Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Swap

I participated in Monica and Carrie's Sisters Swap again and boy, did I make out like a bandit! I brought you along to open my box with me. I was paired up with Wendy and she was a perfect partner! I knew when the box came and she had even made the address special I was in for a treat. The top of the box said it contained some of the makings for a patriotic picnic. First out are these adorable flip flop napkins. Swoon.
Double swoon! A clear wire-topped canning jar! I have a blue one but it doesn't always match. This jar contained red, white, and blue cutlery. There was also a jar with star shaped candles, I wonder if they float?

Matching dinner and luncheon plates! She also attached a note with a fun idea for the picnic on each item.

An American flag for our each member of our family to wave.

And the piece de resistance (I have no idea how to spell that), a patriotic table topper which I am certain she made.
Wendy - you were the most gracious swap partner and your box should arrive tomorrow. After seeing this lovely gift I hope you are too disappointed with what I sent, I wasn't nearly as creative as you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Because

I was inspired by Havilah's cottage-y tea party her daughter and nieces enjoyed. I've had a glass topped table stored for years but parted with the matching but very yucky chairs a few weeks ago. I thought I would use the table to serve on and save some money to buy a new outdoor dining set. But then on a whim one day I thought I would see what I could throw together with my wicker furniture and some chairs I picked up for a song at an auction. I was just beside myself with all the cuteness of it. And the best part is, the reason I got rid of the matching chairs was because there was only four and there is, obviously, five of us. But two people, I dare say adults even, can sit comfortably on the love seat.

Today Monica challenged us to do something special "just because". So since the weather was holding out, tonight seemed like the perfect night to make my Sanford and Sons table into an al fresco dinner party.

Just simply add one summer-y tablecloth.Fill a blue mason jar with your son's wildflowers (he loves to cut them for the table because he knows I love them).
Fill a glass jar with ice water and invite your family to carry their dinner outside with you.

Even if all you are serving grilled dogs and steamed veggies.

And now I pass Monica's challenge on to you. What will YOU do today (or tomorrow) "just because"?

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Mommy Goals for This Summer

I just found This Blessed Nest through a series of clicks from another blog {sigh, I bet you never get sucked into the vortex of blog clicks, do you?} She posted her summer mommy goals and I thought it was a fantastic idea.Spend time with my children - be active and present as much as possible. After reading Homeschooling for the Rest of Us I realize I need to rebuild relationships. My newly self-imposed rule for myself is no Internet or phone with the boys are home and awake. This doesn't mean I'm their playmate, it means I'm available to them.

Pray with my children - be intentional about Bible study and reading God's word.

Teach my children - put aside flashcards and workbooks and focus on personal and life skills. Our boys already help out gobs around the house but I want to make it more purposeful. My job as a mother is to prepare them to be adults and if I'm good at it I'll work myself out of a job.

Read with my children - they love to be read to and sometimes bedtime doesn't afford the luxury of reading. The Thinker and The Reader are quite the voracious readers but it's still fun to read aloud to them. We are finishing up Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and then I have great list a Christian sister shared with me to work through.

Gardening - we will have a very small garden this year and also help my dad with his garden.
Biking & Hiking - move more and move together.
Have fun - is there anything better than seeing smiles on your children's faces and hearing their laughter? One of my sons continually tells me "I'm so glad you're my mom". Be still my beating heart.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caroline Ingalls is my Grandma

I recently read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and boy, oh boy. Oh boy. I know that food is a hot topic for many and I don't want to push any buttons, except for Jesus, on this blog. One thing I took away from the book is to think about what your grandmother would buy and eat at the grocery store. If your grandma wouldn't recognize it, don't eat it.

I started thinking about this and how it might look in the rest of my life. I never knew either of my grandmothers. They both went to heaven long before I was born. But I do know Caroline Ingalls. And I know the Caroline Ingalls of the TV show much better than the one in the books, who coincidentally wasn't much like the one in real life, which is kind of a sore spot for me and another post for another day.

I know TV Caroline Ingalls' house like the back of my hand. I watched Little House on the Prairie every day when I came home from school. I remember when she got her cookstove, I remember when she got real glass in her windows, I remember when she got running water in the house and the kitchen addition. I remember her little shepherdess figurine that she always put on the mantle wherever they lived.

I am going through an immense season of my life when I'm turning my attention and priorities to where they need to be. I am having to leave some friendships and extra curricular activities on the back burner for a time. And I got to thinking about the TV Caroline Ingalls. She never had a mother close by to drop her children off to when she wanted to go shopping, she took her children with her. She didn't have lunch dates with her friends, she rarely even ate at restaurants. She ate the food that Charles provided for her and never ran to the store in the middle of a recipe for that forgotten ingredient. Do you remember the time Charles wanted her to go to the big city with him for the night? You would have thought he'd asked her to go to a five star hotel for a whole week, oh how very happy and thrilled she was. A night in a hotel for us is so old hat it's ridiculous.

Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying. I do not wish I was living in pioneer days, I know that God has me on earth today for such a time as this. And please don't take away my dishwasher and washing machine. But if I had hung on the apron strings of a grandmother, like many of you had the privilege to do, I would have learned wonderful things from her. But since I didn't I will take what I have learned from old Grandma TV Caroline Ingalls and remember it.
And my own mom taught me a lot about home making but she worked full time and encouraged me to do the same.

The next time I wish I could stop in this store or that but can't without three rambunctious boys I will stop and think of Caroline Ingalls and what she might say to me if she were my grandmother. For now I'll be out on the banks of Plum Creek with my joy and delight - my family in my home, right where God has asked me to stay.