Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Enjoying Fall

Last night, we almost missed the sun and we have almost missed fall all together. Somehow, between bouts of sickness, obligations, rain and snow, the leaves have almost disappeared. Bare trees are starting to take over the landscape. I'm so thankful we were able to take a walk along our favorite trail last night and find this gorgeous backdrop.

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They gave me lots of goofy grins and a first for me was the closed eyes (she takes after her mother).

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I blame the peanut gallery behind me for this one.

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These girls truly love each other. I love how they've started not just calling their sister their best friend, but they have also dubbed me their "best" Mommy.

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They were quite taken with pointing out all the droppings on the trail. Yep, I reeled them back in quickly after I noticed that.

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Looking at the screen, on the back of my camera, failed me a bit this time. I thought I had many more good shots than I actually did. Especially of this little one. I even had her sister sit for me one last time to even things up and make sure she had enough good ones too. Wouldn't you know, only these two turned out for Emily and I got a bunch of Allison. That fairness thing will always be tough I think.

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This sweet girl is full of questions. David stayed home to care for all four of us (double ear infections for all kiddos, etc...) that were sick the past 5 days and he said "Does she always ask so many questions?" Yes, and more!

This is one of my favorite shots of the night.

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Oh that pouf of pink and those stripe tights. I love it!

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Pure Allison. Pure joy. Unless she's upset, then watch out. ;) This girl feels things with her whole body, she is very expressive. She is my little firecracker.

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Also a favorite shot of the night. Love the close-up of those chocolate brown eyes. She gets them from her Dad and I love that. I fell in love with David's eyes way back in 7th grade telling my mom he had "puppy dog" eyes.

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Thank you for coming on such a fun walk with me last night. And girls, now those tutus are yours to play with anytime you want! No more saving them. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Uno

The kids and I visit my Grandma every Friday. We bring her lunch and then spend a couple hours playing at her house. Lately we've been teaching the girls how to play Dominos and Uno.

Every night before we pray with the girls we ask them each what their favorite part of the day was. Last night Allison told David that her favorite part was playing "Uno, dos, tricycles."

I'm still cracking up over that one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Merry Christmas?

Just 2 weeks ago we were enjoying a backyard BBQ Birthday party for the girls.

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Looks like today we'll be building a snowman.

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Fall, if you are listening...please come back. We haven't even been to the apple orchard yet.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The space in between

Today is my 35th Birthday.

I knew that last year would be a difficult age to turn (I didn't even mention it here), but I had no idea that this year would be just as hard. So today, I feel the need to put how I feel in writing.

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My mother stitched this the year before she died. She was 34. I turned 6 that year. These are the only words I have from her. And, granted, it's likely from a kit, but I still consider them her words. It sits on a shelf in my bedroom and I see it every day. I didn't even know it existed until my parents moved, shortly after I was married, and we were emptying the attic. There, in a dusty old box, was something so much more valuable to me than anything else I could ever own.

I wish it was a ten page letter in her own writing, but it's not. I wondered for years why she didn't write my brother and I letters. Last year I asked my Dad's mom about that (she's got a good memory, he doesn't) and she told me that my mom did ask her to help her do that. Really? Why didn't it happen, or did it? Well, I thought it was better for her if she didn't. It would have been too difficult emotionally for her, so I just didn't encourage it or help her get around to it.

Oh.

I felt like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me. It took me a while to process that. A year later, I think I can finally understand that a bit better. I put myself in her shoes a lot, especially now that I have children of my own. I imagine what it would be like to know that you will never get to see them grow up, get married, have children, know if they are walking with the Lord, know that they are loved. And it's suffocating to think about. I can see how writing a letter would feel somehow...final. Like the good-bye that you would fight with every breath, not to have to make.

So now, when I look at her stitching, I think about her loving fingers that threaded the needle, carefully made each tiny stitch and her gorgeous brown eyes that read this saying over and over and over again (just like I do). I can absolutely say that she is the reason I love sewing so much. She sewed so many beautiful (in a 1970's kind of way) outfits for me and because I wore those in pageants, I have some great professional photos of them. I love knowing that she would be proud of me. That she would ooooh and ahhhh over every little thing I make.

I realize now, that as I turn 35 this year, inside I'm really still just a 6 year old little girl, desperate for her mother's approval and wishing she could come home.

Tomorrow David is taking the kids to the grocery store so they can come home and bake a cake together for my Birthday. They will make handmade cards and I will have all morning to sew.

I sew for me, because I love it.
I sew for my children, so they can feel how much I love them.
I sew because of my mother. Because she can't.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Craft Fairy

The Craft Fairy made a stop at our house last week, and what a wonderful surprise that was. The girls had lots of fun gluing down a huge assortment of leaves and then I helped them put together the sweet little owls.

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How did she know that glue sticks are their favorite? I think Allison actually used up her whole stick. I'll be buying stock in Elmer's because I envision coming up with many more projects like this for them to do. Craft Fairy, you have inspired me. I'm seeing a Christmas tree with an obscene amount of colored ornaments and an Easter basket with an obscene amount of little eggs. Hehehe...I should be able to get one room cleaned per project, don't ya think?

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Sam was very content to just watch them have all the fun. I think he was taking notes. And Mama got some free time to pick-up the living room and wash some dishes.

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Now we all get to enjoy these festive works of art on the 'fridge gallery.

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Thank you Craft Fairy!
xoxo,
Allison + Emily

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Patch

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If you live anywhere near the Twin Cities, you should make your way to Marshall's Family Farm in Eden Prairie. It's kitty-corner from our Church and at the corner of Pioneer Trail and Eden Prairie Road (County Rd 4). This place is G O R G E O U S! They've done a lot of sprucing up even in just the last 2 years. We skipped it last year, but we won't be making that mistake again.

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Here's why...

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The cutest, ugliest gourds.

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White pumpkins...kind of spooky.

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I wish I had taken some photos of the produce on the tables. The onions looked amazing. What a difference it makes to buy local instead of having your food shipped/flown in from who-knows-where. I think I'll do our fall vegetable shopping here while they are still open. So convenient to run over after Church.

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Inside this little house are homemade jams and pickled vegetables as well as some cute fall decorations. I really had to hold myself back.

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They sell bales of hay and dried corn stalks too. I couldn't resist this fun backdrop. Sam wasn't sure what to do so he lasted, standing up, all of about 2 seconds. No time to get the "perfect" photo but this is still pretty cute.

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I love knowing that our patronage is helping a local farm survive. Even though these cost a little more, I'd much rather spend our money here than just pick up the pumpkins outside our grocery store.

My boy loves to throw himself backwards. It was his favorite game to play today.

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Proof that I was there too...hehehe.

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Look who's standing!

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Soooooo BIG!

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Best sisters.

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One of the many tackle-tickle fights that happen at our house.

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I whipped up their cute tees just before Church today. I can't wait to make the rest of the coordinates to go with them. I used the back of the wall stickers from their room as templates for the appliques.

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Happy Fall Y'All!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A small space that packs a big punch

It's a dreary, rainy, gorgeous, fall day here in Minnesota. But instead of waiting for the sun to shine again, I took photos this morning anyway. The room is almost fully complete. Just waiting for the pink fan, and I need to swap out the curtain rod for the same white wood one that's in all the other bedrooms. Other than that, we are done! Yippee!!! See more before here and here.

Looking in from Sam's room, across the hall.

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I love this little woodland theme of wall appliques to greet you at the door. They are available at Target right now in the kids/girl bedding section (but not on-line, I've looked and looked in hopes of providing you a link here) . The whole set was about $15. When I first spied these in Jenn's girls playroom, it was love at first sight. I love how they added more colors to the room than just the pink and green that we started with. It gave me the go ahead to choose the 4 fabrics for over the bed. Which was a sacrifice since they will no longer be used to make skirts for myself. But that's ok, there is always new fabric to fall in love with. And in here I'll get to see them everyday and they won't fade from washing. So it's all good.

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I showed you in the last post the eye-sore of an electrical box that's on this wall. Seriously, who decides to put an electrical panel in a bedroom when the utility room is along this same outside wall. I've been wanting to cover it up since we moved here 10 years ago. Now, that is what I call procrastination patience. Or just a lack of direction, until now.

What I did: I figured out that in order to have it in the center of the wall, leaving room for the appliques on either side and not having to nail where the panel is, I had to find (4) 24"x24" canvases. The local shops didn't have anything that size so I searched on-line. I was thrilled when I found Artist Brand Canvas. They had 24" x 24", 1-5/8" wrapped canvases. So for around $50 I had the base I needed to fill the wall. I just stapled on the fabrics, from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line, and made hospital corners so they wouldn't show on the sides. I love that I can swap out the fabric if we need to. I will probably add furring strips to the wall since I realized as I was hanging these, that the panel wasn't flat against the wall.

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Here's another eye-sore that's found throughout the house. The dark brown intercom system. I think we've decided to just remove it and patch the walls. The house is so small that we've never needed to use it. If the doorbell wasn't connected to it I think we would have removed it years ago. But it's one of those things that's way down on the list considering we'd have to learn how to patch large holes in sheetrock. I can think of better ways to spend our Saturdays right now though.

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And I have finally found a growth chart I can live with . I like that it's removable and adding yellow to the room seemed like a good idea. I still need to find all their well-check Dr. appt sheets so I can go back and fill in their measurements. They are going to get a kick out of being measured for the first time though.

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So, that's it. A lot of punch packed into a teeny tiny room (about 8'x9' of usable floorspace). I can't imagine two teenagers sharing this small of a space so hopefully we'll have moved by then.