Thursday, September 29, 2011

the boys' room...

summer milestones...

It's been quite the Summer, with lots of momentous events.

Josiah lost his first two teeth...but not before the permanent ones started coming in and made him look like a shark (freaked this mama out!)

He also ditched the training wheels on his bike!  That really made me feel like he was a big boy...I don't know if anyone else sees that as a major milestone, but he went from little kid to big kid in one fell swoop in my mama brain.

Elijah is now wearing underwear...after a long struggle he finally succumbed to his parents' iron will. The final straw for him was getting a "Lullypop" for doing his thing in the "tulet"

I'm willing to take the stigma of being known as "that mom" who lets her kids ride around the block in their underwear, just to prove to all that my kid really is potty trained.

Noah is FINALLY starting to talk a little more.  I think he's stringing us along, and could probably speak in paragraphs if he wanted to, but just talks to us enough that we're satisfied that he's not completely deaf or in need of intervention.  Two of his latest additions are "Popeye" and "mine" the latter of which we hear incessantly as he is two.

And the last great milestone of the summer is that I am pregnant with our fourth child!  I'm starting to come out of the first trimester's been rough and my house has suffered a lot of collateral damage. Fortunately I have some wonderful young lady friends who have helped with watching the boys and keeping up the house. I'm due around the beginning of April.  This pregnancy came as something of a surprise, although we were considering adding to our number again, and were about ready to think about "trying"

That's really all we have to do is think about it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

checking in.

Well, I have been conspicuously absent from this spot for several months now. The summer has flown by! The biggest reason I haven't posted is that my computer's power cord died and I had to wait about a month for a new one (long story), so I haven't been able to use my mac or upload pictures from my camera. So, I have a camera full of photos to sort through and post...sometime. We have come to the decision to homeschool our eldest son for Kindergarten this year, which is adding to the sense I have that blogging may be slipping down on my priority list.

I am feeling a mounting sense of urgency to get my butt organized, and hope to incorporate blogging into the mix...but as of this moment, I need to just clear a path through my laundry room and find the sink under all the dishes!

I do want to share a new favorite blog. Don't look unless you have half a day to oogle.

And I have found this blog most helpful in journey toward beginning to homeschool (as well as inspiration for getting organized...this gal is amazing).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

preschool graduation

Josiah graduated from preschool last week.
Oh my gosh. Could he be any cuter?
Miss Jennifer put on a smashing graduation, complete with a slideshow that made me bawl like a baby. She is the best. teacher. ever.
Here is the graduate putting up with the obligatory pictures with mom and dad
{He was very excited about the alphabet silly bands Miss Jennifer got him, as you can see.}

This one cracks me up.
Awww ya have to?

That's exactly what he's going to look like in...oh...about 13 years...when I try to kiss him as he graduates from high school.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

bloom where you're planted...

Over the last several years, we have had a growing desire to move out to an acreage near town and practice becoming more self-sufficient.  Nothing too crazy, we just wanted to have some chickens, a garden, some fruit trees, and maybe, eventually, even a cow.

We currently live in a 1100 square foot two bedroom house, that is over a hundred years old and sits right in the heart of our city.  I love it for many reasons, mainly because of our wonderful neighbors and the close proximity to parks, and the city library.

Since it's apparent that we're not moving anytime soon, I've been contemplating the idea of practicing these ideas of self-sufficiency on a small scale, and what that looks like on a day to day basis for us...blooming where we are currently planted.  I've actually started another blog, co-authored by our neighbors, who are joining with us in our endeavor to live more sustainably.

We're calling it Farming 5th Avenue.

Of course there's a story behind the title...A friend of mine made the comment the other day how funny it was that we lived on 5th Avenue.  She was making reference, of course, to the well known 5th Avenue in Manhattan, smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest cities in America and synonymous with high fashion and even higher price tags. We giggled a bit, thinking how far we are from THAT 5th Avenue (literally and figuratively).  But it got me thinking about where I am and where I want to be, and wondering if they really didn't have to be two different places.

The journey to sustainability is really like any other's a lot of small steps.  So, here we go, taking some small steps right where we are.  I plan to keep posting as I have here, but will primarily use the other blog to chronicle the "farm-ish" happenings going down on 5th Avenue.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Did I mention that my husband is done with Nursing School?

Yeah, he is.

I'm really glad.

So is he.
This is us after his White Honors Ceremony. It's like a graduation, but just for Nurses.  They put little pins on the graduates and talk about caring, and compassion, and saving lives...Kev said his B.S. o'meter was going off through the whole thing.

That's what happens when you're a Male Nurse.

(At least he didn't have to wear white pants.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

noah 2.0

My Noah Bug is two years old!
Our neighborhood cake-maker-extraordinaire, Mariah, made him a Hungry Caterpillar cake, complete with "dirt" and "worms" cute!

We had a small birthday celebration with our neighbors and my mom. (I am realizing that I'm not a very good birthday party planner...)

Can't believe he's two.  Time for another.

Just kidding :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

thoughts on lent.

As I type this, I'm sitting by the window, looking out at late winter bleakness, cold lasting too long, a dreary blanket of colorlessness that hovers over my world. I can't help but think that Lent happens at this time of year for a very good reason. There is such a longing everywhere for the warmth of spring, for the smallest sign of new growth through the frozen sod, for resurrection. As soon as the sun appears, with it's frail, late winter warmth, I find a reason to go outside and feel it's warmth on my skin, making me feel alive again.

In these days leading up to the season of new life, feeling the cold hardness of the ground of my own soul makes me long for the miracle of dormant seed springing to new life. I long to see the treasure in my jar of clay that really has nothing to do with me, but with the gracious gift given to me though the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Last Sunday's sermon was on Peter, his denial and redemption. The thing that amazed me most was the way that Jesus came to find Peter, who had gone back to fishing because he didn't know what else to do. Their meeting on the beach in John 21 ends with this beautiful conversation:

"Peter, do you love me with unconditional love...the way I love you?"

"Lord, you know I love you the best I can, I love you as a dear friend."

"Peter, do you love me with unconditional I love you?"

"Lord, you know I love you as a dear friend, like a brother."

"Peter do you love me like a dear friend, like a brother?"

"Lord, you know everything, you know I do."

And then, Jesus reveals to Peter the way that he will die for him, revealing that Peter really does love him with unconditional love even though his weak heart doesn't know it. He who knows the end from the beginning sees the Seed of Love planted in this man called The Rock.

Jesus sees in us the Seeds of Love. When we acknowledge our own weakness and inability to love him, he meets us there and speaks prophetically to our weak hearts:

"Child, you WILL love me with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. You WILL love me with the kind of love I have shown to you. You WILL lay down your life for me, as I have done for you."

Monday, February 7, 2011

open shelving

There is a wall opposite the sink in my kitchen that is very bare, and since I'm not the best at decorating, I am of the opinion that it should be put to good use. I have wanted to put open shelves on it almost since we moved in 5 years ago. I love the way open shelves look, especially with shiny glass jars and vintage ironstone mixing bowls and kitchen utensils (that are always clean and never dusty, right?)

I've posted this picture before, but I must do it again because...well, it's amazing, and over the top...and right on topic.
Can you imagine keeping all those dishes clean? This is EPIC open shelving!

This is the wall where I want to put shelves...on either side of the window. This photo was taken when we (our friends) were ripping out a faux brick wall out (while I documented and supervised) before we moved in. Sorry, I don't have a current photo. I'll work on that.
Isn't lathe and plaster cool looking? It's a royal pain in the arse to work with, but it looks neat-o.

I've been pestering my poor husband about putting up some open shelving in our kitchen for a while he doesn't have enough on his plate. So, the other day, he was sweet enough to ask a good friend to make some shelving for me, since he is up to his eyeballs in his last semester of nursing school.

I found a few pictures last year on the internet for inspiration. The first photo is my favorite. I love how utilitarian the shelves and brackets are...they look like they would fit perfectly in a farmhouse. Another reason I like this photo is that I've started collecting Le Parfait canning jars and love how they are being used for storing food goods. I'm up to three :)

I also love the vintage mixing bowls...I hope to have some before I die.
I'm not even going to address the amazing breadboard countertop and vintage kitchen appliances...Focus, Jen...FOCUS.

Moving on.

In my dream kitchen I will have beautiful windows over the sink, so I can watch my boys playing together quietly in the lush, shady yard, and survey my thriving garden (hey, I did say dream didn't I?)

At the moment, while I wash my dishes, I have a lovely view of my dusty open shelves holding my equally dusty dishes and my unfinished cupboards with their peeling paint.
But at least it looks better than when we moved in...
Yikes. I've only just started allowing red back in my house...

I believe this second picture is a kitchen designed by Molly Frey. This is how I want the shelving to flank my window on either side. Isn't the light in this kitchen just lovely? It makes me think that I might actually enjoy doing dishes at that farmhouse sink...
This third picture, I think I liked because of the decorative brackets. They add a great flair, especially paired with the light green shelving. The look is more eclectic than the first two photos, and I like it.
I will make an attempt to get a current before shot of the wall, and update as things progress. It may not happen until this summer, but the prospect got me excited enough to blog about it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

eli is three!

Despite my best efforts, Eli's birthday caught me unprepared once again this year...I think it always will mostly because it's three days after Christmas. I had plans to have a big Thomas birthday party for him, but it just did not happen.
Fortunately our lovely friend neighbor/babysitter/aspiring-cake-maker, Mariah, offered to make him a Thomas cake, which I happily agreed to...she saved the day!
It turned out really cute and Eli was VERY excited about it.
We had a few good friends over, as well as Mr. Gardner's mom and stepdad, who had been here for the holidays. Elijah very much enjoyed being the center of attention, which is rare indeed for the 2nd of three little boys.
Happy third birthday Eli Superhero...mommy loves you!

Monday, January 3, 2011


Due to the busyness of the holidays, I am just now getting around to posting our Christmas pictures. We had a wonderful day, filled with joy, family, presents, friends and food.

We started the morning by reading the Christmas Story, a family tradition in my home for as long as I can remember. The boys were surprisingly attentive.
Then it was on to present opening...

And then a midmorning brunch at our dear friends' house, complete with mimosas, eggs benedict, and homemade cinnamon rolls...I'm still paying for that day's culinary delights. It was a wonderful way to spend the day!