Neighborhood fun

The neighbor kids have been coming over more and more as the weather has been getting nicer. We have met a bunch of new kids so far this year which is great. There is even a boy about my son’s age!

The kids have been doing tattoos, beading, having water gun fights, climbing trees, throwing water balloons, and more…









Battle Game

The battle game my son and I created when he was 3 or 4 is still going strong! It has evolved into a dry erase game so we can keep our hero and monster characters from one game to the next.

Today was full of drawing from both kids. We added character information this time. My daughter also made up more cards for the game path that will allow it to be played 2-player.











Patio Games

Our new patio went in yesterday and the kids decided to break it in with a game of checkers. Of course, despite 2 cabinets full of games, we didn’t have a checkerboard! I decided to wing it and made one out of an old board game and some painter’s tape. Poker chips stood in for the checkers, LOL. My son and I got most of the way into a game when our cat caught a baby bird and went running through the yard with it. Play stopped while we grabbed a video camera and watched. Eventually, J. grabbed our cat and took him inside, letting the baby bird escape.

Checkers then got postponed until today.
Checkers then led to lots of other games…







No pics of the patio yet.

Growing Food

My daughter has been wanting a garden for years, but we have never gone beyond a few tomato plants and herbs due to lack of planning and concerns over our large local deer and bunny population. This year, I decided things would be different!

We did start out with pots of tomatoes and herbs again which she helped me plant. We also decided to plant potatoes after a few of them had started to sprout on the counter anyway, LOL.





Then came the square foot garden set up. I bought a copy of the original “Square Foot Gardening” book from the thrift store years ago and have since read the updated version which has instructions for raised beds. I figured a small square foot garden might be our best bet for protecting our growing food from animals.

I dug up a sunny patch of grass and got all the soil ready within the frame according to Mel’s directions- 1 part vermiculite, 1 part peat, and 1 part compost. Here it is being set up.



J. helped me build a cover out of PVC and Chicken wire. Here are the men folk taking a break.


Here is my daughter pretending to be trapped inside (complete with fake handcuffs, LOL).



The finished set-up:

My daughter planting her squares:


We planted lettuce, radishes, carrots, beets, chard, and spinach so far 🙂

Updated pictures of the potatoes and herbs:


Birth of Taiko

Today I was honored to be present for the birth of our friends’ new baby. I was invited over to help play with their other children while labor progressed. The kids and I had a great time together playing games and hanging out until the baby was ready to be born. They really wanted to be with their mom near the end and I went with them and got to see little Taiko be born. It was a beautiful home birth! All are doing well.

“I Spy” Quilt and a Mother’s Blessing

I have been working on a project behind the scenes for awhile as I wanted it to be a surprise for my friend (who sometimes reads my blog). She is due with their third baby this month!

I tried out a bunch of new techniques like photo printing and making binding strips to make this stripey quilt.



I gave it to her after a Mother’s Blessing/ Shower at my house on Saturday. Everyone shared their advice and well wishes for her labor and birth and we got out the henna 🙂


Pennies and Vinegar

My daughter really wanted to do an experiment today. She wanted to put pennies in water and pennies in vinegar to see what would happen. I am assuming she saw it on a TV show. I had taken a sneak peek at this months “National Geographic Little Kids” and this experiment was actually in it with one small change, instead of plain vinegar they used vinegar plus salt.

I let her know about that possibility and she decided to set up 3 containers- water, vinegar, and vinegar plus salt. She tested one penny in each cup for 20 minutes. Then she repeated the test with another 3 pennies. The vinegar and salt pennies were definitely the winners in the “shiny contest”.





J. is 37

Today, my wonderful husband turned 37! The kids decided that the proper way to celebrate was with a homemade ice cream cake, specifically chocolate with vanilla ice cream inside. Being gluten-free at this point, I had some doubts about the tastiness of a from- scratch chocolate cake as well as its ability to hold up to ice cream being smeared across it. Thus the birth of plan “B”…individual brownie ice cream sandwiches! I made brownies from a GF mix and then froze them before putting softened ice cream in the middles and refreezing. YUMMMMM!



Happy Mother’s Day

My daughter and I headed down to my grandma’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day with all the female relatives today while J. took our son to see his family. We had a nice lunch with everyone and got to catch up a little with my cousin and her little girl.

My daughter made a pin cushion for my mom, but we forgot to take it with us. Next time 🙂 Here is a picture. She embroidered the heart.


WOW Shirt

Some of our friends play World of Warcraft, so I turned to that theme when trying to figure out a handmade present for an upcoming birthday.

I started by printing out the symbol for the Alliance (hopefully I got this right as I haven’t actually played the game). I traced it using fabric inks and heat set the image with an iron.


I then tied up the shirt with hair bands and made my first ever attempt at tie dye.

Here is the shirt unwrapped: