Thursday, August 27, 2015

We Have A New 6 Year Old!

My little Sweetie Pie is 6!!
I can't believe it.
It's actually hard to say, "She's 6"!
Why does that sound so old?
It means Kindergarten this year.
It means she knows how to ride a bicycle.

And she knows how to roller skate!
(in her pajamas!)
She's learning piano.
She's growing up right before my eyes.  
She learned how to ride a bike this summer
and ever since has wanted a "biking birthday".
We live on a hill, our driveway is a total hill.
I had no idea how to do a "biking birthday".
Then the Thursday before her birthday,
 (her b-day was Monday, the 24th)
I was sitting in my holy hour with Jesus,
I was not even thinking of this party, but it came to me.
(or Jesus told me, I think)
that we could meet at a parking lot,
she could invite all her friends and we'd bring cupcakes and lemonade.
Flatter me and tell me it looks like a bike tire. OK?
We met at our church parking lot!

Even though it was August, it was pretty darn chilly and really really windy!
Aren't they cute?
So windy, we decided to open gifts in the back of the van!
(I stole this picture from Christine!)
Anyone recognize this little sweet girl?
(she's my goddaughter)
 Christine's beautiful Ava! 
I had a pretty pink table cloth, but it was so windy,
there was no way we could get it to even lay down!
We also had a bunch of these orange cones for games and races, but they just blew away!
That's fine, the kids didn't mind at all!
There's a little playground next to the parking lot, so it worked out perfect!
This is my cousin's cutie pie, Samantha!
(she's a whole year younger than my 6 year old!)
Yes, I said YOUNGER!

We got these cute baskets, water bottles, gum and stickers to decorate it with!
Some bikes it worked on, 
Some, not so much.

All kiddos and any siblings were welcome to play and ride or whatever!
Sidewalk chalk time!
That's a lot of pink!
(the blue girl came later) 
She loved being sung to, look at the JOY, pure JOY on her face!!
And his concentration.
Eating messy cupcakes is serious business.
There's the blue girl!
I have to tell you a story about little Alice here.
She is a year and a half older than my little one here
and when I was pregnant with Sweetie Pie, Alice had the cutest little
head full of ringlet curls.
SO, I prayed for a girl with curls.
Well, she was born with only a little hair
 (my last 2 hardly had any hair compared to the others that had a TON)
She quickly lost her hair and then, around a year, new hair started coming in
I then, remembered how a year and a half before I prayed for her to have curls,
all because of Alice here! 
Us mamas got to visit!
(Christine and my cousin Kristin)

More mamas....and babies....

Teens got to visit
Simplest party ever.
Meet in a parking lot.
Eat cupcakes.

Time to put the candles on the bike tire cake!
It's always so much fun to put the candles on! 

Next week, another birthday
and the next week, 2 more!
Fun times!! 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd

 I watched this last night.
Tom brought it home from the video store and thought I'd like it.
I'd never heard of it.
It was originally a novel by Thomas Hardy.
It will be available in DVD via Netflix September 1st.
I was pleasantly surprised, as I thought it was not going to be good!
I would not rank it up there with the 2005's Pride and Predjudice,
yet, it's very close!
I just might have to watch it again before Tom returns it to the video store!
Bathsheba Everdene is played by Carey Mulligan.
I like how they showed her character as a naïve, yet strong woman
with dreams that she knew she had, yet, had not really figured them out yet.
(isn't that the way it is for a lot of young people?)
Miss Everdene has 3 men pining for her attention and hand in marriage.
One gets it.
One gets dumped.
And one patiently waits.
The cinematography is amazing here, almost makes me want to visit England!

 Matthias Schoenaerts plays Gabriel Oak.
You will fall in love with his character.
He is such a gentleman.
I felt sorry for him waiting, loving her from the sidelines,
yet, it showed his unconditional love for her,
even if it meant he could only be friends with her.
How's that for a proposal?

 Michael Sheen plays the older, wealthy bachelor, William Boldwood.
His character, though, hopelessly in love with Miss Everdene,
remains a gentleman and makes you want to help him find another woman to love.
It will also make you kind of  mad at Bathsheba for leading him on so.
 And the third suitor, Sgt Francis "Frank" Troy, played by Tom Sturridge.
He's the reckless young love, that leaves you wondering why she fell in love with him
and what his actual motives really were. 
 I loved the scenery, the dresses and clothing designs for that era of time.
Like this dress, isn't it beautiful?
And her hair. 
I love her hair.
I love how Bathsheba digs right in and works her farm,
she's not afraid to get dirty and is stern, yet loving to her employees.

This scene.
I want to talk about his scene,
after you've seen it.
I don't want to give away any spoilers here
so maybe in the comments? 
There is so much I love about this scene.
It's the scene you've been waiting for.  
Carey Mulligan sings this beautiful song in the movie and you'll be
wanting her to sing more, it's so beautiful.
(don't worry, it's not a musical!)
PG-13 warning, it does have one part that I wish it didn't have.
One of the suitors grabs her over her dress and it happens
off guard and so quick, almost as if the director wanted
the viewer to feel how she felt or something.
It was the only time anything like that happened and it didn't happen again
or even escalate.
After she marries, there is a consummating the marriage scene,
to, I assume let you know they did, in fact, get married.
It is short and she is wearing undergarments and it shows nothing
except tender kissing.
There is another version of this movie on YouTube
 You can watch it in entirety
Has anyone seen this?
Would you like to discuss in the comments?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Kitchen

 First, I want to pass on this tip I found when I needed to have softened butter.
(I only had cold butter)
If you need softened butter quicker than the "leave on the counter for hours" way,
Place a stick of butter between
2 pieces of wax paper
and roll it out.
That's it!
Then, just spatula it off into whatever you are using it for!
I love Google.
We baked cookies today to take to the lake tomorrow!

View of my kitchen
(as bare as it looks here)
(this is house-selling bare)
(even though our house is not selling)
It all happens in the kitchen.
I love my kitchen.

 A good friend has so generously given us a ton of cucumbers and zucchini!!
This makes me very happy!
A few favorite things I've been making with zucchini
-Cut up raw with veggie dip
-Sliced and sautéed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper,
topped with fresh parmesan cheese
-Zucchini bread
Not my picture, got it HERE
And this delicious Chocolate Lover's Zucchini Cake
I made this tonite and will frost it for dessert tomorrow night.
 Now onto cucumbers!
When I was a kid,
 We would get cucumbers from my Grandpa
and I'd slice them and put them in vinegar and water. 
Refrigerator Cucumbers in Vinegar and Water
(original from me!)
Slice many cucumbers and put into an ice cream pail
fill with about two-thirds water
and one-third vinegar.
slice an onion...any way you like, smaller might be better.
Salt and pepper.
Lots of salt and pepper.
Here's the hard part:
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
(or hide it in the garage fridge until the next day like I did)
This will stay good for days.
If they last that long!
Optional: Add more salt and pepper to your bowl of these amazing cucumbers!

Here's a recipe from a fellow homeschooler.
I used a Strawberry Vinaigrette and it was too sweet, next time
I'd probably use a more mild vinaigrette.
Chopped Romaine Lettuce
(sometimes I add regular lettuce to make it go farther)
1 cup quinoa, cooked
(after it's cooked, there will be a lot more than 1 cup--use it all!)
Sliced strawberries
slivered almonds (I made this part up)
(I think maybe sliced almonds would be better...but whatever you have is fine)
Vinaigrette dressing (fruity or whatever!)
 And we can't forget summer mud-pies
 They're always happening around here

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thankful July

Very long post ahead....
Thankful for the 4th of July and parades on the 4th of July!
We  had 2 unicyclists in the parade and
 2 walking with the Kids Pro-Life Club
 And I had the 2 littles with me trying to get all the candy we could!
It's so kids are not very aggressive, and I'm like,
"Go get that one!  Get that one!  Over there!!"
Then we go home and have all this candy and I'm like,
"Why did I want them to get this candy?"
(I might be a little competitive!)
Thankful the parades this summer were so fun, especially for these littles!
 Our last parade....
We are wondering if there is some kind of unicycling club in Arizona....
 Can you tell it was really really humid?
 Thankful for our annual 4th of July drinks!
Diet 7-up
frozen strawberries
Blend in the blender
 Just ask him!
 Thankful we had a pretty low-key 4th of July after the parade
Just fireworks at home this year.
 Thankful for matching 4th of July jammies!
My flag shirt.
(that you can't see in my selfie here)
I love and am thankful for the way everyone dresses patriotic on the 4th!
It's so fun to see!

 Thankful Grandpa here took Tom and the 4 oldest kids fishing way up in Canada!

They had a really good time and we have enough fish for one more fish fry meal!
(we had enough fish for 3 total meals)

 Thankful I had time with only the littles.
It humbled me quite a bit.
It helped me to remember how hard some things are when there are no big kids to help.
We get kind of snobby, us older mamas with older kids. 
Yes, some things are harder, like meals are bigger and there is more laundry
and more groceries to buy,
but when I only had these two littles,
showers were out
(unless I put on a cartoon in my bedroom and did it real quick)
Life, somehow gets easier and harder at the same time.
 Thankful for Nutella sandwiches....
And Nutella faces
And Nutella smiles
and, heck, I'm Thankful for Nutella.
 Thankful for coloring on the porch....
 Thankful for this mama deer and her babies (she actually had 3)
that visited us almost daily in July.
 Thankful for summer blooms
 Thankful for my summer mailbox...
 Thankful we now have another teenager in our home!

Thankful she's not taller than me...(yet)
 Thankful for water fun in July

This kid, melt my heart!  He LOVES squirting people! 
Just give him a squirter and he's happy!
This video is guaranteed to make you laugh.
(in the very least it'll make you smile!)
Thankful Simeon has the greatest deep belly laugh ever.
(watch til the end)

 Thankful these girls are trying to be all serious and all
When total chaos is happening all around them.
(yes, Sims is running around naked squirting people)
 Thankful for summer memories....

 Thankful for beautiful Sarah (HERE)
Here she is in front of her beautiful garden
 Thankful for our friendship
 and our children's friendships!
 Thankful for easy popcorn and smoothie nights
 Thankful for games with friends
(this is Adam, my oldest's best bud)

Thankful for beautiful sun kissed shiny blonde hair!

Thankful for my best friend, my love, Tom.
Goodbye July!
I bet you are Thankful this long post is finally done.


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