Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter cuties

Do they come any cuter than this?  Well, behind your own children, I'm sure these must be second in line, right?  Sunday we all dressed up to spend a wonderful day celebrating the resurrection of our Lord with our chuch family, and then with a crew of family, friends and neighbors.  It was almost like Christmas in our backyard for all the eggs and gifts, and these three wasted no time tracking them down.  Reagan was given a head-start with the "little kids" and cleaned up!  I guess there are some advantages to being the same size as your one- and two-year old cousins!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Muse

I'm not much of a photographer, but I do enjoy my second-hand DSLR and charming subjects like my only favorite nephew.  Since my sister thinks an iphone is camera enough, and Lincoln tends to avoid looking anything like himself in pictures, capturing his little personality is a fun challenge.  Don't you just love the red locks, dimples and slight gap in the front teeth?  I'm entering this very unprofessional photo in a little contest for less-than-professionals over at my bloggy friend Nancy's Ordinary Miracles and the Crazy 8.  Yes, eight.  That's six kiddos: four bio, two adopted from Vietnam, and they're in the process of becoming foster-certified.  All that and she manages to maintain a fun blog with stunning photographs.  There are still a few days left to enter if you want to throw your hat in the ring!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Play Ball!

 Saturday marked the beginning of softball season... our first!  Danny grew up playing ball and is famous (infamous?) for his "tomahawk" swing , and I spent a lot of my childhood watching the Seattle Mariners.  For Alyssa, Parker and I, however, this was our first foray into little league - or rather, a very low-key version sponsored by our local parks and rec.  Reagan was a great little cheerleader, and the big kids had a blast.  The only dark spot of our day was waiting for us on the countertop when we arrived home: 

Wolfie's bowl, sans Wolfie.  The goldfish Parker won at a fall carnival decided he'd had enough of life in a bowl... and jumped out.  Needless to say, this story doesn't have a happy Nemo ending.  Fortunately none of the kids were particularly attached to their pet, and Wolfie took a rather unceremonious trip from the countertop to the trash can.  

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Magic Shoes

You might not know it just from looking at them, but these "farkly" shoes (that's "sparkly" for those of you that don't speak Reagan) have the power to motivate four year-olds to learn to tie.  Reagan came home from a date with my mom last week with these darling light-up treasures.  The girl was so determined to wear them that she didn't bother waiting for anyone else to form the bow for her: she sat down and did it herself!  Never mind that it took 10 minutes and didn't quite follow conventional methods; by the end, she had two perfect little bows on two perfect little feet.  In the days since, she's gotten quicker, neater, and even more determined to light up our world with her "farkles."

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Green decorating

No, not the hyper-conservationist type green.  I'm all for taking care of the earth God has blessed us with, but He's given it for our use.  This post is a little bit lighter than that.  Like houseplants light.  I love filling my home with live plants, and maybe by sharing a few photos I'll be able to inspire some of you to enjoy them too.  My main inspiration for acquiring this collection began with a lack of the other kind of green.  I love plants for the same reason I love mirrors: they fill a lot of space for not a lot of cash.  Here's the little pony wall that separates our dining room from our family room.  The first shot is a nice collection of some of our favorite photos, knickknacks and mementos.  It's pretty enough, but lacks height, life and color.  Add a $5 plant in a clearance blue pot, and it becomes much more interesting. 
Here are few larger examples of space filling:
This beautiful Vietnamese pot (under $40 last summer at Costco) and plant ($18 at Sam's Club) distract attention away from our hideous builder-basic fireplace. 
This one sits in another clearance pot on an orange "Homer" bucket (draped in an old tablecloth) to fill the corner behind the couch in our living room.
Another larger specimen ($8 at Target with the pot) makes a neglected corner of our kitchen feel... less so.
I have plants in my bathroom (each less than $8 with the containers):
Plants in my kitchen:
I can't remember how much it cost to make this little terrarium, but it was cheap.  I bought supplies enough to make several for gifts, the plants themselves were the smallest cheapest ones Home Depot carries, and the glass jar was one I had on hand for serving drinks but never used because the little spigot thingy never worked right.
I love this little vignette of a dollar store rose, $1.49 pot that originally came with and housed paperwhites (Target post-Christmas clearance), my $2.50 bird from Michael's and little "designer" plate, also from Target ($3 maybe?).
I don't even mind fake greenery, as long as it's not trying too hard to be really green.  Does that make sense?  If not, maybe the pictures will.  Neither of these little beauties cost more than $4:
And two of my favorite new additions came courtesy of my favorite MIL, who somehow thought I could better care for some of the beautiful plants she inherited after her hard work at our church's Shepherd's Conference:
I've never had a fern or an orchid before, so I'm hoping I can keep them alive.  The funny thing is, my plants (like my goldfish) seem to live unnaturally long lives.  Honestly, I think they thrive on neglect.  Maybe other people just give their plants too much attention.  I don't feed them (the plants that is.  Our goldfish do get food fairly often.) I only water them occasionally and give them a good spray or wipe down once in a great while to combat dust.  All that to say: don't be afraid!  Plants are beautiful, inexpensive, and good for the environment!