Saturday, October 3, 2009

Project Month - Day 3 - Conference Saturday and Scrabble Pieces

I love this day. I do. What a tremendous opportunity to listen to a prophets' voice and be together all weekend.
We are all set for Conference, meaning there are ever so many bowls of sweet and savory things to eat and everyone has something to keep their hands busy while we listen. My hands will be busy with two projects.

First, my sis Loree (who has been banned from this blog for the month as we have their family for Christmas and I will be posting photos of many of their gifts) loves words. She is a boggle-nut! I am making her Scrabble magnets for her fridge as Boggle pieces are far too heavy for this. This is one of those ten minute projects that I've had everything I needed to complete - except the desire - for awhile now. Some magnets, a hot glue gun and Scrabble letters. Too easy!!

Secondly, it is October and in this house, we love Halloween almost as much as Christmas. My other project is cutting out bats. (This is a such tedious job. I am rethinking my initial decision not to buy them precut for $7/8 at Target and save more poor hands. But alas, I have time and not money, so off we go.) Little 5" baby bats to nearly 20" mama bats are going to be hanging from the ceiling. For those of you who remember the snowflakes in the dining room, I've repurposed the fishing line that has been collecting dust for the last six months and they'll be hosting bats and possibly a few ghosts for the next four weeks, although not nearly as many as there were snowflakes.

Later that day...

She'll love these. It makes me want a set of my own. All that's left is to wrap.

This one is going to take a bit more time. I need to cut more bats and ghosts, but so far I like how its looking.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Project Month - Day 2 - Mending

I know. I know. Not an exciting post. It doesn't matter because I am completely jazzed to have completed this one. Today's project was all about clearing out the sewing closet to move on to more rewarding ventures. I have to tell you though, this felt pretty darn rewarding. My m-i-l, a very talented seamstress, taught me how to mend some things I had had sitting in a basket for far too long. I won't go into details because quite frankly they would put you to sleep sans pictures. (I'm afraid even pictures couldn't jazz up mending talk enough to make it exciting.) In total, we mended half-dozen things and I now know how to do them myself. Who knew it could be so easy?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Project Month - Day 1

Its October! Its fall! It feels like it. And... Its project month here.

Having slacked a bit with company in town, I am way behind on my Christmas Countdown and I have some catching-up to do. I am openly copying a friend on this one because I thought it was such a great idea. Thanks Becky! Also, I'm starting this a bit late and will carry it into November to get a full month out of it. I have fit a few projects in here and there and will post pics soon. I wanted to post a list of some of the projects I am planning.

Here's the idea. I'm going to complete as many projects in the month as I can. I'm trying to complete as much of my homemade gift list as possible during this time. I'll be doing Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some are finishing things up that have needed my attention for awhile - aka mending, incomplete sewing projects. There are those that will takes weeks to complete and others will take 10 minutes. A bunch will be in the sewing department and many more in the kitchen. I'm not a "crafty" person by nature, but there will be activities for the kids to do during school time that I'll post. Some of you will be the recipients of these projects aka gifts. So when Christmas rolls around and you receive one of them, act surprised.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aquarium with G&G Stonely

We love the dolphin show.

And we got thoroughly soaked this time. I mean absolutely drenched - enough to make Sis cry. It was great.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Picking Time

My family went home yesterday and Jon's parent's are here for a week longer. SO much to do in such a short time.

Today we went apple-picking at a farm about 30 minutes NW of us in Westminster, MD.
(He hit the 5' mark this month.)

(She's 4'4" already and fast!)
I love this shot.

I have never seen such enormous apples! They were gorgeous.

I wasn't familiar with some of the varieties, so to test them out I'd find a nice looking apple that had already fallen from the tree and eat as much I wanted then trade with Jon or the kids for whatever variety they were eating. We were so deliciously full by the time we made it back to the weigh-in station. The bees had the same idea, but they liked the ones that weren't so pretty anymore.

We love the bees.

Sis was thrilled to ride on a "train" (really a tractor pulling a trailer with covered benches) to the orchard and a haywagon back.
I would love to have had more time and more people to play hide'n'seek or tag with in the orchard.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth

The cottage garden

It's only 25 miles from my home. I can't believe I didn't know about this before now. I love little discoveries like this one.
Its one of those things that just eludes you but when you find it, another little piece of the puzzle of who you are is made more complete. We all have our "things" that bring us joy, help us feel closer to God, and remind us of who we are. Gardens are one of my "things" and the Ladew Gardens is that kind of place for me. It makes me all squinty eyed to think about it.

The rose garden

The croquet garden

It is a magical and lovely set of gardens that wind in and out of each other with such ease. Imagine Mary Poppins, Alice and Wonderland and Italy and England all rolled into one. (At least that's what I did.)

The topiary gardens were amazing. I have never seen anything like them. What a magical space.

Let me just say, as I look at pictures and think of how I felt as I wandered about, I am filled to the brim.

Oh to have bees!

The yellow garden

My camera, nor my photography skills were able to truly capture the beauty of this place, but I tell you as I walked the grounds, I felt as though I were home. I could lose myself so easily to a place like this.

The koi pond

The iris garden
I wish I could post all the pics I took.

This place truly is a little piece of heaven. Even the house, workshop, greenhouse and garages were charming.

I am a simpleton I guess. This is what I want in life, a place where I can wander about with my heart and my hands in the soil. Tending young plants and taming the older ones. Making everything a bit better for having been there. It dawns on me now that I have exactly that living in an apartment in the city. For I am a gardener every day of my life. Already. Now. My children are those tender young plants striving to grow strong roots, needing proper nourishment and light in order to grow healthy and tall, that they might become something wonderful and glorious. Not only am I a worker in this great endeavour, but I am also a plant in this lovely garden and the Lord is the Master Gardener. You see, I am that older plant that needs taming. It's a much more difficult and tedious job to tame something rather than train it you know. Both jobs take constant vigilance but the older plant at times can grow stubborn, prickly, unwieldy. Sometimes you have to cut it back a little to give it a chance to grow properly again. The Lord does that for me. I am grateful. And I am grateful to recognize the subtle lessons he teaches me everyday, in places like this, in my home, inside of myself. Finally, whether I recognize it or not, I do have my heart and hands in the soil every day. I can choose to look at the work I have as a drudgery or a gift. If you know me at all, you know I like to get my hands dirty and I like to work hard. I think it's time I dig in with more enthusiasm and gratitude. Happy planting!

Yes, that is a rose behind my handsome husband.

Here is the stubborn older plant that has been pruned down a bit. Won't it be stunning when it's grown a bit?!

A younger plant being trained up in the way it should go. Its so vibrant!
(Sidenote: Notice the lovely grasses around the plant. They look nice, but make it trickier to get to the plant. Don't we as parents do this sometimes? Putting obstacles in our way that make it more difficult to fulfill our roles. Time to get out the spade.)