Jul 29, 2011

brownies and water balloons

make the perfect friday evening...

make sure you have a good weekend!

Jul 28, 2011

pink and blue

we found out we were having a girl just about a month ago.

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and since then we've been waiting for today to find out if her cousin would be a boy or girl...

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it's a boy for my brother paul and sister-in-law lindsey.
we are so excited for you as you become a family of three.

Jul 27, 2011

simple kid kitchen

one of these days i would love to make something like this...

kitchen diy from fresh cut flours

 kitchen diy from my little gems

 kitchen diy from rambling renovators

but for now this will have to do...

it only took about an hour (with ben helping of course)

two cardboard boxes
two brown bags
empty plastic container
packing tape

some of the best things about our cheap, easy project...
great for imaginative, creative play - just add some pots, pans, dishes and utensils
doesn't take up much room
easily stored away at the end of the day
can be moved around the house
with basically no cost - it could last one day or one month, and it won't matter

 and what is ben's favorite thing to make?

this is his favorite toy right now.
he's always talked about the one at his friend's house, and last week he got one in the mail.
it's been a huge hit (even competing with his thomas the trains) and i love to see what new creations he comes up with.  we've even been served strawberry and rhubarb pizza.

bon appetit!

Jul 26, 2011

making room for baby

as i think i've mentioned before, we live in a "cozy" home.  a small kitchen with eat-in area, a comfortable living/family room, two bedrooms, one and a half baths, and a partial basement with another living area and separate laundry/utility area.  this means that ben and baby sister will be sharing a room - not so common these days, but i think our kids will survive.  this also means that our space is limited and since i easily feel overrun with clutter and stuff we are trying to do some serious sorting and organizing before baby arrives.  i initially planned we would have a garage sale this fall, but with jake and i both working extra hours and a long list of things to do we decided to simply donate our unused items.  this has also reduced some of the stress i usually feel with having a garage sale because i always feel like i need to go through everything before the sale.  by just donating items, i'm able to sort as i go, make a list of the items, box them up and take them as time allows - much less rushed without a specific garage sale date.  

and the more i think about the way we are handling our cleaning, sorting and organizing - the more i start to want this to carry through to other areas of my life.  i think i have often thought i needed to do everything to the max or not do it at all - and i'm starting to realize that's just not going to happen.  i can't be super mom and wife, betty crocker, martha stewart, extreme coupon shopper, handmade workaholic and blogging professional all at the same time.  i do wish i could because i would love to say everyday ben is learning and being creative, jake and i still feel like we're on our honeymoon, i make gourmet meals all from scratch and using my homegrown organic produce, i arrange fresh-cut flowers from my yard, spend zero at the grocery store because of my couponing skills, i have an incredibly successful handmade shop and a blog that is just amazing.  but that's just not happening! 

so it's time to refocus on my goals and priorities, and what is realistic and achievable for me.  honestly, i'm not really sure at this point, but i have created a list of goals for each month from now until the baby arrives. these goals include a variety of items - some big (like restocking my etsy shop with new items) and some small (like washing curtains).  but most importantly they are all things i really believe i can accomplish - without feeling like i have to be a superhero.  

taking several months away from the computer and sewing machine has been good for me in many ways.  i think i've been able to reevaluate what i hope to accomplish as a wife and mother, and what is truly important in my life - and feeling stressed out or pressured to be someone or something that i'm not is definitely not important.  so for today i will do my best to accomplish what i can, as well as i can and be content with the results. because one day...  all of our wallpaper will be scraped, our garden and yard will be immaculate, our home will be clean and tidy, our laundry will be finished, our meals will be more than sandwiches, i will have all the time i want to sew and create, and the years will have flown by.  

Jul 25, 2011

catching up on things, part 1 - swimming lessons

since i'm finally getting back to blogging, i figure i'd better do a few posts with highlights from the last few months that i've neglected to write about...

ben and friend
(looks like trouble to me!)

and since it's still ridiculously hot in kansas and we still have a triple digit forecast, i thought it would be great to post about ben's swimming lessons.  he had a great time and i was a very proud mama.  it's really a relaxed environment just to get the kids used to the water (we've also done this the past two years as well), but i still expected ben to want me in the water with him.  surprisingly, the second day i handed him to the lifeguard in the water and waited to get in - and you know, he didn't even notice i wasn't joining him - so i sat down with some other moms and enjoyed the view.  he did glance around to find me and wave every so often, but he was quite independent about the whole thing - what a big boy!

and on the last day of class, the water slide is turned on and the kids get to go down as much as they want.  ben loved it last year and he did this year too!

and he even went off the diving board three times before the end of the day.

the end.

Jul 23, 2011

the county fair

last night we visited the county fair 

it was still HOT but we had fun
(no idea who the lady in the picture is - she just snuck in)

looked at the animals

rode some rides

including ben's first roller coaster
i thought it he would love it or hate it -
so when i saw him quite upset exiting the ride with dad i feared the worst

but he was upset because he couldn't stay on and go again!
 so we forgot about the rides by going for a nice, cold sno-cone treat
and a quick stop to look at the big tractor

 and yes, for those of you who haven't heard -
we are expecting a baby girl in november and we are super excited! 
~ more about baby soon ~

enjoy the weekend!

a little quilt block project i entered in the fair -
my second year to participate
and even though i've never made an actual quilt i really enjoy designing,
and sewing a block from the guidelines and fabric given in a purchased packet from our local extension office
i should have taken a photo of all the entries - 
it's amazing how each person comes up with something totally unique