Friday, June 27, 2008

Catch of the day

Mark, Mary and Grace were in a local fishing tournament last weekend. We had typical summer weather-several thunderstorms that caused them to have to come in. Unfortunately, the fishing wasn't as good as they would have liked it to be. They still enjoyed the daddy-daughter time.
Mark and a friend did a little better yesterday. Here's one of the fish Mark caught (king mackerel).

Blueberry Picking

It's that time of year again. The blueberries are ripe but not quite as plentiful as last year. The lady at the farm we visited said the late frost in April adversely affected their crop. Emma and I picked alone this time (Mary and Grace are at Drama Camp). She was such a trooper-never complaining-just picking away.
We ended up with almost 8 pounds! That's just a start. As much as we love blueberries, we're going to need a lot more. I don't even bake with them anymore. We like them best just as they are.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our little garden

The garden is a ground plot for the mind.- Thomas Hill, 1577

Here's our little vegetable garden in all its glory! Yes, I know there are weeds that need pulling. You should have seen it about an hour before I took this picture! LOL! Mark planted it-egg plants, cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, peppers (rosemary and lavendar from last year) and it's up to me and the girls to maintain it. Let's hope we have a better crop than last year. We planted a little late, so we're just now seeing some of the veges get ready to pick. I just love growing our own food-almost as much as I love eating it!

A small garden, accordingly, gives its owner a far greater opportunity to express himself ... in a garden any man may be an artist, may experiment with all the subtleties or simplicities of line, mass, color, and composition, and taste the god-like joys of the creator.- H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardening, Atlantic Monthly, 1912

My Dream Sewing Room

It doesn't get any better than this!! Sure it was hot and humid, but sitting in the shade with the ceiling fan on, it was actually kind of nice. I hate being cooped up inside to do my sewing. Today I decided to set up camp outside. It was perfect. I'm working on a rag doll (finished), dress (gotta put the elastic in), apron and bonnet for Emma as part of her "school work" for next year. It was so relaxing to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds a few yards in front of me as I sewed. I think I'll make this my permanent sewing room!

Happy First Day of Summer!

It's felt like summer here for quite a while! Hope you're enjoying the season as much as us.

Just Jane

Those who know me and my girls know that we love anything "Jane Austin". We've watched all the movies, actually read some of her books and even have the board game (Pride and Prejudice)! We just can't get enough!

The other day I wasn't really feeling well. Mark took Grace to the store with him to get a few things. While there they decided to purchase a book to make me feel better. :) Grace, knowing what I "really" like, chose "Just Jane" even though her daddy suggested another book. My baby girl chose well! I'm so enjoying the book. I realize it's historical fiction, but it's nice to have a little insight into her world.

All you Jane Austin fans need to check it out.
"This book was a comfortable friend, one I was sad to see end."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Catching up

(Here the little ones are in 2008-Bailey(another friend), Emma and little Grace)

Isn't it funny how time has a way of just slipping by. It's like years go by in a wink of an eye.

The other night we had some friends from out of town over for a shrimp boil. I started thinking about the last time we'd had them over. Their daughter had been about 3 then; now she's 5!

It was so nice catching up with them. I wish they lived closer because they're such dear people. I know we'd enjoy spending lots more evenings together. Let's hope it's not another 2 years before we get together again!

Here are the girls a few years ago-Mary, little Grace, Emma and big Grace)

Here they are today-Big Grace and Mary in the back; Baily, Emma and little Grace.

Art Day

Some places just inspire you more than others. That seemed to be the case the other day. We were sitting down at our boat house and it seemed that each of the girls had such a desire to paint. I guess when you're surrounded by such natural beauty you can't help but want to capture it.

Modge Podge

Have you ever used modge podge? I hadn't until recently when the girls and I did an art project. We got the idea for this project at a local arts and craft festival. There we met Tricia who is an artist in Birmingham, Alabama. We immediately fell in love with her work. Mary told her that she too enjoyed creating art. Tricia then told us how she created her pieces using modge podge.

I decided each of my girls would "make" a dress that best expressed who she is-a straight simple dress or a full and fancy; bright colors or pastels. Each girl picked out the paper that she liked the most. We used Tricia's website to help us choose a style of dress. Then the fun part-tearing the paper and using modge podge to attach it. I did Emma's while Mary and Grace did their own. I think they turned out great-and really do remind me of each of my girls.

If you get a chance, visit Tricia's site. Not only is she talented, but she has a sweet heart to go with it.



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Working down at the barn

For the last few weeks we've been busy cleaning and converting the upstairs of our barn from an office to a small apartment. After skiing or fishing, it's nice to be able to pull the boat into the boathouse and just walk up to the barn to spend the night. It's been a lot of hard work, but fun too. Here's some before and after shots:(before)

(after-now we have a little living room)(before)(after-a bedroom for the girls)

The girls absolutely love their bedroom! They've always wanted bunk beds. The bedding is so colorful and fun. Thank you so much Candice for helping me paint! This color is much brighter than the old color.

Mark still has one room set up as his office and we use the other room as another bigger bedroom. Next on the to-do list is to make a "proper" kitchen down stairs. Right now we have a sink and microwave (of course we have the big green egg outside along with the fridge and freezer). We're going to put in cabinets and a little stove.

My favorite part about being down here is not the inside, but the outside. I love waking early in the morning and going downstairs to sit on the side porch. We're surrounded by 17 acres so about the only sound you here is the birds chirping. It is so peaceful and beautiful. God certainly blessed us when He provided this place for us.

Father's Day

Father's day was beautiful here. After church and lunch out we went fishing in the bay.
We didn't catch anything, but we enjoyed the time with our daddy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Every year around Father's Day weekend, the hot air balloon festival comes to town. Early mornings and late afternoons the skies are dotted with colorful balloons. I can't help but get just as excited as the girls when I spot one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Church Camp

As a girl I never had the opportunity to go to camp. My girls have been fortunate enough to go several years with our church. The morning after we got home from California they had to leave to get to camp. I picked them up this afternoon. They talked all the way home about all that had happened at camp. This camp was special because their dear friends Abby and Alex who no longer live here, were able to attend. They're such sweet girls who we miss so much. It's hard to find good friends from families who share your same beliefs and morals. When you do, you have to hang on to them-no matter how far away they are!

Obviously they only missed out on one thing at camp...

SLEEP!!!! Oh to be a kid again!

More luggage tags!

I'm so glad I found the luggage tag tutorial at The Longest Year I've made so many of these! Mary and Grace have a spend the night birthday party to go to next week. We had Christy's gifts all bagged up when I thought about making her some luggage tags to spruce up the plain paper bags.

The monogramming on the green one doesn't show up well in this photo. I used some of my favorite thread-variegated lime green, yellow and aqua.

Christy and her family travel often so I'm hoping she'll get lots of use out of these tags.

Sunny California!

We just got back from a wonderful vacation to southern California. The weather there was so perfect-in the 70's with no humidity. We stayed in Laguna Woods in beautiful Orange County. I was amazed at all the colorful flowers and trees. Of course the beaches were gorgeous too. Here's some of the things we saw and the places we visited during our trip:
Here we are in Laguna Woods-you can see the Saddleback mountains in the distance.

I thought the palm trees were beautiful. I'm sitting at Laguna Beach in this shot that Mary took.The Pacific Ocean was gorgeous!The girls found the water a little too chilly! LOL!They preferred the heated pool at the hotel! LOL! Here's Emma with her new friend, Anna, who is from Russia. (she's actually 21 years old, can you believe it?) She taught Emma to swim during our visit. This was a really big deal, considering that Emma wouldn't even get off the pool steps when we first arrived. Anna is just as sweet as she is beautiful.

Even the rocks were beautiful in California.

Newport Beach is known for it's surfing-it was packed the day we visited.

Here's Huntington BeachWhat's a visit to California without going through Hollywood and Beverly Hills?????

We stayed at the Ayers Hotel which we loved! Our rooms had sliding glass doors that opened onto this courtyard. I loved sitting at the little wrought iron table and eating.

Emma enjoyed the courtyard too-especially the flowers.

It was nice to get away, but I'm glad we're back home. I'm really glad all the laundry's finally done! LOL!