Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I just had to share these darling pics of my boys, busily painting a birdhouse to give their auntie during her recent visit to see us.

I just love how serious they get when they have a task to accomplish, especially if it is a fun task. I am lucky to have boys that make such a great team!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tree Planting

Fulfilling a lifelong, childhood dream of mine, I finally have two apple trees in my backyard!

Another childhood thing: we always had a maple tree out back. Now we have one here too.

Thank goodness for the help!

And of course, the muscle.

My son, thoroughly engaged in building a rock wall. Simple things like rock walls and apple trees bring untold measures of quiet joy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What a crock, and other thrifty finds

First, I had this fabulous find at the local second hand shop this weekend. Normally I don't go in there because I had this idea that their prices were too high, but really they are very reasonable, and all the stuff is in great shape.

It's the kind of place to hit if you need a gift tin or a basket. Lots of little decorative things.

Usually not so much vintage, but neat little useful things, often brand new, like this little hand towel that still had its $12 price tag attached, under it's $1 price tag for me.

Then I spotted these gorgeous crocks! I've been digging this burnt orange color all year, and we were just looking at overpriced crocks at the overpriced cook store at Easton last week. They wanted $20 a piece. These were $6.50. For the set of 4. The marks on the bottom say "ESMOND 216 USA" and it turns out they were made by the Nelson McCoy pottery company, right here in Ohio! Some vendors are selling them for upwards of $50 for the set! Yay! I won't sell them though because I've decided to start keeping a few nice things for myself instead of selling them.

I've seen a lot of bloggers photographing their weekly food purchases. I don't know if I'll do it weekly, but I was proud of this little grocery trip. For a long time I was feeding my family crap, because I thought it was too expensive. This is more like a normal shopping trip now , and I only spent $88. You can't see it all, but this includes organic milk and eggs, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, juice, and produce. Also there are more high end goods, like blackberries, good mushrooms, kumquats, avocados and kefir. (Note, not too much junk food, either!)

The $88 also included non grocery items that I got mostly w/ coupons applied to sale items. There was no meat or cheese in this shopping trip, partially because we bought bulk beef at the beginning of the year from a local farmer, and also because there weren't any good enough meat or cheese deals this week, so we are going with what we have.

Now the trick will be to keep ourselves out of restaurants! As a family we have slid mightily from our goal of not buying new stuff, and generally wasting time, money and energy to go out to eat. Hopefully the renewal of spring will help us find our way back!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What a nice easter!

The boys and I did a really nice job doing the eggs this year. We forgot to get a color kit, and learned that food coloring and vinegar in water works great.

The Easter Bunny was really into fitness this year: a few pool toys and a tiny bit of candy.

After feeding our guests very well, we went outside for their Oma's Easter Egg hunt. (Zack is carrying a clipboard to make a tally of the eggs they find.)

The bulbs looked really gorgeous.

Me and the husband, in the sunshine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Art with the kids, and enjoying the weather

My sweet nephew was over today, and once again I was pressed to find stuff for 3 boys to do. When the boredom eventually set in (it's gorgeous outside) we did paintings. He called his "Ditto." Kids just love painting on a canvas like a "real" artist.

"Gordon" by Zack
"Mud" by Nathan

I joined in the fun. I call it "Proud Zinnia." So fun to just let go and make something.

Trying to live each day for these simple moments.