After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

24 Hours

We thought we'd go 2 weeks without seeing Zac.  He worked Monday - Saturday, for a 70+ hour week.  Needless to say, we were beyond surprised when his big work truck came up Grammy's driveway Saturday evening!!!  He had worked until 1pm, then drove 4 hours home, just to be with us for 24 hours.  It was a short visit, but oh, it was full of so much joy.  It was perfect.  Here's some pics from our 24 hours with him.  There's a lot, but I decided to include them all just so I can remember all the happy hours.

On the back of Zac's truck was a surprise for the kids from Grammy and Daddy.
A trampoline!!!!!
While the trampoline was being assembled, these two thought the box it came in was great fun!

This little, but VERY capable one, ditched the box play, and helped assemble the whole base of the trampoline.  He totally got the concept and followed Zac's instructions very well.  It was cute to watch.

The kids seemed to have fun with each stage of assembly.

And FINALLY, they could jump!
They jumped while Zac and their uncle set up the trampoline cage around them.
They jumped well past dark.
Then they crashed.

 Sunday morning, I was instructed to sleep in.  And while I slept, more jumping ensued.
After lunch the kids, hot from jumping, decided to go for their first swim of the season in Grammy's pool.  It was 85 degrees!

 The sun was so warm and even I couldn't avoid soaking some up and exposing my 16 week belly to its rays.

After the pool, Zac put the sprinkler under the trampoline, and the kids went back for more jumping.  This time, WET jumping, and still in their swim suits (and apparently a vest).  :)

 And what did the adults do during these hours upon hours of jumping?  We reclined in lawn chairs, talked, ate, monitored the jumpers, and laughed a lot.  It was wonderful!  I also remembered I'd made these 3 pairs of froggy Summer PJ shorts and had them finished except casings and elastic.  So while the kids jumped, I quickly added casings, and then sat outside and thread elastic through the waists.  Fresh from their showers and baths, their froggy PJs were worn.  Very appropriate for a day full of trampoline jumping, I thought.

Logan got off the trampoline once to show Zac how loose his tooth was.  Then, just like that, he grabbed a napkin, and pulled it out himself!  He was so excited, he dropped the tooth and threw his hands up.  :)  This is his first lost tooth!  Zac was thrilled to have been here for it.

And so, I ran inside and sewed this up as fast as I could!  Yes, I procrastinated and never got around to it weeks ago.  I sat outside chit chatting with the adults while I stuffed and stitched it closed.  There's a tooth pocket for the tooth on the front, and a money pocket on the back.  Simple, but it works.  And Logan was very excited!

I'd also had these two sitting around needing nothing but elastic thread through the casing.  So, I also got them done while I sat watching the kids jump, and soaking up time with Zac.  The top is another pair of Summer PJ shorts for Kian, and the bottom is a pair of Big Butt Baby Pants for baby!  We won't find out the gender of baby so I plan to sew a few girl pairs, and a few boy pairs.  This is pair number one and its SO tiny!

I loved just sitting with my husband and family, and watching the kids jump and swim all day.  It was perfect.
The parting, however, was horrible.  The kids and I are just really done with this set up.  Its been a year now and we are just weary of it.  So is Zac of course!  Parting from Zac has become very emotional for us all.  I don't think anyone parted with a dry eye at bedtime, and after Zac drove away, Grammy helped me snuggle the kids for a good long time, until they fell asleep.  Thank goodness Kian fell asleep in Zac's arms during bedtime songs.  That helped, though I'm sure he'll be very upset when he wakes in the morning.  Poor Logan struggles the most and had a very hard night.  Seeing my kids so upset makes it 1000 times harder for me.  So, I'm glad we have these 24 hours worth of pictures to look back on.  They were very sweet hours.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Camp Logan

Our sweet Logan turned 7 this week!  Its hard to believe its been 7 years since a long, slender, baby boy with a HUGE mop of red hair was placed in my arms, making me a mother......the very thing I'd wanted to be since I was a tiny girl. 
As is our tradition, we went on a birthday camping trip, in honor of Logan.
There were presents in the camp site...

....JUNK food....

.....Papa joined us for a night....

...and lots of biking and skateboarding in the campground in the mornings.

We went camping locally, at our coast.  So there was LOTS of beautiful beach time.  I often forget what paradise is at our fingertips.  The first day, I decided to leave my bulky camera behind, and just enjoy the adventure with my family.  I do that every once in a while, and rarely regret it.  But this time, I DID regret it.  We hiked along BEAUTIFUL cliffs and down into a tiny little cove that looked as if it had white sand.  On closer inspection, the "sand" was tiny bits of white shells.  Just beautiful.  There we found amazing tide pools and a large kelp bed.  We spent a long time examining that magical world that seems almost alien-ish.  SOOOOO amazing!!  Our active birthday boy had loads of fun climbing on the large rocks in the cove too.  I'm determined to take some homeschool friends back to the cove one day for a science adventure in tide pooling day.  I promise I'll take my camera then and post pics.  It was just beautiful! 
The pictures above are of Kian and I lounging in the cove just across the street from the campgrounds.  The big kids went to explore caves with Daddy, and that was just a bit too close to the "noisy ocean" for Kian.

*****  Side note, look what FINALLY fits Kian!  Remember these pants?  I made them for his 2nd birthday in October.  I made them a bit big to account for his cloth diaper booty, forgetting the fact that he was about to potty train.  Just 2 weeks later, he was potty trained and these pants just never fit.  They're still not the best fit, but I'm thrilled to see them on him.  I love them.  They were upcycled from an old pair of corduroy pants of my Nana's.  We call these type of pants "long pocket" pants and they are our favorite style around here.  My blog friend just happened to post a similar pair she made for her son.  Check them out here. *****

Back to camping, castles were made... 

..... a teeter totter of sorts was made (and later turned into a balance board and bike ramp)...

...and a certain little blue stained face boy (more junk food) was not made to nap and so crashed in mama's arms during bedtime songs, MUCH to my delight!

And so, this boy is 7!
This hormonal, emotional, pregnant Mama had a hard time.  I realize the older my kids get, and the more kids we have, the more emotional I get at birthdays.  So hard to let go and watch them grow up!  On top of that, birthday boy had a bit of a birthday tude on our camping trip.  I had a slight freak out and assumed 7 came along with attitude.  But I was happy to see that once home again, my sweet boy returned to his normal sweet self.
And I calmed down.  :)
Why must they grow up?!
Its too much for this Mama!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Instant Gratification

In the recent past, we have planted our garden from mainly seeds.  It occurred to me today, when Felicity was overjoyed by a six pack, that the kids probably don't know much of planting store bought plants.

Papa recently filled his yard with petunias and had 3 six packs left over, and so gave them to us for our garden.  The kids were excited to take out the little individual plants and transplant them for me. 

Here's Lissy checking out the roots.

Kian was cracking me up.  When I told him to push his plant nice and good into the soil, he planted his fat palm right on top of the plant and squished it firmly.  :)
Well, he followed directions!
We planted these petunias inside our rotting out railroad posts near our Spring compost pile, hoping that they'll spill down the ugly posts and be a welcoming sight as we arrive home, as this is where we park our van.
Instant gratification for the kids.
Thanks Papa!

And I got a little bit of instant gratification this morning when I opened my bathroom window and noticed that both our apple trees in the backyard had exploded in bloom while we were gone all week!  They are literally breath taking!  And they are full of sweet little pollinators who are VERY welcomed in our garden!

A sweet little reminder of my dear friend's baby girl, who just celebrated her 6th birthday in heaven two days ago.  Apple blossoms adorned all the tables at her memorial and I think when I'm 90, I'll think of Olivia every time the apple trees blossom.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Around the Urban Homestead

I LOVED doing these posts last Spring - Fall, and I'm excited to start them again now that the mass Spring planting has begun on our tiny little urban homestead.  So, here's what we have going on right now.

I planted these greens back in November I think.  Yes, right before Thanksgiving.  I know nothing of late Fall and Winter planting, but would like to learn more since our climate is mild enough to definitely grow things through those seasons.  Basically, being sick of my empty beds, and mourning my put to rest Summer garden, I threw out these seeds to see what would happen.  And we are now reaping the rewards of that.  They grew slowly, but are now ready to eat and we enjoyed our first harvest last weekend on turkey burgers.

This wine barrel was planted around Thanksgiving too and I casually threw handfuls of different things in there, figuring I had nothing to lose. So there's more greens in here, which we've been eating, as well as carrots and some sweet peas towards the back, just because I LOVE sweat peas.

On one side of the A frame I planted a line of peas.  I think I planted these a month ago as I just couldn't wait a second longer to get my Spring garden going.  They started off slow but are now growing fast and doing great.

Down the center of the A frame, I plant a row of greens each week.  I rotate between a mix, and arugula.  I'm hoping the peas and beans (which are planted on the other side of the A frame) will grow up the frame and then shade this small lettuce patch underneath.

Here you can see the other side of the A frame where the blue lake green beans are growing.

Um, did I mention I love sweet peas?  I got a little carried away in November and now most of this bed is over run with sweat peas.  But that's ok.  I can't wait to have tiny vases all over the house full of sweat peas and their wonderfully powerful smell in every room.

I haven't taken pictures of the new raised beds because, though they are fully planted, nothing is sprouting yet.  I'm very excited to go home and see what is awaiting me this weekend.  That's the nice thing about being gone all week...I take a tour of my garden each weekend right when I get home and SOOO much changes in just that short time.  Its very exciting. 

What's coming up in your garden?