Saturday, August 30, 2008

summertime wonder

We should all try a little bit harder to see the world the
way they do...


Friday, August 29, 2008

summertime library days

I have fond childhood memories of summertime trips to the library. Often it was our babysitter, Catherine, who took my sisters and I on what felt like such a long trek to the downtown Bryan library. We read Amelia Bedelia, learned how to play checkers, stood mesmerized at the sound of the card punch machine as we checked out our books (oh how I miss that machine!) and then we would stop for dripping, sticky snow cones on the way home. Now I know what a blessing that girl was to my mom, allowing her those afternoons of peace! I bet she had no idea we would remember those library days even now as we are old enough to take our own children on that downtown excursion. If only my little downtown had a J.J.'s snow cone stand, summer library days would be complete.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

summertime amaranths

My green thumb Dad grew amazing flowers in the yard of our Texas home. My favorites were these purple Globe Amaranths that filled the beds en masse along with incredible Daisies, Zinnias, Poppies, Roses and so much more. A few years ago before my parents moved out of that big old house, Dad sent me a zip lock bag full of seeds. From those I have been growing my own Amaranths, even managing to get them into the gardens of friends as well. These flowers will forever bring to mind images of Dad's spectacular Inwood garden and now also my own little plots as I follow my husband around the country, planting as I go.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

summertime mornings: the recipe

Robin asked about the scones so I thought I'd share the recipe...

Cream Scones
2 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
3Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbs butter
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half works fine)
1/2 to 1 cup mini-chocolate chips and/or dried berries (optional)

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter (I squish it all together with my hands till it's nice and crumbly). Add chocolate chips or fruit or both- as much or as little as you want. Stir in eggs and cream. Turn out dough and knead just enough to make a nice ball. You can plop the dough in balls on a cookie sheet or roll it out evenly, 1-inch thick, and cut into wedges. Makes 8 scones.
Bake at 400F for about 15 min (till tops begin to lightly brown)

Serve warm, with coffee of course. Enjoy!

summertime mornings

For weeks now, something has been missing from my morning routine. Coffee. I made it through two pregnancies without developing a coffee aversion so it came as quite a shock when I walked into the kitchen one morning this summer and decided the smell of that freshly brewed energy was no longer my friend. Poor Shawn has been making and drinking his coffee alone ever since. His breath has also been unfairly subjected to the scrutiny of my pregnant nose. For a couple who met while working in a coffee shop and has always shared a love of coffee, this has not been a welcome change. However, this week we seem to have turned a corner, my tummy and I! I celebrated the return of coffee to my day with a batch of chocolate chip scones. Yum. Thankfully, I no longer crave caffeine the moment I wake up, but I can once again satisfy a craving for quiet morning moments with a warm mug of coffee in my hand.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

summertime bravery

Could someone tell me why I chose this day, the day my son decided (on his own!) to finally remove his training wheels, as the day to let him ride without his helmet? I was blinded, I guess, in my excitement over his sudden outburst of four year old courage.

Monday, August 25, 2008

summertime moments

Tristan goes back to preschool next week, so even though it is not officially fall, I feel like summer is coming to an end. And even though I've been craving cool weather and ripe pumpkins the way most pregnant women crave ice cream (oh wait, I crave that too), this week I plan to savor as much summer goodness as I can. Beginning with Kenna in her sweet pink hat...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"I have sand in my mowff!"

Sand in the mouth was just about the only problem we encountered at the beach. The rest of the time went pretty much like this...

Blue sky and sea breeze, Kenna laughing in the crashing waves, Dad building a castle just so Tristan could smash it...maybe I'm not quite as ready for summer to end as I thought.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

kenna talks too...sometimes



"Boo!" said the cute baby girl in her summer dress and almost-too-small turquoise sandals.
For a little girl of few words those she does choose to say are usually very cute.
One I hear a lot lately is "Eyes!" In the tub it means there is water in my eyes! In the car it means the sun is in my eyes! And most other moments it means my hair is in my eyes!
Not one to waste words as long as she gets her point across.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kiai!

I have never posted a video on the blog before, but I couldn't resist sharing the hilarious fun that is watching Little Dragons karate (mine is on the far right)...

video

Tristan earned his blue belt this week. This was a big deal, blue being his favorite color!
Kiai Tristan! (A Japanese Shout...sounds like Keee-Aiiii!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8 years 1 day

To the man who has made the last eight years, seven moves, two children and one wife very happy. The years have been so full and so blessed, I cannot even imagine what is in store for the next eight...



...but I know we will enjoy the ride.
I love you, Shawn. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

dress-up



She wanted to be a princess. Her brother wanted to be a bandit. Therefore, she wanted to be a princess and a bandit. She did allow me to tie the bandanna on her head rather than her face like brother, thus turning Belle into more of a Cinderella before Fairy godmother showed up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

the zinnia patch zinnias

"Poppies have only a day to live, admitted Anne, but how imperially, how gorgeous they live it! Isn't that better than being a stiff horrible zinnia that lasts practically for ever? We have no zinnias at Ingleside. They're the only flowers we are not friends with. Susan won't even speak to them."
-Anne of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery
Well, I have to disagree with my dear Anne with an 'e' on this one. I do love zinnias, and all the more for the fact that they live practically for ever! I planted every variety I could find along with cosmos and wildflower mixes in the wild patches of ground bordering our woods.
Here is the zinnia patch in early October last year...


There was a nice little showing of wildflowers in June (you may remember the week of blooms I shared with you) but it is the zinnias and cosmos that hold out, growing above the weeds for a grand finale of late summer blooms.
Here it is this week...
I know there is still time, but I'm pretty sure things are not shaping up to be as brilliant as they were last year. Besides the weeks of neglect due to my morning sickness, I think they simply can't compete with the native grasses and weeds that grow so thick in those woods. I've admitted before what an impatient gardener I am as well as given proof that I tend to give up on plants prematurely, so maybe I should just hold my tongue and wait and let those stiff horrible Zinnias do their thing...


"...a complete garden wouldn't really be any fun. You have to work in a garden itself or you miss it's meaning. I want to weed and dig and transplant and change and plan and prune. And I want the flowers I love..."

Oh, yes. On this one, Anne, I can agree. We want the flowers we love.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

what's in the bowl now



Since my last project is finished and ready to be sent to my nephew-to-be with love (once I have gathered a few extra goodies -there must be some element of surprise!), my bowl now holds new things. The beginnings of a creamy blanket for my own winter wee one and a sweet pink hat just because I loved the colors in this wool. In fact, I like the hat so much -and it was so quick and easy- I think I'll go back for blue to make a set. We won't know if baby Campbell will need pink or blue until the big day so I might as well be prepared.
I have a feeling I need to get used to saying those words to people (we're not finding out...we're not finding out...we're not finding out...) but I am so excited about experiencing that moment of surprise and hearing the words, It's a ____! That is one of the warm thoughts in my head as I work on the warm tiny things in the bowl now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a few conversations

Tristan: Hey, what's that smell? I smell bug spray!
Dad: That's my cologne. Thanks.
_________________________________

Tristan: Mom, before you were boring, who was my mommy?
Mom: Before I was born?
Tristan: Yeah, borning.
Mom: I've always been your mommy, Tristan.
Tristan: Oh. Good.
_________________________________

Tristan (creeping up to my bedside at 6:30a.m.) : 'Morning mom. Hey, that stuff that I wipeded from my eyes is the same as like my boogers.
Mom (not quite awake): We call that stuff 'sleep'.
Tristan: Oh. Can we make pancakes now?
_________________________________

Tristan (while watching Olympic kayaking): I don't want to be that guy 'cause I might just drown in that little boat, that's why I will be a race car guy but that might be a little bit hard for me so I could be a construction guy.
_________________________________

(and one for Elaine and Shawn...)
Tristan: Mom, when Elaine has her baby, will she be the baby's mommy?
Mom: Yep.
Tristan: So will the baby call Shawn and Elaine 'Mommy' and 'Daddy'?
Mom: Yes he will.
Tristan: Oh. Well, I will still call them Shawn and Elaine.


Friday, August 8, 2008

dog days

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the dog days of summer end August 11. I was beginning to doubt we would ever see an end to the oppressive heat after a thermometer reading of 103F yesterday. I spent the entire day watering our scorched yard, which of course brought on a good nights rainfall. It never fails.
I know what you're thinking, why don't I pay better attention to the forecast? The problem is this coastal weather. Lately, we have the same forecast every day: heat advisory with a chance of showers. And every day that chance passes us by...unless, of course, I water the yard.
I shouldn't complain though. The flowerbeds are lush and green and last night’s storm brought with it a cool front lowering our temperature from that horrid, sweating and panting 103F to a bearable, almost nice, 85F! Now if only an end to these dog days also meant an end to my dog's shedding and digging. I have a feeling his cool spot under the stairs (and the resulting sandy dirt thrown out onto the plants and mulch) is here to stay...



I do love Maverick, really. At times I just wish that he, like the summer heat, wasn't so dog-like.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dahlia



A pleasant surprise from another plant I did not expect to bloom. I must stop being so skeptical.

Monday, August 4, 2008

fair winds and following seas



We had to say goodbye to some very dear friends this weekend. We have watched our kids grow up together from the time our oldest boys were still bumps in our bellies. They have shared baby playgroups, colds, karate classes and first days of school. I always knew it would be hard to see friends move on to new duty stations far away...I just never realized how much more painful it would be to see my children's friends go.



We met up with another family on the river for a day of sailing, swimming and tubing and pretending we weren't saying goodbye. The good thing about the military is the hope that it may not be forever...just goodbye till our paths cross again.



Until then, we will wish them 'Fair Winds and Following Seas' and thank the Lord for bringing us together for the time and memories we have shared.


Friday, August 1, 2008

indoor gardening


Since I haven't been able to drag myself outside to work in the heat for the past month, the garden has been left to fend for itself. You've already seen how that worked out for the Gardenfort and the Lilies. Things were a little depressing there for a bit.
In my brief moments of wellness this week, however, I have managed to go outside and see what's happening. Turns out, the late summer, heat loving flowers and grass are really starting to thrive and things are looking up. I even spent one day moving the sprinkler around in order to water every inch of green space out there. Of course two straight days of rain settled in immediately after. It figures.
I've decided the best garden activity for me right now is to spend about five minutes outside with my scissors...and the rest of the day sitting with a book near a bright bouquet.
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