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Showing posts from April, 2009

Arkansas' Crimson Clover

One of my favorite things about Spring is the crimson clover that grows along the highways and interstates here in Arkansas. I say Arkansas because this is where I first grew to love it. We actually saw some in Mississippi on our way here and I saw it in our town in Alabama for the first time this year. But it spreads like that, each year it grows and looks even more beautiful.
I'm not sure who decided to plant it in the medians of the interstates, but it was genius! It seeds itself and just comes back more lush the next year.

I always want to take pictures, but of course it's almost always in the median of a very busy interstate~which is a little dangerous for photography. However, the other day I found the perfect patch of it on the side of a not-too-busy highway, so Vince obliged me and pulled over:)
Isn't it beautiful? I just had to share it with you...

Happy Monday

It's a gray, soon-to-be rainy Monday here in western Arkansas. I'm enjoying cozying up with the laptop and a good cup of coffee while listening to the kiddos watching Noggin.
We are here to attend the annual conference for the ministers' fellowship that we are a part of. We're looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new friends and hearing some amazing speakers.
We came to Arkansas just a few days early and have been enjoying some wonderful family fun. First, there was our visit to the farm. We had a picnic, checked out the animals, and picked more strawberries than we realized. I've already told you about the following jam-making session:)
Vince and I went on a belated anniversary date to one of our favorite restaurants~we've been going there since we first started dating. It was a nice, relaxing evening with just the two of us. Last Friday the whole family headed to the local nature center. This is a new addition to the area, being built and opened sin…

Some Weekend Fun

Well, I've been tagged by Kayren at Everything's Coming Up Daisies. It looked like a fun thing to do for the weekend. So here we go....in no particular order:
8 things I'm looking forward to:
1.our house in Alabama selling
2. moving back to Arkansas
3. our family trip to Mexico in July
4. getting into better shape
5. seeing our container garden grow
6. homeschooling again next year
7. improving as a homeschool mom
8. our next trip to the beach



8 things I did yesterday:
1. went for a walk with my sister
2. went on a picnic with my family
3. visited the local nature center
4. took a nap
5. swung in the porch swing with my kiddos
6. discussed bugs with my daughter
7. read to my kiddos
8. spent time on the computer



8 things I wish I could do:
1. sew
2. crochet/knit
3. be more patient
4. calligraphy
5. go to bed earlier
6. get up earlier (yeah, I do see the connection!)
7. make a buyer for our house magically appear
8. take a trip around the world

8 shows I watch:
1. 24
2. CSI: Miami
3. LOST
4. Life
5. The Off…

It's a Jam Session

It all started down on the farm in Arkansas, well, technically Pocola, Oklahoma (we're so close, you know)...

We went berry picking yesterday~strawberries!! And, oh my, were they beautiful!!
I mean, look at that!! Nature's very own valentine! It's just perfect:)
The berries were so gorgeous and yummy, we got a little carried away. We picked waaaaay more than we needed for that simple strawberry shortcake we were going to make.
So I decided that my mom should teach me how to make jam...heehee! I really was surprised at how simple the process actually is, it just takes a little time. And really that wasn't too bad either: it took us about 2 hours to make 3 batches (according to the Sure Jell box recipe).

1. First I hulled the strawberries. 2. Then we washed them~2x~they had a lot of dirt from the fields 3. Next, we sliced them up and squished them really good with a potato masher~just until they started getting juicy.
4. We put 5 cups of smashed berries into the stockpot wit…

Happy Earth Day 2009

I mentioned last week that The Princess has been learning a poem during the month of April, since it's National Poetry Month. Vince filmed her just in time for Earth Day~it seemed appropriate. As a proud mama, I just had to share....
We've been having some Earth Day fun picking strawberries at a farm here in Arkansas (we arrived here yesterday). Now we're getting ready to make some jam~yum! I'll have more to post on that soon! What have you been doing today?

I'm Lovin' Your Suggestions!

Thanks for the awesome suggestions that you've been leaving in the comments on yesterday's post! There are some really great ideas in there for what to do with my Coca Cola caddy.


I love the drink tray idea (chilled flavored pop like Stewart's would be so cute). I did think about maybe using it as a shelf in my son's room, but I just don't think he really needs it in there. I know I don't need anymore collections to hang around. The glass covered table idea was cool, too, but I'm not sure where I would put it. It doesn't necessarily go with the rest of the decor in my house.


I'm leaning heavily toward making it into a caddy for the kiddos' art supplies. I hadn't thought of using it for that before and I love the idea! I recently saw this super cool thing in Pottery Barn Kids' catalog:

But since I just won't pay $50 for it, I've been thinking of all kinds of ways that I could make my own. Maybe my own was right under my nose and I di…

Your Ideas Wanted Here, Please

When we bought our very first house some 10 years ago, it came with this little *treasure*. I have never really decided what to do with it, but I just can't give it up. I'd love to have some cool idea for a project for it. Any ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Beginning To Garden

Well, I did it! I bought the very first plants for our container garden. I really wanted to do a raised bed garden, but what with our house being for sale and hoping to move soon we thought it would be wiser to keep it small and in containers. I'd really hate to have a lovely little garden patch in the backyard and have to leave it for the next owners~they're already getting *my* blueberry bushes {sigh}.
So here's what we picked:
a red bell pepper plant
(because I love those and they are ridiculously expensive at the store)

cherry tomatoes


green bell peppers



jalapeno peppers and more green bell peppers
I still have another cherry tomato plant and three Roma tomato plants to put in pots. I ran out of large pots and had to make a quick trip to the store. I plan to get them planted today. I also picked up some seed packets: sweet basil, cilantro, garlic chives and lettuce. I've never grown herbs from seed before, but I thought I'd give it a try. Lettuce is the o…

*12 Years*

*Then* *Now*
It's been an awesome 12 years
and I am looking forward to what
the next 12 have in store for us!!
Happy Anniversary, Vince! I love you!

Blessings of Friendship

Yesterday I hosted a totally impromptu *blessing shower* for one of my best friends. She and her husband recently found out they are ~shockingly~ expecting #4. They were totally out of baby mode, she had even passed on all of her maternity clothes.
They are a part of the small group that we host and several of the other girls (we're forever *girls* in the South) decided to go shopping for maternity clothes for her. I mean, shopping is great, but if you can actually do it with purpose it's even more fun!
So after several days of gathering gently-used and clearanced maternity clothes, we decided to have a spur-of-the-moment *shower* for her. I tricked her into coming over for lunch and then while she was in the backyard with our kiddos I set up out the shower food and gifts and all of the other girls showed up. It was so fun seeing the expression on her face when she came in!

I have always enjoyed hosting events like this, but I usually have plenty of advance notice. Yesterday w…

Did You Know It's National Poetry Month?

Hurt No Living Thing Hurt no living thing;
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.
Christina Rossetti
The Princess and I have been learning this poem during the month of April.

Celebrating Milestones

Today Heidi @ Mt. Hope Chronicles has invited us to share about milestones and how we mark them in our families. Now, granted, my kiddos are only 6 and 3, so we haven't had just tons of milestones yet, but there have been a few so far. Mostly birthdays.


We love to celebrate birthdays at our house! I personally like to celebrate mine for at least a week or so:)


Something that I've been doing since The Princess' very first birthday is that I always make their birthday cake or cupcakes myself (with the exception of one year for The Princess, a friend made it because we were in the middle of moving). I realize the day may come when they request something from their favorite bakery, but for now I really enjoy having that privilege. I love having their input, getting their ideas and requests. When they grow up I want them to say things like, "Hey, Mom, remember the year you made______!" The cakes that my mom made for me growing up are the ones that I really remember fo…

Playing Games

Does your family like to play board games? Ours does! I grew up playing board games~my parents weren't big tv watchers and we didn't even have on until I was in 6th grade. We played lots of games! Some of our faves back in the day were Pit, Probe, Othello, Monopoly, Life, Triominos, Uno...just to name a few. When I was even younger I loved the classic games like Hi-Ho-Cherry-O, Candy Land and Memory. Now my children love to play games and I'm so glad. They have some of the new versions of the classics (my old versions are at Nana & Papi's for them to play with there) and also games that weren't around when I was a kid. I also like to look for games at the big seasonal consignment sales that I shop. It's so fun to get a game in great condition for $1! Vince and I love to play games, too! Although for a while we had to ban ourselves from playing Phase 10 before bedtime~we are both SO competitive and we were going to bed mad at each other. haha! We love to hav…

Bringing Some Accountability {Updated--2X}

~~2nd UPDATE~
19 shirts of mine & Vince's, 10 pieces of the kiddos's clothes, 5 dinner napkins and 2 pillowcases later....I'm finally DONE!! Whoo Hoo!!! The movie definitely helped~that is such a fun movie! Great soundtrack:)

**UPDATE**
Well, this day hasn't maybe been as productive as I would have liked, but I have made progress. My morning got bogged down with paying bills and figuring out how to do estimated taxes (since we are currently self-employed). By this afternoon, I was feeling sluggish, but I did get the laundry all caught up. Now I am off to do some ironing while watching *13 Going on 30*. I am NOT a fan of ironing, but it's not so bad when you can just zone out watching something:) I may also sneak the rest of the Easter stuff into the attic now that the kiddos are in bed!
*****
OK, I have just tons of things around the house that I need to be doing, but I just feel like procrastinating. However, in the spirit of accountability, I thought I'd post …

Menu Plan Monday: April 13th~18th

I think 99% of my posts last week were about eggs: fabric ones, resurrections ones, the real deal. :) Time to move onto some more good recipes today! I thought I'd post the recipes from our delicious Easter Sunday dinner along with my weekly menus today. As you can see, my dinner plate was full! It was so good and really not an unhealthy meal overall.
Red, White & Blue Salad
with Poppy Seed Dressing
Make salad using:
your favorite lettuces
(I like a mixture of spinach and butter lettuces)
3 to 4 green onions
sliced fresh strawberries
fresh blueberries
blue or feta cheese crumbles
Toss with Poppy Seed Dressing:
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. paprika
Dash of salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Combine above ingredients in a blender; blend well, then add:
1 1/2- 2 cups vegetable oil
2 Tbls. poppy seeds
Dash of sesame seeds
1 tsp. grated onion
Mix until just blended.

Grilled Vegetables with
Cilantro Lime Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbls. lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, min…