Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We're Off To See The Wizard...

Summer Reading has begun! My mom runs our local library's summer children's program every year, and every year she goes bigger and better! She really is a genius, full of ideas and cleverness. Kids look forward to this program and can't wait for it to start.

This year my mom has chosen the theme "Somewhere Over the Rainbow: A Summer of Classics." We're focusing on some of the greatest classic children's stories: Wizard of Oz, Jungle Book, Peter Pan, and Alice In Wonderland. She's really going all out and tending to every detail.

Our first day went off perfectly. The kids seemed to have a great time, and the decorations and food didn't fail to impress.

The entrance to the children's room, aka: The Emerald City.

I got to be Dorothy! Hangin' with the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man.
(My mom drew and painted all the characters, the lollipops, and the doors. And she made my apron!)

The Scarecrow.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

Just a taste of the food: Rainbow cupcakes.

Ruby slipper candy holders.

It was an awesome start to this year's program. My mom is truly the greatest! She's the best role model a daughter and best friend could have!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Visit

Believe it or not, it had been 7 months since we'd last seen my brother's family. That's a long, long time when we only live 3 hours away from each other!

Well anyway, my brother and his family came up for a visit this last weekend, and it just flew by! I couldn't believe when it was already time for them to leave! We managed to fit a lot of fun stuff in a short amount of time though. Now we're looking forward to the Feast in three months when we all get to stay together for a week!

Checkin' out the pond.

Pops with Selene and Ryder.

Pops and his boys.

I found it interesting that Selene loved the trucks, I daresay more than Xander.

Playin' in the jeep.

Xander actually figured out how to drive the jeep! What a smarty!

Ryder playing with his early birthday gift. Selene's helping.

I was really impressed with how the cousins interacted with each other and played together. I think by the time we go to Pigeon Forge, Ryder will be walking and they'll have more fun. Can't wait till then!

Friday, June 22, 2012

These Are the Days

Life is so cool, you know? Every day may seem like it's the same sometimes, but really, it all changes, bit by bit. And really, who cares if things aren't complicated? I love the simple life. Take right now, I'm chillin' on the deck with my family after dinner, even though it's 99 degrees outside. Ryder's playing with his trucks, Nick is napping, I'm blogging...

What's cool about the simple things is that even small stuff seems big. Every little thing you do is an accomplishment. Cleaning the house for example. Or making dinner. It always feels good once it's done.

Anyway, enough philosophy, here are some cool pictures of Ryder in the recent weeks. So much he gets to learn and experience, it's just too much fun!

Got his two top teeth!

Fell asleep while out ridin'.

Ridin' with his pops! (Father's day)

Swimmin' naked in the lake
(there's even cuter pictures than these but these are the only ones I'll put online)

Kiddie pool at summer party

His new favorite toy: the tupperware drawer.

So neatly lined up!

Ridin' his truck.

Everyday there is so much to be thankful for, and so many small things to cherish.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Growin' Up Green

The garden has been growing and growing, and we've been enjoying some of the fruits.

Watermelon vines, getting close to having one ready!



Roma Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes



Corn (yes it's quite pathetic)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baby Shower and Cake Pops

My friend is expecting a baby soon, and her family threw her a shower this weekend. They did a great job - great food and atmosphere!

This cake was so cute! The daddy's favorite children's book was Corduroy, thus the cake. The whole shower theme was surrounding children's books.

My mom made some beautiful cake pops for the party. Needless to say, they were well received.

I couldn't help but love my mom's motherly advice...

Berry Picking Excursion

Every year since I was 2 1/2, I've gone blueberry picking. My mom hauled my brothers and me to the fields, and we picked (and ate) to our hearts delight.

The tradition has not waned now that I have my own family. While Ryder is still too young to go, I trekked out with my mom and my friend to Blueberry Ridge Farm. They have organic blueberry bushes, and, as we soon discovered, "free range" bushes. Let's just say they don't do much to care for the bushes. There were oak trees growing up through the middle of some of the bushes, and some bushes were so tall, you couldn't reach anything, or they just didn't produce. Honestly they could use to do some weeding and pruning, but I guess that's how they afford to let you pick for $10 a gallon!

It was perfect picking weather, cloudy with a bit of showers.

I ended up picking 4 gallons, and my mom picked 3 gallons for my brother. I brought them all home and laid them out to dry (because yes, it rained on us).

Now that's a lot of berries!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leetle Leetle Shoes!

I have a thing for baby shoes. Ryder has worn shoes since he was born. Only with his recent crawling adventures has he not worn shoes in public. There are so many kinds, and there is something about that cute TINY foot in a TINY shoe!

One of my friends is expecting her first baby very soon. With her impending motherhood, I was inspired to make her baby some shoes. I knew she would like the TOMS style of shoe, as well as a moccasin, so I scoured Pinterest for patterns and ideas. Came up with some awesome tutorials, which I will include below.

 Find the blog and tutorial here.
Some alterations I made:
I hand sewed the top piece to the sole instead of machine sewing it, mainly because my machine has some glitches and it's hard to sew slowly with it. Also, since I'm a sewing newbie, this gave me more control over the size of the seam. I also did velcro instead of a snap.

The moccasin is so easy, I'll probably be making many more of these.

Find the blog and tutorial here.
Alterations I made:
I just added fringe. Cut a narrow strip of fabric the length of the long piece. Cut the fringe. Sew on just like you did the rest of the shoe.

I also had another friend expecting a baby, actually before my aforementioned friend. The sex of the baby was a surprise, so as soon as news got to me that it was a girl, I got busy making these shoes.

I made these using the same pattern as the first shoes.

I got a little carried away with the labels, but I thought it would be funny. And it was.

*In case you can't tell, the moccasins are labeled "Run aMocc"