Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birthday Bingo

Over the weekend we spent time helping Meme celebrate her birthday. One of the activities we did together was to play bingo at the first ever "Bingo Night" at Grace's school. Things started off quite well, but then quickly turned sour. You see, Grace can be a bit competetive and when she doesn't win, the drama often begins.

Here's how the night unfoled......

Needless to say there were no Bingo's in the cards for us on this given night.... but there's always hope for next time!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Our sweet Sophie recently turned ten. As with any birthday or festivity Grace enjoys the role of party planner. Sohpie's special day was no exception. Upon her arrival home from school, Grace went right to work - from crafting a card and banner to making a bone shaped "cake" (since Sophie is on a strict prescrition diet due to her sensitive stomach, Grace made the cake using canned dog food) nothing was left out.

Once Dean arrived home and our dinner was complete, Grace played "Happy Birthday" for Sophie on the piano while we were instructed to sing. Then, the girls (yes, Lucy partook in the treats too) had their yummy birthday cakes.

It was a sweet celebration indeed!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the Garden

We found ourselves with an extra ten minutes this morning before having the need to head off to school. Grace decided that she wanted to spend the time outside peeking around the garden.

For some reason it always seems that so much growth occurs during the night while we're fast asleep. And the plants always appear refreshed first thing in the morning too, unlike their parched state come late afternoon.

Pictures from top to bottom.... 1) Grace holding one of the colossal zucchinis - I swear they're the size of your pinkie finger one day, then the size of a billy club the next. 2) One of the many melon blossoms with bush beans in the background 3) Lucy up to her naughtiness in the garden - she's a digger I tell you. 4) An early morning visitor on a corn stalk 5) Grace and Sophie taking a rest after peeking around.

So indeed, the morning is a good time to look around this little garden of ours.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Before and After

Lucy received her first haircut from the groomer last week. Both she and Sophie had reached a ten on the fuzz-o-meter index or in other words were long overdue. You see the groomer wouldn't take Lucy until she had completed her full course of puppy shots and with wanting to keep both dogs on the same haircutting schedule, we waited.

Here's how they looked before.......

And after.......

Quite a difference wouldn't you say?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strawberry Picking and Jam Making

While Grace was on spring break we headed to our favorite spot for strawberry picking, Hunsader Farms. This has seemed to become a tradition of ours, a visit to the farm come late February or early March. We spend an hour or so picking berries, then it's off to visit with the animals and swing on the swings.

This year we picked around sixteen pounds of the red gems before our baskets became heavy and we could no longer bend over. And Grace, as per her usual, spent some of her time in the fields picking wild flowers, making them into cute wee bouquets.

After our morning in the fresh air, it was time to head home to put those yummy berries to good use. Jam making it was - a total of sixteen jars worth. As in previous years, I used two different recipes. One being the "strawberry jam" by Katherine on allrecipes.com and the other, "classic strawberry preserves" from the book, "Canning for a New Generation" by Liana Krissoff. Both are made sans pectin, with first being more sweet, with the consistency and flavor of typical jam, while the latter is made with less sugar and whole berries, making it a perfect dessert topping.

Ah yes, I hope this little tradition of ours will continue for many years to come!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Spring

Despite the fact that it already feels like summer, the calendar is indicating otherwise - it claims that it's the first day of spring. We seemed to have missed winter altogether, as we only had one night of frost and I can count on my two hands the number of times Grace was able to wear her winter clothes. Oh well, I should stop complaining since we actually had a decent rain shower this evening - the first in many weeks.

So here's to a full rain barrel and well watered plants - happy spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What we've been up to..........

My lack of posting over the past month was sparked by defunct laptop. With our busy schedules it took us some time to select, purchase, then set up a new system. But now we appear to be up and running, or back on the grid as Dean says.

During our absence we...... celebrated Grace's seventh birthday dragon style, attended Grace's second piano concert, lost much sleep over a mocking bird going bananas in our tree at all hours of the night, watched a certain someone lose their two front teeth, created new garden beds and sowed the veggie seeds for spring, unplugged from the television by cancelling our cable service, made a quilt for a new member of the family, went swimming for the first time this season, started Lucy in puppy school, visited the farm for strawberry picking, celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary, learned to use a pottery wheel and sadly watched spring break come to a close.

And since it's St. Patrick's Day, I leave you with a letter that Grace left on the counter for a wee leprechaun. You see, she was spending this weekend with Meme and Pop and didn't want to miss his visit if he were happen to drop by.

Hope you had a wonderful day and discovered a pot of gold!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A quick project for Lucy

Lucy's arrival, though long talked about, was a bit unplanned. We were expecting her somewhere around mid-spring, but a simple email message changed all that. With this hastiness came no time to make the quilt we had planned for her, so this project was a temporary fix - taking just about an hour to make.

Her love of laces and anything with a tag on/in it inspired this wee flannel blanket. Although it's been a hit, she continues to prefer the real deal - bring on the shoes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How sweet it is

Just dropping in to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Auction Quilts

Over the past couple of months I've been heavily involved with a project benefiting the annual auction at Grace's school. Every class within each grade level made a project to be auctioned, with first grade being quilts.

Between another mother and I, we managed to go to each of the seven first grade classrooms and have the children draw an image on a prefabricated quilt square. There were twenty squares per quilt, based on a theme that the teacher had selected (Grace's class was the jungle).

Once the children completed the squares, I got busy with the assembly. Needless to say, sewing seven quilts was a rather time intensive process. However, it was such a relief to trim the threads on the final quilt, knowing they were done! Now we await the auction this evening to see how many eager bidders we'll have.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Two weeks later............

I believe that we've been sucked into the puppy abyss. Between play sessions, outside potty breaks, frequent walks and the like, it's simply amazing how much time a little two pound being can occupy - all in a good way, mind you.

It's been so much fun having Lucy around, there are certainly no dull moments. Her puppy antics often cause us to laugh out loud, or in Sophie's case.... growl. We're making an effort to savor this puppy stage, knowing that this period of rapid growth (and craziness) is oh so short.

Here are a few pictures of our growing girl......

I leave you with a quote - "Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies" ~ Gene Hill

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Then there were five........

Yes it's true, we've added a member to this little family of ours. After much discussion over the past months (and years) we finally decided it was time to adopt another Schnauzer. So here's our new puppy, named Lucy, and all her cuteness....

To say that we are happy to have her is an understatement. In fact, Grace is simply over the moon with excitement!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monsterly Names

The illustrations in children's picture books often provide inspiration for Grace. She always has a mental list containing numerous sketches she wants to complete based the the wonderful art she's seen in them. This latest project was no exception.

On the cover of the book, "Mostly Monsterly" (written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Scott Magoon), each letter of the word "mosterly" was drawn to look rather mosterish (i.e. with fur, crazy eyes, sharp teeth). Upon seeing this, Grace was inspired to sketch her name in a similar fashion. So out came the drawing board, pencils and paper. A short time later.......

Grace's name was perfectly monsterfied!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carrots from the Garden

Despite being covered, our raised beds suffered significant damage during the first frost of the season. The eggplants and tomatoes were the hardest hit, while the carrots, broccoli and kale didn't seem to mind the cooler temperatures one bit. With the carrots being surrounded by a withered mess we decided a do-over was necessary. So, out came the carrots (perhaps prematurely) along with the damaged plants giving us the space to resow the bed this weekend.

They were small in size, but certainly tasty none the less. Perhaps we'll have better luck with round number two!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pop's Birthday

We spent our Saturday helping Pop celebrate his birthday. The day included a boat ride (in which we saw porpoises, quite exciting I tell you), having pizza for lunch, watching football, then eating homemade cheesecake for dessert. Oh what fun we had!

Happy birthday Dad - we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holiday Handmades

Grace and I did quite a bit of merry making this year. It's always a bit challenging to share what we're up to prior to the holiday since the recipients would see their gifts prematurely. So here, before it gets too much further into this new year of ours, is some of what we made for those we love.......

Grace's Piano Concert DVD (in which she's playing twelve holiday songs) packaged in a pouch that we made from the results of our first ever tie dye project

A bottle of "customized" wine for Dean from Sophie

A pouch for Meme to safely store her protein bars

A knitted blanket for Sophie

And lastly, cookie boxes filled with sweet treats for family members

There you have it, our holiday handmades!