My niece decided to tie the knot with her secret highschool sweetheart. It was a big deal for our family since a) we haven't had a wedding in a while, b) it was my sister's only daughter, c) I've watched this girlie grow up from a wee girl to a big girl (insert 'where have the years gone' & tears), d) she was my flower girl some 19 years ago and e) my twin girlies were her flower girls.
Well weddings along with being fun, require a fair amount of organizing & spiffing up as you can imagine. Thankfully my niece, my sister & bro-in-law took care of all the organizing and we as guests were left to making sure all were bathed and properly clothed for the event. My shopping started early when I found some awesome flower girl dresses in spring for my girlies which my niece approved of *sweet*. Buying early meant I didn't end up having to spend hundreds of $$ on their dresses later or panic that time was running out. Shoes on the other hand were a completely different story. I could not find anything suitable in this fair city of ours so I gave up and went to the internet where Zulily saved the day. After the girls were set to go I had to turn my focus to the two scraggly teens that seem to be growing faster than a golden retriever in his first year of life. Since dress pants & ties are not required homeschooling attire in our home, the boys needed the whole 9 yards, pants, shirt, ties, socks & shoes. I cut the fellows some slack and did not make them wear a full suit. As for the hubby, he was pretty good in the dress up department, though he did get a new shirt, tie and shoes. Me on the other hand, I needed a whole new ensemble. I went with an strapless formal gown, shoes, etc. Okay so the reason why I'm spilling all the details in print is because that's pretty much all you are going to get. Yes, I forgot to get a family photo (of us) except for a wee instagram shot on the way to the church in our chariot (minivan) *ugh* - you'll have to cut me some slack as I had more important things on my mind like making sure the girlies were good to go down the isle. Enough said, lets take a peek at the day's events starting with the rehearsal.
~ rehearsal night where the girlies get their walking practice.
~ on the way to the church, all dressed up and nary a picture to show - no I am not naked - remember strapless gown.
~ the girlies doing the stuff for real and doing a fabulous job at it
~ my niece and her daddy taking that walk
~ the bride - so beautiful
~ the happy couple cutting the fantastic cake my sister made!
So ends the day and they begin their journey. I'm sure they will make a wonderful life together. I'll be back with an end of September/October update soon. xoxo
Hello there, it's been awhile hasn't it? I mean - July to November - now that's just way too long for an update! So what on earth could have taken me away from this space all this time?? Life. I've embraced it and I've been busy in the thick of it, much like many of you I suppose (& to those that are able to keep up blogging along the way kudos to you).
As for me, my mojo for internet ramblings have up and left me right now, as have my crafty endeavors. I'm not fretting too much as I know things are cyclical. Overall I think I am more distressed that my craftyness is on the fritz as it is usually a huge energy booster for me. And couldn't we all use an extra boost of energy in our days?
But lets not focus on that, I'm here today and I have a wee bit o' an update for ya. Our happenings were normal fodder for a family of 6 during the summer:
~ bike riding continued on through the whole summer as a family
~ and sometimes friends joined us
~ had a fight with the white cabbage butterfly and made decoys...
~ and bug juice - more likely salad dressing because I lost the fight and have no garden kale to speak of :(
~ saw the local sights
~ hung out together at the pool
~ and by the fire
~ we baked apples
~ and then we baked in the late summer heat
~ harvested vegetables and savoured their lovely taste and wished that the garden was bigger and the growing season was longer
So there we have it, all caught up with July & August for the most part. Watch for September's highlights, I promise it won't take 4 more months, lol.
our province, home to over 100,000 lakes, we try to visit a few of them during the summer months: this particular visit took us out to where one of Canada's largest fresh water lakes resides, located in the interlake and one of my favourites with it's cool, ocean-like breeze
sand, sun, sit, swim, read, water, then do it all over again. it's a hard life.
as in strawberry jam, not the music variety.
It tastes as delicious as it looks, all 12 jars, and it is all freezer variety. Simple and easy as I am not able to do canning on my glass top stove. I did see one of these and I'm thinking it might be well worth the initial investment as nothing beats canning your own fruit. Or maybe it's time to invest in a new grill with a heavy duty burner for outside canning. hmm.
My taste testers both gave me a thumbs up as they munch away on a loaf of fresh bread and strawberry goodness. Next up for freezer jam is the raspberries. Yum!!
savouring a few more of those summer moments, the family went strawberry picking this week...
~ picked a bunch = 5 gallons;
~ made 3 strawberry & rhubarb pies, delivering one to my sister whose kitchen is currently undergoing a major renovation;
~ froze a ton for more strawberry & rhubarb pie because I did not think making 20 pies in one week and eating them all would be such a good idea for my waistline;
~ will be making some strawberry jam as soon I get to the grocery store and replenish our sugar supply.
~ and of course... ate a bunch, there is nothing like a fresh strawberry!
we ride as a family almost every evening enjoying the trails. exploring new areas and paths being paved around our home. Our goal is to have some good ol' bike ride fun, but with that we find a common way to be together as family, a way to engage each of us.
I've been having a paralyzing fear of my kids growing up for the past while. It's happening right before my eyes and I can't seem to slow them down. I vacillate between my longing for those earlier years when days blurred into each other and it felt like those "baby-days" would never end and the reality of where we are today.The transition is both hard and wonderful as I watch my not so wee ones grow into strong, independent persons. My thoughts wander: where do I fit in now? is my job done?
Surely not with 7 year olds, teens & pre-teens still roaming the house. My role has simply changed and finding my groove is not so easy. Then again I am not alone, we are all changing. The eldest one is now a man cub, almost as tall as me at 5'10 ~ well maybe a few more inches to go. He has gone through the most transition this past year. His interests have taken him away from his world of physical imagination play to more adult like mimicking and conversation. It's been expected but at the same time hard on the others. They long for their "leader" to play again like he did once before. To lead them on an adventure filled with magic, monsters and villans. I see their broken heart and it breaks mine. I feel sad for the ones left behind but recognize the inevitability of it. As the youngest of 13, I understand all to well being left behind while others move on, it's a lonely road.
This is where we are right now, navigating a new phase. We are still a family, changing and finding a new rhythym and new ways to express our togetherness. Hoping ultimately that we will embrace it with grace and enjoy the ride.
Now that it is officially July I thought I'd post a few highlights from the past two months instagram style.
from the top:
~ dance recital for the girlies who played the part of orphans singing "it's a hard knock life (Annie)" *ps, they did not dance in the Crocs ;P
~ flowers from daddy for two girlies who did such a great job at their dance recital
~ mass organization of papers around the house, including 5 years of the girls' art work *big job
~ mushrooms along the path of our daily bike ride
~ lunch for me: sole on a bed of lettuce *yum
My girlies are big into imagination, dress up & role play and over the years I've had the opportunity to fashion many a garment or costume into their latest characters. We've done the whole gamut from princess' to mermaids, brides & grooms, pirates & thieves. Lately the girls prefer to make their own costumes out of things around the house, whatever they can get their hands on - and that just suits me fine - little designers in training.
But once in a while they ask me to help them when they are stuck or they need a little bit of mumma encouragement, I'm always willing to lend a helping hand. On this particular occasion they needed pirate maps for their treasure hunt. Originally they drew their own detailed maps on paper but soon decided that their paper wasn't old enough looking. This is where I come in ...and off to work the three of us went.
First we soaked their map in clear water for about 30 seconds after which we then hung it to dry for about 20 minutes. While the paper was drying we made a coffee paint with 1 TBSP of instant coffee to 1/4 cup of water. The plan: paint the paper with the coffee paint to give it that brown leathery look. The smell of the "paint" was divine and I highly recommend having some extra coffee on hand for drinking purposes ;) After one coat of paint we hung the paper to dry and repeated the action until both the front and back were adequately aged.
The next step was to crumple up the paper so that it has those fine wrinkles that you would expect to see with an aged map. Carefully unfold the paper and then place some distinctive folds (in the map) for effect, if so desired.
The final step is completely optional but since I had just finished reading "the Girl Who Played With Fire" I was feeling cheeky so we burned the edges of the paper with a flame. Obviously this needs to be entirely done by an adult with kids at viewing distance only - safety first! I prefer to do this kind of thing outside where the burning smell can disperse easily. When everything was cool and dry we rolled our maps up, tied them with jute and off my pirates went to play. I'm not sure if they found any buried treasure but then again would a real pirate share that secret anyway?
Happy Map-Making Monday, xo
...while the rain is a bit of downer, it's been good for tackling a lingering project.
...and inspiration: good ol' Jenga would make a great future quilt.
...all this indoor time calls for some clowning around: cool and scary!
an intriguing piece of writing, very disturbing topic however.
~ and ~
because we are the slurpee capitol of Canada :)
I am just finishing up my crazy work week. I've been waking at 6:00am everyday and loving it! I just need to get to bed a bit earlier for it to stick long term, 6 hours is not enough sleep for me.
I'm looking forward to a weekend of gardening and partying. We will be celebrating a birthday, pics to follow next week, and it is a long weekend here so mr. duckyhouse will be hanging around an extra day longer to help me with the gardening. Yay!
What are your weekend plans, care to share? Happy Friday, xo
I was thinking about how busy life feels for me right now. I can't seem to keep up with it or find my rhythym -frankly, it's disconcerting. I keep hoping and waiting for the second surge of inspiration and energy to hit me and daily I find it evading me. Maybe it's cyclical? or maybe I just need to look at life through new lenses. I don't know the answer. I also don't know why things feel so busy. It's not like I haven't always been running with something or another..., perhaps it's the age of my kids now? I find raising little children taxes your energy in a different way - you are exhausted overall and spend a lot of time doing repetitive tasks, but our outtings were always closer to home and more infrequent. With my older kids, they are more independent but guidance & conversation is huge and we seem to have more groups & outtings that involve driving. Though we've made a lot of effort at keeping those things to a minimum, you know the simple life, there are still a few things that have us leaving the house on a regular basis. Blah, blah, blah, I'm sure y'all know what I am talking about.
In search of a solution, I have made some changes at work recently. I have gone from 80+ hours a month to about half that. This past month has been the first time that I am working reduced hours. The first thing I am noticing on my reduced hours is a sense of relief that has washed over me. I feel like I am able to get a few things done around the house that have me chasing my tail and I feel less stressed overall. My ultimate goal with my new found time will be to start cultivating some blocks of studio time just for making, just because. Ahh, the good life - I can't wait!
Of course no sooner do I reduce my hours at work then I have to pull semi-full time hours this coming week - a commitment I made pre-work hour reduction. It should be okay though. It's part of my job to be available periodically throughout the year in bulk hours when needed. After my week of chaos I will be back to my shortened hours. yay... and some serious making ~ can't wait!
~ my girls primping for a party, even miss lily dog got in on the action courtesy of the twinadoes.
~ at soccer: early season games can be freezing, thank goodness the warmer weather has arrived.
~ my self-love gift for those "making" studio times.
~ mother's day love, the bunnies finally left me one tulip in my yard. They faithfully eat them all, in four years at this home I have never seen one bloom.
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