Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Highlights

We had a lovely Christmas filled with much family togetherness, food, fun, laughter, and lots of homemade and handmade goodies. Here are a few (okay many...hey I warned you lol) photos from the highlights of our Christmas. :)

the nativity set the girls made

E decorating her cookie

E's evil octopus lol

the Christmas cookie shapes picked by the girls. We have all your holiday favorites here...
the Christmas great white, the Christmas pterodactyl,
even the Christmas gorilla lol. ;)

decorating Daddy for Christmas lol

Beware of Daisy and Hollow... furry protectors of the bow bag

A tiny knitted scarf for G's dolly and my sorry attempt at sewing a coat set for G's doll. I have no idea how to read patterns so just make up stuff as I it could of been worse lol.
The pockets turned out a bit crooked but G loved it nonetheless. :)

Purple fleece coat set for R's doll

pink daisy skirt for G's doll

pink shiny skirt for R's doll

G showing off her doll's new bear jammies

a soft, fuzzy fleece scarf for E's new Dora doll

white fleece slipper boots for G's doll

purple fuzzy fleece slipper boots for R's doll

sewn felt ice cream with glued beaded sprinkles (the glue wasn't quite dry yet when I snapped this picture but it dried clear later on) served in a pretty little vintage glass thrifted egg cup
that made the perfect sized dolly sundae dish :)

another great thrifted find was this a tiny little white pyrex bowl that made the most perfect
little dolly sized mixing bowl for cake and cookie making

mini felt oreos, croissants, and slices of cake served on
a thrifted flower patterned tiny porcelain plate

dolly treats all wrapped up and ready to go

for my bug loving gal E a doll sized buggy apron and potholder and a plate of felt doll cookies

a skull and crossbones doll apron and pot holder set for R

a snowman doll and potholder set for Miss G

and last but not least a cute little framed paper pieced owl print for my SIL Rose.
I love his (as Ella called them) "polka-dottie" wings :)

Hope everyone had a blessed and beautiful holiday season filled with peace, love, and joy. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Me and My Dolly Matching Scarf Set

My girls and their friends love playing with dolls. Raven and Gwen each have a Madame Alexander doll that they absolutely adore. If you're not familiar with the Madame Alexander dolls they are 18" dolls similar to the American Girl dolls but much more budget friendly. :)
For Christmas I decided to make the girls and Raven's BFF each a full sized fleece scarf and a little matching scarf for their dolls. I used the remaining fabric to make them each a tiny matching doll purse and fleece doll hats. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Solar System (only in chocolate)

This week the girls have been having so much fun studying the solar system and learning all about planets, the sun, stars, comets, asteroids, and the moon. Raven found a fun little recipe in our Thematic Unit Planet book for solar system cookies. The recipe was for sugar cookies but of course my children have inherited my great love of all things chocolate, so we decided to tweak the recipe a bit and do a chocolate chip cookie instead. Mmmmmm. You can either use a basic chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and make large cookies or you can cheat and buy the pre-made Pillsbury "Big Deluxe" ones. I'm sure my inner Martha Stewart was sighing and shaking her head but we decided to go the easy route and used the Pillsbury ones. ;)

We just flattened each cookie dough round a bit with our palms to give each cookie a little more surface area to work with and then we added M & M candies to each cookie dough round. We used an orange M & M in the center of each cookie to represent the sun and then placed the other M & M candies circling around the "sun" to represent the different planets orbiting the sun. We added a yellow M & M to represent Mercury, another yellow for Mars, green for Earth, red for Venus, orange for Jupiter, yellow for Saturn, and then 2 blue candies to represent Uranus and Neptune. We left Pluto off since it's no longer considered a planet as of 2006 but Ella decided to eat one in memory of it anyways and declared Pluto rather tasty, lol.

Mmmmmmmm. The solar system has never been so tasty. *smile*

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monarch Release

About a week and a half ago when Rebecca and I were picking pole beans in the backyard we found a little green monarch chrysalis hidden among the milkweed vines that were winding their way up the side of the bean trellis. We brought it inside to the butterfly observation tree house so the girls could observe the chrysalis. Well today the monarch finally emerged! After a couple quick pictures we took the monarch out front and released it into the garden and away it flew high into the blue sky. Have a safe journey little butterfly. Nature is so amazing. *smile*

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Birthday!

My girls were all summer babies so each summer we throw one big birthday party for them all to celebrate with friends and family. We still celebrate each of their actual birthdays separately too, but on a much smaller scale. On their actual birthday we make a cake and have a special dinner of their choosing just the 5 of us all cozy like. :)

This year they chose an ocean theme for their birthday party. Our friend Cathy so graciously offered to host the party at her beautiful home for us since she has a pool and thought the kids would have fun having a pool party. It was so nice. :) We decorated the dining room in dolphins, whales, seashells, and fish decorations. I painted a big fish on posterboard for a 'pin the tail on the fish' game and made a whale "cornhole" game where the kids could throw "fish" (blue bottle caps with fish painted on them) into the whale's mouth. The girls had a blast decorating fish with glitter glue to hang on the ceiling and I per Ella's request baked a fishy cake with pink icing and m and m scales. :)

Poor little Ella came down with a fever later in the day and slept through most of the party but luckily she didn't seem to mind since we saved her a piece of cake and sang happy birthday to her and she played with her gifts when she was feeling better the next day. All in all though the party turned out pretty well and it was so nice to get to visit with friends and family although hopefully next year little Miss Ella will be awake for the festivities.

Ella at our house before the party smelling the moon flowers :)

the dining room all decorated for the party

the paper glitter fish the girls made

Raven opening gifts

Raven and Gwen blowing out their candles

Miss Rowan...such a cutie!

Mikayla and Raven (they have been friends since they were babies)

Gwen testing the water

and last but not least the cake :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's a zoo around here

It's no secret my girls are very much animal lovers. I guess they take after me. When I was young I always had a menagerie of pets throughout the years growing up...mice, rabbits, gerbils, cats, dog, fish, chameleons, hamsters, hermit crabs, a fire belly newt, frogs, toads, chickens, ducks, button quail, and even the occasional peacock and mama and baby pygmy goat. My dad was very tolerant but he always drew the line at snakes
My husband is a definite animal lover too. When we were dating he even owned a snake, a match made in heaven lol. ;) We have always had cats when the girls were growing up (all adopted strays). Strays are always attracted to us... we must give off a come hither stray vibe or something I don't know lol and of course the big mushes we are we can't stand to see an animal in need. We adopted a shelter dog (named JoJo) when we first bought our house several years ago and have had her ever since she is such a good dog. :)

Now that the girls are older and old enough to handle more responsibility they now each have their own pets. Raven has a super loving girl rat named Princess Smoothie (don't ask...Raven named her herself lol) and Ella and Gwen have an aquarium in their room with a blue betta (named what else but Betta Blue by Ella lol) and a tiny dwarf african clawed frog (whose name changes so frequently I'm not sure what it is at the moment lol). We also have our orange old man tabby cat (Colby) who we had even before we bought our house, our backyard chickens, and meet the newest members of our loving zoo...

This is Willow my husband's cockatiel. We adopted her from a nice couple off of Craigslist. She was hand fed and raised and is a very tame bird who loves to sing, perch on shoulders, whistle like a construction worker (we taught her that lol), and play with her birdie disco ball. :)

This is Daisy my sweet little siamese kitten. I have always wanted a siamese and fell in love with her the instant I saw her. She is such a beautiful and loving kitty. She is a major cuddler. :)

Then a few days after getting our new kitten Daisy my friend Rebecca and I were on the way home from a road trip when we spotted something in a ditch on the side of the road. She stopped the car and we got out and found a tiny little crying grey tabby kitten down in the ditch. The poor baby was soaking wet, shivering, and covered in burrs. :( We scooped her up and wrapped her in an extra flannel shirt Rebecca had in the car.

So needless to say...we now have 2 new kittens. Meet Hollow (named after the road we found her abandoned on).

Poor little Hollow was suffering from a pretty bad respiratory and eye infection when we found her but after visiting our wonderful vet little baby Hollow is beginning to feel much better and will be up and romping with little Daisy very soon. Daisy can't wait. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fresh from the Garden

I love summer. I love gardening and green growing things (well maybe not the poison ivy.... I think I could live without it lol). The garden is growing strong. Flowers are blooming everywhere. It's just simply beautiful.

It never ceases to amaze me that you can take a single tiny seed, nurture it, let nature take it's course, have faith and hopefully with a little luck, rain, and blessings from above watch it grow into something beautiful that will either nourish the soul, the body, or both. *smile*

I never thought I could have such strong feelings about something so simple as a salad. Just knowing exactly where each and every leaf in your salad came from, that you planted, nurtured, and watched those little leaves grow, that you picked them with your own two hands and that just minutes ago it was growing in the ground and is now on your plate. It is just simply amazing to me still (and not to mention tasty too). ;)

Here are some of the goodies from the garden we enjoyed this week. :)

tuna, purslane, and chive salad on a fresh bed of buttercrunch
lettuce, topped with tomatoes, asiago cheese, raw sunflower seeds,
raw peas, nasturtium leaves, and green goddess dressing

an assortment of fresh baby salad greens, buttercrunch lettuce leaves,
and baby rainbow chard leaves, topped with roasted pecans, a blend
of mozzarella and asiago cheese, sweet dried cranberries,
juicy ripe freshly picked black raspberries, and green goddess dressing

lightly toasted french bread with a spread of whipped cream cheese
and topped with a mixture of diced fresh basil, oregano,
and chives tossed in olive oil

and on the drying rack: sage, thyme, lemon balm, mint, lavender, and stevia