September 16, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via

September 15, 2011


Before we moved into our house, I had a list (still have) a list compiled of projects and things I'd like to do in this forever house. Since we'd only been in the house a few times, not everything would work out as I had envisioned once we were actually in. One of those was a chalkboard wall. My littles, as most I'd guess, like chalk. At the farm there is a big, real slate, chalkboard in the kitchen. Used by all, for lists, notes, phone messages, and for small 'drawings' by visitors. Something about the process of drawing and erasing that is thrilling to them. I thought there was a section of blank wall in our new kitchen that I could paint up. As it turned out, that section was oddly shaped, and small, due to a couple light switches and an outlet. I kept it on the back burner, as I worked on other things thinking of an alternative spot. 

Then I came this post on a blog that is very inspirational to me, and I had my spot. Off our kitchen is a hallway with the back door. A door that was in need of a paint job - like so much else in our home. Perfect! A few weeks ago I went to work. In getting the paint, which is not no-voc like the rest of the paint in our house, I was happy to discover a tint-able version. In original planning I thought my choices would only be black or green. Moonstone (gray) suited me much better.

The kids, Calder especially, like it. He also thinks chalk inside is for writing on the floor. Which is coincidentally slate, but not that kind. Luckily, it washes easily. The eraser that is so popular with them however, doesn't clean very well. We've resorted to just wiping it down with a damp rag. And when I pass through I can focus on the one thing that is done in this space. Instead of the unfinished - well nearly everything. I like the little drawings I find there too!


With so much paint left, the possibilities floated through my mind. Then I remembered this I had found last summer when Piper was just starting to show real interest in chalk. At the time we were trying to sell our house and decided to forgo that project. We just happened to have a scrap of plywood left (which after some help from a very nice stranger boy while Zac was out of town I got home on the roof of our car) from the sandbox cover. Few coats of paint and a week later, we had another outside activity for the backyard. They did on occasion write on the part of the driveway that is in the backyard. But, as many of you saw, it's not the smoothest surface for drawing. 

 Sometimes I get so excited about projects for the kids, possibly more excited then they do. I was beside myself to show this to Piper and Calder after nap time. Calder indulged me - that sweet little mama's man.

September 13, 2011

Just Peachy

Old news, right. Really old. Canning that is. Lots of preserving of summer's yield all season long. With moving and apartment living I have yet to do much preserving this year. No garden, means no excess of anything, planned or otherwise. 

Other than my living at home years I've always done it alone. Which is fine, still a satisfying outcome. This year when a bushel of peaches ordered through my mama came in ready to use a couple weeks back. I packed up the littles and my jars at our first opportunity and headed to the farm for a group canning session. One really full day of work and a few hours on a second day - done. Three bushels of peaches in jars, pies or bellies.

Pictures by my papa. 
My baby brother seen in the first picture did not help, just caught in the picture as he snagged a peach (or three) to eat. I don't think I've had the pleasure of spending that much chatty time with my sister-in-law, and she's been around for some years now. It sure was nice.

Sure is nice to look at these lovelies too! Waiting to be joined by raspberry jam, apple sauce and pears. Fruity goodness to take with us into winter.

Totally not peach related...we came at just the right time to see the Monarch come out of its chrysalis. We had done this many, many times as I was growing up. I so wanted to share this with Piper this year. I combed the bike path near our apartment for a caterpillar on milkweed. Alas, I was looking too early - as they had only found their's a couple weeks before. I was elated when I saw the jar with a milkweed stem and chrysalis on the dining room table when we arrived. And over joyed when the butterfly emerged over night, that I could share this magic with Piper. Both kids stared and gently stroked the wings. Later, after enough practice and strength had been gained, my mama set it out on the porch and it flew away. Another of nature's amazing gifts off on its journey.

September 11, 2011

Movie Out

Something I've been waiting to do for oh so long. An outdoor movie, feels so vintage, so big, adventurous and almost romantic - sitting under the stars with all of nature's sounds around us. On a whim, I asked Zac, while at work on Friday, to borrow a projector so that we could set up an outdoor movie in our backyard. It was actually, fairly unplanned right up to set up. Picking the movie just before dinner, searching for a large sheet and way to secure it to the garage wall. Luckily we started while there was still enough light left in the day. And it all worked out. It was so enjoyable, finding that I much prefer flying by the seat of our pants sometimes. 

With the air turning cool, we indulged in a bit of hot chocolate (at bedtime!) to keep all toasty and warm. Piper actually made her mug last for the full length of the movie, taking the last sip as the credits began to roll. Such will power.

Eagerly awaiting our next movie out of doors. In fact we may make a little event of it. Piper thanked me at the end of it, I'm sure prompted by Zac - but regardless, I felt like my idea was fun and we all had a wonderful time.

Hoping your weekend was filled with some type of wonderful.

September 05, 2011

Sand Play

We started our weekend with rain. But we ended up getting my goal project for the weekend done, well almost. Usable - I consider that done...ish. We built a sandbox. Yeah, finally something for the kids to do in the back yard other than wander around in the weeds. I spent a few nights searching online for plans. In the end I put together my own by combining a few. A quick trip to the hardware store for wood and we set to work. We used all cedar, despite the higher cost, I love the natural look of cedar and its abilities to withstand being out in the elements - and I couldn't see us putting littles out to play in a box made of treated lumber. 

Piper watched and waited while Zac drilled pilot holes I had marked. Her job was to wipe away the saw dust and keep track of how many boards and holes there were to drill. She was the perfect helper. Often a little jumpy to get in there but we got it done without any mishaps.

Then we had a box.

And she played. And played.

They played. And he tasted the sand, of course.

I think this will provide many many hours of play, and learning. The woman who helped me load bag, after bag of sand into our car told me that sand and water play are the best ways for littles to learn. She's a teacher she knows. I'm inclined to believe her. I'm already a firm believer in learning through play. So learn on little ones, learn on!

Hope you had a lovely weekend! 

p.s. Sorry for the long gap in posting. I was kind of taking advantage of only having our iPad and not being able to post. Plus I was a bit busy. Most of you saw with what at our picnic. Thanks to all of you who came. We had a truly wonderful time - despite the scare of rain. ~emmy 

** Update ** The sandbox is officially finished. It has a cover!