Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Background Fixed

Maybe this didn't bother anyone else as much as it bothered me, and maybe it did not appear as badly on other computers but on my computer the background image for my blog was slightly off center and it was driving me nuts!! I finally took the time to fix it. Just FYI...

Memorial Day & Science Fun

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend and I hope everyone took at least a moment over the weekend to think about the meaning of Memorial Day and to appreciate those who have sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms we are so blessed to have!

It is HOT here so the girls and I have not spent a ton of time outside. Yesterday was a fairly lazy day inside enjoying the AC with the exception of a quick trip to the grocery store. Because of course even though I went to the grocery store on Friday there were a couple of ingredients I needed for dinner last night. I have had a major craving for a good steak dinner so that is what we had last night - grilled flank steak, baked potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, salad and delicious garlic bread. I also grilled some chicken for the girls but Gabrielle also had a little bit of steak, what little bit Ed would share with her. I may have to start getting more steak (the rare times we actually have steak) since Gabrielle enjoyed that way more than her chicken.

Oh, and I made some toasted garlic-thyme butter for the corn. It was really good!!

Ed and I enjoyed the dinner but the girls enjoyed their Popsicles after dinner much more.

Even though Ed had to work yesterday he was able to come home earlier than usual. While I was prepping dinner he and Gabrielle opened up a science kit I had bought over the weekend.

Gabrielle loves arts & crafts but I'm coming to the conclusion that really she loves any kind of activity and project. I hope she always loves and enjoys learning as much as she does now.

This kit has 12 activities and Ed and Gabrielle did the first two activities yesterday. They did "Dancing Powders" and "Color Changing Water", all involving acids and bases. It was really neat and definitely something Ed enjoyed doing with Gabrielle as much as she enjoyed it, maybe more. While the kit requires some adult supervision and help it is geared for ages 4+ so still something on Gabrielle's level.

I love the expressions on her face with each result. She was so amazed and fascinated.

It is another HOT, HOT, HOT day here so another day mostly inside for us. I'll probably spend the afternoon cleaning so that the rest of the week is freed up. I am hoping to get the girls outside early in the mornings for the rest of the week and maybe again after dinner for a bit to burn off some energy. We certainly cannot stand too many days stuck inside without driving one another nuts and completely tearing apart the house!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

We just got home from Gabrielle's dance recital. The theme this year was fairy tales hence the name "Once Upon A Time..." The show once again was a fantastic one and even kept the attention of a certain two year old for most of the 2-1/2 hours. I am amazed at how well she behaved, especially considering the circumstances.

Gabrielle was a little grumpy this morning. Maybe she was a little tired, probably a little hungry and most likely was just in one of those moods. Getting a good photo of her was not easy. Considering this was the best shot I guess getting a "good" photo was impossible.

She seemed to cheer up after her performance - which was just as cute as could be by the way! And the roses her daddy gave her brought quite a smile to her face as well.

It has been a long day and I personally am exhausted. Last night was a late night for me but I have only myself to blame. I am on the fourth book of the "twilight" series and had been warned I would not be able to put it down once I started it. Despite the warning I started it anyway and found myself muttering to myself at 1:30 am "just one more chapter." Finally just after 2:00 am I forced myself to put the book down. Right now I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep. Part of me would love to make a run to the fabric store this afternoon but the other part would love to curl up on the couch after getting the girls settled for naps and delve into my book again. Add the fact it is raining into the scenario and I have a feeling the couch and book are going to win out. The fabric store and the sales will still be there tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Hour, Another Bag

I plan on going to the fabric store this weekend to catch some of the Memorial Day sales to buy the fabric and patterns for a sewing project for the girls but in order to keep the sewing mojo going I decided to complete a project I started, oh, I guess over 2 years ago!! I had the fabric cut and ready to go but for some reason never got around to sewing it together. This was another really easy bag, from start to finish just about an hour.



My favorite detail are the buttons...

Please ignore the messy hand sewing of the buttons. I really need more practice with buttons and other stitching by hand. The bag probably could have been done in way under an hour by someone who knows how to sew on buttons!!

I also really love the bamboo handles. I bought the handles when I first started sewing, around 10 years ago. I used them on one of the first purses I made and I believe it was only my second sewing project ever (my first being a basic shift dress which the purse was intended to go with). A few years ago when I no longer wanted that original purse I ripped open the seams, ditched the bag and kept the handles. When I saw this fabric and these buttons one day at - of all places - Walmart, I knew these handles would go perfectly.

The purse is not real big and since it has such a big opening, I will probably only use it those times I only need to carry the basics - wallet, keys, small make up bag.

I wonder if I have any other quick sewing projects started I could work on until my trip to the fabric store???

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Day of School

Today was Gabrielle's last day of school. It ended with a fun family picnic at Blue Jay Point. This is Gabrielle and her best bud. Unfortunately they won't be in the same class next year but hopefully they will still see each other a little bit and we can always get together for play dates outside of school.

We are excited about the summer but I hope it doesn't go by too quickly. Next year Gabrielle will be in school five days a week, still just half days, but I think I'm really going to miss her every morning.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Dress Rehearsal}

She looks so grown up in this photo I can hardly stand it!
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Sew' in the Mood

The creative bug has hit and I have been in a serious mood to craft and sew. I decided to put that energy into end of year teacher gifts.

I made canvas totes and Gabrielle made bookmarks with her fingerprints and we included an Amazon gift card in with the card.

While we were at the fabric store last week picking out fabric for the totes the girls picked out some really cute, bright and fun prints that would make perfect sundresses or ruffled skirts. So while the creativity is flowing I am hoping to get back to the store and make some little coordinating summer outfits for the girls. They also picked out some adorable knit prints perfect for pajamas or nightgowns. Maybe that will be my next project.

I have made quite a few of these bags since I started sewing a few years back but it had been a while. I had forgotten just how quick and easy these bags come together. Once I had everything cut and ironed, from the time I sat down at the sewing machine, it took me only about 3 hours to get both bags done. Not too bad. And I loved how they turned out with the heavier cotton duck fabric and the webbing for straps. I really dislike turning fabric to make straps so when I remembered the webbing my mom had gotten me a few years ago it thrilled me that I didn't have to make fabric straps for the bags! I think the webbing straps will probably hold up longer and better anyway. I might have to pick up some more and make myself a bag for the summer. Do I need another tote? No, not really, but one can't really have too many bags. Can they?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just Around the Corner

Summer is just around the corner and this past weekend made that fact even more of a realization for us. The weather was warm and sunny and we spent the majority of the weekend outside enjoying it!

Once Samantha got used to the pool I was able to sit in my lawn chair nearby and read - with only a few interruptions now and then. This will be the first summer since becoming a mom that I will actually be able to sit and relax - a little - while the girls play.

Of course, Gabrielle is getting braver in the water and trying to stick her face under so I'll have to be watching carefully over that - not to mention little sister is quite the copycat and assumes she can do everything big sister can do. So maybe I won't get as much relaxation as I previously thought! Ha!

Mm mm...Popsicles!! These always take me back to my childhood, swimming in our pool, yelling for Mama who was usually inside taking care of the house to bring us some Popsicles. Heaven forbid we actually get out of the pool and get them ourselves. We were certainly old enough - like 12, 13, and older. And then I can remember Mama telling us if we were going to go through the trouble of wetting bathing suits and towels - and her floors - to at least stay in the pool long enough to make it worthwhile. Ha! Now I sound the exact same way, telling my girls to get in the pool and stay in the pool longer than 10 minutes!

This is our last week of school, one day being a family picnic. We also have dance recital dress rehearsal and the actual recital this week. Throw in a t-ball game, my Wednesday morning Bible study and grocery shopping at some point and it makes for a fairly busy week. Summer temps are really hitting us this week as well with the high expected to be in the 90's all week. I'll have to figure out a day or two at least to enjoy the pool and sun!

I know by July when NC is in the mid to upper 90's everyday, feeling more like 100 on some days, I'll be saying I'm ready for some cooler temps, but until then I say "bring on the sunscreen!!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gabrielle's Art Show

Gabrielle was excited yesterday and repeatedly asked the same question all day - "Is it time for the art show yet?" She had yesterday off from school so that the teachers could transform the classrooms into an art gallery. And last night we are all invited to attend the "gallery opening."

Gabrielle helped me make some chocolate chip cookie bars and oatmeal raisin cookies to take for the snack reception following the art show. This girl loves to help me cook. I'm not sure if she likes the cooking part or the tasting part more.

After an early dinner and baths, the girls got dressed up for the big event...

And finally after much anticipation we were at the school art show. Gabrielle proudly took us to her (crowded!!) classroom to show us all she has worked on all year long.

Gabrielle & her "Very Hungry Caterpillar" (she commented how her caterpillar was the shortest because that's how she wanted it)

"The Pigeon Wants a Hot Dog" Gabrielle's pigeon was one of the few actually eating the hot dog. The other pigeons were holding theirs in their wing. I guess her pigeon was really hungry.

Pointing to her "penguin" art.




This is not an art project but a reading project the kids have been working on since just before Christmas. For every book they read (or was read to them) they took in a strip of paper with their name and the name of the book. To see all the paper chains hanging on the ceiling was quite impressive. Gabrielle loves books and it seems her classmates do as well. They are having a pizza party to celebrate their achievement later this week.

This was Gabrielle's photo hanging on the door to her class room.

Gabrielle and her teacher Mrs. Diane. She has been an awesome teacher and made Gabrielle's first year of school so great. Gabrielle loves school and I know will be bugging me all summer about when she gets to go back!! (I don't have a photo but Gabrielle also has an really great assistant teacher Mrs. Sheila who has also helped make Gabrielle's school year so wonderful.)

We loved seeing Gabrielle's face light up with pride to show us her classroom and all of her art. She was truly so proud and excited. Art is probably her favorite thing at the moment. She would sit all day and color, paint, cut and glue! Our little girl sure has grown up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Remember Me?

Once again it has been a while. Somehow I need to find my groove again when it comes to blogging. Maybe this summer I'll get inspired.

Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to for the past few weeks...

I took the girls to pick strawberries for the first time. My mom came along and we all had a lot of fun. Very few of Samantha's strawberries made it to the basket. They all went straight to her mouth!! She made a little ladybug friend as well. Gabrielle picked a few strawberries but she was more interested in the play area at the farm. After picking a TON of sweet, delicious strawberries we all enjoyed some even more delicious homemade ice cream. Yummy!

Samantha turned 2!! It is so hard to believe how grown up she is and how quickly it happened. She is quite the little talker and has a very unique, silly personality. We had an easy outdoor party one afternoon full of water games from the pool to the water table to a water balloon war.

Both girls are big into playing dress up and for Samantha's birthday she received a lot of new dress up stuff. It all has been broken in and worn quite a bit already!

I had a very nice Mother's Day. Gabrielle sang in the children choir at church that morning. We went out for both lunch and dinner so no cooking for me! I also spent the afternoon laying in bed reading and even taking a nap. It was pretty perfect.