Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thrifting the day away….

There is that magical thing that happens when you have a bit of money and a weekend in which to search for treasures. I have the list I have been compiling for the last few months of our wants and needs.  It consists of everything from ‘décor stuff to paint white’ to ‘Alex needs jeans, 32/36’ and ‘Logan, shoes, size 12’.  This list came with me, along with just the two older kids (the ones that can buckle their own seatbelts) and we headed out.  We went to the Value Village 50% off sale to start off.  Then today we spent garage saleing (sailing?).  We almost got everything off our list in one big week of thrifting!   

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This was about half what we got.  We spent a pretty penny, but the list is amazing. 

This car for Luke was $10 and in perfect shape:

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This antique rocker is beautiful!  And it as only $5!

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And here’s the rest of the list:

  • 3 summer dresses for Cyan (1 brand new for $1!)
  • 2 pairs of jeans for Cyan
  • 3 shirts for Cyan
  • 1 button up shirt for Cyan (red, white, and blue plaid for the 4th)
  • 2 shirts for Logan
  • a pair of jeans for Alex
  • 2 button up shirts for Alex (1 Ralph Lauren and 1 Hollister)
  • 4 pairs of shorts for Alex
  • 5 t-shirts for Alex
  • 2 t-shirts for Don
  • 1 Polo shirt for Don
  • 1 sweater for me
  • a large white casserole with a metal stand
  • two large candle holders (in action below, one holding a ‘4th of July’ bouquet, and the other holding a candle on my mantel to the far left)

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  • two metal tin boxes (I plan on painting these white and having them hold the cords to my cameras.  I have been looking for something pretty to fit that job for months!)
  • a large ‘PEACE’ letter sign
  • 2 pairs of Keens, one size 6 1/2 and one size 3 ($.50 each!!!)
  • a pair of garden clogs that had never been worn in size 10 (my size)
  • silver goblet cup for Alex
  • a glass black rose for Alex
  • 5 Pyrex dishes of quite a few colors and sizes (from a collector)
  • 8 Zuzu pets, with accessories 
  • a Chevron car carrier (the truck that carries 4 of the Chevron cars)
  • a large metal box with a handle
  • a small iPod stereo
  • a white bird plate hanger for a friend

Now I won’t be able to do this often this summer, so I tried to get as many things off my list as possible and was careful not to just purchase because it was a good deal. Afterall, it doesn’t save you money that you bought it on sale if you were not going to buy it in the first place. Winking smile

How much was this set of treasures, do you ask?  Well, the grand total for every scrap of this (and more, cuz I know I don’t remember it all) was $156!  As I was compiling the picture I realized that I would have spent that on Alex’s button up shirts and the Keens ALONE if I had bought them new.  And I have saved the earth from all of the trash that would have been created had I decided to purchase these from a factory store instead of from a person secondhand and know one will ever know the difference! 

Happy Thrifting!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I’m off…

For the weekend that is.  Smile  I am headed to Lake Chelan for my yearly get away with my closest friends.  Although I am nervous about leaving Luke for the first time, I am excited to get some space.  I have curriculum to write, things to tie up, and am in desperate need of some girly time chatting it up about life as homeschooling mamas. 

While I am away, my garden and my children will continue to grow.  And so I will leave you with this picture of the bounty that Cyan brought in last week….

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I gotz strawberries and peas!  YUM!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Look how much you’ve grown!

Oh the many faces of Luke.  I am still amazed constantly by the strong opinions and intense feelings that come out of this boy.  I can’t wait till he can talk more to express himself.  He has SO much to say!

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A little back in time of the other ‘many faces of Luke’ posts I have done.  He’s gotten so big!  It’s amazing to see how much hair he has now too… mainly cuz he actually has some!  lol!  It’s turning blond around the edges and it’s curling up at the back like a little duck’s tail.  It’s quite cute.

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Isn’t it amazing what a year can do?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Purple Afternoon Baby Shower

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My friend has been in the process of adopting a baby for the past year.  Anyone who has walked this road knows it can be as painful and hard as trying to conceive.  So when she finally got her precious daughter I really wanted to shower her with love and throw her baby a big fat welcome into their family!

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The décor was classic yet very feminine with purple being the predominate color.  On the mantel and entry shelf I put the last of the season’s lilacs.  They made the whole house smell sweet as I got the rest of the prep stuff done.

I made a bunting of purple fabrics for decoration.  Some of these fabrics are older than me!   I completely forgot to get a close up of it before sending it home for the baby’s room.  I can tell you that I used pinking sheers to fray the edges so it has a shabby chic feel to it.  It turned out pretty adorable.  Smile

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I planned the party to be a rotating event due to lack of space, so I needed to have the refreshments be light and self service.  A make-your-own yogurt parfait bar fit the bill perfectly!  Fresh berries, coconut, granola, raisins, and chocolate chips were there for self-serve along with a soup tureen of yummy vanilla yogurt.

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Sweet tea with stripy paper straws was on the side board.

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<3   The new mama with her baby:

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The party activity was a canvas that I placed wooden letters on spelling out the baby’s name and a few markers for all the guests to write wishes, blessings, prayers, etc to hang in the baby’s room.  I sent this home with the mama along with the bunting that was above the yogurt bar.

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The favors were violas in little pots.

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Each one had a tag that said “The start of something beautiful!” 

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I chose the violas because they spread like mad when put in a sunny spot. My hope was that each person who took one home and planted it would think of the new family each time they glanced at their little patch of purple flowers!

It was a beautiful shower!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A rainbow garden and bounty yet to come

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This is Cyan’s rainbow garden.  We have purple cabbage, yellow onions, green, yellow, and purple beans, yellow, green, red, and orange bell peppers, and nasturtiums… all in this bed.  The center will be a fountain of orange flowers that will bring a pepper flavor to our salads later this summer.  She was pretty excited to plant it, but a few weeks after we transplanted everything it all started to turn yellow.  I figured that this bed has been the hardest working because of the Grains of the World experiment and so I added some organic garden fertilizer to the top inch of soil and watered it in well.  In the last three days everything has started to green up again.  Smile  I can’t wait to see the progress as everything gets healthier!

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My strawberry beds are overflowing with promise of future berries.  Unfortunately, very few of these little berries have gotten to ripen all the way.  The boys have discovered them (even the baby) and so they get eaten before I even see that they are ripe.  They swear they are waiting, but I will sometimes find one that is still half white with a big bite out of it.  I am guessing the baby doesn’t know the rules.  Winking smile

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Our lettuce bed has been producing for weeks now.  I get a HUGE salad every single day and if I wait more than a couple days I end up giving greens to neighbors. 

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Added to our salads every night are some of our eatable flowers!  In this batch we have rose petals, pea flowers, and violas. 

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You can eat calendula, borage, and lilies as well, and a few others that have not flowered yet, like nasturtiums. 

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Just look at this beautiful green tomato! 

A few things haven’t quite gotten started, but one thing I have tons of is herbs!  This time of year is the PERFECT time to harvest green herbs such as oregano and sage.  Just before they flower is best because all their energy has been focused on producing their flavorful and pungent leaves!   Just drop a couple washed handfuls in your dehydrator and wait until they are crisp but not brittle.  Let them cool and they should break in your fingers if dry all the way.  Bottle air tight (or freeze in an airtight bag) and save for those months in the winter!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Garden walkthrough - June 12th, 2012

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I am so proud of this year’s garden!  It is turning into the most beautiful garden I have ever had!  The tomatoes alone make me swell with pride as I see the stalks are thick as my thumb and the tomatoes that are growing on them are large and green and filled with promise of a good harvest.

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The bitties hang out in the back of the garden and dig for bugs.  I throw them the scraps and small plants I have thinned.  The rabbit gets the extras from the lettuce bed and the chickens get the slugs.  Everyone goes home happy.  Winking smile  I am out there every day.  If I am not working then I am admiring.  It is such a wonderful little space!

Come take a walk in my garden with me: 

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Hope you enjoyed it! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flowers in my garden on a rainy afternoon in June

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My garden is bursting with color on all sides.  The peas have started to fruit, giving us another thing to add to the spinach, kale and salad greens we have been eating for the past few weeks.  I have my first green tomato.  But what really sets the June garden apart is the flowers!  And what amazing beautiful flowers they are! 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Like Father, Like Son - my baby… growing up.

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This last week Luke has discovered the backyard toys.  He will spend hours a day out there, getting in, getting out, getting on, sliding down.  His favorites are the toddler slide and the police car.  I have padlocked both gates to the backyard and they stay closed and locked so that he can go out there by himself without me worrying about him going into the street.  I love my fenced yard!

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He also discovered a few weeks ago that the chickens were out there.  He will grab a finger or two and drag us to the back door…. he will point and then sign ‘shoes?’ ‘chickens?’ (which I taught him the sign for ‘bird’).  He giggles when we go get his shoes and he excitedly drags us by the finger all the way out to the chicken coop.  Smile

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Logan and Luke have been my children that have benefited most from sign language.  Alex and Cyan were earlier talkers, but Luke is still stumbling over “Mama” and “Cookie” so the signs at this age are an absolute lifesaver!  (They were for Logan, too.)  So far he has quite a few.  Cookie, shoes, chicken/bird, finished/all done, more, nurse, kitty/cat, dog, hot, food, owie/hurt, pretty and please.  Those are the ones I can recognize regularly and he uses most often.   It has saved us tons of frustration for him to be able to communicate well with us and for us to have him understand things like ‘owie’ and ‘hot’ has been essential!  I would highly encourage any mama to learn these few signs and teach them to their baby super early.  I start when they can first sit up to eat and always start with ‘food’ and ‘more’.  For some reason that sense is the easiest to connect well with their brain.  Probably because the mouth is so closely involved in all that!  Winking smile 

He now puts himself to sleep in his own room, in his own bed.  We have a routine down that is working well, and now after his bath and nighttime nurse/cuddle I lay him down in his bed and sit down on the floor and read my book or stretch.  9 times out of 10 he is asleep in 10 minutes or less.  No crying, no fuss.  My sweet baby is getting big so fast!