 4, and it was a blast. We had lots of fun things going on throughout the party. The kids went straight for the water slide and pool for the first hour or so. Around five o'clock we surprised everyone with a guest appearance from the real live Elmo.
 

Stay tuned for part 2 . . . more surprises to come!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek of the birthday boy from Saturday. Is he not the cutest?

Menu 8/22 to 8/28

It's Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast:
Waffles
Cereal
Fruit
Yogurt
Oatmeal
Bagels
We will mix, match, and repeat all week:)

Lunch:
Leftovers from the birthday party
Pasta
Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches with fruit
Ham, cheese & raw veggies
Again, this list will be repeated all week

Dinner:
Monday - Salmon (we never got to it last week because our air conditioning was acting up and I didn't want to turn on the oven), rice, salad
Tuesday - Best Pot Roast in crock pot with veggies, mashed potatoes
Wednesday - Chicken Tetrazzini (frozen from freezer), and leftover rolls from the party
Thursday - Breakfast for dinner: Omlettes, bacon, hashbrowns, pancakes and toast
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Grilled hot dogs, broccoli and egg noodles with burned butter
Sunday - Pasta with the special Bettelli sauce

Here is my favorite pancake recipe - easy and quick:)
Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups of flour (I have used both all-purpose & wheat with success)
1 & 1/2 cups of milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1. In bowl mix ingredients just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick and lumpy.
2. Heat frying pan or griddle over medium heat and lightly grease.
3. Cook pancakes until bubbles begin to form and edges begin to dry. Then flip and do the same for the other side.

This recipe makes 15 to 18 medium sized pancakes. You can freeze any leftovers and just heat when ready to eat.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter 8

This weekend was a complete whirlwind with Ethan's first birthday. There will be birthday posts to come this week, but I wanted to put up my next installment of my book thoughts before today is over.
I just finished chapter 8, and it was a really good one. Ann's family is really feeling the affects of the financial drought in our country, and she is learning how to give thanks through the rough stuff.

She starts the chapter off with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I LOVE. "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." True that, Ralphy. We have to concentrate on the continuous blessings that God shows us on a daily basis. That is what allows us to continue to trust when things are hard, really hard.

On page 143 she says, "Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is." Let's take action when it comes to worry. Let's hit our knees to combat all things that breed anxiety. Let's leave it at God's feet because that is the only "action" that works.

Lastly, on page 151 Ann says, "Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on." This makes me think of the old hymn that I used to sing in middle school. It was called "Count Your Blessings, Name Them One by One." It goes on to say we should count our blessings to see what God has done. That is our marker. Count them up and realize they all come from the only One who can truly be counted on. He won't ever let us down.

My list continues . . .
61. Homeade birthday decorations
62. Birthday party success - fun had by all
63. The birthday party is over:)
64. Sweet time with extended family
65. Winning a cool door prize at graduate school orientation
66. A (new to us) playset in our back yard
67. A family who doesn't mind leftovers
68. The after-party at the pool
69. The baby boy's new Tom's - cutest shoes EVER!
70. Enough towels to last an entire weekend with 12 house guests

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Favorites 8/18

This will be the "Friday Favorites: Awkward Edition."

1. Favorite Style of the week:
+
I got this image from Pinterest after searching under the title, "style." Seriously? Is this for real? I can appreciate style that is "out of the ordinary" as much as the next person, but this is taking it too far in my humble opinion.

2. Favorite awkward moment of the week:
I was using the bathroom, and my four year old begins to ask me questions about the difference in the way boys and girls go number one. You know how I get with "those" types of questions. We have had conversations before about the difference in private parts, but he was asking about specifics. I will leave it at this . . . I had to end the conversation by telling him to never show anyone his private parts except his immediate family, and if he had anymore questions to ask his father. Ahem.

And I am deeply sorry, but there will be no pictures of this momentous conversation. First of all, I couldn't get to my camera in that state, and secondly, I think your imagination will do the trick on this one.

3. Favorite (or least favorite) poltergeist evidence of the week:
Now, let me start by saying I. DO. NOT. BELIVE. IN. GHOSTS. Yes, read it again because it is in all caps. I just couldn't think of another way to describe what happened to us this week. Two days in a row, our heat (yes, HEAT) came on for ten minutes in the middle of the day. We have no idea why, and it hasn't happened since. It would be blowing hot air until the thermostat read 82 degrees, and then it would kick back to cold. Weird? I think yes.

Awkward favorites can be fun, too. You see:)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

From My Front Porch Looking In . . .

That's the view I love the most. From my front porch looking in.

This is week #4 for me participating in "Gussy Sews" Inspiration Workshop.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
The prompt this week was porches.
We don't have a front porch, unfortunately. I would love to have one, but since we live in Florida, I don't see it happening. The houses where we live weren't built that way. There is always the possibility of building our dream house. You never know, right?

We do, however, have a back porch. It is actually one of the parts of our house where we did a lot of DIY work. When we bought our house the porch was in total shambles. It contained a non-working hot tub, and the floor was turf, as in the fake grass you see on athletic fields. Do you know why anyone would put that on a screened porch? Me either.

We decided to rip up the turf and tile the entire porch, but when the nasty came up there was an interesting, designed concrete underneath. It was a concrete floor, but it had been cut to have the "look" of tile. We really liked it but knew it would take a lot of work to refinish.

Tim borrowed a pressure washer from a friend and got it all clean. Then we bought a concrete stain in a terra cotta color. It took two coats, but it turned out gorgeous. We really love it.

We still need to redo the screen and organize the area a little better, but it is slowly becoming a space where I know we will spend many family gatherings. I am excited to enjoy our little outdoor space and absorb all the natural surroundings it provides. I see it becoming a very happy place for the Bettelli family.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brotherly Love

I have a confession . . .
I wasn't sure how to feel about "brothers." In my family we have two girls and one boy, so there were no sets of brothers. My only brother had two sisters. We love him deeply, but when I found out I was having a second boy I just figured George wouldn't have too much to do with Ethan.

I was about as wrong as I could have been. My two boys are OBSESSED with each other. There is no one either one would rather play with than the other. They can literally spend hours in their room playing with toys.

George was three when Ethan was born, so I wasn't sure if they would have anything in common for a long time. Again, strike that one against me. They have so much fun together, and it is absolutely adorable.

It is actually harder for me to have Ethan alone than the two of them together. George completely entertains Ethan, so I can get things done around the house. When he isn't here I have to be a one man show for that baby, and he isn't nearly as happy with my antics as he is with his brother's.

George spent the night at my parents house one day this week, and when he walked in the door after being gone for less than 24 hours, you would have thought he was some kind of celebrity. Ethan was laughing, panting, smiling, and running (well, walking as fast as he could with those little legs) over to see him. George said, "Mom, he really, really missed me."

I just love the way they can communicate even though Ethan's only current word is "hi." I love the affection they show each other on a constant basis. George is always kissing Ethan's head or telling him how much he loves him. It is more precious than any words could ever convey.

I am sure they will have their rough patches, as any sibling relationship does, but I am praying hard that they will always be close. I want them to lean on each other and grow up with plenty of memories together. I heard it said once that your siblings are the only ones who travel your entire life with you. Your parents are there for the first half and your spouse is there for the second half, but siblings walk it all with you.

To my boys . . . Walk this life together and always stick by one another. Your dad and I will always be cheering you on. We love you, and are so proud of the relationship you have already built in one short year. Think of all you will accomplish throughout an entire life!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dessert - It's What's For Dinner

Challenge:
If you have kids I have found the way to earn "Parent of the Year" award. On Sunday night Tim and I decided to go to Yogurt Mountain before dinner. We told George that ice cream was our dinner and our pasta would be our dessert.

You would have thought we flew him to another county and bought him a new car. He was so excited and loved bringing it up a million times throughout the night.

When we got home and served him his pasta he asked for seconds. His exact words were, "Mom, may I please have some more dessert?" He followed the statement with the biggest grin.

His joy was totally worth going against my usual strict rules. Sometimes changing up even the smallest thing can brand a blissful memory on a four year old's memory. I want my son to remember those things. I want him to always associate his childhood with happiness. I want him to change it up once in a while with his kids.
Challenge:
When was the last time you changed it up?
I promise you won't regret it.

PS: This picture was taken in a hotel room on our family vacation in June. It is another example of "changing it up." He was allowed to eat dinner on the bed. I know what you are thinking, we are major rule breakers around here:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu 8/15 to 8/21

It's menu plan Monday
Here is what our meals are looking like this week:
Breakfast:
We will be rotating much of the same.
We will probably have eggs quite a few times because we got some fresh, organic eggs from a friend last week. We currently have three dozen eggs in our refrigerator. Glad the whole family likes eggs.
We will also eat cereal, waffles, pancakes, french toast, fruit, sausage, bacon . . . you get the picture.

Lunch:
We continue to rotate our favorites.
Grilled cheese with peaches
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apple slices
Macaroni and cheese with gummies
Leftovers from dinner the night before

Dinners:
Monday - We will get take out pizza because I have a meeting with my graduate school advisor and won't be home until after 7. Tim and George will be at our church's skating night, so we will have to get something quick that takes no preparation.
Tuesday - Salmon (recipe we love at the end of this post), Ranch roasted potatoes, and salad.
Wednesday - Hot dogs on the grill, egg noodles with burned butter, and tomato and mozerella salad (also known as Caprese salad)
Thursday - Hamburgers on the grill, twice baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Friday - Take out from somewhere because we will be getting ready for Ethan's first birthday on Saturday
Saturday - Ethan's birthday party:) We will be eating dinner there.
Sunday - Pasta with Tim's secret sauce.

Here is the best and easiest salmon recipe I have ever come across:
Ingredients:
2 cloves of garlic (I use 2 teaspoons of the chopped, jarred stuff)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspooon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of parsley (I use dried also)
2 (6 ounce) fillets of salmon

What to do:
1. Prepare marinade by mixing first seven ingredients.
2. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish and cover with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator about an hour, turning occasionally.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. (I have also just covered the dish with foil and left the salmon in the dish. It works fine both ways.) Place the sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

It is so yummy!!! Let me know if you try it. Salmon is on sale for $7.99 a pound this week at Publix.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts, Chapter 7

On to Chapter 7 . . .
I will be honest and say that the past two chapters have not been my favorite throughout the book. I still liked them, but they seemed to drag a bit. I did pull some good words this week that I wanted to share with you.

The chapter revolves around an incident with her son. He throws a piece of toast at his brother, and Ann is angry. That is a normal response for a parent when their children fight. The entire chapter is her thought process on how to handle the situation, and how to help her son work through his anger and resentment.

On page 128 she says, "I have to learn how to see, to look through to the Largenes, behind all the smallness."

I love the simpleness yet depth of that statement. The Largeness is God, and He is behind everything. I have heard people say that God doesn't care about the minutia, but I beg to differ. God is in it all. We need to recognize that in every single aspect of our days.

To go along with that statement, I liked what she said on page 135. "We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see it." True that, Ann, true that. I want to change the "way" I see things. What an impact that would have on my day to day.

Lastly, on page 136 she says, "Feel thanks and it is absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose - which emotion do we want to feel?"

I want to feel joy. I want to feel thankful. I want to feel God . . . all the time and in everything.

The list goes on . . .
56. Mamas' night out
57. Party planning
58. Sleeping in (after a 7 am nursing session)
59. Catching up with old friends
60. Good food on our table
61. Time at home
62. Sushi
63. Family hugs
64. Fun in the bath
65. The walking baby's first shoes
66. The almost one year old's big boy car seat (front-facing)
67. Four year old conversations in the car
68. A fixed air conditioning unit (thanks, Tony:)
69. The Dollar Store full of Elmo wrapping paper
70. Anticipation of guests

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favorites - 8/12

Welcome to another edition of "Friday Favorites." I try to send some inspiration your way each week when I pick my favorite moments/crafts/whatever else I can come up with to post. Hope you enjoy!

1. Favorite moment of the week.
My brother and his wife lived with us this summer (as I may have mentioned one or two times before). We really enjoyed having them around. We get along with them as couples really well, so fun times are always had when we are together. They left this week, and I knew that my oldest was going to have a hard time with it. He loves Uncle Peter so much (it may or may not have something to do with their shared love of all things video game related). Last night George sat basically on Peter's lap the entire night, just soaking up every last minute with his beloved uncle. It was so sweet to watch, and I just love that they have such a bond. I hope it carries out through George's entire life because I can't imagine any better role model for him than my brother.


2. Favorite Thing I Did This Week:
I registered for my first two graduate school classes. I. Am. So. Excited. I am starting a masters in Educational Leadership this Fall, and I am really looking forward to using my academic brain again. I have really missed adult conversation and academic competition while being home with my boys. I wouldn't trade my mom job for anything in the world, but I think I am going to love getting out one or two nights a week to concentrate on exercising my brain. I will keep you updated on how it is going.


3. Favorite Idea of the Week:
I have started reading this blog, I am Momma - Hear Me Roar. She is another mom of two boys, so I feel an instant connection to her. She had a post a while back about "Gunny." It is basically an easy sowing project that teaches a big lesson. I love the idea of a visual to help my young children learn to pick up after themselves. In my humble opinion, this idea is truly genius. Now I just need to break out the sewing machine I got for Christmas (yes, Christmas, and no I haven't used it once), so I can make a "Gunny" for us.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Well, this is week 3 of my "inspiration workshop" posts. Excited to be linking up with all the lovelies from "Gussy Sews."
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

She threw a wrench in my plans with the prompt of "garden" this week.

I am not a gardener. I have never been a gardener. I probably will never be a gardener. I had grand plans at one time in my life to plant some fruits and veggies out in the backyard, but obviously that never happened. This prompt was difficult for me because I don't have much experience to back me up.

I did find this cute picture on Pinterest . . . and it did give me some inspiration!

The text on the watering can says, "One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides."

Isn't that quote true about so many things in life? Anticipation is most of the fun. You plan, and plan, and plan, and plan some more for things that only take a few days or a few hours to complete. Things like vacations, weddings, parties, birthing your baby, and of course, gardening. You plant because you have faith something wonderful will sprout from that tiny seed.

While I thought through this prompt, the best parallel I could make in my life was my children. They are my garden, in a sense. I water them and feed them and watch them grow. I want to nurture them, so they can produce as much fruit as possible. I want others to ooh and aah over how incredible they are. I love gaining as much from them as they do from me. I love watching their beautiful colors come out. I love the ways they play and sway in the breeze. I love the anticipation of things to come in their lives.

How does your garden grow?