Tuesday, September 27, 2011

life is fine at nine

my oldest girly girl is 9 today.

i know it sounds so cliche' but my life changed so profoundly on this day 9 years ago i can't even find the words to describe it.   

my heart is filled with pride for her.  she is a beauty, inside and out.  she loves fiercely, is sensitive, funny, creative and genuine.  she is full of awesome. 

i recall the day she was born, i could not take my eyes off her.  for real, no matter who was holding her in that hospital room i could not stop staring at her.  she had a head FULL of black hair, sweet rosy cheeks and intense eyes already so alert, taking everything in.  

and now she looks like this:

still a head FULL of hair (just not black), still sweet rosy cheeked, and beautiful eyes (slightly different colors) that take everything in.

happy birthday sweetheart!

Monday, September 19, 2011

hey little lady

miss "thang" has mastered the steps to the point where i am not completely paranoid she will fall and break her head.  (we have a treacherous little curve at the top)
and do my eyes deceive me? could it be? these two munchkins are actually BOTH looking at the camera and smiling/looking cute?! at the same time?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

two dolla, two dolla, whaddya got for two dolla?

as i mentioned awhile back (here) i have fallen in love with "thrifting"   it helps with my desire to go shopping (alot) while keeping us on track in the budget (well, closer to the track instead of vearing waaaay off course over a steep ravine into a ginormous pit. drama much?) 

my rule of thumb: if i don't have an immediate place for it in my home and it's not on my list of "things to look for at the thrift store" i keep in my purse then i can't take it home. 

this past week i scored a few things that i want to share with you cause i am sooo excited about them that i have to show them off and hubby just doesn't get very excited about these treasures that i come home with.  imagine that.

i frequent our local thrift store pretty much every week and this past weekend was also our city wide garage sales. 

side note: i am a really bad garage saler.  i can't seem to make myself get up early and plan out a route to hit the best ones right when they open, etc...  i go when it's convenient (ie: hubby is home to take care of the kids) and i randomly drive around and stop at the ones that look interesting.

anyhoo, on to the treasures:

first, at a garage sale i scored this super cute cotton fabric = $2
2 yards will be plenty (hopefully) to sew a few matchy skirts for my girlies for next spring. (oh and they will be soooo happy to wear matching skirts.  bwaaa haa haa.)

next up is this vintage floral sheet set. = $2 
i'm debating on keeping it as an extra sheet set for miss j's bed or i have seen some very cute sewing projects with these types of sheets. (more skirts!)  i just love the colors.  i pondered on this one for quite awhile though.  it was at the thrift store and has been there for a good month or so.  each time i went in i would look at it, hold it, put it back.  this last time it came home with me.

OH. MY. oh my, oh my, ohhhhh  myyyyy.

vintage lawn game = $2  (apparently that is my "price"  $2? sold!)

my sisters and mom (well maybe my mom will think it's silly) will appreciate this one.  we had this game growing up. and here it is. BRAND NEW.  (our version as i remember it was totally faded out from being left out in the sun and most all the pieces were missing by the time i was old enough to figure out how to play it)

now in order for this to fall into my rule for bringing it home, i should take it out of the box and actually play it with my kids.

i haven't done that yet.  i just stare at it all nicely preserved in it's adorable vintage box and smile.

but i will.




and then we will pick it and put it right back in the box very carefully.

there was a whole pile of vintage games in pristine condition for only $2 each.  i picked up "racko" too. the box says 1966 on it but i neglected to take a picture of it. (LOVE that game and used to play it with my mom all the time) i made chad play no less than 12 rounds of it the very night i brought it home.  guess how many i won?


but i still love it.

and one more picture of fabulous "thrifty-ness" 
zinnias from my garden = free
blue jar = free from a local thrift store a long time ago (SCORE!)
yummy red tomato from my garden that is now in my tummy = also free 

free is an even better price than $2, no?

party here:

Sweet Serendipity

Monday, September 12, 2011

about the garden

i attempted my first ever garden this year.  what an awesome feeling when it is planted and there is all this hope and anticipation for what might come.  i loved it! :) 

i wanted to make some notes on how it went so i can improve next year.
(WARNING - probably really boring post but it's my blog so i can do that, right?)

before i begin, for your viewing pleasure, a little before and after:

the before
the after (from a slightly dif angle)
yay for a yard with grass rather than a big sand pit that has random spots of weeds  (i didn't find a "real" before picture that showed the loveliness that was our back yard for over a year, so you will have to trust me that it is much improved)

anyhoo, on to the garden notes.

what i planted:  (well actually my mom-in-law planted while i stood there and pretended to be useful)

cucumbers (3 of them from starters):  they grew like crazy and sort of took over the section, inter-twining with other plants.  i did cover them with milk jugs (bottoms cut off) at first to protect them.
--> next year maybe just one plant since i don't want to make pickles and only 2 of the 6 of us will eat them. 
onions (yellow bulb thingys): they didn't make it.  they started off great (as in the first thing to come up) and i cut some of the tops and added to my salads in june when my lettuce was growing.  later they were covered up by other plants and died off.  there were a few small onions that tasted fine, they were just teeny tiny.
--> next year put them all together in one square somewhere "safer"  (maybe next to the lettuce)

carrots (from seed):  they are doing okay.  i didn't thin them well enough so some are weird looking. i'm okay with weird looking though. :)
--> next year just thin better (do it earlier so it doesn't seem so sad to pull out the cutie-patootie little carrots that are growing, ha ha)

beans (pole kind, from seed): they seemed kind of slow to come up but once they did they grew like crazy crazy.  however, in july when everyone was harvesting massive amounts of beans i had NONE.  no sign of a bloom, nothing.  fast forward to september (as in two days ago: sept 10) i harvested my first beans and in another week or so i will have tons.
my late bloomin' beans
--> next year... i don't know what i could have done differently.  maybe i didn't water consistently enough?
(i was kind of a lazy waterer)

lettuce (a "salad mix" from seed): filled a whole half of one of the beds = waaaay too much all at once.  but it came up great and grew like crazy. 
--> next year only plant a quarter of a bed with lettuce and stagger planting times by a couple weeks maybe so it's not all ready and then done at the same time

zinnias (for pretty-ness and having cut flowers in the house and to give away) - these did awesome but kind of took over in some areas (they were partly to blame for my lost onions)  i was kind of lazy and didn't cut use them as often as i could have.
--> next year expand the flower options to a few different kinds.  if chad builds me another bed i could use one for just flowers

tomatoes (two different types, 8 starter plants around two large cages.  i covered them with milk jugs and they grew like crazy at first due to the greenhouse effect from being covered.  once they started growing out of the tops of the jugs i uncovered them and used blood meal to keep the bunnies away. their growth slowed way down and i lost one plant to the bunnies i am guessing.  in just the last couple weeks i have finally started getting ripe tomatoes.  there is a ton on there and i hope that i will be able to can some.
--> next year maybe try to find a sunnier spot for them, maybe they will ripen faster.
 peppers (two different types, 1starter plant each):  these were too big to put milk jugs on.  they never really "took off" according to my wise vast knowledge of pepper plants.  (not)  i have not gotten any peppers yet, there are a couple growing though. 
--> next year, try a different location maybe?  maybe a different kind as well.

other notes:  the grapevine (already here when we moved) didn't do as well this year. very few grapes compared to the last couple years.  need to prune it good this fall and see what happens next year.  anyone know anything about pruning grapes?  (we maaay have knicked it with some "round up" which maaaay be part of the problem)
planted a hydrangea (to remind me of home... i miss those big blue blooms so much!) but i don't know if it will make it.  it was clearanced out and i didn't plant it very quickly and then i think i planted it too shallow and the roots were really hard to loosen up.  i plan to mulch it with leaves and maybe put a bucket over it for the winter? 

so overall a really good experience for my first official garden.  i may just become a gardener yet.  my brown thumb has sort of a greenish tint to it.

and for grandma d's sake... a couple pics of some "helpers" who "helped" me pick some things this past week