Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My growing girl

I can't believe how fast my little girl is growing up! It was just a couple of weeks ago that she discovered her first loose tooth, and by yesterday it was barely hanging on. I was afraid she might swallow it, so I convinced her to let me try pulling it out, and with very little effort, it slipped right from her mouth and into my prodding fingers! I was stunned as I sat there for a second just looking at that tiny little tooth. She, of course, was beyond thrilled, and ran to examine her new smile in the mirror. So how could such tiny little thing make me so very sad?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

My best friend has this incredible knack for discovering the most awesome books, so when I asked her a few years ago if she'd recently read any good ones and she mentioned her current captivating page-turner, I knew I'd want to borrow it. I was spellbound from the moment she loaned it to me a short while later. I could not put it down! I've since bought my own copy and read it multiple times, and even made Darren read it once or twice, too.

And now. Oh my goodness, now...it's being released as a movie and I cannot wait to see it! My sister-in-law alerted me to the trailer she saw this morning and it looks amazing. Watching it gave me goosebumps and made me cry so much I had to re-apply my make-up before leaving the house!

Really, even if you've never read the book, I think you'll agree that this is a must see movie. I am counting my calendar days until August 14!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Trinity Sunday

I was feeling particularly motivated one day last week and decided to start a liturgical planning guide in the notebook I use to organize my thoughts.*

I made it only so far as July, but I was excited to have a few definite plans in place, first being for Trinity Sunday...today. I just love the Women for Faith & Family website, and really liked some of their celebratory dinner suggestions. But, when I realized that Darren wouldn't even be here to dine with us, I decided to scrap the whole idea. I mope a lot when he's gone, and the thought of all that work no longer really appealed to me. However, while we were at the grocery store yesterday afternoon, I impulsively decided that I would go ahead with my plans; the children and I still had every reason to celebrate!

So today we reviewed our catechism lesson on the Holy Trinity (Dylan and Caitlyn needed little review, but Meghan was really cute with some of her responses!) and we spent a lot of time in the kitchen on dinner prep.

Our theme was three, for the Holy Trinity, so, with our barbecue chicken, we had three bean salad and clover leaf rolls, and for dessert, we had triple berry shortcakes. It was all so yummy, and I'm so glad I changed my mind. The kids kept saying how delicious it all was, and they had so much fun helping me make the rolls and shortcakes! :)

*And, okay, so I just have to share this story, too: While I've thought for a while that a liturgical planner would be a great idea, I never took the time to think one through until very recently; until Pentecost, actually. Because, in the days preceding Pentecost, I had actually considered making this lovely cake (can't say it enough--love that Women for Faith & Family!) but then forgot to check if I actually had any of the necessary ingredients. At around 4:00 that Sunday afternoon, I finally decided that I would see what we had, and, sure enough, it wasn't enough. But, with stubborn determination, I decided I would make that cake, and just used what was on hand! Hahahaha! I didn't have nearly enough powdered sugar for the frosting, so I just poured the soupy mixture over the top after spreading a thin layer between the cakes, and my candles were all wrong. I didn't have red frosting, so cherries were our hearts. But, you know, it still tasted divine, and, in fact, it really was rather lovely in it's own charming way. Dylan said it looked like "a vintage birthday cake" and thought it was just the most beautiful thing ever. Really, it was quite nice. But I decided that day that from then on, I'd be a little more prepared for upcoming feasts. :)

A birthday, in black and white

A backyard camp out, a morning spent at the farmer's market and bookstore, a rich chocolate made from scratch birthday cake, and phone conversations with both his mom and dad...Darren declared it a wonderful birthday yesterday!

I'm so sad he had to leave this morning for five days!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I love our wild garden!

I hope that, through these photos, it's clear to see why I love our garden so much! It is a place in which we all feel very much at home and at peace, and it is our very favorite place to be. We are so thrilled with how well it's done in the two years since we first planted; the soil is so beautifully rich and our babies just thrive out there! The herbs have grown just crazy out of control and they are gorgeous! We just harvested the first of our tomatoes and still others are growing fat and heavy on their vines. Our first sunflower is just about to open, and Meghan was thrilled to find the first of this years raspberries while we were out the other night! Our garden is a constant work in progress, but it's work that we wouldn't trade for all the world!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

I didn't have to work over the Memorial Day weekend and it was a four day holiday for Darren, so we decided to spend one day at the Gila river. It was a totally spur of the moment decision, and so, of course, nothing went exactly right, but still...the trip was still a lovely diversion from the chores we'd been tackling around the house!

We decided the night before that we'd pack a picnic, but, since it was late, we didn't want to go to the store for extra groceries. I figured I'd be up early enough in the morning to just whip up a few simple things (LOL! First mistake!) and we'd be on the road early enough to reach Grapevine Campground by lunchtime.


After hitting snooze a few too many times, I finally made my way to the kitchen, rummaging through cabinets hoping for some culinary inspiration. I thought some banana bread would be nice, and got a loaf started, and put some eggs on to boil, too. (We love hard boiled eggs!) We had plenty of fruits in the crisper, and cheeses, and an unopened 12 pack of orange drinks, so I figured we were set. Ambitiously, I decided to also make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, thinking full tummies would be nice for the road.

After finally getting everyone fed, cleaned, dressed, combed, pottied, and packed, not to mention locating the ice chest, evicting it's occupants (worms that the children were "rescuing" from our garden the night before), tidying the house (I cannot leave a mess!), finding our field guides...we finally hit the road somewhere between 10:00 and 10:30! (Darren was sure the night before that we'd be leaving by 8...HA!)

A couple hours later, we were all feeling really hungry. Guess where we stopped for lunch? Burger King! It sure wasn't the charming picnic we'd envisioned, but we were starved. The kids thought it was great, and soon we were back on our merry way. When we finally reached the campground, though, it was becoming quite stormy, with sprinkles of rain and loud rumbles of thunder in the distance.

We had promised the children a trip up to the cliff dwellings, so we left pretty quickly to see if we could beat the storm. It as soon apparent, though, that that didn't seem likely. So, we turned around and stopped again at the campground, where the children soon soaked through their final change of clothes! We didn't actually stay too long, but they really enjoyed it. Next time, though, we'll plan better!

The drive home was beautiful, with showers in the distance (which finally caught up to us) and the most astounding rainbows stretched in full, glorious arches across the sky. It was impossible to photograph them in their entirety, but I'm including a short video clip at the end of a particularly breathtaking one that was actually, for a while, a double rainbow. I don't think you can really see it in the video, but you can get an idea of just how awesome it was. Simply amazing!

Oh, and by the way: we did finally enjoy our picnic "lunch"...but not until we were home that evening! We spread our picnic blanket on the living room floor and had a picnic dinner, instead. :)