How does it grow? It don't

Every year I think, this is the year. The year we till part of the backyard and plant a ton of stuff. And once again, all I've managed is a couple of containers. Basil and peppers ... And they're not even looking that good. No blooms, little growth. At least our tomato plants produced enough for a sandwich last summer. Maybe next year ...

Now this is a garden! Amanda of SouleMama and her family are slowly creating a homestead in Maine with sheep, chickens and maybe one day a cow. The kind of life that sounds so romantic to me. We love to eat the okra grown in Mississippi each summer at the grandparents. And my grandfather — he had a half acre full of corn, green beans, peas, strawberries and more. It was full of chemicals too because those were the pre-organic days. No telling what I ate with the veggies but they tasted so good. Just thinking about those days in garden with him makes me happy. Maybe next year ...


School's out for summer!

Splash pad at Birmingham Zoo

Once again, it's time to make a list for summertime fun. We've got eight weeks until school bells ring again. Eight long weeks filled with whining unless we keep our days somewhat structured. I'd much rather a year-round school schedule at this point, c'est la vie.

So far we've been to the lake for Memorial Day, the pool for swim lessons, enjoyed a week of Vacation Bible School (it was Will's 5th but Joseph's first time!) and read the first two Harry Potter books.

Things that got to be done are 1. Will needs to learn how to tie his shoes 2. and ride his bike. 3. Get both boys to the dentist 4. and the hairdresser 5. Mr. Shoes needs to visit the vet for a little snip. 6. summer reading book reports for the soon-to-be 2nd grader 7. de-clutter house and backyard.

We'll head to Memphis to 7. visit my family. Other possible road trips I'd love to make — 8. Anniston for its Museum of Natural History, 9. Atlanta for friends and IKEA and Fernbank and Aquarium, 10. Huntsville for family and U.S. Space and Rocket Center. And the beach, I really want 11. to go to the beach! It's been too long.

Closer to home we've enjoyed one Birmingham Barons game but 12. I'd like go to at least one more 13. make ice cream and popsicles 14. Splash in Turkey Creek 15. bowling 16. skating rink 17. big cookout with the neighbors 18. free movies all over the place 19. summer reading programs at the local libraries 20. pool, pool and more pool!

Inspired by Melissa at Julia's Bookbag, I asked the boys what they would like to do this summer. Joseph saw the splash pad picture and wants to go back to the zoo for the water and a train ride. He was just telling daddy tonight that if you ride the train, you can see all the animals. Will's list was a little bit longer. He wants to ...

eat at Chick-fil-A
play legos
summer reading camp at local library
go fishing
have a sleepover
stay up all night
throw a party
visit Splash Adventure water park

I think we can make some of that happen. What about you, how's summer looking?


A word or two on the wall

I've been waiting to make a book page wreath for quite some time. One night I just got too it — two hours of television later, I was finished and quite happy with the results now hanging above the mantle. I won't go into details — Google "book page wreath" and you'll find many tutorials and many examples. I skimmed through several tutorials and then just winged it. This size (roughly 26 by 20 inches) took two books; both were vintage and rescued from the trash. I wouldn't do this to a new book! The pages are tri-folded and hot glued to a cardboard backing. The cardboard works here but I want to experiment with other materials (plywood? canvas? ideas?). 

I would have shown you the whole mantle but it is such a dumping ground for mail, lego projects, toy pieces found under the sofa waiting to be put in their proper homes. Do you have a picture-perfect mantle? Or take a quick swipe before company arrives like me?


Random Thoughts No. 24

Oh, hi there. Still here. Well, not here on the blog but here in general. No one does a good job of explaining how adding a child, and then another to your life really can make it busier. Consider laundry — just going from a couple to a family of four doubles the amount of laundry (or more depending on how much spit up and potty accidents a child has). Each kid has their own schedule of school and events, plus the never-ending cycle of laundry and errands, plus mom or dad or both have jobs, and hey maybe mom or dad or both want to have a little bit of life beyond the kids. Life gets busy.

That's a long way of saying this blog here is not at the top of my to-do list. But I'll still check in from time to time with pictures of the boys or crafts. Now that school is out, I'll have a little more time to squeeze in some writing. Today you get some random thoughts ...

How cool is that AWESOME image there?! My mom had a small embossing label maker — it was so so fun to play with. Would love to find it. Mom and I don't throw things away so one of us has it somewhere. While I look, you can go to this site and generate your own images just like the real thing.

This nearby "yard show" is on my to-do-eventually lists! Unfortunately, it's been on my to-do-eventually list since we got to Birmingham and that's 10 years ago. One of these days ...

Like chocolate? Like pie? I made Jessie's Hot Fudge Pie and it was fight-over-the-crumbs good! No really, go make this pie then come back and thank me.

Okay, that's all I got for you.