Sunday, November 25, 2012



In all honesty, this November hasn't really been my favorite of months. In a day-to-day sense everything has been very good, but some bigger things (election, friends about to move away, etc), have left me with a bit of ennui for the last few weeks. We've been busy, it seems, since Halloween, and Thanksgiving (and house guests) snuck up on me before I really had a good chance to sit down and count my blessings.  

But now that the week is over the pressure to feel grateful is gone, all it takes is a quick glance at a few days' worth of pictures to remember all the many, many things I am thankful for right now. 

Beginning with those four cute kiddos up there.  Our guests for the week was a family we have known for our whole time in the CG - we've celebrated the births of 3 of our 4 collective children together.  That they were willing and able to join us for TG was super special.  And I am doubly thankful that the illnesses of one of the children and one of the adults were not shared by all eight of us in the house.  Phew. 


I'm thankful that I came across Martha's recipe for grilled turkey, and that Don was excited to give it a try.  It  turned out great, and made for a much less stressful day of cooking, since the oven was free. 
(photo by Amy)


I'm thankful that our weather was so nice on Thursday, and that the kids played outside all afternoon.  When they finally came in at 3:30, William fell fast asleep in the middle of the living room floor. 


I'm thankful that my children are growing up with gentle spirits.  Amy rescued this butterfly from the cats' clutches and nursed it back to health.  She spent the better part of an hour sitting in the front garden trying to make a nice "home" for the butterfly once it recovered. 


And I'm thankful for this lovely climate here in SC. It's been getting plenty cold, but the warm sunny afternoons are so nice. 


I'm thankful for beautiful places nearby, for kids who love to go fishing with their dad, and for getting to come along today. 

I'm thankful for how much Don has been home lately, and how much we are enjoying the routine of a "normal" family life, complete with regular, dependable, ordinary weekends together. 


And I'm thankful for so many little works in progress to keep my hands busy. 


These washcloths are really just knitting practice... not up to gifting standards, but nevertheless, I love having ideas in the hopper, tons of materials on hand, and making time to work a bit here and there on all of them. 

Yup, turns out there is quite a bit to be thankful for this year, as always. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goodwill Goodness


Yesterday I had three big boxes of clothes and things to take to Goodwill, and after we dropped off our goodies we decided to take a spin through the store.  I'm glad we did, because we sure found some bargains.  Grabbed this set of four copper (-like) molds which are now parading across the top of my stove and making me smile.  William found a small orange "suitcase" which made him happy, but after we got home we discovered a whole spirograph set inside - fun! 

Then for $4.50 I picked up this chair 


which is ugly of course but really sturdy and made here in SC.  I can't wait to paint it and recover the seat and have a cute new desk chair up in the sewing/playroom. 

Lastly Miss Amy found perhaps the best deal of all - a beautiful porcelain doll for $3.93.  Her clothes were lovely and her face adorable.  We gave her a good bath and some comfy clothes while hers got washed.  Amy named her Lucy, the name of Emily's dolly in the Little Bear books. 


Might have to make Goodwill a more regular haunt... not that we need more stuff... but if a mere $12 satisfies the shopping urges for this shopper and her two sidekicks, then that's a pretty economical outing. 

And one more little thing, if you'll indulge me.  Today we stayed home.  It was cold and dreary and we had no where to be so we happily played trains and cleaned all day. I finally got to a very small project I've had in mind for awhile: 


Ditched the deteriorating cardboard boxes holding the 24-piece puzzles, taped each picture to a bag and in they go.  Much space saved, very happy. 

Next up: going to get paint for the chair... feeling very inspired!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Small Project


Thought I'd share a very small project I've been working on for some time now.  I started this little counted cross-stitch somewhere since the Coast Guard entered our lives, but before Amy did.  I think.  It's been awhile.  I completed the light house itself, but then it sat in a drawer for several years at least.  I picked it up again when my mom was here in September and since then I've been enjoying working on this during quiet afternoons spent with Amy, each of us at our own projects, while William naps.  I don't get to it every day, but just a little bit of work here and there has yielded some nice progress.  I think I can safely say I'm past the half-way point.  What do you think? 


I also have an even bigger design that I started in high school that is also more than halfway done, but goodness, it's been a long time since I've worked on it.  I think I'll get back to that one once this is done.  My mom jokes about the needlepoint cat that took her 30 years to finish... I'm hoping to beat that, but it is easy to see how fast time can go by on these sorts of projects.  Instant gratification and needlework do not go together, but there is something incredibly calming about simply placing all those little stitches in the right place, and I am in no rush to be done. 

Oh, I just googled the other kit I have in progress, and found it!  Here, take a look. I really want to finish that one, it is such a cute design.  Anybody else out there still do counted cross-stitch? 

Okay, that's all for now.  Don is in the garage organizing his tool box and having all the fun... I need a project.  Oh wait, seems I have a few...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


How did this one-day-old baby girl


suddenly become this beautiful girl, celebrating her 5th birthday yesterday? 

I remember her third birthday, thinking in particular that Three was such a big-girl age, and how grown up she was getting...


But now she looks pretty little there - and who is that baby on the rug?  Oh my! 


The time goes really fast... and yet also, five years seems like pretty much my whole life right now. That picture of Amy as a newborn?  Might as well have been a hundred years ago.  But I can remember it like yesterday.  That's the funny thing about time when you're a parent.  

Our Amy is a pretty amazing girl, with interests ranging from Legos to dinosaurs to baby dolls to Star Wars and quite a few things in between.  She is (mostly) kind and helpful to her little brother and (usually) great company to me.  She can't stop talking at home, yet her preschool teacher reports on how quiet she is in class.  She can read (a good deal) and write (not well) and draw (just about anything). I want to be just like her when I grow up. 

And so to wrap up, here are a few more quick pictures - Don and I, celebrating five years on this amazing parenthood journey together, the Star Wars cookies I've made for Amy's class, and a cute pic from a few months ago that I found on my phone tonight.  Amy is a Daddy's girl for sure. 

(Oh - by the way, I made the cake and frosting myself but had ordered this cool frosting-paper-image of Star Wars from a party supplier found on ebay - it worked out really well!) 


My computer battery is about to give out... rather than find a plug I think I shall sign off.  Happy 5th Birthday to my wonderful girl!! 

Friday, November 2, 2012



We all have had a cough for... well, kind of a long time here.  William got over his.  Don's came and went, then came back again.  I was in great shape until this week.  Amy's lingered... and she was coughing violently enough the other night for me to make her a doctor appointment.  

She was such a trooper - now that she is about to turn five I see her making a conscious effort to act like a big girl in as many situations as she can muster.  She considered having a meltdown about a visit to the clinic but quickly decided that she was old enough to be brave. Four different people listened to her chest, and with her oxygen readings a little too low, she was sent for a chest x-ray.  I thought that was a bit extreme, but the doc said he's seen a bunch of little kids with pneumonia lately and didn't want to take the chance. She cooperated nicely for the x-ray, loved seeing her insides on the computer screen, and happily, did not have pneumonia. The rest of our two-hour visit at the clinic included the breathing treatment pictured above (she loved that it made her voice sound like Darth Vader), a bonus quick exam for me and my cough, and a large brown bag of prescriptions for us both - inhalers and antibiotics and steroids, oh my! 

So that was fun. But no worries, we are all good.  Amy's been feeling totally fine all through this cough thing, and was still up for her usual Friday dance/gymnastics class, and lunch at Chick-fil-A afterwards. 

And I must not leave out William - he, too, was a huge trooper through a long morning. Best part of his day was the playground at Chick-fil-A.  When you are not quite two and a half, it is a pretty huge accomplishment to get ALL the way up into the car at the top of that playground.  I am really not a big fan of these small kid-infested play areas, but CFA's is pretty clean, and the kids do have some serious fun in there.    


Feeling grateful for good doctors, good meds, good teachers, good fun, and a good movie (Mary Poppins) shared with my little munchkins tonight to cap off a good day.