Thursday, April 27, 2017

Eight Years Later

Same photographer

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Same little girl

Eight years later

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It's just not fair.  Oh how my heart bursts with love for this daughter of mine.  If only she would just stay little.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Not So Ordinary Wednesday

This Wednesday there was no viola lessons. Their teacher was out of town. Never in nine straight years has this ever happened.

This Wednesday because of state wide testing there was almost no homework. For both of them. That never happens.

So this Wednesday in the evening I asked Anna to help me tidy up the playroom a bit. It was starting to really bother me to be down there. She said sure and helped me out while I packed up some of the Easter decorations that were piled high on my desk.

She even sprinkled the carpet freshener and vacuumed.

When I asked her why Calico Critter's world looked like hurricane hit it and could she please make it look a bit better, she was like "that's way too much work".

So I asked Scott to pick up ingredients to make ice cream sundaes.

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This Wednesday the girls made their own ice cream sundaes and then returned Calico world to it's normal state.

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It was so much fun to have a different kind of Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thoughts on Happiness

Today was a rainy spring day.  I like a good rainy day.  I do.  Especially when I get to be home for a while (after my school job) for a while before the girls come home.

I've been trying to be more mindful lately at doing things that make me happy so that I don't get burned out.  There's always laundry.  Always cleaning.  Always paperwork or an email that's pressing.  But we all need to make time to do the little things that inspire us, or help us to unwind.  Or even make us remember how grateful we are for God's blessings.

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For me it's Fred Astaire or Frank Sinatra music and nesting in my house.  It's taking a few things from here or there and moving this or that to a new spot.  It could be starching a new linen and playing around with what tea towels I want to hang on my stove.

I asked the girls this past weekend, "what does mommy like to do that makes her happy."

I didn't take a picture of what Anna wrote but she took notes for me.  First thing out of her mouth was "nesting".  And so they listed for me

*      nesting
*     reading aloud
*     folding laundry and ironing (I do, really... when I can do it in small doses and I'm not feeling                overwhelmed by it)
*     taking photos
*     organizing a closet
*     baking
*     and on and on it went.


It sort of reminded me of this list that I made on the plane ride back from Hawaii.  I wrote 100 things that make me happy and why I love my life on that plane ride.

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So today when I had that teeny block of time I took some time to do one thing that made me happy.

And it did.

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Sometimes happiness means taking time to enjoy the fruit of my labor.  

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Ecclesiastes 2:24
There is nothing better for a man than that He should eat and drink and make himself enjoy good in his labor.  Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God.  

I have made a decision to put some enjoyment (on purpose) into my life. I want to enjoy my girls and not just "do" what I need to do for/with/to them. I purposefully step back and enjoy getting the toothpaste on Abigail's tooth brush in the morning. Or just hurrying her along for school while she staring out the window at a bird.

When my house is clean and pretty I need to take time to look at it and enjoy it.

I need to look at my calendar and look at the various things that I have done, or done with my girls and remember to feel a sense of accomplishment... look at what God has enabled me to do and say "it is good".

Yes, happiness is sometimes just remembering to enjoy. I've decided to enjoy more. More of the fruits of my labor and more of what makes me feel content and happy.

Wishing you a blessed week in all that you do.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Weekending

This weekend, if I could, I would bottle up

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the warm sunshine and just how goooood it felt

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the playing outside after church still in church dresses

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the movie we went to on a rainy Saturday morning, Born In China and just how good it was

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and how Abigail brought her "friends" and every time it was showing the panda family in the movie she held up her panda. Every time the movie showed the monkey family she held up her monkey. For the entire movie. It was just so darling because she was so serious about it.

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the last "family program" at our church for this school year

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that wall project that we finally got finished up

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The Santa Claus oil painting hand above our fireplace from November 1st to January 2st every single year. But it's too sad to pack such a treasured piece of art away the rest of the year. For so long it hung (non-holdiay time) in an upstairs hallway. But it looked so lost on a big wall. I'd always wanted to have a sort of collage around it. So when the Easter bunny brought the girls those hoops with their names, I knew it would be just what the wall needed. I do plan on taking it down of course for the mantle. And in it's place I'll hang a canvas photo of the girls. For now it welcomes me and makes me happy. Christmas girl that I am.

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I kept within the colors of royal blue and red.

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With a bit of pink mixed in.

I hope your weekend was filled with all that makes you happy. Even the things you have to do are so much more enjoyable with a smile and spirit of servanthood.

I love weekends and time with my family. And even cleaning my house. And having an 'at home' date night with my husband. All of it. But Monday is good too. Just a good. But in a different way.





Thursday, April 20, 2017

Such an Easy Dessert for Springtime

I thought it might be too late to post a recipe about Easter.  But then I thought that this could be anytime in the spring.  Right?

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This one is so so easy!  

Every Easter I make a really complicated but so wonderful carrot cake.  It's a must on Easter to bring to my brother and sister in laws house.  

But then I also like to bring a few kid friendly desserts.  Because the word "carrot" in carrot cake scares some kids I think.  

"Crispy Eggs" just don't scare anyone.  

And they are super fun to make with your kids.  No baking involved.  

Just like rice crispy treats but eggs.  

I have no pictures of actually making these with my girls because my hands were too sticky!  Fun times!!! 

1.  Melt 1/2 stick butter 
2.  Add in one bag of mini marshmallows
3.  Stir until melted
4.  Remove from heat and stir carefully 6 cups of crispy rice cereal
5.  Spray the inside of both halves of a plastic Easter egg with cooking spray.  
6.  Fill the top and bottom of the little plastic Easter egg with the cereal mixture
6.  Squeeze the top and bottom together (close the egg)  It should be tight and tricky to  close 
7.  Open it right after and you'll have a perfect egg shape
8.  We dipped ours in Easter colored sugar to make them pretty.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

~ A Blessed Easter ~

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I'm feeling all filled up inside. (writing on a Monday evening, the day after Easter) It was such a lovely one. Sometimes when I think about Easter and even just spring, tears fill my eyes. (Yes, Billie Jo, I think that maybe Easter is my Halloween, wink)

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So wonderful, I just don't know how I can get through another year until it is Easter again. I suppose Christmas will come to save the day, right? I do love Christmas. And snow. But for now, here in Connecticut we are in love with spring.

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"O the green things growing, the green things growing. The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!" ~ Dianah Mulock Craik

The skies are right now bright blue with little whips of puppy clouds. My weeping cherry tree is in full bloom, and I don't know how, but I am surprised each year at just how beautiful it is. I think I've told you this story here on this blog before, but my first grade class (and wonderful families that year) bought me a weeping cherry tree in honor of my grandfather who passed away that year. He was a florist and a gardener so it was the perfect gift to honor him. And every April I can feel his hand in mine when the blossoms open. I just adore this tree.

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The windows have been open lately and the fresh air blows the curtains. It smells like spring in our house. Soon we'll have to close up the windows for a few (or four) weeks as the pollen becomes too much for Abigail to bear. But for now we are airing out. I put my oils away for a bit because the air is infused with spring. I took the down comforters off, washed, and packed them away until the end of October when we'll need them again. Crisp sheets, just a blanket and bedspred... What more does a girl need?

Oh! Easter, I forgot for a bit what this post was supposed to be about. Easter was beautiful in every way. Most particularly the summer like weather. Just gorgeous. I had the church coats out and ready for Mass that morning, but they were for sure not needed. Not even that light cardigan that Anna was wearing.

Our day started out with Abigail waking up at 6:00 super excited! And then the girls went down for baskets.

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Anna goes right for whatever is soft. So her.

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And Abigail pulls out whatever is cute and little. So her.

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Anna's 'I got candy' face.

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Disney socks!

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If I stare at this photo long enough I can see Anna age two!

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We decided this year to have a really light breakfast and come home from Mass to a really nice brunch.

So smoothies before church it was!

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Oh! I almost forgot! Abigail lost a tooth the evening before Easter! So the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny came on the same night! (just like back here when Santa and the Easter bunny had to meet up this past Christmas Eve)

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Happiness in finding her gold coins.

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Then dressed up and ready for 10:00 Mass.

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Mass was, as usual, beautiful.  I don't have the courage (and too much respect and awe) for taking out my big lens when it is the consecration, but all of the children are on the alter.  Standing right there.  They raise their hands as Father holds his hands over the bread.  It is just the most beautiful moment in the world.   I soak it in.

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I love 'playing house' and I set up the dishes, played around with tablecloths and loved getting a little family brunch ready the night before.

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My Beatrix Potter figurines were happy to dress up my table.

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This Wedgewood china is very special to me. My grandmother gave it to me the Christmas that Scott and I were engaged. I love how the larger plate looks like a lettuce leaf and then the wild strawberries are so spring. She is also the same grandmother that bought me my very first ever Beatrix Potter figurine when I was around 12 years old.

We were shopping in a department store called G.Fox. I remember that it was fancy. She had taken me to pick out a few things for back to school and somehow we ended up in the jewelry area. I saw Mother rabbit and she bought her for me.

Funny thing is, I don't have her anymore. Somehow she got lost between the age of 12 and 40 when I started collecting them. I've searched my parents house and our attic but she is gone. These days that particular figurine sells for about $200 at antique stores. I'm not sad. I have the memory of my being with my grandmother and holding in my hands that very first one.

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Some of us (wink) changed back into PJ's and our mini egg hunt began!

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And then off to my brother and sister in laws house for a big ham feast. ~ and ~ another egg hunt.

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laughing at their silly dog

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Pretty as a picture, helping her toddler cousin.

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Yes, it is spring and each day I see more and more trees blooming.  When I drive Abigail to her school and me to my little school I feel like I'm driving through a painting.  I love it all so much.

I hope that your Easter was filled with just what your family loves and all that makes your heart happy.  Blessings to you this weekday and this season of spring.


























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