Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crazy Birds

We've reached the time of year that we find it difficult to keep up with the demands of our backyard feathered friends. It seems as though we no sooner get the feeders full of seed, then hours later they're empty again. And as you know.... no seed equals no birds, so we are making great efforts to fulfill their hearty appetites.

This afternoon after Grace got home from school she covered two pine cones with peanut butter than rolled them in birdseed. Surely, these should keep the birds (and squirrels) busy awhile.

Then she was off to fill the feeders. Sophie is always close by, watching for any stray seeds that miss the feeder during the filling process - oh how she loves a crunchy snack.

And look, just moments after the feeder was placed back in the tree we had visitors. I suppose these "crazy birds" (as Grace calls them) are worth the extra effort!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

And the Theme is.....

After much indecisiveness Grace has finally settled on the theme for her fifth birthday. Drum roll please..... it's "George and Martha" from the series of books written and illustrated by James Marshall.

She just can't seem to get enough of this hippo duo and their ever silly antics. Every time we read one of the books she laughs hysterically at them (I must admit that I find them quite funny as well). Even though we don't own any of the books, one can often be found in our collection of books from the library. In fact, I just got done reading two of the books to Grace prior to her bedtime.

So, needless to say now that we have a theme the flurry of creating has begun. From banners to invitations, to cakes and clothing we should have the hippo theme covered - the embroidery project in the picture above will be part of Grace's birthday shirt.

And as you can see from the drawing above, Grace has been busy making "patterns" for us to follow. This one happens to be for her birthday balloons. She said to me, "I'll make the balloons. I just need white paper, gray and black crayons, scissors and tape" - that sounds like a wonderful plan to me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Ant's Playground

This morning while on our walk (actually Grace was on her bike while I walked Sophie) we visited an area that Grace calls "the ant's playground". It's a little spot with a collection of Oak trees that sits between the two phases of our neighborhood. While there.....

Every nook and cranny was explored - from a safe distance with her flashlight in hand, of course.

A "reindeer antler" was discovered - yes, she has quite the imagination.

A "little couch" was found - the perfect place for resting those tired legs after biking against the wind.

Lastly, numerous treasures were collected - no outdoor adventure would be complete without bringing at least one item from nature home.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Smiley Face

May your week be filled with smiles!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Trophy

A day last week a scene unfolded in our kitchen that was quite similar to the infamous leg lamp incident from the movie, "A Christmas Story". It all started with the delivery of a rather large box from the UPS man. Upon inspection I noticed that it was addressed to Dean so I let him do the honors of opening it (mind you he wasn't expecting any packages).....

When Grace discovered that packing peanuts were involved she came running to lend a hand - "It's snowing", she exclaimed.

Once enough of the peanuts were removed Dean lifted the contents out of the box. Are you ready (I certainly wasn't)? It was a trophy and not just any trophy but one nearly as tall as Grace. It was imprinted with the words, "Beer Bowl Champion 2008". Apparently this was Dean's reward for being the winner of his fantasy football league last year.

Here's the two growling toughies proudly displaying the trophy of greatness. All the while I'm thinking.... could I please exchange this monstrosity for a leg lamp?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The walls that have surrounded me at work for the last thirteen years have changed. And by changed, I mean drastically changed. No.... I haven't switched jobs, although in many ways it feels that way, it's just that the hospital were I work has moved (here's an article).

This past week has been a busy one since I've worked four of the past six days - much of that time was spent under very stressful circumstances. So this morning when I awoke and saw the weather forecast I decided a visit to the beach was in order.

The combination of fresh air, clear blue skies and the sound of the waves coming ashore was the perfect fix for all the craziness of my week. Grace loved it too - sandcastles were built, birds were chased, shells were collected, her kite was flown and ice cream was eaten.

As we were leaving Grace said, "We'll have to come back to the beach soon" and I couldn't agree more!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Crafting

A morning last week Grace and I decided to stay in our pajamas a bit longer than usual (a common problem around here since it's been so cold) and make a banner to celebrate the season. It was quite simple and fun to make - we used several sheets of scrapbook paper, our Quickutz machine, a glue stick and a piece of cotton yarn.

The banner along with a few snowy trees have added the perfect touch to our mantle for this abnormally chilly winter!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad/Pop

Grace and I are just getting home from an overnight visit at Meme and Pop's house. It was Pop's birthday and we wanted to help him celebrate his special day. We made him the dessert of his choice - cheesecake topped with Kit-Kat pieces. We had a great time and hope he did too!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold Weather

We're in the middle of a cold snap around here. When we awoke this morning it was a chilly 27 degrees outside - there was even frost on the ground. According to weather forecast it's going to remain cold into the first part of next week. Until then we'll be sure to bundle-up, especially while outside!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holiday Handmades

Well here it is nearly two weeks after Christmas and I'm just getting around to posting about some of the gifts I made during the holidays......

Hopscotch quilt - as I was thumbing through the Magic Cabin catalog I saw a hopscotch mat that I knew Grace would love. After a bit of thinking I came up with a pattern and made one for her. The quilt is rainbow themed, with a pot of gold being the number ten square (a bit difficult to see in photo). I also made her three beanbags (in the lower right corner) to add to the hopscotch fun.

Doorway puppet theater - Grace enjoys putting on shows of all kinds for Dean and I, so the idea of a theater came to mind. I loosely followed the pattern and instructions in Amy Karol's book, "Bend the Rules Sewing". I also made a set of family puppets (you can see the Grace and Sophie puppets in the photo) using the directions from "Bend the Rules with Fabric", Amy Karol's second book.

Photo pillows - I made one of these for each of the grandparents using the instructions from the book, "Stitched in Time" by Alicia Paulson. Each pillow was unique, since the photo and fabric varied on each pillow.

Caramel Corn - Grace and I made three batches of (this) yummy recipe to give as "parting gifts" to family on Christmas Eve. Besides making cookies for Santa that's all the baking we had the opportunity to do.

Now I'm dreaming of what to make Grace for her birthday.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Back to Normal

The holidays have officially come to an end around here - the decorations have been tucked away and we're slowly returning to our normal routine.

Dean took some additional days off from work prior to the new year, which was so nice. It's rare that we're all home together for four days in a row - needless to say we took full advantage of the opportunity. We watched movies, played games, went on walks, played miniature golf, built too many houses to count with Grace's new Lego's and cleaned out our closets.

It's a bit sad to see the flurry of holiday activities come to a close but we're looking forward to what 2010 will bring!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jump into the New Year

We wish you peace, health and happiness in 2010!