Sunday, March 28, 2010

thrifting finds.

Sometime last week, the whole family hit the thrift stores downtown together. I found some great things that I had been looking for, and thought I'd share...

Huge Canning Pot, with canning rack. I can use this to sterilize my yogurt jars AND do some canning this fall...which I have never done on my own, and have been wanting to do. $3.50

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (which I've wanted to read since High School) $1.50

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. (Mr. Gardner found this one) $.50

Gardening Hat (for growing all those veggies that I'm going to can...) $1.50

Metal Strainer (I've been wanting a metal one) $1.50

Vintage Potholder $.60

Total $9.10

I love thrifting.

there he goes...

I was watching Josiah ride his bicycle up and down the sidewalk in front of our house the other day and thinking about how much he has grown up. I thought about how our children start out always in our arms. And then they grow up a little, and they sit and play at our feet. And, one day, they take their first steps. And, as they grow, they wander further and further away, until one day, we watch them ride away on a bike, clear to the end of the block...and we don't really worry about it too much.

Right now, Josiah still has clear limitations to his bike riding. He knows he can only ride on our block, he can't ride in the street, and one of his parents must be able to see him, always. He's still held close by the gravity of his parents...but he's gradually widening his orbit around us. I was thinking that, if I had seen him way down at the end of the block last year, I would have panicked. But this year, I know that he is going to remember that his mama and daddy love him, and want him to stay safe, so he won't go any further.

One day, probably much sooner than I think, he will be a man, and he will be making his own decisions about where he goes, and what he does. I pray that he remembers that, like his mama and daddy, his Heavenly Father has given him boundaries to keep him safe, and that the love He has for Josiah will hold him and guide his steps.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

busy week...

And this is why: I decided to host a ladies night/diaper shower for a friend who had a baby boy about a month ago. This week was a flurry of preparation, planning, baking, and decorating. And of course, the whole family was under the weather. Again.

I decided to divide everything that needed to be done up over 4 or 5 days, and that actually made things much easier (imagine that). I spent one whole afternoon doing decorations, which was really enjoyable (the house cleaning day...not so much) I made my first diaper cake, which involved a lot of diaper rolling and rubber bands, but turned out looking...delicious...or so my son said :)

These tissue paper pom-poms were something I'd wanted to try after seeing them at another baby shower a couple months ago. I found this tutorial on Martha Stewart's website (I'm sure she came up with the idea herself...) I tried making two following the instructions exactly and got fairly frustrated with the results. So then I tried cutting the folded tissue paper in half to make smaller pom-poms, which looked much better, in my opinion.

I found the baby clothesline idea on several blogs, none of which I can remember. So I raided Noah's drawers and hung some onesies and swaddling blankets on kitchen twine with clothespins. So cute...and so easy.

We did a dessert buffet for food, and everyone brought lovely delicious treats. My contribution was some punch...

...and monkey bread, the deliciousness of which I was reminded of a few weeks ago when Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted her version. If you don't know what monkey bread is, she has an apt description:

They [are] like cinnamon rolls and doughnut holes got together and made beautiful dough monkeys.

I love Deb. She is wicked funny :)

Anyway, I didn't make the cream cheese glaze, mostly for lack of time, but I'm sure it would make it that much more I made the dough in my breadmaker (on the dough setting), using the recipe for cinnamon roll dough that came with my machine. I rolled the little balls of dough in a mixture of white/turbinado sugar and cinnamon and put them in a bundt pan, letting them rise for about an hour. Then I mixed about a stick of melted butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar, poured it over the contents of the bundt pan and baked it at 325 for about 25 minutes.

It was good.

The shower was wonderful. It is always good to get together with other ladies and have good food, good conversation, and stay up past my bedtime. Almost every one of us had a baby (all boys!) in arms most of the time...and we all enjoyed seeing each other's beautiful children. Poor Mr. Gardner took my two eldest out to a playland somewhere for most of the shower even though he was feeling sick. Bless him.

One last picture from the shower...

Friday, March 5, 2010

{this moment}

via Amanda @ soulemama

***{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.***

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

first haircut.

Noah's been looking a little shaggy lately...
I've been trying to stave off his daddy's attempts to buzz his hair until I can get enough for a keepsake lock of hair from his first official haircut.
Well, I got my lock, and then some...happy mommy.
And daddy got to utilize his amazing clipper-wielding skills...happy daddy.
Happy boy!

yogurt update.

Well, I made my first two quarts of homemade vanilla yogurt yesterday, and they turned out fairly well. Actually, judging from how fast the first quart disappeared, they turned out very well! The yogurt didn't turn out thick enough for me, but Mr. Gardner and the boys enjoyed drinking theirs (this first batch would be perfect for smoothies!) When we lived overseas, we actually bought yogurt with exactly the same consistency, it was sold in a cup and you drank Mr. Gardner and I were having flashbacks!

Anyway, next time I make it, I will let the yogurt sit longer in the cooler and see if that helps the jars set up better. I think I'll try another batch soon (first I need to get a bigger stockpot to boil my canning jars), and post some pictures when I finally get it the way I want it...if there's any left!