"I think maybe Santa Claus and Heavenly Father are the same kind of smart, like really smart.
And we're all not that smart, just kind of a little bit smart sometimes. Right, Mom?"
You pretty much nailed it on the head, kiddo.
Today was one of those days that makes it to the blog. Today there was bread baking, there was knitting, there was music playing, there was organizing of some dark and crowded corners I usually avoid. Today there was singing. And a little boy with scriptures in hand, wanting to know more. Today was a beautiful day.
A friend of mine told me the other day that she used to read my blog, but then stopped somewhere along the way. When asked why, she said that my life was too cool, and it made her feel bad about her own life. (I know, I know... people who know me well are laughing right now, probably with tears streaming down their faces... but that's really what she said!)
Oh, C... I have obviously failed you. Yes, I have beautiful days... sometimes. And funny goings-on... sometimes. And even the occasional completed craft project, if I'm really lucky. And yes... I am a whiz at framing my photographs to focus on the beauty and cut out the clutter of everyday life. But I really ought to be better at leaving some of that clutter in.
Because all too often there are days in which the dishes aren't done and the floor needs sweeping and the cat just threw up. Again. And I've spent too much money on stuff I don't even want and my son chooses to spend most of the day in his underwear because he hates sleeves. And pant legs. And conforming to society. And my husband gets home at the end of the day, and as I give him a kiss all I can think is, "I really should have brushed my hair before now."
That's life. All of us (all of us!!) experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. I just choose to leave most of the ugly behind.
Amy: Go ahead and put your cup in the dishwasher.
Zach: Which dishwasher?
Amy: The only dishwasher we have.
Zach: You mean this one?
Amy: Yes, that one. Will you put your cup in it, please?
Zach: You mean... put my cup in it?
Amy: Yes. That's what I mean.
Amy: What, Zach?
Amy: You said "Mom".
Zach: Oh, well...(mumble mumble mumble)
Amy: Can you say that again? I didn't understand you.
Zach: What did I say?
So we made our annual trek to the farm to get our pumpkins. This year the trip was especially important, as the pumpkins pretty much constitute our entire fall decorating... I don't fancy risking life and limb trying to dig our autumn box out of the downstairs closet anytime soon.
The highlight for Zach is always the animals. The child needs a farm (or a zoo) of his own.
"I can carry this one," he says, picking up this 30-pounder. And he did. For about 20 seconds.
Then he hefted this 16-pounder back to the wagon. And was tired when he got there. But much happier than he appears in this photograph.
It was rather a windy day. In your comments, I'd prefer terms like "sexy" and "windblown"... over phrases such as "tangled" and "blurry" and "what-kind-of-rodent-has-taken-up-residence-in-your-hair". Thank you for your kind consideration.
One great thing we saw (but I wasn't allowed to photograph...wah) was the National Quilt Museum. It was awesome! I can't get over the creativity and craftsmanship of some people. Mike tolerated the museum quite well. And Zachary...well... although he claims to have enjoyed it, he did spend an inordinate amount of time rolling around on the floor groaning, "Exit...exit...exit!"
But there was certainly plenty for the boys to enjoy on our vacation as well.
We observed marine life up close:
And various other unusual vehicles as well:
We experienced crafts and trades of the 1800s:
We saw Orlando Bloom:
There are of course a lot more photos, but as I doubt anyone is reading even this far... I'll spare you.
I hate you. For years I've been trying to avoid you, with your preteen quizzes and cyberworlds and flashing ads. But you do allow me to spy with ease on people from my past... and so you are sucking me in. Blast you.
Dear Virus of Death,
I loathe you. Quit trying to kill my computer. Seriously.
I love you. Thanks for being my computer hero, as always. If you were on Facebook, I'd send you a request to be my friend. But as it is, I'll stick to being...
Okay, the vacation was a week long, so I had to split this post up a bit. Today I'll share our beach adventures. We spent a few days on St. George Island in Florida, so I got to relax and play Gidget for a while. So fun.
1. My fearless outdoorsy boy heading into the waves. He wanted to spend every moment in the water. (Click on this one to make it bigger. I LOVE this image!)
2. His favorite activity was letting the waves crash into him and knock him down. If they weren't big enough, he knocked himself down.
3. In front of the house we stayed in, right on the beach. That was awesome.
4. The sunset view, obviously. No, nothing is on fire.
5. Mike, blinded by the light, watching Zach's first venture into the ocean.
6. We were trying to stay dry that morning going shelling, but the ocean kept calling Zach's name.
7. And he kept answering the call.
8. Observing hermit crabs we found.
9. Our Family Home Evening lesson was about building our "house on the rock".
10. Heading back to the house for the morning.
11. A sunset view from our backyard.
Stay tuned for a quick summary of what we did in the other seven(!) states we passed through.
I had put together a sweet little pink and green quilt top for my new little niece... and then the newest ultrasound revealed it to be a new little nephew. Back to the drawing board. So I came up with this quilt instead. I like the way the quilting turned out, especially on the back.
Then used a few of the same fabrics to dress up a onesie and make a teeny pair of pants to match. My first time making an elastic casing. For some reason I always thought that would be hard. Turns out... not so much. So here it is.
And after I saw Andrew admiring a couple of the fabrics in my stash, I couldn't help but throw together this little taggie blanket for him.
So I had a weekend full of inspiration, celebration, family, friends, babies, photos, and crafting too. So good.
"The event had every promise of happiness for her friend. He was a man of exceptional character, easy fortune, suitable age, and pleasant manners...
She had been a friend and companion such as few possessed: intelligent, well-informed, useful, gentle; one to whom she could speak every thought as it arose."
(Anyone recognize the quote? Hint: Later in the book someone asks about the wedding, "Who cried most?" Incidentally, the answer to that question would, without a doubt, be me. I was grateful to have the lens to hide behind.)
Lynne... Tim... wishing you so very happy.
A friend of mine was asking this week for some advice on art supplies for her artistic young daughter, and it got me thinking. File this under the category of "things I used to do in another life". When I was in high school, that is.
I'm kind of getting the itch to pick up a pencil again. Or watercolors, perhaps. Or pen and ink. Or... something. Hmmm.
So, I've actually had a pretty good crafting streak going on here lately, but unfortunately, most of it can't be posted just yet. So I'll settle for sharing a photo of a gift I put together a few months back for a sweet little friend of ours. I saw the idea for a doll's diaper bag ages ago, and never had an excuse to use it... so I jumped on the chance when we had a little girly birthday come up.
The doll was mine when I was a child. I thought he needed a new home, and a mommy to care for him properly. He's actually bald (oh, sorry... she's actually bald... this particular little girl only has girl babies). She's wearing a little bear hat that I knitted. I sewed up the wipes and diapers (made from a white t-shirt that was no longer in use), and everything else was purchased. I really wanted to make the diaper bag myself, but time was against me. C'est la vie.
So, being a big eight-year-old has its responsibilities, but it also has its perks. And for this curious, sweet, enthusiastic, helpful, outdoorsy kid... cub scouts is a huge perk. Seriously, this boy was born to be a scout.
He has been going all out... studying the manual on his own, asking to do the activities, and passing off requirements like nobody's business. I'm loving it, too, because it all fits in beautifully with our homeschooling, our family nights, and well... just our life. I'm actually one of his den leaders, and I'll admit I was reluctant about it. Boys still confuse me, you see. But I'm having loads of fun with it, after all.
A few photos from back in his first week of scouting, which happened to include day camp...
(Isn't he cute?!)
Strange to be tapping the "compose" button on typepad just now. That hasn't happened for a while, eh? How long has it been, you ask? Well... remember my new little nephew from my last post? The little dude just graduated from college. We're so proud.
Okay, put into perspective, I guess it hasn't really been so very long. He is, however, growing to be quite a handsome little devil. And a happy one. We like him.
And speaking of growing up, get a load of this kid...
Eight. No, seriously... eight?! I mean, don't get me wrong. So far it's been a really great year for him. This summer I've seen him becoming a lot more mature... leaps and bounds, really. But eight is the year a child officially becomes a "pre-teen". 100% Big Kid. And I'm not entirely ready for that...
(Me and the bean, on Tuesday. When I was a mere 32 years old.)
I am now 33. That was my "lucky number" when I was a teenager, so I'll assume this will be a great year.
We are cutting out TV entirely and really limiting computer usage for the whole month of June. So far, I'm really liking it. Zach is surprisingly fine with it as well.
Making a pinwheel quilt has some difficulties I wasn't anticipating. My brain just isn't wrapping itself around it. Anyone know of a spectacular tutorial in a book or online? I want to be able to do this, without a bunch of weird seams.
This made me laugh really hard. Yes, I'm a geek.
Otherwise known as Andrew Wyatt. We adore this little guy!
(Poor kid. Just a few hours after birth, and here come all of us, swarming in like the Portokalos family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. What can we say... we love with enthusiasm!)